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Sunday, February 24, 2008

CD Review: The Limit - Reinventing the Sun

The Limit - Reinventing the Sun
2007 The Limit, LLC
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Points to any band with the stylistic funnybone to declare "emo is the new disco!"

There's something idealistic about a concept such as reinventing the sun, and idealistic is basically the tone and vibe of The Limit's step heavy rock 'n roll. If only we could restore some of the protective ozone back in the air to make the sun less stifling and more harmless, then perhaps everyone would come out of their air-conditioning and just hang out more often. This seems to be the modus operandi to The Limit's song structuring, which is largely bar rock-minded, but in rejecting conventional theories of today's hard rock and metal scenes, what The Limit appears to be saying on their debut album Reinventing the Sun is that some restructuring courtesy of harmonious heavy rock has become necessary in a style of music that has become progressively more brutal with each blast beat tick.

For a self-produced album like Reinventing the Sun, you're going to have slight sound muffs and maybe not all of the same polish as delivered by the bigger studios and labels (even on the indie circuit), but it's the inherent charm of Reinventing the Sun's tunes that draws you in. Sometimes The Limit reminds of a stray bullet take on King's X with less reverb, but frequently they embrace a late eighties hard rock twinge complete with agreeable vocal sweeps and tapestry-laced guitars from Mark Daniel, the soul and glue of The Limit. At times The Limit goes for some progressive alt rock layerings such as on "House of Sand" and even "Closer," the latter song also possessing a Steve Vai-minded drive without the mindmelding solos.

In general, The Limit's music is kept at mid-pace on steady cuts like "Sky Walker," "Best Thing" and "Save Yourself." They attempt nothing overtly flashy, other than some psychedelic love lubes from Mark Daniel, a pretty nifty slinger who has a bright career ahead of him. His bandmates, drummer Bob Chmiel and bassist Todd Grosberg give Daniel a straight-flowing ebb from which to tap into his own resources, which is why most of Reinventing the Sun works splendidly.

Reinventing the Sun's statement piece comes via the 2:11 12-string pluck and slide instrumental "Mother Maria," which follows The Limit's uptempo acoustic ballad, "Time Can't Keep Me." In some ways, the couplet brings a reminiscence of American hard rock and even alternative twenty years ago, in the ways bands ranging from Mr. Big to Flesh For Lulu had a tendency to dabble with.

Given the budget of some of the more fortunate bands to have scored prime studio hours, Reinventing the Sun would be an even more noteworthy debut. As it is, what The Limit has concocted in-house is basically its own story. Far more polished than demo cuts, what you're getting with Reinventing the Sun is the rare opportunity to hear a band in development and whenever they catch the ear of a label, then we're likely to hear what these guys are really about. Their hearts are in the right place, their execution is largely solid and they're doing what they want to do, norms be damned. Seldom does DIY sound like it's holding a band back, but that's what we have with Reinventing the Sun. Get on board now because this seems like a potentially groovy ride in the years to come.

Rating: ***1/2


David Amulet said...

Fascinating. I'd not heard of the band, but the music sounds right up my alley.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Yeah, give 'em a try. Definitely a raw production, but there's plenty of heart in these guys and that's what counts most, eh?