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Album Review

Special Purpose: Password


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Special Purpose: Password
Special Purpose's upbeat jam-happy debut wastes no time establishing a setting and a mood. The group kicks off by crossing some 1970s Jeff Beck with a little Allman Brothers Band, and the ingredients for a fun jazz-rock fusion stew are already there: dreamy organ, bubbling bass, guitar that plays off the others without needing to go overboard with the shred. Lance Vallis's guitar and Paul Paresa's mostly-electric keys graciously share the leads, trading the spotlight back and forth like a volleyball. Through the running time of Password, this gang breezily takes us to a club with an outdoor deck where the grooves never stop and the vibe is dreamy without actually becoming chill.

While the overall mood doesn't change too drastically, it's a pleasant one to settle into for an undemanding 40 minutes—undemanding for the listeners, that is, is not the players. They're constantly alert and in tune with each other while trotting along, drifting from a good simmer to the odd languid lull with the same generous camaraderie throughout.

While keeping within that familiar wheelhouse, the outing gets increasingly restless throughout. The group settle a little more easily into the hammock accompanied by a spot of sunny saxophone midway through. "Midnight Madness" shifts into higher gear for a danceable club-jazz-meets-uptown-funk centerpiece, while "Day in the Park" returns to Allmanesque blues-rock to suit its title (tinged with a light garnish of space synth as well). Whatever happens, it happens smoothly and with the promise of plenty more fun jams to come.

Track Listing

Hyperbole; Password; Morning Coffee; Loneliness (Isn't So Bad); Midnight Madness; A Day in the Park; I Like It; Phoenix.


Lance Vallis: guitar; Paul Paresa: keyboards; Hunter Parmentier: bass; Forest Carter: drums; Melissa Carroll: saxophone (4).

Album information

Title: Password | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Self Produced

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