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CD REVIEW: Fade 2 Black - Fade Away
By Steve Allat - 10/24/2004 - 03:40 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Fade 2 Black
Album: Fade Away
CD Review: Label: Independent
Tracks: 13
Released: 2004
For Fans Of: Richie Valens, The Jackson 5, 50's & 60's
Fav Tracks: Something Special, Rainy Days, Touch of Black, Caped Crusader

A disclaimer on the back of the CD warns of the potential lack of recording quality, and I have to agree, admitting that this is the weakest link in the Sanchez family chain. After listening a few times to their songs, sounding fairly raw and organic (which is nice and real), I was wondering what these tunes might sound like 'slicked' up a bit in a pro studio.

That aside, this talented family is bringing us something fairly original and sometimes interesting. We have father Julius Sanchez on bass, guitar and occasional lead vocals, mother Katherine keeping the beat, daughter Amanita on lead guitar/background vocals and goddaughter Norell handling most of the lead vocals and filling in the sound on rhythm guitar.

Listening closely, you realize that these 4 are very serious about making music and enjoy doing so immensely. Songs are well-crafted and put together, and the playing is very competent, if not topnotch all the way through. When keeping it simple, they really hit the mark, allowing the vocals and melody to shine through (Touch of Black, for example sounds very 'Evanescence'). There's a balance throughout, proof that this family knows how to play together, and in the lyrics exemplifying the family that also stays together.

The lyrics are very reliable - dealing with teen issues, true love and being yourself in the world.
The vocals are well delivered, although sometimes it sounds a bit like just singing as opposed to expressing the lyrics. I think that will develop in time, as they play & record more.

The other 'sonic' complaint I have (despite the disclaimer) is that the guitar is a bit too fuzzed for my liking, and sounding a bit too 50's at times (as in 'old', not in style), the vocals are a bit raw and the overall mix just a bit distant sounding. But you still get the idea of what the music is all about.

My tips for F2B - harmonize the vocals more often, worry less about the range of the vocals and focus on the power of each word, work on the guitar 'sound' (not the playing), and keep on serving the song with the rest of the music, you're doing fine.

I really enjoy listening to the music knowing this family is doing something they love to do - and it shows what is possible at the starting point of a career in music. They're honestly refreshing.

Again, I have to say that if I had heard these songs recorded the way they deserve to be, I'd be even more impressed.

There is a need and audience for Fade 2 Black, especially amongst teens that are always being condescended to through blatant commercialization within the music industry.

To that I say to Fade 2 Black - make your music 'sound' more commercial just through recording & production and you will help level the playing field a bit. Over and above that, keep playing, hone your chops and keep writing. It'll all come together.

A little more time together, and these songs will even out and become stronger. I'm anxious to hear what that will sound like.

Contact: Katherine Sanchez
Website: Fade 2 Black

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