EP REVIEW: Rhett May - Insatiable (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
R&B, Classic Rock, Soul Rock, Jam Band
Rhett May is a seasoned musician whose first band was named The Wooly Bullys. He's not as elusive as the legendary Bigfoot;however, he has left musical footprints that lead out of India - to his current home in Australia, kindly known as “Oz.”Rhett May owes his rare musical sound and style to the unique environment that he grew up in. Born in Calcutta, India, he was immersed in a magical, musical melting pot. Carnatic and Hindustani music and instruments such as the Sitar and Tabla always providing melody and percussion against a daily backdrop of lifting and soaring voices of Ragas. Ragas especially played a vital part of Rhett's musical experience with their series of five or more musical notes forming melody. However, this environment of classical Indian music wasn't the only sounds floating about Calcutta. His latest 5 Track EP is entitled “Insatiable”
The EP kicks things off with “Coctails and Cannabis” a perfect intro piece form a rocked out EP like this with slamming rock groove, served up hot against infectious guitar riffs and soloing, driving rock rhythm and compelling vocal melody from May. Track 2 the title track shifts gears a bit with methodical musical intro meshed against inviting acoustic guitar melody soulful vocals with impressive solo guitar tandems against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 ‘Hey Peter” delivers an intoxicating Ragea groove, pushing hard with impressive guitar rhythm served up hot against infectious melody that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This CD gets off to a good start dishing out 3 solid tracks in a row. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of The Who, Pete Townsend, The Beatles, John Lennon, Billy Bragg and Todd Rundgren, Right from the start you will notice May and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice, raw hard rock feel to it reminiscent of music popular back in the late seventies and nineties yet with a modern day R&B twist and feel. The guitar playing hits you right between the eyes and dishes out impressive heavy R&B type guitar licks and slide guitar all built upon a solid low end rhythm foundation. The vocal timber from May reminds me of a combination of Roger Daltry (The Who) and Peter Frampton. It’s definitely is full of passion and recklessness abandon. He definitely delivers UK vocal flair reminiscent of The Beatles, John Lennon especially. For the record this guy can play the guitar like no-body’s business. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board - world class songwriting and instrumentation. It's obvious to me May is an old school rocker. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a no holds barred standard ho hold barred rock band. Besides the four piece standard I can also hear well placed Organ, Electric Rhodes Piano, lush vocal harmonies, impressive solo guitar, Spanish Style Acoustic guitar, all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. All engineering aspects check out. CD possesses thick low end frequency and crystal clear high end clarity. This latest “Insatiable” 5 Track EP from Rhett May delivers 5 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. From melodic “Jenny” to slamming My Baby’s Got Style” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 8 “Soul Sacrifice” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line - typical Jam Band format. "Jenny" and 'My Baby's Got Style" feels like an incomplete statement to me. I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases, as the full length CD is the most complete snapshot to judge an artist by. May needs to give the sonic FX vocal effect a break.
In close Insatiable by Rhett May rocks the house and proves where there is smoke there is fire. From start to finish this EP covers a lot of ground and is an action packed production from start to finish. Its strong suit –the amazing musical touch by May himself. He’s an amazing guitarist, singer/songwriter within his own right. If he has a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination indeed. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and powerful. This band will no doubt get your adrenalin pumping. We need more bands like Rhett May immediately. Yep – it looks like Rock n Roll wheel is still rolling around just fine via the Rhett May and his "Insatiable" EP.
Cyrus Rhodes Rhodes