Frederick based band daMood’s second album “Yellow Sound Era” is out Friday. A release party at Velvet Lounge (203 N. Market St.) is coinciding with the album’s release. You can drink a specialty band cocktail, meet the album cover illustrator, win exclusive merch and even see the music video premiere for the track “Cupid, Bang Bang!”. The fun starts at 8 p.m.
daMood has been together for a little over three years now and has performed at staple downtown functions like Alive @ 5 and the Tenacious V beer release party at Flying Dog Brewery. I reviewed their new album track-by-track.
The album starts with the intro "Yellow Sound Era" which gets things started with a mash-up of eclectic noisy sounds (static, typing, etc.) that build up in speed and chaos until it all reaches an eventual cessation.
As the intro concludes, you are thrown into "Night Starts At Dawn," a speedy funk rock number with light chic-like guitar during the verses and powerful raging riffs during the chorus. Rapper/singer Ricole Barnes begins the track by deliberately stating, "As hard as I go there's no viagra needed". A steady rap flow is right on time with the grooving drumbeat.
"Ra Sunshine" has a soulful ska feel with downbeat guitar strumming, solid upfront bass, adaptable drumming and horn segments that complete the picture. An interesting hook catches the listener's ear: "Ra ra ra — here's the sunshine, go play." The song evolves until an eventual transcendental outro blasts through with fields of sound from vocals with echo, high-pitched guitar squeals, uplifting horns and dazzling female backing vocals.
"LetHer2crush" is a track that clocks in at 6 minutes and 14 seconds. It contains cool off-kilter drum beats, distorted bass and lots of dismal downer guitar. Everything blends into a twisted shoegaze feel. Barnes’ rapping rhythm stays ahead of the beat and propels the song forward — the rest of the band's follows. This would be a fun jam song to hear from the band live, though the studio track is still just as much of a wild ride that leaves you a bit confused at the end over what just happened.
"Cupid Bang Bang" is a dance-y number that gives off an interesting electronic tribal vibe with the airy keyboard, African-inspired drumming and a vocal accent that dives into the chorus "Cupid couldn't hit me with a bang bang.”
"Do It" is a demanding crowd anthem. I saw the song performed live at the band’s semi-recent Area 31 show. The recurring "Do It" lyric is probably the easiest and most enticing crowd engagement you could have in a song. A forceful rocker vibe shows in Barne's vocals on this song where he references Harvey Weinstein and many other areas of news and pop culture that you usually don’t hear in songs.
"The Geezer" closes out the album. The song has a funk/jazzy-fusion feel. "This ain't your daddy's rap rock I rap like Rakim, Tupac.” The fastest and most impressive flow of the album is within lines like "Criminal, animal, doing the annual, don't read the manual." As well at the 2 minute, 34 second mark when Barnes lets loose and shows off his hip-hop skills.
“Yellow Sound Era” is a second effort that demands attention. The album contains a mix of genres, but ultimately the band brings their signature indie rock and hip-hop blend with a good dose of funk to the forefront. The band — Ricole Barnes (vocals), Chris Smith(guitar), April Reardon (keyboard/vocals), Dan Zboyan (bass), Tad Achey (drums), and Ethan Lichtenberger (horns) — has a natural chemistry and understands many different music styles within creating a sound that’s most certainly original. So check out the album … and if you get a chance to see this band in concert, they’re a must see.