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Silverdale, Washington, United States | SELF

Silverdale, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of 'Cold Equations' by Sasha M. Lee"

Libretto is a band from Kitsap County (Bremerton), WA that began as a five piece and is currently down to three. Their second album, Cold Equations, is an interesting and diverse blend of pop, rock, and alternative, sonically spanning quite a broad range of contemporary styles.

The leadoff track, “Atoms,” perhaps best summarizes the unusual approach and instrumentation of the album: a meandering and wandering experimental epic that encapsulates a dizzying number of influences. With crunching, ambient sounds, the track quickly gives away to a loud rock guitar riff and singer Tim Cox's consistent singing style, which is marked by ethereal vocals alternating between a haunting, tentative lower register and a high-reaching, soaring falsetto with hints of vibrato. Paying homage to Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy's iconic approach, from his unique, arpeggiations and large octave jumps in melody lines, with phrasing that esoterically plays off the instrumentation, or the unique tonal quality of Incubus' Brandon Boyd, Cox makes his vocal references clear. "Atoms," like many tracks on the album, features several instrumental side-steps, including driving, Rage Against the Machine-esque distorted passages culminating in frenetic bursts of heavy-shredding electric guitar and frenzied drumming. Clocking in at over five minutes and avoiding classic song composition in favor of a more loose structure, the song certainly eschews standard pop arrangements.

“Euphoria” also takes an askew approach, beginning with a lilting piano intro and hesitantly crooning vocals, and then suddenly embarks on an entirely different musical line of instrumental investigation. Shocking the system, “Euphoria” lurches away from its original musical subject into a heavy passage filled to bursting with extremely distorted, heavy-handed guitars. Perhaps hinting that euphoria is fleeting, the song finishes with a bombastic outro, never to return to the musical theme introduced in the beginning.

“I Will Give You Blood to Drink” uses a plinking children's chime to interesting new ends, pairing the innocent, soothing sounds with oppositional, unrelated lyrics of giving blood to drink. "Sample of Man Screaming" makes similar attempts at evil overtures from an early 90's alt-rock standpoint, with Cox warbling, "I am devilish….I am thoughtfully dark….I am doing harm." "Proof" then gives some hint to the origins of the band's Italian, classical inflected name. Libretto, meaning the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio and cantata, musical, and/or ballet, is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata. "Proof" perhaps nods its head to more classical 17th or 18th century music, from the metal-inflected minor arpeggio riff that continues to fade in and out throughout the song, and multi-part, operatic choral parts. What takes it away from traditional classical music, however, is its prominent use of melancholic ambient down tempo sections that attempt to beguile and haunt.

"Bright Blue Sky" is interesting in that it begins with an almost noise/metal/punk rock intro that forces listeners to endure an in-and-out-of tune, heavily feed-backing guitar and blasting, wild, loud, avant-garde drumming, before introducing another minor arpeggio guitar theme. In an era where slick studio production, classic song structure, carefully-crafted hooks, catchy choruses, pitch-perfect vocal delivery and harmonies are king, Libretto's live-sounding recorded romp through a decade of alternative styles is brave in its disregard for popular music's norms. Because of its diversity, it is at times difficult to pinpoint one particular style for Libretto, but perhaps its wild-eyed stare at such a huge range of other band's musical contributions and alternative and rock sonic styles is its best selling point.

Review by Sasha M. Lee Rating: 3 stars (out of 5) - Ariel Publicity


Cold Equations - 2009 (digital release)
1. Atoms
2. Euphoria
3. Dead Stare
4. Sample of Man Screaming
5. Arsenic
6. Sanctuary
7. Letters from the Earth
8. Proof
9. Noises
10. The Great and Powerful
11. Filter Out
12. Bright Blue Sky
13. I Will Give You Blood to Drink
14. Vertigo

Figurehead - 2006 (digital release, physical release)
1. An Introduction...
2. Take Your Place
3. Stranger
4. Facade
5. Cold Enough to Freeze
6. Let the Storm Break Loose
7. Unity in Numbers
8. Prescription
9. Empty Shell
10. Optimistic State
11. The Answer
12. In Conclusion...
13. Memento Mori

Tracks available at Libretto's myspace and at



Libretto has played at, The House(Bremerton), The Manette Saloon (Bremerton), South Pacific (Bremerton), Common Grounds Coffee House (Burlington), The Charleston (Bremerton), Studio 7 (Seattle), The Central Saloon (Seattle), The Mix (Seattle), The High Dive (Seattle), and El Corazon (Seattle). We've also played a Cancer Benefit show at Raab Park (Poulsbo).

Common PR for shows involves:
- Permanent flyers at the local mall/local businesses/coffee shops/telephone poles
- Constant online advertisement (myspace, facebook, purevolume)
- Libretto's E-mail list

We have performed along side bands such as, Garage Voice, Jupiter Mining Corp., Ramona Come Closer, Monkey's With Cleavers, Lower Lights Burning, and Megasapien. When we recorded our debut we worked with engineer/mixing/mastering guru 'Mark Lantsberger.' We've also worked with Josh Kennedy of Big Mouth Music (local promoting-booking company). We recorded our second album in the first week of April '09 and released it digitally in August.