Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Floating Away with The High Tones

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to an amazing alternative-rock group from right here in Atlanta. Why does it give me such pleasure? Because the lead singer/guitarist is a good high school friend of mine, and based on what he did every year at the talent show, we always knew he'd go on to bigger things. So without further ado, here are The High Tones, alternative-rock's answer to the new decade.
Comprising my good friend Jonathan Kunis (lead vocals and guitar), Shim Garnter (lead guitar and backing vocals), Ben Williams (bass), and Jaron Pearlman (drums), The High Tones provide slick rhythms with catchy bass lines and mad drumming to encompass your senses and feed your soul. When I first heard Kunis at the Coffee House talent show a couple of years ago, he wowed us all by performing a solo song in front of everyone while on the phone to congratulate his brother on a major event in his life. Conducting himself with poise and a cool head, Kunis proved he was ready for bigger things. But he's not a guy that falls prey to LSD (lead singer disease), and with him on lead vocals, The High Tones have set themselves up for a great shot to the top.
But I'm not here to ramble about just one person; I'm here to ramble about the whole group, so let's get started. The first song I listen to on The High Tones' Myspace page is "Everything About You," an easy-going song that almost harkens back to '60s country. As the track started, I though for a minute I was listening to a Willie Nelson song, but that confusion was quickly cleared up as Kunis and Garnter moved away from a country melody and soothed me into an alternative-rock serenade. Meanwhile, Williams's bass notes are strong and on perfect cue, as Pearlman's drumming is light and sprightly. Relying mostly on the toms, and the snare and high-hats at points, Pearlman provides a simple, yet driving rhythm, and with Williams's bass locking tightly in, a perfect stage is set for Garnter and Kunis. Kunis's voice is almost like Patrick Stump in its pitch, and this song could be Fall Out Boy unplugged and stripped down. With Garnter providing simple note riffs during the verses and choruses, and great hamonizing backup vocals toward the end, this song is a solid start to their debut recording, the Kinda-Key EP.
Track two is "I Am What I Am," and from second one, I'm floored and stomped into the ground by Williams's bass line. That's the way I like my bass lines to be; hit me hard, hit me fast, and knock my breath out of me. Meanwhile, Pearlman's drums are tight and lock well with Williams's bass, and the rhythm section produces an almost kinky sound behind the guitars. Then Kunis comes in on vocals, and the sound is like Fall Out Boy meets Blink-182. Pearlman's drumming has picked up, and it's like Travis Barker's behind the kit, knocking it all about in a chaotic frenzy of order and rhythm. Garnter has busied himself with laying down a sick guitar riff that just resonates against Williams's bass, and Kunis melts my face with those high note vocals. My favorite part of this song though, is the last half minute. Garnter and Kunis blow my mind with sick guitar riffing that's reminicent of Scorpions and Motley Crue, not just Fall Out Boy or Blink. And as my face melts under the guitar solos, Pearlman and Williams bring the song to a solid halt. Two thumbs up. Way, way up.
The last track I listen to is "Waiting." Now, needless to say, I enjoyed the other two songs very much. But there is something about this one that just screams lead single. Maybe it's the clean, sick guitar riff the Garnter leads off on, or the smooth vocals Kunis soon provides. It might be Williams's heart-pounding bass lines, or Pearlman's soulful drumming. I don't know what it is, but this is definitely the radio single that will propell these guys through the stratosphere. Williams is on his mark perfectly, and his bass note have my pulse racing as Pearlman's drums keep my head banging to the rhythm. Garnter's guitar and harmonizing are brilliant, and Kunis just sails me away with those melodic, heart-felt lyrics. Whether or not Kunis I were good friends before, and whether we are or not now, there is no denying this guy has an amazing voice, the drive and the talent to go places. And with bandmates like Pearlman, Williams, and Garnter, Kunis has surrounded himself with the other three elements that will end up making all of these guys' dreams come true. In '06 and '07, Fall Out Boy were the band to watch for; the band that were gonna shoot up to stardom in a matter of months. Well now, with New Years just around the corner, and 2010 on its way, here's the new band to watch for. The High Tones are gonna take over soon, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if I was hearing these guys all over the radio in a couple of months. The votes are in; The High Tones are coming, and nothing's gonna stop them.

Sounds Like: Fall Out Boy, Boys Like Girls, Blink-182, Third Eye Blind

Key Tracks from Kinda-Key EP: "Waiting," "I Am What I Am," "Everything About You"

Check out The High Tones more at:

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