With a solid foundation in their self-titled debut, Getaway Van will go places and rock people to their core.
There are a few bands who have me excited about where their careers are headed, and Getaway Van is one of them. When I first starting listening to them, I felt like I was flying down the side of a mountain in an old cargo van, just like they wanted. My heart was racing, I was ready to start headbanging, and I had some fun just listening to the first few songs. Their self-titled debut album is a solid foundation for them to grow on.
In terms of instrumentation, Getaway Van is solid throughout their self-titled effort. The guitars always carry a catchy riff and the rest of the band always finds a way to effectively build around the guitar melodies. I’d love to see them live if only to see if they can match the album’s energy through an entire show. I’d like to see if the drummer could toss out some more unique drum lines with even more epic fills. Regardless, the rhythm section drive these songs forward, keeping everything solid and grounded. That said, it would be great if there were more inventive basslines, such as the one in “Comin Back”, present throughout the record.
As a record, Getaway Van is also full of effective hooks. These songs are ones that will rotate through your head over the course of a day. They are full of infectious choruses and guitar lines that don’t relent. Getaway Van also consistently show that they know how to close out a song. Their rhythm section churns out big solos and intense fills which make for epic endings that leave me feeling inspired to go kick something in the most positive way possible. So yeah, they have a great foundation to build from, but there are still a few things rattling around under Getaway Van’s hood that need to be brought up.
Lyrically, Getaway Van needs to do a little fine-tuning. “Lord I’ve Been Running” and “Follow Me” have storytelling and meaning that goes a little deeper than in other songs, like “Branches.” In most of the tracks it’s clear that the sound of the songs took priority over the lyrical content. Another thing they could do differently is to start as strong as they finish. Getaway Van defaults to a guitar-based introduction. Adding more variation to this important part of each song will help them carve out a unique sound within their chosen genre.
Getaway Van utilizes a multi-vocal attack capable of building interesting harmonies and call-and-responses. On “Ugh,” the band makes use of these vocals to create melodies that echo and bounce off each other. It’s an effect that adds depth and accents the lyrics. That said, there are moments when the band perhaps loses sight of how best to utilize the different vocal stylings. In a song like “So Long” for example, the grittier vocals get the job done, but the song’s more melodic approach seems to call for vocals that match its more reserved intensity. After all, sometimes you don’t need to use heavy duty tires with massive treads for a smooth, straightforward road.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning one of the most unique aspects of the record: the bait-and-switch that both “Intro” and “Outro” play on the listener. These opening and closing numbers are so very different from the rest of the album. They are a massive contrast to the glorious headbangers on the rest of Getaway Van. “Outro” is essentially a small piece of “Intro”, which is an awesome instrumental piece with repetitive motifs that move from the piano (they are the only two songs on the album with piano) to guitars, into a choral part, and then into the piano again. It’s totally unexpected, and works incredibly well to surprise listeners with a completely false set up to what the rest of the album is going to be.
All in all, I think Getaway Van’s self-titled effort is a great record. You can bet it’ll be in my rock and roll playlist for road trips. I can’t wait to see how they discover themselves and evolve together as a band. And if anyone wants to fly me out to Vancouver to see them play, I wouldn’t complain.