CD Review: A Moment Of Silence - The Silence Is Harder

CD Review by Adam Wujtewicz

Though most angry young musicians have pointed their style towards tough-guy hardcore or noise rock there are still the select few who realize that a big riff and mid tempo pounding drums can show just as much aggression. A Moment Of Silence is one of those bands and they’re set to release their debut CD The Silence is Harder. I would bet my bottom dollar that there is a double meaning there....

There is a great deal of grunge worship on this record. The vocals are vaguely Chris Cornell-ish while the music sounds more like Alice in Chains, especially on the track “Valek”... or the Undertow era of Tool like on the track “Retina”.  The big difference between the records of the early to mid 90’s and The Silence Is Harder is the production.  This record is slick sounding, which usually wins over a bigger audience but it also takes a lot of dimension away from the guitar and it sometimes loses the bass in the mix.  On the plus side of that coin is that Reid's drums are clear as a bell and punch through everything, keeping you tuned into where the song is headed. 

The vocals are probably the biggest part of the slick sounding equation.  They are always out front and this puts pressure on vocalist Tony to sound just as ferocious as the instruments, a task which he successfully completes.  Even though the vocals are a touch too loud for my taste most people like the singer’s thoughts to come across loud and clear.   

The one thing that most people will write off as fluff, (even though I think it shows a great deal of character), is the weird and nonmusical track #7 “Untitled”.  It’s just background noise and it only lasts 1 minute and 19 seconds but it proves to me that they were thinking of this release not as a collection of songs but as an album.  They use this track to give the listener time to breathe before the home stretch of the record. 

Even though the production doesn’t showcase it, the songwriting on this album is what makes it worthwhile.  The loud-quiet-loud approach, and the bass lines that seemingly jump around the big guitar chords are what set this apart from another teenage rock bands demo. 
You can snag the new CD The Silence Is Harder from AMOS directly from the band or purchase and download it here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/AMomentOfSilence

---> AMOS/NL FACT: AMOS guitarist Marissa Mazzotta, 18, attended The Berklee College of Music summer program in 2009 and was the first student to utilize the Phil Agins Berklee School of Music Scholarship. Phil Agins was the lead guitarist of New London's Royale Brothers, who passed away suddenly in April 2008; the scholarship was set up by his mother and brother in his honor. Marissa continues to be a strong supporter/team member to help further the scholarship.


CD Review: Roadside Attractions - Whispers

CD Review by Adam Wujtewicz

New London’s many faced folk quartet Roadside Attractions are set to release their debut EP Whispers through Cosmodemonic Telegraph this Friday Feb 12!  I say many faced because not only have they had a whole slew of different members but their style has such a wide range.  The EP starts off with a mellow Allman-esque rock song “You Ain’t Gonna” and is followed up by the title track which is a doom and gloom reggae number. Granted most of the other songs on the record are folk and country based but there are splashes of blues and rockabilly in the mix as well.

The musicianship on the record is awesome - the steady tight rhythm section of Jason Banta (bass) and Matt Gouette (drums) along with the fiddle and lead guitar work of Craig Edwards… you couldn’t hope for a better backdrop to lay your vocals on.  The vocals are what most people are going to take away from this record and Daphne Glover has really become known for her sultry cabaret vocal stylings.  The low calm tones can be soothing but when switching over to a louder chorus the vocals can at times come across as a bit apprehensive. Paul Brockett also lends his own brand of twang to “Campari” along with Paul Brockett Roadshow band mate David Anderson who plays the piano on this track like it’s straight out of an old west saloon. The mixing on the record is very well balanced and the production values are clean and slick like a freshly waxed kitchen floor. This allows for maximum intake of musical ability but can tend to make the atmosphere of the record a little sterile.
The one song not lacking for atmosphere is the banjo ballad “The Night We Fell in Love”.  On top of the sparse music, they laid sounds of New London: trains, sirens, seagulls, etc.  It’s a nice touch to a record with no other studio trickery.  Whispers  is a solid representation of what Roadside Attractions is all about and they should be happy to have been able to capture that on an album.