I’m not a ‘rock’ guy, not at all. So when confronted by this Los Angeles alternative rock three piece featuring Queens of the Stoneage and Karma To Burn drummer, Rob Oswald, I was hardly quivering with excitement.

The thing is though, Twenty-Six is really good and there are several songs I simply can’t get out of my head. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Staind, Daughtry, Hinder, radio rock bullshit. This is honest, 1990’s styled, college radio, alternative, punkish sort of intellectual rock with unique vocals (early Pearl Jam might be a starting comparison). Bespectacled Singer Earl has a truly distinct voice and cadence that makes this record what it is. His voice sort of reminds me of a rock based Tuomas Tuominen (Fall of The Leafe)-it’s that unique.

Riff wise, this is commercial yet edgy and ‘different’.The tracks flow with ample balance between wide open, up-tempo but moody numbers such as opener “Weakened and Scattered”, “Bad Taste” (if there were a single, this would be it), “Wheelchair”, “Nanny” and “Anthem” and more introspective tracks like “Homeless”, “Punisher” and “Threat of Rain” all laced with a dash of quirkiness and there’s even a rollicking epic closing song, the superb “Pirate Song”. Only “All The Same” with it’s almost Hootie and the Blowfish opening, stoops into tangibly commercial, mainstream-ness. Otherwise, the entire album is sing-a-long, foot-tapping yet soulful with vibrant numbers that cry for windows down, karaoke in your car styled, summer time fun, without being cliched, cheesy or poppy.

Twenty-Six is one of the more pleasant surprises I’ve heard in this reviewing gig. It’s got a lot of airplay amid all my crumbling, growling, shrieking metal, and just simply delivers an enjoyable, yet slightly quirky rock album that should be a huge college hit.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 7th, 2007


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