First Out

The Full Counts

Phratry Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


When I was in high school, I discovered a band from the ‘90s that I fell in love with: Gumball. The band, led by noted producer Don Fleming, also featured Eric Vermillion on bass. Gumball disbanded around 1995 and everyone went on to their own careers. Cut to twenty plus years later and 2/3rds of the classic Gumball lineup has returned in a new band. Written, sung, and produced by Vermillion, The Full Counts features a lot of classic Gumball nuances: grungy vocals, heavy distortion, and a lot of crazy guitar work. Opening track “(No You) Don’t Let Me Down” is a really great rocker with a lot of energy and some great vocals courtesy of Vermillion.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Be With Me” has more of a melodic feel to it and is just okay – there is nothing really notable here except for the inclusion of some ‘60s sounding guitars, which is a nice touch. If you like really loud, heavy guitar rock without a lot of other distractions, then this is definitely a record to check out.

“I Got The Time” is a mellower number and one to really check out if you’re looking to see the different aspects of this band. It’s a really great song and again features some excellent vocals. There are a couple of acoustic cuts here, in particular “The One,” and while they work, they aren’t necessarily my favorites. “On My Own” feels like it would work a lot better as a driving, fast rock track. “I’ve Been Thinkin’, Babe” is a bit of a blues track with some good guitar work and while it’s interesting, it sticks out a bit too much. Still, it’s good to see the band trying different things and not sticking to the same formula.

Having loved Gumball, I was excited by the prospect of this record and those hopes were matched. This has ended up becoming one of the more exciting and promising debuts I’ve heard in quite some time. I really hope to see more things from this band in the future.

Rating: B

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© 2017 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Phratry Records, and is used for informational purposes only.