The sheer expansiveness of the beginning of Nathan Sexton’s Grave is amazing. Beginning with a set of vocals that come right out of the James Taylor playbook, Sexton’s voice interacts with the epic instrumentation to flitter between David Bowie and Bob Dylan. “Satellite” is a much harder-rocking track, with the guitars struggling with Sexton’s voice for dominance. By putting the two sides of the act against each other, I feel that the resulting work is that much better.
With each guitar riff or intelligently-delivered line, the other element gives that much more effort. What results in “Satellite” is a track that really will work wherever it is placed, be it radio, Youtube, or even at any one of thousands of rock bars through the United States. “Defeat” slows things up, showing the finesse that the band is capable of. Where the guitars were turned up to eleven with “Satellite”, they are equally intense in terms of the intricacies achieved here. The vocals here are similarly impressive, with Sexton providing listeners with a warmth that is only typically present when fans and performer are stuffed in an intimate venue (coffee shop, book store).
“The You Inside of Me” is another noteworthy track because of the experimentation achieved by the band in such a short space – in the course of eighty-nine seconds, movements are made, narratives break through, and different facets of the band rise and fall. “Waiting For The Night” is another slower track, but is miles different than “Defeat”. While “Defeat” was more about technical skill and slowing down the momentum enough for fans to properly appreciate that, “Waiting For The Night” is a tender track that will stand the test of time. While most acts start to sputter out by the beginning of the second half of their album, Nathan Sexton is able to ensure listeners’ continued interest throughout the whole of “Grave”. With each track here, Sexton is able to speak to the varied and larger corpus of rock music.
Top Tracks: I’m Fine, The You Inside of Me
Nathan Sexton – Grave / 2010 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/nathansextonmusic