Sunday, August 15, 2010

Those Among Us - A Chance To Die EP

Hear The Track Here

Those Among Us first surfaced for me when I reviewed Feel (May 2010) one of the tracks of their upcoming EP called A Chance To Die. So ******* what?, you might ask and I'll tell you what AFTER I wash your mouth out with soap young man!! What is John Brandon, aided and abetted by Lino Gonzalez and Steven 'Mez' Mezropian, all names that will be familiar to Silvertrain fans; John because he is a founder member of the Train, to which Lino and Mez have contributed of late. Which, I believe, led to this new grouping and very welcome it is too. I've always been a bit soft on John Brandon's songs and almost despaired at never quite hearing them done properly, but Those Among Us blew that one out of the water right quick. Much more to the point, for a pedant like myself, here - at last - is an EP that follows all the original EP conventions ie it has four tracks. See that? Four tracks, not three or even six but FOUR...

Sheesh. Don't ******* vex me man.

I'm certain that John is breathing a huge sigh of relief because he's been looking for this for so long, but judging by every one of the tracks on this EP, the wait was soooo worth it. So, first up is a hefty rock slice called Under Pressure, which I notice has been getting rave reviews and rightly so. It's an extremely good production, balanced perfectly between power and clarity, as I noted in my review of Feel. Lino Gonzalez produced all the tracks and he is remarkably consistent in getting the feel absolutely right. So Under Pressure is exactly the right introduction to this excellent blend of Alternative rock, and that impression is reinforced immediately because Feel follows it. In my review of Feel, I mistakenly attributed this track to Silvertrain, even going so far as to say that this is what I always thought they would sound like when they get their **** together. Same pop sensibility, but with the music on steroids - an unbeatable combination IMHO.

Track three, I Thought I Knew You, I have had much exposure too - having officially reviewed it twice. Once in its original incarnation back in March 2007, and again in a much improved updated version in October 2009 - all done under the Silvertrain banner. I'd already loved the song, even in its original form. and Those Among Us deliver the definitive version right here. The only track that I wasn't overly familiar with was the final and title track: A Chance To Die. As I stated earlier, John's natural talent for coming up with great songs, and I can quite honestly say that this EP hold four of his best. Since I got this EP I have played the thing to death, but no track more than I have A Chance To Die. Whether that's because it is (comparatively) new to me or because it just a killer song in every respect, it has light and shade, drama, excitement and prettiness in equal measure. I have already given two separate Must Have rating for tracks from this EP, and IMHO each of them could get that rating no problem.

Five Star EP then, I think. MUST HAVE Alternative rock at its best.

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