Written by Montey Zike, posted by blog admin
Quantum Split refers to themselves as a rock soul band. The description doesn’t quite do them justice. The two songs on their EP release America do far more than attempt bringing off the unlikely marriage of soul and hard rock – they incorporate elements of funk, strong melodies, a smattering of punk attitude, and some of the aesthetic driving artists in the singer/songwriter realm. They excel at invoking atmospherics, as well, without overlaying the song with too many notes or belabored passages lacking spark. The dynamic contrasts they strike between the quiet and more raucous sections never lack punch while never playing out in a predictable way. Lead singer and songwriter Soleil Laurent has the mark of a major star in any era – she gives a dominating vocal performance on both tracks and the band, directed by guitarist Adrian Read’s efforts, are more than up to the task of matching her intensity.
It’s a topical song and those sorts of cuts are always problematic. There has to be a sense of some universal truth holding those efforts together or else they invariably find themselves tethered to a particular time, place, and historical cast of characters. “America”, however, does grab onto something of the universal with the song’s overarching theme of what it means to be a citizen of one of the great national powers in humankind’s history. The chief executive residing in the White House at any given time doesn’t lessen its abiding relevance, Even for those not born in or living in America, it gives fiery expression to the rage and incomprehension many worldwide are experiencing since the nation’s new President assumed control. The musical backing wrings every bit as much gravitas as possible to give a well deserved, hefty backing to the song’s weighty subject matter. Laurent gets over the lyrics without a dollop of self-indulgence and often conjures up white knuckle passion sure to win over even the most cynical of listeners.
“Runaway” is much less focused on soul and funk in favor of a nearly outright blues arrangement. Laurent proves her mettle with the different texture; there’s little question that, in an earlier era, she could have experienced terrific success practicing her craft in that style. The second track has a much more deliberate touch than the title song, but it never overextends itself. The inevitable and pleasing musical turns build the right amount of tension and transition at the right points. Read delivers some passionate guitar work on this song, but he throws in some playing with real crunch and bite nicely rounded off by bassist Ivan Hardy and drummer Anthony Anderson. The devout following this four piece has amassed so early in their development is a testament to how deeply their message and music resonate with their target audience. This is music about being alive and engaged in 2017, but also speaks to the eternal value of never allowing your freedom to be compromised.