In Motion
Tenfold Back

by Jason Hoffman In Motion
When I received In Motion, the first CD from Tenfold Back and the first album produced by the local independent label Indie Rock Records, I pulled out the leaflet to take a look and peruse the liner notes. Inside were pictures of people I went to high school with, sporting cool rock attitudes and striking cool rock poses, poses I don’t recall ever seeing struck in chemistry class. But a quick listen proved that any perceived pomp was well earned, because Tenfold Back has their act together.

In Motion features Jon Durnell on guitar (as well as lead songwriter, engineer and producer), Missy Burgess on bass and backing vocals, Beth Mattingly on lead vocals and guitar and Larry Ford on percussion. Since this album has been recorded they’ve added a lead guitarist, although from the melodic, classic rock solos of “Day By Day” and “Make It Now” I’m not sure why they felt the need. Perhaps it’s to allow Durnell to focus on songwriting, a task he already does amazingly well, combining elements of classic 70s rock with modern, acoustic and pop touches. Whereas most female vocalists would drown under the often thick but creamy distortion, Mattingly gives the material a softer yet powerful edge, easily holding her own as she recalls the passion of Pat Benatar in “Nothing Left To Save” and “Collide.”

Tenfold Back’s sound is definitely easy to enjoy on first listen, being a combination of excellent crunchy guitar tones, layered vocal harmonies in the chorus, radio-friendly melodies and uplifting, often encouraging, but never sappy lyrics. In the aforementioned “Nothing Left To Save” great sizzling guitars with a slightly ominous edge back pleading vocals of “Please let me in before it’s over / Nobody wins when it’s over / Don’t throw it all away.” “Direction” is a great example of their sound, with aggressive but melodic guitars, a strong and invigorating beat and catchy melodies that stick with you for days.

While most of the songs sport overdriven guitars Tenfold Back scale back quite nicely, such as the sweet, soaring chorus of “Real,” where clean guitars drive the mid-tempo ballad to lofty heights. “Been There Before” also tosses aside the distortion for a breezy, classic pop sound with a hint of 70s folk and a Gorilla Glue chorus. The chief among these is “April,” an astounding and endearing instrumental of finger-picked guitar and bass, including hints of James Taylor and Phil Keaggy chord progressions, mixing a touch of sadness with a ray of hope to make a song as beautiful melodically as it is solid technically.

With well-crafted songs, slick production, professional artwork, tight musicianship and endearing melodies that hit in all the right places, Tenfold Back are definitely a band In Motion as they move up the ranks of area bands. Be sure to catch the band at one of their many local gigs to pick up In Motion or stop by www.tenfoldback.com for downloads and more.

Copyright 2006 Ad Media Inc.