I didn’t think it was possible, but The Memorials have twice in a row created an album so different a departure than anything else out right now. As before, their newest album, Delirium, is based in a hard rock\metal domain, and tilts to other genres of the musical spectrum.
As most fans of the band know, the core group of the band consists of three Berklee trained musicians: Nick Brewer on guitar, Viveca Hawkins on vocals, and Grammy Award\ multi-record breaking drummer, Thomas Pridgen. Most remember Pridgen for his years with The Mars Volta and followed his new Oakland, CA project after he was no longer in TMV.
Their second record, Delirium takes the technical prowess we had seen before in their self-titled debut record, and excels in every area explorer before and beyond. The roster this time? Dave Jackson on the keys, Adrian Terrazas-Gonzales (another former TMV member) on the flutes and sax solos, Ambrose Akinmusere on the trumpet, and the bass lord, Jon Reshard doing his thing on the low end.
The whole album is incredible, and fascinating to pull apart by each instrument. The MegaMan level timing and tuning of the track Delirium to the politically charged but beautifully bridged Fluorescent’s Unforgiving to the cutting organs and layered triple-bassing of Heavyweight, the energy is fluid throughout.
However, my first of three favorites lays in the track Daisies, with its calm guitar buildup intro, and oddly spaced double-bassing . The chimes lightly sound in the background, before the band picks up speed, and high pitched organs steadily lay on to keep the sound encompassed in a glow. What made this song great, is the familiar “he loves me, he loves me not” mantra yelled by front woman Viveca Hawkins.
Mr. Entitled is a true rock track, sounding like something from the 80’s with the star synth blaring along shredding guitar strings. I find this song to be perhaps the most technical, if not, the most frantic song on the album in regard to the drums. Throughout the song, Pridgen is unstoppable, even when the saxophones and flute are alternated. It also contains a drum solo that I swore was a drum machine.
In the favorite slot, lies So Anti Me which despite the name has quite a verse of positive lyrics. Starting with a punk drum beat, it opens up to an acoustic session by Nick, and stupidly smooth bass by Jon, and jazzy piano overlays by Dave. Viveca drops the beautiful verse below:
The difference in us is what makes us strong,
You pick up where I left off.
The mission in us is our common bond,
and that’s how we’ll get along.
We do this all for one and one for all,
so there’s always someone to lift us up when we fall.
The return of the drums signal an epic end to the main portion of the song, and to what I assume is the end of the album (my review copy does not have the track order unfortunately).
I knew these guys were good, but there was a lot of heart put into this album, and it is honestly very different from what we see delivered in music these days.
Delirium will be released on just a couple days, June 5th, and I highly recommend it. There isn’t a Los Angeles tour date, but you know I’ll supply it once I have it! Check out their Facebook for everything Memorials.
Until next time my friends,