Jamin Casciato aka Tear Bottle is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer currently located in Portland, Oregon. He apparently studied in Spain, Belgium, Mexico, South Korea and Iraq. He plays a variety of stringed instruments including the Spanish flamenco guitar, baglama (Turkish lute), and liuqin (Chinese mandolin). He has also been known to employ distinct percussion instruments from India, Ethiopia and Morocco.
After reading that I have to admit I was excited to hear if any of these instruments would show up on his Sessions (which is in fact a session recording). What I wasn’t expecting was a stripped down effort and familiar sound of electric guitar and his vocals. The songwriting is solid and I enjoyed his vocals. That being said some of the songs regardless of what I read really felt like they were begging for more instrumentation. Especially in places where the energy is intense and he is aggressively strumming.
Sessions opens with “Reformed People Pleaser.” The guitar is simple but groovy. It could be in a funk song if there was bass and drums in there. The main draw are his vocals which unfortunately are a bit too masked at times because of the guitar.
Next up is “You May Choose A or…A.” The song starts off great. His vocal melody is money with a lightly strummed guitar. I would have been fine with him leaving the song at that level. Towards the end of the song Casciato beefs up the guitar with distortion also effectively putting his vocals in the back of the mix.
“Because We Believe It” starts with a pleasantly picked guitar and vocals. The first section is great. He then breaks into a fully strummed section with wah guitar. It is one of his best vocal lines and delivered with expertise.
I get that Sessions is a stripped down effort but it doesn’t always feel as if Casciato is approaching it that way. It feels like he wants to rock these songs out a bit more. Overall, Casciato has a good amount of talent as a songwriter and I thought his vocal delivery was top notch. I can give two thumbs up for this EP. What I’m really interested in hearing is some more fleshed out songs with top notch production. I’d keep an eye out for that.
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