By ROB DUGUAY It might sound redundant to say, but a big testament to the true talent of a band is how much better they get over time. Years playing together can bring new ideas when it comes to songwriting, whether it's incorporating different styles or
It might sound redundant to say, but a big testament to the true talent of a band is how much better they get over time. Years playing together can bring new ideas when it comes to songwriting, whether it’s incorporating different styles or fine-tuning the chords and progressions.
For nearly a decade, Providence alt-funk act Northeast Traffic has been a prime example of how much a band can change, from beginning in basements to taking the stage at legit music venues. The tight rhythms from Warwick’s Burke White on bass and Bristol’s Joe Krapf on drums are accented by pristine skills on the keys courtesy of Cranston’s Nick Parisi. Guitarists Alex Claros, who is from Warwick, and Samuel Clemens, who calls Bristol home, bring the edge, while Claros sings with a bluesy tone.
Their new “Magnet Man EP,” which was officially released on vinyl on April 17, is the result of flawless syncopation and a willingness to try out new things. Some tracks are jazzier than others, while a couple exhibit hard-hitting rock riffs and beats. It’s an ideal record for anyone who is a classic rock savant along with the types who are craving something new to listen to.
“We spent a weekend in December high up in the woods of New Hampshire with Anthony Cimino of Mojo Studios recording ‘Magnet Man,’” Parisi said about the making of the EP. “I don’t think we’ve ever been more creatively inspired or productive and the album flowed together exactly how we wanted it to. It was a killer time recording and also a killer drive home when we careened off the highway and into a ditch during a blizzard. The idea to put it on vinyl was Joe’s and we are extremely happy with how perfectly it came together. We added some never-before-heard live tracks for the vinyl release, so get your copy soon.”
“I think the way the vinyl plays sets you up for a really nice listening experience throughout the ‘Magnet Man EP,’” White said about the physical format. “In my opinion, it’s unmatched when compared to its digital counterpart. I feel that way about any album I listen to on vinyl, so I’m a bit biased.”
“Magnet March” is a long, atmospheric lead-up to the title track. There’s a wave of feedback being fused with improvisation that goes right into a flurry of funk. One interesting part of “Pike’s Rebellion” is how there seems to be a Latin flair coming from the guitars and drums. It’s hypnotizing and it’s bound to make people dance once it’s played. Closing out the record are “Erbium” and “Unphased,” two bangers that need to be listened to with the volume all the way up.
To give “Magnet Man” a listen, stream it via Northeast Traffic’s Bandcamp page at northeasttraffic.bandcamp.com. It’s highly recommended by the band that you check it out on vinyl, so if you’ve got a record player, feel free to order one from the page as well.
No matter which format you use to listen to the EP, it’s bound to get you hooked on one of the most talented bands in Rhode Island.