Former guitarist for the Houston-based band Underground Nation Al Loya has been making his own music. His influences range from alternative, blues, funk and pretty much everything else under the sun. Loya has been recording and slowly releasing his music. On his Bandcamp page he has released two tracks so far “Ends With Out You” and “Redemption.” After spending some time with these two tracks and two unreleased ones I can say that Loya definitely has some talent. That being said there is some tweaking that could be done to these songs that would elevate them to the next level.
Let's starts with “Ends With Out You.” I have to say it’s bit confusing because on his Bandcamp page it says it’s by Nirvana, Neal Young, Boston and Jimmy Page. That’s clearly not the case. Loya seems to be implying that those were the influences for these songs. The song itself is well written but some problems do surface within the recording. Sometimes his vocals get too buried in the mix and there isn’t much separation between the instrumentation. On top of that there are a couple of noticeable timing issues.
Out of the influences he mentions the most apparent on the recording is Boston. The songs start with a lone guitar and vocals. Loya sings, “In this sound track to my life I've seen love I've seen strife Insignificant roles we play in this game of life. I've tried hard to win but most times I lose.” He has a naturally aesthetically pleasing voice. The song has decent dynamics but occasionally feels like it's breaking apart at the seams like just before the three-minute mark.
The other song that Loya released on his Bandcamp page entitled “Redemption” is superior to “Ends With Out You” in a number of areas. First off the recording itself sounds better. You can hear Loya’s vocals clearly in the mix and there is more separation. “Redemption” still has Boston influences but you can also hear his Neal Young influence as well on this song.
The song starts with some nifty acoustic guitar but it doesn't take long for Loya to rock out. His electric guitar is covered in distortion, which occasionally melds with a detuned vocal. Some of the guitar riffs feel pretty epic and Loya even sounds a bit like Neal Young on this song.
I had an opportunity to hear Loya’s unreleased material and I can say that it’s going to be some of his best yet. There isn’t much material for you to sink your teeth into at this point but his new material indicates that we are in for a treat.
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