Posts Tagged ‘Queens of the Stone Age’

Initial Mass formed when high school friends Mark Baldwin and Kevin Robertson joined up with another longtime friend, Scott Smith. And when the Los Angeles-based band Initial Mass came together, the familiarity found within the trio helped solidify the band’s music. That familiarity with each other can truly be an added bonus. What resulted was a trio that shared a familiarity with each other and a love for the same type of music.

With Mark Baldwin on guitar, vocals as well as songwriting, Scott Smith on bass and Kevin Robertson on drums, the three musicians create a trio that draws from Heavy Metal and Punk Rock.  Together, the resulting music falls solidly into the Progressive Rock category. Add in a good amount of Pop feel to the length of each and every track created by the band has a very energetic feel to it but would be welcome on any Modern Rock and/or Classic Rock radio format. That rather commercial feel in the Progressive Rock music from Initial Mass can be found on the band’s newest album entitled Bending Light.

Bending Light from Initial Mass begins with the track “Killing Heroes”. The slow but steady beat from drummer Robertson gives a strong base for the bass from Smith and guitar from Baldwin as the trio creates a song that moves forward with plenty of energy, creating a track that features a musical influence from a band like Queens of the Stone Age. The slow and steady pace at the beginning gives the listener a lot of power and then the band picks up the pace. The quicker pace creates a tempo that draws the listener in closer to the music. The clear, strong vocals from Mark Baldwin would place him within any Classic Rock band. His vocals and the music from the entire band create a track that would be perfect for any Modern Rock format.

The new album from Initial Mass continues with the title track of the release. The track “Bending Light” features all three of the musicians as the track begins with the sound of the drums from Robertson and the bass from Smith. It is Smith’s bass that lays down the foundation of the music for this track as he plays the instrument in much the same way guitarist Mark Baldwin would if he was creating the basis for the track. The resulting music from Smith’s bass creates an almost Jazz-like approach to the track. Soon enough, guitarist Baldwin and drummer Robertson join in and the track takes on a much different feel to the music. The track combines a generous amount of Rock and Roll and some Jazz influence to create a sound that alternates between hard and easier passages. “Bending Light” is easily one of the standout tracks on the album.

With the track “Reason to Take,” the men of Initial Mass show off their musical abilities. This track contains a slightly stronger Progressive Rock feel to the music and the ever-changing rhythms give the song its Prog-Rock approach. The alternating between one rhythmic pattern and another also adds to the progressive feel to the music. The vocals from Mark Baldwin add a generous amount of Classic Rock flavor to the track. For those who are true fans of Prog-Rock, “Reason to Take” is one track from the band where you will find just what you’re looking for. However, the track also contains plenty for fans of straight-out Rock and Roll as well.   

Initial Mass picks up the pace of their music quite a bit on the song “Resolution”. The quicker pace to the music adds more energy to the album and much like with the track “Reason to Take,” the music of the song “Resolution” changes tempos several times throughout the four-minute playtime. But the changes in tempo come gradually during the song and seem near effortless. This is a sure sign of the talent of the trio. About halfway through the track, the band slows the pace of the track down while also lightening the intensity of the music. In short, the track now takes on the feel of a power ballad but without the emotional connection. After a minute or so, the energy level increases and it is that level that brings the song to a close.

“Silence No More” by Initial Mass is the type of track that feels as if it should have been a lot longer. The slow-paced track begins with a thirty second instrumental introduction. After that, the track takes on a musical approach that feels like a combination of Modern Rock and Classic Rock as the vocals from lead singer Mark Baldwin take on a slight resemblance to the vocals of legendary rocker Jim Morrison. In fact, with those vocals, the track itself feels like a mix between The Doors and Queens of the Stone Age. “Silence No More” is one of the tracks on the Bending Light album from Initial Mass that will grab the attention of the listener.

The Bending Light album from Initial Mass comes to a close with the track “Embers Within”. The track begins rather unassumingly as singer Mark Baldwin’s his guitar initially contain a laidback feel and his vocals add to that low-key approach. That is short-lived, however, as the rest of the band join in ten seconds later. Keeping a slow pace, the stronger musical approach finds the band creating a track that marches along slowly but with plenty of energy to the music. The hard, solid quality to the music brings to mind the Heavy Metal of the eighties. The slow pace, yet energetic feel to the music of the track allows for “Embers Within” to feel like the perfect track to bring the Bending Light from Initial Mass to a close.

On their latest album of Bending Light, Initial Mass keeps things interesting with a release that features songs that contain a good variety of music. While drawing mostly from Progressive Rock, the Bending Light release from the band is easily accessible as the band keeps the more progressive elements to a minimum. Because of that, the album appeals to both fans of Prog-Rock as well as those who want music that is a little more listener-friendly.

The Bending Light release from Initial Mass is being released on July 26th, 2019. Because of that, there are no singles to be promoted yet. Stay tuned to the band’s website for more information.

For more information, check out Initial Mass’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

Canadian rocker Cole Hermer began his musical career early on when his mother bought him a guitar at the age of 10 years old. Since that point, the musician has taken off like a rocket and has started creating music that is just as hard-rockin’ as early rock bands such as Led Zeppelin or even The Yardbirds. And taking a listen to Hermer’s voice, one can hardly imagine that this is the voice of a teenager as it has the same strength of someone much older.

The music created by Cole Hermer and The Ravens seems a bit out of place with today’s music scene, and that’s a good thing because they are not following the same trends as most of the bands out there creating the same bland music. Cole Hermer and The Ravens have just released a new CD entitled Quoth the Raven.

The five songs that make up Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens run between a modern sound of someone like The White Stripes and Classic Rock bands Led Zeppelin. That combination will attract both young music seekers and older ones as well.

Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens begins with the track “California Breakdown”. The track is a great way to introduce the uninitiated to Hermer’s music as the track features a classic blues-rock sound that brings the listener back to the days of many of the bands that are now considered Classic Rock. The band comes together to create a song that seems to shed a little truth about the promises that come from one of the busiest and most popular places in the world where everyone goes to try to make it in the entertainment industry. Just listening to Hermer sing about that location may make you think twice about wanting to visit or become part of the “magic” that you find them.

The next song on the Quoth the Raven release from Cole Hermer and The Ravens, “Exploitable,” seems to follow in the same lyrical vein as “California Breakdown”. The song warns of people who only make money off of the young. A very ironic song coming from a musician as young as Cole Hermer, but at least he seems to know that he fits into the group. The track features a rock feel that is still very strong but has slightly less of an edge than the previous track. And as “California Breakdown” falls firmly into the Classic Rock vein, “Exploitable” seems to come from a much more recent time period in rock as you could easily hear the song played between bands like The Black Keys and Jet on today’s radio airwaves.

While “California Breakdown” and “Exploitable” have a lot of energy, the track of “Friends” seems to come out of nowhere as the track has a lot less energy than the previous tracks. The “anti-love song” from Cole Hermer and The Ravens stays away from the clichés of many other songs where the singer laments loudly about the loss of love; with this track, Cole Hermer focuses on the positive as he remembers the good days of the relationship. While not as powerful as the songs that came before it on the release, “Friends” still features good writing and also still features several guitar solos that have a lot of energy to them.

For the track of “Maybe,” Cole Hermer and the rest of the band stays in the same musical vein as on “Friends” as “Maybe” features an unplugged feel as the guitars featured on the track are all acoustic. The acoustic guitars used by Hermer helps to prove that, not only does he have chops when it come to the electric guitar, he also has chops when he plays the acoustic ones, as well.

For the final track on Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens, the band takes a large amount of influence from Queens of the Stone Age for the song “Teenage Creed”. While it is not identical to the QOTSA song, Cole Hermer and The Ravens’ “Teenage Creed” will no doubt have you thinking about “No One Knows” from the California-based band.

Each of the songs on Quoth the Raven from Cole Hermer and The Ravens is strong and well-written and well-played. The tracks allow the listener the chance to hear the unquestionable talent from Hermer and his band. Here’s to a full-length release!

Click HERE for the video to “Teenage Creed” by Cole Hermer & The Ravens.