A group of early rockers from New York City seem set to dominate the underground music scene in the States sooner or later, especially with the release of their debut full-length EP — PARALYZED IN PARADISE. Having previously provided their audience with a taste of their discography with their debut track NEVERMIND, SAMSARA adds five plus one fresh tracks under their sonic belt. Comprising six tracks, the EP runs for a comfortable nineteen minutes, where SAMSARA polish the lessons learnt from classic grunge, alternative rock and garage rock acts — whilst disqualifying age as a deterrent in producing musical greatness.
SAMSARA is a five-man show — Dylan Trif (16) as the vocalist, Ben Bustamante and Brendan Sandhovel (both 17) on drums and rhythm guitar respectively, Charlie Monaco (18) on lead guitar and John Devito (19) on bass.
The EP leads off with NEVERMIND — a track that is inherently eruptive from the get-go with its usage of distorted electric guitar riffs, staccato percussion and obtrusive bass loops. The track borrows significant inspiration from various celebrated alternative rock/alternative indie acts, particularly in its characteristic similarity in arrangement to the 2006-2008 alternative rock wave that had swept Europe. Trif’s lyricism in the track is trumped only by his vocals — characteristically baritone and provocative that sounds way beyond its teenager years. It resembles the vocal capacity of a maverick performer fully aware of his sonic capabilities. ADDICT maintains the momentum borrowed from its previous track and opens up with an urgency of rhythm, soon marrying itself to the towering exhilaration of the drums and the guitar, as Trif’s vocals enhance the characteristic fusion of garage and alternative rock featuring on the track.
The following track TELL US YOUR NAME crossfades into the ambience — a passively grunge track featuring similar instrumental arrangement but more tempered vocals. BY YOUR SIDE revisits the frenzy of the garage rock revival of the early 2000s in its mono-pop production, where the guitar is in tandem with classic acts such as Nick Valensi of The Strokes or Joey Santiago of The Pixies. Although Trif’s vocals are not precisely representative of a Julian Casablancas or a Frank Black, it is one that understands the track’s motivation and does well to fit into the requirement.
The EP’s titular namesake PARALYZED is the EP’s interlude — resembling intros that sound diminutive of 1990s Noel Gallagher-ian slide guitar intros — that unfurls the carpet for its following track to take centre-stage. The EP’s curtain track FILTHY HABIT — easily a personal favourite — ought to be celebrated simply because of its sheer sonic ascendance from a mellow grunge-like moody grumble to a total overhaul featuring electric guitar solos and impassioned vocals suggestive of the juvenile disquietude that takes the shape of masterpieces such as PARALYZED IN PARADISE.