Sunday, March 8, 2015

ADELITAS WAY "Deserve This" EP

(c) 2015 Independent Release

  1. Deserve This
  2. I Get Around
  3. Filthy Heart
  4. Harbor The Fugitive
  5. Sometimes You're Meant To Get Used
Rick DeJesus--Lead Vocals
Trevor "Tre" Stafford--Drums
Robert Zakaryan--Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Andrew Cushing--Bass, Backing Vocals

Adelitas Way return with their 4th release since 2006 with the EP Deserve This.  It should be noted that Deserve This is believed to be the precursor to a new studio album (rumored to be called Alive and set for a summer 2015 release).  Regardless, all five tracks here are brand new and of top-notch quality showcasing a band that is maturing and growing by allowing themselves to step outside the box on a couple of numbers without sacrificing who they have established themselves to be to their fans.

The EP opener and title track, "Deserve This", is what most fans have come to expect from the band.  A straight up modern hard rock number, "Deserve This" kicks in with a distorted guitar chord, some thundering drums from Stafford,  then a frantic bass-and-guitar run kicking this thing into gear right from the start.  Front man, Rick DeJesus, jumps in with his gravel-edged baritone vocals and things are off and running, charging toward the next track, the EP's lead single, "I Get Around".  At this point, the band starts to feel things out a bit, changing up the Adelitas Way sound ever-so-slightly, and tinkering with some different styles and sounds.  In this instance, "I Get Around" is a decidedly hooky, dare I say "bouncy" uptempo rocker that will not disappoint fans of previous hits such as "Invincible", "The Collapse", and "Cage The Beast", but one that also moves a long with a definite skip in its step.  The song kicks off with DeJesus delivering the chorus a cappella before the band comes crashing in,   That chorus by the way, while simplistic, is catchy as all get out and will likely be stuck in your head for days.

The quasi-epic "Filthy Heart" (nearly 6 minutes long) is a bit more down tempo with a somewhat bluesier approach to the song construction.  At times reminiscent of something the Red Hot Chili Peppers might have done, and also including an extended guitar solo with a definite 70's classic rock vibe to it, this song was really driven home for me when I got the chance to see the band live on a stop-over date in central Nebraska.  In fact, three of the five tracks here were performed live that night, with DeJesus telling the crowd that this night was the first night the band performed "Harbor The Fugitive" in a live setting, which was really cool.  The song has a different vibe than anything else I recall Adelitas Way performing on their previous efforts, with some excellent bass work from Cushing and a funky, almost R&B groove to it.  DeJesus' voice is particularly emotive on this track (and "Filthy Heart" as well), abandoning the angry, sharper vocals for a more laid back, singing approach.  Once again, a great guitar solo is included here, with Zakaryan really showing his contribution to the current line-up of the band.  

Album closer, "Sometimes You're Meant To Get Used" returns to the harder-edged modern rock approach previous fans are likely more accustomed to, with DeJesus reapplying the snarl to his vocals, and drummer "Tre" Stafford taking things up a notch here with more complex rhythms and fills than are used on much of the rest of the EP.

Don't get me wrong, I like what Adelitas Way has done in the past, but they got lost in the shuffle sometimes, with so many similar sounding bands competing for airwave space on modern rock radio.  With the Deserve This EP, Adelitas Way has retained their sound but added to it, really expanding their musical vocabulary with some different tempos and styles mixed in.  If pressed, I would have to say that this effort contains three of my favorite AW tracks to this point, with "Harbor The Fugitive" and "Filthy Heart" really finding the band taking their art up a notch with some musical experimentation.  If this is indeed a teaser to the next full-length album, I will be anxiously awaiting that.  As it stands, Deserve This is a solid release in its own right and well worth seeking out for both old fans and people looking for something a bit different from the norm in the Octane world.

The band is currently on tour with Flyleaf and Framing Hanley on the SnoCore Tour, so if you get the chance to catch them live, I certainly encourage you to do so.  Additionally, if you would like to help fund the new album, you can do so here:   

Rating:  Definitely crankable.  Spin the knob to an 8 here.

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