Pavement Entertainment has always been known for signing the next big bands in hard rock. On their roster is Smile Empty Soul, Tantric, Emphatic, (Hed)P.E. and many more. Recently, they signed The Veer Union, Feel Never Real and this next band, Adage. Now, I have pretty much given raving reviews to every Pavement artist I’ve listened to because of the fact that Pavement really knows how to pick them. When I say that Adage is extremely impressive, that is quite the understatement. Fitting perfectly on this already massive roster, this NC quartet have got the art of hard rock down to a science. From my first listen of their debut EP, Defined, I was immediately hooked. But what exactly got me hooked? Let’s see what Defined that for me, shall we?
Drawing influence from all of the greats of hard rock, such as Breaking Benjamin, RED, Three Days Grace and even In Flames, the music is easily accessible to listeners for starters. It feels familiar, yet fresh and renewed. Take the opening track “Anymore” for example: It sounds as though it could be a vault track written by Three Days Grace in their Adam Gontier days but it has enough original flavor to stray away from being anything other than an Adage track. The track comes in heavy and gets you headbanging right away but it also has emotional substance to it. It tells the story of a struggling relationship and the love/hate that comes with it. Some of you may say well, “that sounds like every good hard rock track” and, in some sense, you may be right there. Where it differs, however, is the deliverance. This fits perfectly in with anything on radio rock but it’s also got a heavier flavor that may keep it from being played on the radio as well. As far as vocals go, Justin Doyle has an incredible voice that would go well with Crispin Earl (The Veer Union), Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust) or even Jonny Hetherington (Art of Dying) in terms of collaboration. In fact, I would love to hear any of those with him on a track! As the album progresses, we start to feel more of the emotional side of the band. Keeping to that heavy sound that you have grown to love them for by this point, it doesn’t start to really slow down until the final track “By Myself”.
What I love about this album is that it leaves nothing to the imagination. Doyle wears his heart on his sleeve and you don’t see that too often in music these days anymore. It’s all out on the table. Basically, it’s like reading pages from his journal and relating it to your life. It’s a way to escape the world and to reach out to those who have felt the way he has. Don’t ever let your past define you, rather make your future much better! Adage has definitely proven that their past hasn’t Defined them and now they want you to hear the story, out on Pavement Entertainment now! This is definitely my EP of the year, thus far!