Louisville, Kentucky based rock band Tantric has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout its life. The band, which rose from the remnants of Days of the New, has seen its records go platinum. It has toured and played to thousands. It has also seen band members leave and label changes. At one point, it seemed like the members of Tantric were ready to call it quits because of everything that it had endured. But this Summer, the band showed that it hasn’t gone anywhere with the release of its fifth full length record. 37 Channels was released this year via indie record label Pavement Entertainment. It’s an interesting return for the band. That’s first and foremost because of its sequencing. There is an obvious split as the album progresses between a harder mainstream rock sound and a softer side. Audiences will also take note on this album its general lyrical themes. The themes of the songs on this record range from the standard fodder of relationship issues to fighting inner and external struggles. Both of these factors together make 37 Channels one more album that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate, and may even bring back fans that had forgotten about the band.
The very first thing that listeners will notice about 37 Channels is a blatant separation between harder edged and softer style songs over the course of the album’s thirteen songs. The album’s first four songs could easily be used for any mainstream rock radio station. The first of those songs, ‘Again’ is a solid re-introduction for the band. After those first four songs, the band starts to slowly pull back as the album progresses. The album’s remaining nine songs are just as interesting a mix as the album’s first four tracks. That’s because while they may not have the same intensity as those songs, some of those other tracks have an intensity all their own. That is evidenced through songs such as ‘Loss For Words’, ‘Rise’, and the piano driven ballad, ‘Fault.’ These are interesting examples because they do such an impressive job of presenting how songs can be intense thanks to the contradiction of their musical and lyrical content.
The distinct separation of musical styles on this record makes it an interesting listen for certain. The music alone doesn’t make the record, though. The lyrics play their own role, too. Case in point: the album’s opener, ‘Again.’ Musically speaking, one wouldn’t recognize it. But this is one of the album’s song rooted in the standard theme of personal relationships. That’s because of the song’s heaviness. Front man Hugo Ferreira sings in this song, “In the end I despise everything/I realize/Never ever had to compromise/The shifty eyes/I see in you/Again/I should have known better/Than to let you in again/again/AGAIN!!!” A lesser songwriter would have taken such lyrics and potentially written another typical tearjerker. That wasn’t the case for Ferreira. He instead opted instead for something with more of a sense of determination. That is noted as he sings, “I’ve shown you all I can/It’s time for you/To want to understand.” The energy of the song’s music set alongside these words again makes this song just one of so many examples of what makes this album stand out.
Another example of how the combination of music and lyrics drives 37 Channels comes late in the album in the form of the piano-driven ballad ‘Fault.’ The gentility of the song will make fans of the band’s counterparts in Nickelback, Saliva, and other similar bands smile. It’s another song that lyrically is based in personal relationships. But Ferreira’s voice exhibits such pain when he sings, “I just want you/Like you were before” will pull at the heartstrings of even the strongest listener. It’s one more song that will help keep listeners engaged right to the album’s closer not just once but many more times after that.
Tantric’s fans still have plenty of chances to hear music from the band’s album in person as it tours in support of 37 Channels this Fall. One of its dates will be in North Carolina on Saturday, November 16th. The band will perform that afternoon at the Greensboro Chili Wing Fling 2013 presented by 100.3 The Buzz. Pop Evil will join Tantric at the show. More information on the band’s new album, Fall tour dates and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Tantric and http://www.tantricrockband.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.