In recent years, the genre, once integral to the context of any musician or group, has become almost a trivial notion. Eclecticism is the new normal, and The Madera Strand is a perfect representation of this promising evolution in popular music. Hailing from Phoenix, AZ, Cody Cruse, Chris Keeling, and d'Averill and Dorian Demetrulias make music that borrows from and, importantly, builds upon a variety of genres, such as jazz, electronica, and prog rock. The result is lush and moody, simultaneously mellow, energetic, and engaging.
Cody's guitar work is jazz based and effects heavy, occasionally flourishing in Gilmouresque guitar solos that emphasize tone and feel over a focus on pure technical dexterity. d'Averill, with a strong range and effortless falsetto, offers vocals that are sometimes haunting and always compelling, and further contributes to the diversity of the group's sound by occasionally playing viola. Dorian, with his monstrous hybrid acoustic/electronic drum set, lays down backing beats heavily influenced by jazz, trip hop, and bands such Tool and Red Snapper. Chris, as the newest member, brings a nasty funk element to the band, which has been a key in shaping their eclectic sound. The two play off each other well; as a rhythm section, they are reminiscent of the tight, syncopated interplay of drum and bass heard in bands like The Police or, more recently, Incubus.

The Madera Strand offers plenty for those appreciative of the influence of decades of music history and the depth and breadth of sounds in the modern scene; ultimately, though, the band simply produces great music that is both instantly accessible and artistically sophisticated, able to be enjoyed by the casual listener and aficionado alike.


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