Music » La Vida Local

CD review: M4 Messenger

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The Deal: Charlotte band releases debut album, Illusions of Control, via 7th Planet Records on June 13, 2010. The album was recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Joe Kuhlmann.

The Good: Animal Bag guitarist Rich Parris and bassist Otis (now singing and playing guitar) join with drummer Benji Rogers and bassist Tim McDonnell for new band full of rock ethos. Sadly, Parris died one week after completing the album, but his signature is all over the new album with soaring solos that keep in tone with a song without being overdone. With 13 tracks clocking in at nearly one hour and 10 minutes, there's plenty of music here to enjoy.

The Bad: Only that Parris, who died on March 9 due to a ruptured ulcer, isn't around to enjoy the album's release. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the rest of the band.

The Verdict: The band has scheduled a release party for the CD and tribute to Parris on June 13 at the Visulite Theatre. Six guest guitarists will fill in with the band for the show. As for the album, there's a retro rock sound that has plenty of '80s and '90s influence yet doesn't sound dated – like a band that harnessed the energy and moved it forward accordingly. It's one of those albums with solid musicianship and songwriting that requires more time – I wasn't blown away, but pleasantly surprised.

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