Eclectic Mayhem - Eclectic Mayhem
Cleveland-based Eclectic Mayhem release their self-titled debut album that strives to live up to its name. The band is made up of four members: Pat Conley on vocals, Dan Cooley on guitars, Nate Dreher on bass, and Jonathan Khouri on keys.
I can't imagine there isn't any added pressure hailing from the hometown of the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I listened with the faint hope that the band was up for this very unfair challenge.
Nice energy right out the gate with "Again". All at once you hear a lot of different influences that basically smash any box you try to squeeze EM in. It's followed by "Want It All," a much more melancholy track, though not at all less intense. I absolutely love the bass work, and I think I'm hearing some keys in there. Whatever it is, there's some kind of bass-like sound with a wah-wah effect reminiscent of dripping water. Nice touch.
"Bender" and "Fun with Guns" were the only two songs I didn't care for on here. No particular reason other than not grabbing me like some of the others--in particular, "For the Birds." This is an amazing track, that has this "Bennie And The Jets" vibe to it. A damn near perfect song, full of dynamics. I love the break that comes in at 1:50; the tune softens up and then slowly escalates to an explosion of distorted goodness, then crashes right back into the groove the whole song is framed around.
EM likes to jam and the album has plenty of soaring electric guitar solos (as well as some acoustic), piano riffing pounding drums, steady bass rhythms, and all sorts of interesting sounds that add to its overall genre-defying feats.
I really enjoyed Eclectic Mayhem's style. You listen to the vocals, you think alt-rock. You listen to the guitars, you think metal. But by the end of the album, you realize you don't really give a damn what it is. It's hard; it's edgy; it's catchy and melodic, harmonic and even bluesy at times. But most of all it's just good music. Definitely worth checking out.
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