Every good record should hold the elusive concept of the Yin and Yang; the soft and hard; the quiet and loud (or in this case, the loud and the LOUDER).
Despite Terralite and Iudica’s (the band that singer/guitarist Brian Michael and drummer Nate Fidd were previously in) aversion to acoustic guitars, they do venture into more pop balladeering on their debut record as Terralite.
But then again perhaps it’s unfair to judge their work based on any previous effort under their previous Iudica label…
But what is really different about Terrallite compared to Iudica? There was a different bass player, and now there’s another new one.
More significantly in terms of the overall sound, band dynamic, and potential dissociative identity disorder is new member Thom Grover, who is taking on increasing songs as the lead singer and songwriter. This as opposed to Brian Michael who clearly appears to be suited to be band leader, steering the ship unapologetically.
While Grover’s voice is getting stronger, and his songs (if they are his creative babies completely) are showing more dynamics than Iudica songs, Brian Michael’s writing is still more confident and demands more control.
While the majority of the songs on the record are good, and, more than ever before — groovy, the thing that stood out to me on the second and third listen through is that there is a slight split of personality happening throughout the record. This may be a Paul & John type thing where previously there was collaboration now the singer is the songwriter and never the twain shall meet; it’s like a mutiny aboard a ship where the crew are loyal but as with every enterprise new blood must flow. And a changing of the guards sometimes presses subtly but relentlessly, like a gigantic elephant in the room..
Yes, after my third listen, I wanted to say: this is a schizophrenic album.
I said it, but perhaps it isn’t entirely fair.
There is some cohesiveness that runs throughout and hints of the embryonic glue that delicately justifies it as a complete album.
You could split the album in two and call it a double EP – but now we’re splitting hairs.
Despite this tug and pull, the band has pulled something off that is a sign of more great things to come; they are still together and getting better.
I suggest catching them live too, they are a great live band now, but one of the highlights of the record is that it does their live sound justice. That’s not easy to capture.
There are also fewer drum rolls – thank god – but maybe that’s more of a sign of the increasing power and strength of the songwriting than the playing itself.
Michael, for one, has grown as a singer and is perhaps closer to knowing what he wants from music. There is more sophistication in the songwriting and the arrangements. There is more vulnerability in his voice, which is more honest in my opinion, after all, we are not gods.
‘Coming Out’ – here comes the single (I think).. I can definitley hear this one on an alternative rock station.
(The angels of grunge are wondering where the syringes are).
They remain loyal to their dirty high school blues and mascara-ridden (yet no sign of bleeding black streaks, yet) emo, loud guitar-driven rock n roll.
They are certainly breaking out of their mould, and venturing into new territory (for them). It should make for an even more dynamic show.
Having said all this, they are true hometown, USA, working-class rockers, and for that, I salute them!
Editor’s Note — This is a preview. Prototype will be released to the public on November 17th.