In a small-pond town drowning in heavy rock and metal music, it's always a nice surprise when a CD floats up to the top. Born, the newest release from locals Abrupt Edge, is a great example.
Abrupt Edge is Cliff Miller on lead vocals and guitar, Tivon Miller on vocals and guitar, Beau Kolar on drums and Grant Webb on bass. The band has been around in some form since around 2000. They've opened for some relatively big names (Alien Ant Farm, Hawthorne Heights) and seen some recognition. But the songs on their new CD, Born, may be the ones that really get them noticed.
The first 19 seconds of the track one, "Heart Over Matter," had me a little concerned. Heavy guitar, a tap-tap-a-tap beat on cymbals and a guttural scream, and I thought, "Great ... another band with growling vocals, chunking guitars and painful pounding bass lines." It was at the 20th second, when the vocals morphed into a high, faraway sound that I really started to listen. Yes, this CD has some screaming (though it's pretty minimal), heavy guitars (solos even) and some knock-down heavy bass and drum lines, but it also has two things important in making a CD like this stand out: big melodic chords and great vocals.
It's been awhile since I've heard a local CD and actually thought to myself, "Boy, I wish there were more songs on here." The five tracks on this EP are a well-connected, cohesive group of tunes, but I'm a little peeved: It ended too soon.