Herman Martinez is a multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter/artist from New Jersey who now resides in Georgia. On his recent release Solopsi Radio he explains that he sings about time travel, dimensional wormholes, love, xenophobia, musical myths and losing yourself to find yourself.
At the heart of Solopsi Radio is prog rock with a lot of experimental tendencies. Martinez doesn’t make compact pop songs that you would hear on mainstream radio. These aren’t the catchiest songs in the world and may take some people a little bit of time to wrap their ears around.
Whether you appreciate this music or not there is no denying Martinez is extremely skilled at the instruments he plays. There is a lot going on in each song from intricate guitar playing to unique timing transitions and more.
“Phonic Chronicles” is the first track and comes out of the gate with heavy prog rock. The guitar riffs veer towards metal in the beginning. In a brilliant move Martinez takes off the distortion and introduces clean guitars on the second verse, which gives the song an ethereal feel. The vocals are well delivered. He stays in key and I thought his delivery and the notes he hit served the song well.
“Fictional Realism” has a very different feel than the first song and threw me off a bit. It’s a solid song but not one of his strongest on the album. Martinez shines on “Every Letter I've Ever Sent” which embraces his technical prowess and creative abilities. “Sculptor” is another highlight, which reminded me of Alice N Chains at times while “Healing Factor” has an experimental EDM vibe.
There is a lot going on with these songs and the kind you really have to take your time with. Martinez packs so many notes and transitions that you will want to listen to this at least a couple of times. Good stuff.
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