Last week while on a family bike ride, my ears suddenly heard the sound of drums pounding in a garage. As we got got closer, I was able identify this beat as a definite 80’s era hardcore punk beat, then gradually to hear distorted vocals and then the way too low guitar. Finally getting within range I saw a bunch of high school boys playing something I didn’t expect; I’m pretty sure they were covering Black Flag. Not like how Korn or Fall Out Boy would play Black Flag, but Black Flag like a bunch of kids in a garage would play Black Flag. I was impressed.
So how does that tie into this post about NYC’s Ravens and Chimes, a decidedly non-punk band of NYU students? Like our little punk friends in the garage, what they are playing is unexpected. In the case of Ravens and Chimes and their debut album Reichenbach Falls out October 9, their indie pop folk rock, like a younger, peppier Bishop Allen influenced by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen (their cover of his “So Long, Marianne” is below), displays a maturity that is a bit of a surprise. Perhaps their devotion to their influences has led them to play more from the heart. And perhaps as a thirtysomething I’m not giving the kids, be they liberal arts college students or high school boys in a garage, enough credit these days.