Black Note Graffiti - 'Volume 1' (Noteborn Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 03:40

blacknotegraffiticoverIt's nice to get an album every now and then that's a bit different, a band who push the boundaries of rock music and aim for something just that bit different to what the music magazines are pushing our way. Michigan-based Black Note Graffiti do just this with the ambitious and grandiose 'Volume 1'. Proving that the word 'Progressive' is not a term that we shy away from here at Uber Rock I dig in deep and find that after just the first listen I am quite happy to press that play button again for a re-sitting.


What strikes me first about 'Volume 1' is how big it sounds. It's an album that is full of guitars, there's loads of 'em! The crystal clear production job is top notch and this self-produced album coming out of my speakers sounds bloody massive. Riff after gargantuan riff bursts forth, but that is not all there is a lot of, there are also vocal harmonies. Layers of the buggers, smooth and lush just the way I like them.


Take opener 'Revanche' for example: singer/guitarist Ricardo Ortiz and guitarist Kris Keller prove from the off that they are a match made in heaven as they trade guitar lines and lush harmony vocals. Mansun immediately spring to mind on hearing Ortiz' lush vocal lines and that's something I do like.


'Monkey' has commercial potential, it builds nicely on a familiar sounding melody over nice, crunching riffage and haunting backing vocals. Sure they do venture into Muse territory on more than one occasion, on 'Scars' for example Ortiz' soaring vocals do have that Matt Bellamy feel to them, but then the lush harmonies and epic feel does lend itself also to Queen, that theatrical over the top campness, but it has a more modern, contemporary feel which works nicely for me.


The funky but punky 'Fire' is the first of 3 black sheep on this album, if you like the odd men out here and 'Write/Right' follows a similar path, from a funky build to a rage filled chorus, not quite sure of where exactly they are going or what they want to be. Great chorus in 'Space Funk' but that weird and funky groove thing going on in the verse doesn't really do it for me.


'Mr. Masochist' and 'Rosie Knows' are more like it, upbeat, LostAlone-style theatrical rockers, all jagged riffs and lush vocals bringing us back on track.


The use of interesting song structures and unusual melodies keeps things fresh and guarantees repeated plays on my stereo, and if you dig the harmony filled heaviness of the likes of Von Hertzen Brothers or LostAlone then you should definitely be banging these guys on your stereo too. Yeah I like a bit of Black Note Graffiti, now when is 'Volume 2' out lads?


To pick up your copy of 'Volume I' - CLICK HERE