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"Shortcut to thinking Review"

There has been a thinness recently of quality hard rock recordings in the area. The latest release by Totemsoul is a welcome sight toward rectifying that situation. The trio from Russellville, self-described as a combination of alt rock, hard rock, blues, and old school metal, have hit upon a satisfying 12-track disc with Shortcut to Thinking on Electric Church Records.
Powerful? Sure. But along with the chug of guitars and the thunder of the rhythm section, Totemsoul is downright musical in its brand of hard rock that sticks in your head. Bold yet melodic vocal lines and an enthralling sense of dynamics take the power into a more memorable and quite listenable territory. “Leave Me Be,” for example, rides the line between restraint and roar and always seems to jump on the right side of the line at the right time. “The Way” breaks down from intensity to a spacious block percussion section and rebuilds to intense.
Asked how the group’s sense of dynamics came about, guitarist/vocalist Mac Steven told the Amplifier that there’s no set approach. “The arrangements flow with what the mood is supposed to set. It just comes out,” said Steven. “There isn’t a formula or set way that I write songs. I just do it. I write what I feel.”
There are no player credits listed on Shortcut to Thinking, so it is assumed that the lineup of Totemsoul – Mac Steven (guitar, vocals), Travis Wilson (bass), and Jon Postins (drums) – were the only performers on the disc. No studio was listed on the 12 track, nearly 41 minute release.
Steven’s muscular singing drives the songs, and it combines with the melodic songwriting sense to command attention. He gets the listener from the flat-out a capella start of opener “Right Today,” one of the album’s highlight tracks. Meaty vocal hooks help elevate that song and the anguished “For What It’s Worth” along with strong guitar riffing. “Didn’t Think So” grabs by the throat, while “Place in the World” wins with an appealing something-is-better-than-my-job message and “29 Reasons to Run” has a similar upbeat catchiness. Postins and Wilson are strong where they need to be and execute the delicate counterpoints to great effect.
Part of the reason the songs on Shortcut to Thinking connect is probably in the origins. Mac Steven told of how certain songs came about from things that happened to him or that he experienced. “Right Today” came from an argument with an ex-girlfriend so heated that he couldn’t make what he said come out right, and “Place in the World” came out of his frustrations with his day job at the time. Songs with such real world origins resonate more strongly with the listener.
Not only is Shortcut to Thinking a very good hard rock disc, but it has a ridiculously low $7 price tag at the Totemsoul website Other merchandise including t-shirts and ringtones are available as well. Totemsoul will appear July 12 at the Allen County Fairgrounds, the only area appearance in the next two months or so that takes them to Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Alabama, and Florida. For more information, visit their website or - Don Thomason from Amplifier Magazine

"MYSPACE REVIEW - Totemsoul"

TOTEMSOUL has a very killer myspace page. It has everyting any fan would want and everything that every other band should have on ther page. They have a shopping cart link for their CD. You can view their EPK, you can even play a virtual drum kit! They have links to all the radio stations nation wide that play there stuff which is very impressive which begs the question, Why havent I heard morre of these guys?

They have a lot more things on their page that are great. Like videos and even their own damn ringtones! Last I checked they were 389 on the but the day is still young for them. They also have a pretty big tour they are doing right now it looks like. They are hitting KY, TN, IL, MS, OH, FL, AL, NY, MI, and NV. It start july 1st and goes through September 16th.

Oh yeah. I forgot. THEY PLAY MUSIC TOO! The songs on their page are first downloadable, which is always great to do. And second there music is very easy to listen to. It crosses genres a little bit. Very radio friendly. The tracks are off their album shortcut to thinking put out by minus 1 records. Before and after is a great track. Their songs are very catchy. I can compare to bands like nirvana to nickelback to a lot of others but I wont. just because they seem to have the business side of rock down and there are so many bands out there who have no fucking idea what to do or how to do it. These guys will be everywhere very soon. If you havent heard them yet you will soon. Everyband out there should make a cookie cuter myspace page of these guys. They got their shit together. Everyone should go and try to steal their manager as well. Someone over in that camp knows what the fuck they are doing. - Creepsville Press

"Review @ The End Nashville,Tn"

Totemsoul have a smooth, melodic kind of hard rock sound. Their songs are easy to groove to, and the band's overall sound is very polished and professional. The band constists of a singer/guitar player, lead guitar player, bass and drums--the rock standard. The singer has a great voice, and the band sounded perfect. Totemsoul is a good party band because their music is dancable, and their sound will likely remind you of one of your favorite bands.

Writing catchy, melodic, hook-filled songs is definitely the strongpoint of this band. This is the kind of group that does not go out of its way to appear flashy, but rather lets its music do the talking. I really can't see how you could go wrong with a band like Totemsoul.

- Jerry Work Nashville

"TOTEMSOUL VS. The Fog machine"

All the exits to the garage were hermetically sealed. As I gagged on the smoke filling every available space, a camera man said he could no longer see Jon. The shooting resumed once his form was filmable again.

On June 6, TLM/Resolutions Multimedia of Eddyville arrived to Totem Soul's headquarters/studios in Russellville to film a music video for the band's future hit song, "For What it's Worth," on their forthcoming album "Shortcut to Thinking." A few demo versions and bootleg copies of this album have been floating around but this will be the official album filled with photos by moi!

"The concept of the video is on domestic violence in the home and how it affects our children," said Totem Soul's manager, John Moseley of Iron Horse Entertainment. In the video, a little girl (played by the adorable Kaylee Cooper who is Orlando Bloom's biggest fan and has seen the actor's Pirates of the Caribbean movies more than any other human alive) witnesses her mother (Nicole Babcock) struck by her father (Eddie Farlee) for the last time. The little girl senses that her mother is leaving and hides in her basement, her last place of sanctuary, where she is comforted by a blue Teddy Bear named Averiel. Totem Soul plays in the background.

When Director David McGowan heard "For What it's Worth," the song struck him as being about domestic abuse. Moseley and McGowan worked together to create a script. By the day of the shoot, McGowan had it planned out to the last second.

Video shoots sound exciting but there was a lot of waiting for Totem Soul as the basement/garage was magically converted into a sound stage with moving lights and that cursed fog machine. Lead singer/guitarist Mac Steven Whittinghill and Bassist Travis Wilson passed the time playing their instruments. Drummer Jon Postins had just set up his monstrous kit only to watch it dismantled by the film crew of Nathan Russell and Aaron McKinney as they laid out the pipes for the fog machine. Postin hooked his ipod to the speakers and amps and played death metal. He turned the volume down and asked if it was too loud.

McGowan retracted his tape measure and replied, "Actually, I was going to ask you to turn it up."

Hours passed and once pre-production was completed, it was time for a late lunch at Totem Soul's Official Place to Eat, Granny's Kitchen. Moseley introduced me to McGown. "He is the guy I was telling you about who wrote that book about Logan County," Moseley said to the director. McGown, also interested in preserving local history, has started filming and interviewing older residents in Eddyville of their memories. Between bites of our burgers, we talked much about local history, especially the Night Riders who plagued this region during the Tobacco Wars.

"When we get back can we have a nap time?" Jon joked, patting stomach and staring at his plate which only the greasy remains of a double, bacon cheeseburger.

Instead of nap time, it was shooting time. McGown and his film crew started by filming the band playing, "For What it's Worth" over and over and over. The band was filmed together and each member was filmed separately under all sorts of lights and smoke. Mac broke a string (maybe two) and during the finale, while in silhouette, Travis accidentally damaged his bass n a chunk flew out when he crossed guitars with Mac. The bass is still playable but Travis did need to be left alone for a while.

By the time, McGowan was finished with Totem Soul, the cast and family members were outsider, trying to breathe once again after being in a room for hours filled with smoke. Ironically, all of them held lit cigarettes in their hands.

Now it was time for Kaylee to shine as an actress. She sat in a bed with her mother (who assumes that role both on and off screen) reading a book about snakes. Nicole also lay in the bed with a big purple spot on her cheek resembling a bruise. McGowan was telling both of them what to do: at what second for Nicole to lean her had back and at what second for Kaylee to hop out of bed and run away. On the first take, Kaylee wasn't fast enough. To motivate her, Nicole told her, "Just imagine Orlando is waiting for you." On the second take, she was out of that bed in a matter of seconds.

At this point filming was welcomingly delayed thanks to James Whittinghill, Totem Soul's Biggest Supporter, bringing plates of cooked hamburger steaks and filling the Headquarters with a much better smell than whatever had belched out of the fog machine earlier.

The shoot was finally finished and film crew returned to Eddyville to start post-production. Once completed the video to "For What it's Worth" will be taken to the submission board of both Fuse TV and VH1 and should be on the air by mid-August. The video will also be available on,, and for viewing.

Interested parties can see a live version of the song on June 30 at Squirrelly Joe's, 600 West 9th Stre - Mark Griffin


2007. Turbulent Smiles. This 10 track masterpiece projects an intense flow of music from "What am I" to "Haven't out smarted me yet". It's a roller coaster for any music lover that likes it straight to the point.
2005 "Shortcut to Thinking" is a 10 track masterpiece that delivers a full on assault to the listener. The diversity of their approach differs from most bands. The re-release of "Shortcut to Thinking" in 2007 brings with it Totemsoul's first video(production begins in May) with other's to follow. This album is also provideing several tracks on the soundtrack for the film"Such a Waste"(still in production).
2000' "I" "In The Green Yard" songs Featured on a Compilation Cd released by Western Ky University.
2001' "compromise" The Title Track "compromise" Has been number 1 on numerous Radio stations across The Globe.
1999' "NewSoul"
1998' "Shake The StarDust"



TOTEMSOUL is an alternative to the alternative and hard rock music scene. TS offer’s a unique approach to their sound that fuses Rock, Punk, Metal, Progressive Rock, and enough blues to give this trio a sultry sound. Formed in the fall of 1997 and headed by front man Mac Whittinghill, TS takes a personal approach to reaching their fans by writing songs in a diverse and universal way. From the catchy and melodic songs like “The way” to the heart reaching “For what it’s Worth”, TS has proven that after 10 years they’re moving along in the music industry and will not stop until they’re burning up the charts. No one can predict the future, but with TOTEMSOUL’s attitude of “Go Go Go”, Their future looks bright. For up to date TOTEMSOUL info please visit them at their website for tour dates, music, reviews, and videos and more.