Photos and Writing by Jim Collins

It was the best of times, it was the best of nights! Unlike the Charles Dickens novel, there were no contradictions Saturday night at the album release party for X Bound and Zach Moss. That’s right, 2 albums released by a couple of Charlotte’s very own talented musicians on the same day. Zach Moss’s “Dark to Light” and X Bound’s “More Clever Than Capable” became available and went live on streaming services. To top that, both were in concert on this night too. Working together with local production studio Briarcliff Sessions, the bands performed their new recordings for a packed-out crowd at Legion Brewing on West Morehead. The show was spectacular to say the least. Not only did everyone get to see two great bands perform, but they also got to hear all the new material from both albums played out in their entirety. Between the two shows, fans were treated to sounds covering a wide range of musical emotions. There was something for everyone that evening. 

What to say about Zach Moss’s album “Dark to Light”?  Well, it is one that you will listen to again and again. This is an extremely good album by an extremely good songwriter. On this record, Zach delivers some truly heartfelt songs with a wide range of sounds. His voice offers up a coarseness at just the right moments, driving home his point. Give his song ‘The Devil Whisperer’ a listen and you will know what I am talking about. So versatile, he can not only successfully pull off a Tom Wait’s like comparison but also strike a chord with a softer sound like found in the song ‘These Sounds’. The music on this record demands both time and thought from listeners. It is that good. So good in fact I could list every song and give praise to each but for print space I will only point out one more. The final song on the album ‘The Whale’. Haunting piano, superb musical arrangement, and a bleedingly personal vibe are just a few reasons to add this one to your playlist. In fact, add the whole album because I am sure that listeners will agree there is truly a magical quality to this album. Enjoy!!

As for the live show that night, Zach’s performance was on target. His backing band was tight and his own talents on full display. Crushing every song vocally, he repeatedly demonstrated what a skilled musician he has become. Possessing not only guitar skills anyone would envy, Zach showed that his piano abilities are amazing too. He repeatedly pulled the crowd into each song. You know how crowds tend to have people that socialize and talk during a performance? Not on this night. Zach maintained everyone’s attention while laying out one gripping tune after another. Watch for Zach playing the Charlotte area because once you hear this new record, I know you will be at his next show.

The Charlotte music scene should be on high alert for this next band and their record as well. Local trio X Bound released their album “More Clever Than Capable” the very same night! Consisting of Greg Oriani, vocals and guitar; Payden Rosen, bass guitar; and Jonny Spang, drums, these guys are poised to make some noise and I mean that both literally and figuratively. They can definitely rock a stage and from the sound of their material, the sky is the limit. Play the first song ‘Fading Fast’ and you will immediately get a feel for what these guys bring to the table. It is a sound which you won’t be able to resist. Try not to sing along or get that head shake going. I dare you. Carrying the same infectious style are the songs ‘Should’ve Been Sober’ and ‘Left to Flourish’. The riffs and beats will keep you listening over and over. But don’t think that this is a one trick pony. Songwriter Greg Oriani, not only pens rocking tunes but shows he can write the ballad types as well. Acoustic driven songs ‘Reasons’ and ‘Memories’ will make you wonder if there is anything this band can’t do. It would be difficult to get more out of an EP than what X Bound was able to do with this one. A full gauntlet of music awaits all listeners. 

Moving on to part 2 of the live portion Saturday, X Bound took center stage and proceeded to rock the Legion Brewing facility like never before. If you have not experienced an X Bound show, all I can say is find one fast. These guys take no prisoners and the energy is contagious. The crowd found this out immediately as they came out and ripped through song after song. Each of these 3 guys are showmen and masters of their instrument. Jonny keeps the beat rolling and Padys heavy hitting bass lines and solos provide a driving rhythm section any band would want. Add to this, Greg being the epitome of a front man with on-target vocals and stage presence and you have a true rock and roll show. It is easy to see why I recommend this band. What more could you ask for, right? Well, the album release party did have more. Even more talent was brought to the stage to celebrate and play along. Zach Moss joined the band on the first couple of tunes. Then it was Joe Dellapina throwing some mean harmonica down along with his amazing guitar skills. Following this, they invited friend and guitarist Austin Collins up to hammer out some killer lead licks and jam on several songs. With Austin covering guitar duty, it opened the door for Greg to turn up the showmanship a notch. Making full use of the area, he pumped up the crowd with barrel jumps, leaping over equipment and vocally killing each song. Throughout the set all the songs on the EP were covered along with a couple of favorites and lots of other amazing original material they are just waiting to record. It was definitely one for the books when the lights were finally turned off.

All I can say about this entire night is “thank you”. Thanks to Legion Brewing, Briarcliff Sessions, all the extra musicians, and of course to the stars of the night, Zach Moss and X Bound. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and so did everyone else judging by their rousing applause. Great beer, great sound, and great bands. You can’t beat that combination. Please be sure to check out these guys albums on your favorite streaming service and follow their social media pages. And as always, BUY SOME MERCH!! Get a CD or T-shirt to show your appreciation. Let’s keep the scene in Charlotte growing. Remember, Support Your Local Music!

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