By Marcus Pan
I have two demos here from modern pop style band Sentinel.
Formed by Dennis Bestafka and Sandra Conde a few years back as a side project,
the addition of John Patterson and Amelia Cole round out the four person troupe
of Sentinel. Sequels and Hunches is due out this summer and previously
theyve put out The Singles and a self-titled release in 2004 and
My first impression of Sentinel was how bright and poppy it
was compared to other things sitting on my desk. An island of happiness
otherwise surrounded by a sea of dark music. It reminds me of work by Scarlet
Life, with a trip-hop bent and extremely pretty female vocals, sweet enough
to pour on your waffles as syrup.
On one of the CDs are the two tracks Diamond and
Masquerade. The former starts with comfortable guitar before being
joined by a pretty girl voice. Masquerade is similar, and while I know
the chords are different it gets a bit similar in style to the previous without
much to differentiate it.
The seond CD has eight tracks, opening with The Muse.
This ones much more moving, with bright shiny guitar movements.
Dolores Cafe starts poppy with guitars again, Republica on ADD
medication. Sentinel is very comfortable to listen to, really, makes you in the
mood to have a really nice day. Its nice morning opener. The Gray
adds a bit of fast-strumming guitar technique to the mix to pick up the pace.
I like the bass groove on Sugar. Keeps things moving
at a nice clip. The girls vocals stay a bit lower tone here with a nice
smoothness about them. The slow ballad of All But Gone is a nice close
to the second demo CD.
The main problem with Sentinel is it doesnt
differentiate so much. The tracks blend together and the album will shuffle by
quickly without your realizing it. The guitar movements are the same with a few
brighter exceptions, the vocals are always the same, the drums are nearly
boring. They certainly have the skills to make music
but theres only
a bare handful of songs that they know how to write.
293 Euclid Ave. #5, Oakland, CA, 94610, USA
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