The Eric Charles band hail from Canada and I would describe them as Pop Rock with an lndie flair. There are quite a few influences and sounds on display through out the album but there is a strong sense of American style Pop Rock along the lines of most noticeably the Gin Blossoms and occasionally elements of the Counting Crows. But these guys don’t blend in with the American bands fully because there are some really strong British lndie style quirks to their song structures and overall sound. It’s noticeable but not over powering as I find the band veers more towards a polished Americanised vi be than the usual and expected discordant rawness of British lndie; Charles is without doubt heavily influenced by British music. It’s also worth noting that Harem Scarem’s Harry Hess has mastered the album and I feel that only heavily emphasises the smoother melodic elements in Charles’ song-writing.
I really like the edge to Charles’ vocals which are slightly gritty and he really puts me in mind of Mike Tramp. There were a couple of songs and I was racking my brain on who he reminded me of and it eventually it clicked that that they reminded me of some ofT ramp’s recent solo output. Musically there are some great melodic guitar hooks, such as ‘I Never Did You Wrong’ which, in particular, got under my skin yet despite there being quite an amalgam of influences (including those British lndie touches and quirks which seem to make them stand out amongst the crowd). ‘Freak Out’ is borderline, straight up Melodic Rock.
Another stand out track for me is the “radio-friendly” ‘Do It Again’ which has a strong memorable chorus and will definitely get into your head. This really highlights that when these guys are a good, they are very good with catchy melodies and enjoyable feel good tunes. Charles doesn’t seem afraid to mix it up in his song-writing, even opting for a Rap section on ‘You Read’ which works really well (believe it or not)! Eric Charles Band should appeal to fans of the likes of CC as there are strong Pop elements to their style and although it has those British influences, unlike British lndie in general, it sticks to having a melodic sheen which far more appeals to my own tastes.
‘Can You Feel It?’ is an entertaining and enjoyable album, it’s not going to set the world on fire, but if you dig this brand of In die Pop Rock it’ll definitely get you dancing around your kitchen in your dressing gown on a Sunday morning with a smile on your face!
by Paul Woodward