Ricardo Ortiz (guitars/vocals), Kris Keller (guitars/vocals), Adam Nine (bass) and Kurt Keller (drums) are Black Note Graffiti. The band released Volume II. They are a rock band through and through with a ’90s sound that fits somewhere between Linkin Park, Evanescence and a couple of other like-minded bands.. Something about the production also played into their ’90s sound.
Up first is “No Love Lost” which is the adrenaline pumping groove that sounds like it could be the walk in octagon music for a UFC fighter. The general vibe didn’t fit a sound of an “indie” band. It was a familiar sounding song in a number of ways.
“Such is Art” was a little more nuanced. There are dramatic Trent Reznor type whispers but the most inspired moments were when the vocal harmonies would be in the air with a palm muted guitar. “Castles” is a really straightforward and aggressive rock song while “Bar from The Cages” is a little more melodic and loose during the verse. The band plows through a number of songs that are well delivered and certainly rock. I thought the highlights were “Wicked Ways” and “Send off.”
Black Note Graffiti is a solid band. They can write a tune and play their asses off. Their sound felt like an amalgamation of different bands that I have heard previously in some way and I had a harder time finding the X-factor in their style.
I didn’t hear that defining element that would help me recognize their song if I heard it on the radio and because of that it could get lost in the ether. Suffice it to say I wanted to hear a little more experimentation and for the band to take some chances with where the music could go.
Overall, this is an album that will attract a more general demographic. Their music has a commercial quality that has a broader appeal. For what they do they do it really well.
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