By Daniel Fryland
The Givers of Sweet Love rocked out at their CD release party on Saturday at N. Main Street, where dirty pop-rock tunes met jazzy melodies and fired up the crowd.
Julian Spiro ’11, as well as brothers Nicki Adams ’11 and Pat Adams ’12, were joined by Daniel Stein ’11, Peter Manheim ’12, and EJ Dickson ’11 at the band equipment and subsequently launched into a rendition of the jazz standard, “Cantaloupe Island.”
The tune was the first song at the Givers of Sweet Love’s very first show at the hardcore/metal venue Peabody’s in Cleveland. “It didn’t exactly win over the metal dudes at the bar, but it was a fun time,” explained Julian. EJ added that “some pirate metal guy” at the show described their music as a cross between No Doubt and Rage Against the Machine.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the CD prior to the party and immediately recognized the first track, “Shudra,” when Peter started it off with a Latin groove. Julian’s distorted guitar riffs, reminiscent of that classic rock sound so absent in modern rock music, joined in, and then Nicki and Peter took the tune to a jazzy level with a keys and drums interlude.
The Givers of Sweet Love’s jazz influence manifests itself especially on the second track off the CD, “Peter’s Sister.” Pat’s trumpet started the tune off and got the crowd going. “I think that the best part of the band is the horn player [Pat]. It really completes it,” said Alex Kotlikoff, ’13, prior to the show.
The basement in which the Givers played was far too small of a space for the band and crowd alike, though it created a great vibe. A few sparse black lights hung from the low ceiling provided the only illumination. Halfway through the show, the room was so crowded I had to abandon taking notes all together, which was probably for the best, as the black lights were nowhere near bright enough to see what I was writing.
“It’s hot as balls in here,” said EJ with validity. The body heat of too many people stuffed into too small a space meant that each person left wearing the sweat of friends, acquaintances and strangers.
A number of tunes featured bass and drum choruses from Peter and Dan backing EJ’s vocals. When the rest of the band joined in again, it was an explosion. Despite the lack of space, much of the crowd danced through the whole set, or at least tried to.
The performance ended with “Quicksand” followed by an untitled instrumental jam composed by Nicki, who danced at his keyboards to the music of MGMT, as he later confessed, while Peter drummed out a funky hip-hop beat. The show ended just in time and the crowd dissipated outside to cool off and pick up copies of the CD from band manager Poy Winichakul ’11.
Overall, the CD itself sounds tight, but genuine and real. Julian mentioned, “We recorded the CD at the end of last semester, and we did it in a couple of hours, so the CD is kind of representative of our live playing.” I have to agree. The live set certainly lived up to expectations set by the recorded music.
The CD was recorded at Ante Up Studios in Cleveland, and engineered by Garret Openshaw ’10 of Like Bells. Michael Spiro, also known as “The Mysterious Daddio,” mixed it over the summer. It can be downloaded at http://www.megaupload.com/?f=YD12KTKS.
The Givers of Sweet Love:
Julian Spiro: Guitar
Nicki Adams: Keyboards
Pat Adams: Trumpet
Daniel Stein: Bass
Peter Manheim: Drums