This week’s Midweek Music Mix features new singles from Yhorm and Echoseven, the return of The Peter Parkers and Robbie Tucker’s first and only Christmas album.
Jimmy – Yhorm
Sussex metal quintet Yhorm offer up a highly calculated, slow burn with their latest single, Jimmy. Building upon a simple, repetitive guitar melody, Yhorm takes the high road by choosing to forgo the all-too-common blast-your-face-off approach to modern metal songwriting and instead take the listener through a subtle build-up exploring nuance and tension with admirable precision. Or is it restraint? By avoiding the temptation to front-load this track with speed and volume, Yhorm decidedly follow the road less traveled, easing comfortably into a satisfying release full of textured guitar tones and rich, aggressive depth. Mature metal songwriting at its finest, straight from the land of drive-in theatres and dairy cattle.
Maybe I’m the Drought – The Peter Parkers
The Peter Parkers have dabbled in a lot of different sounds over their two+ decades of music making. Touching on everything from garage rock, to folk, new wave and atmospheric orchestrations, this Moncton quintet’s history can largely be summed up by their love of experimentation and an apparent desire to never tread the same path twice. After almost a decade of inactivity offset by occasional visits to the studio, The Peter Parkers have returned with the new album, Maybe I’m the Drought, a seven song collection firmly planted in mid tempo compositions that shift between serious melodic hooks and sweeping vocal arrangements made all the more powerful by the addition of guest vocalist Julie Nadeau.
Time is a wonderful thing and an often overlooked ingredient of the creative process. While I’m in no way advocating for this band to take another massive break in their writing and performing, I can’t help but wonder what the next chapter will bring, even if that means waiting another five, six or seven years. But if that is the case, Maybe I’m The Drought packs enough variety to weather the storm and keep listeners engaged, waiting patiently for what comes next. Well worth the wait. Hopefully we’ll all get a chance to experience these songs live in the year(s) to come.
I Am The Tree – Echoseven
There’s a lot to love about I Am The Tree, the latest single from Moncton alt-metal band Echoseven. The Iron Maiden influence is big on this one. The songwriting is strong and vocalist/guitarist Stephanie Roy might very well be one of the best surprises of the year. Her lyrics and the layered vocal line used throughout the chorus help to bring the whole song to life, lifting it out of the track’s murky production. But let’s not put the horse before the cart. The basics are all in place: structure and songwriting are on point and the band’s ability to deliver a fully formed idea are all here. I Am The Tree is a good tune but unfortunately, the production holds back what could otherwise be a very powerful chapter in the band’s debut. I understand the convenience of home recording but when you’re sitting on as much potential as Echoseven seem to be, I can’t help but ask for more. Get this band in a proper studio, stat.
Peppermints – Robbie Tucker
Writing a Christmas song is a bold choice. Writing a Christmas album, that’s some next level sh*t. The existing canon of holiday tunes is pretty much set in stone. Everyone can jumble their way through the chorus of at least a dozen or more Holiday Classics with little to no thought. Knowing this, any songwriter who chooses to pen their own collection of original songs themed around the most wonderful time of the year is, in my opinion, setting themselves up for disappointment. In the case of Miramichi musician Robbie Tucker, does he really think he can write an earworm with the burrowing power of say, I’ll Be Home With Bells On? The answer is no. And thankfully, that was never his intention. By opting to sidestep the direction where so many have fallen to the Bings, the Burls and the Dollys of this world, Tucker goes all-in by creating a children’s album that is catchy and fun and full of quirky holiday absurdity. He chose correctly. Peppermints offers a playful look at the Holidays with a welcomed balance of criticism and appreciation. There must have been some magic in that old guitar he found….
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If you are a New Brunswick artist or group, have new music on the way and would like to be considered for a future edition of Midweek Music Mix, send us the details at gridcitymagazine(at)gmail.com