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Music Review: Envy on the Coast – Lowcountry

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I don’t know that much about Envy on the Coast. All I knew before this review was that they are a local Long Island band and they played Warped Tour during the summer of 2007.

I know this because my daughter wanted to go to hear them at this one-day music festival at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island. Like any other music festival like Bonnaroo (which takes place in Tennessee) and Lollapalooza (which takes place in Chicago), Warped Tour hosts well known as well as not so well known bands to play outdoors in front of large crowds.

I hadn’t heard much about the band since then but when their new album, Lowcountry, came out, I was eager to give it a listen since they are a local Long Island band. The album is alternative rock. However, when you listen to it, it feels deep and dark, like an emo group.

The band sounds like a cross between the Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, and Nirvana. Several of the songs caught my attention, including: The Devil’s Tongue, Numb, Clean on You, and Head First in the River. They incorporate that grunge sound that appeals to me from many of the 1990's bands and yet have the rhythm of today’s sound. I enjoyed listening to them over and over again. They put me in a relaxed, meditative mood.

Envy on the Coast consists of Ryan Hunter (lead vocals and guitar), Salvatore Bossio (playing guitar, keyboard and singing), Jeremy Velardi (on bass guitar) and Brian Byne (guitar and vocals). Although they lost a member and regained another, when you listen, you think they’ve been together for a long time. The songs are tight and flow well.

The most unusual song on the album was “*.” There is no music, just people talking on an answering machine. I’m not quite sure if I understand what they are talking about, but I found it interesting that they placed this song in the middle of the album and had to wonder if it had some deep, dark meaning.

Ryan Hunter hooks the listener with his strong vocals. He has a great voice and is passionate about his singing. It’s nice to hear a relatively new band have such versatility.

Some of the songs were a little too heavy for my liking and made my adrenaline rush. What I did like, though, was that there was a mix of heavy rock, grunge, and alternative. Most albums have one type of sound. Listening to Envy on the Coast was like reading a good book. Every song was another chapter of a story they were trying to tell.

There are some great bands that have come out of Long Island including: Billy Joel, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Taylor Dayne, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats, and Joan Jett. Envy on the Coast is on their way to being amongst the great. I think it may be our water that makes great musicians…or maybe not.

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