NAthan Tr Shaw - The Kitchen
Hailing from Dayton, Ohio Nathan TR Shaw recently released his second full-length entitled The Kitchen in which he wrote all the songs (besides the two covers), played all the instruments and recorded everything himself. Shaw plays rock music with a tinge of blues that fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Black Keys and Superdrag will appreciate. The songs are there but unfortunately the lo-fi production aesthetic doesn't benefit the visceral immediacy of the music. His home computer can't handle the rich analog waves of distortion from his guitar and the drums needed to be beefed up.
The album starts off with a song that isn't very indicative of the rest of the album called “St Augustine.” For the first half of the song Shaw’s vocal and his piano reminded me a bit of Billy Joel. The song goes for a grand second half as Shaw pulls out the drums and the star of the show, which is the lead electric guitar. The solo sounded like something that Brian May from Queen might have come up with.
The song segues into “Septimal,” which is a catchy, well-written, distorted tune. Shaw displays he can write inventive lyrics. He sings, “Pleased to meet you and your acquaintance is a delight. Now that I am green with envy, and blushing red from this surprise.” “Down So Long” is the first song on the album that is steeped in the blues. You can spot the myriad of influences but that does not take anything away from the song.
“The Universe Knows Nothing” is a decent song but unfortunately plagued by a couple of production issues. For one, Shaw uses too much reverb, which causes a muddy low-end. “Green Eyed Women” is one of the highlights of the album. He administers the right amount of distortion on his voice and the overall song is a blast to listen to. He closes with an acoustic song called “The Kitchen.” It works beautifully and the clean components benefit the production this time around. It is a solid way to end the album.
Overall, this album could be a bit more cohesive but don't let that take away from some of the songs that are a pleasure to listen to. There is quite a bit here you won't want to miss.
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