Ember Coast
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Ember Coast

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The best kept secret in music


"Ember Coast "From the Mood Room"(2003)"

Ember Coast purveys a brand of music which is undoubtedly supposed to be called "emo," but that word means so close to nothing these days that hereafter I am censoring it. Ember Coast's *** influences are as clear in the alternately pretty and crunchy guitars as they are in singer Sean Brennan's Jeremy Enigk-influenced singing, and if you passionately hate that sort of thing, you're probably better off skipping this one.

For those who don't mind a little Sunny Day Real Estate once in a while, it's worth noting that things aren't nearly that straightforward. For one, the lyrics are a little more positive and introspective than the usual "you break my heart and I hope you die" sort of thing that Brand New and their ilk have taught us to expect. For another, by the end of the first track the guitarists have already unleashed a wah pedal solo, and the second track features reverb-drenched barre chords and a brief lick in a guitar texture worthy of David Gilmour's best. The third song, "Say Anything," changes direction a bit, picking up the pace a few notches and adding a little menace to the vocals. The effect is enhanced by the rougher production, giving the song a welcome unstable feel.

Brennan manages to suggest mood changes in his singing, rather than resorting to screaming unintelligibly to convey anger, lending maturity to "You're the first to forget and the last to relate" and delicacy to "Rest assured your eyes ignite this place/I'm electrified by everything you say." His voice carries more than a few effects on it, but it's more of an intentional statement than a producer's attempt to clean up loose singing.

The music pairs with it nicely. When it's hard, it rocks as well as anyone, and when it settles into the traditional plucked chords and slow melodies, it's as poignant as it can be. The drums are as important to this dynamic as anything else, and they range freely from gentle tapping to vicious pounding.

The album's only real shortcoming is an unfortunate lack of hooks; while the songs are effective and the arrangements are varied enough to keep you interested, truly memorable melodies are few and far between. This is certainly not enough to mar the record's dramatic impact: "untied" features a chorus you won't easily forget, and "red door blue collar" has enough powerful moments to keep you coming back.

by Jason C. Jones (Rating: 7/10) - inyourear cd reviews

"Ember Coast "From the Mood Room" (2003)"

With musical savvy that belies their youthful ages, the members of Ember Coast have made a big splash on the local scene in a very short time. From the Mood Room, with rocking tunes that showcase equal parts power and melody, shows why. Much of the band's strength comes from the interplay of guitarists Nate Hardy and Nick Westby, which ranges from delicate to distorted, while singer Sean Brennan's bright, clear voice sits nicely on top. B+

Get Out
March 6, 2003 - "Get Out" Magazine

"Ember Coast looks 'Up' with sophomore CD(2005)"

When Ember Coast formed four years ago, the East Valley band quickly became recognized for its large draws at shows. But ever since national punk/emo rockers Coheed and Cambria blew up last year, the group is becoming known for its singer's similar vocal style to Coheed's frontman.
The group hears the comparisons all the time, says Ember Coast lead singer Sean Brennan.

“I didn't even really know who they were until someone came up to me and they were like, 'You have a very similar vocal range as the guy from Coheed and Cambria,’” he says.

‘‘So I went out and bought the record, and I don't think so. When I listen to myself, I'm very self-critical, and I don't even really like my own voice. If that's what people say, then that's awesome. They're a great band!’’

“When people compare Sean to (Coheed's singer), I'm like, 'Hell, yeah,' but people compare Sean to Rush's Geddy Lee,’’ drummer Ethan Pajak said. “I guess it's better than getting compared to Nickelback."

Ember Coast, which also includes cousins Nate Hardy (bass) and Jason Hardy (guitar), will release their sophomore album, “Up” — the follow-up to 2003's “From the Mood Room” — on Saturday. The album's title holds many meanings for the band, Brennan says.

“It had a lot to do with the positions we were in and how far we've evolved,’’ he explains of the pop-rock album, which deals with relationships, love, loss and lust. “We've gone a long way. We're always moving up together. ... We're always up late, too. We're always up working hard. We never sleep.’’

“We've just evolved so much together as writers,’’ Pajak adds. “Our writing is really strong right now. We're all on the same wavelength. We're very unified. We're very strong.’’

But it wasn't always like that, Pajak said. In fact, the group took a brief hiatus after parting ways with guitarist Nick Westby in November 2003.

“We made it through that, and that was part of 'Up,' ’’ he says. “This band has had our struggles. We've had our stupid things to go through and we've always made it through. We've always remained best friends and just been 'up.' There's no better way to put it.’’ Instead of replacing Westby, the group decided to continue on as a quartet.

“I don't think Ember Coast would be Ember Coast with someone else,’’ Pajak says.

The band made some new friends when it opened for the Presidents of the United States of America last month.

“Those are the nicest guys I've ever met,’’ Pajak says. “They're really cool. They came to Jason's house after the show and hung out.’’

Like their new friends, the band has discovered another outlet to help them get their music heard: The Internet.

“The Internet campaign has made a huge difference,’’ Brennan says. “I have people coming up to me all the time now saying that they heard our music through some Web site. It's nice to see some new people at the shows.’’

“The Internet is so strong,’’ Pajak says.“You look at Bright Eyes, and he's huge. He opened up for Bruce Springsteen, and he's not even on a major (label) yet. . ..

‘‘It's cool to see the exposure on something like MySpace or Pure Volume. I go on there all the time just to look what our numbers are. It's cool when you see '53 plays today.' Fifty-three people heard us. Without the Internet, they would have never heard us.’’

Ember Coast CD release party
With: Before Braille, Batter the Drag, Skybox
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Clubhouse, 1320 E. Broadway Road, Tempe
How much: $10, all ages
Info: (480) 968-3238 and www.embercoast.com

Get Out
April 14th, 2005 - Get Out

"Ember Coast"

It's nice to finally hear a local band living up to its hype. With Up, Ember Coast has proven it has what it takes to play with the nationals. The disc kicks off with the catchiest and most radio-friendly "On My Mark." Vocalist Sean Brennan uses breath control to add rhythm and grab the listener's attention, and the band demonstrates a good grasp of melody and the art of writing catchy hooks. "Waking Time at Night" feels like the most honest song on Up. The music coupled with the lyrical content impresses the tune with emotional gravity. Ember Coast hands you the wrench and lets you twist your stomach into knots. Plus, it has a bitchin' guitar solo. Though the band does have a few tracks with some ambiance � la Cooper Temple Clause, it has the energy of the Ataris. Ember Coast is gearing up to be the next Saves the Day.

Review of "UP" (2005) by:

Chelsea Ide
Phoenix New Times
Published: Thursday, April 14, 2005 - The Phoenix New Times

"Sophomore Success-Locals Ember Coast set to release a quality second album(2005)"

Sophomore albums are always a tricky thing to get past. Some bands offer up more of the same while others simply get crushed by the pressure to outdo their initial effort.

Ember Coast's second album Up showcases the growth of this band (impressive, as this is their fourth year together) and offers a mixture of crunchy rock songs and quieter reflective songs.

"Mood Room was a compilation of songs we wrote six months into the band," said guitarist Nate Hardy. "We wanted to make this album more of a complete picture with slow songs, rock songs. It's a mix of an album we'd like to hear."

If that's the case, then the boys have pretty good taste in music.

The track "Waking Time of Night" shows how the band has grown musically and lyrically. One of the criticisms on their first album was that it lacked any memorable songs. Apparently Hardy and lead singer Sean Brennan took note of that. Or maybe it was the gift of an organ that helped them out.

"We wrote 'Waking Time of Night' because Sean got this organ from his grandmother," Hardy said. "And we said, 'What the hell, we should write a song with it.' It's really one of my favorites to play live."

The band has been touring the local music scene for a while and will be shopping around at labels with the release of Up. Until they make it big, they will still be working their part-time jobs to pay the bills. For Hardy, that means selling computer training over the phone.

"It's sucking the life out of me," Hardy said. "But it's not the worst job I've had. I once worked in the seafood department at Wal-Mart. For my first customer I had to grab a lobster out of the tank and it got away from me."

Ember Coast
CD Release Show
The Clubhouse, 1320 E. Broadway Road, Tempe
Saturday, April 16, 7 p.m.

Review of "UP" (2005) by:

by Eddie Shoebang
April 14, 2005
- The AZ College Times

"Top 50 local rock songs (2005)"

50. �Media Control,� by Ember Coast (2005): An incredibly catchy outing from alt-poppers Ember Coast, complete with piano and singer Sean Brennan's Michael Quercio-esque high vocals.

Rolling Stone magazine recently came up with a list of the greatest rock songs of all time, not surprisingly giving their own publication a plug by selecting Bob Dylan's �Like a Rolling Stone� for the top slot.

We at Get Out put our heads together and � with a little help from our friend, Arizona music historian John Dixon � came up with a list of the Top 50 rock songs by bands that came to fame in the Valley, and a Top 10 list of songs by artists with local ties.

Voted "50 Top Local Rock Songs of Last 10 yrs." by

CHRIS HANSEN ORF (and panel)

Get Out
Published: July 7, 2005
- Get Out


June 6, 2005
By Anthony Madden, Todd Greenberg and jenna zizzo

Ember coast
If you�re searching for a local band with an addictively catchy sound yet aren�t pop sellouts, look no further than Ember Coast. Their newest CD, UP, was released recently and features infectiously foot-tapping tunes such as �On My Mark� and �The Alarmist.� The four bandmates, Nate Hardy (lead guitar, electric piano), Jason Hardy (bass, vocals, piano), Sean Brennan (lead vocals, guitar, piano) and Ethan Pajak (drums, percussion), use piano-infused melodies to create an authentic rock sound. The band�s musical influences are apparent, as there is a Beatles-meets-Foo Fighters vibe going on. The sound is at times heavy, at times melodic, but always a good listen. If you want to hear Ember Coast for yourself, you can catch them at The Clubhouse June 23 with 30 Seconds to Mars.
Golden Boys. www.embercoast.com

Review of "UP" (2005) by:

Anthony Madden, Todd Greenberg and jenna zizzo
944 Magazine
Published: June 6, 2005
- 944 Magazine


•"Self-titled"-EP (2002)
•"From the Mood Room"-First full length album(2002)
•"UP"-Second full length album(2005)
•Continual airplay on several Arizona radio stations


Feeling a bit camera shy


•A melodic rock band from Tempe, Arizona
•Formed in 2001
•First EP, self titled (2002)
•First full length album, “From the Mood Room” (2003)
•Second full length album, “Up” (2005)
•All songs written by Ember Coast
•All recordings self produced and self funded
•Developed and marketed several lines of merchandise
•Booked and played hundreds of shows locally and nationally
•Established a reputation for having one of Arizona’s largest fan bases
•Played shows with many well known and major label artists including, The Presidents of the United States of America, Ben Kweller, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Dashboard Confessional.
•Booked and played two national tours
•Constant regional touring
•Continual airplay on several Arizona radio stations