Over a bass and straight ahead rock riff, guitarist/vocalist Christa Renee’s chanteuse rock excites, well produced with a nice blend on the instrumentation for the tune “Mentirosa.” Josiah Erickson’s keys and organ pipe in creating a firm foundation on the trance-like opener which fades out all too quickly.
“Slave” follows, sort of Sade meets Patti Smith, the underground vibe in a dance hall hybrid with interesting changes and lyrics. There’s a nice live version on the Steve Katsos Show, uploaded to YouTube
“The Struggle” has a more traditional rock setting, Christa’s guitar predominant with what sounds like vibraphone (perhaps a setting on the keys) battling it out with Jeff Costello’s drums and Michael Ryan’s percussion.
The percussive sounds across the six song disc, recorded at Indie Four Studios has a musical theme that travels to track 4, “No Boom Bye Bye” – a quasi-calypso kinda sorta Blondie’s “The Tide is High” meets Elton John’s “Island Girl” by way of an up-tempo “Girl from Ipanema” or Yma Sumac gone pop. A solo/folk rendition by Christa on YouTube amazingly keeps the spirit of the song without all the wonderful accompaniment on the CD
“Desert Blues” continues the Boom Boom Bye Bye Bye energy from the previous track. Christa Renee’s voice bringing the melody over the well-honed groove.
The sound is not that of Velvet Underground’s Nico or Marianne Faithful, but that audience would certainly find what this ensemble is generating. “Desert Blues” moves on to “Iron Lion,” recorded at Mixed Emotion Studios making for a nice 6 song package with artwork by Linda Jean DaSilva.
Christa Renee Band performs MIA’s “Paper Planes” at Mad Bob’s Saloon in Manchester, NH 4/5/13. Check out more by CRB at www.christareneeband.com
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.