Monday, January 26, 2009

Tallboy: Mixing Influences To Rock Hard

Oregon's Tallboy may be a new band to most people, but this young band brings a wealth of experience to the table that they rock out each and every night. Most members seem to have a family connection to their beginnings in music. Bassist Angel Alvarez used to watch his brother play and his aunt bought him his first bass when he was 14. Drummer Justin Bullen's grandfather bought him a drum set when he was only 7 years old. Lead guitarist Kevin Kaufman used to watch his dad play when he was growing up and was jealous of his skills. Now eleven years later, it's his dad who is envious of the skills that Kevin possesses. The exception to the family connection would be Vocalist and guitarist Carey Aubuchon who began as a jazz drummer in high school and then moved to guitar and started experimenting with singing.

The guys have been adding more shows so far in 2009 and seem to be on a roll. I asked them what the hardest and best part of their experience would be. Angel said,"The hardest part is having to have a normal job to pay the bills and not just hop on the road and tour like we want to. The best part is definitely finding people to support our dream." Carey responded with, "For me, the hardest part is commitments and family, but the best part about it is feeling like a rock star!"

Upon listening to their cd "No Hindsight For The Blind", it can easily be heard that these four guys are serious about putting their hearts and souls into this. Their style is aggressive , full speed ahead metal but there are also subtle elements that you can pick out from their personal influences. "My influences range from the Police to Killswitch Engage to Breaking Benjamin," said Justin. His bashing of the skins definitely gets your attention from the start and has your head banging with approval. "I would say my influences are Metallica, Death Cab For Cutie, " said Kevin. He definitely supplies some blistering guitar work throughout the cd.

Standout tracks on the cd include "Rearranged", which hooks you in just seconds into it and hs you rocking out in no time. "Insane" is a very high energy song. I think "Glass In Hand" is one of my two fave tracks. It starts out acoustically and then builds it momentum. My other fave is "Ignorance" which is very dark and melodic in the beginning and its intensity seems to build to the chorus. Their sound is definitely influenced by today's sound of such acts as Sevendust and Breaking Benjamin. They are a good mix of old school metal, ala Metallica, along with today's newer edge.

Are there any heroes or idols that they want to play with live? Kevin responded with, "Killswitch Engage definitely! I might have to bring many pairs of underwear. I would be like..."Oh my god, it's Adam D of Killswitch.......instant mess in my pants!"

My last question for the guys was what cd would you want to be stuck on a desert island with? For Angel it was anything by Bullet For My Valentine and Carey said Buddy Rich's Live Album. Justin's pick was "Menos El Eso" by Minus The Bear with Justin's being Killswitch Engage's "As Daylight Dies".

I do hope that I get a chance to see these guys play live soon. The cd is awesome and I recommend it to fans of hard rock and metal. I think their influences allow them to bring a wide range of contributions to their music and it can be heard throughout the cd. Give these hard rocking guys a chance, you will not be disappointed.

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