Tourmaline - Save Me EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: Aug. 2, 2010
After a pronounced hiatus to cope with vocalist Matt Rauch's vocal surgery and the loss of Rauch's father the New Jersey quintet Tourmaline are back, albeit with a new lineup. After the defection of bassist Justin Niemec and drummer
Max Rauch, band founders Ryan Baredes (guitar), Corey Zaloom (keys) and vocalist Rauch immediately went about filling the holes, replacing them with drummer Rob Pratola and bassist Zach Inkley.
The EP opens with the anthemic title track, a soaring and arresting composition that rides the wave of Rauch's powerhouse vocals. Power-packed, driving and undeniably urgent, "Save Me," is the true definition of a band maturing beyond their years and turning in another quality effort.
The scuzzy, bass-heavy "Fat Pig," begins with a thick blues riff, Rauch's impassioned howling and an air-tight rhythm section. Rollicking piano and searing lead guitar at the song's conclusion help make it that much memorable. By the time the song ends, one thing is certain: There just aren't bands these days writing crafty, vintage, throwback rock songs like this. It's just not done, and if it is being done, it's certainly not this inspired, this passionate or this timeless.
The mid-tempo composition "Lions," rounds things out and is arguably one of Tourmaline's finest work to date. That it is also one of Rauch's most personal songs to date is probably no coincidence. As much an amalgamation of soul, R and B and pop, it's as gorgeous, poignant and impacting as anything Rauch has ever put to pen.
Having been avalanched by a lifetime's worth of emotional and physical pain, the fact that this very EP was made is startling. That the EP is this strong only reinforces the resiliency, work ethic and inherent talent of Rauch and his
bandmates. Ostensibly serving as an introduction for the band's new album, the Save Me EP points to a most hopeful future and proof positive that Tourmaline are renewed, reinvigorated and more than ready to start making a national impact.