Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Guff-Symphony of Voices

September 1, 2007

Band Name: Guff

Album Name: Symphony of Voices

Best Element: Aggressive and melodic punk rock that draws on a lot of good influences

Genre: Punk/Rock

Website: http://www.guffmusic.com /

Label Name: Go-Kart Records

Band E-mail: http://www.myspace.com/guff

Somehow Guff is managing to fly under everyone’s collective radar, but with their third album, Symphony of Voices, that will surely change soon. With the album’s excellent title track on this year’s Warped Tour compilation from SideOne Dummy, people will likely notice them soon enough.

The band’s sound is immediately reminiscent of punk bands like Rise Against, but their lyrical and vocal style is much more melodic, with some great use of vocal harmonies.

The band’s musical ability is quite evident throughout the album. The songs are filled with aggressive drums, harmonizing guitar riffs and melodic bass lines. The backup vocal harmonies are spot-on and the frequent use of two lyric sets at once, in a very Brand New fashion, works very well with the music.

Because almost every song on the album follows this general sound, one might say that the lack of variety makes the album feel rather bland. Indeed, it is very easy to lose track of yourself as it progresses. But this doesn’t mean the songs aren’t good…far from it.

I would say any song on this album would be a potential contender as a single, but the stand-outs amongst the thirteen songs are “Saving the World,” “Symphony of Voices,” “Bleed Like You,” “No More Time” and “Rejected.”

Also worth praise are two songs that really don’t fit the same formula as the others.

One is “I Can See It in Your Eyes,” largely due to the fact that it was written by Steve Perry of Journey (the song was recorded by Journey but not released) and even includes Perry on back-up vocals. The song stands out because it’s obvious that Guff put its own touch on the song, giving it an odd mix of punk rock and classic rock. It works extremely well.

The other is the bonus “Just Like It’s Supposed to Be,” a simple acoustic track that will probably be extremely popular amongst fans. It’s a good, if not fairly standard, acoustic punk ballad.

When all is said and done, Guff really puts out an awesome effort in Symphony of Voices. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Rise Against or loud and aggressive rock music in general.

-Nate Williams

nathanmw@ou.edu

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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