Label: TSM/SLW 2011
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Can you recall the Circle Of Soul? Ehh, nevermind, I believe it's a question too obscure and not really in touch with the metal scene of today? Okay, simply scratch the latter and let's have a go at U.S of A's Four Trips Ahead and their latest EP, "The Memories". Produced by vocalist Peter Wilson and mixed by long-time Grammy award winning engineer and new drummer Nick Cipriano, "The Memories" is a true independent hard rock release. More specifically, it is a focused and daring statement of progressive musical intent. Well, the latter according to the press-release of course and not my words.
The band first came together in search of new creative outlet and creating heavy, progressive sounds with strong melodies and dynamics. Now don't go thinking "progressive rock" though as nuthin' could be further from the truth. They're merely "progressive" in theory and not as much when it comes to music style. It's a very modern take at "soul" and "funk" metal and acts such as Kings's X (simply check out "Remembering Who I Am"), Faith No More, just a tiny hint of Red Hot Chili Peppers (especially during the ballad, "Memento"), are clearly some of their influences. Add to this aggressive tendencies in the style of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and you're sort of close to the core of the band. What? Yeah, they play some kind of nice cross-over metal and it's not quite as easy to describe in words.
The problem with Four Trips Ahead is perhaps that they don't offend, shock, stand-out like a shaved Britney 'Wacko' Spears. It's strickly just four musicians doing their thang. I do like the vocalist as he's got enough "soul" to get the train off the station and the band's certainly capable of producing the goods. They've been playing the tri-state and New York scene for quite a while with performaces at Crash Mansion, The Delancey, Arlene's Grocery, The trash Bar, the much missed CBGB's, etc. I believe they need to find that special "hit song" though. Nice though... darn nice.