Pompton Lakes, 2012.
Pompton Lakes: http://www.pomptonlakesmusic.com
Jeff Martin is the primary songwriter and initiator for Pompton Lakes, and brings with him his skill set honed from 2001 until 2007 with Buffalo, New York rock band, This Day & Age.
Playing solo and with former band-mate Steve Padin in the interim resulted in a 2010 album, The First Joke and Other Matters, and a desire to start a new band. Thus, in 2011, Pompton Lakes was born. With a sound comparable to Death Cap for Cutie or Coldplay, Pompton Lakes has a solid sound backing sellable lyrics, targeted at a popular and growing market.
Rest is another album with the label of “Indie Folk,” but a very different sound than Bethesda or other Indie Folk artists. Pompton Lakes is more serious, and more often set in a minor key, but it has some of the familiarities that make indie folk such a popular and general term lately. While Rest is an independent album for an unsigned band, it also has a highly polished sound, and is well produced. Honestly, it took me a couple of times listening to this CD before noticing that they were a Christian or “safe rock” band, and frankly, that’s saying something when you can get the atheist to listen to this genre willingly. The eight song album is the result of the group working for the first half of 2012 to put it all together, and that commitment and dedication come through in the quality of the piece.
Admittedly, I probably have a different perspective than most of Pompton Lakes’ listeners, but even without sharing religious affiliation, I can share in good music, and Rest is good music. Generally, the songs fall into two groups- overtly religious and with broader appeal. All of the songs are enjoyable and technically sound. The songs with appeal to a wider audience include Home, Pride, New, and Hope (Banjo song). Home is like any of a hundred songs of longing and nostalgia that can be found on the radio in the past few decades. Searching could be a song of romantic love if “God” were replaced with a lover’s name, but is still easily listenable as it is. Merciful sounds almost hymn-like, or at least like a hymn at a contemporary worship service. Pride speaks of the universal feeling of failure and doubting one’s worth. A lighter, brighter tone comes out to shine in New, which is another song that could be mistaken for a song of romantic love. Lift My Eyes has a lilting, soft beginning and speaks of grace and reverence. The title track is my least favorite, being more repetitive than the other songs. Rest ends on a more folksy note with prominent banjos in Hope, and a return to more inclusive tones of hope and memories.
Whatever you might call Pompton Lakes, call them worth a listen and give them a try today.
Personnel: Jeff Martin, Vinnie Lupoli, Dan Desrosiers, Isaac Strader, and Dennis Archer.
Tracks: Rest, Searching, Merciful, Pride, New, Trust, Rest, Hope (Banjo Song)