By Taylor Briggs
Last month, Greensboro’s own The Quarter Roys dropped their debut album, entitled If You Think I Should. Mixing elements of psychedelic, progressive rock, rock n’ roll, bubblegum, and jazz stylings, this album nods to a varied potpourri of sounds with surprising cohesiveness and pop sensibility. Transitioning seamlessly from Beachboys-like “ew-la-las”, to tasteful jazz licks, to drifting, dreamy guitar solos, to driving riffs delivered with Ramonesesque intensity and distortion, The Quarter Roys take listeners on a fun, trippy, and engaging adventure that sometimes veers out of its lane, but never crashes off the side of the road. For this reviewer, the most outstanding track is Fool’s Errand – a lighthearted, toe-tapping ‘60s pop-like song well-tailored for radio play and dance party playlists. Also noteworthy is the album’s ballad, Sometimes, which delivers heartfelt lyrics to a tender and rhythmically intricate melody. The closing track, Don’t Come Around, is highly reminiscent of The Beatles. It makes for a solid anchor – lyrically and musically playful, and impossible to not headbop to at least a little bit.
“I would say that we chose to use the genres and sounds that we used on our album because they represent the point of making music the most – it’s about artistry, and we feel that the people who inspired us express the human experience best, and that to me is the point of art.” –Ethan Golden
The Quarter Roys, made up of Ricky Perez (drums), Nick VanBuskirk (bass), Logan Butler (guitar), and Ethan Golden (guitar/vocals) came together here in Greensboro and have been playing together for a little over half a year.
“Nick and I met in high school and formed a fusion jazz group. Everyone except for Ethan was in the jazz program at UNCG. Nick invited Logan to join the jazz group. I decided later I wanted to form a rock group. Through a mutual friend I met Ethan and discovered that we idolized the Beatles equally. I was really impressed by his songwriting and lyrics – pretty blown away actually. My mindset was that if we formed a band we would be a super group, no doubt.” –Ricky Perez
In talking to the band, it’s evident that they take their craft seriously. Most of the members (with the exception of Ethan) are music students at UNCG. Stalwart in their ambitions, The Quarter Roys view playing music together not as a pastime, but as a hopeful and feasible career going forward.
“We want to make it our legacy – the music we make as the Quarter Roys. I was in Poe Palace and it was the first band that I feel I aligned with artistically, but I didn’t get the sense that that was what everyone was trying to do with their lives, and it is what I want to do with mine. If I feel that way I need to play with people who also feel that way. The rest of the Quarter Roys possess the passion and dedication that I feel for it. Naturally, being in the band together was a good setup.” –Ethan Golden
Though based in Greensboro, The Quarter Roys have played in various cities in NC. They take pride in Greensboro as a welcoming and creative community. Members Golden and Perez, along with their friend Jacob Brunner, have spearheaded an artist support group called the Greensboro Collective in hopes of fostering an even stronger sense of solidarity between local creatives.
“I love Greensboro – I think the spectrum of characters here is wide and interesting and it seems like no matter where you lie on this spectrum, one thing that brings us together is that we like art. Greensboro seems like a sleeping beast that is just waiting to wake up.” –Ricky Perez
Still, as has been expressed by many (or more accurately, most) local musicians in our community, they spoke briefly about the gap between creative talent and viable venues to host local and touring acts in Greensboro.
“Greensboro is already a pretty supportive musical community, but I feel like if there were more venues that supported the art that artists make instead of just the performance as background music it would be more beneficial for artists and also help us network. I think that mobility – “where do we go and what do we do next?” – is a big part of the experience for artists.” –Nick VanBuskirk
Though pointedly influenced by some highly recognizable artists, The Quarter Roys’ sound is uniquely and thoughtfully pieced together, culminating into a cohesive sound all its own – fresh and relevant, but also reminiscent of a bygone musical era. They will be playing themselves in an upcoming local theatre performance – “Two Times a Charm,” which will take place nightly from January 22 – 25 at 7:30 in the Elliott University Center auditorium on UNCG’s campus.
If You Think I Should is available for stream and download at thequarterroys.bandcamp.com