You can choose your friends but not your family. Or can you?

Make way for 1592 from Detroit, MI!  Hot off the presses is their latest album ‘Family of Choice’ which is their 3rd full length since the band’s inception.  Let’s listen to see what these 5 gents can do…

 

  1. “Different Track (Spit On It)”- If Quentin Tarantino did movie set on a train, this would be on its soundtrack. Dark and edgy instrumentation overlaid with ominous vocals, creates a great opening tune.   Grade: B+

 

  1. “Everything Changes”- Sure the lyrics are repetitious, but I am really diggin’ this track. I picture a man who is down on his luck, walking through the dark rainy alleys of Detroit (next video idea).  Awesome! Grade: A

 

  1. “Lonely Road”- With reggae or traditional ska at its core, Jeremy Abbey’s saxophone work gives it a 70’s soft rock kind of feel. This is certainly not a criticism; I really enjoy a lot of songs out of that era.  Nice job guys.  Grade: A

 

  1. “I Can’t Remember”- This one is a little more upbeat than the previous songs and will put a little pep in your step. There is also more of a rock element as well, with excellent use of guitar.  Grade: A-

 

  1. “Fight For You”-A slower groove featuring more of a fuller horn section as well the keys sounding more like a piano rather than an organ. Solid track.  Grade: B+

 

  1. “Hooligans”- This instrumental packs more punches than a round in the Octagon. One of the best I’ve heard. PERIOD.  Grade: A

 

  1. “Move Your Feet”-“Move Your Feet” starts things off with a blues inspired guitar riff, quickly followed by a horns sounding very similar to “That’s It” off of the ‘This One’s For You All’ album. The only skankin’ song thus far, so take advantage.  Grade: A-

 

  1. “Lost”- This song will strike a chord with listeners, because we have all feel lost from time to time. This one too has a bit of a 70’s feel to it, spliced with 1592’s unique style. Grade: A-

 

  1. “Family of Choice”- 1592 slows it down a bit and uses the same group vocal style as “Different Track (Spit On It).” The subtle use of organ and slight use of dub effect give this an eerie feel.  Grade: B+

 

  1. “The Farm”- What can I say, 1592 deals up another fantastic instrumental featuring saxophone and organ parts that are second to none.  Let’s not forget the killer guitar solo.  Way to bring it home!  Grade: A

 

Much like the town they call home, 1592’s music is dark, edgy, almost dirty at times, yet strangely appealing.  This is not your West Coast third wave sound, nor the ‘let’s light one up and chill’ sort of reggae, but rather a sullen take on the ska/reggae/rocksteady genres.  Just as uncharacteristic as the band’s sound is the voice of lead singer Eric Abbey.  It lacks the gruff punk sound (Tim Armstrong-Rancid), the pop sound (Aaron Barrett-Reel Big Fish) and the soulful sound (Jeremy Pena-The Bandulus).  Eric paves the way with a voice unlike any I have heard, yet as uniquely satisfying as such greats as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame.  The vocals fit in nicely with the rather ‘stripped down style’ created by only five members.  I really enjoy the fact that during most songs, the only horn is the saxophone.  The sax is a really versatile instrument that can evoke many moods, if played right.  Unfortunately, most bands mess this up, having it drowned out by other instrumentation.  Not 1592.   Jeremy Abbey has mastered his craft and takes center stage during many of the songs.  In addition, although this is an excellent recording, Jeremy (and the rest of the band) is really this good in a live setting as well.  I really enjoyed this album and I can’t wait to have a second listen.  While their last album ‘This One’s For You All’ is great in its own right, 1592 ratchets their new album to an even higher level.  Although the future of Detroit is always in question, the future is looking bright for this amazing band.

 

Overall Grade: A-

 

 

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