The Dive Poets

The Good & the Light EP
(self-released)

With each release, the Dive Poets refines its style of big-hearted, heartland rock & roll. The quintet released the digital single "Failing Manhattan"/"The End" earlier this year — and since that time, singer Eric Sargent has knocked some of the rust from his vocals while his bandmates have introduced steady rhythms and an easy sway. The Good & the Light (available November 2) is more of a four-song teaser than a discreet unit, and each song shows a different facet of the Dive Poets' marriage of modestly rocking Americana and sad-eyed barroom weepers.

The set begins and ends with a blast. Renato Durante's loose, clanging hi-hat introduces the sweetly ragged "I Still Miss Louise," and viola player/backing vocalist Anna Moffatt swoops in with strings and harmonies to give the tune a little lift. The closing track, "Austin," finds the band at its honky-tonkingest, with guitarist Karl Eggers' deft roadhouse picking pairing nicely with a relentless shuffle. The two intervening tracks are more introspective and melancholy. "Club 91" begins as a nearly too-saccharine character study but grounds itself with a gradual build and Moffatt's alternatingly lyrical and rhythmic viola work. More than any other track on this set, it's a song that rewards repeated listens. The limits of Sargent's wavering tenor voice get stretched a might too far on the dirge-like "Lord, Take Me Home," though once more the rest of the Poets' talents — Eggers' intuitive guitar work in particular — fill in the blanks. The EP draws an even split between twangy rock & roll and tender balladry, and that duality gives depth and range even across this brief set.— Christian Schaeffer

Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, Missouri, 63130. E-mail [email protected] for more information.

Scroll to read more Music News & Interviews articles (1)
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.