Album review by Darlene McGarrity, images provided by Brittany McGuire Photography
From the steel streets of Pittsburgh, PA, Alter The Design has released their six-song EP, Undivided. The good thing about EPs is that they give a glimpse into the rawness of an artist. The bad thing about EPs is that they’re so dang short. Coming in at a hair over twenty minutes, this one ends just about the time the listener gets comfortable, though this ends up being somewhat brilliant.
The band boasts a plethora of talent with the likes of Justin Gaughan (Vocals), Tony Slaughter (Drums), Corey Wile (Guitar) and Curtis Dillie (Bass). Gaughan – also known as JJ – croons on songs like “Inside”, his voice echoing through the cascading melodies and harmonies. This is all complimented by Slaughter’s mellow drumming. The bass line on this one isn’t too evident in the first part of the song but picks up later which adds to the power of this track. One can never go wrong with a strong bass line!
The intro proves interesting – within a minute there is a clip of JFK’s Declaration of Peace speech from ’61 along with another voice clip afterward. It is an appropriate intro indeed as the songs that follow are messages of determination and adversity. “If you tear out our feathers, expect us to fly with each other,” Gaughan bellows on the hit single, “Feathers.” This anthemic song of unity is gripping at the start and holds on through each chorus. There is a bit of a Breaking Benjamin vibe on this song but not so much that the two could be confused.
Undivided is solid most of the way through and this band has a promising future if they stay true to their core sound. If you like dropped chords, chunky minor tones, and fist pumping heavy rock, this is an EP worth checking out. Alter The Design’s music can be found on their website, www.alterthedesign.com. Also on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio and more.