The six-piece band does it again, and kicks it up a notch like Emeril Lagasse would say!
"I can feel the tension rising..." Pax217 states in one of their new songs titled "Yesterday." You can take them up on that. There is a definite tension and an extreme lyrical surge in their sophomore album, titled Engage due to hit shelves May 21st, 2002.
If Pax217 is new to you I'll just take a moment to educate you on them. Pax217 is a California-based band made up of six notable characters: Dave (lead-singer), Skwid (drums), Josh (bass, BGV's), Jesse (guitar), Bobby (turntables, drops in a Rap sporadically), and Tito (on the road: percussion/keys). With the official addition of "Bobbito the Chef" (Bobby) scratching on the turntables, I can definitely say there's a new level of intensity in Pax217's Engage.
Pax217 opens with "Tonight" driven by a tight guitar riff and a contagious energy that makes you want to jump. "Tonight" also introduces you to the growth of Pax217, and gears you up to either embrace or reject the new album. "PSA" starts off with a gloomy acoustic tune, prepping you for the abrupt heavy rhythm that jolts in. Dave's eclectic vocals teamed up with Bobbito the Chef's fresh flow in this one to create a distinctive rush.
"I'll See You," an electrically infused guitar song, adds some reggae beats to spice it up making the sophomore album multidimensional. "Show me You, In Everything," reveals to us Pax217's obvious desire to see God, literally in everything. Nonetheless, the song that definitely takes the spotlight is "What is Love." It's starts off with a raw acoustic sound, followed by Dave dropping in an authoritive whisper. The momentum intensifies as the music peaks. Dave's vocals express deep emotions and pure rawness; those two elements engulf the scene it throws you into another level. "Little girl don't you cry, this boy can't steal what's inside, Let my Father hold up, Heal the thoughts that make you throw up… And the only thing I know to do Is to ask my Father to heal you..." This song ejects justified anger towards the doers of sexual abuse -- namely Dave's wife who was molested at the age of six, and many people in his life, that have been sexually abused were the inspiration of this song. What makes this song come to life is Dave's sorrowful cry out to God for His mercy and healing. Without a doubt this song must have taken a lot of emotional energy to create.
"Countin' Down the Days" is a unique ballad that closes out the album, showing the diversity of Dave's voice. The rest of the album integrates solid rock, flares of reggae, innovative rap, and an unshakable message. "ENGAGE"!- Review date: 5/17/02, written by Vasti Cedeno
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