EP REVIEW: Will McBride Group - 3 PLAY (EP)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"McBride is amazing"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Will McBride Group
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Jazz, Pop, Fusion, R&B
Sounds Like: John Mayer, Toto, Steely Dan, Hall and Oats
Technical Grade: 9/10
10 star rating are reserved only for Full Length CD's.
North Carolina based Singer/Songwriter Will McBride Group has released his
latest EP appropriately titled 3 PLAY in 2012. Grammy-nominated producer John Custer (Corrosion of
Conformity, DAG, Cry of Love) produced this three-song rock/pop
follow-up to the band’s 2009 release Trifecta. 3Play, the 2nd
release from The Will McBride Group. Music has been described as a
blur between jazz, rock, and pop, as their fans have come to expect.
The CD kicks things off with “90 Minutes to Nowhere” a vibrant into piece that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition with its progressive rhythm, melodic rhythm ambience and a grand slam chorus. This first track makes a great first impression wit it’s hypnotic vocal vibe, well placed harmonies against a grand slam of a chorus. Track 2 “Mental Health Day” is a slamming flowing up that serves up rock steady groove against impressive jazzy-rock guitar groove served up hot against and infectious vocal melody from McBride making for my favorite track on the EP. Track 3 “Ultimate Sacrifice’ dishes out yet another thought provoking piece of music with rocking rhythm guitars, well-placed harmonies and catchy vocal hooks. The EP makes a solid impression dishing out 3 impressive songs. As the catalogue slowly unfolded I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of such acts like Toto, Steely Dan, Hall and Oats, Todd Rundgren and even John Mayer. For the record McBride's sound is not easy to pigeonhole – in a good way. The music itself is an impressive blend of classic Jam Band, Progressive Rock and even hints of Jazz-Rock or Smooth Jazz. Overall the music is extremely dynamic and melodic in nature. McBride’s voice goes down smooth and is full of passion, reckless abandon and inviting moxy. The musicianship from McBride and company is world class and kudos goes out to his amazing solo guitar work and impressive rhythm section. Also present besides the 4 piece standard delivery you will notice impressive well placed keyboard and synthesizer accents, lush harmonies and top flight low end grooves. The songs themselves are extremely dynamic and progressive in nature, and the songwriting is extremely creative and clever. Many of the songs have a satirical lyrical quality to them that only adds to the overall listening experience. I might add those who enjoy off time rhythm sections and dynamic time changes will love this release. Each song possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. I especially like how the whole CD just flows across the ears song for song and note for note.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this 3 song collection. I only wish there were more songs. Typically I don’t give 10 start ratings out to EP’s. The Full Length release is the ultimate snapshot of who an artists is and shows a more complete picture of his craft. I Would recommend for the full length incorporate a few more musical elements. Things like Saxophone, Horns, Trumpet, Percussive Accents and Hammond Organ will only make the musical experience that much more vivid.
Overall 3 PLAY by Will McBride Group is an extremely entertaining catalogue of music. I only wish there were more songs. It’s strong suit – the amazing amount of originality, creativity and musical diversity this EP has to offer. The production value is thick as a brick and like the aforementioned I especially enjoyed the amazing musicianship and amazing flow and ebb quality to the catalogue. My hats off to Custer and the rest of the Production Team, but also to McBride for taking all this on himself and pulling it off very well. All in all Will McBride sis amazing with his unique signature sound and multitalented musical virtuoso. I look forward to hearing the full length hopefully later this year.