Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekly Dose of Prog: Awestruck - Telemision

So Blogger has been down all day, so I haven't had a chance to post this article till now. I apologize for the lateness of this release, I know how some of you like reading these weekly posts.

I've actually met the guys from Awestruck, my good friend Andrew Clayton went to high school with the drummer so we all have a bit of history. I interviewed them for my short-lived radio show, I've been to their home and to their recording studio (same place really) to help out with a track. They've been making waves here in Orlando over the past few years, headlining a lot of local shows and special events around town, and I've only ever seen them live once, much the pity on my part.

The band gave me their debut album, Telemision (sorry for the iTunes link, it was the only one I could find), after our radio interview - Jesus that 2008... doesn't seem like it should have been that long - and so I've had a lot of time with it and it has a lot of listens to it's name. The album itself meanders between neo prog, post-hardcore and the alternative rock sound that been popular lately. Their sound reminds me of 3, early Incubus or even (slightly) Coheed & Cambria (but in a good way!).

Awestruck's actual progressive elements seem a little few and far between, hear more in some songs then others. The beginning of the disc, songs like "The Katun Can Can" and "Wake Up And Come Out Fighting," fall into the neo prog, while the immediately following song, "Kick The Tires," is a borderline acoustic song with no progressive elements at all - this song and others like it is what brings my alternative rock thoughts to the release. The post-hardcore elements that I mentioned don't start to show themselves until the second-half of Telemision, beginning a little with the sixth track, "El Terrible," and then showing up more within the following one, "Cinnamon Bones." Those who are worried, it's not a real hard or overly harsh style of screaming that goes with it, the more 'scream for emphasis' that I can tolerate and actually enjoy occasionally.

The entire disc meanders between these three styles, with some songs mixing the ideologies more then others while some stand out plainly in one genre or another. I actually like the way it works out on the disc; the alternative songs remind me of my youth within the 90s alt-rock world (seeing as all of the band members are the same age as me I bet it does the same for them as well), the progressive/almost metal songs reach me on a more modern level, and the post-hardcore aren't too overpowering which is something I can handle.

While they haven't released another full-length sense 2008's Telemision, I know Awestruck has been busy. When I last saw them, for Andrew Clayton's recording session in January or February, they had made mention of writing and/or recording (I can't really recall) some new tunes. In my research I discovered that they have released two singles (again, sorry for the iTunes), with accompanying music videos; although they were released last summer, so nothing more modern sense then. I also discovered, in my travels, that the act released a previous record/EP, titled Beyond The Merely Mechanical, in 2006. I'll have to try and either get in contact with the group for a listen, or find it some other way. If it's anything like Telemision, it'll be worth it.

I don't think I would have ever discovered Awestruck if I hadn't actually met the band members, especially the drummer Gavin (I'm pretty sure he sings as well but I'm not 100%), and I know I would never had paid them too much mind if I had only had their CD mailed to me for a review. At first glance, Telemission, wouldn't really have wowed me, especially in 2008 when I received the album itself. But now that I've had it for going on four years, and I've been able to give it the time and attention that it deserves, I know that this is an album to behold. It mixes genres that are pretty popular right now, even semi-radio friendly (I know some of you flinch at those words, but sometimes it pays to be on the radio), but also mixes in an edge that appeased the headbanger in me. I also know for a fact that the guys are cool as shit, and put on an amazing live show, so if you happen to be in Orlando (or live here), I think you should try to make a show, you'd be hard pressed to be disappointed.

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