Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Black Tie Event-Cocktails and Coattails

October 1, 2006

theblacktieeventBand: The Black Tie Event

Album: Cocktails and Coattails

Best Element: Intriguing musical interludes

Genre: Indie/Experimental

Website: www.myspace.com/theblacktieevent

Label: Faux Records

Band E-mail: TheBlackTieEvent@yahoo.com

Formed in 2005 in Oklahoma, the Black Tie Event chose to start off their musical enterprise with Cocktails and Coattails, a 6-song EP being put out by Faux Records. Despite an independent label behind them, Black Tie Event fails to live up to what a label-supported band should deliver, independent or not.

The first track, misleadingly titled “Thunder Thunder”, provides a unique musical sound, but is hindered by radical oddities and vocals almost purposely sung to be different. Though toe tapping and with a good rhythm, the song hardly portrays anything thundering and seems to be a manufactured sound. Unfortunately, that feeling permeates the CD.

When taking a look at BTE’s influences, fans see well-known originals such as Queens of the Stone Age and the Strokes. Their mind-grip on this band’s creativity is evident and puts a strain on the naturalness of the album. Too much of the CD comes off sounding like it’s supposed to sound like an offshoot of the Strokes or a QOTSA side-project instead of naturally reflecting such groups.

Certain nifty rhythms like the walking bass in “Keep it on Task” indicate creative and pleasing writing, but its life is short lived.

On the positive side, Black Tie Event has managed to write a very peaceful, melodic, and overall great sounding song. That song is “In My Head”, easily the highlight of the album. Depressing lyrics gnaw at the integrity of the song’s tranquility, but the melody is so poetic that melancholy lyrics can be overlooked. Drummer Marquess Di Marmalade thunders into the second noticeable track of the EP, “Kinfolk”. Reflecting the Stroke’s influence vocally, this light and bouncy tune is tolerable and interesting as opposed to other tracks. Vocal harmony throughout the song also adds dimension to BTE’s effort.

Band founders Ti Tauro Bliss and Chi Dragon clearly know the sound they want. Their influences’ impact in their songwriting is blatantly evident. What needs to happen now is for Black Tie Event to take that vision, that sound, and to add a taste of their own originality to it. By straying away from the rest of the album with “In My Head” they have taken a step in the right direction towards developing their own sound. Let’s hope they can stay the course.

Erik Williams

–Endlesscreed@charter.net–

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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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