South of Eden, a classic rock-esq band from Ohio, release an EP, The Talk (LAVA Music), to eager supporters, new admirers, and all-around music connoisseurs. The Talk presents listeners with a wonderful classic rock era sound. Think the mid to late seventies through the early nineties; when rock was fun, light, airy, and full of awesome guitar riffs and harmonies that sweep you off your feet and float you away to rock and roll heaven. It may sound like an over-exaggeration, but pick up The Talk and you will smile in understanding.
The opening track, ‘The Talk’, is part AC/DC – part Brian Adams. The song interweaves basic chord power structures with a minimalistic snare drum, soft understated guitar melody, and some heavy mystical vocals. The song is smooth, like milk chocolate. Then a minute from the end it lifts off into this prog 70s Heavy Metal inspired breakdown before spending the last thirty seconds grinding out some perfectly executed rock riffage. ‘Solo’ is this funky DMB inspired smooth grove. There are shades of Audioslave and Eric Clapton in this composition. The song is, again, expertly put together. Justin Young’s guitar solo is earthy and alive. Ehab Omran’s vocals are soulful. ‘Morning Brew’ is a lazy driving a taxi down New York City streets in the 70s. The cars are steely and round, the shoes have thick platforms, the shirt collars are wide. Thick billowing smoke escapes the subway from tall white and orange swirled cones and joins the skyscrapers reaching towards the sky. People are sat on their stoops smoking and joking, the kids darting back and forth up and down the block; skipping rope, throwing a baseball, innocently having fun. If ‘Morning Brew’ were a colour, it would be sepia. If ‘Morning Brew’ were an adjective, it would be nostalgia. The Talk closes with ‘Dancing With Fire’, an early Van Halen, Led Zeppelin style bombastic classic rock foot stomper.
But why should you, dear reader, buy South of Eden’s The Talk? Ehab Omran might just be one of the best vocalists of 2020. The combination of Tom McCullough and Nick Frantianne creates a solid stable rhythm section. The lyrics are poignant and soulful. The composition of the songs creates flow and movement. The various rhythms make you want to move, to dance even. The melody and texture are simple enough to enjoy yet complex enough to keep you coming back for repeat listening. ‘The Talk’ is a solid, always enjoyable, rock album. Purchase it here.
7 / 10