Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Just Want To Sing! - Featuring Redefine and Brandon Jarod

Waveriders, Penfold here.  As you may or may not know I love me some experimental, genre-blending, wild music performed by experimental, genre-blending, wild bands.  Love it!  But there are times when this type of music just won’t do.  Here’s a perfect example.  I’m driving in my car on my way to work.  What do I want to listen to?  Do I want to listen to that stunning new black/death/thrash/etcetera hybrid band that takes all of my attention to enjoy to its fullest?  No.  I can’t listen with my full attention in the car.  There would be an endless parade of damages to my automobile and several unfortunate fatalities.  Plus, I can’t really sing along to all that growling/screeching/yelling stuff that seems so prevalent with extreme music today.  To be clear, I want to sing along.  Oh please…as if you don’t sing while driving.  Yeah okay, I guess I’m the only one.  Right.

So, I need some road music with clean vocals feeding strong melody lines that will allow me to sing along and maintain a groove, all the while keeping my attention on the road.  What’s that?  Why don’t I just listen to the radio?  Who said that?  If I find you I’m going to smack you!  Seriously.  Don’t provoke me like that.  Anyways, thankfully I’ve found a couple of acts recently that really fit the bill.  Let’s talk a bit about them, shall we?



MotorcadeRedefine - Blur On The Horizon EP

This five piece rock band hails from Dallas, Texas.  Perhaps simply living in such a large state affects these guys.  Perhaps it does not.  Regardless, the band has a massive sound.   Redefine’s music is hefty, in your face, and consistently shifting to keep the listener on their toes.  On this EP, their third release and second with singer Scott Headstream, they come roaring out of the speakers like a bat out of Hades!  Guitarists Chris Apaliski and Ryan Maynard lay down riff after righteous riff, along with several frenetic technical passages worthy of study.  The rhythm section of drummer Daniel Taylor and bass player Mike DiQuinzio join together in perfect lockstep to anchor the musical pyrotechnics while managing to provide excellent and tasteful flourishes throughout.  Oh, and the singer?  Let me tell you; this man can sing!  It is abundantly clear that Mr. Headstream puts his heart and soul into his performance.  The term emotive does not begin to do this man justice.

Alright, that’s enough talk of personnel.  Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  The main reason I find this band so satisfying is that they effortlessly jump from influence to influence, all the while maintaining their own identity.  Listening to these songs I can clearly identify moments which evoke strong comparisons with other bands of note.  For instance the first song, “Arcana”, exhibits verses that have a significant Mars Volta feel to them, but then the song transitions to a thrashy bit reminiscent of Megadeth.  And that’s just the first song.  Track two, “Motorcade”, has a gang vocal chorus towards the end that has Belladonna-era Anthrax written all over it.  “Like A Vision, A Ghost” has guitar lines that scream Dream Theater.  “Take Your Medicine” offers up some rapid fire start-stop riffage reminiscent of Tool to my ears.  Keep in mind that all of this is wrapped neatly into an ear pleasing modern rock bundle.  No song ever sounds disjointed, and no individual moment sounds unnatural.  Everything flows together flawlessly.

The bottom line here waveriders is that I recommend checking into Redefine.  Heck, I’d even go so far as to say that this music should be played on the radio!


buy here: Blur On The Horizon
Listen Here – facebook



Brandon Jarod - The Crush EP

Well hey there!  Say, do you like your rock ‘n roll with a heaping dollop of soul?  You do?  No kidding?!  Me too!  But wait…what’s that you say?  You demand this new music to be unique and memorable?  And you want it to be filled with heartfelt emotion?  Okay then.  You do realize that this is a pretty tall order to fill right?  Whoa, calm down!  Look, I was just kidding around.  I’m going to see if I can find exactly what the doctor ordered…no, I’m not skipping over you.  There is no actual doctor.  You ARE the doctor!  Look, I know just what you need.  This is the debut EP from Brandon Jarod, and it is going to rock your world!  Pay attention.

Brandon Jarod is a self-taught guitarist from Virginia.  Together with drummer “B.A.” Bryan Adkins he recorded The Crush EP.  In a live setting the group is completed by Tyrone Jordan on bass, but the EP in question was recorded without him (perhaps before they even met).  I mentioned that Mr. Jarod is self-taught on the guitar because I think it is of the utmost importance.  According to historical record he learned to play by imitating other guitarists whom he admired from all walks of music, and it really shows.  His playing sounds fresh and organic and is clearly not limited by established stylistic structures.  I think the only rule he applies is that no matter what the music has to sound good, and boy howdy does it.

The six songs that make up The Crush EP run the gamut.  An insistent drum beat opens “Falling Into Place” before the guitar and bass kick in to bring on the good times.  “No Solution” is the heavy rocker of the collection with a slithery guitar line preceding the main crunchy riff and a huge bass presence.  There’s also this really cool bluesy flourish thrown in every so often that always draws a smile to my face.  “Luv ‘Em And Leave ‘Em” is a fairly short instrumental (excluding a message at the beginning of the song) that reminds me of Led Zeppelin and Chicago (“25 or 6 to 4”).  “Put It In A Love Song” is a darn near perfect pop-rock gem.  “The Crush” is a wonderful rock/r&b hybrid ballad that swings like a wrecking ball, and “Cream” wraps things up nicely with some killer up-tempo blues rock.  All of these songs are great, but there is something else that stands out.  Brandon Jarod’s vocal performances are something else!  He mixes your standard rock vocals heavily with what you might hear from an r&b/soul singer.  The result is unique and decidedly memorable.

Waveriders, Brandon Jarod is an artist you need to check out right now.  Think.  If his debut EP is this good, what does he (along with his musical cohorts) have in store for us down the road?  I’m eager to find out and after you listen to The Crush EP, you will be too!



Buy Here - http://www.bjarod.com/musicstore.cfm

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