SYRRAH (live at North Star Bar, 6/6/2012) (click link for music)
Picture this, two girls walk into a bar. They hear muffled voices
murmuring from a back room accompanied by the low base tones of
ambient sounding music. The music gets louder as they head toward the
back of the bar. They push open a sturdy wooden door to be immediately
confronted with what looks like Hunter S. Thompson being haunted by a
Yeti. This was philly indie’s first encounter with Syrrah, the
alt/metal progressive rock band from Levittown. On stage, dressed in
aviator shades and a jacket almost as loud as the snare drum, front
man Righteous Jolly held a gold cloaked, white haired mask on a stick.
This grabbed our attention. Stay and see what sort of music was going
to come out of this ? Uh, duh.
What began as a sort of visually shocking moment of intrigue quickly
turned to a true appreciation for Syrrah’s surprising conglomeration
of styles and skills. As I said, when we first walked into Northstar
Bar, Syrrah, began with low key ambient tones. Steady rat-tat-tat
drumming accompanied by rhythimic guitar melody and a resonant bass
line. Then, surprisingly this softer melodic sound, swiftly switched
to metal-esqe shredding. Syrrah’s music sounds a bit like Tool and
Black Sabbath with the vocal stylings of a broadway show. Matt
Fischer, played face melting lick after lick flawlessly in time with
the intricate deep vibrato base lines of Bassist Evan Scheerer. Drum-man Brian Mazzarini,
looks like your average guy but with his speed and stamina around the
kit, I was surprised to see he didn’t have an extra arm somewhere.
Righteous Jolly’s voice adds a touch of broadway musical stylings to
the mix. The man simply has amazing depth and control over his voice.
Although there is a theatrical aspect to Syrrah, the level of
musician-ship is such that it does not upstage the music. While you
may be drawn in by the theatrics, you’ll stay for the music. These
guys would appeal to people who dig the odd metal song but aren’t sold
on the whole, head-bang-yourself-into-a-coma heavy metal. If you’re
curious about expanding your alt rock underground repertoire, check’em