It’s a rare thing when something genuinely new comes along in the world of commercial music. Recently, the trends in music have been swinging away from the sugar-coated pop of the early 90s to a more sophisticated, stripped-down blues rock exemplified by the recent success of bands like The White Stripes, The Hives, The Vines and even Dashboard Confessional. While these bands have taken us back to the realness of early rock’s roots, for the most part, they have failed to add the new twist that rock is aching for. But now, like a musical Phoenix rising from the smoldering ashes of rap-rock, industrial, electronica, blues, and pop comes The Music.
Imagine Led Zeppelin on acid. The Music blends the boundaries of rock, funk, electronica, dance and blues into one beautiful, ambient, in-your-face amalgamation of them all. With heavy driving drum and bass and a walking wa wa pedal, they pump out danceable rock ‘n’ roll with a psychedelic jam band twist not often found in hard rock. This band would be equally at home in a dance club as in a down home drive bar.
The screaming melodies of lead singer Robert Harvey are reminiscent of a transformed Robert Plant, with added technology and effects. Adam Nutter’s guitar is intricately interwoven with the drummer Phil Jordan and bassist Stuart Coleman’s rhythm. Nutter’s guitar gives each piece the feeling of a symphony movement, in that he’s constantly changing and challenging the rhyme and mood of the songs to make them more complex, though still engaging. Jordan’s drum stylings cover the gamut from civil war staccato and rapid fire snare to multi-rhythm solos that you can’t help but rock out to.
The band’s debut album kicks off with “The Dance.” The track lives up to its title, with a rhythm that makes you want to shake it’s so fast. Throughout the album, Harvey’s lyrics are hard to understand because of his screaming vocals and heavy English accent, but the emotion is raw and hypnotizing. Ravers and rockers can unite over this album and this track particularly, which is meant to be danced to – but you can still pump your fist in the air if you’re so inclined.
The single from the album that you may hear on the radio or even see the video on MTV is “Take the Long Road and Walk It.” This is the album’s most commercial track, blending rock riffs and stop-start production effects with a catchy melody. It has a Jane’s Addiction airiness to it while still maintaining its hard drive. Harvey launches into a scat of vocals that would make Cab Calloway proud, while Nutter’s guitar busts out a blues slide.
If you like Phish, Led Zeppelin, early hip hop, Kid Rock, Brian Eno, Sigur Ros or AC/DC, then The Music is probably right up your alley.
Their show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on Feb. 21 had everyone there dancing and moshing at the same time. Harvey is an excellent front man – his dance style is rather unique, and by itself makes the price of admission worth it. He does what he calls “The Octopus Dance,” named so because he flails his legs and arms in a fashion that seems like he has more than two of each and that they’re boneless because they twist and contort in almost every direction. The Music will be playing at Roseland Ballroom in N.Y. City with The Vines on April 12 and have an unconfirmed date in Old Bridge, N.J. sometime in March or April, so mark your calendars.
You can sample some of The Music at www.themusicuk.com.
Stand-out tracks: “The Dance,” “Take the Long Road and Walk It,” “The Truth is No Words,” “Turn Out the Light,” “The People,” “Disco” and “Too High.”