Like a guitar-laden phoenix, PetalShelf is a band that was formed from the ashes of several former bands in 2001. Coming out of Leachville, AR, the band includes Ty Beach (vocals), Brandon Snider (guitars), Aaron Hampton (bass), and Brian Hill (drums). Though currently touring and stealing odd moments of spare time to write and record songs for their planned sophomore album, it is with their 2005 debut album that I’ve been spending much of my spare time listening to.
Though kicked into action by a wonderfully beefy guitar groove, both the album and the album’s opening track, “Queen of Broken Pride,” are anchored by some superb vocals from Ty Beach. Sounding like a nice mixture of Wes Scantlin (Puddle of Mudd) and Scott Weiland (Velvet Revolver, Stone Temple Pilots), Beach’s voice slithers in and around the other instruments and becomes on itself.
Next up is the galloping rhythm of “Unreal,” which stutters into a fairly funky groove that sounds good enough to have you scratching your head and wondering whether or not you’ve ever heard it on the radio. Though you probably haven’t, you should have, as it is a strong track.
Come to think of it, this is an album that is simply built on great tracks. Whether you’re listening to the swaggering splendor of “Neverbound,” the subtle melody that resides in “Fairweather Friend,” the churning guitar crunch of “Dead End,” the funky give and take of drums and guitar on “Cut and Dry,” the intensity of “Stolen Day,” or the sparse musical landscape of “Change My Mind,” you’re not going to find one single track that isn’t worth listening to.
When I first asked whether or not I could write an occasional column that would feature Arkansas’s music scene, it was an idea offered in hopes that there would be bands such as PetalShelf out there for me to find. As each one of these articles have shown, though, perhaps I shouldn’t be all that surprised at finding good music out here in the “Natural” State.
For those curious to hear the music of PetalShelf for themselves, here is the link to their myspace page, where they have a few tracks posted for listening. Once you do, though, it won’t be long until you’re ordering your own copy of Come What May. Then you can get in line behind me, as we wait for whatever comes next from these musicians no cutting though, ‘cause I was here first!