August 6, 2009

Into The Presence
Into The Presence

Los Angeles, CA
Produced by Luis Carlos Maldonado and Tim Alexander | Engineered by Tim Alexander
Recorded at Ghost Town Studio in Jerome, AZ | Mastered at SAE Mastering in Phoenix, AZ

The debut album from Into The Presence will make you quit your band. You’ll cry because you just financed all that fancy new gear and an auto-tuner for your singer, complete with T-Pain to produce. Yeah, not needed here. Rather, ITP shows that you can still rely on great songwriting, great players and above all, someone that can sing their nuts off. A conscious, and well-executed nod is given to the “heroes of old” here as the likes of Queen, Zeppelin (check out the bridge in “You and I”) and Jeff Buckley are ever present.

However, claiming that ITP does not own their sound couldn’t be further from the truth. Luis Carlos Maldonado’s guitar work is stunningly inspiring and tasteful, while Tim Alexander (Primus, A Perfect Circle) once again shows that his drumming is outstanding, without standing out. Rounding out the lineup is the Lenchantin sisters (Paz on bass, Ana on cello). Oh, and did I mention Luis can sing? “End Game,” their signature song, kicks off the album with bombing drums and dancing arpeggios, only to be further trumped by epic vocal work that would have Freddie and Jeff doing high-fives.

Much of the record focuses on Luis’s introspection, with his writing most transparent on tracks such as “Phone Call,” “You And I,” and “My Only Crime” – all tales of struggle within relationships. Whether or not one finds this topic passé, Luis’ gift for crafting epic, spiritual portraits is undeniable. If the aforementioned songs don’t get you, surely the sexy sludge of “The Garden,” unstoppable chorus of “Broken Words,” and lonely promise of “Coming Home” (my personal favorite) will. But then, I’ve listened to this album 63 times this month, so maybe I’m a tad biased. (Razor and Tie)
-Damion Sanchez

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