Reaching - Review
It's great to discover and present brand new bands, and with this one it's definitely a pleasure. This band is composed of the duo of Mike Riddick and Elizabeth Bradley and have been creating their music for a few years.
This album is presented in a nice digipack or digital download with eleven tracks spanning a wide variety of styles from classic new wave, ethereal beauty and a bit of downtempo with a touch of folk throughout it all.
At first listen, the very first track "All This Love" has the identical drumline as A-Ha
's "Take On Me", while the similarities end there apart from overall new wave style, I was intrigued how the rest of the album would pan out if we're presented with something so recognizable. I was pleasantly surprised with the unique style of female vocals with a heavy folk vocal style gliding over the various mix of electronics, solid bass, layers of guitars all in the vein of the various new wave, alt-rock and post-punk styles. A cover of The Cure
's "Pictures of You" is well done and fits the overall style of the band quite well, though an easily covered song and not one I would attempt lightly as it's one of my all-time favorite tracks from an all-time favorite album, I think this duo pulled it off fairly well.
As I've listened to the album a number of times, I've found a few favorites that stand out well where the mix of folk-like female vocals and the driving alt-rock / new wave style fits well together. I think a band that pulled it off well twenty years ago is The Stone Roses
, so a modern female version seems appropriate in our world where it's hard to find the next creative thing. So once I got passed the obvious beat of "All This Love", that piece has grown on me as well as "I Don't Want You To Go" which has that driving 80's new wave ballad style. "A Faery Tale" is similar in style and has all the elements that grab my attention. The vocals are uncanny how they mix with the music, you wouldn't think it would really work, as a fan of Emiliana Torrini
who has a voice that rips my heart out whenever I hear it, Beth's vocals are similar in style and the air just drips with the moody angst. This mixed with the dance-friendly beats and driving rhythms create something truly unique that for some listeners it may take a bit to sink in, but for me it's been a joy.
As the album continues on, it is the heavier, driving pieces that catch my attention based on this unique mix. "We Had It All" is another of these favorites with the grinding guitars forming the heavy layers of music as a backdrop for the vocals. Out of the slower pieces "Where Did My Heart Go?" stands out as a favorite. It still seems to move along nicely, flowing rather than seeming interrupted or struggling, while all of the emotion and sincerity of the vocals remain strong.
This is an intriguing and unique group, definitely a lot of talent at all levels to be recognized and with the classic favorite styles presented, I think most readers and listeners here can find something to enjoy.
Label: The Fossil Dungeon