Check out my Performer review for Sentinel’s previous album, Kites Without Strings, here.
RECORD REVIEW: Sentinel
For Days Deep
By: Keane Li
Oakland dream pop quartet Sentinel’s For Days Deep marks the band’s fifth release since forming in 2001. Evolving with unexpected line-up changes within the past year, the band was forced to deconstruct, reevaluate, and ultimately rebuild their sound from the bottom up. While their previous release, Kites Without Strings is varied and eclectic in comparison, like a series of different ideas connected, For Days Deep offers a matured conciseness and a crisp quality that adds clarity to their already very warm sound. Says vocalist and bassist Tarabud, “We progressed as a band by being open to much more experimentation and raw moods; spending many afternoons tinkering through ideas over and over again, allowing space for those happy mistakes.”
The album opens with “Kinda Light Up,” quickly exhibiting Sentinel’s pulsating guitar and lush vocal harmonic qualities. The trademark Sentinel echo and reverb are there, creating a wistful soundscape consistent with their dreamlike sound. Within their robust ocean of audio are a few particularly remarkable moments: the strong guitar riff in “Finale,” reminiscent of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name,” provides a very catchy push forward for the song; and on “As the Crow Flies,” a strong chorus melody dramatically dips down into the crux of its lyrics. “I know the breeze of your stormy seas,” sings Tarabud before the song re-enters another driving verse. As a whole, the pop sensibilities in For Days Deep – the quick emergence of verses and danceable rhythms – make the record easily digestible and readily enjoyable for a wide variety of listeners. (Self-released)