The Extensions, occasionally to their detriment, are hard to classify. They’re a five-piece band with multiple vocalists who work across a half-dozen genres with extreme effectiveness. They organize and promote shows for other bands. Their members also play in other projects. They are a multi-hyphenate with no gimmicks.
They don’t trade in sentimentality or manufactured romanticism. None of the band’s three singers are particularly raspy and no one plays a Telecaster guitar. Their gimmick, if forced to admit one, is that they write extremely good songs and perform them with both precision and might.
“My Turn,” the third and final single from the forthcoming LP High Charisma is a staggering, masterful turn away from the dance pop of “With a K” or the hard stomp of “Scene Famous,” their previous two singles. For this, the group introduces Becca Cristino and Lisa LoVell on vocals, trading lines back and forth, bobbing and weaving, asking and answering. Echoing The New Pornographers, or perhaps even some indie pop version of The Band, The Extensions have added an entirely new wrinkle to their already-impressive sonic tapestry.
Voices dip in, out, and between, while guitars mimic the lyric’s similar call-and-response pattern. And while due diligence must be paid to bassist Will Blakey and drummer Pete Stern, hands-down the NJ music scene’s most underrated rhythm section, or perhaps Brian Erickson who wrote the thing, the song’s stars remain LoVell and Cristino, who take full command of their ensemble, begging the question “What would an Extensions album sound like with these two out front?”
Given how many bands, especially ones at this level, lean hard into just one or two things, it’s hard to believe The Extensions even exist, let alone are able to move through different genres and styles with such a degree of excellence. “My Turn” is yet another high point on an album that promises to be full of them.
The Extensions will be releasing their LP High Charisma on Friday June 9th via Mint 400 Records. They’ll be performing June 16th on the Baronet Rooftop at the Asbury Hotel to celebrate its release alongside labelmates Fake Pockets and Asbury Park stalwarts The Foes of Fern, each of whom also have records coming out in June.
Limited tickets are still available, though this show will likely sell out.