Power-pop, modern rock, indie rock, glam, alt-rock, world-music... Transcendence are a hard band to classify. Each album they release veers a hard left or right depending on their mood. But they have certain signatures that always reveal the Transcendence sound -- catchy melodies that you can't seem to get out of your head, Ed Hale's unmistakable vocals reminiscent of Bowie or Bono or Lou Reed or Radiohead, insanely creative guitar, and lush, anthemic production that sounds as though it were right out of the best music from the seventies.
In Transcendence, you have a group of five, o.k. maybe six or seven, depending on how you look at it, hyperactive, obsessive, and insane guys with severe cases of ADD and an extreme passion for music all running around trying to make sense of everything they are listening to and each wanting to create their own personal artistic statements -- the chances of that translating into any two albums sounding remotely similar is going to be pretty slim, "" [New Times Magazine] says lead singer Ed Hale , in a recent interview explaining the wide variety of musical boundaries the band has covered in their three CD releases since 2002's eclectic world-music-meets-modern-rock debut Rise and Shine.
The musical group known as Transcendence is a tight-knit collective of some of the most notable musicians from the Miami and New York music scenes who first came together in 2000. The band is known as much for their eclectic virtuosity and reverence for melody, as their unnerving yet enticing tendency toward stylistic changes. ""Smoothing across genres like a skater on ice, Ed Hale and company show amazing songwriting skills throughout Rise and Shine. They have j ust released a debut on TMG Records that is one I cannot listen to less than twice a week... Fusing such styles as brit-pop, Brazilian, R&B ,alt - rock, new wave and classical - among others - Transcendence create a wild array of songs but somehow hold them together with left-field bite.” [ Marcus Pan in Legends Magazine]
The band was put together by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ed Hale , who had made a name for himself with the legendary Broken Spectacles and a few solo albums. Drummer Ricardo Mazzi ( Tereso , Prole, Native Tongue, Fuse ) joined because of their shared interest in world-music. They also happened to share a passion for early seventies rock and pop, which easily prompted the already infamous guitarist-extraordinaire Fernando Perdomo to join, (DC3, Fulano, Christian Castro). Soon followed the cute, quiet, and multi-talented bassist Roger Houdaille (Lofi, BJ Experience) the youngest member of the group, who also happened to share their passion for early seventies glam rock. Boston 's own Jon Rose , a Berkley grad, acts as the group's musical director and pianist. New York native and Manhattan School of Music graduate Allan Gabay (Jorge Moreno) then joined adding additional piano and keyboards, contributing a classical and avant garde element to the group's already eclectic sound. University of Miami music school grad Bill Sommer (Blinking underdogs, the Shut-ups) signed on as a second drummer a few years later, adding a more modern and indie-rock vibe to the band's rhythm section.
Hot on the heels of the genre-defying Rise and shine , which garnered the band international media and fan attention with its unique blending of multiple styles tucked into a tasty alterna-rock all their own -- along with the two college radio hits Better luck next time and Do you know who you are -- the band then released Sleep with you, turning the musical tables with a Brit rock swagger reminiscent of Radiohead, early Bowie, or Lou Reed. Sleep with you featured the college radio favorites Minnie Driver, Vicodin, and Girls . The controversial new CD was produced by Fred Freeman of Dungeon Recording Studios, who had j ust recently completed work on another South Florida break out band, Dashboard Confessional. It was filled with over the top rock guitar and soaring vocals, pounding bass and drums, and sex and drug allusions galore, keenly observed by the closing statements of the CD's review in All Music Guide which gave the CD 4 out of 5 stars, ""rock & roll from the Paris Hilton set, out to lunch, out of time, and unconcerned about anything but their own vanity. So yes, it's deluded and occluded, but it still rocks like nothing else out there. Get it."" (Thom Jureck )
The more straight-ahead modern rock of Sleep with you earned the album regular rotation on college radio stations nationwide, top ten status on XM radio ( I'm not the only one ), best indie band in Florida status from the Bigtime talent awards, national distribution, then management, then booking contracts, and charted for weeks on the Specialty Show charts throughout 2003.
But it was the single Superhero girl released to commercial alternative-rock radio in the summer of 2004 that pushed the group over the edge. The song was added to regular rotation on stations all over the country charting as high as #5 in some cities. It also guaranteed the band feature slots in the music festival circuit including the NEMO Music Festival in Boston and the CMJ Music Festival in New York and a tour of Europe during the summer.
A flurry of buzz surrounds their new CD entitled Nothing is cohesive. A bold and beautiful collection of post-modern garage rockers and lush seventies-style piano ballads that the band recorded in their garage studio j ust may be their best effort to date. And that says a lot coming from this very prolific and experimental group.
Nothing is cohesive , the band's third release, is raw, unrefined, and surges with an honest musical sensuality that gloriously demonstrates how much the band loves making music together. It mixes a variety of classic and modern rock styles in a surprisingly cohesive listen --despite its title-- for how far out the band was willing to travel in their sonic explorations to achieve something completely different from last year's Sleep with you .
In November the band released their first live DVD, Transcendence: Live at Jazid. And there is a new one–hour documentary due out in the spring by Journey of Dreams Productions about the band and the making of their new CD entitled Transcendence: Everything is cohesive.
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