Del Rue is a band based in Rutland, Vermont, and consists of Aaron Brush on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Austin Herber on rhythm and lead guitar, Justin Fornari on drums and Zack Primrose on bass and saxophone. Their debut album Solid Ground is an eclectic mix of rock, funk and almost ska sounding tracks recorded and mixed at Primrose Productions. The band has a hard time defining their sound, as each track is completely different than the others. However, each track has a funky unique vibe and a method to its wild madness.
The EP begins with “Whim” which starts off with a catchy guitar melody and blends into a funky upbeat sound. Brush’s vocals are a little overwhelming at first but his wild, all-over-the-place style quickly grew on me and went really well with the eccentric vibe of the music. The harmonies in the chorus seemed a little off to me and the bass solo was awesome even though I had to strain pretty hard to hear it, but overall I really loved the song. It was fresh and original and put me in a good mood.
“Fun Times With Guns” started with a similar melody but quickly turned into its own unique fun little universe with a very cool vocal arrangement. The saxophone in the chorus was unexpected but fit perfectly, helping with the ska comparison I was leaning towards in the first track. At this point, I had really begun to enjoy Brush’s vocals immensely. They remind me of a combination of Jerry Lee Lewis and Anthony Kiedis, which is as crazy as it sounds. This was easily my favorite track on the album and in my opinion, helps define Del Rue’s sound.
The fun vibe continued with title track “Solid Ground” which was a little bit more fast paced. The vocal harmonies were on point in this one and it had a lot of cool instrumental jam sessions. The final track “Feed the Hungry” started with a really funky, swaying melody which blended into much more of a rock sound than the other tracks. It was just a whole lot of fun. I think it was a perfect ending track for the EP since it blended all three sounds of the previous songs while still maintaining its own independence and sounding unique, which pretty much sums up the band.
I really, really, really enjoyed Solid Ground. The band is obviously still figuring out their sound and coming into their own, but I think they have a pretty nifty starting point. I definitely find it hard to put their sound into a genre, but I can say it takes all the fun parts of ska, rock, punk and surf and turns it into a groovy little new club that I totally want to join. The production value is top notch and besides a couple of little odd things, the album sounds professional and finished. I’m looking forward to future albums for sure.
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