EP REVIEW: Erez and the End - Better Days
By Cyrus Rhodes - 11/06/2012 - 11:50 AM EST
Artist: Band: Erez and the End
Album: Better Days (EP)
Label: Indepdependent Artist
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Dire Straits, The Band, R.E.M. Bruce Springsteen, Alan Parson Project and Nick Cave.
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Here in the Dark, Silent Mountains
Weakness: Winded Songs
“Erez and the End” featuring singer/songwriter/guitarist Erez Eisenman is taking off. Just months after recording their first tracks and playing live at hotspots like the Rockwood Music Hall, Spike Hill and The Shrine, the band—including Nic Travis (guitar, backing vocals), Bennett Miller (bass, backing vocals) and drummer Chris Infusino (after the departure of original drummer Chris Benelli) are moving Silent Mountains, musically and sonically on their infectious five track debut EP entitled Better Days.
The EP gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Better Days” a bluesy intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm against mesmerizing rhythm guitar ambience, thought proving lyrical content and psychedelic vocal accents from Eisenman. Track 2 “Here in the Dark keeps things moving with its rock steady rhythm, impressive guitar accents against infectious and heartfelt vocals from Eisenman. Track 3 “SilentMountains” an impressive R&B ditty that slithers across your ears and flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears with its solid bottom end feel and emotional groove. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Dire Straits, The Band, R.E.M. Bruce Springsteen, Alan Parson Project and even NickCave. But you will also notice a few Classic Rock, R&B influences in there as well. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with a side of Psychedelic Jam Band, Rhythm and Blues/Rock. The musicianship is pretty solid across the board as Eisenman and company deliver a solid 4 piece delivery. Kudos goes out to the impressive guitar licks and sizzling solos along the way from Eisenman. You will also notice rich layers of instrumentation layered within the music with things like Hammond Organ, impressive guitar ambience, well placed Harmonica, vocal harmonies all built upon a full tilt rhythm section. Eisenman’s voice is melodically consistent and is in the vein of Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) and Bruce Springsteen. From mesmerizing ”SilentMountains” to grooving “No More Cryin” to the perfect finale statement: Track 5 “For a Little While” this EP pretty much has something for everyone.
I don’t like the way Track 2 ends. The lack of a finale chorus following the solo guitar section is to say the least a missed opportunity. It’s fair to say many pieces are winded and extremely repetitive overall. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Eisenman’s voice manages to barely keep its head above the water and is nothing spectacular. However despite this his voice manages to work extremely well track for track, and you can’t help but fall in love with it. I typically don’t give out 10 star ratings to EP releases. The full length is a more complete snapshot of what an artists is capable of at any given time.
“Better Days” by “Erez and the End”is a compelling musical teaser. Its strong suit is the amazing guitar, songwriting virtuoso and artistic presence of Erez Eisenman. The brilliance is in the artistic development of Eisenman to the listener as he slowly reveals more and more to you as the EP unfolds. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing R&B, Classic Rock to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. You’ll be glad you did.
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