Rarely does a new band come to the table with as much collective experience as Atlanta's Brand New Immortals boast on its individual resumés. Bassist Johnny Colt spent nearly a decade with the Black Crowes, while frontman David Ryan-Harris has made three attempts at rock megastardom without ever crossing over the threshold: first as singer and guitarist for early-'90s funk/metal act Follow for Now, then as producer and guitarist for soul songstress Dionne Farris, and finally as a solo artist signed to producer Brendan O'Brien's label. Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm, as Tragic Show boasts the same infectious blend of radio-ready accessibility and postmodern hard rock riffage that made the far more derivative Lenny Kravitz such a star. The debut single "Reasons Why" opens the record with a blast, its alt-rock crunch offset by Ryan-Harris' soulful vocals and a catchy sing-along chorus that'll have you bopping around in your car. Songs like "Kalifornia" add a bouncy funk influence, with a sunny melody so bright you might wanna have a few cups of coffee before listening to it, while "High Time" uses sparse samples and a slammin', syncopated drum riff to lure you in, then slams you to the ground with an arena-ready anthemic chorus that recalls early Van Halen at its most potent. Tragic Show may not reinvent the rock & roll wheel, but at least it's got plenty of memorable hooks that weren't borrowed from every rock icon in the band's record collection, not to mention a charismatic frontman whose talent puts most radio-friendly bands to shame.
|Label:||Elektra / Wea|