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Posts Tagged ‘syd’

Who’s That Pack – Volume II (New Directions)
Spring 2010

Who’s That Pack is back with a new EP. The first volume was very much a success so I’m curious for this 2nd release. It starts of with Syd’s version of Chad Perrone’s Madison. This is one of my favorite Perrone songs, so I won’t lie. I must admit it took me some time to really get used to Syd’s version. But just because it’s quite different I’ve grown to enjoy it a lot. Pretty much everything is different. It’s much more raw and not as smooth and lush as the original, but it gives the song a more alternative, groovy edge that actually brings out emotion in the song very well.

Todd Martin’s version of Patrick Thomas’ Getaway is probably the masterpiece on “New Directions”. Excellent song, insanely good performance. The effective drumbeat, the lyrical content and Martin’s rendition of the song do justice to Thomas’ songwriting. Next up is Safe From The Water, penned by Todd Martin, performed by Tim Blane. It starts out very sentimental with a beautiful piano arrangement and then goes into this modern, distorted part, which is interesting, but also distracts from the strong vocals a little. But on the other hand it is done tastefully and it may make the song more current.

Tim Blane’s New Dance is covered by Patrick Thomas. The funky, infectious track is performed well and interestingly. I don’t think it can measure up with Blane’s original verison, but Thomas does make it his own and impresses with this funky rock & roll song. Chad Perrone, on his turn, takes on Syd’s The Pattern. It’s a surprise to me how well this works. In a way I can say the same for this song as I said for Madison, just the other way around. Syd and Perrone have completely different vocal sounds and primarily because of that they make their songs sound quite different. But the beauty of it all is that it actually works and gives the song a different perspective that shows the diversity of not only the performers, but also of the songs themselves.

As a bonus there’s a Who’s That Pack original on this album. It’s called This Is The Alarm. The short, quirky song is nothing more than just that, a funny bonus at the end of the EP. I’ll just leave it at that. It’ll make you laugh, I promise.

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Who’s That Pack – Volume 1 (Performorgy)
January 2008

Who’s That Pack (Tim Blane, Syd, Chad Perrone, Todd Martin, & Patrick Thomas) is a group of interesting, original, creative singer/songwriters from New England. On this particular venture they are playing eachother’s songs and decided to record this.

The EP starts off with Tim Blane’s version of The Bottom (original by Syd). The excellently written song is bombastic and extravert and Blane delves into his own soul to bring out every ounce of effectiveness of the song. A strong start to this record. Then Todd Martin takes on Chad Perrone’s sensitive song Like Riding A Bike. It was on Perrone’s excellent full-length “Used To Dream”, where it served as a closer. It’s different hearing it with a different vocal color, but Martin really captures the essence of the song and is able to bring the same sense of urgent emotion to the surface.

Syd is up next, presenting us with his rendition of one of Patrick Thomas’ best songs, Trip. The groovy, edgy song fits with the slightly mysterious and loose performance. It leaves the listener to get into it more and more as the song progresses. Tim Blane’s Once And Future King is covered by Chad Perrone. The song pretty much evolves throughout the performance, it grows, so to speak. Perrone’s excellent vocals and Blane’s beautiful arrangement of the song go together very well.

That leaves us with the final song on “Performorgy”, where Patrick Thomas takes on Runaway by Todd Martin. And it’s exactly what you’d expect when two gifted musicians meet in the middle. A good song is a good song and a good performance is a good performance. What else need I say?

It’s obvious Who’s That Pack is a talented bunch with a good feel for the music they make themselves as well as for the music their colleagues make. Covering each other’s work gives the songs a new perspective and shows the variety and adaptability of these singer/songwriters. “Performorgy” is a more than successful experiment and I’d love to hear more.

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