The beauty in the technological advances that have taken place over the past few decades is that bands like Sonic X can record an EP like Fall From Grace without the financial backing of a label. That they can deliver a sound that is as good (or better) than albums that once cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to record is a testament to how far the recording process has come. The curse is that, in an ever-shrinking industry, this is a band that faces an uphill battle to get the recognition that they so richly deserve.
Twenty years ago, this incredible, four-song EP would have created a bidding war by major labels looking for the next big thing. Fast forward to today, and Sonic X falls into the burgeoning category of “DIY band” looking to catch a break on radio or landing an opening slot with an established band. Money and politics are likely the biggest obstacle for the former; not wanting to be upstaged may very well be the biggest obstacle for the latter, as Sonic X is going to force anyone that they open for to bring their “A-game” on a nightly basis.
Fall From Grace is one of the rare recordings that bridges the gap between the glory days of 80s hard rock and the modern sound that is prevalent on Active Rock radio today. Powerful, driving rhythms (courtesy of bassist, Joseph Cumbo and drummer, Joey Greco) set the tone for each of the songs on the EP. As the intensity builds from track to track, you get the feeling that Sonic X could have easily veered off into a melodic, frenzied thrash direction if they wanted to, but instead, chose to showcase a tight precision that is usually reserved for top prog rock artists.
Lawrence Falcomer’s brilliant guitar work goes beyond pure shredding (although there is plenty of it tastefully displayed throughout the EP). Falcomer – with contributions from Greco – is also the production mastermind behind the band’s sound, which is sonically superior to what many big budget bands deliver; something that is totally unexpected from a DIY band’s debut EP.
Adam Troy’s ability to blend shades of classic Sebastian Bach with the modern edge of Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia, ex-Three Days Grace) should, by all rights, get him mentioned in the same breath with the top vocalists in the genre today. Wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Troy channels anguish and rage into his impassioned delivery as he breathes life into lyrics that clearly hit close to home.
After several listens to Fall From Grace, here are a few takeaways. The first is that the EP gets better with each listen. The second is that there are layers to each song that are best discovered by listening through headphones. And the final takeaway is that Sonic X should record a full-length album sooner rather than later. Fall From Grace ends too quickly, and leaves you wanting more.
Stay tuned for more coverage of Sonic X on Hard Rock Daddy in the near future.