Sunday, September 2, 2012

Terra Stigma - Leave My Body EP


Some people say the 90’s was the best era for rock and roll. Some say it needs a comeback. Long Island’s Terra Stigma is not only reviving the golden grunge of the 90’s, but breathing new life into it with fresh new melodies and dark emotional lyrics. The band works as a sharply fine-tuned unit, very slick and heavy, presenting their songs the way bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden did, but under modern production with a new mix of influences from System of a Down to The Deftones. 

Terra Stigma’s Leave My Body EP is a feel good rocker for those who believe the current state of the music business has fallen to synthetic pop groups and mediocre electronic acts. This band refuses to alter their sound for current trends as they storm through four powerful songs with depth and sincerity. The more I listen to it, the more I become one of those believers in the authenticity of the music that came out of the 90’s. Those records, whether Alice in Chains’ Dirt or Nirvana’s Nevermind will stand the test of time as opposed to most of the crap the major labels are churning out today for a buck. Everything has flipped, as I see Columbia Records signing more hip hop than rock these days, and indie labels pushing hard working alternative bands that spend less time shooting gimmicky videos and more time touring. 

The EP opens with a supremely catchy pop melody, a song appropriately called- “Vital”. Lead singer- Justin Aaron’s voice shines in the first minute of the song, separating from the wanna-be Kurt Cobains, he has a unique vocal style that’s more classic rock influenced than the typical metal screamer. The band is crisp and solid as anyone. “Still Here” is a hard hitter, between distorted guitar pedals and savvy vocal harmonies, an eye opening song you’d hear on the radio at your local deli every morning. “Faultline” has a sinister feel with some really loud and interesting drum grooves providing the heartbeat for the band. And my personal favorite, the title track- “Leave My Body” has the TOOL vibe without the progressive rock time changes, focusing more on the moody aspect of the band. It’s dramatic adult rock music for musicians and non-musicians that just want to hear a good song. That’s the band’s forte; they’re a tight band behind a skillful songwriter with pondering lyrics outlined by hope, just the way early Pearl Jam songs were. I’m not one to complain about current vogues, but this music is just better than most of the stuff out there. If the 90’s sound has to come back under a new shell to save music from it’s despair, then Terra Stigma are the ones to do it. The only feeling you’re left with from this EP, is the want for more. I can only assume their next record will blow everyone away and raise some awareness of what’s good and what is unessential. Talent rises to the top, regardless of fading trends and corporate money makers. A good song is something no one can deny. This record just proves Terra Stigma is here to stay.


We caught up with the band for a quick interview...

RR: How long have you been playing under the band name - Terra Stigma, and what does it mean? 

TS: Two years. Terra meaning earth. Stigma self explanatory.

RR: You are a Long Island band. How does the current music scene hold up against New York City? Is there more of a community in the suburbs or less? 

TS: Both scenes are dead at the moment but gaining momentum.

RR: What are most of your lyrics about?

TS: All kinds of meanings mostly about life experiences postive and negative.

RR: Who or what are the band’s primary influences? 

TS: Deftones, Aystem of a Down, Tool , and Pearl Jam.

RR: What is the band’s main objective in a business where most bands do not make money and fame can be bought? 

TS: Just to get our music out there. See what happens...

RR: Who’s your #1 vocal influence? 

TS: Maynard James Keenan.

RR: Many think guitar rock is dated and that the only genre for new sounds and ideas is music made with computers, not band instruments. How do you feel about techno, electronica and other computerized music? 

TS: We are all about the pure rock sound. We are not really into electronic.

RR: If you could tour with any band, who would that be? 

TS: Pearl Jam.

RR: What advice would you give to younger aspiring musicians? 

TS: Just keep practicing.

RR: Who do you think is the freshest, most inspiring band out there now? 

TS: System of a Down.

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