Kerosec, a four-piece outfit fronted by namesake Tom Kerosec, claim influences like Tool, Deftones, NIN, Radiohead and other 90s lovelies, and you can certainly hear the echoes of yesteryear’s alternative giants in the six tracks included on the Kerosec EP. Blood vessels are popped and vocal cords are shredded for sure, but when the songs work the most on this album are when the band stays within a level of energy that best fits them.When you open a record with a cover song, you’re either pretty confident in your original material or you’re compensating for what’s lacking. Kerosec come storming out of the gates with a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” fodder for many generations of cover bands across this great land. Kerosec seem to do a decent enough job with it, though I think first impressions are everything and making your opening salvo a CCR cover seems a bit odd. Closing the record with a cover would seem to make more sense, especially if you got the goods to make your own music.
Following their take on the Fogerty brothers is “5 Body Blade,” a rather interesting listen. Amps are turned up to 12, and there’s a Muse-like swagger with thunderous guitar squalls with quiet falsetto vocals in the verses. Here’s where reining that energy in a bit would’ve come in handy. Tom Kerosec is a decent enough singer, but those falsetto moments tend to get bigger than he is and the melody gets lost a bit. And the screamo stuff just seems a little over the top. It’s like there’s three different songs in this one song.
“Turn On, Tune In, Freak Out” seems like a good spot for Kerosec. Mid-tempo rocker with the vocals right in the sweet spot. “Gratitude” is the ballad part of album, and the guys seem to be comfortable here. Again, that falsetto seems to be a little more than his vocal range can handle, unless strained is what we’re going for. Otherwise, it’s a solid tune. “Make The Best” is a good mid-tempo rocker, something that would’ve gotten played a lot back in the day on 96.3. “Lines in the Sand” closes this EP, and it’s a fun, manic track.
A huge plus is the production value here. Along with vocal and guitar duties, Tom Kerosec produced, engineered, mixed and mastered this EP, and his studio prowess certainly comes through. Les Lesser, Matt and d. make up the rest of Kerosec, and all do a great job of building these songs up with some solid playing.
Kerosec are off to a good start. There’s tons of potential here, and the band can certainly play. If they hone some of that energy in, who knows what the next album will be like.
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