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CD REVIEW: Randori- Trip
By Jon Stewart - 08/25/06

Randori is not a bunch of teenagers that formed a band because they couldn’t get dates on Saturday night. The team of Jason Pascoe and Mike Ian are thoughtful, detail-attentive songwriters that have conceived a CD of twelve fully-realized, mature tunes that don’t overly intellectualize the drama of living life to its fullest. The band’s Japanese-derived name refers to dealing with chaos and we get splendiferous examples from each song.

The craftsmanship is apparent from the first song and continues throughout, exhibiting artful melancholy within each melody. Opening the CD is “Surprise Me”, a musically brilliant piece (with judicious use of a wah-wah peddle) that laments the inability to recognize a true love.

The second track “Wonderful You” begins a Beatlesque rummaging through emotions that will be an element Randori uses frequently in this album. The third track, “Nowhere To Hide”, is a beautifully haunting composition followed by an acoustic-driven “Your Life” with lyrics that contemplates things like “Inside you are hollow, the damage is done And this is your world…”.

“I Think You Should Know” and “Don’t Waste My Time” are odes to lovers that aren’t worth the time spent on them and are my two favorite songs on the CD. The remaining songs are elegant compositions that represent dogged pursuit of answers to life’s difficult questions.

I wish I’d seen a more raw song or two and the mix on the drummer was missing the fully-folded approach you see on a Stones album, but these are minor quibbles. A tour of Japan might also afford the band the time to write songs from a fresh perspective and perhaps re-introduce the chaos resolution so clearly sought by the band.

Grade: A-
- Muses Muse

"Pressplay Randori Review"

by Rachel Perry

Randori Ok, brace yourselves; we ’ re going to give a compliment that we don ’ t hand out very often. Jersey pop-rock band Randori not only has a refreshingly interesting sound — they also have intelligent, thoughtful lyrics to match. Let ’ s face it; it ’ s not often that you hear a band these days that really puts
lot of thought into the words of a song — instead, it ’ s all about what ’ s catchy and sounds good. But Randori? Well, they manage to pen lyrics with depth and maintain that catchy vibe at the same time. Their music is soothing and mellow, but somehow it still manages to hold a satisfying dose of edgy
too. Jason Pascoe provides the main vocals, with Mike Ian on lead guitar, Pete Wilkins on bass, Johnny Rock on guitar, and Tony Iannuzzi on drums. The band ’ s debut CD Trip is out now and it ’ s already received excellent reviews from critics. Hear some songs from the album on their MySpace page: www.myspace.com/randorimusic, or read more about Randori at www.randorimusic.com. - Play Philly

"-Jim Foley - Former A&R Director, Columbia/Sony Records"

“My favorite band…ever.  They masterfully skirt the boundaries of mainstream.  Major label mega-success is inevitable.” - Randori

"- Jacky Bam Bam - 94.1 FREE FM on air personality"

“A hell of a Rock ‘n’ Roll ride. This stuff rocks!” - Randori

"-Joe Chielli - Photographer / Church Street Studios LLC"

"When I first listened to the music on the Randori CD it reminded me of my college days, the days of exploration, rebellion, and optimism that was in the blood of creative young people in the late 1960's. But at the same time the music held a quality of ‘now’. It made sense. It felt right for the craziness, the anxiety, the retreat from reality into virtual reality that seems to characterize the modern world. The music of Randori is like a trip through time.” - Randori

"-Kenny Johnston - Grammy winning Recording Engineer / Lauryn Hill"

“I've known Jason and Mike for many years and they’ve grown into the superstars that they were meant to be. One of the great things about this project is that it’s so rich with influences spanning decades of music. The lyrics touch home. I feel everybody will be able to relate to them.” - Randori

"-Adam Ayan - Grammy Winning Mastering Engineer / Gateway Mastering"

“Randori's catchy melodies combined with driving guitar rhythms make for great rock music!" - Randori

"-Gus Skinas - Director of Super Audio Center / Boulder, Colorado"

“Mike from Randori sent me the final mixes to listen to in our Boulder studio and I couldn't help but play them over and over again. It really rocks! I made a CD for myself so I could listen to it in my car, but my daughter made off with it.  Unfortunately she made copies for her friends and now there are probably copies all over Boulder. (sorry Mike...) That's a true story...

I've been working mostly with Super Audio CD projects produced by well, very well established engineers and producers in our Boulder studio.  The Randori project came through here and I was amazed to find out that they produced the record on their own. It's quite excellent and holds up well against other projects that have come through here." - Randori

"-Romeo L. King - MusicPlus/Critic, Ambiance Fashion Magazine"

"There is art that you can see in pictures or photos when you go to a gallery. There is art in food that you can taste at a restaurant or a bistro. You may even call a director an artist painting moving pictures for everyone to see. Well, to the music industry, this group epitomizes the word 'Artist' with catchy i-pod tunes, or sultry songs about lost love. Or you’ll find yourself singing along or nodding your head to their strong rhythmic beats. Before you know it, every song on this album will have you on an emotional roller coaster waiting for the next drop. Talk about ‘ART’, this is ART. That you can feel, taste and hear.” - Randori

"-Alan “OB” O’Brien - East Coast Bassist and Heavy Heat Recording artist"

“I listened to your songs and I am happy to say that your music is some of the best music - not just new stuff - that I have heard in a LONG time. Your songs are well constructed, recorded professionally, mixed with the right amount of polish while still leaving the "grit" in there, and that's hard to do - nice job. Music - excellent, Lyrics - outstanding! Nice "Whole Package" approach to the tunes. You will be appreciated for your own "sound" that you have come up with. I hear a lot of influences in there, we can't help that. We all have 'em - but you have a unique and original quality to your music and at the same time it is comfortable to the listener, as if one has "heard it before!". I only mean that in a totally positive way! Few groups can or have done that. I won't ramble on any more - just good, solid tunes man!” - Randori


Randori "TRIP" 2007



Rock laced with a late 60's swirl…..Wanna take a ride?
RANDORI – “Trip”

Something has been missing. And with the album, “Trip”, that which was lost, or at least in the very shortest of musical supply, has been found. A rediscovery of guitar-driven hard rock infused with melodies seldom heard since the “REVOLVER” days. An ambitious, modern blend of style and substance…sprawling, yet intimate, with a restrained fragile subtext. Angst expressed in honest, age-old rock terrain for a fresh era. Randori’s music is designed to transport, wake you up, then make you dream. With a creative heavy hand, the band loudly proclaims that anything lost can be found again. And to hear it is to believe it.

Randori, the brainchild of New Jersey natives, vocalist/songwriter, Jason Pascoe, and multi-instrumentalist/writer, Mike Ian, was formed in 2003. Drawing from extensive, combined club and studio backgrounds, distilling elements of the great Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneers, they snake through rock riffs tinged with Alternative and classic Brit Pop…influences they learned first hand. Pascoe ran some hole-in-the-wall glam and punk clubs in the Philly area (“dives”, which rent and overhead eventually killed off), while Ian helmed engineering and production at a state of the art recording studio. With bands constantly coming & going…live and in-studio…the two decided to form their own.

Randori’s sound is one of sparkling pop melodicism. There’s an ability to fuse the comfortable “I’ve heard that before” feeling with unique songs and arrangements that, at times, vibrate and startle. Clever yet deceptively simple musical layers present the listener with immediacy and something new to discover with each listen. (“There is more here than meets the ear”; Kenny Johnston, Grammy-winning engineer, Lauryn Hill/“Miseducation”.) Lyrically, there’s a sense of loss and dislocation; backstories dramatic enough to overwhelm the music, but they don’t. The forlorn melodies intertwined with melancholy somehow leave the listener satisfied. Frailties are captured dead-on, yet with a fleet ease we welcome. Epic rants are delivered with the quietude of Pascoe’s vocals.

The point is made effectively by the standout anthemic track, “Your Life”. It’s the realization that we are all too aware of the limited time we have to enjoy this life. Be present, now, and for the moment. Then see what you leave behind “Before we fade away…”. From the melodic “Wonderful You”, a smoothly textured, neo-traditional “Trip-60’s” rock tribute, to the drop-dead “Surprise Me” track, with an irresistible, sly hook that magnifies the anxiety and apprehension that lurk in any sentient person. From the organic, spontaneous “I Think You Should Know”, to the “turn off your mind” dreamscape of “Surface”, where risky intimacy flows through several moods. The “Trip” album shows Randori armed to the hilt with an arsenal of front and center showstoppers- - Pascoe and Ian stretch their vision, passion and commitment.

Randori’s music from “Trip” receives key exposure on MTV’s “Laguna Beach”, “Next” and “The Hills”, and additional network, cable and internet programming has been licensed. Performance videos are on various sites, and digital song sales (e.g. iTunes) are increasing. The fan base includes a large mailing list and high internet interest (CD and merchandise sales, and preview streaming at sites including the official Randori website, and their indie label, Voidfree). Airplay is growing, including Philadelphia’s WMMR & WYSP, and Delaware’s WSTW, with coordinated retail sales. In addition, national airplay from WTHX HD Chicago, WTOP HD Washington, WMVN HD St. Louis, WKSL HD St. Lake City as well as KPKX HD in Phoenix have been quick to jump on select tracks from “Trip” adding even more exposure to Randori’s growing fanbase.

A regional tour supports the “Trip” debut CD (mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering), with the full band. The additional members, new and seasoned, top off and round out the sound. It remains no bulkier or less direct than before. They’ve done a number of well received, well reviewed northeast and mid-Atlantic venues. Club headliners and concert openers. A fan base includes a large mailing list and high internet interest (CD & merchandise sales, and preview streaming at several sites including the official Randori website.) And key airplay & retail sales have begun for the indie CD (Voidfree.) Randori, with Pascoe on lead vocals, and Ian on lead guitar, are now energized with Atlanta native, Peter Wilkins, for bass, Philadelphian, Tony Iannuzzi, for drums, and second guitarist, Johnny Rock. (Wilkins and Iannuzzi were the rhythm section for several collectives, which drops in a new squib of color for Randori.) The live show captures & enhances the CD experience. Now it all comes together in a 5-guys-in-a-rock-band way.

With “Trip”, Randori has proven to have “The incendiary potential to set the r