CD REVIEW: Andreas - Extended Play
by: Cyrus Rhodes
CD: Extended Play (EP)
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, R&B, Rock
Sounds Like: Maroon 5. INXS, Train, The Black Crows
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Winded Songs. EP release
Canadian 5 piece band Andreas just released their 5 song EP entitled Extended Play in 2013. Brian Dahl, Jason Brandow, Jennifer Lockman, Mike Medhurst, Adam Payne. After months of rehearsals, Andreas started playing out in late 2012, and already find themselves with an impressive resume of live performances, and rave reviews. The summer of 2013 finds them releasing their debut EP- listen to their music, and keep a weather eye on the horizon; they are Andreas, and they intend to leave a mark.
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with the title track a smooth flowing intro piece that serves up rocked out groove effective guitar groove, soulful melody from Dahl and company. Track 2 “I Bet” keeps thing moving in the right direction with heartfelt vocal delivery from Dahl with rocked out guitar, infectious groove against a hooky chorus making for an impressive follow-up piece. Track 3 “Letter from a Friend” serves up another impressive groove that dishes out full tilt rock rhythm, impressive playing and thought provoking lyrical content arsonist an invigorating groove. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 amazing songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. I would classify this music as classic R&B, Americana, with brief touches of psychedelic Rock of the early 70’s. Music is reminiscent of Maroon 5. Matchbox 20, The Black Crows and a tad of Train. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like slamming solo guitar, well placed Keyboard and Hammond Organ chops, lush harmonies layered everywhere all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. . What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to singer Dahl - as for his vocal abilities well – he’s rock solid. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that is simply infectious. I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks indicating to me a confident vocal ability. By track 3 the CD hits solid stride dishing out an amazing string of songs in a row. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. This EP from “Andreas” delivers 5 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music of Andreas has everything you would expect from a world class musical production. From melodic “Let Her Go” to “Time After Time” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full-length release is a more complete snapshot to judge an artist or band by at any given point in time.
From start to finish Extended Play by Andreas is an amazing collection of music from these 5 from Ontario. The songwriting – world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire PE teaser. The writing and playing abilities of this 5 piece is rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned no holds barred R&B Rock swagger. Last but not least the vocal presence of Brian Dahl is breathtaking and infectious. Clearly he is a premier talent within this band. I look forward to hearing the full length CD real soon!