Album Review by Greg Walkowiak
Eric Boatright – Vocals
Cody Hampton – Bass/Guitar
Seth Trimble – Guitar/Keyboard
Heath Fields – Drums
Trying to perfect the art of music consistently is a formidable task at best, no matter what style of music it is. Not only trying to create it progressively, it must be created the same for an individual cd and or EP or LP. To have a strong track listing and a strong set of tracks in general; for the band from Cullman, Alabama, Shallow Side has done it with their recent EP “ONE”, they have done a more than stellar job with it and it is only their third major release in their; what one could say, very young career.
Eric Boatright, Cody Hampton, Seth Trimble and Heath Fields form an energetic sound that is its own and they nail every track on this EP. From top to bottom, front to back, they accomplished what much in music strive for always. This EP is strong from track one to track six and incorporates a new style that has an insatiable lust for the old gritty, in your face, rock n roll of days long forgotten. This EP is not done according to Eric Boatright, it is a prelude to a full length cd somewhere down the road.
“We Roll” starts this EP off perfectly. Its haunting start opens up to a smooth sound that entices the listener into wanting more and Shallow Side delivers, with the lyrical content that relates to the University of Alabama’s well known slogan, “Roll Tide”, with its raw chant carries you right into the stadium. This track adapts to that attitude with Shallow Side’s musical attitude.
Shallow Sides fiery lyrics and thunderous Southern rock sound is reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd with a splash of 38. Special. If one wanted to try, comparing this band to any other band throughout the course of Rock n Roll history is seriously difficult. The first and only band that comes to my mind is Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not because of their geographical locations either. It’s because of their brashness more so than anything. It is more evident with the song “Rebel”. This song captures the, as Eric put it, “Giving the middle finger” which this song does from start to finish. It is a foot stomping, “middle finger in the air”, fist pumping gem.
Shallow Side blends quite a bit into their style and or sound. The band includes instruments and techniques that blend old school hard hitting rock with the technology of today, they make them an original instantly, which in turn, makes them stand out alone with no comparison at all. They also accomplished what some have done well with and many have not, which is doing a cover song. Shallow Side took it up a notch with doing the cover “Renegade” from the legendary rock band Styx. One would assume this song would be a very hard track to cover. It’s more than impressive what they did with it, they took it into a direction all their own and it paid off. Shallow Side created something entirely new and yet you can still feel Styx within their rendition of this timeless classic, which is another tough task to accomplish.
All their musical positions work in unison on “ONE” in a way that produce a growling sound and powerful message. “Fight or Flight” releases an energy that goes beyond the musical aspect. Their tight bonds from a very young age shows whether related to the lyrics in this track or not. One could assume they are talking about struggle within the title alone, the song itself also shows that with complete vindication and striving to get out of the redundant music industry politics that might hamper an artist’s musical endeavors.
A song that is definitely a strong contender for best track off of “ONE” is “Can You Hear Me”. And it is a Rock n Roll musical paradise, plain and simple. This track gives it all to the listener. From the roaring vocals, the searing guitar, the zapping keyboards and the crashing drums, this song immediately gets you into it. The ultimate package, it kicks ass and delivers a punch to the musical throat. Rounding this EP off is “Start A Fire”. The band has so much musical influence from their parent’s music eras that you feel it in this song probably more than the rest off this EP. One genre that definitely stands out more than the rest is their influence of gospel. Shallow Side is masterful at incorporating many genres into their sound, including a little pop.
Shallow Side is a band that is on the rise and seems to do everything right. The entire makeup of the band is a contagious mix of amazing musical talent. Eric Boatright, with no professional voice lessons, has a voice that barrels right into you and bowls you over. Cody Hampton’s bass and guitar work capture the essence of those instruments and delivers with resounding effects. Seth Trimble takes areas of today with his guitar and keyboard design that adds a spice which makes the musical taste buds dance. We can’t forget Heath Fields on drums either; his “slamming the skins” attitude is a saucy concoction that could make anyone wants more. As far as the band Shallow Side goes, I would have to say keep a close eye on these talented musicians. They are going to go places with their “Don’t Give a Fuck” attitude whether anyone likes it or not. Keep it up guys……….can’t wait for more.
- We Roll
- Fight or Flight
- Can You Hear Me
- Start A Fire