|Dan Parise: Parise1|
Resident reviewer: J. Mercer gives the CD a spin in this in depth review
1 Into You 3:46
2 Dirty Amy 3:03
3 Love Killed The Hate 3:38
4 Lies Of Pain 1:00
5 Fade You Away 4:06
6 Gonna Die 3:12
7 (You're) the Reason Why 4:08
8 I Don't Want to Be Your Friend 3:25
9 Like a Satellite 3:44
10 Another Girl 3:20
11 Hit Me Up Tonight 2:48
12 Hey Nina 4:32
Released: January 2012
Mixing: Ty Tabor, Matt Harrington; Mastering: Howie Weinberg
Official Site: http://www.parise1.com/
What a rousing dynamo of a debut! Every so often, music fans get treated to a stunning record where all the tracks have something fresh and rewarding to offer. Such is the case with 'Parise1', a streetwise modern rock platter laden with rich vocal harmonies, searing guitar, and heavy-hitting, intense rhythmic delivery. Each song offers a different creative hook. This collection of twelve uncontrived tracks, released in 2012, showcases both the exceptional and melodic vocal talent of Andrew Shaw (Say, 2 Die 4) and athletic guitar work from Dan Parise (Too Tall Jones). Alongside Parise and Shaw, the band features Matt Muckle (Buckcherry, Paul Gilbert) and Dave Zajdel (Powerage, Crisis/PA). Dynamic production with a punchy, clear, deep mix enhances the album. The album has a layered presentation that offers something new on each listen.
Unapologetic, no-holds-barred lyrics speak mostly to the despondent, the brokenhearted, the lonely, and those who've been 'used and abused' in relationships. Each instrument, including the vocal, serves the song and the context it's in, with no gratuitous overplaying. Fans of fast, smoldering stringwork are going to discover many gems within these tracks. Original and crisp, with creative nods to many - from The Beatles to Velvet Revolver, from the Foo Fighters to Pantera - this album is sure to please fans of melodic hard rock.
Here are some thoughts, notes, and highlights for each track:
- Opener 'Into You' mixes gritty metal with a streetwise, blunt, masculine sleaze. Lyrics aside, 'boxing gloves are now required for a reason': this risque tune fights bare-fisted, raw and powerful.
- 'Dirty Amy' has a wonderful twangy rock flair. It's a jaunty, riveting, mid-tempo tune. This song definitely makes you want to tap your feet, or get up and move.
- Contemporary, hooky 'Love Killed The Hate' features Shaw's vocal pyrotechnics with an interesting depth effect applied to some lines. Subtle, syncopated, bombastic percussion underpins this 'earworm' number.
- 'Lies Of Pain' is a short and sweet acoustic change of pace, reminiscent of both The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. It's a rare 'moody break' on an otherwise uptempo record.
- Nice vocal harmonies and subtlety mark the heavy, ballady 'Fade You Away'. The song features a wonderful counterpoint in the fretboard-smoking fast solo on an otherwise laid-back tune.
- 'Gonna Die' is my favorite tune on the album, as a fan of heavy or extreme metal. This is a killing, edgy tune, showcasing the band's firepower. The pounding, massive riffwork in this song has enough grit to peel paint: think 'mosh pit fodder'. In the live concert setting, 'Gonna Die' will be a tremendous, fist-pounding neckbreaker. As a highly appreciated bonus, we're treated to a cameo from Freddie Nelson (Triple X, Too Tall Jones, Paul Gilbert), raging ahead on bass.
- 'You're The Reason Why' (Alive Again) croons "Wake up on a Saturday, I feel alive again." This edgy tune speaks to many. Listen for the magnetic octave or layered effect on the guitar near the end of the song.
- We've all been there: after a breakup, one fires the salvo “let's just be friends”. 'I Don't Want To Be Your Friend' builds 'low and slow', effortlessly morphing into a mid-tempo rocker. Shaw captures the emotional element very well.
- 'Like A Satellite' is another high-octane tune. It's got a neat effect used on the lead vocal at times. Parise goes for the throat on an album highlight solo. The tempo shifts grab and hold your attention; this massive song does not let go.
- What I adore about 'Another Girl' is the “sweet” toned vocals mated to blunt, acrid lyrics. This guy pulls no punches. It's the unexpected contrast, coupled with incredibly strong melody, that makes this song stand out so much. It morphs in to another barn-burner - an American classic rocker.
- The first time I heard the burning 'Hit Me Up Tonight', I thought the lyrics evoked an instant picture: the hopeful lonely guy, waiting by the phone. Pairing Nelson's songwriting acumen with the musicianship from Parise brings us this incredibly catchy, melodic number. Make sure to check out the harmony guitar work and accents about two-thirds of the way through.
- 'Hey Nina', another 'breakup' track, features acoustic guitar. This quickly morphs in to an electrified, modern, rocky beast with some delectable twang at all the right moments. As a parting missive, the lyrics send a former friend away: "Take your half and go, you mean nothing to me". Later, the chorus sings “she's gone away, aaah, away...”, which is a perfect ending to the disc.
Warm, full guitar and bass tone permeate each song. Many guitar solos have 'lyrical' points, where you'd swear they were composed by singing, and then transposed to guitar. This guitar-friendly album has just the right amount of face-melting spice added. I'd like to add: for the Paul Gilbert fans, if you liked 'United States', you're going to adore this album. 'Parise1' is coarser and darker lyrically, but offers a similar variety in both song structure and top-tier musicianship. It might be toned down a couple notes per second in the 'shred' department and a little more legato, but it's just as melodic and engaging, if not more so. The album is alluring and charismatic. The songs get up close and personal. It's not meek or mellow: it delivers the same intensity that a lot of fine classic rock possesses. This forward-looking album captures and blends the best elements of both 'United States' and the criminally under-rated Too Tall Jones album 'Bipolar', delivering an up-to-the-moment, current 'take'. I've listened to this album - a fantastic gift from Dan - critically, several times through, and it grows on me each time. Andrew Shaw boasts a stunning vocal range that's complimented perfectly by Parise and his all-star team of henchmen. You don't need a degree in music theory to enjoy this. It's rock and roll. It doesn't seek to change the world. Don't look for deep hidden meanings. Buy it at CDBaby or iTunes, turn it on, and crank it up. What a cracking platter.
CD links -
CDBaby (has vital free previews): http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/
Band links -
Paul Gilbert: http://www.paulgilbert.com/
Freddie Nelson: http://www.freddienelson.com/
Foo Fighters: http://www.foofighters.com/
Other music referenced here, links -