Esco Santerio was a prophet. He foretold of a day when two young men embark on a quest for musical enlightenment. In the same place Buddha embarked on his 49 day journey, Under the Bodhi Tree has created a sacred place of musical exploration, comprising of Duncan Newland-Thompson, Jaymic Volz and Paul Depew, these rockers have found a great harmony of sound with influences from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix, Jack White, and the classic Seattle sound. Their shows are lively and energetic and bound to get you off your feet, lost in the ecstasy of the moment. Having been around for some time with a former release and some demos, “The Selfish Generation” is now released.
Their philosophy is as follows:
Have you ever seen things a little different? Not quite felt at right with the world as it is? Seen things and thought… I can do better than that… Yet no one sees it. There used to be a term for these individuals, back in the day before the special snowflake, these people were out casted from society as freaks. Relegated to the basements and dives where they learned and created in agonizing ecstasy. From the beats of the 50s to the punks of the 70s to the underground of the 90s, these individuals have endured and created some of the most prolific art of the modern era. They fought tooth and nail with fingers raised claiming their space in history. They did not care about ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’ they cared about making connections with people, with expanding their world, with marking the margins of history books with their stories.
In which a bunch of alternative rock grunge players from Seattle pull off a remarkably fresh retro slab of beautiful trash. These guys find a way to take their influences and meld them into a well disguised but totally familiar groove to its passion, the streets and dives of the northwest. If only an album were in their budget this could be twice the effort in one fell swoop. I cannot comment on from where they come, but this release has me on their trail to seek out their last one. “Bitter” opens the show with a killer lead off cut, no question. It’s a great opener that doesn’t disappoint one bit. The guitar build up is classic Rolling Stones in the “Bitch” sense, if you spot it. This groove is placed throughout the song and you can’t knock a thing about it from there. It is a very good way to kick things off.
You can tell these guys have played together a while and all of their chemistry for what it is worth is cooking on just that one song alone. But can they maintain it is always the next item of wonder. “Don’t Stop” goes the distance but doesn’t quite meet that mark for me. It’s all over the place compared to it, but each musician pulls off their job well and show their chops, even if to the listener that might be the last thing they’re aiming at here. This doesn’t defeat its own purpose, but it’s a rather rough take of a rough song, with some feedback at the end, which is trending a little to0 hard right now for me. If you want a gritty sound you don’t have to go so far out of the way to manufacture it.
They missed something there with me but it’s not all a loss when it’s followed by such a cool piece of music that more than makes up for it on “Find My Grace.” Now this is much more like it, and goes better with the opening track, but at this point it is easy to tell it all balances out well between these two speeds. This is an outstanding semi-ballad that comes much unexpected but nevertheless delivers a home run all over the park. I would find this to be the best choice for a single. It shows where they really can deliver a great song, as it edges most of the surrounding tracks.
“Going To The Library” is much more akin to the track before the last, but a big improvement on it as well. You have to see the lyrics for what they are within the bands mission, and then you can actually like that. But it also honestly sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom or something. This is all a part of the whole idea, but with a couple of these tracks you can tell they struggle between class and trash musicianship. This keeps the band true to their punk roots but also shows an effort to expand their horizons which could even out with each effort. This track sits somewhere between the two energies going on here. And one of the better tracks on offer is definitely “Pink Christmas Tree,” as a single choice it probably edges over the rest to be found. But along with the last track being “Selfish Generation” and full of the two speeds combined, they nail it all by the end of this, with something of a mixed bag but an overall good one.
This also features a well stated cover art concept. Best points are for attitude with one shaved off for shortness, an EP is not enough get a full reading on them.