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I Was Totally Destroying It
Preludes
Greyday Records
www.iwtdi.com


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 tiresome.

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.

-Susan Frances

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