Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Category 5 “Off The Ivory Coast” [EP]

Category 5 is a quintet formed in 2006 in Detroit and they are introducing themselves to the world via their new five song EP entitled “Off The Ivory Coast”. Composed of five members with diverse musical backgrounds and influences, it is perhaps no surprise that the band’s sound is all over the map. The EP is consistently inconsistent in terms of musical styles, drifting from straight up rock to funk to jazz to prog rock to metal. Individual songs work well, but as a whole, they don’t work well together when listened to in succession as an EP.

The two strongest tracks are stacked right up front. “Lost In Legacy” is an epic rocker with sizzling leads and a touch of dated keyboards reminding me of 80s AOR. The melody is solid and harmonies are used effectively. “Home Again” shows the band’s ability to downshift into a sweet sentimental rocker. At his best, vocalist Perry Zaremba reminds me of Danny Vaughn (Tyketto). Zaremba has his moments, but on other tracks his voice is not as controlled and sounds like it is slipping out of key (most noticeably on “I Wonder”). Things end with the metal track “7 Daze Warning”, the band’s autobiography. Not bad as a standalone, in your face shredding rocker, but it just doesn’t sit right with the rest of the tunes presented here…it’s like a lion in a room of kittens.

The EP also suffers from a production standpoint, sounding muddled and unbalanced. There is potential for this band if they can bring some consistency to their songwriting, strengthen the lyrics, and get the resources to record their music properly.

Category 5 on MySpace.

Listen to “Lost In Legacy”