Review: The Districts’ Self-Titled EP Showcases a Young Band About to Break Through
When I found out that White Denim was playing a two-night stand at The Sinclair (Feb. 25 and 26), I looked up who would be opening for them each night. The Districts, a quartet from Lititz, PA are supporting White Denim on their east coast dates. After hearing their 2012 debut full-length, Telephone, they have become one of my favorite bands at the moment. I haven’t been able to stop listening to them for the past two weeks. Telephone is a masterpiece that they released independently while they were still in high school. Since then, they have been picking up tons of steam, playing shows with fellow Pennsylvania natives like Dr. Dog and Toy Soldiers.
In November, the band announced that they have signed with Fat Possum Records, the former label of the Black Keys, and they would be releasing a 5-song EP in late January, just in time for their tour with White Denim. The Districts teamed up with producer Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man, Toy Soldiers) for the new EP. It features reworked versions of three tracks off of Telephone (“Lyla,” Long Distance,” and “Funeral Beds”), along with two brand new songs, which will appear on their next full-length album this fall.
The EP kicks off with “Rocking Chair,” which reminds me a little of “Shake Me Down” by Cage the Elephant, in the sense that their dynamics shift from whisper-soft to screaming at the drop of a hat. Vocalist/ guitarist Rob Grote can belt out gravelly, bluesy vocals that drip with emotions and maturity far beyond his years (think Andy Hull-meets-John McCauley).