Eternity Forever – ‘Fantasy’

By Mark Johnson

On the face of it, math rock and R&B seem like incompatible genres, but you never truly know until someone tries to merge them together. Former Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds vocalist Kurt Travis, ex-Chon bassist Brandon Ewing and Strawberry Girls drummer Ben Rosett seem like an unlikely trio to take on this experiment, but ‘Fantasy’ is an absolute triumph that proves that these genres not only work, they’re a match made in heaven.

Opening with a Chon-like guitar riff that’s full of intricate complexity and intrigue, ‘Fantasy’ seems like standard math-rock fare until Travis’ R&B infused falsetto takes the track down a completely new and interesting path. Almost unrecognisable from his previous work in Dance Gavin Dance or A Lot Like Birds, you’d be forgiven for not realising that it’s even Kurt Travis behind the microphone, however fans of his 2014 solo album ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ will know the versatility that he possesses and he lays it all out on this EP to stunning effect.

Travis’ infectious falsetto continues on ‘Letting Go’, bringing irresistible groove and warm, sunny feelings to the already contagious guitar licks. ‘All Alone’ and ‘Movies’ sees Travis return to his more familiar singing voice but while his register may drop down, his level certain doesn’t, bringing wave after wave of interesting arrangements and catchy hooks.

It’s refreshing to hear Ewing express himself on the guitar having previously been restrained by the need to provide structure to Chon through his bass work. The tone and style of his playing is extremely similar to that of his former band, and while he certainly doesn’t lack any of the technical ability of his peers, there’s a freedom to his playing that provides a much more fluid, relaxed environment, allowing each song to feel airy and flowing. The riffs of ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Movies’ are particularly moreish, the licks being so intricate and interesting that you can’t help but replay them over and over.

The R&B vibe is kept alive by Rosett’s lively, upbeat drum patterns that provide a solid groove for Ewing to pivot around, rounding off a perfectly well-constructed sound. Eternity Forever have tried something completely fresh with this project and the result is exciting and highly addictive. The quality and ingenuity of this math-rock/R&B fusion makes the four-track length of ‘Fantasy’ frustratingly short, but there’s no greater compliment for a debut record than a desperate thirst for more.

MARK JOHNSON

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