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Music Review: Band of the Week Dying to Know – The Obvious

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The hard working local Toledo Ohio band Dying to Know has just begun to get that sweet taste of success. In recent months they've opened for national acts, including Godsmack, and are currently being looked at by major labels. Following a previously released EP, their first full-length album was unveiled to their eager and receptive fans this past April.

The Obvious contains ten tracks of what can best be described as a blend of hard rock and alternative metal that is loud and bold while still being melodious and intricate. The album shows the wide range of their talent, containing everything from power ballads like "Amaryllis" to the cutting edge sound of "Between the Lines." The latter takes the listener through complex melodies to deep growling cries and back again, perfectly delivering the passionate lyrics.

Another one of those power-ballads is the title track. "The Obvious" has an eerie, mournful feel to it beginning with the opening notes and only intensifying when the vocals join the fray. The song is one of those I found myself hitting repeat on, and the cycling melody found its way into my subconscious. It's definitely one of those songs you will be humming to yourself long after you're through listening to the disk. "Revengeful Kiss" falls in the same category. With an overall dark tone, the song touches deep. The aforementioned "Amarylis" has a little lighter feel, but the intensity is still there, slightly in the verse and magnified in the chorus.

Not all the songs can be wrapped neatly in one box, however. "Between The Lines" and "Lewd" both express that same intensity in ways that aren't so dark. In direct contrast, they are razor sharp. The tone is better described as fierce and the guitars and drums are heavy and full, rolling through — not just to — the listener.

Vocals are delivered by Mark McMillan who also pens the lyrics for the band. Randy Johnson is their bass player. Ray Wagner is the band's drummer and Brandon Dudek plays guitar.

In a recent interview Mark explained all members write the instruments they play. Allegations were made in the comments of that interview and in an email directly to me by someone who chose to remain anonymous. When I contacted Brandon about them, he and Mark were anxious to restate for the record what happened and wanted to assure their fans that the songs, as they appear on The Obvious, have had the guitar parts rewritten by Brandon.

In an email correspondence Mark McMillan said, "Two years ago, after the breakup of Hpnotik and Evolution… our former guitarists Brett Goodwin and Matt Moyer were let go. They brought forth great music and memories. However, as this is a business, we stepped forward to better our creativity. We hired Brandon Dudek, our current guitarist." He went on to say, "He [Brandon] took all of our prior songs and rewrote them to his level of ability. Not that he had to; he just wanted his own style and feeling in each song. As a band, we have had all of our music copy written to D.T.K. as follows: Mark McMillan, Randy Johnson, Ray Wagner, and Brandon Dudek. So even if Brandon were to play the songs in their original written form, there wouldn't be anything wrong with that."

Mark wrapped up that email saying, "The songs belong to Dying To Know…
We have purchased and own the following: all rights, all music, all lyrics, and the name."

My advice to anyone in the local Toledo area would be to get out and see Dying to Know here in town while you still can. For those who don't live here, my prediction is you won't have to wait long for your chance to catch them in your town.

For more information on Dying to Know, local concert dates, and to hear streaming MP3s from The Obvious you can go to their Myspace profile. "An Innocent Gift," "Celler Door," "5th Melody," and "Lewd" can all be heard in their entirety on the band's Myspace profile and The Obvious can be purchased as an album or by the track. They also have a profile on Pure Volume and their CD can be purchased locally at Culture Clash or online at iTunes, Napster, CD Baby, Rhapsody, or Snowcap.

Track Listing for The Obvious

  • Lewd
  • An Innocent Gift
  • Amaryllis
  • Saturday's Over
  • 5th Melody
  • Revengeful Kiss
  • Between Lines
  • Reality
  • The Obvious
  • Cellar Door

Upcoming Dates
Sep 8 Brandy’s Night Club Findlay, Ohio
Sep 14 Howard's Club H Bowling Green, Ohio
Oct 4 Phoenix Hill Tavern Louisville, Kentucky

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About Connie Phillips

  • Riley Wolfrum

    I went and Seen Dying to Know in Concert with my Friend Ketryna Summers who is the cousin of Randy Johnson and they were AMAZING!!! i love theirs songs and i wish i could see them again they rock :D they even signed ketryna and my arms