Review: Medications - All Your Favorite People In One Place
One of the most intriguing aspects of music is how easily it can transform one's mood. The right notes, at the right tempo, and all of a sudden, BAM! You're in a good mood. This 3 piece from Washington, DC knows exactly how to pull this off. Consisting of members of the now defunct band "Faraquet", Medications oddly enough, sounds a lot like Faraquet. It's peculiar how a band consisting of the same musicians can sound very similar. After the Faraquet breakup 2 of the founding members created Medications and while the sound is very similar, the new third wheel does add some new elements into the mix. A mere 6 months since the release of their Medications EP, they have returned with their first full length Your favorite people all in one place available now on Dischord.
While the music on this album does sound a lot like Faraquet and the Medications EP, the quirky time signatures and awkward vocal lines are quickly becoming a thing of the past, the songwriting maintains that same dry, yet clever feel, but it seems the band is slowly trying to forge a new identity. The album begins with Surprise! Which is arguably the single greatest opening track of all time, starting off as every 70s rock concert ended, a solid 4/4 beat with ascending guitars and thundering drums. Any band that has the guts to open their disc with a rock and roll finale gets extra points from me.
The production and dumbed down songwriting of this album is slightly disappointing, unless of course you are a classic rock fan. You can clearly hear the influence of early rock bands like Led Zeppelin, both on the production, and the songwriting. With drumming that is very evocative of Bonzo and very thin, vintage guitar tones. The album, just as the EP and all Faraquet material before it, has a very raw and uncut feel to it. Not raw in the St. Anger "we didn't even try" sense, but more along the lines of a live recording, the band sounds tight, but you can still pick out the playing nuances of each member, giving the band a very 'real' sound. If you're sick of pro-tools albums, this just might fit your prescription. (Pun intended, zing)
I think the classic rock influence shines strongest on the albums 9th track, I am the Harvest the opening feedback drops into a guitar riff that just screams Jimmy Page from miles away. You can almost see the band performing it in your head, after nearly 2 minutes of introduction guitar noodling, the vocals finally enter and the guitar takes a much needed break. The drumming really takes over on this track, as the guitar feedbacks during the verses and allows the drums and bass to dictate the rest of the song.
Your favorite people all in one place may not be a bold step into uncharted territory for this DC trio, but there's nothing wrong with a slow evolution. The music is solid and the band still appeals to their core fans while managing to remain fresh and interesting.
Chris Elkjar is the founder of 'trust.me' an online music magazine for the enthusiast. He spends all of his spare time immersed in music, be it writing reviews, interviews with leading bands or writing his own music.
For more of his writing, check out Trust-Me.ca - Music for robots
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