The „What the…“-Effect
An Email announcing a band’s first. „Modern Rock“ they say it is. I guess it’s okay that I don’t know the band yet – after all, it is a debut album. I can do something with that, I guess, and grab the album From Ashes To New – Day One. Fire it up. Blink. Open that email again: Yes, „Modern Rock“ it states. Erm.
I stop the player and get some coffee, settle comfortably, turn up the volume and start the album again. Speaking between you and me – this isn’t what I expected. Yeah, sure, From Ashes To New – Day One is rock music. Undeniable. And it is dirty, aggressive, new, angry. „Modern“? You can probably call it „Modern Rock“. But right now my personal „What the fuck“-effect stems from front-man Matt Brandyberry’s singing.
A voice with… Surprises
What tore me from my peaceful stupor is a voice sometimes borrowing elements of Rap or Hip Hop. A music style I am not into, usually – but in this setting it is surprisingly, no, amazingly convincing. It carries a message beyond the lyrics. And how these rap elements merge fluently, sometimes within a song, with music between hard rock and rock really gets me. The way this contrast harmonizes. Oh boy – would rap music always sound like this, I’d really be looking for some extra wide jeans and a base cap by now.
From Ashes To New – Day One is…
There are eleven tracks on this album covering nearly 37 minutes of music, therefore most tracks average on three to three and a half minutes – perfect for radio shows. Well played rock music, sometimes possibly on the edge of hard rock. Exhilarant. Embossed by the band’s heritage – the hopelessness and tristesse of Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s suburbs, personal mistakes, false friends – and true ones. Great music without great squiggles – and with the plus of Matt’s voice. Note-Worthy indeed.