by Hector Fiere
California produces delicious wine, movie stars, rehab facilities with spectacular views, soul-killing traffic, silly food trends and some of the most eclectic and genre-splitting music. It’s what makes the place so damned fun. The rest of you, get the fuck out if you don’t like it. Or at least get off the freeways.
The Torn Images’ latest record Reviver is a good reminder that Cali is still holding it down as the musical laboratory. Bands like The Torn Images love to jump into this lab and create new blends of alt rock, indie rock and cinematic metal creating beautiful new strains that defy labing. Pulling from such sources as Cali alt rock, 80s new wave, mod revival and even indie folk rock, The Torn Images have created an alchemy that feels old/new.
Briand Arabaca has a deep, throaty voice that weaves with ease through the 10 tracks on Reviver. At times sounding like new age gospel preacher who delightfully fell from grace and at others like a solid indie rock powerhouse.
Reviver kicks off with a hard driving track “The Drifting,” sounding just a tad like my beloved Foghat for a few guitar licks. “Slow Ride” anyone?
“Mantle of Disguise” feels like a gritty Cars track. “Out of Control (Into The Void)” definitely reflect that British new wave revival vibe for me. “Nearly Lost You” got all Soundgarden/White Snake on me and it was a good feeling.
The surprising track for me is “Life On A Standstill.” Gorgeous tune that proves Arabaca penchant for a nice wide, satisfying range and dynamic. Floating and vibrating tranquility, “Life On A Standstill” buoys up Arabaca’s Bowie-like voice. Really nice.
“Aimless Breath” is giving me indie rock fierceness. I think I saw Michael Stipe in the reflection of my screen. “Blind Fascination” comes off as sexy. Good track to pull to.
“Never Be The Same Again” along side “Life On A Standstill” is the other radio track. Very nicely done. Lilting, well-crafted and just…yes. Dude’s voice is amazing.
“The Elusive Vagabond” gets points for having such a sassy name. Musically, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the record. One needs well broken-in leathers to listen to this one.
“World Of Meaning” is here for the ethereal vibe. Folksy, delicious, full bodied California. This needs to be playing under the credits of Lena Dunham and/or Wes Anderson’s next feature. Take that in the face, Axl. And sit down. You’re done. God, I love this track.
As you can see by these words, I really enjoy what Arabaca has done with Torn Images and Reviver. Consider me regular listener now.
We don’t give stars around here. We just like good music. Dropping the mic. I’m out.
The Torn Images Members/Instruments:
Briand Arabaca (*aka The Torn Images) vocal/guitar
*A solo artist supported by indie artists in OC (Orange County, California).
Jonathan O’Brien – bass/guitar/keyboard/percussion, project producer (member of indie rock band Workfriend)
Andy Hernandez – guitar (audio monitor/engineer of LA indie rockers Grouplove, Young The Giant)
Tyler De Young – drums
Produced/Mixed/Engineerd by Jonathan O’Brien at The Music Box Studios in Irvine, California.
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio in Manhattan, New York.
1. The Drifting
2. Mantle of Disguise
3. Out of Control (Into The Void)
4. Nearly Lost You
5. Life On A Standstill
6. Aimless Breath
7. Blind Fascination
8. Never Be The Same Again
9. The Elusive Vagabond
10. World of Meaning
Styles: alternative rock, indie rock, damn good shit