One Word Song
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One Word Song

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


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Posted on 07/24/08 by Susan Frances

Who ever said there is a shortage of rock bands has closed their eyes to New Jersey’s own One Word Song. The trio, which began when lead singer/guitarist Marquis McMichael let his heart lead the way to forming One Word Song in 2002, has released one EP to their name entitled The Silence. But on May 24, 2008, the band released their debut full-length album, I Can’t Be Trusted which is being sold at SnoCap on their Myspace page. The band’s nu-metal rivets are as steely as Breaking Benjamin and their prog rock bolts show reflections of Three Days Grace and Disturbed. Their style of rock is energizing and even without a label backing their recording, the songs are perfectly polished to a Finger Eleven gleam. It’s the kind of album that Aerosmith would make if they were 25 years younger.

The soft rock lows and hard rock flourishes along “Luca” are laced with attractive guitar hooks from McMichael, as bassist Jonathan Wohl and drummer Johnny “Rock” Roccesano pilot the rhythmic kicks. McMichael’s register is reminiscent of the melodic pitch of Trapt’s lead singer Chris Brown, staying afloat the intensity that builds and wanes along in the movements. The racing phrases rise and dissipate along “Green” producing nu-metal tinged storms which forge brilliant archways in the guitar chords. The fiery thrusts and blazes that burn from the guitar cuts of “Blueberry Pancakes” have a melodic pitch in their power rock soars as McMichael’s vocals clutch onto the smoldering chords. “King of the World” is one of those songs that would make a really good signature piece for One Word Song. The hard rock molds that shape the guitar lines and rhythmic tremors are fiercely catchy with McMichael’s vocals interlacing with the heated coils and lyrics being shouted out, “If I was king of the world/ Would it matter at all to you.”

The track “Sundress” is another stellar piece with nicely placed pick slides whose careens are sweet and silky orchestral strings calibrated to the prog rock pistons. The episodes of slow downs and accelerations are funneled nicely and display the band’s nu-metal chops prodigiously as the lyrics reveal an internal struggle, “I’ve fallen under scarlet spells / You’ve become an obsession / Compelled to scrape you from my dreams / But I won’t let it happen / I’m left here screaming out / You are the only thing keeping me here.” Though the words could be reflections about a private relationship, they could also describe the internal struggle that the band speaks about on their website regarding whether or not they should keep going as a band. Support from the music industry has not come easily for One Word Song, which is a sad commentary on the judgment of the people who are running the industry.

One Word Song was dubbed by McMichael who came up with the name a few years ago. He told New Jersey University Gothic Times recently, “It basically means it's a concept and all music; all songs are moods, expressions of moods and if you strip away all the extra stuff about a song it's left with one central theme or mood and that can be the one word of the song. So some songs have love, hate, anger, aggression, whatever, but they can all be stripped down to one word, so they're all one word songs.”

It’s a perfectly catchy name based on a concept that has never been used before by another band, and the band’s music is charted using rock ideals, so what’s the delay in bringing One Word Song’s music to the public? I couldn’t tell you, but I thank the little bird who whispered this band’s name in’s ear.

Recommended if you like:
Breaking Benjamin, Trapt, Disturbed, Finger Eleven, Three Days Grace


Summer EP 2010 (2010)

I Can't Be Trusted (2008)
1. Sundress
2. Time Stood Still
3. Luca
4. King of the World
5. A Sunset's More Beautiful When You're Dying
6. Blueberry Pancakes
7. The Only Way
8. Green
9. Katie
10. Lies
11. I Can't Be Trusted
12. Built to Last



One Word Song is the solo-project of Marquis McMichael, based out of NYC outer-borough Jersey City, New Jersey. Marquis is the rare breed of talents that plays nearly every instrument on his records as well as co-produces them. One Word Song's live shows are an energetic, uplifting and emotionally charged affair featuring a full band taking on the songs and bringing new life to their studio forms. Marquis' music has unique emotional qualities that has created a loyal and rabid following in the New York/New Jersey pop rock scene.

In 2010, OWS has been writing and recording an EP with producer Jesse Cannon (Saves the Day, Head Automatica, The Cure). Marquis wrote the lead-off track, "Get Famous", as "A rebel yell to all of the people out there pursuing their dreams. It's a song about empowering yourself to create the life you really want."

On the dance pop track "Animal", Marquis drew inspiration from the songs he hears DJed at the clubs he frequents in NYC. "That song was written for the party animal in us all." He adds, "And the lyrics really tug at your heart strings, ya know?"