CD REVIEW: The Elwood James Band EP
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/18/2012 - 12:11 PM EDT
Artist: The Elwood James Band
Album: The Elwood James Band EP
Label: Independent Artist
Sounds Like: Counting Crows, They Might Be Giants, Bare-naked Ladies
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Nobody Rolls, Nautical Star, Kinda Lost
Weakness: More Guitar Solos Please, Timing, EP Release
Feasterville Trevose Pennsylvania based 4 piece unit Elwood James just released their latest EP entitled The Elwood James Band EP in 2012. The band has been making quite a name for themselves regionally with their music and live performances. Band members include Vincet Vescio, dennis James, Danny Wagz, and Vinnie Vescio.
The EP wastes no time and kicks things off with “Rain” a rocking intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm against heartfelt vocal delivery that flows and ebbs it’s way thought to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Nobody Rolls” shifts gears a bit with slamming R&B vibe, against impressive vocals and organ accents with a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Love At All” is a passionate ballad, with heartfelt vocals amazing keyboard and Organ soloing against built upon an amazing rhythm section. As this EP slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of Counting Crows, They Might Be Giants and Bare-naked Ladies. The music itself is a delightful blend of Pop, Alternative Rock, Melodic R&B and hints of Jam Band. All songs do down extremely smooth. The vocal timber of Vescio is effective and he has an appealing timber and impressive vocal passion. I'll go on to add he takes some rather impressive vocal risks throughout the production indicating to me a very strong and confident vocal ability. Vescio clearly makes the critical (singer to listener) emotional connection with his vocal presence. The rest of the band is spot on as they are clearly accomplished musicians. Kudos goes out the amazing Keyboard and Organ playing. The CD also offers a rich melodic foundation, coupled with lush layers of instrumentation. From Impressive R&B Guitar, Organ, lush harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm foundation. From grooving “Nautical Star” to “Kinda Lost” the perfect finale statement this EP has something for just about everyone.
I wish I heard a few more ripping guitar solos here and there. In typical Jam Band fashion I detected a few very, very slight timing issues here and there. Though I could be wrong I suspect some tracks were recorded without the assistance of a click track. Typically I don’t give out 10 star ratings to EP,s as the Full Length releases is a more complete snapshot of what an artists is capable of at any given time.
From start to finish The Elwood James Band EP is an impressive musical teaser. From tart to finish it’s very passionate, passionate and extremely melodic catalog of music. To say the least it's packed to the hilt with musical variety. The writing, playing, and singing abilities of everyone involved is quite impressive and will be sure to lift your spirits without even trying. As the EP progressed I became more and more impressed with him as an artist. The musicianship is first rate; the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of The Elwood James Band are World Class.
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