Steeped in melodic, yet punchy vocals, Needtobreathe’s sophomore release, The Heat, finds the band sitting comfortably in the filled-to-the-brim mainstream-rock genre. Fortunately, the soft passages that envelope the strumming guitar lines accentuate what the band does best: haunting lyrics that speak to both the heart and the politically conscious brain. From “Looks Like Love” to “We Could Run Away” and even the religious “Signature of Divine (Yahweh),” bandmembers Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, keys), Bo Rinehart (guitars, backing vocals), Seth Bolt (bass, backing vocals) and Joe Stillwell (drums, percussion, backing vocals) keep a focused and consistent groove going on throughout the effort, where each song easily travels from one melody to the next without a bump in the road. Bringing in Collective Soul’s Ed Roland to help produce some tracks is quite evident in shaping Bear Rinehart’s vocals—think “December” from Collective Soul’s self-titled album. Make sure you check out this Southern band’s upcoming tour, where it is sure to be a rollickin’ good time.
Must Play: “More Time”
Producers: Rick Beato, Needtobreathe, Roland. Engineers: Beato, Ken Lanyon, Seth Both, Shawn Grove, Rick Barnes. Mixer: Richard Chycki at Mixland Music & DVD (Wasaga Beach, Calif.). Studios: Black Dog Sound (Atlanta), Plantation Studios (Walhalla, S.C.), Tree Sound (Atlanta), Rax Trax Recording (Chicago). Mastering: Andy VanDette at Masterdisk (New York City).