CD REVIEW: Esher’s Enigma - For a Moment
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Esher’s Enigma
CD: For a Moment
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Folk, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: R.E.M., They Might Be Giants, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Matt Nathanson, John Maher, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Counting Crows
Technical Grade: 7/10
Weakness: Short-Sided Songs, Short Sided CD, More solo segments, More vocal Harmonies, Lack of Liner Notes (Engineering Aspects)
Escher’s Enigma is an interesting father/son musical project based out of New York. Brian Miller (Guitar, Vocals, Midi) and Russ Miller (Bass writes, arranges, performs, and produces original rock and pop music. Brian and Russ have a combined 40+ years of performing and recording experience. Physical copies and instant downloads of their critically acclaimed CDs are available from Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes, to name a few. Escher's Enigma provide introspective songwriting in an adult contemporary format, similar in feel to their debut EP "From Me To There" to their latest 10Track release entitled “For a Moment released in 2014. The band anticipates making some of these new songs available for streaming as early as January, 2015, and anticipate having the CD available through all of the typical outlets in February, 2015.
The CD kicks things off with melodic “Should Have Known” a passionate yet invigorating acoustic guitar driven intro groove with driving rock rhythm, hooky chorus and emotionally charged vocal delivery from Miller that really lifts the spirit. Track 2 “When Your Heart” serves up another hooky groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with amazing message, impassioned vocal feel meshed against a grand slam, heartfelt chorus. Track 3 “Bonfire Rings and Heated Pools” keeps things moving in the right direction with its methodical intro, warm musical feel, eventually lending itself into an infectious melody with thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of R.E.M., Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Matt Nathanson, John Maher, They Might Be Giants, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Counting Crows. Right from the start you will notice this duo feels quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice Alternative Rock/Folk feel to it. Music is at times genuine, gripping, melodic, poppy and hooky with pockets of hope shining through. Besides the four piece standard I can also hear rock solid rhythm guitar playing, a few impressive solo segments, eloquent Strings, and well placed vocal harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Miller’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. He’s got good vocal instincts within each movement he displays an impressive power, trailing vibrato and inviting timber throughout. At times Brian Miller’s vocal style reminds me a lot of James Taylor. Miller is a gifted songwriter, storyteller and vocalist. Behind the guitar and microphone he’s even got some soul. The songwriting is brilliant and provides a lot of musical variety and emotion. His vocal emotions really seal the deal for me as he makes a strong emotional connection with the listener. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering) as the CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. Miller really handles all the pin drop moments extremely well - this is a critical component of Singer/Songwriter often taken for granted, The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect. Cover art was a painting by Alan Miller, CD was Produced by Brian Miller. All songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. From jumpy “Hide Behind the Text” to heartfelt “Life of Solitude” and Beginnings” to walking “Bixby Canyon Bridge” to rock steady “Beauty in the Flames” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Sweet Child O’ Mine” a classic Guns and Roses remake providing the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs under 3 minutes feel like incomplete statements to me. CD is a bit short with 10 tracks, perhaps 1-2 more songs are needed to make this a fully loaded release. I wish there were more solo segments and vocal harmonies throughout the CD. Perhaps more instrumentation would spice up the catalog a bit better within this earthy Americana environment. There are no liner notes referring to who the Engineers assigned to the project were (recording, Mixing, Mastering). I can barely hear the solo guitar on Track 5 “Hide Behind the Text” Bass guitar sits a bit high within the mix overall.
In close “For a Moment” by Esher's Enigma delivers an impressive, passionate, impassioned 10 song release. This Father/Son duo upholds the highest standards in good Alternative Rock and their story is a heartfelt tribute to life itself. If they have an impressive live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and highly entertaining – and clearly prove Hannah is on to something special going down this path. At the end of the day Russ and Brian are a world-class singer/songwriter father/son duo possessing an infectious personality clearly worthy of worldwide recognition. One would be wise to keep a watchful on him over the years to come.