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Soft Targets

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Album Review

This biracial power trio's first album (after two well-received EPs) is a frequently exhilarating hodgepodge of hard rock, metal and loud pop that throws so many influences into the blender, it's tough to sort them out. Individual songs such as the closing "I'm the One" shift moods and tempos from prog to heavy rock with such liquid elasticity and effortless drive that once you think you have a handle on the threesome's approach, it wiggles away. But that only sends the listener back for another go-round in the band's whirlpool of sound to sort it out again. Thankfully this makes for an enjoyable, even thrilling ride where the roller coaster turns are seldom predictable yet always intriguing. Bring male/female harmonies to the mix along with drummer Ricc Sheridan's John Bonham crash and bash, and the influences overlap into something that sounds like little else, yet is oddly familiar. A three-piece needs a great guitarist and while Matt Whyte is no Jimmy Page, he more than adequately handles the switchblade licks and sledgehammer attack while knowing when to pull back from the rifforama. Bassist/co-vocalist Kamara Thomas is the group's secret weapon, adding soulful harmonies while holding down the bottom in an outfit that demands a tight-fisted rhythm section. The oft-cited Zeppelin comparisons are apt, especially on "Monkey," the album's near-nine minute stomping centerpiece. But there is far more going on here. Beatles/Badfinger-styled melodies lurk beneath the more raucous surface providing a solid center to music that only superficially plods and pounds through the listener's skull. Whyte's voice shifts from sexy (on "Fashion") to near jazzy (on the following "Two Weeks"), but has the guts and strength to motor through the hard rockers that dominate the set. While a retro feel informs Earl Greyhound's thunderous attack, there is enough indie rock, bluesy grit and pure intensity for Soft Targets to be accepted in the alt rock community. Regardless, it's an impressive and surprisingly complex debut although first timers are advised to strap themselves in for the ride.


Formed: January, 2003 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

New York City's cheekily named Earl Greyhound is a power trio consisting of vocalist/guitarist Matt Whyte, bassist/vocalist Kamara Thomas and drummer Christopher Bear. Although formed in January 2003, the group's influences date back to the 1970s, and specifically classic rockers with an ear for pop hooks such as T. Rex, Badfinger and Big Star. After immersing themselves in rehearsals and showcases about town, the band signed to Some Records and released their self-titled...
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Soft Targets, Earl Greyhound
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