CD REVIEW: Gitar - Seen as Unclean
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/30/2012 - 05:56 PM EDT
Album: Seen as Unclean
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, Electronic Rock and Dance Rock
Sounds Like: Beck, The Gorillaz, Primus, The Bloodhound Gang, Devo
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: In the Pocket, Get Low, What I Know
Weakness: Mix, , Short Sided Songs, More Vocal Harmonies Please
Toronto based Gitar releases their debut release entitled Seen as Unclean in 2012.Band members include: Mikhail Galkin, Tai Lee and Dan Rios. The 12 track debut Seen As Unclean is indluenced by the likes ofmid-90s hip hop (Cypress Hill, Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang), Pete Rock/DJ Muggs-like drums, classic Link Wray/Dick Dale surf guitar and the rock-punk energy of The Clash.
The CD kicks things off with “Theme From Gitar” dynamic prelude piece that serves up catchy surfer rock guitar, against impressive melodic accents and ambient musical touches. This intro piece leads you head first into Track 2 “Eyes of the World” a steady flowing bass driven groove with fascinating lyrical content and creative sonic layering. This coupled with impressive keyboard accents and heartfelt vocal delivery makes for a very interesting follow-up statement. Track 3 “Mr. Tourist” serves up more of the same sonic trippiness with hypnotic vibe that flows and ebbs it’s way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Beck, Blur, The Gorillaz, James, The Bloodhound Gang and even Primus and James. The music itself is an impressive blend of Ambient Pop and melodic Alternative Rock. The writing, playing, and singing abilities of Gitar are impressive, and I might add Galkin and Lee plays all musical instrumentation on the CD himself. Galkin’s voice goes down smooth, and fits this catalogue well. What I like the most about this CD is its sheer song for song unpredictability and an underlining dark presence. You never really know what’s waiting for you around the next corner. I give Galkin and Lee high marks on his writing virtuoso and not being afraid of being highly original. The lyrics seem very straightforward but make no bones about it they are extremely thought provoking and unpredictable. There’s also plenty of rich sonic layering woven deep within the fabric of the music. In classic parallel fashion the subject matter of some of these songs is also buried deep within the lyrical content. From rocking “Different Fathers” to my personal favorite “In the Pocket” to grinding “Get Low” to grooving “Empties” to mesmerizing “What I Know” and Hi Tension” this CD has something for just about everyone. The EP ends with “Silly and Crazy” the prefect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
Though I love the songs and performances this isn’t the best mix I’ve ever heard. Though adequate it simply doesn’t stack up when compared to other world class releases within the genera. It’s pretty much all over the place, lacks continuity track to track and needs more low end frequency and punch. This issue is obvious on really high end speakers and stereo systems. I'm a bit skeptical about some of the finite engineering aspects of this musical production (Mix, Master). Track 4 feels like an incomplete musical statement to me. I also with I heard more vocal harmonies to mix up the vocal delivery a bit better.
From start to finish this latest CD from Gitar is an impressive snapshot of music. The music is highly original, catchy as hell, unpredictable and will push the envelope hard. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of Mikhail Galkin, Tai Lee and Dan Rios. All three possess enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, with lyrical content is hard to pin down and the music is simple brilliant. Like the aforementioned I really enjoyed the Trippiness and sheer unpredictability of all the songs. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Gitar is one of those artists.
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