As followers of the show know, American Idol finalist and pouty heartthrob Constantine Maroulis took a break from his hard rock band Pray For the Soul of Betty to pursue his solo dreams of pop idolatry on the show.
Now that he is in the final six and appears to have an excellent shot at the title, is it any suprise that enterprising Koch Records has picked up distribution on the self-titled debut CD by Constantine’s band? Wisely, Maroulis signed his rights over to the other members of Pray — (Joao Joya – Guitar, C.R. Taylor – Bass, Hamboussi – Drums), a very cosmo NYC unit whose members were born in Greece, Brazil, NYC, and Egypt — so Idol has no claims to their recording, which Koch will release May 10, coincidentaly (or not) the same day the new American Idol 4 collection comes out.
After initial skepticism and concern, the band is now pretty jolly about Constantine’s decision to take a shot on the show. “The reason why he’s doing American Idol is for the band, not for anything else,” drummer Hamboussi told The Associated Press. “(On Idol) he doesn’t get the bass drum or the guitar hitting him in the back of the head,” Hamboussi said.
For those who have come to associate Maroulis with the wide range of pop performances he has succeeded with on the show, Pray For the Soul of Betty may come as a bit of a shock, sounding very much like classic grunge band Soundgarden. They describe themselves as “Intense, raw energy fused with sex, serious contemplation, and excess … born out of the belly of NYC,” and that is not far off the mark.
The songs are well recorded and rock with authority: check out audio clips from the band’s site of “Rich Bitch,” “Drift,” “Cut the Cord”, and a video clip of “Truck Stop Sally” recorded live at the Elbo Room in Chicago in ’04.
One fairly large issue: Maroulis will not be able to perform live with the band for the duration of his Idol contract, but hey there are worse problems to have.