3/9/18 Release Reviews: BTBAM, Myles Kennedy, Dorothy, Nathaniel Rateliff
"Automota I" By Between The Buried And Me
Genre: Progressive Metal
Despite the number of repeated listens I've given Automota I it's difficult for me to remember what each of its individual songs sound like. Eventually I realized this isn't due to the musical layering and complexity that must be digested with your usual album of progressive music. But rather it's due to the music itself not being that memorable. All the high level skill required to perform this type of music is still there in spades. But as far as arrangement and musical segments that stick with you, Automota's first half is lacking. The epic "closer" titled "Blot" is the highest point with its aggression and comparatively artful progression. But the rest of the record had me zoning out in boredom far too often. Hopefully BTBAM saved the best of the album for its second half coming later in the year.
"28 Days in The Valley" By Dorothy
Genre: Blues Rock
The sophomore album form this L.A. quintet is notably different from their debut ROCKISDEAD. Where the first album was a fun, stomping, arena blues romp, this second LP is a lot more serious and goes for a strong classic rock vibe. In going for that classic rock/blues vibe the band struggles to have a unique identity and mostly sounds like a watered down version of artists like Janis Joplin and Tom Petty. There are some highlights however when the band breaks from this style and ventures more into the psychedelic on tracks like "Freedom" and "Black Tar & Nicotine". "Philadelphia" is the album favorite with its atmospheric, Doors-like vibe and band namesake Dorothy Martin's softer vocals. There's a lot of potential in this direction for the band but they still need some time to carve out a unique voice from their influences rather than emulating them.
"Year Of The Tiger" By Myles Kennedy
Yes Josh Todd & The Conflict just had an album last year with the same title. But we're giving Kennedy a pass because of the album's concept about the loss of his father in 1974. That year being the year of the tiger in the Chinese zodiac. While produced by longtime Alter Bridge producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette, the record is a strong departure from Kennedy's previous work, being more acoustic focused and personal in tone. This allows Kennedy to show the full versatility of his voice which gets restrained with the intensity of Alter Bridge's material. Musically there's a great variety in the record despite every song having an acoustic focus. Dashes of folk, country, and rock can all be found with both head-nodding, upbeat tracks and soaring ballads present. And it's all arranged and produced beautifully. Fans of Kennedy's previous work and even new comers should be able to enjoy this album and it's definitely one of my favorites of the year so far.
"Tearing At The Seams" By Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Nathaniel Rateliff and his band have gotten a lot of critical acclaim in recent years and for good reason. Their faithful revival of classic soul and R&B coupled with the strength of Rateliff's voice and songwriting make them a band to watch. This latest album with The Night Sweats continues that trend of excellence with it's heartfelt lyricism, groove, and soul that echoes the likes of Otis Redding and Bill Withers. Some of Rateliff's folky roots can still be heard but they mostly take a back seat to put the soul sound at the forefront. The album is sure to appeal to classic R&B fans with its style and even modern music fans for its pure quality. A great song transcends genre preference and Tearing At The Seams has that in spades.