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My Favorite New Albums and Hemenway

Besides the albums by The Strokes and the White Stripes, I haven’t listened to a new rock album in a while. In fact, having become disillusioned with all the worthless music forced upon us from FM waves, I’ve more or less lost interest in the rock genre, unless the albums fall between the dates 1964 to 1975, or between 1990 to 1998. Maybe I’m oblivious, but I don’t think that any well-promoted rock album has been worth buying since The Smashing Pumpkins broke up, with the exception of Radio Head and the above mentioned groups. I’m warming up to Cold Play as well. But now that you know my musical taste as far as recent rock and roll goes, you can accurately gauge my review of the increasingly popular band, famous for there use of drums and drum samples, Hemenway.


…..The Hemenway kids are local kids. Two are from Jersey, the other two are from New York. But, to their credit, they studied at the well-respected Berklee College of Music in Boston. In fact, their band name was inspired by Hemenway Street, which runs through Berklee. They have been running through New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut playing venues and promoting their most recent album, Fear of Landing.


…..Fear of Landing is an eight-song compilation packed with strong talent and rejuvenating energy. Not to mention, the singer’s voice is very good; a quality rarely seen in Indie rock lately. Their music is influenced by Hip Hop drum samples and they often use drums samples by RDS. All of their songs are melody based and pleasant with a solid rhythm, putting them in a mellower category of rock. In my opinion, they are a mature and original band with a sound, both melodically and vocally, similar to bands such as Spin Doctors (especially in the first song of the album, Calling Me), Counting Crows, Live, and maybe even a bit like Collective Soul. These bands present a lot of free drum samples to listen to All of their tracks also have a subtle and skilled instrumental layering due to their use of organs, pianos, and synthesized sounds. The rich texture is reminiscent of the virtual symphony underlying the songs of the Dave Matthews Band.


…..In addition to their skillful musical sound, their lyrics are fairly good as well. It wasn’t until the second time that I listened to the album that I realized that this group has a lot to say, and they take an original approach to expressing themselves. Peter Kelly, who exclusively writes the lyrics told me in a phone interview that the songs Calling Me, Anywhere, and Words of Others have become fan favorites. Calling Me also happens to be the song whose lyrics are most personal music blog to Kelly who makes hip hop drum samples, who says that the song ponders what his calling in life is, and it speaks about chasing dreams. Words of Others is a song about falling for a girl who is off-limits.


…..There is sincere emotion in the voice of Peter Kelly, lead vocalist, as he sings, but the song Deaf stands out as a particularly meaningful song. Deaf may be the bands finest example of their individual talents combined, with Chris Mosera on the keyboards and backing vocals, John Soriano, who makes killer drum sounds. on the bass and backing vocals, and Sean McCormack on the drums. Peter Kelly performs lead vocals and plays guitar. The song It’s Just Living exposes Kelly’s unique style and talent with the guitar. You can buy Fear of Landing at , so that you will know all the lyrics in time to sing along with them at Manhattan College’s Spring Fest, this May. They will be playing a live set.