Record Release Party @ Schmidy’s Tavern, Palm Desert, Friday, August 8th @ 9 PM
By Lisa Morgan
I was car jacked. Driving through the extreme desert landscape of Joshua Tree and 29 Palms, the CD I had just popped into the player grabbed a hold of me hard and unrelentingly. Instantly I was engulfed in what was the perfect soundtrack to a movie that I was driving through. As I hung onto every lyric I could, the haunting guitar chorus, the rock rhythms, indigenous at their core, and the soaring vocals gently jolted me into an entirely different head space and I welcomed it wholeheartedly. The hot, mid-day, desert landscape around me offered the perfect setting for this sonic possession. The CD responsible for this? ELECTROFEELIC, a perfectly named title for the experience this 9 song EP delivers, written and produced by four individually talented and collectively powerful musicians who call themselves Ornament.
Ornament is Will Coon on vocals and guitar, Mark Engel on lead guitar, Greg Cabral on bass and John Pierson III (aka Trey) on drums. Ornament will be celebrating their second album release at Schmidy’s Tavern in Palm Desert this Friday night. In my opinion, there is much to celebrate. The music these four have created has the legs to take them to international stages and audiences. That being said, I’d highly recommend you enjoy this band while they are still somewhat local. The nine song epitaph to their dedication to authenticity and musical craftsmanship was recorded at Thunder Underground in Palm Springs with Harper Hug (the same studio desert rock legends, John Garcia, Mario Lalli and Gary Arce have frequented). A special edition CD, that includes album artwork by artist extraordinaire, Tanner McGuire, will be available for $5 to all in attendance at Friday’s release party.
Coon, lead singer and front man and co-owner of M Designs Global, previously shared the aspirations of the band with CV Weekly: “We still dream every single week about the 85,000 people we’re going to play for one day. We just finished this album, and we’re already working on new stuff. Ornament can play anywhere because there’s an element of our music everyone can relate to. We’ve been criticized a bit with comments like, ‘What’s up with the love songs?’ I’ve reached a plateau at this point in my life. I have my shit together. I’ve been able to build a studio that provides a great creative space for us to work in. We love to do this, and we’re in a position to play together, be creative, and show it to people at a really good level.” It is this writer’s humble opinion, that they are worthy of seeing that dream fulfilled.
The first song on the album, Smokescreen, bears an essence of post grunge era, Days of the New’s Red Album, with its tribal-esqué, indiginous rhythm showing off the fellowship between bass and drums that has been built over the last two decades. Add to that Mark Engel’s haunting, open, quivering guitar chorus that sings its own wordless song perfectly framing but not overwhelming the soaring vocals of Will Coon and you too will find yourself into a complete listening, feeling, electric experience of music. Coon’s voice could be described as a unique blend of Collective Soul’s Ed Roland and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. It beautifully and soulfully engages you in the story of a woman in the throws of addiction. Song 2, “Apple Eye”, further exploits the intuitive communication between drummer and bassist that stands out second only to the lyrics. Track number 4, “Magical Land”, is a sonic standout due to the incredibly tasteful addition of a female vocal recommended by studio owner, Harper Hug. “Pools of Grace”, swells beautifully from start to finish – Coon, masterful with the vocals atop what crescendos into serious ass-kicking rock rhythms. Cut number 7, is, to me, a showcase of Coons storytelling ability as he slips into character, forcing the listener to see through the eyes of gunslinger and outlaw, Josey Whales. Enhanced by the bands’ penchant for dynamics, it is dark, bitter, hard, brave, and nothing short of stellar.
It is refreshing to see each instrument take its turn to shine, not for the sake of spotlighting the player, but for the sake of a well-crafted song. It is clear, that while every song is vocally and lyrically centered and framed, every player, vocalist included, are bent on good musicianship and the development of stirring music with each and every submission.
Ornament will play songs from ELECTROFEELIC Friday night at Schmidy’s Tavern following the roots rocking music of Hubcap Stealers. This is a free show, but seating is limited, so be sure to get there early.
Schmidy’s Tavern is located on the corner of Highway 111 and Fred Waring, next to Men’s Wharehouse.
You can follow Ornament at www.facebook.com/ornamentband