CD REVIEW: Clay Melton Band Self-titled Album

Clay and his group, Clay Melton Band – featuring drummer Zach Grindle and bassist Raymon Minton – have developed a guitar driven pop-influenced alt-rock style that draws dynamically on his blistering Texas guitar influences.

“Clay Melton Band” is a fine recording with a big bag of influences that result in total originality. This isn’t just some fluke this guy can play the guitar with anyone. He’s a good front man and singer too, which doesn’t take long to figure out. I liked him from the second I heard the opening song, “Tonight.”It’s all up to the listener, but to influence the reader is the idea and it’s great when that can be done. Nothing is contrived about Clay Melton’s songwriting either, it is purely effortless. He seems to go above and beyond the garage, so to speak. They should be getting some rock radio airplay with this because they roll with the best. And the drums on this song roll on like a pile driving machine. But not everyone drinks the same cup of tea. The just motivate me. There are some moments of questionable freedom as they come on so strong, but it gets worked out as the songs go by, and doesn’t seem to matter by the time you realize there is something special about the band and the music here. “Home” is another excellent track with a slightly more pop driven sound. This is where you find out how-well Clay can sing. It’s a slice of heaven in all departments, but the vocals take the cake here, as they smoothen out after such a ferocity in the opening song. You can hear everything from the Beatles to Nirvana but it’s all Clay Melton Band in the end. There are also modern influences like Alfa Rev from Texas, but on the other hand maybe he doesn’t even know who that is. It just shows a vocally progressive side, like Muse.

“Remember” is a return to the form of the opener but with a hardness that bites a hole in you. This has a progressiveness of the opposite sort found in the previous song. They fly hard on this one but it’s somehow laid back. This is accomplished by their wholeness. I can’t remember being this musically attracted to someone so quickly in a while like this. It’s only at the half-way mark and it is obviously brilliant. This deals with some social-political factors but you don’t get too caught up in that. Clay almost resembles Leonardo DeCaprio on the cover of the EP, so naturally he’s going to turn some heads, and that’s another good thing for this and all the tracks. The guitar is all over the place and it’s just a highlyelectrified song.

If you can’t reckon with the quality of this record, I would be very surprised. They are doing something right, it’s precision in every aspect. The words are clear, the sound is world class produced, the talent equally matched and burned into the group. Who doesn’t love it when that happens. If only it happened every day. But I am sorry to say it doesn’t, but the youthful reality of this leaves the world wide open for the Clay Melton force. It is either that or I am flat off my rocker and just temporarily in shock and awe that doesn’t come along enough. I am that confident this band is going somewhere. If I can encourage one person to listen to this I have done it service, which it deserves more than most in its path. Even on “Stop And Listen” the vocals tend to resemble bands like Muse, but also Oasis and other Brit-pop style bands of the 90s. But the point isn’t to spot influence or he wouldn’t sound like those of decades past either. He could have it all and be the next big thing, or fall through the cracks. The latter would be a shame because this is another solid slab of hard-driving but lightheartedly mixed music. This is a pop ballad for the masses, as it takes the record over the threshold with some extremely passionate pipes. This EP is one hundred percent full of good material that ripples with patience and direction with a smart sound. If that isn’t enough the future will tell all as they see where this output gets them.


by Marcinn

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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