LIVE REVIEW @ THE EL MOCAMBO
Label: Universal Republic
A few weeks ago, someone told me to check out this band “We Are The Fallen”, that’s exactly what I did.
Usually I forget and check them out days later but with this band my curiosity got the best of me. Why? What was so different about this band? This new band was formed by ex “Evanescence” Co-Founder Ben Moody with members John LeCompt and Rocky Gray. They added “American Idol” seventh place finalist Carly Smithson on vocals and Marty O’Brien (Disturbed, Static-X etc.) on Bass to create “We Are The Fallen”. Now, when I heard the first single “Bury Me Alive” off their debut record “Tear The World Down” I was tripping out! I honestly thought this was Evanescence a la Fallen continued. The vocal arraingments, the singer, everything sounded exactly like the original Evanescence only difference is Amy Lee was replaced by a clone. Then I saw the video, I was shocked, Smithson emulated Lee in every way minus the sincerity. I don’t know if this is intentional to prove a point or if Moody just wants to live out the vision he didn’t finish with Evanescence, due to creative differences. I tried to find Ben after the set to ask him a few questions but only ran into Smithson and LeCompt as they were taking pictures and signing autographs for the fans. They were not the ones with the answers I was looking for. A retort is needed, eventually I’m sure I will get those answers and of course I will share them with all of you. The debut record “Tear The World Down” was released May 11th and debuted at #33 on the Billboard chart the album is available to buy everywhere.
I always do my research; never do I want to be one of those “special journalists” that have been misinformed on the regular. Everything factual I write about has a valid source without all the broken telephone misinterpretation. If Evanescence never existed then maybe I would love this band but unfortunately for them I can’t listen to the music without making the extremely obvious comparisons. Before you think I’m just a hater think again! I am just stating my opinion I speak truth my friends, I congratulate those who deserve the props, you must earn the praise. My ears don’t lie, this band has extreme potential with the current manifestation but they need to find an original sound. The only way is if the vocals and melodies change, Carly sounds completely different on her solo material, even on Idol (YouTube is wicked!) than how her vocals came across tonight. The live show made that very clear.
“We Are The Fallen” made a stop at Toronto’s EL Mocambo amidst their tour in support of their recently released debut. I had the chance to check them out thanks to kind people at Live Nation. Sorry no videos of this set, I have my restrictions. Fridae TV does not film a band unless it’s a full song and this bands media restrictions were the standard sixty second clips of the first two songs. However we did get some great shots thanks to my patient guest Photographer Melanie Schade.
The band is phenomenal, musically everything is tighter than most and John LeCompt is an incredible guitarist! He believes in his music transmitting the love with every lick. I would hope so he had a part in creating the sound. A few technical difficulties with his guitar, he did get that fixed for most part but there was still a few issues. Lucky for LeCompt there are two guitar players but not so much for Smithson, the band was drowning her out most of the time, I could barely understand a word the girl was singing. The Elmo doesn’t have the greatest sound but bands have managed. She needs to work on her diction and those high notes; she was struggling to hit them you could see the pull in her face.
There were moments where Ben Moody seemed really bored playing that axe; it wasn’t until the last half of set where he livened up and got into the music. The crowd enjoyed the show all thirty something of them. I was expecting more people at least to capacity but the EL Mocambo was not even close. It was a surprise to see such a small crowd for a major band especially since they’ve been getting extreme push from their label. They played a fifteen track set with a brief interlude. Included in the set list was a cover of Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” also on the record and one of my favorite Madonna tracks to sing. I give them props for throwing it down, Carly killed this tune, more of her own voice was shining through but the reverberation was still stressed. I like this version musically much better than Madonna’s, the band played it exceedingly well.
Bassist Marty held it down and Rocky Gray on those cans, the beat was was always tight. Carly sang a few of the ballads alone for the first half of the tracks. They were boring, I felt like I was going to nap she didn’t captivate me because I didn’t believe her. Coming off empty and unconvincing the emotion wasn’t there. She had the theatrics of the performance but it was not genuine. Throughout these track’s you could hear and see her vocals faltering the most, the notes were far too high for her they were strained and forced. There was a cd played as a backing track with backup vocals; I don’t think she plays an instrument. For most of the set she skipped the extremely high notes and just sang the choruses. You could hear her voice better during the ballads because the band wasn’t drowning her out but maybe that wasn’t such a good thing. If she had music in a different key and was able to bring “herself” to the mix they could do wonders. Her voice has a little grit in there she could do different things that are more on her level. I really hope Moody has “Fallen” continued out of his system and brings a fresh sound on the next record. Don’t rerun the old, people need something new to stay interested especially since the new can’t fill those massive old shoes. The second last track of the set was a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Flight Of Icarus” I liked it, it was one of the most genuine tracks sung by Smithson. They closed the set with the title track off the record “Tear The World down” another great tune. All of them are very talented and the songs are remarkable, it’s just the direction needs a new twist. I’ve heard a few tracks off the record, a lot of the vocals are extremely auto-tunetastic and well yeah I really think Ben has this obsession with Amy Lee. Carly can’t have her own identity because her band mates are stuck in the past. The fans of Evanescence’s original sound will love this band. Evanescence’s current fans can be happy because Amy is doing her own thing, the new Evanescence record drops this fall. There is room for everyone in the music world but you have to be original to stay on top of the game.
Like A Prayer
Don’t Leave Me Behind
I Am Only One
I Will Stay
Bury Me Alive
Sleep Well, My Angel
Flight of Icarus
Tear The World Down