Review Summary: A very good take on Pearl Jam/Foo Fighters sound with a social conscience.
Forging your musical path by in a way following the footsteps of the melodic rock that was born out of Grunge and bands like The Foo Fighters and Perl Jam is probably one of the hardest routes to take these days. Coming up with a decent guitar riffs or having a vocalist that sounds anywhere between Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder just is not enough. You do need to come up with really good melodic lines, some elements that are your own and some lyrics that make more than just plain sense. Good playing, of course is a default.
On the evidence of Anatomy, their second outing, Charlottesville's Pale Blue Dot certainly go that path. But luckily for Tony LaRocco and his band, they certainly come up with enough of their personal musical and lyrical identity to come up with something that is not run of the mill Foo Fighters/Perl Jam sound.
First of all, LaRocco can truly come up with some some strong songwriting that becomes evident as soon as the opener “I Know” starts. The quartet, aided by some very strong players from the local Virginia scene exhibit excellent playing LaRocco’s material, like the shifting “Stained Glass Window” requires. They all add some musical elements that bring the necessary variety, whether it is elements of progressive or jazz, like the washes of trumpet or touches of country (“Lo And Behold”). For a few moments, songs even exhibit the melodic pop sense of Coldplay, like on “Dust and Light”, which itself has some excellent guitar work.
Secondly, LaRocco’s lyrics make sense and cover not only personal theme’s but serious social commentaries and it is no wonder that the more recent events in Charlottesville express his grief and anger at racist outbreaks. Whether it is the more uptempo songs like “Only Love” and “Suitcase” or slower “Yesterday’s News,” Pale Blue Dot with the two closing tracks”The Harlot And A Gambler” and “Lo And Behold” being the standouts here show that they could be destined to come up with some interesting musical achievements.