The Damn Choir is a mix of all things right in the broad genre of alternative. This Chicago based band isn’t quite folk, alternative or rock, but if you find an unnecessary amount of Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers in your library (like I do), Creatures of Habit is the next album to add.
The sophomore album carries the same edge as You’re My Secret Fire, but maybe not as much. In the band’s debut, the songs were more basic. They had a sense of purity, and the lyrics were heavy. Either way, when leader singer Gordon Robertson sings, you listen. His vocals are raspy, hoarse and all around sexy.
If he’s not enough reason to listen, Katy Myers on cello is. The duo sets The Damn Choir apart from any other alt/folk/rock band. She is elegant, he is rough and together they’re haunting. This contrast is even more apparent in Creatures of Habit.
As a whole, the band does contrasts well, whether it’s between Robertson and Myers or the rhythm between the two albums.
The percussion is more noticeable in Creatures of Habit, which makes a big difference because the songs are slightly faster. While the album as a whole is generally lighter than the first, better guitar riffs make for a refreshing change.
“Devil’s Frown,” not quite halfway through the album, reminds you why this band is so great. It’s nothing like anything they did in their first album, but there is so much passion behind the entire song, it requires a replay. “Say You Will” follows with a softer sound. The way Myers weaves the cello into each song throughout the entire album is brilliant.
The amount of sound in the music has increased, but not drastically, which makes for a great follow-up album.