Sides of Fives: Sides of Fives

They’ve clearly honed their skills thoroughly to come out so convincingly grunge in a time when few bands cultivate that sound anymore.

Local rockers Side of Fives (singer Sam Goodrum, guitarists Jared Gleason and Sean Jackson, bassist Chris Doherty, and drummer John Manley) aim to put a new feather in an old-hat genre. They even cite (among many others) Hendrix, Zeppelin, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots as influences, and none of them hesitate to profess their love for babes and beer. Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen, as we delve into the world of all-American hard rock.

They’re easy enough to catch at a local venue near you: April 4 at Mississipnpi Nights, May 2 at Off Broadway, May 3 at Sally T’s. And you should probably take the chance on them when it comes, because you won’t learn too much about them from their three-song, self-titled EP. Take “Past Over,” for example, wherein Goodrum channels a Scott Weiland/Layne Staley hybrid and uses it to douse everything in grunge. As a result, the song can do little besides simply declare the band’s genre. In other words, we come away from it knowing less about who Side of Fives are than about what they do. But the flip side of it is, they’ve clearly honed their skills thoroughly to come out so convincingly grunge in a time when few bands cultivate that sound anymore.

There are a handful of nice touches on the EP that hint at something more. “Grounded,” for one, features a searing, ascending riff courtesy of Gleason toward the end—a small detail, perhaps, but small details are the building blocks of cathedrals (as my mother used to say—or, at least, as someone’s mother used to say). It succeeds because, for one moment, we stop hearing STP and Alice in Chains, and we catch a fleeting glimpse of Side of Fives. It’s not much to go on, but based on that, there may be exciting developments down the road.

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