EP REVIEW: Eight Feet Deep - Eight Feet Deep
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"full tilt rock groove'
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
Artist: Eight Feet Deep
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Hard Rock – Progressive Rock- Blues
Sounds Like: Candlebox, Van Halen, White Lion, Firehouse, Soundgarden
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Dated sound, Marketability
Eight Feet Deep hails from New York. Members are: Billy 'Pills' Fridrich - lead and rhythm guitars, bass, drum programming; Mike DiMeo – vocals. Some may remember Billy 'Pills' Fridrich as the lead guitarist & songwriter for previous bands Celestial & HeavySurf. His side project, No Excuses, regularly plays throughout the NY city area covering the best of 90's rock. His latest project Eight Feet Deep combines both rock & funk with respect to the overall writing & playing styles. For Eight Feet Deep, Billy plays lead, rhythm and bass guitars, writes and programs the drum tracks, and composes the lyrics.
Logging in at just over 17 minutes the EP quickly takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Leader”. This song dishes out driving rock rhythms against distorted guitar riffs & sizzling solo work. Singer DiMeo makes a solid first impression laying down a solid rock-blues vocal groove. Track 2 “Throw Down” dishes out more of a modern rock vibe with dynamic musical flow & ebb, coupled with hooky harmonies & impressive vocal accents from DiMeo. My favorite track: track 3 “No Regrets’ serves up full tilt rock ditty reminiscent of old school Van Halen with well placed harmonies & an impressive vocal finale from DiMeo. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic late eighties & early nineties rock with musical textures reminiscent of Candlebox, Van Halen, White Lion, Firehouse, & even Soundgarden. The musicianship is pretty solid across the board as this band dishes out solid shops along the way. DiMeo’s voice works well across the board as he lays down infectious vocal lines is in the vein of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Mike Tramp (White Lion) & even Ronnie James Dio. I might add DiMeo takes some impressive vocal risks along the way indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. His voice goes down smooth yet has a jagged edge to it. All harmonies are extremely creative & well executed. Equally as impressive is the guitar virtuoso of Billy 'Pills' Fridrich with guitar chops that are hot to the touch & solos that will be sure to make your head spin. The EP ends with “My Friend” a perfect finalle statement that really brings home the EP with a perfect balance between classic & modern hard rock, with just a dash of funk just like the bio had indicated.
Pro Mixers these days make their money keeping attention spans for more than 10 seconds at a time. It is true that modern music has taken 10 steps backwards on musicianship in recent years, but as a result 20 steps forward with the mixing craft. Why am I bringing this up? It is fitting that this EP was mixed with a style compatible with that era. This production has an aftertaste of a late 80’s and early 90’s mix job very much like the music itself. For the record this is an Industry standard production, but it’s fair to say due to its somewhat dated sound, marketability is it’s biggest weakness.
“Eight Feet Deep” is a rock solid EP from start to finish. Its strong suit - the guitar showmanship, strong melodic delivery & overall consistency of the catalogue. This CD will be a joy for guitar enthusiasts out there who enjoy technically savvy guitar showmanship, & shredding solos via a classic 80’s rock delivery. Equally as impressive is the vocal presence of Mike DiMeo. He has an infectious vocal presence full of warmth & passion. It’s fair to say this EP was released 20 years too late. If this was 1982 this band would have a serious chance a putting a gold records on the wall. Unfortunately it’s 2010 & although the music scene has changed dramatically over the last 2 years, 10 years, 20 years, there are still good bands out there like Eight Feet Deep who refuse to be forgotten. Eight Feet Deep also deserves credit for successfully merging hard rock with a modern rock-funkadelic feel. So if you’re looking for a full tilt musical experience that will remind you of the hair band glory days then I highly recommend you get Eight Feet Deep with this EP. I look forward to hearing the full length real soon.
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