Something Utopic – Synthesis (Independent)
A modern rock band from Detroit, Something Utopic mix up classic and hardcore punk attitude with contemporary hard rock influences to produce something fresh and powerful. Thoroughly engaging throughout, their hard, energetic sound doesn’t ignore the importance of a well-placed vocal hook, and the band are as funky as they are heavy.
Vocalist Michael Motherwell is neither over-bearing nor pompous, instead welcoming listeners with a tone that is convivial and almost hospitable. So many hard-rock singers feel the need to out-shriek their lead guitarist, but Motherwell’s experience of working as part of an acoustic duo (Something Utopic were originally conceived as an unplugged twosome) comes to the fore, and the results are always musical – if you know what I mean.
It helps that “Synthesis” is littered with fine songs. They kick off with the minute-long “Prelude”, a delicate Led Zep style appetizer, before things get going properly with “Identity Of One”, with all four members taking their chance to stamp their own personality on the music. “Ambition” is all rolling rhythm and soaring vocals, and the titular track approaches epic status, but is over all too soon.Rob F.