Elegant Monsters
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By J. Edward Sumerau
Issue #19.40 :: 04/30/2008 05/06/2008

In the tradition of Creed, Alter Bridge, Three Doors Down, and pop rock in general comes a new voice with a sweet rhythmic sound, Spencer Ezell. A product of Tennessee, Spencer roars into the music scene with the release of “Life After Tomorrow," an independent release spurred by buzz generated by club shows throughout the Southeastern United States. With a soft voice built for radio and slippery guitar rhythms gyrating in smooth active rotations, Ezell’s debut is pure piece of pop-rock craftsmanship that shows the potential for mainstream success.

From Greenfield, Tennessee, Ezell has been the front man for rock bands in the Nashville area in recent years, and has placed in the top six of vocalist competitions in his career. Through the years, he has crafted a sound between the grasp of genre. As he points out, he’s not “head banging, emo screaming rocker” and he lacks “a twang in his voice” or the requisite cowboy boots for Nashville, but he is a talented songwriter with a pure, passionate voice ready for the next step in his career.

Finding direction swells to the forefront of this recording. At times, the songs remind me of jams from Creed’s heyday, and at other times, I can hear the beautiful balladry of bands like Matchbox Twenty and Nine Days, but throughout the work Ezell’s splendid vocal carries the songs beyond the chords offered. The result is an interesting mix of the best efforts of pop rock in recent memory. Fans of the arena style, hard charging guitar solo can turn to songs like “Victim”, “Keep me Here”, and a fantastic chord driven close in “What you’re About." Those in search of the softer side of emotional experience can lean on wonderfully crafted ballads like “New York” and “I think of You” for a piece of smooth expression.

Exhibitions of heat can be found in the powerful call of “Stalker”, and the heart of enchantment finds expression in song within the vocal of “With this Ring," which allows a man to express his care from the depths of feeling with a sweet combination of intimate musical arrangement and vigilant lyrical devotion.

He may not fit the standard genres offered to emerging bands in the Southeast, but Ezell promises beauty found between the classifications with this debut. - The Metro Spirit - Augusta, GA


When I heard the band line up for Friday, January 2, I knew I could not miss this show. The Warehouse in Clarksville was hosting this momentous occasion that was either going to be a Jerry Springer exclusive or Animal House sequel. Although I had recently reviewed a couple of the bands, the other two I had not seen or heard in almost a year. So, what better place than here and what better time than now?!

The only negative aspect of the show was with four bands; the sets were minimal, considering break down and set up time. It didn’t take away from any of their performances; but for us fans who wanted more, it was short and sweet. The crowd fluctuated all night but there were always bodies in attendance and people on the floor. The Warehouse staffers are some cool peeps who accommodate well to their consumers. Now, on to the show…

Beautifully Crude of Nashville, opened things up and rocked the house as usual. Veterans to The Warehouse, BC played a rock-solid set with singles like “Lover to a Fighter” and “Top of the World” from their recently released debut album The Ties That Bind. If you don’t own it yet, I highly recommend you invest in this one! It’s pure rock from beginning to end.

I have been to a few BC shows now, and they just keep getting better. Their energy and chemistry is amazing and seems to mature with every performance. They were a perfect choice to get the night started. If you haven’t gotten to attend a BC show, go to their MySpace page to check out their schedule, and then get to one!

Second to the stage were my old pals, Project Jones. It’s been forever since I have been to a P. Jones show, and I have honestly missed these guys. They have a new guy on board, welcome Scott Smith on bass; I’m eager to see what kind of chemistry he brings to the band. It was so good to hear some of my favorite songs again, like “You Don’t See Me” and “Just Like Me”. It had been way too long!

Natives to Clarksville, the Jonesters have been through a lot of industry BS but I’m glad to see that they’re right back in there doing what they love. Writing new songs like “She” and “Sometime” proves that these guys will be around for a long time; their creativity cannot be silenced. Check them out on MySpace and go see them live, their shows are too much fun! I know I won’t let another year pass by until I see them again.

It had also been a long time since I had seen the third band of the night, Nashville’s fORMER. Their quick but concrete set reminded me just how much I love these guys. Their songs are all so catchy; so popular that at some point, I look around and everyone on the floor was singing along. That was awesome! They surprised me with their cover at the end of the set; it’s not everyday you hear guys cover Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”. What cool confident men they are!

fORMER played many songs from their debut album …and nothing but the truth; which included two of my favorites “Let You Let Me Down” and “Lies”. The CD is great and if you don’t have your own copy yet, make plans to catch a show and buy one while you’re there; or you can hit up their MySpace page and find out how to get your hands on one. Just like P. Jones, I have to get to more fORMER shows.

Closing the night was some new friends of mine from Nashville. These crazy fun guys get on stage and while putting on their circus sideshows, they make this fist pumping hardcore music. They call themselves Elegant Monsters. I have only been to a couple of shows but I already know they’re going to be in the scene for a long time. Their chemistry on stage is incredible and contagious!

There is only a couple of songs posted on Elegant Monster’s MySpace page, so that’s even more reason to attend a live show. They’re always on the road in numerous states, so you can’t say they’re not around. Show them some love! Hit up their page and plan a road trip, you will not be disappointed.

What a fun night I had at The Warehouse! By the way, there was no Jerry Springer action which is all good; and as for the Animal House sequel, I don’t think anyone got too out of hand. For me, it was about catching up with old friends, getting to know new friends better, and meeting new people. I want to thank all those people for inviting me out and thanks to The Warehouse for hosting a rocking show. I will see you all on the scene!

Horns Up,
JB

jb@nashvillerock.net
www.myspace.com/jb35679 - Nashvillerock.net By JB


I was so impressed with The Rutledge; this is a venue made for the local music scene. I had heard great things about the place but hadn’t gotten to attend a show there until recently. It is specifically designed for bands and their fans; the stage is nice, the sound system is amazing, and the setup for the crowd is excellent. There is plenty of room to move around and not a bad seat in the house. The staff is welcoming and courteous. They even offer a live streaming web cast of the concerts. This night, viewers from Oregon and New York were part of the audience; and what a show they got, I was blown away!

First to the stage was The Golden Mean, a duo that has been jamming together in one form or another for over 20 years. Thom Witherow, vocals and guitar, and Matt Hallam, guitar and vocals, writes music with which anyone and everyone can associate. Their style can fit into so many genres; yet I would never dare to cheapen its existence by labeling it. I was absolutely in awe watching these two artists! I love nothing more than the intimacy of a guitar and singer, but these two take it to a new level. I was so inspired by their lyrics and zeal; they are completely genuine!

Their chemistry is powerful and so obvious in songs like “Powder Blue” and “Cap Gun Slinger”; the content is unrefined emotion. I hope to see this duo burn up the circuit; I honestly believe that Nashville will give them the love they long deserve. I personally can not wait to hear these guys again! If you get a chance to catch The Golden Mean, don’t miss out! After the show, introduce yourself and tell them what you think; they are also two of the most polite and pleasant men you will ever meet. Thank you, Thom and Matt, for your kindness; I look forward to seeing you again!

The night just kept getting better when The Royce hit the stage! They definitely showed me what I had missed at the Exit/In a few weeks prior. See, I reviewed a show where The Royce was the opening act; unfortunately, I was late arriving which resulted in only hearing one of their songs. I promised to make it up to them, and am I glad I did! The Royce is downright raw energy kicking this melodic heaviness fine tuned with some grooving madness. For real! They captivated me from beginning to end.

Paul Jenkins, vocals and guitar, quickly became one of my favorite local front men with his passionate performance and Dave Grohl style. Jaux King, guitar and backing vocals, is one of the most daring experimental guitarists; his pedal board is freakin’ unbelievable. Jon Sutherland, bass, is the cool cat holding down his side of the stage. Casey Kinnan, drums, kicked out the rhythm from behind that cymbal. The Royce mixed in a few covers with their awesome originals; their versions of the Beatle’s “Come Together” and Cash’s “Ring of Fire” were rock worthy. This band is built for longevity and I hope I’m there watching it happen! The Royce is my new guilty pleasure…now, all I need is their cd.

Closing the night was Elegant Monsters, which is Spencer Ezell, vocals; Matt Andersen, bass; John Brooks, guitar; Aaron James, guitar, and Brandon Frederking, drums. EM displays some the most hardcore energy in their performances. Ezell’s voice is powerful and his presence is dominating as a great front man. EM has undeniable chemistry which shines onstage with their silly antics and between song jabs; they really have a great time which makes for good entertainment. Their songs are universal and the music is solid; no, the music is incredible!

I fell in love with this band immediately! With appealing songs like “Stalker”, “Shine”, and “The Forgotten”, EM is quickly gathering a faithful following and hopefully a steady place in the local scene. They are staying busy on the road expanding their fan base in Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and beyond. If these guys come to your area, don’t miss out! I’m telling you, these guys are fun, talented, and never disappointing. I, personally, have a couple more show stops planned already, so I hope to see you all there!

What else can I say? I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent my night. I met some great new friends, reconnected with some I haven’t seen in a while, and heard some awesome music. Thanks to The Royce for inviting me out; thanks to everyone else for a great time! I hope to see you all soon. Check out The Golden Mean…it’s truly music for everyone. If it’s some heavy rock you need…The Royce and Elegant Monsters will give you the fix. If you haven’t been to The Rutledge…get there, it’s a killer venue. In the meantime, check out their MySpace pages via mine; they’re all on my friends list!

Until next time, support your local music scene!
Horns Up,
JB

jb@nashvillerock.net
www.myspace.net/jb35679 - Nashvillerock.net By JB


Discography

Life After Tomorrow - 2008

Current Airplay:
93.3 WTPT-FM The New Rock 933 - Greenville, SC
102.7 WCPZ-FM Mix 102.7 - Cincinnati, OH
102.9 WBUZ-FM The Buzz - Nashville, TN
106.3 WQBZ-FM The Rock Station - Macon, GA

Photos

Bio

For those needing a bio, here>>>>>>>> Here Lies "The Bio" R.I.P. 19??-2008 it is said that "the Bio" was an extended paragraph of information that was once used to describe a little bit about someone, before it was run into dirt-filled pile of obscurity by more interesting things like Wrestling, In Touch Magazine, and Kim Kardashian. some say the Bio was an easy way to inject favorable opinion and fancy wordplay about the subject, in order to make said subject seem more interesting than they probably are/were (i.e. using a phrase like "_________ play with the intensity of a thousand semen-filled bulls, unleashed on the night" or "_________ formed in the fall of '97 and the music industry hasn't ever been the same since"). Most Bios were useful back when radio stations still mattered in breaking an artist, where the DJ would pull up the current Bio on an artist that would be dropping by the station for an interview, just to learn something about them to talk about on the air. (i.e. when a DJ says to an artist in an on-air interview "so Butch Walker... tell us how you got that band name" or "so your from Atlanta... tell us a little bit about that..."). the Bio died a sudden death with the advent of Wikipedia, a website that basically will tell your life story, no matter what you fabricate in a Bio to impress people. R.I.P. to "The Bio" and it will be remembered as a pioneer to many on the information filled highway of the entertainment world. --------- written by Butch Walker