The Table of Contents’ don’t “Unravel” on new recording

When a singer with a distinctive voice starts a new band, trying to place that voice in a new context can be a difficult task. Such is the case with former Danger Bob frontman Karl Michelbach and his new band, the Table of Contents.

It doesn’t help matters that Unravel & Return gets off to a rocky start. Everything — bass, guitar, drums, vocals — all seem just ever so slightly off kilter on album opener “Lyre of Orpheus,” and it was difficult to keep going. As I went through the album on first listen, I wasn’t sure as to what I thought, but then I found myself quietly singing the chorus to “A Certain Grace” to myself as I chopped onions for dinner. It’s the little details, like that song’s catchy lyrics (“It doesn’t happen overnight/It takes time to put things right”) or the keyboard flourishes on “Look Away,” that come out of the speakers with an ear-grabbing hook.

I can only compare it to listening to Piebald: the vocals aren’t quite on key, and the band’s pretty rough, but somehow, you find yourself repeatedly coming back to the recordings. Despite a difficult and rocky start to Unravel & Return, the Table of Contents have some hooky indie pop that rewards further listens.

Categories: Music