They say it’s all in the timing, and if ever there was a time for a change in the music business, it is now. Johannesburg, South Africa wouldn’t strike you as the richest breeding ground for edgy rock bands, with its over-population of Hipsters and Jocks, but these 4 youngsters feel differently. Since forming in October 2014, the band has been working hard and practicing anywhere they can, from the basement of a Spanish restaurant after hours, to sneaking into a local school’s drum room. It is immediately apparent that wild horses could not contain the singular drive and passion of this 4 piece.
All 4 of the guys are classically trained musicians, albeit in instruments more likely to be found in a philharmonic orchestra garage Grunge band.
Jesse Rabinowitz is on the drums, and after seeing these guys live, his talent is near impossible to deny. He hits the skins like a mobster extorting protection money, and that’s an attribute which the biggest names in the genre have prized, over any other, since the glory days in the early 90’s.
Listen While you read!
Daniel Pawson is the guy you will see thrashing around to the right of stage. If his bass guitar had the ability to scream in fear for its life, he would need a bigger amp to drown it out. He spent several years with the prestigious Drakensburg Boys Choir as a Baritone, so the jump to Bass Guitar was as logical as it was seamless. Most bands dream of finding a bassist who has a sixth sense for bringing songs together, and these guys lucked out.
James Deacon is often mistaken for Justin Beiber, but don’t let his looks fool you, the guy is a rocker as pure as they come. He’s a classically trained violinist and award winning vocalist, but his hands have always belonged bending guitar strings till they bleed. Arguably the melodic brains of the outfit, his ear for a hook is uncanny. When he drives into one of his goose bump – inducing solo’s, it would be fair to assume his musical idol Jimmy Hendrix would be squirming in his grave with pleasure.
The frontman Richard Deacon is where all the tortured emotion comes from. Like his younger brother he is a violinist at his roots, but his past is the stuff of a Rock ‘n Roll biopic. Living up to the Seattle Heroine stereotype, He is open about his struggles with addiction and fiercely guards his 7 years and counting of sobriety. He accredits his ability to overcome his substance abuse in large part to his music, which is a welcome reversal of the story which has played itself out so many times before. His voice has been compared to the likes of Cobain and Rossdale, but his delivery is not something it feels right comparing to others. Needless to say, Lyrical content and intensity are not exactly in short supply. His seeming lack of care about his appearance is refreshing in the age of the metro-male, and gives the band a genuine honesty and credibility not seen since before todays’ hipsters donned their first pair of horn-rimmed glasses.
This isn’t a band that chases trends, they openly challenge them. With a demo in their hands (produced by Verny Scholtz of Just Jinger fame) they are currently in the end stages of writing their debut album - ”Otherness”.
Whether or not Alternative Music drags itself back from the grave. This band gives all Rock fans a glimmer of hope, and that’s enough to get me going to the local club on the chance that we are on the brink of a long overdue change in the music business.