Photography: Bongeunsa Lantern Festival by Tom Godfrey
The celebration of Buddha's Birthday in Seoul.
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After a brief intro track (there is even a somewhat haunting piano interlude, a nice touch; I don’t remember the last album I listened to that had a legit interlude) the listener is thrust into the dynamic “Arrivals & Departures”. This track is a pretty good example of the album’s sound in that it is a bit hard to peg down. “Arrivals & Departures” features a mix of heavy crescendos, layered vocals, changing tempo, and a refreshing bouncy guitar that adds a level of danceability.
One of the album’s strengths is the sheer polished power of vocalist / bassist Andy Mallett. The band plays off one another well, creating a sound that sounds both intricate and clean. There are multiple vocals and instruments going off at once, but it all seems carefully choreographed so as to not sound cluttered; complimenting instead of competing.
Provenance features a wide variety of sounds throughout its 12 tracks, but each maintains a backbone of rock. Where the band really shines is in the flourishes that appear on the tracks. There is an experimentation with sound and riffs that adds a refreshing and hip aspect. Bouncy guitars, powerful crescendos, whining solos that could easily be coming from Santana. Throw-backs to the post-grunge bands of the late ‘90s and pop-punk bands of the new millennium are common place. The album ranges from happy, sing along songs like “100 Mile Miss” to moody tracks with anxious vocals like “Angry as a Hornet”.
The album’s single, “Mach 6”, is a prime example of a schizophrenic song done properly. It starts heavy, gives way to energetic vocals, slows down, speeds up, and still maintains a certain catchy energy of a pop song without being the least bit saccharine.
Definitely a success.
Head to their website to buy their album or learn more about East is East.
Worth a listen: “The Masquerade Will End”- A guitar driven, borderline masterpiece, that somehow seems to incorporate the best parts of classic bands of the ‘90s.