WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2009|
Forget responding to that offensive invitation to your 10th anniversary, high school reunion. On their soon to be released, self-titled LP, Audrye Sessions seem more than happy to take you screeching back to those awkward, lovesick days when, chances are all you ever really wanted to do was disappear deep inside a deafening soundtrack of Siamese Dream, Vs., and The Bends. Unless of course you just so happened to actually get the itch to strap on one of those electric guitars for yourself. Then mimicking your early '90's idols was how you dreamed your days away.
Which is just the sort of scenario I imagine Audrye Sessions' guitarist/vocalist Ryan Karazija never did quite shake. Brandishing a batch of songs that'll tear the flesh off the bone if you let it, the Bay Area band churns their way through the kind of guilt-free set of anthemic rock that's exactly what every teen with a guitar fetish ever dreamed of...before they discovered Pavement. First single "Turn Me Off" explodes off the line; a marching monster that does its' deed with heavy handed down beats and muscle man guitar work. On "Relentless", the band benefits from the added perk of a swelling, string composition. And the bridge to breakdown transition of "Nothing Pure" might provide the most righteous moment of the entire record.
True to form as well, Karazija's melodic sentimentality also seems to take its' origins from math class scribblings, but don't take that the wrong way. "Turn Me Off" captures that oh so timeless feeling of being so overwhelmed you just can't go on. Of course that's later matched by the songwriter's hearty pickup in the form of "You're better than you think you are/Show these people what you were born to do/'Cause I believe in you/I'd bet my life" on you on "Relentless. Both "New Years Day" and album highlight "Crows Came In" suggest there are a few Elliott Smith records nestled in amongst Karazija's rock collection (even more obvious is his cover of "Waltz #2" on MySpace) . And "She Had to Leave" is a classic, one way ticket out of town, break up song.
And you know what's most surprising? All of this is ok. Yes - there are those who will find fault with the band in the same way they might The Killers and/or Snow Patrol. But this polished, studio set is exactly what this sort of rock should sound like. And if by chance it's not appealing now, ask yourself if you think you might have dug it years ago when you were scribbling band names all over your notebooks. If the answer might be yes, than trust me...Audrye Sessions should do awfully well with this one. - David Pitz