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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Music has the ability to connect with us personally on a primal level and transport us to another plane that is beyond reason. Seattle’s Ten Miles Wide makes that kind of music—this band has taken hold of the so­called dead and rotting corpse of rock n’ roll, and resuscitated it with a style that defies the status quo. 

 Initially known as The Mothership, released albums previously, and garnered regional success until setbacks relegated their musical mission to the back burner for a time due to another band from Texas having a similar name. The group changed their name to Ten Miles Wide in 2015. Fortunately for us, the group persevered. At first, their music may seem to be a heavy dose of straight up hard rock, but there’s more than meets the ear. 

Frontman and guitarist John Beckman’s unique voice is, in one moment, heart­wrenching and full of angst, then tender and harmonious in the next; frankly, his range is astonishing. Bassist Ryan Thornes conquers all styles—with hard rock drive, speed runs, and funky bass lines, he and drummer Will Andrews (In my opinion easily the best drummer in the unsigned scene today) remain unstoppable in the rhythmic pocket. With the recent addition of Jake Carden to the lineup, the band is complete, and on July 15th, released The Gross, their first under their current moniker.

 “Backburner” opens with a strong bass line that Beckman piggy­backs with guitar riffs as Andrews fills the spaces with alternating backbeats. “Pick Me Up”, a measured, smoldering piece, “The Gross”, a floating prog rock­esque composition, and slow burner “Dandruff” (this writer’s personal favorite), all showcase Beckman’s phenomenal vocal versatility. Track nine, “The Mothership”, a nod to their former band identity and the highlight for the listener who happens to also be a musician, features the members using every tool in their individual wheelhouses to create a dynamic tour de force in one song, one easily considered a masterpiece. The last track, interestingly named “Inspirational Masturbation”, shows the humorous side of the band, tempering the album’s intensity. 

The Gross revives the spirit of rock n’ roll defiance and gives a grand middle­finger to any arrogant soul who claims that it’s dead. Hello Ten Miles Wide, it’s nice to meet you.

Show them some love on their official site, Facebook and Twitter!

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