Live & Loud 1 / Various
'Live & Loud Vol. 1' By Alan Tecchio Local original music has a champion in their corner. It's Tree Fort Records and they've recently released a compilation CD that shines a spotlight on eight of the area's busiest acts. It's called Live & Loud Vol. 1 and the entire disc was recorded live at Hoboken, NJ's Whiskey Bar. Hearing a band live for the first time can be tough, and eight of them in a row is well, eight times as hard. However, a very good job was done with the mix and it makes the aural swallowing of new sounds that much easier. Sure there are some guitar glitches here and there and some not-quite-warmed-up vocals, but it is live after all. The production work was handled by John Seymour who normally works with small bands like U2. (John also earned an Album of the Year Grammy for his work on Santana's Supernatural). There are two sonic offerings from each band here and after just a few listens, the songs really start to grow on you. Standout tracks to this guy's ears include the Tool infused Restless by Waking, the ultra melodic yet at times hard-as-hell Prison Hoops by Madjul and the Cureish Witheraway by Sovenskya. Having remarkable individual identity to their own sounds despite my modern day Pop comparisons, not every tune was solid through and through. An example would be Truly by Downstage. I love the chorus to this song but I couldn't get into the rest of the track. Fortunately the chorus is so good that I'll sit through the whole thing just to hear it. Downshallow's Get Off has a great buildup in the verses which culminates into a powerful chorus. Downpour (yes, 'down' was a real big theme on this disc) put in two solid performances with Mommy's Home and Sideshow Freak, the latter of which is just plain great. 2 Messages from Planeside is another kick ass tune. I could go on but you should really just check it out for yourself and form your own opinion. You're sure to dig more than a few bands/songs on here if you are at all into rock. Open your ears up to some cool new sounds straight from your own backyard. To learn more surf to Media51.com. All material © 2003 by Collins Communications, Inc. Website designed by Pigsnot Prductions.