Fans of 21st-century hard rock, and even older fans of earlier models of the style, will appreciate Dark Below’s “Make Believe”. The single bracingly shows off the best attributes of current practitioners while also incorporating tried and true stylistic predilections. Dark Below doesn’t condescend to listeners with cookie-cutter lead guitar solos and tracks about wild women and wild times. They do, however, understand and show great command over the dynamic manipulations that are part and parcel of the genre since time immemorial. The Columbia, Missouri based three piece shows themselves as a force of nature with this song and there are undoubtedly many more such triumphs to come.
Let’s hope it’s included on their full-length release coming out later this year. You can easily picture this track serving as one of the collection’s flagship efforts because everything the band’s about comes together here and never missteps. Mixing hard-as-nails guitar with hyperdrive riffing draws you in like a magnet. These sounds grab your attention from the beginning and never let go of you.
Josh Campbell’s guitar work is rock solid. He can switch gears from dirty distorted riffs into evocative six-string work without breaking a sweat. He’d be working for naught, however, if it wasn’t for the five-star engine room powering his work. Bassist Josh Grove and drummer Quin Koldan pummel listeners with a colossal rhythm section attack that gives “Make Believe” an invincible foundation.
Producers Malcolm Springer and Jason Schrick give full vent to the band’s talents. They share co-authorship of the track with the band and this sort of close-quarters work with Dark Below emphasizes the team effort behind the recording. Balancing the full spectrum of the band’s sound is a deceptively simple task and they help give Dark Below a signature power that will likely stay a hallmark of the band’s sound for years to come.
They pair the song with a video that hits the mark. The video is a straight ahead performance clip in keeping with the blue collar, working man’s spirit behind the band’s music. This sort of video focuses our attention on the song even more (where it should be) instead of distracting us with meaningless frills.
When anyone tells you hard rock is a spent artistic force, steer them towards Dark Below. This Missouri power trio proves beyond any doubt that a new generation of musicians is ready to take up the baton for this genre and carry the music into the coming years. They are breaking new ground without ever trying to reinvent the wheel. Dark Below’s “Make Believe” is no fantasy, no delusion; instead, it’s crushing hard rock with plenty of twists that will reaffirm your faith that ferocious rock music is as alive as ever. Get in on this today; you won’t regret it.
Dark Below – Tour Dates:
Friday, 7/14 – Rose Music Hall – Columbia, MO
Friday, 9/1 – Diamond Music Hall – Saint Peters, MO
Friday, 9/15 – The Majestic – Fort Smith, AR (w/Rehab)
Saturday, 9/16 – Foxhouse Bar & Grill – Palestine, TX (W/Rehab)
Friday, 9/22 – Sam’s Place – Crowley, LA (W/Scotty Austin)
Saturday, 9/23 – Fat Daddys – Mansfield, TX (W/Scotty Austin)
Sunday, 9/24 – The Deadhorse – San Angelo, TX (W/Scotty Austin)
Saturday, 10/7 – Mulligan’s Bar – Owensboro, KY
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