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Music Review: Intercept – Symphony for Somebody Else

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In my hunting around for information about Intercept, I kept coming up with the basic descriptor: “radio rock.”

With Symphony for Somebody Else, the Southern Californians have put the pieces together on what is ultimately a predictable rock record. There’s no getting around the friendliness of this music in terms of radio play, so I suppose “radio rock” is an apt description after all.

Symphony for Somebody Else is the band’s follow-up to their debut, Magnolia Road. With two years of touring under their belts, the sophomore record fits nicely as an amalgamation of those experiences.

Like all “radio rock,” the object here is to create memorable, filling, appetizing music that goes down easy. Vocalist and guitarist Christian Knudsen, guitarist Jeff Knudsen, bassist Phil Romo, and drummer Jason Weiner melt together to formulate rock and pop tunes that go exactly where you’d imagine to go, so this isn’t exactly challenging stew.

Symphony for Somebody Else opens with “Made to Fall.” Weiner’s drums open the doors to a cascade of guitar. The vocals kick in, complete with background shots in exactly the right spots, and the college kids go crazy like it’s the beginning of the school year.

Intercept flagrantly packs in this sort of delighted rock optimism that has, for right or for wrong, long since been ground out of the field. They aren’t producing something we haven’t heard before, mind you, and it could be argued that they traffic in that which we’ve heard all too often, but Symphony for Somebody Else doesn’t give a damn.

The title track plays with tempo, generating a soft/loud/soft rocker that digs in for a swaying chorus right out of an alt-country group’s repertoire. Vocalist Knudsen makes every dollar count, though, and the hunger is clear even though the music is about as systematic as it gets.

That’s really the rub with these guys, essentially. Passionate as all hell but predictable as Miley Cyrus, Intercept goes up when you think it will and heads back down right in time. Some listeners will find comfort in that, I guess, and I respect that, but perhaps Symphony for Somebody Else really is for somebody else.

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About Jordan Richardson

  • A Geek Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Radio rock. New one. I kind of stack most rock into certain categories like that.

    For instance… Cowbell Rock – that good old rock and roll like Grandfunk and BTO. Came up with that nickname from the beginning of Mississippi Queen by Mountain.

    Gotta remember Radio Rock, just not sure if I’d consider it to mean good, bad, or just… yawn.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Depends on your mood, I think.

    Sometimes you want fast food, but most of the time you don’t.

  • Intercept Fan1

    “Friendly music” “delighted rock optimism” “radio rock” ?? You say that like it’s a bad thing! ? I think Intercept’s music is indeed friendly, optimistic and it’s accessible too! Their “Magnolia Road” cd is one that you can listen to over and over and it’s just a fun ride from top to bottom. “Symphony for Somebody Else” is getting lots of repeat play too, but more because it’s got a lot of different genres of music going on here. Granted, it’s not music for your average metalhead. But I’d much rather listen to “friendly” music than “angry” bristly music that makes you want to drink a case of PBR, put your fist through a wall and go get a new tattoo. But hey, that’s just me. We love Intercept! They’re 4 of the most talented guys you’ll meet in Southern California and we can’t wait to hear them live again!

  • Jordan Richardson

    I didn’t say that like it’s a bad thing, actually. I just said it wasn’t my thing. Big difference.