Local self-described supergroup Forest City and Friends recently released their debut self-titled album with a sound hailing from the halcyon days of arena rock mixed with a sparkle of country twang. The band's primary ringleaders are Pete Giordano and Chris Muccino. They make up the rest of the Forest City circus with several other familiar names and faces. You'll recognize members of Twisted Roots, Heart Shaped Rock, Akela Moon, Rustic Overtones, The Mallett Brothers Band, and more in the rotating roster, each tossing a dash of their own flavor into the simmering sonic brew.
If you're looking for a familiar sound to keep you motivated through your spring cleaning endeavors, look no further. This album is a musical anthology of the history of rock. It combines an eclectic mixture of guitar-driven aesthetics that were perfected over the 20th century and preserving their legacy. With many songs whose lyrics follow the storytelling tradition, Forest City and Friends are something like modern-day bards. Before recorded music became available, musicians passed along their traditions through oral history, refining, and evolving techniques collaboratively through performance. This is a technique Forest City and Friends have reawakened in the forging of their sound. "Forest City," "Lawland Blue," and "Dead Man's Road" have a soulful, bluesy feel. "Ain't Nothin New" is crunchier, with a grungier vibe. Along the same lines, "Companion" has a mysterious, sulky, stripped 90s sound. For facemelt enthusiasts, "Rainmaker" is a must-hear, taking its time to build to some impressive heights. If you bank in guitar solos, this track definitely makes it rain. "Spirit Sound" makes tasteful use of stereo effects. This easily overdone trick can come off gimmicky but is totally nailed, adding yet more dimension to a song with fantastic vocal and instrumental dynamics.
This powerhouse rock syndicate has flexed their strength with this debut record. The self-titled release was produced, recorded, and mixed by Anthony Gatti at his studio The Bulkhead in Scarborough and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Adam Ayan. The album leaves me hopeful and looking forward to seeing what else this bunch can unearth encased in the amber of last century's future records.