Anyone who says South Florida lacks homegrown live artists would be surprised by the growing pile of CDs at New Times. A pile of releases by our city's hopefuls that is, well, hard to keep up with. In "Local Motion," a new ongoing series in Burner, we'll try to play catchup.
Miami local music
Alitheia pours fantasy over a soundscape of technical metal and progressive rock on this six-song album. The musicianship will catch the ear of those with musical know-how. But Alfredo Vicente's vocal inflections, while obviously demonstrating training, might be a little off-putting to the casual listener. Xavier Vanegas on drums and Ricardo Diaz-Albertini on bass do a good job helming the rhythm for Raul Valentine's guitar work. The songs are unnecessarily long — we get it, soaring arpeggios, yadda yadda yadda. This is the kind of outfit that will appeal to the Tool camp, and listeners with a slightly more sophisticated palate might see a little Karl Sanders and/or early Dream Theater too.
Jacob Jeffries Band
Life as an Extra (Warner/BMI)
Jacob Jeffries seems like a nice kid. The boy can sing some quirky little ditties about love and girls and daily shit with some smarts and charisma that belie his age. This five-song EP is sweet and well played. The title track is a Jim-Croce-meets-Cat-Stevens number, which is followed by the dreamy "Fairfax Diner" and the funny "And I Say," which has a kind of boogie-woogie piano thing going amid the classical overtone. This young man has a pair of releases coming out this year that you should keep an eye out for. Good stuff.
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The Fourth Prime (self-released)
Proving the cyclical nature of musical trends is Venejer, a hard-rock quintet echoing the heavy edges of postgrunge alternative. My cup of tea? Not really, but the band is tight, and on this debut seven-song album, it shows some promise. Opener "Vice" and its follower "Going Nowhere" provide a good Alice in Chains/Sevendust blueprint for what follows. The title track is probably the best one here. The rhythm section of Christian Espinales on drums and Diego Rossin on bass is flanked nicely by the guitars of Jose Gonzalez and Oniel Laffitte. The vocal work is handled well by Juan Amato. If they dropped the slight nü-metal nuances, this would be a solid heavy-rock release.