Infernophonic is the brainchild of Kevin Bolembach, former bassist for the New Jersey doom-rock band Non-Fiction, who was looking for an outlet for his 70's style influences. 'Spark It Up' is the first result of his endeavors. He recruited some regional talent to round out his band including an outstanding guitarist, Pat Piegari from New York City-based Lourds. But the real gold ring and show stopper in this crew is vocalist Elaine Tuttle. Think Ann Wilson or Pat Benatar but with much more guts and groove. Groove is another great adjective to describe Infernophonic's brand of melodic hard rock. There is positively more groove and funk in the bass line of many songs than the Red Hot Chili Peppers could muster on a good day.
As for the songs, I menteioned before that this is melodic rock with a strong funk/groove motif. You will find this especially on 'Anyone Else,' 'Take Aim,' 'Invisible Slaves,' and 'Hear Me' among others. I found this music higly enjoyable, but in the end somewhat reptitious. The best stuff comes when Infernophonic delivers melodic hard rock with strong guitar work. This happens on 'Say Watcha Mean,' Middle Of The Road,' 'We Don't Need It,' and 'Yeah Yeah Yeah.' On these songs, there is some amazing fret work by Piegari. But the true highlight throughout is Ms. Tuttle's strong and enthusiasitc vocal performance. She truly shines on 'Anyone Else,' 'Middle Of The Road,' and 'Eye Of The Jedi.' The last number is quite unique within the entire work because it mixes effectively melodic rock with funk and hip hop styles. There were some dull moments on the album. Both 'Thank You' and 'Invisible Slaves' were tedious songs which made me want to hit the skip button almost immediately.
Overall, Infernophonic's 'Spark It Up' is a rare gem to find within the bleak caves of modern American rock. With a few exceptions, it's filled with great and creative rock and roll. It will keep you listening and wanting more. Very recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Infernophonic's 'Spark It Up' is a rare gem to find within the bleak caves of modern American rock. With a few exceptions, it's filled with great and creative rock and roll. A fine effort!