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The Independent Musicians CD Reviews|
Welcome to the EvO:R Independent CD Reviews Section.
I would like to take a few minutes to introduce ourselves to everyone.
The EvO:R review section features reviews from various independent musicians that
submit material for our consideration.
I wanted to let you know a little about our review teams collective thoughts on music.
It's important to let the people we review know what we think of their music and how we listened to their creations.
We hold nothing back! The team has been instructed to be honest and respectful of all CD's reviewed.
The EvO:R CD Review Team
Album: Horror Avenue N. 7
Buy Music:CD Baby
Social Media:Face Book
Rating:6.5 out of 10 stars
Edited by: Charles Harrelson
Review Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brent Steed has tried to do what few musicians have been able to do successfully for generations. That is, to self produce his own work.
Why this is a path to failure is simple. The lack of other opinions leads to a very one dimensional offering. When Roger Waters introduced the demo tracks
for the upcoming "The Wall" album the band members called it the worst thing they had ever heard. This lead to much tension between band mates but in the end
one of the most succesfull classic Rock albums of all time gets released. Thankfully, final results sounded nothing like the original demo.
The reason almost every successfull album had a quality producer involved is simple. Having that second set of eyes and ears in a recording session is priceless.
Having someone willing to push the artist to be better creates a bit of positive tension. This tension can translate into a better sounding track and ultimately
a better overall album.
Samples from the CD
This concept album was released on December 21, 2012, the very same day as the end of the world.
HORROR AVENUE N. 7* contains seven tracks contaminated with U.F.O. logical encounters, religious sects, spirituality and politics all to a backdrop of drop tuning guitars
with the gain control set to Max.
The CD begins by defying my #1 rule for independent artists. That rule is simply called the "Best Three First" rule. Because an indie artist is not known they have
not garnered the respect of the listening audience. Many CD's are sent to reviewers (like us at EVOR) and the reviewer makes a decision about the CD within
the first 3 songs. If you are not putting the best three songs first the CD may be in a trash dump before the reviewer ever heard your best stuff.
The CD begins with the title track. It featured plenty of sound effects and an announcer in the background. I know this was to lead up to the guitar driven riff to follow on track 2
but the beginning was so slow developing
I almost stopped playing the whole thing.
Vocally, Steed is a lot like Alice Cooper and Billy Corgan. He has that nasal but evil sound in his voice which lends itself well to this theatrical music experience.
Tracks two and three were pretty much what I would have expected from this genre. Plenty of guitar crunch, pounding rythms and catchy vocals.
Then Steed switches gears for "Down on Me" which takes a soft guitar riff and a programmed drum beat to a new level. Steed shows his emotional side on this tune and it was a refreshing
change of pace.
The CD returns to the hard rock meets theater rock genre for track 5 and 6 only to end with a soft ballad which exposes Steeds slightly flat of pitch vocals.
The song was good
enough to servive the vocal flaws but a producer would catch this and have it fixed in Pro Tool or make you do it over again.
In the Studio
1. Horror Avenue
2. Space Kravboy
4. Down On Me
6. She's Just a Punk
7. Into Your Heart
The studio should be considered another instrument in the band because an average song can be made
great with the right techniques and a good producer. A great song can also be ruined by someone lacking in studio skills.
Unfortunatly, this CD suffers from a lack of great studio skills. Many of the guitar tracks were recorded with gain set to Max or damn close.
This tends to sound great through headphones and smaller studio monitors but the oversatuartion levels of two or three highly distorted
guitars will also take up valuable frequency real-estate. The results will cause the mix to sound out of place and could cloud the vocals.
A suggestion for the future would be to record one track super distored and one track very clean and bright. You might even run the clean guitar direct to avoid
any possbile ground hum. This method has proven itself time and again. This method of recording guitar tracks will also
clear up some room for the vocals to cut through the mix much better.
This is one of those albums the studio let down the musicians (or musician). I loved the concept album. I loved the songs but I didn't not
like the way the CD was recorded and the slightly flat (at times) vocals bothered me. Hopefully the next offering from Brent Steed will have
all the bases cover and start off with a bang and never let the listener go. If you like Smashing Pumpkins and Alcie Cooper you should love Brent Steed
(warts and all).
Review by: Charlie Harrelson
6.5 out of 10.
Edited by: Charlie Harrelson
Review Comments: email@example.com
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