Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Lonely Forest Review

I was hesitant to write this review, fearful that I might be bias. I've seen this band morph into what it is, starting several years ago with John Van Deusen as a solo musician. Then that turned into The Lucid, Squarewave, John Van Deusen and The Lonely forest and finally, now, The Lonely Forest. After some thought, I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to write a review for this band...

The newest and seemingly final band morph, The Lonely Forest, has great chemistry. All four members of the band are extremely skilled musicians. They concoct new and original sounds that compliment eachother’s talents.
I have an unwavering appreciation for John Van Deusen's mature vocals, though this EP highlights a new emphasis on other aspects of the band.
The heavy rock influence of Tony Ruland's energetic and raw guitar playing compliments lead singer Van Deusen's keys and vocals well.
In songs such as 'God is Dead' and ' Opium Blues' Ruland's guitar playing magnifies the momentum of the keys by playing gritty chords along with them. About three and a half minutes into 'Are you afraid of the world' is my favorite guitar part on the whole EP, this is where Ruland distorts chords and brings a really ambient sound into the song.
Ruland's guitar playing may seem disoriented but in fact it is driven by a focused vision. The end result is one that parellell's the ambitious sound of the entire band.
There is a lot to be said about John Van Deusen. I have always been floored by the amount of talent that Van Deusen has poured out. His voice is huge, diverse and precise. No matter how many times I see him sing, I don't think I will ever stop being shocked by how well that kid can scream.
I haven't heard songs with a bold emphasis on piano in a long time, with the exception of Ben Folds. In many tracks the keys are the focal instrument of the song, with more runs and solos than the guitars. The keys are always moody; in any given song they can be really messy, busy and loud or very simple, quiet and few.
Bradyn Krueger can switch from mellow drumming to chaotic drumming. A great example of this is the song Opium Blues that he begins with light drumming, almost pop-like... and it moves into a very heavy style. Krueger is a very diverse drummer, keeping the chaos running smooth.
Eric Sturgeon brings the extra depth and volume that creates an invisible element that is crucial to the band. You never hear a random bass line anywhere on this EP. Just how it should be. Sturgeon fills out the sound of each song perfectly, complimenting Ruland's rock riffs and ambient distortions.
Each band member’s unique talent and vision of music brought together Regicide, The Lonely Forest's new EP.
This EP is hard to categorize, it's a mixture of what has been and what is to come in the rock world. It's not quite as 'before it's time' as Radiohead's 'Ok Computer' album, but The Lonley forest is on the brink of something that no one else is.
Possibly the most unique chemical of this band is the lyrics. Each song has a deep meaning; confronts world issues or challenges life long beliefs.
The production of Regicide was part of their prize after winning last years Sound Off! competition. This EP was recorded with legendary producer Jack Endino. Regardless of how legendary Endino may be, he still wasn't able to capture the intensity that this band brings at a live show.
For a band less than a year old, and with members ranging in age from late teens to mid-twenties, I'd say they have a slight advantage over many other young bands.
Now with outstanding quality recording, a bit more touring under their belt and some strong ambitions- The Lonely Forest seems as though they are Major Label ready.

Reviewed by: Jacquee

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