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CD REVIEW: Crash the Satellites - Crash the Satellites
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/25/2013 - 01:00 PM EDT

Artist: Crash the Satellites
Album: Crash the Satellites
Label: Spectra Records
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Blind Melon
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: The Phantom of the Sad Songs, Your Mothers Bones
Weakness: Winded Songs. More Harmonies
CD Review: After nearly a decade together, Jacksonville, Florida based Crash the Satellites has established themselves as one of the more well-regarded veteran bands in Northeast Florida’s explosive music scene, and 2013 is looking to be their biggest year yet. “This is the next band to be genuinely excited about,” according to the Orlando Weekly. First Coast News says, “This is beautifully-crafted, heady and boisterous pop that most of the world has forgotten to make.” Their new, self-titled album is ready, and will be released on Spectra Records May 7, 2013. Band members include: Paul Paxton (guitar/vox), Brian Blades (guitar), Chris Gibson (bass), Julia Gregory (drums)

The CD kicks things off with “Barrels in Georgia” a dynamic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, against rocking guitar groove, infectious harmonies and catchy chorus. Track 2 “The Phantom of the Sad Songs” keeps things moving with its slamming guitar groove against melodic vocals with a grand slam chorus. This coupled with thought provoking lyrical content makes for an impressive slam dunk follow-up statement. Track 3 “Tales of Transformation” serves up a more emotionally charged ditty with heartfelt vocals from Paxton against dynamic musical flow that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of such classic acts as Death Cab for Cutie, The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Blind Melon and even Donosaur Jr. The music itself is a hot to the touch blend of alternative rock with a poppy-grunge jam band aftertaste. You will also notice amazing guitar licks, interesting lyrics, solid low end grooves against melodic heartfelt vocals. The songs themselves are short and sweet musical experiences. Paxton and company are above the bar on all songs vocally and fills the sonic space unobtrusively. His voice at times reminds me a bit of Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie). Equally as impressive is the  hot to the touch guitar work from Blades/Paxton with a playing style somewhere between classic grunge to highly charged alternative surf rock. The overall 4 piece delivery is effective and possessing a high octane vibe. The writing and playing abilities of this dynamic duo are rock solid. From heartfelt “City of Sleep” to psychedelic “Your Mothers Bones”  to melodic “Dummy” to mesmerizing “Postcards” to methodical “Pretty Knees” to dynamic “Cakewalk” to rocking Trailer Park” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 ”Frankie” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.   

All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I wish there were more vocal harmonies to mix up the vocal delivery a bit better. There’s a time and place for profanity in music, somehow it doesn’t seem to work very well in this catalogue.  

Overall the latest CD from “Crash the Satellites” is a consistent rock solid release. Indeed this band has proven themselves as real contenders with a Gold Standard release and they show much in the way of promise with extreme potential this Summer.  At the end of the day – they are a just a fun band to listen to, hang out with or check out live. This release clearly proves where there is smoke - there is fire.

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