Hole in The Wall (album) – Specialists | Dance Rock
Specialists are an NYC-based funk collective, founded by guitarist/vocalist Will Harden and bassist/vocalist Mikey Rotunno, bringing a fresh new take to the style of music christened ‘dance rock’ with their latest release, “Hole In The Wall”. With great bass playing and slow, catchy parts on the guitar, I loved listening to their latest work. Keep reading for my review!
When it comes to funk music, one of the elements at the forefront of the whole movement is the bass, and “Hole In The Wall” has plenty of great bass playing– the licks are tastefully composed and feel like they’re a living, breathing part of the songs they’re a part of, as opposed to the quiet background instrument they are so often relegated to; and I quite liked this. This theme is consistent throughout the tracks; speaking of which, the first track bears the title to the album as well– a nice, uptempo track that would remind the listener of the golden eras of the Bee Gees and many such artists. There is so much going on in this track that all resolves and mixes together into a festive, upbeat, happy kind of vibe, with the instruments playing their parts rather excellently, to my elation.
“Birdseye” starts out with a solo bass riff that explodes into a similar sound as “Hole In The Wall”, with a lot of interesting things going on in the percussion, with the wah on the guitars standing out as defining feature of this track aside from the vocals, that also make their presence felt throughout this track. The writing is groovy, enjoyable and makes for a nice throwback while keeping the production firmly rooted in the present day, with the knds of mixing techniques at play here.
Some other special mentions from this album include “Charade”, “Brave”, and “I Got You”, all great tracks in their own right– with instrumentation and vocals that work great together and propel the production quality of this record from one height to another, not dipping in quality once, as the bars are traversed and the ideas, explored.
The whole album has this tight, groovy feel to it that I cannot help but attribute to the mixing techniques at play here, especially the work that I hear having gone into taming the screaming guitars, all in their sweet reverie, to the subtle Stylophone-esque synths in the background– all the instruments have their place and that, on such a full record, is a feat indeed. The vocals slot right where it sounds perfect, and the atmosphere that this series of mixes creates leaves nothing on the table.
With “Hole In The Wall” the Specialists are specialists of their style in their own right. This album gets two thumbs up from me, and you can check it out here: