By: Logan Podbielski
Delivering powerful performances across the country, The Werks continue the hot streak. Formed in 2007 as a straight-ahead rock band, they have moved into and are revered by the jam band and livetronica communities, due in large part to their unique production and robust performance history. If they happen to have slipped past your ears, though, give their new album Inside a Dream a listen.
The album takes psychedelic rock, with nasty guitar solos and organ extravaganzas and fantastically couples them with pleasant vocals by all four members; Rob Chafin (drums and samples), Dino Dimitrouleas (bassist), Chris Houser (guitar), and Dan Shaw (keyboards). All of which create a quartet of musicians not be trifled with lightly.
This lovely marriage is spectacularly showcased in the tune "The Answer." It may not be the answer to all of your problems, but this powerful tune will certainly solve the issue of whether or not you should continue listening. The band’s vocals dominate, but masterful instrumentation and a hell of a guitar solo by Houser accompany.
Track number two, "Drop," claims “it only took one drop,” but I say “it only took one note” for me to see that this album was only going to get better and better with each melody. Soothing vocals really add a nice touch to the beginning before the organ and guitar take over providing a beautiful bridge into the song's ending.
The middle section of this album emphasizes The Werks’ artistic aesthetic in meaningful vocals while still reminding the crowd that they can slay their instruments. Whether it be the multiple scintillating guitar solos on "Find Your Way," keyboard mastery on "Opus 66," or the absolute domination of the organ by Shaw on "For You," they always seem to add the perfect adrenaline shot into each song.
Title track "Inside A Dream" definitely turns down the tempo, and his a truly inspirational song both melodically and lyrically. I can see why they chose this song as a title and thus the most primary message off the album. This is still The Werks though, so do not be too shocked to hear Shaw, Chafin, and Houser up the tempo with their respective organ, synthesizer, and guitar solos before the track's end.
The subsequent tracks "Alive," "Not Alone," "Transformational," and "Waiting Room" all follow the typical Werks formula which is impactful lyrics and masterful instrumentation synthesizing in a way that will have you as a listener amazed that this is just a studio album and not a live recording. Which validates their immense festival success due to outstanding live shows.
This band has seen flux in membership over the years, with founding members Chuck Love and Dave Bartoletti being replaced by Dimitroulas brothers Norman and Dino from The Maji (2007 & 2011), and they even had percussionist Aaron Armstrong join the group for a few months in 2011, as well. Regardless of who is on stage though it seems that this music project just “werks.”
If you are trying to catch them live they have scheduled tour dates up until Jam Cruise in early January. We at The Untz are also ecstatic to announce that The Werks, along with many other stellar artists, have been announced in the second phase of our lineup for The Untz Festival in early June in northern California. With still one phase left the amount of talent at this festival already is insane and The Werks are certainly a leader of that talent amalgam.
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