Sometimes a band steps on stage, and from the first note, they just click. There’s no forced smiling or uncomfortable tension. Each band member brings their own talent without stepping on anyone’s toes. Everything feels natural. In reality, this doesn’t happen very often. Egos get in the way, amps get turned up mid-performance… amateur bands play against each other. Professional acts are one collective unit. It usually takes time for musicians to learn this, but it seems like The Dividends got it from day one.
The Dividends are a five piece band from Huntington, WV. They released their debut EP, “Shakesy,” in June, after a year of tightening up their live performances. Their self-described genre is listed as “alt-rock with a trumpet,” which, while sounding generic and a bit goofy, perfectly describes the feel of the band. This light-hearted and honest approach to music is helping the band gain new fans at each show. The band members are young and energetic, (besides drummer Jon, who we’re told brings an oxygen tank to each show) and their stage presence is truly something to behold.
Clocking in around 25 minutes, “Shakesy” is nothing but the band getting right to business, and shoving their incredibly catchy tunes into your ears.
Between Hannah’s incredible vocals, Alan’s energy, and Heath’s trumpet, the band has a unique presence, and stands out in the crowded West Virginia-area music scene. Adding to their appeal is the fact that all three sing lead on different songs. This adds to the variety of their live set, and keeps the listener’s attention. The Dividends are such a great live band, no one would blame them for simply coasting on their tight sets and not worrying about their original material, but as an added bonus, their EP is downright fantastic.
Clocking in around 25 minutes, “Shakesy” is nothing but the band getting right to business, and shoving their incredibly catchy tunes into your ears. Every song is single-worthy, and shows a different aspect of the band’s talent. These tunes would easily feel at home on 90s alternative radio, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. Those songs had heart, but also had a little bit of crunch behind the catchy choruses that we all loved. The band definitely lets loose a few times on the album, such as the bridge of my favorite song, “Window Sill.” Heath shows some smooth vocal skills on this tune, and the middle break allows the band to get crazy for a minute, which is always fun to see live.
Prepare yourself. The first time you listen to this band, you will fall in love with Hannah. Her vocals are truly world class, and she brings a touch of cool and smoothness to the band. This girl will end up with fan clubs all over Facebook in no time. From “Shades of Blue” to album closer, “The Room,” Hannah’s talent is immediately apparent and will do nothing but bring new fans to the band. Alan’s role as the sole guitar player in the band gives him plenty of chances to bring the energy, and he definitely embraces the role. He’s the one jumping around on stage and interacting with the crowd. His energy is contagious, and somehow he found a way to deliver it on the album as well. He sounds great on songs like “25” and “Shallow Bay,” bringing dirty guitars and clean vocals.
Hannah, Alan, Ashley, Heath, and Jon have put together an album that stands out in our state’s busy music scene. This young band found a way to sound familiar while still being unique. That’s a big advantage for a new band, and considering their first release is only two months old, I’d say there are plenty of unsuspecting people out there who are about to become familiar with their unique sound.
“Shakesy” is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp.