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If you can listen to music from a technical aspect you can usually tell if you come across trained, experienced musicians or self-taught amateurs and wannabes. In the case of the Los Angeles based band Principal Spinach both Gaelon Davis (bass, lead vocals) and Luis Briones (drums) belong to the first group of musicians because they are graduates from Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA. You can totally hear the skills they learned while listening to their well composed and unique music. Moreover, it seems the goal of Principal Spinach was to create a maverick product and in this pursuit they have achieved success.
The song "Dirty Tommy" opens the bands first studio album called Persistent Resistance which was released in 2010. A dynamic funk rock mixture found in the music brings a brainstorm of ideas thanks to its diversity. It's not an easy-listening composition due to the technical arrangements, however the mathematics of "Dirty Tommy" build a unique character which is crucial to the songs cogency. The song is marked by various structures that can steal your appreciation through surprise. The bassist and lead vocalist Gaelon pushes firmly towards the use of solutions known better from funk music, but it doesn't stop there. He may solidify your heartbeat with his six string bass due to dense, slapped bass lines that replace drum beats often throughout the score.
Melodic parts are laden with strong accents that come out at times as well. It's clear that initiative, commitment, passion and high musical expertise as well as creative collaboration speak for this song. The musicians skillfully use the influences of the funk genre as mentioned above as well as those of classic rock. Besides, they experiment with the sound on their own terms and this is why you may enjoy not only the solid structures, but the spiritual moods that are brought on by swinging guitar riffs.
Uniqueness, independence and technical skills equal strong values. It seems like Principal Spinach have already worked out their own original style. Since they do not seem to copy other artist there is still a chance that they may be followed by copycats in the future since their sound is so compelling. Songs like "Dirty Tommy" usually fall into rock music history if they receive the appropriate support. This is what Principal Spinach may need fans of their music to outwardly express since the band has already proven that they have given 100%.
If you like bands such as Peeping Tom, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, Living Colour, Incubus, Primus or Mr. Bungle, "Dirty Tommy" by Principal Spinach will definitely draw your attention. Keep in mind they'll release a limited EP at the beginning of March 2012 in preparation for their 2nd album to be put out at the end of March/early April this year.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 18th, 2012. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)