Monday, May 7, 2012

Ellis Ashbrook: Redefining creativity with their music!

I stumbled upon an American band called 'Ellis Ashbrook', who call their genre as 'Exploratory Rock', and well, that was quite interesting to me at first sight. The band comprises of John Barber on the vocals and guitar, Natalie Lowe on the vocals and keys, Jonathan Granoff on the Bass, and Alex Major on the Drums. I got hold of their latest album called 'Meridia' and honestly, I am extremely lucky to have heard it. Here's why:

The album begins with 'Accelerator', and oh boy! Its really as if they stepped up on the accelerator! Amazing intro. I quickly put on my headphones on full volume. This song straight-away touched my heart at one go. The bass, rhythm and percussions were so strong throughout, and the duet vocals were so much synchronised. It reminded me of some tracks from Rush with the amazing keyboard solo towards the end. In one word, 'PERFECT' !

I was too much excited to move on to the next track called 'Slide', which started off with a cool improvisation on the drums, followed by a hard rock riff on the guitar. What I liked the most was the chorus vocals, exquisite! This song has a lot of variations in the rhythm patterns, tempo, and even the vocals. All the members are extremely good at their parts, and listening to them together as a band is even better.

Moving on, after two power-packed songs, I was expecting a somewhat softer one, and that's what exactly I got in the 'Cat Song'. A wah-wah intro to start with, this one had cool basslines, and some nice drum rolls in the chorus. The guitar solo was what I was looking for now, but it had a drum solo in store too. Way to go.

Ellis Ashbrook somehow knows what should come next, and they sure know it right indeed. After a guitar intro, you get a bass intro by Jonathan Granoff, and peppy, exquisite vocals by Natalie Lowe in 'We laughin'. The chorus effect in the verse was noteworthy. The guitar solo again took me back to the 70s, reminding me of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, 'Since I've been loving you' to be specific. John Barber, hats off!

Setting up such high expectactions with just the initial tracks, I didn't know what could come next. But yet again, a nice arpeggio by Barber, and beautiful vocals throughout in 'Peripheral Declination'. Alex Major has been consistent throughout the album, with his perfect timings and beats. The drums have been exemplary at all times.

Then comes the 'Climax', literally too. A pleasant track, transporting you to an altogether different feel, a synth-induced background, complementing Natalie's awesome vocals throughout. The violin solo towards the end was a big surprise!

The self-titled track, 'Meridia', was just around a 2 min track, with a variety of experimental sounds fitted together. It seemed as a trailer for this album on second thoughts. 'Unbreakable' flags off with an open snare roll by Alex, followed by Natalie again on the vocals. The improvisation at the end reminded of the epic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by none other than, Queen!

The last track called 'Bottomfeeder', had John Barber begin on the vocals with the keyboard in the background, and reminded me vaguely of The Who too for a moment. The track progresses with an entry by Alex on the drums, followed by Jonathan on the bass. I loved the 5 second fusion between the guitar, drums and the bass towards the end.

Summing up, I'd fall short of words to describe this album. In terms of the sounds, the originality, the creativity, the mixing, and the synchronisation, Meridia is a FLAWLESS album by Ellis Ashbrook. It was like a fusion of classic old-school with modern rock, done perfectly in their own, freaking way! The amount of work, and the passion is completely evident in each single track, and well, I'd even rate them amongst the best modern rock bands today.
I'm a fan, a big one at that! 

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