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Thisisashakedown: Love Kills (2009)

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Thisisashakedown: Love Kills How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Thisisashakedown's debut offers a highly-listenable potpourri of stylizations. The foursome merges acid-rock, progressive-metal, house grooves, techno and space-rock into a tightly organized package. And the respective artists' significant technical acumen translates into a party music album with a distinct edge, nicely contrasted by memorable hooks and Brandon Zano's resonating vocals.

The rhythm section lays out a firm bottom via pounding backbeats. Zano also handles the lead guitar duties. Hence, it's a driving and forceful program, spiced with torrid crunch chords, deep bass licks and textural synth lines. The group instills a moveable wall of sound; however, Zano sweetens the pot some, singing the catchy melodies with gusto and verve to complement a few quirky deviations. Bassist/synthesist Daniel Lee and synthesist Justin Nyilas don't overstate the electronics effects element, prudently embellishing the song-forms by implementing polytonal treatments and then revving them up during the hyper-mode movements.

On "Caving In," drummer Stephen Nicholson injects a percussion vamp in support of Zano's airy choruses. Here, the unit projects a hard rock/metal persona and picks up speed with chugging guitar motifs and booming rhythms. Thisisashakedown abides by a no frills and straightforward line of attack, while paying close attention to detail and rendering solid compositions that prompt repeated listens.

Track Listing: Circles; Love Kills; You Make Me Wanna; Radio; The Bert; Comeandcutmyheartout; Electric Sound; Can't Stop; Oh!; My Funny Valentine; Caving In.

Personnel: Brandon Zano: vocals, guitar; Daniel Lee: bass, synth; Justin Nyilas: synths, programming; Stephen Nicholson: drums.

Record Label: Reverse Image Unlimited

Style: Beyond Jazz


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