Through The Roots – Here To Stay EP
1.) Here To Stay
4.) Fed Up
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: July 12th, 2011
Official Website: Through The Roots Website
Formed in the spring of 2008, Through The Roots has thus far built their career off of positive vibes and fresh melodies. Based in San Diego, the group has toured up and down the coast of CA, and throughout the US, sharing the stage with groups such as Tribal Seeds, Iration and Steel Foundation. The group claims to be influenced by Sublime, Steel Pulse and UB40 among others.
Through The Roots’s latest release, “Here To Stay”, doesn’t seem to roll or bounce like most of the reggae rock coming out the SoCal area. In fact, it hardly moves at all. There’s some decent guitar playing interspersed throughout the album, but otherwise, nothing clicks and nothing connects. The notes seem to just pop out of my speakers and lie flat on the carpet, making no effort to dance, shake or entertain at all.
Album opener and title-track “Here To Stay” features several of the album’s typical (and in my opinion bothersome) elements including trashy synth horns, a bored, lackadaisical vibe, mind-numbingly simple lyrics and a lead guitar prominence that at first seems to be the track highlight, but eventually gets a bit grating. The rhythms are nothing special for reggae-rock, though I have the feeling they might be enough to get a crowd dancing.
“Weekend” starts off promisingly with delicate acoustic guitars and bubbling synth, but quickly falls flat once Evan Hawkins’s dull lyrics and listless melodies enter. The first verse goes:
“Just got off work on a Friday afternoon / I’m thinking where I’m going and what I’m about to do / So now I’m picking up the phone to call up my friends so we can all meet up and let the weekend begin / because this is what I look forward, too.”
I know they say you should write what you know, but this is just a bit too literal for my taste. Seriously, didn’t we as a nation establish only a few months ago that narrating the course of your Friday does not make for savvy songwriting?
“Paradise” and “Fed Up” just feature more of the same. Cheesy synths, mundane lyrics, lifeless hooks, and a bit of flashy guitar playing each come in at their designated cues, making for a pretty sub-par listen. “Here To Stay” contains nothing memorable, noteworthy, nor attention-grabbing except a few of Hawkins’s more tasteful guitar licks, but those too eventually get swallowed up and forgotten in what’s overall an easily forgettable release.
Don’t take my word for it, though. I encourage fans or anyone interested, to give the EP a listen, and if you want, tell me your opinion in the comments section. Maybe what sounds dull and lifeless to me is vital and prescient to you. If you agree with me, that’s great. If not, well, that’s even better because a diverse range of tastes and opinions is what makes online music communities worthwhile.
Written & Reviewed by: Chris Castro
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]