Hailing from Richmond Virginia, Dens have come out with their sophomore album, “Taming Tongues”. The band found their mission in using music as a platform to creatively and honestly explore themes of faith, hope, redemption, and grace. In 2018 the band released their guitar-driven post-rock Facedown debut EP No Small Tempest and won the hearts of Facedown fans with their outstanding, catchy choruses.
Their new album comes to grips with the current state of shattered communication and subjective truths. “Taming Tongues” explores how words can be life-giving or destructive, and emotions can be the salt of life or the fuel that gets thrown on a fire. Something that should catch your attention is the song listing, when put together it becomes a well worded sentence, “Even Foolish Men Are Wise When They Learn To Keep Quiet”.
The album opens up with jarring high pitched sounds when “Even” bats off a punchy guitar riff muddled with melodic chorus and a very prominent bass. What kept me roped where the absolutely stunning vocals, which drove the song. “Foolish” gets a start on a similar note, the screeching vocals puts in a ruggedness and heaviness to the intro. Also noteworthy are the catchy chorus lines and crafty guitar licks that tie up the song well. With “Men”, I gathered that a lot of work went into the overall melody of this song. The drums take on charge and offer a fresh perspective to the Post Rock sound.
I love the way “Are” starts, with the tempo eased out, giving you a moment to fall in a trance and bringing out psychedelic ambient elements only to supplement with, what now deems a necessity, female vocals adding so much flair to the sound. This I believe is a two part song, as it effortlessly joins and carries on its momentum with “Wise”, which by the way has a very powerful and prominent low toned guitar riff that just got to me. The song jumps octaves, what it supplies with guitars it complements with vocals.
“When” spaces out each instrument and does not overburden the soundscape as it gives the song the pace it deserves. “They” packs some powerful riffs as it moves from the intro to the verse, and has a transitionary acoustic guitars strums right before we hit a groovy chorus, which I felt was quite an interesting sound arrangement. “Learn” had the low tuned guitar riff rumbling along with a rap that suits the bands’ sound and I felt was something unique to hear.
They love experimenting with all the intro to their songs, which becomes all the more evident when we get to the heavy and meaty “To”. The drum rolls are catchy and set the groove. When we get to “Keep”, it logically feels that we are close to the end. A slow and melodic ballad much different than any of its predecessors, goes on to showcase mature song writing. And as we culminate this refreshing record with “Quite” we are bombarded with chunky riffs married with an ambient melody, which transpires into an anthem, Well done Guys!
Production: The production on this album was good, although I felt the overlap of instruments jarred at a few places, but that could be attributed to the song writing.
Conclusion: This was the first time I heard this band, and they successfully have left their impact on me. I would love to check out their first album too. There are some interesting song arrangements that keeps the album interesting. Give it a spin!
Written by: Ankit Sood
Shaun Hypes (vocals, guitar)
Brandon Osborne (drums)
Josh Tomlinson (bass)
Josh Waltman (guitar)
Release date: March 6th. 2020
Record label: Facedown Records
“No Small Tempest” (2018) [review].
Lyric video for ‘Even’
Video for ‘They’
Video for ‘Foolish’ (feat Leroy Hamp)