You see the cover artwork and you notice the first song is called Dirty Rock n’Roll which might well suggest one style of rock music like a sleazy, grimy and rough-around-the-edges approach. This is where the twist in the story slaps you around the face. It doesn’t sound the way you expect it to.
Making their style of rock music to the backdrop of Northern Ireland, there’s something fresh about these guys. The vocalist is reminiscent of the artist P!nk who frequents the charts with singles, yet the musical environment isn’t manufactured to the same degree. Melodic and complimentary, with a traditional vibe and maybe a hint of blues thrown in for good measure, that is what penetrates the spirit of Unrecognizable.
Highlights include the growth within the structure of Heaven’s Tears; the tempo change and hook in Hollow; the folk-tinged acoustic flavor in Paranoia; the tenderness applied to Fragile and the avoidance of stepping into the void of throwaway songs from start to finish. Unrecognizable is made up of ten songs where the writing and sincerity take centre stage.
Don’t go expecting this album to soak your ears with driving melodic rock, or over-familiar song structures with huge sing-a-long choruses. This four-piece have worked together to bring Gavin, the guitarist and visionary, life to his songs. Whether it be the versatile drum approach of Pete, or the competent and solid display of bassist Jan, they are all doing what feels right. Each moment is a journey with acoustic guitars and a sense of melancholy one moment, before raising the tension with something powerful accompanied by power chords and all the while delivering emotive melodies.
If you’re looking for an album to deliver charm, maturity and a respect for down to earth attitudes, plus you appreciate a good female vocalist who believes in her own ability then give Ajenda a listen. Unrecognizable is yet another fine example of what pleasant surprises are lurking out there for 2013.
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