Banquet for a Starving Dog

by: Eve to Adam

These N.Y.C.-based anthemic rockers have been on a crazy roller coaster since forming in 1997, and it's exhilarating to see that in 2011 -- entering their third decade of performing and recording -- they're as blistering, powerful, and melodic as ever, and committed to their goal to reignite rock. Burnishing their credentials by touring with everyone from Daughtry to Mötley Crüe, P.O.D., and 3 Doors Down, they step firmly into headlining/potential superstar territory with this explosive set. Frontman Taki Sassaris has said rock needs to be protected because it's on the endangered species list, and this was more true at the start of the second decade of the 2000s than a decade earlier when they made their debut. Though the hypnotic, midtempo title track chronicles the frustration of trying to survive an impasse in a relationship, the clever title could easily be seen as a metaphor for the whole album, which gives hungry rock fans a feast of passionate, guitar-driven energy from start to finish. No less than Nikki Sixx endorsed Banquet's intense, sarcastic debut single, "Run Your Mouth," as one of the top Sixx Picks on his syndicated radio show. Driven by Taki's blend of tender and tortured lead vocals, Gaurav Bali's crackling guitar, and brother Alex Sassaris' potent drumming, the band balances catchy, hummable hooks and deeper, edgy explorations while exploring themes like regret ("My Vanity"), personal responsibility ("Fault Line"), old-fashioned romantic declarations (the very poppy "Stay"), and the sadness of coping with the end of a relationship ("Getting Weird Without You"). The world needed to know that rock wasn't dead -- and, to the delight of genre fans everywhere, Eve to Adam hung around long enough to make their most dynamic and satisfying statement to that effect. ~ Jonathan Widran

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