Chocolate Bread - …Until My Mind Stretches
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: June 2010
I don’t know about you, but when I think of jam bands, I think about some unrehearsed group of kids who haven’t showered, getting up on stage at some shitty dive bar, playing for a tub of beer and a bucket of peanuts. Actually, I’d play for free beer, but you get my point. With that said, one thing’s for sure – Chocolate Bread isn’t a jam band. And, don’t let the funky name fool you into thinking otherwise. Not wanting to be pigeon-holed, they list their sound as experimental/soul, which I can totally get down with.
Formed a year ago, they are an eclectic group of musicians who came together after being in and out of local Jersey bands. From talking with them, they seem focused and determined to make good music with this band and have a drive that they pull from their experiences in previous musical endeavors.
With their debut album titled …Until My Mind Stretches, they are looking to constantly grow and progress without generalizations about their genre of music. And after three consecutive spins, I must say that I found it hard to put them into a certain category, which is precisely what they were going for.
The album starts off with “Wet Feet” which seems like a fitting segue into an album where you’re supposed to let your mind take you where it will. Without coming off too strong, the track has a nice big-band sound with great piano and trumpet interludes. The next track, “Radical Rattlesnake” has mad soul and sounds like something I’d hear in a gritty New Orleans jazz bar. The hook and windy instrumentals are definitely catchy as hell. The third track, “Salvation,” is my favorite on the album. With a folk-sound reminiscent of twenty years ago, it sounds current and is encapsulating. I feel like I’m sitting on the porch, playing it with the band. Another track that I really liked was “Elevate” with duel vocals from Andrew D’Elia and Anthony DeRosa. It’s groovy and soulful with a reference to John Legend’s Get Lifted that didn’t go unnoticed. All the tracks play perfectly off one another, so all of them help create a complete album.
In the end, …Until My Mind Stretches is more than a solid debut for this newly formed band. Andrew D’Elia and Anthony DeRosa share a lot of the vocal duties and trade off very nicely. Their voices aren’t overtly strong, but they’re pretty perfect for the music this band makes. The lyrics are absolutely incredible and possess the wisdom of a Kermit Ruffins all formulated in a way to be current and stay current. Taylor Mandel, despite looking like the “Schnozberries taste like schnozberries” dude from Super Troopers, plays a nasty trumpet. Matt Moges and Paul Brasil help round out this eclectic fit of musicians with groovy guitar and subtly understated drums. Nine tracks make up the album and there isn’t any filler on it. Tracks are normal length, but breeze by in a way that makes you wonder where time went, forcing you to put it back on repeat. Imagine a mix of G Love, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Dorian Wright, Will Hoge, and Citizen Cope - and you have Chocolate Bread.
Oh, and what’s funny is that they have zero fans on AP.net. I’m thinking that should definitely change after people get a hold of this record.
Pretty interesting band. I love the guitar parts but for some reason I've always disliked trumpets i music (except Foxy Shazam). Buuut, my biggest gripe about this band, I don't really hear the "soul" influence. Making your voice go unnaturally deeper in some parts, does not count as "soul". Still, some good jams on this record.
I just saw these dudes last night with Socratic and I certainly was impressed. The name makes them sound like some shitty band, but I really enjoyed their sound and they had a strong group of people singing along. I even bought the CD to support these fine gentlemen.