Review: Earnest Ernest musical proweress

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Sam Miess

Not all first time introductions are as glamorous as a live show. In this age of technological connectedness, musical discoveries are more often prompted by finger taps on screens then inadvertent run-ins at concerts. With this being said, my local music search stayed within the cinderblock walls of Van Antwerp Hall this week. Surrounded by empty pudding cups and half-finished biology homework, I took my first dip into the rocking, rhythmic pool of Earnest Ernest. Based out of Marquette, this self described Great North emo band consists of NMU senior Zachary Brooks, Wyatt Smith, Nic Hinsa and Tristan Luoma.

Their demo, which was recorded here in Marquette, contained two songs.The first song on the demo, “Unconfident,” introduced the musical prowess of the bands’ four members. Weaving through delectable scales and accented chords, Brooks’ guitar soared like a falcon over a linked bass and drum combo, dive bombing down the neck of the guitar only to swoop back up into the higher octaves. The muscular bass, provided by Hinsa, supported this level-headed introduction, then thrusted it forward like an olympic shot putter into the bashing second half.

This is joined by the lively flare of Luoma’s trumpet, fanfaring over powerhouse drums and a distortion cloaked guitar. Beneath the crafted rhythms and stops, the howling of Brooks could be heard faintly through this bombastic second half, daring the listener to pick out his submerged words. Paired with the repeating phrase of the trumpet, the vocals add a complex emotional forcefulness to the ending. This builds itself into a massive cathedral of sound that, with the bend of a guitar and the smack of a tom, abruptly stops.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of buried vocals. Lyrics are often the centerpiece of a song and covering them with other instruments is like KFC taking fried chicken off their menu, it just doesn’t make sense. But for Earnest Ernest, the vocals are not supposed to be the centerpiece. Instead they serve as a contributor to something greater. This forces the listener to focus on more than just the words, but the entirety of the song. However, I will say that there’s a certain sassy, brassy nastiness lacking from the auxiliary trumpet. In the demo recordings it hums; I want it to scream.

The second song, titled “Architect,” features more saucy crooning from Luoma’s trumpet, which flutters above a web of moving guitar passages and a synchronized drum and bass. The quartet glides like a manta ray through a soupy mix of varying time signatures and accented offbeats, unfazed by the varying beat. This gliding is decorated with crashing cymbals and a sparkling bell part that stresses the songs finale before fading with a sustained bass note a descending trumpet.

As of now, Earnest Ernest does not have any show lined up, but the band is heading to Seafoam Studios in Detroit to record their EP this July. If you’re impatient, one can hear their live demo at www.earnesternestmqt.bandcamp.com or follow their social media on Facebook and Instagram. Until next time, keep it bopping Marquette.