[AltWire Review] Little Geronimo releases debut EP, ‘Kingdoms’

We have had our eye on Little Geronimo ( www.facebook.com/lilgeronimo/ ) for a few months now. The Jacksonville, Fla. act has a unique take on indie pop rock and a progressive punk sentiment. Their debut EP Kingdoms dropped just a few days ago and shows a surprisingly expansive range of sounds. From vibrant, upbeat numbers to more experimental jams, the EP will appeal to a wide array of fans. Little Geronimo is a band that has a great potential to energize and relate with their fans and the record communicates this well.

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The EP’s opener “Postman” begins with dreamy-but-frizzy effects that evoke mysterious, ethereal moods that return in experimental hooks later on. Things move into a more vibrant and energetic place as the track builds. Little Geronimo uses repetition well and has a genuine honesty that is a signature to their sound that is both autobiographical and youthful. The vocal is clear without being overproduced, and hopefully they will maintain that honesty even if they move to a major label. The vocal conveys the story and feeling well. It is not too whiny , too quiet, or trying too hard. It immediately establishes a sense of balance that is fleshed out through the rest of the EP.

“Change” was the refreshingly positive summer anthem we previously reviewed when it was released as a single (read about it here). Since that single debuted, it has been stuck in my head often.

Little Geronimo has such a charming indie pop sound laced with charismatic riffs, decorative effects and bright percussive elements. These are well structured tracks with hooks that work.

What makes them different is their attitude. It will bring happiness to listeners, which has become rare in acts that have a similar sound or fanbase. Their sound is Warped Tour-friendly: Enjoyable rock with elements that will work live. They remind me of early All Time Low.

Still, Little Geronimo is not afraid to get weird. “Inchworm” is similar to tracks other groups would only use as interludes. It includes an interesting use of pacing: The beat is cool and different, setting a backdrop for kaleidoscopic, quirky diversions. It maintains their signature honesty. This is a group that sounds good now and also has strong potential to develop in the future. It will be curious to see if they take a more pigeonholed approach moving forward or continue to toy with as many different musical elements as they do now. They have a real sweetness and charm, which pairs with a solid use of beat and repetition to get songs really stuck in a listener’s head.

”A Secret Ingredient” is another one of my favorites on the record. In this song, there is a build almost reminiscent of The Mars Volta. The intro has a heavier delivery that speeds up into a more punk influenced immediacy. Don’t let “Change” fool you. There is always a little edge to Little Geronimo’s sound. “A Secret Ingredient” is a little more experimental but also a little more punk. Despite punk influence, Little Geronimo doesn not rely on the crutch of short tracks. Alternatively, they never overexpand tracks into wandering jams that hinder playability. You can tell they have an artistic vision but not an overly specific aesthetic.

Not only does the record build as it moves along, each track does the same. “Time Shepherds” is a perfect example of this. It has a mellow ambiance and a sense of gratitude for life that will be extended to fans. Potentially cliche lyrics do not come off that way because of creatively formulated instrumentals. Each tempo affects the details of the attitude extended to the listener. Fresh drums and a melodic chorus with easy to pick up lyrics have a sound similar to Jimmy Eat World. On their own, Little Geronimo is reflective but has shamelessly good intentions.

“Thunder” was a bold choice as a closer to the EP and effectively represents the group’s mission to make inspired music. The whole thing is a little progressive: Effervescent, but with warm guitar riffs. “Thunder” has best imagery on the record. For example, you can hear their influences from groups such as Circa Survive. The track is a playful, exploratory, sometimes faraway sound that would sound excellent on vinyl, while at the same time having interesting storytelling like what you’d hear from Coheed and Cambria.

On Kingdoms, Little Geronimo shows different sides of their sound but they are well executed and expressive throughout. Their simple, relatable lyrics will be easy to sing a long with and the group has a great potential we are eager to watch. The group could easily play as an opener for a variety of big acts. Their music provides for different possibilities live – pits, jumping, singalongs, shoegazing, and everything in between.

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