CD Review: The Kavanaghs “Headlights”

A lot has changed since the first day when the Argentinian band The Kavanaghs came together as a group. Since the early days of the band, members have come and gone and the style of music has evolved. And even with all of that, the band has continued to create their own style of music.

When The Kavanaghs first came together, the band created their sound imitating the style of bands like The Beatles and other British Invasion groups. Soon after, however, the band started incorporating some of the Post-British Invasion music from the likes of The Raspberries and Badfinger. And more recently, the band has incorporated more modern sounds from British bands like Coldplay. This ever-changing sound that the band has been creating has made their two studio albums, 2009’s Self-Titled release and 2011’s Love Conquers Pain, feel miles apart from each other. But that simply means that the band has been stretching as musicians and a group as a whole.

Even when the band released their recent live release of Love Conquers Pain (Live) (although the album was recorded back in 2011), you can hear the progression of the band as the earlier tracks from the self-titled album that were included in that release have a definite different quality to them, as if the band’s influences were indeed affecting the sound of the band’s music.

The Kavanaghs have recently returned with their latest album of original music. The 2017 studio release from The Kavanaghs is entitled Headlights.  For this album, The Kavanaghs are composed of Tiago Galindez: Bass – Vocals, Seba Cairo: Guitars – Synths – Vocals, Diego Vázquez: Guitars and Franco Barbieri: Drums. The album tracks were split between Tiago Galindez and Seba Cairo as songwriters.

Headlights from The Kavanaghs begins with the track “Neither Do I”. On this track, the listener can truly tell the progression of the band’s sound as the British Invasion influence is all nearly non-existent. What is there is a very modern take on the Rock and Roll sound. “Neither Do I” has a strong timeless feel as the guitar-driven track would easily fit on any Top 40 radio format. The track even includes a very infectious chorus that will have the listener singing along.

With the track “Your Life is White,” the band takes their Rock and Roll sound and makes it just a little bit more commercial. As the listener puts the song on, they’re hit with a song that has a very undeniable musical influence from the band U2. In fact, the track could easily fit within that band’s song library and no one would even know…minus the Argentinian accent in Tiago Galindez’s vocals, that is. Like the previous track, “Your Life Is White” is ready-made for radio play. It could easily be a single off the release.

While most of the music on The Kavanaghs’ Headlights release has a modern feel to it, the band changes directions on the track “Like a Ship”. With this song, the band reverts their sound back to a more retro feel that would have fit with early Rock and Roll. In fact, the track sounds as if it could have been something from an American artist like Dion or even Del Shannon. The music on the track has a light but definite Doo Wop influence. At one point, the vocals on the track even feature an aged feel to them as if the vocal quality had faded over time. “Like a Ship” is a nice reminder of where the band had come from, musically.

As mentioned before, the Highlights album from The Kavanaghs was split between Tiago Galindez and Seba Cairo as writers. However, with the title track “Headlights,” the two songwriters collaborated together on a track that has a heavy Pop influence to the music because of the acoustic guitars that help make up the music. The result is song that features a lighter feel to the music as the song would fit more into the Light A/C (Adult Contemporary) radio format. Along with the acoustic approach, the lyrics of the track are handled by both Galindez and Cairo as they show off their ability to harmonize with each other. The acoustic approach on this track gives the listener just a taste of something special while focusing on a different side to the band.

The pace of the music is once again picked up on the track “Time and Time Again”. With this track, the band seems to have taken their song back into the eighties for a song that would have felt right at home on the radio at the time. One element that picks up the eighties vibe is the inclusion of the keyboards from Seba Cairo that give the song a definite dated feel. And while “Time and Time Again” does have that slightly dated touch, the track is still fun to listen to and shows off yet another take on the band’s sound.

The Highlights album from The Kavanaghs continues with the track “High Tide”. The track features a melodic Rock and Roll sound that is very reminiscent of Coldplay. However, the track’s guitars also seem to suggest a little influence from New Wave. Like other tracks on the release, “High Tide” feels like it should be a single for the band.

The newest release from the Kavanaghs comes to a close with the song “Maybe”. Like other tracks on the release, the band channels their British influences for this song. The track features a melodic Rock and Roll approach very much like that of the song “High Tide” that came a few tracks before. The track starts off rather subtly but the energy picks up late in the track with the addition of a strong electric guitar solo that is accompanied by the lyrics being delivered in a harmonic way. While some would include a quieter song as the last track, “Maybe” contains a slightly quiet feel but still has plenty of energy.

Headlights, the newest release from The Kavanaghs, is easily the strongest album of the three that the band has put out. With this album, the Argentinian quartet shows how far they have come as a band and also shows that their sound has evolved over the years. If you are unfamiliar with The Kavanaghs, this is the perfect place to begin getting to know the band.

To hear just a bit of The Kavanaghs, check out the video to the title track “Headlights“.

For more information, check out the band’s record label Eternal Sunday Records. Also check out the band’s American distributor, Dreamscape Records.

To check out the entire Headlights release from The Kavanaghs, click on the album cover below:

Kavanaghs Highlights

 

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