Review Summary: Matt’s vocals are great and sincere, while the guitars are great while not overpowering the listener, and the drums and bass keep it simple but effective. Complicated is Parmalee at their best and lets the fans know that the band is still out there doin
Greenville, North Carolina based Parmalee has been around since 2001, and is still going strong without a record deal. That has not stopped this group of four southern gentlemen that has proven more then once that moms can till teach their sons proper manners and how to treat everyone they meet. These four guys have also found that leaving their roots is not the only way to make it in today’s music industry. They had gone to work with Producer Stevo Bruno while working on some tracks with Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx. They decided to get back to their southern roots and went down to Nashville to work with Kevin Beamish. They now have their whole discography on ITunes while releasing their new EP Complicated
on May 22nd.
In the case of the Complicated
EP, the songs are not complicated at all. They are split straight down the middle of heavy tracks and soft tracks. I will start with the heavier tracks off the EP. “Gasoline
” starts with a southern acoustic guitar intro that leads into a distorted guitar riff. You then have a chugging distorted guitar riff while a clean riff is playing in the background. Near the end of the song, you have a great solo that comes back slightly altered for the outro riff. The vocals on the track have a live vibe to them while the drums are great using a simple bass/snare/cymbal combo.
The intro “Only The Good Die Young
” riff is decent but receives help from the vocals that accompany it. After the intro, clean guitar is used throughout most of the song. Matt’s vocals still have the softer tinge you hear on the softer tracks, but are raspier in a sense on this track. A great thing about Matt is that he hold his notes out, including at the end of this song. The main drum feature during this song is the snare, which helps when the song goes through a change of pace in the middle of the track. The change of pace helps this song stand out as a classic Parmalee “tweener” song. Parmalee is best when the lien between heavy and soft is blurred.
This is the case on the track “Wash
”. I had trouble determining where to place this on the spectrum. I finally decided to place it on the heavier side of the EP because of the last half of the track when the guitars came from the backseat to the forefront. Before that though, you had the drums as the leader for the track with the bass being clearly heard through the whole song. The bass is exceptionally well as well as the soaring vocals during the intro. A great guitar riff is heard when the song flows into the heavier portion of the track. This was a great choice for the final song as a great EP ends on a great note.
Now we move to the softer side of the EP while Parmalee really shines. It all starts with a clean guitar riff as Matt harmonizes his voice on the title track. His voice shows you the vulnerability needed for the softer songs. Matt’s voice during the chorus and the guitars work so well in the song. The guitar solo in the middle of the song is good while the vocal trade-off at the end of the tracks finishes it off well.
The intro to “Carolina
” features some great guitar strumming the follows into the main portion of the song, in which you can hear two distinct guitar riffs. A piano is found on this song and it fits the mood of the song very well. Near the end of the song, it goes back to strumming while Matt’s voice is the only other instrument being used. This track really shows how great Matt is as a vocalist and how he can be a crooner.
” is the best song and a fan favorite. It is not hard to see why with the vocals being on point the whole song, the guitars working so well, and the drums keeping it simple to not hurt the mood. An acoustic guitar starts the song off and continues as an electric guitar enters the mix. The acoustic guitar eventually ends as the electric guitar continues on to the heavier middle part of the song. This leads exceptionally well into the ending of the song.
Some may see the split of heavy and soft as a band who does not know what pathway they want to follow, this is quite the contrary, Parmalee knows exactly what they want their sound to be. Each track has both soft and heavy parts; the songs just fall to one side of the spectrum over the other. Matt’s vocals are great and sincere, while the guitars are great while not overpowering the listener, and the drums and bass keep it simple but effective. Parmalee has paid their dues and it has shown with international success and their fans anticipating any new material. Complicated
is Parmalee at their best and lets the fans know that the band is still out there doing what they love to do with a passion.
Lasting Value: 5