Music Review: Epitomize's "Prozac"

12/20/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Patricio Maya Solis

One of the best things about being a music freak in the post-Napster world is that we no longer have to wait for college radio stations to showcase new independent bands. There are hundreds of places where new music can be found. The bad thing is that there’s just so much bad stuff. Sifting through the thousands of crappy bands to find something decent could take days. And by then most people are too tired or annoyed to listen anyway.

After much looking, my discovery today is a nine-song EP titled “Prozac” by an unsigned French band named Epitomize.

I’ll make something clear right away. “Prozac” is no masterpiece and Epitomize will not change the face of rock and roll. They’re too derivative of bands like Nirvana to do so. But then again bands like The Vines became pretty big by being little more than imitation grunge. So, there’s always the chance.

In any case, Epitomize is a strong band. And they don’t seem out just to copy Nirvana. They’re heavily influenced by the combination of pop-friendly base lines followed by fast and--most notably--crisp guitar progressions that some claim can be traced back to the Pixies. Oh, and they also have strong anthem-seeking choruses too. And they’re a trio. And the singer has a raspy voice.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m having second thoughts. They could be a little too much like Nirvana. But whatever--nevermind. Each listener will judge for himself. What I’m trying to argue is that hidden under the millions of worthless unsigned bands in places like Jamendo or Myspace, there are hundreds of decent bands--and Epitomize is one of them.

Here’s why. French never sounded so guttural. At some points the singer, Brice, doesn’t sing. He just talks fast, but the strong emotion comes through in his raspy spew. It’s clear that Epitomize is aiming at a certain hard sound that bypasses a lot of what is currently in vogue. They don’t use keyboards. And they don’t have a single Duran Duran or Talking Heads moment.

Epitomize is neo-grunge, but they avoid Melvins-like metal mushiness or early Sonic Youth-like explorations of sound texture. They seem to be seeking their own sound. I think they’ve made some headway. Their most original sound appears when they play with a song’s tempo. There is a slight Ska feeling to their best songs. Though not a huge Ska fan, I’d like to see more of that in the future. It suits their sound.

Out of the nine released songs, “Prozac,” “Goejberg” and especially “Silence” get close to sounding original. They’re the EP at its best.

View the video for "Blare" below.  Thoughts?

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