Just Another Starving Artist

{May 24, 2008}   Meniskus Album Review-Foreign Beyond

Colorado-based band, Meniskus delivers a unique sound that closes the gap between acoustic jam and alternative rock. The result is a refreshing culmination of varying genres. It’s clear that while echoing certain influences, most impressive is this trios pristine mesh of classical training, brought to the forefront by an obvious attention to technique.

Meniskus epitomizes the payoff of taking musical risks with their latest endeavor, new album, “Foreign Beyond.” It reigns as a showcase of their keen ability to play up the contrast between meditative vocals and a full-on jam. Lead singer Eric Ostberg’s unwavering voice is reminiscent of the likes of Jeff Buckley and Chris Cornell, singing above the music dynamically, while melodically conforming to the harmony and beat of the instrumentals, which are consistently earthy, playing on bluegrass vibes, comparable to Dave Matthews Band jam sessions

Tracks to check out:

“Trial” is certainly a testament to British-style vocals that pull against a more upbeat rhythmic undertone. The percussion-led intro combines with a subtle, Latin guitar throughout the verse, as the vocal tone and rhythmic pattern follow that of the instrumentals. The ultimate high of this song is a sick chorus, aesthetically pleasing and vast in its delivery. “Trial” holds back a little bit compared to some of the other Meniskus tunes that are more evolved, yet sultry bridge lyrics, “I want to tango tonight,” heighten the experience, leading to an overall satisfying listen.

“Letters,” is beyond beautiful in all of its’ splendor, especially if you harbor an affinity for the violin. While the notes and bowing are not intricate, it’s the simplistic precision of the vibrato that makes the tone of the violin stand out. The lyrics in both the verse and chorus are perfectly complimented by this strong vibrato that sort of commiserates with the overall message of the song. Noteworthy, is the flamenco-style guitar riff in the beginning of the song that acts as the foundation for a mysterious vibe. Not to mention a sick instrumental, heady jam which allows the violin to take on characteristics of a fiddle, proving again that Meniskus has a stronghold over the notion of versatility and ingenuity in song-writing. “Letters” is enigmatic!

From start to finish, “Occurred To” gives off a soft, intimate vibe that’s pensive and close to the heart. This song speaks directly to the listener through a coffeehouse type of warmth and honesty. The vocals flow in perfect harmony with the instrumentals of drummer, Chris Wright and guitarist, Bryan Bardusco, allowing lead singer, Eric Ostberg’s vocal range to shine through. There is a modesty surrounding “Occurred To” that shows a certain vulnerability, which is perfectly delightful and remains an indicator of this band’s cohesiveness and intrigue. Dig!

Reviewed By: Taylor DiVico


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