Galleries is a five-piece band from Oneonta, NY., drawing influences from several genres (post-hardcore, emo, progressive rock, indie, pop punk). Since forming a few years ago, the band has released two EPs and the third – which is entitled Tall Tales – is on the way, with a release date set for September 10 via Harbor Records.
Opening with the peaceful acoustic instrumental titled "Fatu," Tall Tales gets off to a decent start. The chords and subtle melodies used in "Fatu" sound like something you would hear in a 90s emo song. "Castles in the Air" sees Galleries carry over that 90s emo sound, but there is also a few other influences like post-hardcore and progressive rock. For the most part, "Castles in the Air" is a solid song with some variety, but it does start to drag on (it's almost five minutes long). The third track, "They Say Chivalry is Dead," is much more influenced by post-hardcore or alternative and sounds very similar to Hands Like Houses, Memphis May Fire and I, the Mighty at times. The vocal melodies in the track are particularly impressive and the instrumental work is strong as well, making "They Say Chivalry is Dead" one of two memorable tracks on Tall Tales.
The acoustic guitar makes another appearance on "Respectful Discourse" – the other memorable track – but this time vocals also appear. Similar to the intro track, the instrumental aspect of "Respectful Discourse" is very reminiscent of 90s emo. Vocally, it also sounds emo-ish, but with a touch of pop punk. The final track, "I Was Drinking Coffee When the World Ended," continues on from the previous track with the acoustic guitar, but spoken-word vocals now come into the mix. This is an effective closer, but at the same time, it's mediocre; though "I Was Drinking Coffee When the World Ended" closes the EP in a similar fashion that it began, there's not much going on until the last minute or so. Furthermore, just when it starts to sound really good, the EP comes to an abrupt end.
While Tall Tales did have its moments – both good and bad – coming up with a score for this EP was very difficult because some tracks sound incredible, but others are either mediocre or very slow. For what it's worth, the bonus track titled "A New Beginning" is by far the best Galleries song that I've heard thus far; it's short, fast (especially the drumming) and good enough to almost take my breath away. If even half of the EP was as striking as "A New Beginning," I would have thoroughly enjoyed it, so here's to hoping that the members of Galleries write more tunes like that on the forthcoming full length.