Gravel Switch might be the name of a Kentucky town, but it’s also a perfectly suited name for the band that Seth Wade (Lead Vocals), Josh Pierce (Guitar/Vocals), Jordan Pierce (Guitar), Matt Moore (Bass/Vocals), and Johnny Hodge (Drums) put together. Between the heavy riffs and the crashing cymbals, Gravel Switch has a sound that feels familiar yet aggressively fresh at the same time. With the December release of “Face The Day”, the band is moving a step closer to launching their music into a mainstream rock sound that is ready for the airwaves.
“10 feet tall and bulletproof, I’ll finish this shot and show you the truth” are the lyrics you’re staring down the barrel of on the first track (Aptly named “10 Feet Tall”) Similar to some of the other bands we have come across in Kentucky, Gravel Switch is proud to buck the stereotype of what music from their home state is supposed to sound like. In opening with these lyrics, they’re damn confident (almost cocky) about the songs on their album. Fortunately these guys walk the walk as well as they talk the talk.
Hard hitting songs like “No More” and “The Dirty Song” bring a mainstream rock radio feel to the album. While their influences of Breaking Benjamin and Shinedown come through loud and clear, the melodies and vocals kept reminding me of an edgier version of 3 Doors Down. There’s definitely a touch of Southern Rock flavor, particularly in the guitars on a few of the tracks. What ‘Face the Day’ doesn’t have is the ‘feel good’ Southern Rock undertones. For the most part this is a darker, more aggressive rock sound than we’d typically see from bands out of this region.
Musically, Gravel Switch has a heavy but polished sound. The guitars of Josh and Jordan Pierce are sharp and imposing on most tracks (they set a particularly memorable looming tone on “Digging Away”). On “You’ll Disappear”, Johnny Hodge’s drum beat trudges along with its methodical beat, an effect that is further amplified through the solid support from Matt Moore’s bass. On “Breathing On My Own”, one of the slower tracks on ‘Face the Day’, lead singer Seth Wade stands out with his energy filled vocal performance . Wade has a decent range and a bit of a rasp that fits the music behind him perfectly, his voice and delivery are very similar to Paul McCoy’s of 12 Stones. He is more than proficient on the album’s heavier songs, (Especially “Endless”), but “Breathing On My Own” give you a real sense for how dynamic his vocals truly are.
The sound they’ve put together hits on a formula that seems to be seeing some success in the rock world these days. With a few aggressive additions, Gravel Switch has found a way to put their own stamp on what is becoming a staple for the genre. “Face the Day” is a great album, especially if you are into a few of the larger touring acts that are making their way around the country on today’s festival shows. If that’s your cup of tea, Gravel Switch and their “10 Feet Tall” persona will fit perfectly into your regular rotation.
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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