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Seldom: “Damaged” – powerful lyrics, over-driven amps and pounding drums

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Posted June 29, 2015 by Peter Burns in Headlines

Hailing from Houston, TX, Seldom is a driven and eclectic rock and roll band whose kaleidoscopic blend of sound is based on the contrast between the individual styles and inspirations of the musicians within the group: Mitch Atkinson, Matt Hernandez, Carlos Hidalgo, James Litchfield and Bryan Murillo.

Ever since the band’s inception in 2013, Seldom has been working really hard to secure a growing following. Their quickly rising reputation led to sharing the stage with internationally acclaimed acts the likes of Puddle Of Mudd, Lacuna Coil, POD, Drowning Pool or Saving Abel, as well as performing at major music events such as SXSW.

seldom-400bAfter successfully funding the production of a debut studio release via Kickstarter, Seldom released “Damaged”, their first full-length album, and performed extensively on a regional basis in support of the release. To keep it short, “Damaged” is simply brilliant. The album maintains masterful, driving energy while at the same time revealing lyrical depth and maturity in their song writing. The songs are all masterfully crafted, drawing on Seldom’s strengths; its powerful lyrics, over-driven amps, pounding drum tracks, screaming guitars and thundering vocals which literally tear the lyrics from the depths of their meaning.

Many of the songs on “Damaged” hit you like a train with fully powered riffs. But once Seldom turn up the volume the crunch is even more prominent, with Matt Hernandez and James Litchfield’s vicious, teething guitars a perfect back drop for Mitch Atkinson’s anguished, punishing vocals, while Carlos Hidalgo on bass provides a nice thick bottom to compliment Bryan Murillo’s nifty drum work.

“Awoke to Darkness” was meant for radio, but more so it’s a blistering assault on the ears. Likewise, “Cancer” and the fierce and nasty “Plastic Idols” are both venomous yet catchy and downright crunchy. The title track is a melodious, rollicking affair, and the inclusion of “Wasting Away” and “Watch Me Fall” keeps the album’s ear-candy intensity genuine. But most surprising is the swirling, brooding “Over & Over” with its dreamy acoustic guitar and strings intro.  However it’s the best track on the album –“Ozymandias”, which takes my breath away, as it possesses what I believe to be the best assets of Seldom…fierce, crunchy alterna-metal that will seep into your brain upon hearing it on the very first listen.

seldom-400The album itself is a standout, featuring a mix of brutal hard rock and melodic tunes. If you like your music heavy but also bands that are capable of slowing it down and still sounding great, you’ll love this album. It almost seems unfair to review this album on its own since, to me, it clearly feels like the beginning of something bigger.

The band’s music design is ineffably solid, distinctive, powerful, and outstanding. And the things that makes Seldom so great, is their diversity in rhythm, melody and style – really impressive vocals, outstanding guitar and bass work, with incredible rhythm and percussion. Their full-length debut is extremely mature for a new band and the fact that they can put out something as highly charged as “Damaged” means that the next album from these guys will blow everyone away!

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