Through scouring the web, I’ve been able to unearth a very interesting story regarding these New York rockers, Eve To Adam. If you check out the band’s official website, you would see that these guys were originally signed to Sony/Red on their fourth album, Locked and Loaded. Apparently, there were some good reviews and suitable publicity, but things must have went right down the tubes for one reason or another. In any case, the band have a new website which is self-run (even though both pages are still online) and according to the info I’ve received here, the band were also told that “they would never work in music again.” As horrible as that sounds, that’s the industry for you.
These guys originally played a tour with Falling In Reverse and New Year’s Day, which are two acts I cannot stand – but thankfully, their sound is much more tolerable. On their latest release Odyssey, they prove that they have the right amount of catchy hooks to reel me right in, and from the very opener “Altitude” I was sold. I literally had the hooks from “Altitude” and second cut “Tongue Tied” (more so that one) stuck in my head on constant repeat while I unloaded trucks for about five hours. So yes, these hooks are catchy enough to get stuck in your head for many hours or more and you should keep that in mind. But isn’t that what we want from rock music in the first place? There’s nothing overly complex here, but the band hits hard where it counts and where the radio will like it especially. They may not have the backing of the almighty Sony this time around, but the digital age is working to prove that musicians don’t exactly need to rely on major labels as much as they used to. As you might expect, the record is only a mere thirty-seven minutes long and features no track of a greater length than four minutes.
But what’s interesting here is that the kind of rock they’re playing involves heavy use of keyboards. Sure, keyboards have been used sparsely in modern rock for a long time, but this almost sounds like a mixture of Breaking Benjamin and Stabbing Westward, which makes for a sort of bass-heavy synth rock that comes in just a little different than you might expect for the genre. You see, this is basically what happens when a hard rock act collaborates with an electronic musician, almost creating a more radio-friendly and less cyber-goth kind of style not far removed from a band like Celldweller. It’s different, which is why it really stuck out to me. The disc sounds a bit scratchy and that’s due to the electronic effects – because again, this is electronic hard rock music with beat-based drumming instead of a full kit.
Take the single, “Tongue-Tied” which not only features some incredible rock shredding, but a backing that just isn’t normal for anything in American hard rock music. You can name all the bands you like, but Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Skillet, Shinedown and so many other mainstays have never traversed this kind of territory. I mean, who in their right mind is going to tell the drummer to buzz off and decide to use beats and whirls instead? And even if it did happen, who is going to be able to meld these two parallels together without it sounding like crap? These guys, that’s who. As soon as I get to their third song, I find that it isn’t filler either, making for three hits in a row, literally one right after another. Sure, it’s simplistic. There aren’t any major textures to be had, with nothing to be found in the realms of avantgarde wizardry; but insofar as the electronic and guitar compositions are concerned, Odyssey truly takes us on a journey.
Take a listen to “Emergency” and you’ll hear fucking chiptunes, which I think is genius. I would definitely listen to more modern rock if it was mixed in with 8-bit synths. But that’s not all, as the chorus for this one is yet another killer. I think I like it better than “The Price” which I felt was bland, even though the band strangely chose it as a single. I shook my head a little on that, because “Emergency” not only features one of their strongest hooks, it also forces fans to listen to chiptunes which are alien to this kind of music, and that could be beneficial. Not even Klayton (of Celldweller) is messing with chiptunes yet, which I find suprising. I suppose if I was in charge of the band, this would be the song I’d want a music video made for. Hell, put the band in a video game style scenario for the track and it’ll go perfect with the chiptunes there. The internet will either love or hate it, and because of the weird mixture of rock, chiptunes and video games, it would at least get some hits. Seriously, who else is mixing this level of electronic tinkering into red-blooded American hard rock music? That being said, it is still exactly as I’ve described and other than the electronic influence, you aren’t hearing anything out of the ordinary as far as the song-structure is concerned. But if you love electronica and hard rock, you’ll definitely find something here. Maybe Imagine Dragons perform something somewhat similar, but this record hits far harder and has a bit more of a downtuned edge that I tend to like a little more than a song that keeps telling me “welcome to the new age.” Maybe those guys need to check this one out and get a glimpse of what they should be doing with rock music. Apparently “the new age” replaces hard-driving rock music with pop.
For the very last time, you need to remember that this is very much an electronic rock album, so don’t think that you’re getting the usual Shinedown or Three Days Grace level of modern rock. Even though those guys might be guilty of trying a song or two in a similar style to this, none of them have ever thought about taking on a whole record where electronics are the focus. For that, I have to give Eve To Adam major respect and hopefully they’ll inspire other artists to add a little bit more of a digital edge to their performances.
Having just flown through the entire album a second time, I can’t say that all of the songs stuck with me as well as others, but that’s to be expected of any record on planet earth as taste is obviously not universal. I did walk out of the experience humming some of the cuts that I preferred a bit afterwards, so that should tell you something. Odyssey is a rather interesting experiment and I’d certainly recommend listening to a few of the singles first to see if you like it. It’s a unique touch on a familiar style and I can’t get too upset about that.
(10 Tracks, 37:00)