Monterey (California) band Direct Divide, makers of what they call “violin intensified rock”, are releasing next month their five-song EP Own Your Ocean. Members Razz (strings and vocals), Kevin Proctor (guitar, synth, and keyboards) and Valdemar Huguet (drums) have created an almost cinematic sounding set of tracks that will appeal to lovers of Muse and Evanescence.
The band’s talent and limitations are clear within the first minute of their opening track, “Kick It”, a piano, drum, and guitar-driven up-tempo rock number. The melody is potentially quite grandiose, but it’s almost like however beautiful, the instrumentation and the vocals aren’t enough to convey it. “Kick It” is all about having the strength and being empowered to let go of stereotypes in relationships. It seems that the biggest challenge to this track is an almost mismatch of the crystalline quality of the vocals and the sharpness of the instrumentation with its melody and arrangement.
But these same elements work well in the following song, “Renegade”, an up-tempo rocker in which the vocals shine through clearly. There isn’t as much violin in this one but the band continues its focus on sharing a message of empowerment, encouraging listeners to arise and assert themselves instead of being a renegade to their hopes, desires, thoughts, and ideas.
“Tide Is Rising” comes at the halfway mark of the EP. It is the mildest and simplest song to date, a subdued and emotional number with a lower tempo and simple layers allowing listeners to appreciate both the quality of the music and the crystalline quality of the vocals. The title refers to the changes in the quality of our relationships, as our actions have a ripple effect and can result in those even closest to us to end up somewhere very different from us.
Direct Divide kicks it right back up in “We Are Legion”, a drum-driven call to for all to stand up together and fight for their rights. Just like in the opening track, the instruments and vocals can’t keep up with the potentially grandiose melody. The EP closes with “1,000 Years”, which brings together the best of this set of songs, as it blends together hard and symphonic rock. Both the piano and the violin play significant roles, weaving in and out of the drum and guitar-driven melody.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.