February 10, 2014 Tantric – 37 Channels (Album review)
Tantric has been paving the way in post-grunge rock for the last sixteen years with a diverse sound and the unique voice of Hugo Ferreira. After turmoil with Days of the New, guitarist Todd Whitener, bassist Jesse Vest, and drummer Matt Taul moved on to to form the new band with Ferreira. In 2000 the band signed with Maverick Records, and shortly after released their self-titled debut Tantric (2001), which went platinum. After touring extensively with Creed and Kid Rock, the band released After We Go (2004), which while not as successful as their debut helped further carve a fan base. After some line-up changes Ferreira was determined to keep Tantric going, and over the next 6 years thereafter released The End Begins (2008) and Mind Control (2009). A reloaded Ferreira signed with Pavement Records and assembled a star line-up of musicians to help bring to life his vision of Tantric’s fifth album 37 Channels (2013). Among the contributors are guitarist Kenny Olson (Kid Rock), guitarist Scott Bartlett (Saving Abel),guitarist Kevin McCreery (Uncle Cracker), vocalist Austin Winkler (Hinder), Shooter Jennings (Early Man), Leif Garrett, and drummer Greg Upchurch (3 Doors Down).
37 Channels opens with “Again”, beginning with a smooth guitar riff and deep vocals which shifts into gentle melodies. This opens the band’s first studio album in four years like a rock and roll roller-coaster that visits two sides of the instrumental spectrum. The track “Blue Room” has a classic rock intro and a quick beat which is reminiscent of “Breakdown”, making it a brief yet hearty and robust tune. The single “Mosquita” features Western style guitar riffs and punctual passionate vocals showered with vibrant and rich notes. It has all the trademarks of a Tantric song while it melds a new twist into the sound featuring a guest vocal appearance by Jennings. Directly following, we cascade into the slow dance-like ballad “Gravity” where Ferreira displays versatility as a song writer. Indulging the listener, the track is potent and clear with the steady drumming of Upchurch and powerful guitar work.
The song “Loss For Words” lives up to its name with a light, delicate melody complemented by acoustic guitars and a blues riff in the backdrop. Romantic and delightful, it delivers a lush full sound and reflective message lyrically. “Rise” is an upbeat rock track that displays the strong and punctual drumming. Further in we discover “Broken” with a lighter melody giving way to a deep cryptic vocal and driven guitar riffs. It is a memorable touching song that steps out of the boundaries of Ferreira’s comfort zone with positive results. “You Got What You Wanted” is a mellow slow track which is not quite a ballad. A guitar solo is enhanced by the drumming and vocals delivering thought-provoking lyrics. A gentle piano ballad with raspy genuine vocals encompasses the sound of “Fault”. The track features a duet with Winkler and a somber sorrowful melody, making it a dark twist on their style that explores many emotions. With “My Turn”, a guest vocal appearance by Garrett makes for a catchy quirky style with simple drums and fast thick vocals. This interesting and upbeat song is definitely the most experimental of the entire album and may be an acquired taste for some. On the song “Bullet” the smooth vocals of Winkler complements the husky voice of Ferreira, providing for a quick paced grunge style track with a wild guitar solo. Closing out the album is “Girl in White”, beginning with a soft melancholy guitar and a mournful voice before bursting into a vibrant, busy melody. It switches between the gentle, soft melody and the voracious intensity of an industrial like sound, definitely a strong potent ending to the album.
37 Channels is a diverse and strong album, which has a clear theme from track to track that is well executed. Ferreira definitely tested the waters and experimented with several new sounds here, but it is true to Tantric’s sound and delivers a clean, faithful, impressive album that will most certainly have a spot in many collections. CrypticRock give 37 Channels 3.5 out of 5 stars.Review written by Cyanide Suicide