Written by Elise Olmstead
We got the opportunity to review not one, but two Cleveland bands recently, and I was delighted to get some fresh tunes in my inbox from the band Vibe & Direct, a 3-piece that I have been hearing buzz about for years, and even recently heard this past weekend from a friend that I “have to listen to the new album, it’s so good.” The 8-track Chrysanthemum was just what I needed to put a little pep in my step while on the road back from a long weekend at The Big What, so I turned the stereo up and tuned in, still buzzing with solar eclipse energy.
I have to say I was impressed from the jump, their opening song “Bull and the Minx,” a rocking instrumental song with harmonizing guitar. Through a lot of the album I can’t decide if I’d rather compare their sound to TAUK or Umphrey’s McGee, but they honestly have a sound all their own. Not all songs are instrumental—“Queens and Kings” features lyrics along with some electronic beats and fun synthesizer sounds. The title track “Chrysantemum” lets the keyboard shine with beautiful crescendos of electronic sounds and a passionate guitar solo. I love the atmospheric feeling the electronica element lend to their music, exercised well in “Wishing Well” a song that lovingly reminded me of Papadosio. “Booby’s Got a Babysitter” features harmonized vocals and some funky, jazzy keyboard and guitar solos. “Just a Taste” and “New Heights” are more atmospheric instrumental songs with scorching guitar solos, “New Heights” being the more groovy of the two. The fittingly titled “Outro” is a short little ditty with radio voice samples to put a nice close on the collection.
The friend that urged me to listen to this album was completely correct, this is a CD I will want to share with all of my music loving friends and listen to again and again. This is a triumphant release for a band on the rise and you can listen on Soundcloud or buy the CD on their website.