CD REVIEW: Research Society - Best of Seven EP
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/21/2010 - 04:53 PM EDT
Artist: Research Society
Album: Best of Seven EP
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Moriissey
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 6/10
Best Songs: Talk about the Weather
Weakness: Dated Mix, Average Vocal Performance, 1 Winded Song
Research Society hails from Los Angeles, CA.. They are comprised of 3 members Namky: Lead & Background Vocals & Rhythm Guitar, G Mann: Guitars, Bass Keyboards & Associated Programming, & Danita Clark on Drums. This is their debut release.
Logging in at just over 22 minutes, the EP kicks things off with “Mr. Awesome” a dynamic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, infectious vocal harmonies & accents, with catchy rock chorus. Track 2 “September” shifts gears a bit with a steady flowing rock vibe against ambient guitar architecture, & passionate vocal layering & harmonies from Namky & company. This coupled with upbeat lyrical content makes for an interesting statement. Track 3 “Midnight Run” serves up more synthetic layering eventually lending itself into a heart felt statement with more heart felt vocal passion from Namky. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of such classic acts The Cure, Morrissey, & even Red Hot Chilli Peppers.The music itself is an upbeat blend of alternative rock with a grunge aftertaste. You will also notice surfer type overtones, solid harmonies, & rich sonic layering overflowing everywhere, full of warmth & variety. The songs themselves are short & sweet musical experiences. Namky is above the bar on all songs vocally & fills the sonic space unobtrusively. His voice at times reminds me a bit of Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) & even Roy Orbison. The guitar work from G Mann is equally as impressive with a playing style somewhere between classic grunge to alternative surfer rock. The overall 3 piece delivery is effective, above the bar & a lot of fun to groove to. The writing, playing, & singing abilities of Research Society is rock solid The EP ends with “Talk about the Weather” a dynamic finale piece that dishes out more of the same surfer type guitar vibe, coupled with pulsating drum rhythm & solid vocal reinforcements.
Though the mix is adequate, it's not what I would call legendary. It lacks dynamic, & has all the elements of a mid nineties mix job. I might add the bar is set high for artists like Research Society in this area. Zeroing in on the drums, they seem to lack serious bottom end punch, while the vocals sit too far down within the mix. Vocals lack clarity & sound more like a vintage live recording. This approach does make sense because Namky’s vocal abilities lack serious honey coated luster. Namky’s vocal style works,, but he elects to play it safe on all the songs vocally, avoiding taking any serious risks that would indicate a top notch vocal talent. Emotion from Namky’s vocals comes across as way to conservative & overly choreographed. You can't fake this stuff, & blood curling emotion is simply something that cannot be controlled. Track 3: “Midnight Run” logs in at over 5 minutes & drags you to the finish line. This is not a bad review by any stretch of the imagination, it's just fair to say that the best work from Research Society is probably yet to come.
Overall “Best of Seven” is a solid debut release by Research Society. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & the messages are passionate, upbeat & positive. 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 they are on to something, I can’t wait to check out their full length soon.
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