CD Review: Vintage Blue “Strike the Mics”

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Music
Tags: , , , , ,
If you are a fan of rock and roll and you really don’t have a specific preference to the style that you listen to, Vintage Blue is the band for you. Vintage Blue is a band made up of vocalist and lead guitarist Ben Bassett, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Ryan Tibbs, bassist and vocalist Cesar Corral, keyboard and saxophone player Matt Zimmerman and Will Crowden. The Chicago-area band takes a lot of different sounds and styles of rock and roll and combines them into their music. It’s this combination that can be found on the band’s new release called Strike the Mics.
The Strike the Mics album begins with the track “Set you free”. The song has a strong beat to it, and with the inclusion of Matt Zimmerman’s sax, the song has a great ska quality to it. It’s nice to come across people who want to keep their music from sounding like everyone else’s, and with the ska flavor to this track, Zimmerman and the rest of Vintage Blue give you something different right at the beginning of their new release.
Vintage Blue follows up the ska-influenced “Set You Free” with the song “Unchained”. With this track, the band lets loose a lot of energy on this solid rocker. The guitar playing on the track help add a lot of power to this release. The contrast between the ska feeling on “Set You Free” and the straight-out rock feeling of “Unchained” allows the listener to hear a major difference in the sound of Vintage Blue right at the beginning of the album.
One of the best tracks of the album is probably “California Road”. With the combination of guitars, the keyboards and saxophone from the members in the band, the resulting track has a feel that should give any lover of classic rock a reason to smile.  
Matt Zimmerman once again is featured on another track off of Strike the Mics, the new release from Vintage Blue. While Zimmerman was feature on the saxophone on “Set You Free,” this time the musician is behind the keyboards on the song “Speak”. It is Zimmerman’s playing on the keyboards that really make the song, at least for me.
Probably the most commercial of the songs on Strike the Mics from Vintage Blue is “Just Breathe“. The modern rock music on the song has a feel that might remind people of other modern rock bands like Vertical Horizon.
On the song “What Lies,” the band changes directions once again with their sound. The track features a song that has a more acoustic feel, as the acoustic guitar has a large part in the shaping of the music on this song. The electric guitar on the track helps keep the song from getting too soft. It’s a good balance.

With the song “Great Divide,” Vintage Blue takes a lighter approach. The love song features a great duet, while the music also features a string section to add an orchestral feel. With the beauty in the lyrics and in the music, this is one of the best love songs I’ve heard in a long time.
To finish off Strike the Mics, Vintage Blue includes the song “True”. This is yet another side to the band’s side, as they seem to transport their listener back in time to an era closer to the beginning of rock and roll. The sound of the rock music takes a simpler feel to it, while the saxophone really adds a vintage sound quality to the song that really brings the listener back to that earlier era of rock music.
Having created a sound that features so many different styles of rock music, Chicago band Vintage Blue gives their listeners music that never gets stale and their new release called Strike the Mics reflects that fact. You will definitely find something that catches your ear; however, if you’re like me, the entire release will leave you smiling. There really should be more bands like this out there in today’s music industry.
***** (Out of 5)

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