Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Niche : "Heading East"

The opening had almost too much of a Beatles vibe to it until the pounds into itself a little more firmly with the drums and the bass having to off set the vocals. It's pretty sunny, jangly and indie rock steeped in the bong water of the 60s.As far as guitar goes there are some very Allman Brothers moments in the harmonies. These guys are not slouches on their chops, they just aren't metal chops. It's not bad just different is the mantra to chant while getting acclimated to this album. There is a little more of a Fleetwood Mac thing going on with "When I'm Gone". The jam band like tendencies make it clear they are no strangers to the Grateful Dead. I can also hear some admiration for Paul Simon and Elliot Smith in the intervals the vocals choose. This is actually the band's third just the first being released by Retro Futurist , the metal connection do no end their as the band's  Keyboardist played with both Kylesa and Black Tusk.

The flower power begins taking over on "On Down the Line" , but the first verse has a pretty good groove that is hard to argue it eventually goes into something that sounds like Govt Mule jamming Santanna songs with Lynyrd Skynyrd. The transitions are seamless, and dynamic for this kind of thing they never seem to re-find the power of the punch the drums gave in the first song. They invoke the mellower side of Thin Lizzy on "Sweet Dear Annie". the singer does his best Phil impersonation. They try to go for Thin Lizzy's more rocking side on "Tough and Mean" and it doesn't sound as genuine to me as their hippy stuff. "Days to Come' sounds like Pink Floyd covering "Thank You". The breathy vocals effectively glide over the song. The embellishments further cement their musician ship. They do build this song up into a more sonic place before taking off into a proto-metal boogie.

The album cover is a pretty fair visual depiction of what to expect, perhaps it could have stood to be a little more retro, but the surreal elements find their way to the corners of most songs. Some times more than other it sounds like these guys have their own thing going, at others their influences overwhelm them. The more pot you smoke the better this album will sound. I don't smoke pot anymore so I'll give it a 7.5.

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