EastonAshe

Can I Drive It?
(self-released)

The best way to describe EastonAshe's sound is "adult contemporary rock." The Cave Creek-based band has a mature sound, audible in rich compositions like "Bayou Blues," which doesn't utilize the 12-bar guitar progressions in E major or A major like many songs labeled as "blues," but instead features hand-clap percussion and something called a "Twaspligator" that sounds like a kazoo. This is not to say that EastonAshe's music is experimental in any way; in fact, it's purely derivative, and almost every song bears a sonic resemblance to '90s rock bands like Barenaked Ladies and Matchbox 20 (EastonAshe lead singer Ryan Sims' gravelly voice even sounds sort of like M20 singer Rob Thomas). But the band does diversify its songs with eclectic touches, like the jazzy guitar progression on "Sheepdog," the country twang on "The Curse of Bitter Days," the distorted psych-rock solo on "My Private Army," the vocal harmonies and reggae riffs on the folky "No Other Way," and the funk feel of the stellar "Paid in Full." Each song is still built on a foundation of radio rock, however, with the occasional dramatic ballad ("Honestly," "God's Own") thrown in the mix.

 
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