August 29, 2016 One Less Reason – The Memories Uninvited (Album Review)
Some bands choose to find their own success by subverting the corporate music business and producing their own albums to release to the digital world with surprising success. So it is with Jackson, Tennessee-based Alternative Rock band One Less Reason who has released five albums on their own between the years of 2005 through 2012. Combined, the band has sold 500,000 digital albums to date, and in 2012 earned the Gold Record Award for sales of their 2005 album, Everydaylife.
Led by Lead Singer/Songwriter Cris Brown, One Less Reason, including Guitarist Steve Davis, Guitarist Cody Landers, Drummer Derrick Riggan, and Bassist Blake Heimbach, return in 2016 with their sixth studio album, The Memories Uninvited. A haunting album title, Brown reveals, “One Less Reason songs are more lyrically heavy than musically heavy, and there’s always a message. It’s all based around those four letter words – love, hate, pain, hope. I want people to feel the record more so than just hear it.” That said, the independent band released The Memories Uninvited on August 19th via Brown’s own label, Tattooed Millionaire Records, with Brown producing the album himself, along with mixing from Randy Staub (Metallica, Nickelback).
Eleven tracks of raw feeling, it begins with “Break Me,” a fun track where the melody plays backward before playing linear with a sonic sound that highlights a synth riff. This is while the rest follow suit as Brown sings about caring to a fault that is not good. Moving on to “Something Beautiful,” the drums lead into the track as the light Rock kicks in as the synths and guitars trade riffs in this piece of trying to make a relationship work. Then, “Sometimes” gets a vocal lead-in to what could be considered a power ballad with drums through the chorus with Brown’s vocals being the heart of the song as he sings about letting a bad relationship go, but still being haunted by it.
Picking up the tempo a bit, “Where Were You” is a venom-filled tune with a traditional Metal melody that has Brown singing his heart out about abandonment. Then, bringing back down the sonic vibe, “Time” melds the power ballad with the light grinding guitars accompanied by the synths. Midway through, the guitar breaks through into a clean solo in this piece about what is meant to be, always comes back in the end. Building back up with an anthemic beat, “The Trade” thrusts forward juxtaposed to love lyrics extolling the one that nothing can replace. Although, slowing the tempo again is “One Day;” a straight ballad highlighting the piano with accents of guitar before drums replace the piano as Brown sings about mixed signals that caused a relationship to fail and the lamenting that follows. Thereafter, “On the Way Down” begins with a cute baby voice sample of a child singing as the guitar grinds in. A strong piece late in the album, it asks why do people sell themselves short.
Provoking more thought, rocker “The Lie” harkens back to late ’80s/early ’90s light arena Metal style while the drums beat like a heart as Brown sings about the feeling of disillusionment. This is before the brooding melody of the ballad “You Didn’t Know,” which drips of a variety of emotions, especially remorse. As the album closes, One Less Reason offer the acoustic track “Rainmaker,” which is in sharp contrast to the way The Memories Uninvited began. This finale laments how people with the best intentions, hurt the one they love the most, and it is a song which resonates long after listening.
There are few musicians that can successfully pull off the feat of writer, composer, and producer. Cris Brown and his One Less Reason could join that rare group in the genre of Alternative Hard Rock. Brown imbues heart in the notes he plays and the words he sings, giving fans a glimpse into his life for 43 minutes that is The Memories Uninvited. CrypticRock gives The Memories Uninvited 5 out of 5 stars.