Smalltime - Smalltime
sMALLTIME are an experienced band of 4 talented musicians hailing from the notable indie hotbed of southern California. Their self-tited debut EP has been made available independently by the band. Of the 4 musicians who make up sMALLTIME, there are several local notables as well as a more well-known entity in lead guitarist Kenny Goorabain, who was once a member of the popular 80's act Steel Breeze. The band has a rough, rousing sound that brings to mind the likes of John Mellencamp, Bob Seger, Tom Petty and even AC/DC at times.
The most up-front element of sMALLTIME's sound is their message; words of faith, hope and holy inspiration are given incredible life and vitality via the pipes of frontman Danny Van, whose unique power gives voice to the entire project. Behind him, the rest of the band create driving rock and roll with a lively pulse. Opener "You Never Know" is packed with sharp riffing, a driving groove and catchy backing vocals, an apt introduction. "Dead On Arrival" features one hell of a memorable main riff, the sort of element that lends songs to radio-ready status. This track, more than any, sounds strikingly like early AC/DC. "Fish Out Of Water" is somewhat more laid back and mellow in comparison, but it delivers an easily relatable message with smooth delivery. "Love Came Down" has an undeniable gospel feel to it, but still rocks in it's own right and holds up well. "Saving Souls" has a bit more meat on it's bones at around 6 minutes, and the time is comfortably filled with soft melodies, more aggressive passages and overall some of the best songwriting on the EP.
While sMALLTIME may turn a few people away with their somewhat blunt Christian inclinations, their sound is universally acceptable rock and roll that should by all rights fill a niche on classic rock radio, if CRR was concerned with anything but reliving the past. These five songs really do revitalize a specific sound of rock that I haven't spent much time with in recent years, ressurecting a passion for a more simple and effective sound. If you're not bothered by a positive, uplifting message inspired by a specific religion, and are tired of the same-old same-old of rock radio, sMALLTIME offer a small, yet satisfying dose of what you need with their debut EP.
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on 2012-01-24 Michael_Morrison Said:
Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound and image. There's something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever "it" is - they all seem to have "it".
Today I listened to the latest EP from California based Christian Rock band "Smalltime." Venturing to their website and reading their bio I get the impression this is one band that is extremely passionate about their songwriting craft and their message. From start to finish this CD from Smalltime is very rocking and entertaining 5 song catalogue. It has a solid rock & roll edge to it and even dabbles in hooky Americana Blues. Any fans of any of these musical styles will enjoy this latest release from Smalltime. It's clearly marketed for those who like a male singer mystique with a mystique of say a Tommy Tutone, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Money, AC/DC and even Bruce Springsteen. I get the impression Van and companies are just rolling with what they know as performers in all these songs. In other words they hit the mark remarkably well by just being who they are. Favorite tracks include (You Never Know) and (Fish out of Water). All songs possess amazing solid rocking feel. The songwriting digs a bit deeper than the next Independent Artist. Within each one of these songs Smalltime bares their soul and delivers pure musical mojo. The band is spot on and just makes the whole CD more enjoyable. The overall vibe of the production is very upbeat, positive, honest and genuine in it's delivery and posture.
In close Smalltime is a polished band and EP. Once again I'm not so sure what "it" but Smalltime has whatever "it" may be.
Edited by Cyrus Rhodes