Readymade Breakup-They’re Not Through With You Yet
For a band that came up with their name because they were sure they wouldn’t last, Readymade Breakup is logging some impressive relationship miles. These guys have been through the band ringer to the point where they weren’t putting stock in any kind of longevity. But in a twist of irony, the band has stayed together for three full-length records and hundreds of nationwide shows, a career that continues today.
Sometimes that way of operating is good. It allows you to focus on putting the most detail into the time that you have, ignoring the stress of progressive thinking in favor of the here and now. Compositionally speaking, it’s never been clearer for this foursome that describes their working style as, “four distinct personalities butting heads to create a sound that transcends its parts,” they are at a very high point in that sonic clash on talent mountain. Bad Company, the Beatles, Foo Fighters and Green Day all play vital influential roles on this latest self-titled release.
Some of the highlights from the new disc are “Inside All Along,” a veritable smorgasbord of guitar snarls, fat beats and scary good harmonic bliss courtesy of singer Paul Rosevear. Solid verses tumble into deep pre-chorus chasms, spilling tube screamer laced bends into the Beatle-esque bridge. The guitar missiles launched by Jim Fitzgerald bring back cool memories of Paul Kossoff (Bad Company), and his tone is unmistakably all Gibson Les Paul.
“Just” comes in from the Fuel camp and uses the same simple formula. Starting with guitars and combining building blocked harmonies before re-focusing back into simple verse, setting up the addictive chorus with ringing overtones and Readymade bass and drums courtesy of Gay Elvis and Spicy O’Neil. This song proves that Readymade Breakup is one of the area’s most underrated bands, avoiding sugary commercial temptations for original vision, which takes balls.
“Bravest Smile” is an interesting journey through walls of vast vocals, ominous melodic twists and focused guitar psychosis, all bombarded with the rhythmic artillery of Elvis and O’Neal. Cool influences like Robert Palmer, U2, Chris Robinson and even Good Charlotte make this tune the little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that you’ll want to listen to more than once before understanding how good it really is.
“Not Through With You Yet” drops the band down into mellow and dynamic territory of Pinback or Iron And Wine. Golden toned guitar volume swells and breathy single vocals ring the brushwork and percussive ticks of the rhythm team. The acoustic plucks a memorable line in between Paul’s verses and choruses, proving that the simplest of arrangements always make a fine song stand up and speak to the listener best.
I dig the disc closer and John Lennon meets Queen and Pink Floyd vibes of “Erase.” Paul’s vocal harmonies are unsurpassed here and I’m at odds at trying to find anyone better than this guy at true singing. Cool fender Rhodes piano vamps along with down stroked guitars and “Hey Jude” yeah, yeahs.
Produced by Steve Evetts (The Cure, Saves The Day, Dillinger Escape Plan) this is the group’s most ambitious work to date. The craftsmanship of Rosevear’s songwriting is punctuated by bandmates Jim Fitzgerald, Gay Elvis and Spicy O’Neil. As they say on their site, “It is a sound that doesn’t leave you much of a choice in the matter. They clash, you listen.” For more info head over to readymadebreakup.com.
December 7, 2010
The old saying, “keep it simple” especially rings true in music. The Energy is all about that motto with its pop flavored direction of Blink 182 and Three Doors Down. What they do is an endangered art in the world of new country, rap and Americana cut outs. Most of what is still available has been reduced to a joke, leaving musicians of other styles rolling their eyes and blurting out running jokes about emo or, even worse, screamo.
The Energy would come off hypocritical if they didn’t really believe and embrace what they do. So, the result is an unpretentious outpouring of ballsy vocals and harmonies, along with distortion laced guitars that fly above a gravel bed of heavy-duty bass and drums, creating something that’s more substantial than the industry norm, something of actual substance.
Their latest CD, titled Streets Of In-between (Produced by Scott Riebling: Fall Out Boy, We the Kings, The Academy Is), pretty much sums up the front fighting position that this hard working band has jockeyed into. Their recent December set at The Saint was solid and represented a sampling of each of their four full-length disks, including songs from the latest CD with “Go To Girl.” The first draft pick for a hit, “Go To Girl” features a great Knack vibe throughout. The song raises well, surges into its sugary choruses and coasts down into the bridge before pushing up the hill and dropping into the killer chorus once again.
“Until I Fall” features strong, catchy melody and well-placed harmonies in a Rick Springfield meets The Gin Blossoms type of way, all pushed along by the guitar goodness of Ian Vandermeulin. This is perfect musical territory for Disney tweeners and they should do well in the area of adolescent socialism.
Speaking of that area, The Energy has already scored big props with their involvement with the networks. The song “Better Way” has already had an opportunity to shine during a politically charged sequence on MTV’s Real World: Washington, DC, as well as underscoring a segment of MTV’s Cutthroat Challenge. Not bad for a band was struggling to get a gig in Brooklyn a mere five years ago.
The Third Eye Blind feel of “Touchdown” is another attempt at that commercial brass ring. My gut feeling on mid-tempo ballads is that they are risky and I feel that that this misses the mark emotionally, but the sounds and dynamic players push it along, making up for some of that. The song still lacks a bit of the magical originality caught on some of the first few numbers, but a ballad is a very illusional art form and it takes years of songwriting experience to get that one in the pocket.
A show closing version of the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” was rowdy and well-received, used as the bands way of telling people where they were from and where to find them again.
The Energy plays good, clear water, pop rock that has made a big splash in several media outlets such as the band appearing on Voice Of America’s Border Crossings program for some 100 million listeners, and shortly thereafter helping to host an episode of ESPN’s Inside the Big East.
I don’t see The Energy running out of juice anytime soon and I think that Streets Of In-between is definitely worth checking out. This is four piece, American pop with intelligent lyrical communication and rhythms.
The bands CD release party will be held at Irving Plaza in New York City on Jan. 15. For more information on the band, the CD, and the current tour, go to myspace.com/theenergyband.