It’s easy to know how to categorize a band like Roger and Glenn. This North Carolina musical two-some consisting of Roger Brandon, Glenn Hubbard who just released their latest release entitled “Martins” 2013. “Martians” is one of the more upbeat, funny, quirky and brightly flavored rock releases I’ve heard this year. It’s not so dark and apocalyptic steeped in the fog of shock rock but it does have a small dose of Pink Floyd inserted. This 13 track release has got some sold melodies and impressive musicianship to boot — which is a rarity in today music. The two began writing and recording music together as high school students in Boone, North Carolina. Both have been involved professionally in the music industry through the years — Hubbard as a hired-gun instrumentalist in variety bands, pit orchestras, restaurants, bars, and as a freelance recording engineer-producer — Brandon on the business side, formerly working in management at a large western North Carolina concert venue. What followed was an intense period of creativity, which saw the duo produce a surfeit of material they could be proud to call their own. When it came to putting together a band, the process was largely fortuitous-a fact not lost on a duo brought together by themselves. Not only are these guys excellent musicians, their contributions to the writing and arrangements of the songs have been of paramount importance-which is to say nothing of the infections and contagious chemistry they both share. There’s also nothing really new her that hasn’t been done before per say, but don’t let that fool you. This latest CD will remind you of The Gorillaz, They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies and yes even Pink Floyd to Yes. It’s not moody or too serious; it’s quite the opposite evident from the outset within the first few seconds of Track 1: “The Martians” and Track 2 “Epic Action” which are both superlative numbers. Roger and Glenn are great rock revivalists, that others (like myself) will lobby hard for. These 2 can sing, write and play well. Music is a masterful combination of Alternative Rock with a bit of modern Electronic Rock. Music and lyrics are all rich in humor laced satire poking funa t the world and full of casual observations. As vocalist both Roger and Glenn recall the higher-registries as well and mesh well together harmoniously. Roger & Glenn have a solid sound that reminds me of both old school Psychedelic rock with a modern day feel. Tack 3 “Santa Claus is Mr. Petrey” is another hilarious piece with vocal tandems that really tag team the point across. ”Might Nip a Little” develops well into top flight melodic phrasing and thickly laced harmonies. Some tracks are more pop-inflected however all are alt-rock driven rather than the typical synth-pop posturing we’ve all come to expect. All of this plays into Roger and Glenn’s unique sensibility and comical spin on the world that can jar even the most staunch of listeners. While it’s easy enough to imagine how wonderful a CD like “Martians” really is you really have to hear it for yourself via the below BANDCAMP link
It’s safe to say much of today’s Rock is made up entirely of yawning ambient beats, sparse musicianship and superficial vocals. Some of these intangibles reflect the artists themselves and the state of the music industry itself. Much of it is built of a house of cards that has become the quintessential pop persona. Where am I going with all this? None of the above applies to Roger and Glenn because what you see is what you get. No smoke and mirrors just real good and quirky music. Martians by Rog & Glenn is an impressive release from a very likable duo. In the end it’s great to see 2 guys lighten up a bit, let down their hair and let her rip.
Christian Lopez edited by Markus Druery
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