Roll Acosta: The Dawn EP

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Artist: Tucson three-piece Roll Acosta

Title: The Dawn EP

Basics: Lead by their namesake Jake (Roll), Roll Acosta pound the sensibilities with light, airy rock/pop music.

Their sound takes a lot of credit from Acosta's vocals, which are reminiscent of John Ondrasik -- better known to the world as Five For Fighting. As well, Roll Acosta has a rather noble mission statement that reads as such: "We spend hours making the music you want to hear, and love to take you through the same experiences we get from the great language of music."

Well, it's not what I, personally, want to hear ("but it's your job, numbnuts") but you have to love such a strong proclamation.

Best Song: I have to go with the titular "The Dawn" on this one. It's a complex offering that perfectly incorporates what Roll Acosta strives to accomplish: Acosta's vocals, Andre Gressieux's upbeat drumming and striking violin playing -- courtesy of Kevin Frederick. "The Dawn" proves that a toned down sound doesn't necessarily have to be watered down -- that is, lighter fair can still have a grandiose atmosphere if the instruments hit in resplendent harmony. Trust me, on "The Dawn," they most certainly do.

Worst Song: It's not so much the worst song, more like the one that struggles the most, but following "The Dawn" proves to be too much of a hill to climb for "Not Alone." Acosta's vocals are forced to carry the song, and that proves to be something not quite achievable. The song has its charm, but its all-over-the-map structure proves to be a bit too off-putting. 

Suggestions: There's not much to really say about Roll Acosta. They have a pretty solid sound that is very refreshing to hear in this YAFI game. As well, their EP registered with Gracenote once it was popped into my computer. I cannot stress enough how professional-feeling this is for a local, unsigned band. If you want to walk the walk, you have to make the effort to seem professional in every detail of the band -- and that includes a CD with a proper tracklist.

Grade: B-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85002

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