Local Wire

You Asked For It: Graceful Degradation

Graceful Degradation There You Go (Self-released)

By Martin Cizmar

As I wrote last week, every band selected for You Asked For It, no matter how bad, gets at least one spin when they go in the queue. Graceful Degradation got a lot more than that as I listened to their three-song EP, There You Go, at least ten times today. Honestly, I still can’t think of much to say about it.

The Phoenix-based band plays a brand of alternative rock that’s firmly entrenched in the sound of the mid-90’s. On their resume-like band info page they compare themselves to Stone Temple Pilots, Sound Garden and Velvet Revolver and I certainly hear that in the churning guitars that start “Pay Attention,” though their sound is generally cleaner than those bands, more akin to Bush and the other second-wave grungsters that took over the airwaves post-Cobain.

Singer Nicole Heffington’s rich, often wrinkly vocals are the band’s strongest asset and it colors what otherwise might be fairly uninteresting parts of “Rock Song” and the title track. The problem with the EP is that there’s nothing too catchy. They have a good sound, but it's a lot like stuff you've heard before, and it's not attached to a killer hook. But with a radio-friendly sound and a great singer, I think there’s some real potential here.

If you’re a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to submit a CD for review, please send it in an envelope marked “YAFI” to:

Martin Cizmar You Asked For It c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032