Every now and then, I am sent a CD that is highly recommended by my peers. In many cases, I have to truly dig in to find the greatness that I am being alerted to. 75% of the time, expectations fall short! With that being said, I was given the CD, “Big Beat,” by Around The World and Back. This album is one that had me floored. The unprecedented songwriting abilities of this Albany, NY, band are poignant in screaming aloud, “Sign us, we are the real deal.”
“Big Beat,” is the kind of record that many national acts aim to make, but fall flat on their face. The band succeeds in an effortless vision to take influences that are stapled to their sleeve, and turn them into something that is highly refreshing and reminiscent. In other statements about the band’s sound, reviewers have contrasted the guitar ambience of ATWAB to that of early U2. While this is absolutely true and impossible to refute, I hear sounds of grandiosity that easily point to other bands that could be of great influence. Pearl Jam, Coldplay, and most notably My Morning Jacket could easily be some of those who are admired here.
The guitar sound on this record is incendiary in it’s approach. On tracks such as Slave and Underneath The Sun, the axe work of Bryan Shortell and Marco Testa is intoxicating and magnetically hypnotic. Equally as impressive is the vocal prowess of this band. Once again, the duties of singing are handled by both Shortell and Testa. The melodic and harmonic intricacies that the band are shooting for, are head and shoulders among some of their friends in the musical community. Other great tracks that are worth multiple listens immediately, include Old Man, Rehab, and Words In My Head.
Simply stated, it is impossible for me to believe that this band is not receiving regular airplay on national radio. It is only a matter of time before they are given the opportunity to soar on the national level. Around The World and Back is a highly sophisticated song writing machine that is in the Waiting Room of bands needing the big break. I am not happy that they are waiting for that break! I have a feeling many of you will feel the same way after your first listen.
Underneath The Sun
Lie To Your Mother
Words In My Head
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