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CD REVIEW: Black Earth - Pink Champagne
By Cyrus Rhodes - 04/18/2012 - 02:24 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Black Earth
Album: Pink Champagne
Label: Purple Kush
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: The Cult, Led Zeppelin, The Who
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Face Down in the Gutter, Livin and Lovin, My Private Hell
Weakness: Winded Songs and Catalouge
CD Review: Austin, Texas based rock trio Black Earth just released their latest CD entitled Pink Champagne 2012 (Purple Kush). Band members include Jason “Ving” Calise (vocals/guitar), Dave Rangel (vocals/bass) and Jason Reece (drums). CD was produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith.

The CD kicks things off with “Dear Lady Lean” a melodic intro piece that serves up psychedelic rock groove against well placed vocal harmonies and heartfelt vocals from Ving. Track 2 delivers more of the same raw intensity with “Face Down in the Gutter” an aggressive follow up piece that serves up aggressive drum intro against tenacious rock groove and no holds barred lyrical content. Track 3 “Her Song” shifts gears a bit with its melodic guitar, methodical musical build and dynamic vocal intensity. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from The Cult, Social Distortion, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rancid to old school Suicidal Tendencies. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane power driven punk CD. The musical style refuses to be pinned down, the vocals from Ving are gritty and are deep in your grill. The guitar playing is hot to the touch. Make no bones about it – this is total mosh-pit madness but there are also touches of Classic Jam band and Psychedelic Rock. Ving’s vocal style works extremely well with this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery. He reminds me of Roger Daltry (The Who), Ian Astbury (The Cult) and even Gene Simmons (Kiss). I might add his timing is spot on and his vocal intensity is off the charts. I also noticed a few hot to the touch guitar solos along the way. Rhythm section - lays down the low end groove thick as a brick. What I like most about the music is its sheer intensity; note for note and song for song. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From grooving “Livin and Loving” and She Don’t Want It” to rocking “My Private Hell” to Dynamic “No Way Back” to the heartfelt “Single Stitch” and the title track this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with "Something About You” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I would advise Black Earth trim up there songs and catalogue by 25%.

This latest release Pink Champagne from Black Earth is a solid and consistent CD from start to finish. Its strength – the raw song for song intensity that keeps coming at you. No doubt these guys are a total riot to check out live in the back clubs of Austin,TX. The music is dirty, rock solid, heavy and consistent. Like a heavy weight fighter this CD packs a powerful punch, and goes the full 12 rounds with no sign of letting up. Like a 1-2 punch the song keep coming at you, one after the other until you’re ready to tap out. WHat am I trying to say? Black Earth Rocks!

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