CD Review: Riversyde

Riversyde is an alternative rock band based out of Austin, TX that a while ago sent us their CD to get reviewed.  The album titled “See Me Now” is available in many places including their own website at http://www.riversyde.com.

My inital reaction to the music was different.  I was expecting true alternative rock that lined on 311 or Bush, not the music that came out of the speakers.  Instead I was presented with music that was very influenced by bands like Gin Blossoms, some Goo Goo Dolls, and other artists of that type of music.  This was a pleasant surprise to say the least.  This type of music does not get sent in often enough, but unfortunately when it does, it is horrible renditions of that genre that 99% of the time it is better for the artist that we do not write a review on what we really thought.  For those local to Kansas City, MO – Riversyde would play very well with artists from the area like Green Music Brothers, or Devil’s Marmalade.

From track 1 (Days Go By) all through the album to track 15 (Space) the music was completely independent from each other.  Each had their own riffs, their own sound.  No two songs were alike.  Vocalist Shane Blake shows incredible talent through each song and the entire band gives you that feel through the recording that they really enjoy what they are doing.  There is no one song that sticks out on this album over the others, and there is (in my opinion) no filler songs.  Easily 7 of the 15 tracks could be released on radio and would make fans.

Production on the album is second to none.  It is completely flawless from the mix and mastering aspect, the packaging is very thought out and is eye appealing, and for an unsigned band is way above what most put out.  The quality of the music and presentation is what you would expect from national artists that are played on the radio and touring to sold out venues every day.

The only downfall to the album that I could find is there is no “drive time” type songs.  Track 4 (Whats Love About) is very close to filling the void of that faster, upbeat, strong song but not quite.  Most of the songs on this album are of mellow pace and would be perfect for a romantic night with a significant other.  This is not a bad thing persay, just a downfall from my perspective.  For the genre of music though this is not a bad thing as fast songs are not what it is about.

In the end I give the album 9 out of 10 with 10 being perfect.  We get a lot of CD’s from artists every week, and it is rare that something of this quality in the unsigned market comes through.  For an unsigned band to produce something of this quality and still not be as well known as some of the nationals in this genre is a travesty.  Riversyde shows it is a perfect example of, the best music out there available is not on your FM radio.  If this band holds it together and continues to produce music to this level, I have absolutely no doubt that they quite possibly have what it takes to make it in this dog eat dog industry.  The talent is there, the sound is there, and the vision that you can hear through their lyrics and delivery of the music is going to take them a long way.

Frank Arena
Project Backstage

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