Denver-based Cory Pearman (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Garrett Achten (percussion, backing vocals), Phil Pleckham (drums), Evan Crabdree (lead guitar), and Jason Clukies (bass) released in September 2016 a five-track EP titled Enjoy the Ride. The title does lead one to think of said ride being taken on the back of a buffalo—or at least, it does for this reviewer.
The core message of this collection is directly connected to the title: to let go and enjoy the ride. It is a very relatable core message and the choice of a fusion of rock, funk, blues, and folk to deliver it is quite à propos. The foundation, however, seems to be older types of alternative rock. The quintet keeps the momentum strong throughout the EP, thus infusing it with hope. Pearman and Achten’s vocals seem to draw from a limitless fountain of energy.
The acoustic guitar-opening “Whiskey Dreams” is quickly taken over by a stomping, thumping drum beat and sharp, cutting electric guitar work. Each instrument, as well as the vocals, can easily be followed individually, giving listeners a great appreciation for the talent behind each layer, but it is also easy to step back and enjoy the entire thing as a whole. “Enjoy the Ride” has an interesting mix of old school and modern sounds coming together seamlessly. The bass comes through particularly well in this number, making an indelible mark, but that isn’t to say that the electric guitar and drumming don’t make quite the mark as well.
The poignant storytelling in “This Moment” is supported with a toe-tapping melody. While the story is a little sad, the overall effect is one of optimism. This detached, yet honest look at the mistake of letting opportunities slip away makes of this track a raw but uplifting one. A thumping, uptempo drum-led beat opens up a hard rock-flavoured number—that features what sounds like cow bell. This dynamic and energetic number also features from great harmonisation from Pearman and Achten as well as an electric guitar that oozes with attitude.
The funk flavour in “Smile for the Cameras” makes it particularly infectious. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics and the self-mocking vocals give it a sound unique on this EP. There is no way feet won’t be a-tapping during this one.
This is a very enjoyable EP well worth picking up. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information about the band is available on their official website as well as on their Facebook page.