EP REVIEW: Smalltime - Smalltime (EP)
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/30/2012 - 12:23 PM EDT
Album: Smalltime (EP)
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Christian Rock
Sounds Like: Smithereens, Meatloaf, AC/DC, Dire Straits
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Smithereens, Meatloaf, AC/DC, Dire Straits
Weakness: EP Release
Huntington Beach, California 4 piece rock band Smalltime a/k/a sMALLTIME releases their latest self-titled EP released in 2010. Band members include Danny Van (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Kenny Goorabian (Lead Guitar), Steve Clayton (Bass) and Dusty Slaybaugh (Drums).
The EP takes to flight with “You Never Know” a nicely flowing rock-blues intro piece that serves up steady rock groove, rock steady guitar and hooky harmonies and vocal accents from Van and company. Track 2 “Dead On Arrival” serves up driving rock rhythm against impressive bluesy-type guitar riffs and a grand slam chorus. Track 3; “Fish out of Water” lets it all hang out with no holds barred vocal delivery and thought provoking lyrical content packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom that will make you think. The EP makes a pretty solid first impression dishing out 3 impressive tracks back to back. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Rock-R&B-Jam Band with musical textures reminiscent of Dire Straits, Meatloaf, AC/DC and even The Smithereens. The musicianship of this band is pretty solid across the board. The players themselves write and play there parts extremely well in classic Jam Band form. The songs themselves are addictive and upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter with a very positive Christian message. Van’s voice works well across the board and fits this style of music perfectly. Kudos goes out to some of the impressive guitar riffs and Vans vocal stigma. - both are delivered hot to the touch and full or reckless abandon. One of the things I like most about this EP is how well Van lets it all hang out vocally. He definitely makes the critical (Singer to Listener) emotional connection with his voice. All songs are short and sweet musical experiences, never too winded, never to short. From heartfelt “Love Came Down” to the perfect finale statement “Saving Souls” this EP pretty much has something for just about everyone.
It’s hard to find any real weaknesses when listening to this CD. I generally don’t give out 10 star ratings out to EP’s as a full length release is a much more complete snapshot of a band or artist.
Smaltime's debut EP is an impressive musical teaser. From start to finish it’s strong suit is the song for song consistency, powerful messages and impressive feel from Van and company. In fact I'll go on record and say Smalltime is the band to watch in 2012. The music is nitty, gritty but goes down smooth with messages of genuine hope and redemption. They are also just plain fun to listen to. Smalltime is one band that definitely knows how to deliver some amazing messages and no doubt a total riot to check out live. I look forward to checking out the full length release hopefully later on this Summer.
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