Hot on the explosive heels of epic back to back albums – Rockin’ Roulette (2018) and Chameleon Wheelhouse (2020) – that fully embodied his reputation as an “irresponsibly eclectic” rocker, David A’s commitment to focusing on the hard rockin’ blues side of his artistry while itching to get back to recording during the darkest days of the pandemic is so strong that it inspired an artist moniker change (to David A) and the praise of his new bassist Robert Wegmann – who told him he “really reinvented himself” on his perfectly titled upcoming EP, Lit.
Even before the first songs for the project began formulating in his head, David was getting the itching feeling it was going to be grittier and rawer than anything he had recorded before. All the pent-up frustration and energy from being locked down for so long inspired him to push his voice harder than ever. The key to bringing this incendiary vision to life was assembling the perfect band. Wegmann played on some previous albums, but this is the singer’s first time working with guitarist George Harris (longtime member of Florida’s famed Greg Billings Band) and veteran Nashville studio drummer Angelo Collura (Thompson Square, Lady A).
David is paving the way for the release of the EP and the rollout of his new sound with a two-sided single featuring jamming cuts that reflect this fresh and fiery aesthetic. IndiePulse Music checked out these Molotov Cocktails of verse and we have to say that this is definitely an artist to hear in the times to come.
The sheer guttural vocal catharsis and raucous band energy of “If I’m So Strange” is a jaw-dropping wonder to behold, forcing us to ponder just how serious David is when he asks over and over again, “If I’m so strange, baby, why don’t you just string me up?”
Our opinion of this blazing hot track, it is like a trip back into a time in music where the artist did not just “Play Music” or worry about “Top Of The Pops” but weaved a story that placed you in the center of the action, with honest emotion and a satirical and sideways glance of Alpha A’s voice give you the philosophical “shot of truth whiskey” , much in the way Jim Morrison did in The Doors, he does for the blues, no held back punches of blows, he lays you out cold. A modern poet for the hard times we live in.
Launching with a brief propulsive drum solo, the unusually named “Balustrade” is an intense, slow burning reflection on feeling the loneliness of distance in a relationship, using the imagery of the song’s title (a vertical molded shaft, square, or lathe-turned form found in stairways on balconies, parapets, etc.) as a symbol of feeling shut out. David’s colorful, powerfully rendered lyrics include lines like “like a homemade bomb/sweatin’ hard lemonade” and “Where’s all the truth? / Someone musta left it in a burning phone booth.” The singer is currently working with a director on what will be a “highly cinematic” video for the song.
The sheer raw power and masterful composition of this track sets a visual image in the listeners mind, images of dark and silent streets doused with fog and the smell of smoke and fire. The slow and hypnotic tempo with eerie guitar stylings makes this a well-rounded trip into Alpha A’s mind. It is dark and mystical. The blues gods are strong here.
“The songs on Lit sound different from anything I’ve done before, and the vibe is more cohesive,” David says. “I’m eclectic by nature but had started feeling I might be too eclectic for my own good, with fans commenting that my albums often sound like I’m working with two completely different bands. It was both fun and electrifying working on every track with these guys, and my style is truly wrapped in theirs. Among the reasons I’m calling the EP Lit is the fact that these sessions were flush with good vibes and energy, and singing these songs with all I’ve got gets me pumped. I borrowed the concept from the last line in ‘Light the Rockets’ from Chameleon Wheelhouse about lighting the fuse in my face – and it perfectly applies to what I’m doing now.”
“My only inspirations are life and reality,” he adds. “I think of my songs as brief, dramatic bursts of passion expressing those. In an era of music drowning in artificially generated sounds and an overload of needless motor-mouthing, it only makes sense to me to sing and play; real voice and real instruments — raw, clean, honest and driven hard. I think a great rock song is engaging and moving, with intensity, not grandstanding, and that’s what took me back to my old-school hard rock roots. Belting these songs gives me tremendous cathartic deliverance, and I hope that comes through enough to do the same for listeners.”
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