Album Review: LiquidLight - Uninitiated

Relentlessness and expansiveness meet on the latest release from LiquidLight. The band blends the best of Alt Rock, Classic Rock, Punk, and Experimental music to give your ears plenty to digest. For fans of rock there is something for everyone on this record. It won't take very long for new listeners to appreciate the complexity and beauty of Uninitiated

Lead singer and guitarist Anthony Medici has a no-nonsense approach to his vocals that captured me right away. He can go from a whisper like dynamic to a tortured melody in a way that feels personal and impactful. As a vocalist it's a great quality to have and is something that can only be done if you truly believe what you are singing. On the track "All Others Pay Cash" this vocal dynamic is used extremely well. The vocals on this album are great all the way through, they draw you in and paint the picture. As a guitarist, I fell in love with the way the band tracked the guitars and the extensive use of different tones. The other guitarist in the band, Cory West, has a way of grabbing you at just the right time by adding second guitar parts that create a whole different sonic layer. The riffs that he and Anthony are running through are mind blowing. The breakdowns and solos are not Prog Rock but it sure has that urgency to it at times. It's as if the guitars on the album are Prog Rock meets Alt and Blues to create an intense yet melodic vibe. 

Simply put the rhythm section of LiquidLight is incredible. Drummer Zack Rodrigues and bassist Gage Dean are absolutely in the pocket on this record! Their playing and the recording reminds me of Ben Shephard and Matt Cameron on Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger. Just take one listen to the track "Vindication" and you will hear it too. This is also a song that highlights the vigorous guitar work of Cory and Anthony as I described it above. The outro of this song is a blast to listen to It sounds like the band went into overdrive with soaring slide work and blistering fast drum parts on the snare. A few other stand out songs for me right now are "Get Up / Get Around" and "Train Wrecker".  "Get Up / Get Around" starts off by driving you into the song with punchy guitar parts and then opens up with with cleaner guitar tones and great fill work on the drums by Zack. The midsection of this track has a beautiful solo with one of the best guitar tones on the album. The song "Train Wrecker" is a song you should give all of your attention to when listening. Also do yourself a favor and throw on headphones for this song and the entire record.  "Train Wrecker" is a wall of sound. The first time I listened to it I was just waiting to see where the song would go next. This track is just over 6 minutes but it seems to go by much faster! Honestly my favorite songs on the record seem to change every time I have it on. To me that is such a compliment to the band that I'm still finding new things to enjoy on the album. 

In March on Portland Radio Project I had a chance to interview the band and talk to them about making the record. Anthony spoke about the writing process and how the band works together to create a sound that is all their own. It was a real pleasure to speak with Cory as well about his guitar selection and how he creates the tapestry of sound with Anthony. Be sure to check out the podcast, you will get a nice glimpse behind the curtain of LiquidLight. 

It's evident that the band put all of their hearts into this project and recordings. Recently they won The Deli Portland Best Emerging Band which was voted on by the public. I highly recommend getting the album and taking the time to dig into these songs. Uninitiated by LiquidLight is one of the best rock records that Portland has to offer!