Drawing from roots old and new, LA's The Shrill are focused and intense on their debut album How Good We Had It. There is little cause for pause, reflection or smooth melancholy on this disc. The Shrill is relentless to the point of devastating cleverness or annoyance. Possibly I'm to quick to decide, even after a third spin. Unequivocally, the music is provocative and genuine, neither too much old school rock nor modern alt rock commercial cuteness. With their skills The Shrill could be both. Smooth to shrieking fret work is supported by a determined rhythm section, while vocalist Seth Romano rails and rolls, choking the life out of his microphone.
How Good We Had It begins well with the impressive The Mourning Sun and ... to the Dogs. But, this work can be uneven from here, even 'shrill,' as that aforementioned relentless intensity and Mr. Romano's vocals, in particular, make for a predictable and, sometimes, hazardous listen. I don't want to say that The Shrill needs to turn it down, but Romano's (no matter how good he is) screeching has to give the listening ears a break. Nevertheless, The Shrill's rock and roll formula succeeds on How Good We Had It, even if it can become oppressive with repeated listening.