Review: Drop Side Nine – A Perfectly Orchestrated Breakdown.

So, the other day, I got a friend request on Facebook. I had no idea who this guy was, so I checked out his page. Turns out he’s a local musician. I sent him a message asking him how he found me, thinking he found this blog. In actuality, he found me on The Depot‘s Facebook page. I told him about this site, and he said, “Well, hey. I have some stuff. Wanna review it?” Downloaded it, listened to it, and … well, here it is.

Drop Side Nine is comprised of Scott Peterson and Brandon Larsen, life-long friends who grew up in the same small town, went their separate ways, and ended up doing exactly what they’ve always wanted – making music. The result is what we’re given in A Perfectly Orchestrated Breakdown.

The first thing I noticed was the sound quality. I like the garage recording sound. We’re not talking Garage Days Re-revisited, but there’s definitely an awesome vibe to the recording … like they’re seriously just having fun. Gives it a very raw, unaltered sound. Having said all that, I’m also extremely excited to see what some more professional recording and mixing can do for these guys. There is potential. Lots. And lots. And LOTS.

As for the instrumentation, I’m … wow. There are two guys, right? Just two? I mean, there’s synth, piano, guitars, strings (violins? cellos? maybe it’s synth … hard to tell), standard drums, drum loops … there’s a lot going on here. I’m guessing a lot of this is track layering. I can see the need of a full, 4 or 5 piece band to pull off this stuff live. Probably two guitarists, a keyboardist, bassist, and drummer. Obviously, some of the elements are already there.

Brandon has a kind of pre-trained James LaBrie-type voice going on that with some proper training could seriously take off. I like that it sounds completely unprocessed. I *hate* processed voices that sound great on a CD, but then you go see a band live, and come to find out, the singer really sucks. Such is not the case here. What you hear is what you’ll get live. Again, with a bit of vocal training, we could have the next Geoff Tate.

It’s fairly evident from lyrics that either Scott or Brandon (or, both?) have been through some painful experiences–the genesis for many of the songs on the CD. (from “Broken Down”) “Make this go away, turn a page–a brand new day. Now I’m so alive. I know this time that I’ll get it right. Broken down, I’ve begun to bleed.” (from “Take”) “I want you all to see it. I want you all to hear it, and this is what I’m screaming so maybe now you’ll feel it, and I will say it again: the walls are closing and, and I can’t take it no more.” (from Something New”) “I’ve awakened from my downward slide. I won’t be a victim anymore. Take a hard look at yourself cuz I’m coming out swinging. Ready to take your ugly world and turn it into something new–maybe a taste of the blues will help you secretly.” They’ve taken their experiences and turned them into this first offering.

Overall, there is serious potential for these guys. It’s obvious from Scott’s Facebook page that there’s already a growing interest. Now is the time to “get on board” and have the chance to say, “Hey … I knew them and saw them before YOU did!” If they keep plugging away (get it?! guitar and amp joke!), there’s no telling where they can go. We, the fortunate ones, get to watch the entire ride.

To Scott, who I know will read this, thanks for finding me. It’s been my privilege and pleasure to listen to your stuff. I’m serious … keep this up.

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