KITARI: “The Scarecrow & the Manor” – a strong record with an adventurous feel to it

25 Feb 2017 by staff in Reviews
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Brooklyn-based psychedelic funkers KITARI Originally formed almost a decade and a half ago in a small Upstate, NY mountain town, by middle school friends Adam Weyant (guitar and vocals) and Jared Rinaldi (bass, vocals and keys), the pair went their separate ways after graduation until the spring of 2014, when they began exchanging music ideas via Facebook and e-mail. Excited about the songs they were writing, they both relocated to NYC and quickly spawned a full set of dynamic, powerful songs. They teamed with talented drummer Jim Saint-Amour and spent a weekend in early March 2016 at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, NY, to hammer out their three-song EP, “The Scarecrow & the Manor.”

KITARI are such a wonderful band! Such a joyous, upbeat sound they have. They sound like they’re having a blast, and listening to this EP you’re right there with them. “The Scarecrow & the Manor” is guitar driven and less synth-heavy than most so called alternative albums out there, and it’s better for it.

Good vocals are real important to me when it comes to any rock induced music – if the vocals aren’t up there with the rest of the arrangements, I can’t handle it no matter how good the music is. The vocals have a diverse sound, sometimes smooth, sometimes rough and scratchy, but brilliantly so. It works with the music to create that kind of authentic carefree, psychedelic sound.

There’s not a single weak song her – the whole thing sizzles and pops from start to finish. In a world where hip-hop-pop and bubblegum robotic music seems to rule the airwaves, it’s nice to hear an actual band that plays real instruments, creates great music and manages to not fall flat after the first 2 songs of the EP. And that would have been tragic here with only three songs!

KITARI, blend in some alternative-indie flair into the psychedelia, without sugarcoating your ears with excessive pop crap. They try some really cool things and there songs are not overproduced. The most surprising thing being that this is a record absolutely brimming with fantastic melodies and hooks…without being a pop record! Evolution of artistic expression? Its early days yet, but its a great step forward.

From the moment “Ghost City Shores” kicks off you know this is going to be a strong record with an adventurous feel to it. And it is when you hit the centerpiece – in every sense – of this recording that you know you have discovered a band well worth your time. “Feast of Friends” is simply a great rock song, well thought out, well executed and perfectly sung.

I was expecting the grunting guitars, and the moody vocals, but I was surprised by the keyboards, not sure why but they caught me by surprise…in the most positive way, as did the solid bass playing. The EP closes with the title track, “The Scarecrow & the Manor”, which has its most positive point in the various vocal styles applied in the arrangement.

All the way through this EP, the slippery guitar riffs, the thumping bass, and the pounding drums all makes for layered music that is very accessible and really engaging. Can’t wait to hear where KITARI may go with a full-length album.

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