Is is possible that there is any room left for the invention of heavy metal music? Hasn’t it all been done before,the loud amps, the long hair and goth-looks and the demonistic vocals spewing out the ashes of lyrical darkness? Answer; yes, thousands of times but not in the case of Washington States own Severed Few who have created their own firestorm of original hard rock!
I was called by our metal and alternative rock writer, Firelyn to come to a rehearsal last week and to meet the members of Severed Few. I was offered noise-cancelling headphones when I got to the studio out of courtesy however, I didnt wear them. A few days later the band asked me to come to a club where they would be playing and to record their show and that’s what we did last evening in a place called Rumors in Chehalis Washington.
As we have mentioned before the Interstate-5 corridor between Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington is becoming the hot-bed mecca for music on the west coast of the USA. Little cities along the way have as much great music and artists as you will find in Nashville, Austin, Memphis, Paris or London. The world at large is looking at this melting pot of art and music and it’s on the bucket lists of millions the world over to come experience the artistry of the Pacific Northwest. Severed Few exhibits this culture, the drive for independence and the recognition of achievement in every note they shred.
If it were only gauged on the observations of the audience at Rumors all bobbing their heads, screaming out hell yeah (or other expletives ) and cheering after every song, one would think there’s really something going on. But that is not what impresses this writer, for I am that critique-based guitar player musician with an ear. An ear that sometimes I wish I didn’t have, for I can hear every note, every rest, every beat and I know what is right or wrong about the music I listen to. Severed Few have actually blown me away and set me back on my throne of self-inflicted psuedo-smartness. These guys are absolutely a phenomenon! Now to qualify this lets just say that I have lived long enough to have been ten feet from Jimi Hindrix and his wall of Marshall amps. If that doesn’t impress you in the least, go read someone’s blog about cooking squash because I tell you, this band, Severed Few is history in the making! Ten years from now my grand-kids will still be talking about this band because like great bands and songwriters of the past which I predicted their longevity in the music industry like Guns@ Roses, Def Leopard, Aerosmith and into the solos like Billy Joel, Elton John and Stevie Ray Vaughn, I have seldom been wrong. If that sounds arrogant please excuse me. ( How’s the squash reading coming along? Oh, you’re still with me? ) Point of all this is that I believe, as I told Firelyn last night outside of Rumors, history was being made this night.
With their matching black T’s with gothic red lettering worn by the band and their entourage , Severed Few took the stage first raising their glasses of preferred quenchment, and proposed a toast to the audience involving them in the experience form the first moment. And until the last note that was played, the audience never abandoned them. They rode the sound waves like cosmic surfers into the shores of energy and bliss as the Severed Few rocked out, kicked ass and took names!
As a musician myself, I love the Severed Few’s sense of dynamics and rhythm. They have unique system of mathematically correct stops and starts interspersed throughout their songs that leave little voids in al the right places, like anti–matter. I have never seen anything like it. Then the vocals shared by Danny and Rob are unbelievable. This aint the Everly Brothers folks by anyone’s view, but something that has never happened quite like this. And the drive of the guitars against the drums all done in counterpoint with the vocal chops is nothing short of genius, not just typical shredding and noise that makes no sense or purpose like so many of the thousands of metal bands today.
So what is it that makes an artist or a band so special and gives them that special something that will hold and build fans for decades, such as is the case with Metallica or even Paul McCartney or Madonna? Originality. Simply put, it’s something that separates the artist of his or her genre away from all peers to which they are judged. A sound, a look, an identifiable trait or characteristic. Severed Few meets the above criteria then and has all the qualities of a world class act / artist which will be around for many good years.
In conclusion this writer believes that the spirit of the innovators of rock such as Jimi Hindrix, Cream, Santana, Led Zeppelin, AC DC ( to name a few ) is still alive and well in this world. It hasn’t all been done before. It just doesn’t have to end that way. Art is always growing and changing and so should music and although many of us learn to paint our pictures and create our tunes in “safe” mode, there are still a few out there who are unafraid to blaze a new trail of their own, although cutoff from the safety of the herd, the Severed Few.
For more on the band, Severed Few, read Firelyn’s article in damngoodtunes.com this week and be watching for the release of the upcoming EP from Severed Few.