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Degrees of Falling

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Album Review

On the roller-coaster ride of Degrees of Falling, San Francisco-based 5 A.M. upholds the undeniable tenets of adult alternative pop, post-grunge, and traditional American rock via brash songs, sinewy guitar motifs, anthemic posture, and instrumental expertise. Lead vocalist Trent Yaconelli commandeers each cut with his soaring baritone, yet the harmonies afforded by percussionist Benjie Kushins, bassist Zack Miller, and lead guitarist Zack Hammer up the ante, providing a multi-layered wall of sound. The driving rhythms beneath "Lost and Found" recall a young and hungry U2. "Go for a Ride" celebrates the allure of a fast woman and the wide-open road not unlike arena rockers Bon Jovi or the Cult at their macho apex. Shouting through a car radio over sharp staccato riffs, Yaconelli plays the prince of darkness quite convincingly, then switches gears, effectively morphing into a folk troubadour during "Restless," a track worthy of the Band or Lucinda Williams. With arrangements that feature weeping slide guitars, didgeridoo, and a myriad of percussives and sonic textures, Degrees of Falling is simultaneously rootsy and futuristic, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that 5 A.M. holds the goods to rocket to the top of the charts.

Biography

Formed: San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

San Francisco rockers Five A.M. craft a dynamic, powerful brand of alternative rock that relies on a contrast between anthemic choruses and moody verses. Founded by singer/guitarist Trent Yaconelli, guitarist Zach Hammer, bassist Zack Miller, drummer Jed Friesen, and percussionist Benjie Kushins, Five A.M. gained allies in other likeminded rockers like Dishwalla and Train when they started to play out live. Hooking up with producer Bruce Kaphan, the bandmembers began working on their debut album,...
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Degrees of Falling, Five a.m.
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