Andy Eringis was playing in Chicago with original and cover bands for years before he decided to go at it on his own in 2013. On his recent release How To Construct A Rock Star he explains he is unapologetically tuneful and anti-contemporary. After taking a listen I can agree with his self-assessment. There is a strong influence from the ‘70s but even more so from ‘80s rock.
Bands like Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, Scorpions and Bryan Adams come to mind. Eringis’ music is distinct to the point that you will have a pretty good idea right off the bat if this is your cup of tea or not. This style of music should be familiar with most people even if you haven't explored every crevice of every genre. That being said, he does delve into other styles than guitar based anthemic rock.
The first track “Attention All Units” has all the staples of a rock song you would hear on the radio in the ‘80s including the vocal style, guitar fills and even the way the ride cymbal sounds. “Do It Again” has the type of chorus that is bound to get stuck in your head one way or the other. The heavy distorted riff and vocal melody are addictive so don’t be surprised you have this song on repeat.
The first deviation comes on the fourth song entitled “The Only Peace I’ve Ever Known.” This song was a personal favorite and I thought the acoustic guitar playing had Led Zeppelin-esque/Rusted Root type quality. “Giant” and “The Genuine Article” revert to ‘80s arena rock, which has a tinge of the ‘70s that lands between Satriani, Spinal Tap and Thin Lizzy.
Another highlight was “Shoes.” Billy Joel came to mind during the verse but left my thoughts when the chorus hit. Eringis isn’t without a sense of humor as we see on “I Love You, Now Shut Up for a Minute” which has the most beautiful guitar playing if you ask me. Instead of blaring lead solos like we heard on other songs he relies on guitar picking which was technically impressive.
How To Construct a Rock Star will certainly attract a niche audience with styles like EDM and post-rock more prevalent than ever. Do yourself a favor and take a listen for yourself. Eringis might be right up your alley.
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