There’s a distinct variety of intensity when it comes to Providence, RI post-hardcore act Karis Owen’s sound. Frontman Joey Rodriguez reaches incredible octaves on the mic while bringing pristine melody. Sean Maze rips righteous riffs on guitar and the rhythm section of drummer Joseph Sousa and bassist Joe Goncalves are a focal point of the band. Their self-titled EP, that was released on June 28, exemplifies a melding of talents that creates original music in an age where music can be heavily concentrated. It’s refreshing and invigorating once the play button is pressed.
Produced by Julian Mazzola, the record has a quality that captures Karis Owen’s raw essence. There’s a pop aesthetic that sheens over each track. It’s not as if the band is leaning towards the annoying, bubblegum pop punk style. In fact, it’s the opposite due to each song possessing substance and meaning. The poetics of Rodriguez’s lyrics assist in making that happen as well. This quartet isn’t your average band, they manage to do things a bit differently and it shows as each note is hit.
“Red” starts the album off with Rodriguez singing at the top of his lungs while Maze’s guitar holds the track down from beginning to end. The most melodic track on the album is “Minerva” with the rhythms conveyed from Sousa and Goncalves forming the structure. Pure energy is released through “Thank You” and there’s a lot of heartfelt screaming coming from Rodriguez. “Mayflower” is the shortest track on the EP but it packs a musical punch. The single off of the record is “August 28th” and it examines a crazy day along with maintaining a catchiness that sets it apart from the rest of the songs.
Karis Owen has a trio of shows coming up at Dusk in Providence on August 24, The Gateway in Brooklyn the following night and The Barbary in Philadelphia on the 26. These are three chances to check out a kickass bad up close and personal. It’s also a good chance to grab a copy of the EP. Give it a listen and get a jolt of exuberance.