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The EvO:R CD Review Team
CD title - The Blackmail Seduction
by The Blackmail Seduction
Review by Charles Harrelson
The Blackmail Seduction on Soundcloud
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The Blackmail Seduction on i-Tunes
CD title - The Blackmail Seduction
by The Blackmail Seduction
Review by Charlie Harrelson
In the bands Bio it says the following.
"The Blackmail Seduction is an American rock band – one part Los Angeles and one part Minneapolis."
OK, we know Los Angeles has been the launching pad for hundreds of great bands and solo artist's but
I could not think of a single musical artist who made Minneapolis famous other then Bob Dylan. So doing
some research I discovered a few great names like Prince (Roger Nelson), The Replacements,
Gary Puckett (from the 60's), David Ellefson (Megadeth) and a bunch of one hit wonders. That said,
maybe The Black Seduction could become the big name the state can be proud of. Even if they are in L.A. now.
The Blackmail Seduction’s music has been compared to Cheap Trick, Green Day, Tom Petty, Foo Fighters,
Queens of the Stone Age, and The Beatles. The band starts off the CD with an amazing cover of the Beatles
'You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.' Being a product of The Beatles era I was instantly involved in
the CD from the start. Thankfully, the cover song deviated very little from the original version. The rest of the CD
was original compositions from the band.
As a guitar player I am often drawn to the guitars when I listen to rock bands. It's extremely exciting when bands have
two guitarist's because both musician brings their own style into the studio.
Jess McClellan and Troy Hardy work together very well. The interplay is excellent as both players compliment one another.
McClellan has a great vocal range for rock and he has excellent control. It's easy to loved the fact the studio engineer did not
flower his vocals with delays and reverb ( smoke and mirrors) because Jess has a great voice.
Band members include.
Jess McClellan: Lead and Backing Vocals, Guitars
Troy Hardy: Guitars, Backing Vocals, Keys, and Additional Bass on “War At Home”
Mike Mennell: Bass
Blair Sinta: Drums and Percussion
Additional Percussion on “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by Jaden McClellan and Julian McClellan
While listening to this CD you could easily agree with the original musical comparisons to Green Day, Foo Fighters and Tom Petty.
Vocally, McClellan has a much better voice then all three lead singers.
As a big fan of pace when it comes to picking song orders for a CD. Knowing many people set their i-Pod
or MP3 player to random play or simply create song lists from hundreds of songs already in their library.
It is still good for a band to consider how the songs have been arranged because some people do listen
to the CD from start to finish. The pace for this album was spot on. The songs flowed
extremely well from one song to the next. I would highly recommend listening
to this album as a completed story. Listen to it like you read a book- cover to cover.
In the studio:
The studio is just like another instrument. If the engineer(s) do not understand mic placement or effective use of
effects the whole mix can sound clustered and even somewhat distorted. This CD was very well recorded with
attention to the most finite details. The overall sound stage was near perfect as each instrument had excellent
placement. The drum kit sounded 15 feet behind the
singer and all guitars were crystal clear in the mix. For this great work a tip of the hat the people in the
studio who helped make this album sound so good.
Recorded at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, California, and Meltro Music in Van Nuys, California
Engineered by Keith Gretlein and Troy Hardy
Assistant Engineer at The Village: Chris Owens
Mastered by Keith Gretlein
This team is a tribute to what quality work can sound like.
1. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) *
2. I’ll Be Right Here
3. California Jackpot
4. Hold You Down
5. Are You With Me
7. War At Home
I rarely review an album one song at a time. The goal is to review the album as a single big event.
There were a couple of stand out tracks on this recording. It is easy to love 'Hold You Down' and 'Friends' because they exposed
the softer element within the band. My favorite track was 'War At Home' which brings the CD to a close. Stylistically
compared to something Pink Floyd might do. The song comes to an end then slowly builds back up again adding layers
upon layer until it has no other choice but to explode. An amazing piece of work.
It's had to imagine making this CD any better then it already is. This was a rock music work of art.
10 stars out of a possible 10
Reviewed by: Charlie Harrelson
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