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CD REVIEW: Brandon McHose - Late Night (EP) (2011)

By: Cyrus Rhodes

 

"rock solid"

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-

 

 

 

**********

 

 

 

Artist: Brandon McHose

EP: Late Night (EP)

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://www.brandonmchose.com

Genre: Pop, Americana, R&B, Modern Country

Sounds Like: Keith Urban, The Eagles, Jackson Browne

Technical Grade: 6/10

Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 6/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Late Night, Just Say When

Weakness: Mix, Lack of Musical Variety, Marketability

 

CD REVIEW:


Chicago’s own Brandon McHose releases his latest EP entitled Late Night in 2011. This EP Was produced by McHose (a native of Iowa) and is a follow up to his 2007 debut release entitled Life Eclipse.

 

The EP quickly takes flight with “Late Night” a full tilt rocking guitar groove that serves up driving rock rhythm against slamming fretwork and well placed heartthrob-type vocals from McHose. Track 2 “Next 3” keeps thing moving in the right direction with its steady flowing rhythm, hooky chorus, and amazing solo guitar finale from McHose. Track 3 shifts gears a bit with its dynamic guitar intro, eventually lending itself into an impressive ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. The EP makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music pop rock with a R&B, modern country rock flair. Along the way you will notice impressive instrumentation with things like impressive solo guitar, Organ chops and keyboard accents and a solid rhythm section to boot. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Now turning our attention over to McHose as for his vocal abilities, his voice works extremely well within the confines of this modern country catalogue. I might add McHose knows how to play the guitar (rhythm and solo), but he also knows how to sit deep within the pocket and sing a song with amazing fluidity. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with an infectious jagged edge. The music reminds me of Keith Urban, Kenny Loggins, Eagles, John Cougar and even Jackson Browne.. All songs are well crafted and consistent across the board. The EP ends with “Just Say when” the perfect finale statement for an EP like this.

 

The mix is not what I would world class. I don’t care how the vocals sit within the mix, drums lack solid low end punch and crystal high end clarity. The overall production lacks real dynamic and could use a tad bit more instrumentation besides the 4 piece standard. Things like Fiddles, Pedal Steel, Harmonica, Mandolin, Hammond Organ and even more vocal harmonies would do the trick. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Cover art and interleave photography looks extremely amateurish. The actual CD is comprised of printed paper material rather Industry standard silk screen press. Ironically there is not even a barcode of the back of the EP anywhere indicating to me a retail non-compatibility. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the aforementioned issues do affect the EP’s overall marketability.

 

From start to finish “Late Night” EP is an impressive musical teaser from Bandon McHose. The music is grooving, upbeat and entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. The writing, playing and singing abilities of Brandon McHose and his band are rock solid. The guitar work from McHose is masterful and for the record I could listen to him play that thing all day long. Last but not least the vocal presence and overall persona of Brandon McHose is something many females around the country should really die for - well into the late night.  

 

Cyrus Rhodes

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