They say that the music predominantly popular during your formative years, until the age of about 14, is the music that sticks with you for the rest of your life. That’s science. (According to that one episode of Criminal Minds, at any rate.)
By that logic, real or made up, I should love Bag of Nickels. This five-piece — Eric Belanger on vocals, Dennis Prado on bass, Mike D’Ippolito on drums, and Rob Albrand and Gaime Prado on guitar — were founded in Delaware in 1995 as a party band. An album soon followed. Then a second in 2000 (when I was 13). Then radio silence until now. Fifteen years after their last album, Bag of Nickels has come back together to release Amen.
On their newest effort, Bag of Nickels is a bit of a grab bag. The musicians themselves are talented, there’s no denying that. Belanger’s vocals are rich and consistent, and he’s got a decent range. D’Ippolito and Prado (of the Dennis variety) are great, playing off each other as a surprisingly robust and driving rhythm section. Albrand and Prado (Gaime) create some very pleasing arrangements and textures throughout the album.
The opener “Hold Your Form” kicks up the energy right off the bat with wailing guitars and vocals. The emotions seem to blur right into the music on “Trapper Keeper” as it pushes forward bringing memories of 90’s bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind. Some funk influence is shown on “Speedball” as well as some fancy guitar skills. The album is a throwback to an earlier time of the days alternative rock first broke. Amen delivers the same old sounds of the 90s, a touch heavier but without any of the nostalgia. If you long for these days definitely take a listen to Bag Of Nickels and buy their CD at: http://www.bagofnickelsband.com/