Starved at the Root | Nourish
Starved at the Root have done an exceptional job crafting an EP that plays like a complete story with no filler. You'll get lost in some of the extended instrumental breaks but I think it's a great way to keep the attention of the listener by providing arrangements that really display the musicianship behind the music. The band obviously has a tight rhythm section and lead singer, Aaron Mangoff, has incredible vocals that I think really lend themselves to this genre of music. Lead melody lines are a great mix of long held notes that help clearly communicate the message behind the music. Overall score for the record is an 8 because of the strong playing and great production value this EP delivers.
Song Writing: 7
Favorite Song: Hollow
The production of Nourish does a great job providing a wide sound stage leaving room for effects and vocals to really come through. The first thing I noticed while listening back were how tight the drums and bass were - they play off each other really well. The kick gets the support it should from the bass. Stereo image on the drums is really good too. There are doubled guitars panned wide on almost every song - which leaves the vocals dead centre to come through cleanly. The guitar tone that opens track 2 (Ommision A) is perfect (Good call mr. Producer). Being a huge fan of delay, I think this track makes really great use of it. There is a higher guitar part that made me stop and say "that's a great part". My only complaint about the whole record is how clean the vocals are. I would have loved a little more dirt on the vocal tracks. Track 4 (Hollow) has this really great doubled vocal part - more of this would have been great. Overall I have given Nourish an 8 for Production. It's a great sounding recording with some great creative sounds.
I think it's important to look at songwriting as more than just lyrics. Nourish is an EP that has some great arrangements that actually build to something. Even the order of the songs makes it all seem like something well thought out. Lyric wise there wasn't anything that really resonated with me. I have heard other music by the lead singer (Aaron Mangoff) that has had great lyrical content though. This being said - whether lyrics resonate with you or not is usually of personal opinion. For this recording I would focus more on the great performance energy and arrangements of the songs. The songwriting overall is well done. Writing score for Nourish is a 7 because of the strong arrangement of parts, and consistent tone of the EP.
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