After twenty years of cover bands and solo projects, David Burr has teamed up with Jody Dietz to form Storm Chronicles, who self-released their debut album Looking Backward in September. Burr holds down the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, samples and back up vocals that drive Dietz’s powerful vocals that are often reminiscent of Janis Joplin. For a DIY album, the musical complexities and composition are clean and sharp. The adult album alternative “Looking Backward” carries a strong vein of darkwave mixed in with its eerie intro beats. Properly named, the “Looking Backward” is full of anxieties about time; the future, the past and all of the loneliness in between.
The album opens with an eerie, crawling out of a swamp beginning “Still Breathing” track. The second, title track “Looking Backward Pt.1” picks right up with Dietz’s powerhouse vocals and a brief rock n roll guitar breakdown. Storm Chronicles are not afraid to extol chilling truths in their lyrics, “the human race / in a broken state / no common sense / at all” from “Corners.” This track has the strongest lyrics on the album bringing in the title theme of time, the failures of people to anything more than mediocre, along with the desire to hide in the “Corners” from these realities.
Another highlight was the hyperspace ballad called "Run". The song combines 1980's metal with crystalized synths that Mike Oldfield would be proud of. It showcases a technically proficent piano lead that plays against an atmosphere of warm pads.
The album exits boldly with an 8.5 minute final track “Individual.” I found the buildup a little lagging, but the slow build it worth the listen for Dietz’s vocal intensity and grunge guitar just after minute 6.
Overall, the arrangements are complex but not showy. I found myself wishing for more of Dietz’s clearly impressive vocal range. With their dark alternative rock style, Storm Chronicles approach Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac, but with more expensive toys. Confront your own humanity and download Storm Chronicles “Looking Backward” below.
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