By: Jeremy Fleischer
The debut EP, Anchored, from Fort Collins acoustic-rock outfit Places Back Home can be summed up with one three-letter word: meh. It’s not terrible, but it’s not exceptional. It’s not unlistenable, but it’s rather boring. This is a shame, since all the elements are there. What’s lacking, it seems, is inspiration.
Take the track “Letters.” It begins with a picked guitar and vocalist/songwriter Chris Tofano’s competent vocals. It’s a lovely sound that builds to a chorus with a downplayed rock guitar riff. This all should work! But unfortunately, it’s too formulaic. And the lyrics – yes, they are about mailed letters to a lover – is wholly uninspiring. Listeners will not be faulted if their minds wander to thoughts of tacos only 30 seconds into “Letters.”
If I sound unfairly harsh, it’s only because, as I said, this band has the musicianship and song arrangement/production sense to be so much more exciting. The title track, which concludes the album, is an example. The chorus, featuring anthemic “whoas,” is perhaps the best moment on this EP, but the lead-up to the “whoas” lacks the thrust to make it truly cathartic. This is the band’s debut, and the hope is they find inspiration before the next.