MP3 worldclass. - ROCK: Hard Rock
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8 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Hard Rock, ROCK: Modern Rock
worldclass is an exuberant and prolific 4-piece rock outfit straight out of Brooklyn, New York, who are clearly excited about music. One visit to a live show demonstrates that nothing is more important to these four than the sounds exploding out of the speaker cones, escaping from their throats, and reverberating from the drum kit; all to summon a spirit that has just suddenly appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. They re-define the rules of pop accessibility-meets-sonic innovation on their self-produced EP worldclass (Undependent Records). It's a juggernaut of a debut - simultaneously announcing a potent songwriting ability with equally deft musicianship, and remaining conspicuously unburdened of the need to do anything except rock.
On their self-titled EP, worldclass displays a wealth of respectable influences - there's a fondness for early Radiohead, angsty and sonically lush, but then tempers it with the sweetness and pop craftsmanship of the Cars and Blur. Let's not forget the eponymous rock of bands such as AC/DC, but, through the disc, worldclass fails to brand themselves a copy of any band. Their sound is fully developed, but is still maturing, show by show, and this EP is just a hint of what's to come. On the chorus of "Etcetera", their debut single, 2 and 3-part vocal hooks choir above an electric guitar machine, melting into each other and separating again to reveal spacious grooves, and Kris Bauman's direct and warm vocal style. Each song paints its own aural landscape, a new mixture of vivid chord color with rhythms that fragment, bisect, and outline the impetus within. It is their uniquely unmatched ability to stand out musically in the modern independent scene that has earned them their loyal fan base and the respect of fellow New York bands across genres.
Kris Bauman (songwriter/guitar/voice) and Dave Burnett (drums) first met while studying jazz in New York, where both developed a unique identity and approach towards improvisation. Bauman released a quartet album as a leader on Fresh Sound/New Talent while Burnett was involved with many diverse projects in and out of the city. The pair became ultimately drawn back to their rock and roll roots, however, and felt it necessary to simplify the means of expression they had acquired. A new platform was needed to bring an original, melodic, and emotional experience to the listener. worldclass was formed. The original lineup put Tim Reynolds (lead guitar) on the bass, a powerful live performer and a product of the Chicago Hardcore scene, with whom Burnett had been playing with in various metal/hard rock contexts since high school. The band put together a set of originals and quickly began gigging around the city, however, "there were so many things I was hearing that were impossible to play as a trio," says Bauman. "We needed two guitars." Jochen Rueckert (bass) was recruited, an accomplished and sought-after musician in his own right who solidified the rhythm section. Reynolds happily moved back to his native instrument of guitar, and the four-piece worldclass lineup was complete.
With their set list growing larger and larger, the band set out recording their debut, worldclass., in July 2004. Basic tracking began at Abattoir Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where drums and bass were captured, and the rest of the tracking was finished up at worldclass' own studio. Fully self-funded and to be released on their upstart label Undependent, they had assumed the responsibility of producing, co-engineering, and mixing the entire record. Burnett mixed the 8 songs, and then sent it over to Mike Barnard (The Strokes, Lit, Eve6, The Calling), for mastering, whom worldclass had met through producer/engineer Brian Malouf.
The result speaks for itself. The EP captures the promise of great things to come from worldclass, and that promise is already being fulfilled. Watching worldclass live reveals a depth of material that was born with these 8 songs but has since found an even longer stride. The lock-tight musicianship of the band combined with a soaring sonic delivery results in a dynamic and emotional show, after which it's not uncommon to see kids and non-kids alike stumbling over each other to meet worldclass, join the mailing list, and buy CDs. "This band is about giving people something more than the status quo," says Burnett, "We give 100 percent onstage because it's about the music. We're just really excited about playing music." worldclass rocks. Shouldn't you?
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