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July 2015

Do some stretches, because Nashville-based Overwatcher are bringing the melodic hardcore madness, and some soft moshing is imminent.

Although a relatively new band, the guys have come out swinging with red-blooded live shows and a victory in our Band of the Month competition. The release of their debut EP "Metaphysics" will undoubtedly add fuel to their face-melting fire.
With the ample sound you'd expect from a six-piece, the guys are bringing a new vitality to the melocore scene. "Metaphysics" features the melodic exploration and merciless pulse of predecessors like Touche Amore, mewithoutyou and Defeater, with the brutal lyrical honesty and self-awareness of post-grad punk kids.
Overwatcher has created an engaging and discerning debut EP that is just as dynamic (if not more so) live. During their most recent performance at The East Room, lead vocalist Alex MacWilliam, performing through a head-wound he earned early in the set, filled up every ounce of space he could get his hands on. Often on tables and chairs, level with the crowd, even lying down, MacWilliam lead his crew through an intense, energetic set. Whether the audience is of five or 5,000, the performance remains wholehearted, and there is definitely something to be said for that.
Overwatcher is putting a refreshing spin on melodic hardcore, and "Metaphysics" is a testament to their musical prowess and clear passion for the genre. And, I can only assume this is just the beginning.  -Caroline Bowman

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Review of Gabrahm Vitek's, "Soular Flares"

Review of Gabrahm Vitek's, "Soular Flares"

It seems Gabrahm Vitek was hardly resistant to the band of gypsies that captured him in his sleep. Feeding him nothing but soul, Mr. Vitek has been munchin’ on some funky jazz with some jivy cats. Marginally different from anything I remember hearing at Christopher’s Pizza in 2007, I can assure you that soul-tapped and face-lifted, Mr. Vitek has seen the light.

His latest full length album, Soular Flares, flows as smooth as the lively licks it encases. Gabe has put some serious concentration into making an album that transitions flawlessly. Intentionally starting things out on a train ride to the heart of the record, he breaks things up with three instrumental interludes, showcasing his dive into compositional experimentation as he swims around sounds like Radiohead’s MK1 and Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors.

Sandwiching these Radiohead-esque interludes are effortlessly catchy songs like “Your Turn”, “It’s On”, “You Got Fire” and “No Look Dancing”. (Check out the music video for "No Look Dancing" here). Up-beat and full of soul, you can expect to hear some vibrant horn solos, powerhouse backup vocals, and classic Gabrahm Vitek piano riffs. A delightfully interesting match-up, Gabe’s poppy vocals (at times Ben Folds, at times Jamie Cullum, at times straight Vitek) have a way of jumping around on a bed of jazzy instrumentation, yielding some very fresh originality.

Gabe dresses up his thoughts on love, women, and coming of age through his contagiously danceable beats - however, he doesn’t forget to slow things down with intimate and personal tracks like “Needle + Thread”. Despite this healthy combination, it’s obvious that “No Look Dancing” is the core of the album – allowing listeners to kick off their shoes and let go of the reins.

Soular Flares feels like one of those records where one lightbulb led one artist deep into a cave of invention – remaining reclusive until the music baby was ready to be born. Lucky for us, Gabrahm Vitek will be releasing this gem, polished and perfected, October 22nd at The Basement. Not to mention he has roped in a solid A-team of Nashville’s finest rhythm and groove players. I’ll see you there.--Mackenzie Grosser



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