The dual vocalizing of keyboardist Rachel Hirsh and guitarist
John Booker set I Was Totally Destroying It (IWTDI)
apart from others in the pop/rock spectrum by broadening the margins
that contain modern rock. The band's new CD, Preludes, from
Greyday Records is more than listenable; it is stimulating and induces
positive thinking. The quintet take the best of synth pop, emo and
prog rock and mold it into something that is entirely their own. Rounding
out the band are Joe Mazzitelli on bass, James Hepler
on drums and percussion, and Curtis Armstead on guitar. Together
IWTDI make rock music that can be played every day without growing
The classic rock tint of "Wrecking Ball" sets the album
on a solid keel. The band ramps up the growls into the guitar chords
and beefy drumbeats through "Control", which makes the track
attractive, stirring the listener to get up and move. The album recedes
into the cooling embers of "All Get Lucky" which features
a smoldering guitar solo with tightly frizzled chords. The band keeps
the tracks guitar-oriented with the roaring thrusts of Armstead's
guitar and the crackling drum strikes of Hepler along 'Regulators",
which transforms into ambient shimmers across the melodic swells of
"With You Now" as Hirsh and Booker stroll through the lyrics
side by side. Armstead gets his guitar to howl and soar through "Twenty-Thousand"
exuding a cast-iron thickness which melts into a berth of soft moans
across "Fight/Flight" as Hirsh's piano keys jut out in ephemeral
sprigs. The mix of floating synths and fleshy-toned guitar ripples
through "The Key & The Rose" makes one of the band's
most interesting tracks brim with contrasting textures that create
a melodic sound.
IWTDI have a lot going for them. They can give modern rock a push
toward the front lines, and keep it there for as long as they want
to keep going.
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