The Playback
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The Playback

Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Playback's 2 Song Demo"

By Cale Sauter

This is the point where I ask the reader to flashback to some nondescript moment last fall. Are you there? Good. I, the reviewer of relative Lansing newcomers the Playback’s recently recorded a two-song demo was passing the aimless hours at work by lurking various internet gossiping/social-reject sites for some interesting ways to pass the hours that so inconveniently fall between 9am and 5pm. The reviewer stumbles upon an mp3 --a nugget if you will with the disclaimer that it was recorded in a Lansing basement in shoddy conditions, at best. Out of all of the shoddily recorded mp3’s this reviewer stumbles onto on this day, this one stands out—angular, thick, energetic…instant gratification (aside from the lack of vocals at the time). Reviewer makes note to self to check out this band when they are ready to play out and release music.

Flash forward to several months ago. The reviewer finds the band ready to perform live and invites them to play a show at his house. The show has a disappointing turnout and the band professes an undying love for Jamaica’s favorite alcoholic import, Red Stripe. Being the only local and playing last, they play a noticeably soused, mediocre set. Reviewer thinks to self, “this band has potential, they just need time and some initiative to flesh out their ideas and they could really be something.”

This brings us up to date. This is when the reviewer finds the band’s professionally recorded two-song demo in his mailbox for review. Excited to hear what direction this band has taken, he plays it through several times. The results are promising, if not still a bit mixed. This band is talented, but you get the feeling that they are unaware of the manner in which they are talented. For instance, the first song, ‘Give Up Now,’ has the potential to be just about the catchiest piece of hard rock you could ever hope to hear. It’s as if the whole song is shout-along-chorus-gratification…or rather if it were, most listeners wouldn’t mind. However, where the Playback gets stuck is in focusing on their obvious musical talents. ‘Give Up Now’ features a number of different parts and changes that it could serve to be cut in favor of a more concise, catchy tune. Different rules apply to different bands, and if this one weren’t so damned catchy, I’d let them get away with being more progressive. That’s not to say either of the songs on the disc are bad, they just run a tad long and have similar structures.

The second track, ‘London After Dark,’ presents the band in an almost identical manner to the first track. It makes you think that if this band could be very successful on a full-length if they presented a couple songs like the two on the demo, but sandwiched in-between several songs that were straight-to-the-point, two-and-half, or three minute rockers, along with a few that indulge in the Playback’s more creative side…possibly even featuring no verse or chorus, just a piece that runs through seven different parts and never references anything prior. This band has the potential to go in either direction and this demo has left me with an acute interest in monitoring which direction they choose.


2005: Gun Lad - Two songs recorded at AFR Studios for booking purposes.

Both songs are available for streaming on Myspace and PureVolume:

Both songs can also be heard on the following radio stations:
888.9 The Impact, Michigan State University radio, on The Basement.
Say Hy Radio, an internet radio station.



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