CD Review: The Get Ahead “Volcano”

Posted: January 29, 2015 in Music
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Portland, Oregon seems to have no shortage of good bands that are producing some really good stuff to listen to. One of those bands that are currently creating some joyful noise in that city’s music scene is The Get Ahead. A five-piece outfit made up of Juliet Howard – Vocals, Nathan Earle – Vocals + Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Danny Johnson – Drums, Sean Farrell – Bass and Steve Johnson – Sax, The Get Ahead creates music that combine the best of artists like Sam & Dave and James Brown & The Famous Flames with a few other styles of rock and roll to create a fresh take on the music.

The Get Ahead is still a relatively young outfit and until recently had only released one six-song self-titled EP. However, that will change in a few weeks when the band releases their new full-length album entitled Volcano.

Volcano begins with the track “Could Be Better”. The guitar from Nathan Earle begins the track with a little soulful feel to the music and then Earle begins to sing lyrics about his life in a way that feels like a blues number until he sings “could be better but it could be worse,” the theme of the song. The vocals from Earle are joined by those from singer Juliet Howard to create a duet-like feel to the lyrics. The music blends Soul with a little R&B to create a strong track.

The quick-paced feel of “Could Be Better” gives way to a slower approach on the track “No One Even Knows,” a track that takes more from the Blues than anything else. The track features vocalist Juliet Howard who sings about leaving home. The sad lyrics tell of a woman who wants something more from her life even if she has to find that life on the streets. The track features some power guitar playing from Nathan Earle and a very soulful and sorrow-filled saxophone solo from Steve Johnson.

Stepping away from the sadness found on “No One Even Knows,” the band turns up the energy on the track “Little Devil”. The track about knowing your inner demons but continuing to look for the light has a great energetic feel and will get the listener moving. The energetic feel of the song is created with the help of bassist Sean Farrell and drummer Danny Johnson who seem to step out from the back of the band to create a much more powerful musical approach than the first two tracks on the release. Along with the energetic feel of the music, the back-and-forth vocal play between Juliet Howard and Nathan Earle help make for a fun listening experience.

Volcano from The Get Ahead continues with the track “Too Hot”. The track features vocalist Juliet Howard who sings about a man who is all looks but no substance: “You may have a fine body, but baby that’s all you got.” Lyrics like that and the simple yet addictive refrain to the song along with the smokin’ music to the song make for a track that could easily be a single.

After plenty of songs that feature very strong and energetic music, the band slows things down with the track “Moonstricken,” a track that features a soft, soulful feel to the music. The soulful playing of the guitar from Nathan Earle begins the track only to be joined by the soft playing from Steve Johnson. After a few moments, Earle’s vocals join the musical mix. Earle and Howard create a duet on the track that has plenty of beauty and magic to it. The slower song is a good change of pace from the earlier, heavier tracks as the listener gets to enjoy the playing ability of all of the band members as they add their “voices” to the track.

There are other artists out there today that create R&B music, but very few can create songs that feel like the stuff that was created by artists like Sam & Dave or even James Brown. The Get Ahead is one group that seems to have figured out the right way to create the music while giving it their own spin. If you are a fan of R&B and/or Soul music, give The Get Ahead and their album of Volcano a listen.

(The Get Ahead are currently in the middle of getting ready to release the newest album of Volcano. The album will be released on February 10th, 2015. Stay tuned to the band’s website for all the details.)
(For this and other releases, check out the band’s PR Firm, Palomine Media.)

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Comments
  1. Here in Austin we don’t hear enough about Northwest bands, so thanks for posting this review. We will have to check out The Get Ahead next time in Portland. Thx

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