Click the icon in the photo to listen to “Try Harder”
Photo credit: The Broken Rhodes facebook page
The Broken Rhodes is a modern day 3-piece hailing from Chander, Arizona, consisting of Parker Jones on bass and lead vocals, Nick Allen on percussion, and Zander on guitar. These gents recently released a new full length entitled “Try Harder,” an eleven song album that navigates a unique soundscape that, while similar in feel to many current acts, carves its own sound.
The pumped up “Rex” opens the album with heavy guitar riffs and a soaring vocal melody nearly reminiscent of The Sword. The heavy riffs give way to syncopated drums, opening us to bouncing blues jam “Rolling Hills.” After only two songs the appeal of the album becomes clear: this is a band with diversity in their songwriting, a conscious application of sound across several genres. Whereas the album opener is a heavy rock infused power jam, “Rolling Hills” carries a more hooky Black Keys sound – at least until the guitar solo. As the shredding commences three minutes in, all bets are off.
A change quickly takes place with “What You Need,” the album’s next song. Here, one of the most interesting aspects of the album becomes apparent: the vocal diversity of Parker Jones. The necessity of a chameleon such as this is evident with such diverse songs. The intentionally paced increase in intensity keeps the listener’s attention all the way to the pay off. “What You Need” showcases a band in line with Kings Of Leon, and fades naturally into the next song, the ballad “Pay The Bills”. Shimmering guitar slowly allowing this song to build until it’s breaking point is reminiscent of an interesting combination between Kings of Leon and Explosions In The Sky.
Encapsulating the needs, sentiments, and frustrations of the day to day human battle is the album namesake “Try Harder,” an evenly crafted and subtly beautiful downtempo piece that evokes the feeling and vocals of many Fleet Foxes ballads. Who can’t relate to the lyrics “on my knees awaiting signs to behold/And God tells me to try harder, come on son try harder?”
The only thing for certain is that these three band members certainly did. Together they have composed an album that opens and closes with heavy blues rock, sandwiching a beautiful and at times haunting middle of an album. Ever since their album kickoff on May 3rd at Martini Ranch, they have been looking to expand their exposure by playing in the battle of the bands for the Warped Tour at the Roxy on this Saturday, June 9th. Tickets are $5 and the show starts at 6:30. Fans of Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Black Keys, and Fleet Foxes would do themselves a service to check them out.
You can listen and purchase the full length album here: http://thebrokenrhodes.bandcamp.com/