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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gratitude - S/T

Name: Gratitude
Album: S/T
Year: 2005
Style: Pop-Rock Emo Radio
Similar Bands: Better Than Ezra, Semisonic, U2, Dishwalla
"One Word" Review: throwaway-alterna-radio
Based Out Of: San Francisco, Ca.
Label: Atlantic, Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group
S/T: Cover, CD, Back (Promo)

S/T (2005)
  1. Drive Away 3:19
  2. Last 3:23
  3. All in a Row 2:53
  4. The Greatest Wonder 4:11
  5. This is the Part 2:54
  6. Feel Alright 3:55
  7. Sadie 3:46
  8. Someone to Love 4:36
  9. Another Division St. 3:44
  10. If Ever 3:39
  11. Dream Again 3:09
  12. Begin Again 3:47
Album Rating (1-10): 4.0

Members & Other Bands:
Jim Scott - Produced, Engineered, Mixed
David "Beno" Benveniste - Exec. Producer
Mark Weinberg - Guitar (Crumb)
Thomas Becker - Drums
Bob Lindsey - Bass (Attention)
Jonah Sonz Matranga - Vocals (Far, Onelinedrawing, New End Original)
Jeremy Tappero - Guitars (Far, Attention)

Unknown-ness: I saw one video/song of theirs on Comcast’s music on demand cable service, and liked it enough to recall their name from memory when I saw the promo cd a few months (year?) later for 88 cents. From what I can remember, they were a catchy hard rock band, possible straying into the metal/emo territory. The sleeve & cd give off the vibe of a hardcore album, with the minimal artwork, black and red color scheme, and stenciled name/leaf logo. But I think they are more pop than that, from a little that I’ve read. But I don’t think I ever listened to this CD.

Album Review: “Drive Away” starts off with vocals, sounding like an emo version of Better than Ezra. It also has a bit of Semisonic thrown in there with heavier guitars. The chorus is a bit annoying, but the song has some catchy bits too. It sounds like it was made for high school kids cryin in their cars, running away from home, to live it out in their girlfriend’s garage for a day before missing mom. “Last” launches into more emo with the strong generic vocals, and guitars that crash to a waltz beat. They would feel right at home covering the BtE song “Good” “It was goooood, living with you whah-haa.” Next, “All in a Row” starts with an anthemic guitar section, and the song is dotted with him breaking his normal flat vocal with an energetic yell. They are really trying to rock out, but it comes off limp and meandering like U2. The next song is a slow ballady track called “The Greatest Wonder.” It grows in strength, really like a U2 song this time with its anthemic drum march. His emo interpretive singing comes in, sounding a bit like Ours, with half the talent. “This is the Part” is a rushed, driving song, with emo lamenting. There are a lot of breaks in the song, and overall, it sound like terrible music. “Feel Alright” adds to the heavy-ish guitar that comes off weak and harmless like a declawed kitten. When you realize how sad a declawed kitten is, then you have this music’s metaphor down perfectly. Now I have to equate them to Dishwalla, cause yup, they fit there too.

“Sadie” starts off with a sad ballad intro about, guess who, Sadie. The pace picks up to pop rock pathetic status, Harmonized vocals don’t really help, as it is just harmonizing one yelled note, rather than filling in the musical background. It is the held notes that he emotionally echoes that really just sound annoying and a bit off. “Someone to Love” tries to be an acoustic ballad with chugging bass and tack-a-tack drums. It gives off the same sentiment as Jefferson Airplane’s famous track, but in a pathetic rich kid theme. “Another Division St.” starts off with guitar potential, but is ruined with the singing. I’ve come to realize I really just can’t stand this type of vocals that chooses to annoyingly hang onto the last syllable of a lyric in a raised volume, emo-yelling style. And the reason is because I like a hook. Hooks are best generated in the exact spot where bands like this choose to hold the note, and I just cannot identify or enjoy this alternative. “If Ever” starts out quietly, like half of the album does. It is another relationship song, but the vocals are performed a bit more simply, which is a good thing. The quiet nature of the song does not make it stand out, but this is another ballad that cries out for a synthesizer to put that specific zinging electronic effect behind the guitars to make the melody stand out. “Dream Again” the intro of the song is has a good quick start/stop guitar melody, but as soon as the drums kick in, it is abandoned for note-held verse lyrics. Sure it is revisited a few times, but the rest of the song erases the building of value it generates. “Begin Again” starts with a whisper of vocals and a metronome drum beat. The music starts with is a nice stop/start rhythm, and quickly smears into uncalculated noise and joins the boring vocal melody into another generic track. But the song does give us a fade out, which is very nice of them.

Stand Out Track: Drive Away

Links:
Allmusic
Wikipedia
Myspace
attitude myspace
attitude page
Jonah page
Bob myspace
Jeremy myspace
David myspace
Sound as Language review
Last FM
Indie London

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