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The best kept secret in music


"Review of "M(US)IC""

Reviewed and written by Tony Pascarella.

Rarely one finds music both amorphous and transcendental enough to reach the depths of their psyche and excise thoughts and fears that seamlessly meld with the sounds they hear. Rather than relying on the lyrics to evoke an often-contrived happiness, sadness, or other mood, Damiera's music itself latches onto your deepest thoughts and allows you to mold your own perceptions of both reality and the album. Some days, songs may have one effect on the listener, and on others, they arouse a completely different beast from within. Such is the comprehensive emotional effect of Damiera's first full-length album, M(US)IC. Music critics and casual listeners alike may argue this is the elitist, progressive, or indie fan's album of 2006, and they wouldn't be wrong once the word gets out about this CD. Damiera reach out to every listener in a different way, and as a result, have produced a thoroughly enjoyable CD for fans of all music.

M(US)IC features riffs that most bands only dream of writing some day. It makes magnificent use of David Raymond's half-falsetto, half grating wail vocal quality that lingers somewhere between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! and The Flaming Lips. Just like those bands, you will love or hate the vocals on this album upon first listen; there is no getting around it. M(US)IC can also be taken strictly at face value, but I think it would do the Buffalo-area band a huge injustice. A hard-charging, technical album that doesn't quit until the very end is something that we generally find in the hardcore scene, but Damiera manage to, with songs like Departure, show they're as instrumentally talented as they come, no matter the genre.

Obsessions, the tenth and final track, is possibly my favorite song on an album that has a tight race for best song. David Raymond's voice is a bit more accessible here, and the music's ebb and flow gives off an exhilarating emotion best epitomized by the thoughtful lyricism. Nevertheless, it is the youthful exuberance of Via Invested? that might appeal to a more mainstream audience looking for something different. Rather than spoiling individual songs, I will instead recommend if this review has intrigued you at all to drop the ten bucks on M(US)IC in early May and prepare to be blown away. Damiera have planted the seeds for a musical revolution with this fantastic debut album, and I for one cannot wait until they become the next big thing.

Vocals: 9
Instrumentals: 10
Replayabilty: 9
Staying Power: 9.5
Lyrics: 9.5
Production: 9.5
Artwork: 9


EP One |2005 | Built on Strength Rec
01. Vollacaia
02. Heartbeat
03. Maesa
04. Fourfight
05. Slow by Still

M(US)IC | 2006 | Tamerlane Rec
01. Immure
02. Lessons
03. M(US)IC
04. Via Invested
05. I am Pulse
06. Ember Eason
07. Departure
08. Flora:Yield
09. Broken Hands
10. Obsessions


Feeling a bit camera shy


Closing their previous project, League, David Raymond (vocals, guitar) and Matthew Kipp (guitar, vocals) were motivated to write more organically, and life-like. February, 2005, Damiera began in Buffalo, NY with two guitars and guitar driven basslines that ultimately moved into a direction that could not fit a singer/songwriter scheme. Meanwhile, Orlando, FL based friends/tourmates, Sleeping Girl Drowning, were approaching closure. Bradley McRae (Drums) endured a 30+ hour bus ride, and joined Matthew and David in Buffalo. Damiera asked friend Mark Henry (bass, vocals), frontman for Buffalo based band Queen City Knights to rehearse, and refine the basslines to aid the arrangement of the existing songs. By late May, the band had played a handful of shows, self-produced/engineered their debut EP, and self-booked a two month tour. Matthew Kipp left the band at the conclusion of Damiera's first tour to pursue different interests. After a very extensive search, Rock Whittington, guitarist of New Orleans, LA based Punch People, flew to meet Damiera in Buffalo. Rock's arrival revealed countless musical, and personality parallels, which not only complimented the band, but broadened it. After spending two solid months writing day and night in a rehearsal studio, Damiera spent February of 2006 with Jayson Dezuzio recording the debut LP "M(US)IC" that is set to release on Equal Vision Records late January 2007. The band has been on a self booked one hundred and ten day long tour, that ends September 10th.