I live in a wasteland. A music wasteland to be exact. There aren't many good bands from Cleveland at least in my lifetime. I can think of a few exceptions, so don't get too upset with me. This is why I am so pleasantly surprised by what was just sent to me from my own backyard. I just received "Are You Listening?" by Quickening who hail from the wonderful North Coast of Cleveland Ohio.
This band rose from the ashes of four other Cleveland bands that I have never heard of to form this band and I would say the results are pretty good. Their sound is very guitar driven. Not too poppy and not too heavy. The closest example I could give is an edgier, braver version of Our Lady Peace.
"Collision Course" is one of the first tracks that jumps out at me. It has an array of rhythmic riffing that concludes in a very accessible chorus, which breaks into some impressive guitar noodling. It has enough pop appeal, but also has a sense of punk and other styles so it doesn't get too stale.
"While You Were Sleeping" is one of the more powerful tracks on the album even though it doesn't really conform to your standard structures. Just when it is at the height of the chorus, the band disappears as the guitarists use harmonics to bring it down. At two minutes and forty-six seconds the song is over before you can blink an eye.
"Periodic Table of The Elements" is where the band really lets its skills shine. They leave plenty of room in the verses for the vocals to develop and then the guitarists start to work their two part guitar harmonies and other guitar acrobatics. I imagine that this is one of their set closing songs. I haven't seen them yet, but it just sounds like that type of song that a band will leave an audience with.
This band is solid. They aren't ready to take over the world or anything, but I think this release speaks of a band with potential to grow into something much bigger. Check them out at their website, www.quickening.tv.
This post first appeared at RockDummy.com