Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quantum Split - America (2017)

Written by Alonzo Evans, posted by blog admin

Led by Berklee College of Music student, musician, and singer Soliel Laurent and joined by Adrian Read on guitar, Ivan Hardy on bass, and Anthony Anderson on drums, Quantum Split is one of those once in a generation bands who emerge from near-obscurity fully formed and guided by a fiery creative vision. Laurent’s unique talents as a singer and interpreter of the band’s material – the lyrics certainly touch on themes of personal freedom and empowerment, but Laurent brings them to vivid, colorful life with her passionate bellow and abundance of chops. Her band mates bring the same combination of inspiration and skill to their role and guitarist Read, in particular, proves to be a compelling foil for Laurent’s singing. Their debut recording, America, may only contain two songs, but it carries the force of a full length release thanks to the gripping presentation they concoct for these two tracks. It makes a deep impact that lingers long after the last note fades.

“America”, the title song, has a current events sort of feel if, no other reason, than discontent with the current political situation is so omnipresent in nearly every medium. Laurent conveys that dissatisfaction and a generation’s resolute response to it with a varied vocal approach that imbues the song’s “narrative” with all the requisite drama. Anthony Anderson and Ivan Hardy provide plenty of punch from the band’s rhythm section, but it’s Adrian Read’s neo soul and funk stylings mingled with rock guitar posturing that really makes this musically distinguished. As hybrids go, it’s an interesting blend that the band credibly brings off from the first. “America”, despite the occasional stridency of its attack, never risks self indulgence and delivers a timely message fortunately possessing resonance transcending current events.

The second track “Runaway” shows off other facets of the band’s talents. Laurent can make some claim, based on this performance alone, that she’s a capable blues singer, but the vocal never slips too far away from the powerhouse rock workout that she gave her vocals on the earlier track. Adrian Read steps up to the plate in a big way on this track, as well, and his playing deftly straddles a line between emotive beauty and outright aggression. The rhythm section delivers once again and gives the song a strong foundation that’s nonetheless light on its feet and keeps things musically fluid. Its strengths are a little more diffuse than those on the title cut, but “Runaway” is still impressive throughout and has some of the same decisiveness setting the first song apart. Quantum Split embody the brash refusal to accept injustice and offer a clear, inspiring path for listeners to channel their discontent through music and make something greater from it. There’s little question after hearing this brief two song collection that their first full length, whenever we are afforded an opportunity to hear that, will be an impressive experience.

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