EP REVIEW: Alive in Stereo - Alive in Stereo (EP)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"a force to be reckoned with"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
Artist: Alive in Stereo
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Hard Rock, Progressive Hard Rock
Sounds Like: Chevelle, Incubus. 3 Days Grave, Silverchair, Hinder
Technical Grade: 10/10
Denver based indie rock trio Alive in Stereo releases their debut self titled EP in 2010. The band which features frontman/guitarist Chris Evans, drummer Toby Crisp & bassist Alex Browers have made quite a name for themselves recently with their slam dunk live performances. Will the trio be capture lighting in a bottle for this EP? I might add this EP was produced by legend Bill Stevenson of Blackflag at his Blasting Room Studios - so far so good.
The CD kicks things off with rocking “Change Things” an impressive intro piece that dishes out solid low end rock groove, with driving rhythms against a mean sounding guitar. Infectious vocal hooks & harmonies from lead singer Chris Evans delver a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Impossible” serves-up another strong piece of music combining melodic guitar ambience with raw vocal passion that methodically flows & ebbs its way through emotional fruition. Track 3 “American” presents more progressive rock flair combining mesmerizing guitar rhythms leading you head first into an amazing vocal finale. Lyrics go ” I believe in what I am not what I Have – nice touch! As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic acts Chevelle, Silverchair, Three Days Grave, & a dash of Incubus & Hinder. The music has everything you would expect from a 3 piece standard – great low end rock grooves, driving distorted guitar rhythms with catchy melodic vocals. The vocal style itself of Evans has a jagged edge to it, but manages to go down very smooth, & sounds in the vein of Scott Weiland (STP) Brandon Boyd (Incubus) Daniel Johns (Silverchair). As the EP slowly reveals more & more to you its obvious Alive in Stereo is an accomplished 3 piece (writing and playing). Alive in Stereo also brings to the table a lot of musical variety via this 7 song EP. From passionate “The Best” to melodic “Everything is Burning” to my personal favorite “Oh my God” - there’s something here for just about everyone. The songs themselves are solid across the board with the lyrical content that is short & sweet, even providing flashes of clever conventional wisdom. The EP ends with Track 7 “The Movement” - a perfect finale piece with another grand slam chorus& subject matter that leaves a bittersweet aftertaste. From start to finish Alive in Stereo takes no prisoners with their debut effort showcasing 7 amazing songs!
After spending 30 minutes alone with Alive in Stereo I abandoned all hopes of finding any serious flaws. Alive in Stereo debut EP is in itself an impressive debut statement that clearly proves this 3 piece is a force to be reckoned with. There’s not a weak song on the EP. I would even go so far as to say 90% of this EP is radio friendly, & has hit potential. I especially like how the songs hit hard yet still maintain strong marketability. The guitar has bite, the bass & drum rhythms have serious low end groove, the songs are all short & sweet musical experiences, & the overall production is world class. But make no bones about it the primary focus here should be up front, on the man standing there - Chris Evans. His vocal abilities are first rate. He clearly possesses all he trademarks you would come to expect from an effective front man. He’s got the charisma, he’s got the pipes, the persona, & he even plays guitar. If he just so happened to write all this music - well he could be bigger than any of realize. All in all it makes for a deadly combination. I guess could go on and on all night about Alive in Stereo, you simply have got to get your hands on their debut EP to hear what I’m talking about. I look forward to checking out more material from this 3 piece - hopefully this summer.
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