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THE RIFT: “Rock Narcotic” – plenty of depth but extremely accessible

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Posted August 19, 2017 by Peter Burns in Headlines

Los Angeles hard rock trio THE RIFT is made up of brothers Aris Anagnos (Vocals, Guitar), John Anagnos (Bass) and Ovais Malik (Drums). Since forming in 2009, they have played alongside the likes of Exodus, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Misfits, among others. Their 2016 full-length debut “INVENTIONS” caught the attention of the media, industry insiders and radio stations, as well as Grammy winning producer Brandon Friesen who has worked with Alice in Chains and Nickelback . Now 2017 sees the band release their brand new single “Rock Narcotic”, which is music on THE RIFT own terms, and really, that’s all you could ever ask for.

Retaining a part of the feel of their previous album, “Rock Narcotic” blends the wild and energetic sound that the band has become known for, as well as the more thoughtful and deliberate sound a band as meticulous as THE RIFT has been striving for.

Aris Anagnos absolutely shines here, his vocals and fantastic guitar work undoubtedly steals the spotlight and will leave the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end. But the single also shows off some impressive performance abilities from John and Ovais.

Most bands can be forced into a genre if it comes down to it, at least in description. But to do that with the THE RIFT defeats the very purpose of their existence. Their writing is totally uncompromising, organic and it’s enthralled with a definite sense of joyous emotion.

“Rock Narcotic” constantly rewards your curiosity, finding paths and segues everywhere, seamlessly transitioning and ebbing into and out of breakdowns and buildups, and constantly shifting dynamics back and forth, loud and soft.

But if you’re thinking this might be too complex on the ear, think again. The track has plenty of depth but is extremely accessible – catchy actually – think a cross between the futuristic alternative dynamics of The Muse, the deadly ear-worm falsetto choruses of Maroon 5 and just a pinch of the Mars Volta exuberance in the arrangement.

Simultaneously being a music lover and cynic, I am usually hard-pressed to easily accept new music by a band I don’t know much about. I am used to the few listens it takes for me to decide what I really think about a project. THE RIFT convinced me immediately, and is still convincing me after 10 days of heavy rotation.

It’s a musical tapestry woven from eloquent expression rather just volume. It’s an aural feast; teeming with carnivorous guitars, booming drums and thumping basslines, without ever being abrasive. Ambitious and explosive in their endeavors, the band’s raw talent and creative chemistry is all on show here, rivaling and even surpassing their best work.

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