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449 - The Best Part of Me

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Based on their small-town Kentucky home, 449 should be picking banjos and scratching washboards, not cranking out face melting guitar solos and screaming the lyrics of hard driving rock songs.  “Stay true to your roots” is what they say, but it appears 449 simply didn’t get that memo.  Their debut album “The Best Part of Me” is proof that they didn’t need to fit into the mold that the ‘Bluegrass State’ had in mind for them, they built their own and it kicks way more ass!

The five man hard rock band known as 449 is on the rise, proof being the ‘A’ list help they were able to enlist in the studio for their debut album.  When it was time for Trevor Smith (Lead Vocals), Dakota Vincent (Bass), Justin Bush (Drums), Malcolm Booher (Lead Guitar), and Jordan Henson (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals) to start laying down tracks for “The Best Part of Me”, they leaned on the success and experience of two fellow Kentucky rockers, Chris Robertson and Jon Lawhorn (of Black Stone Cherry fame) to produce it.  The results are a gritty, charged rock album with a dash of Southern Rock flavoring.

“The Best Part of Me” opens strong with the title track; a quick building song that ramps up into a great chorus thanks to Smith’s vocals.  Malcolm Booher also grabs your attention on the album opener with a solid guitar solo towards the end of the track.  The rhythm of the song keeps you guessing a bit as to where it is going to head next, and in a lot of ways that makes it a microcosm for the rest of the album.  

Booher’s screaming guitar on “Nowhere” packs an arena rock punch, “Shine For Me” and ‘Perception” are bass powered monsters courtesy of Dakota Vincent’s heavy bassline, and Henson’s chunky riffs on “Love Like A Suicide” give the album a wide range of rock textures (All of which seem to work quite well for 449).  Not to be lost in the shuffle, Justin Bush can be found effectively assaulting his drum kit at just about any point of the album.

As a whole “The Best Part of Me” is a great album, but 449 really dials things in on “Man of War” and “In the End”.  These two tracks stand out........LOUDLY.  “Man of War” has a great guitar effect in the intro that almost comes across as agitating and  is impossible to miss.  Equally hard to miss are Trevor Smith’s increasingly gruff vocals as he varies his delivery throughout the song.  It’s a perfect fit with the shredding of Booher and Henson keeping close company.  By contrast, “In The End” has a little lighter feel to it than many of the songs, but it does a great job showcasing the cohesiveness of 449’s sound.  It is probably one of the tighter, if not the tightest, tracks on the album.  This song simply sounds five strong from start to finish; to say that every member stands out is an understatement.  After completing the diverse, full rock cycle that is ‘The Best part of Me’, the lyrics of “In The End” sum the song and album up appropriately: “We’ve been miles and miles apart time and time again, so don’t worry cause we’ll be standing in the end....”

‘The Best Part of Me’ makes its stand under the premise outlined by the lyrics of “In the End”:

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, It doesn’t matter where you’ve been”.  

In a lot of ways, I think this is 449’s way of putting the world on notice that Kentucky is more than just the land of bluegrass, banjos, and washboards.  

Well boys.......MESSAGE DELIVERED.


As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands.  You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month!  If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com.

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