On the way to glory Small-time

Crashing Tide. Sounds ominous, no? A New Drowning Method. Sounds like a morbid way to have fun.

Maybe not. Crashing Tide is an alternative/punk/rock band, formed by teenagers, twin brothers Chris and Alex Rousseau, neighbor Eric Valdes and friend Tony Castro. Like the famous bands that they admire, such as Tool, Incubus, and StainD, their music is gritty and complex. With front man Tony’s strong vocals and the solid instrumentation created by Eric, Alex and Chris, this band is definitely playing for keeps. The musicians, who have been together for about three years, take risks with their music and, interestingly enough, they get away with it.

Tool is allowed to do weird things like have a song that is not only over eight minutes long, but the intro itself is two minutes and eight seconds long (Eulogy, in case you were lost). Now, you don’t do that unless you’re firmly established and respected in the music world. But the four young men that make up Crashing Tide throw this convention, and others, out the window. The first song on the compact disc, Court Jester (over seven minutes long), has an intro of one minute and 58 seconds. Now, maybe I’m biased, but that did it for me. I like them.

Tony’s voice is a mixture of Maynard and Aaron Lewis. A tough tenor (as far as alternative goes), Tony has just the right mix of angst and melody to be a rock singer. Grinding out phrases like You and I will never be the same / Fortune has brought us that way / It’s time for you…

The timbre of his voice is reminiscent of all those top alternative stars: Just flawed enough to sound incredible singing songs like the band’s Guilt and Pure. Tony also writes the lyrics – which would maybe explain why he sounds so brilliantly inspired singing them. Either way, he is a strong, confident and talented lead singer.

The other members of Crashing Tide are as follows: Chris (drums), Alex (bass) and Eric (lead guitar and backup vocals).

Alex’s bass is first rate: clear yet muffled (as all good bass should be) and interesting. It forms a sound base for the music to be built onto. He is also great at intros, perhaps one of the most important parts of the song (it is, after all, the intro that catches your attention), as is the intro to Black and White.

Valdes’ guitar is creative, as displayed, again in the intro for Court Jester, or the thick strumming and funky riffs in Ugly. Chris’s drums sound like a lot of cymbals and brushes and bass drums, and when he throws in a couple bangs on the snare, even if you have no clue what that is, you notice it. As all good drummers should, he keeps good time and rounds out the music, giving it a full, complete sound.

If you’re a fan of StainD, Tool, Finger Eleven, Stabbing Westward or Linkin Park, you will love Crashing Tide. In them you can hear the influences of those bands that you love, but they also have a little extra something that will make you sit up and pay attention.

These guys are young and have a lot of time and room to grow, improve and learn from their mistakes. Let’s just hope that they keep it up and that they continue to have fun doing what they’re doing. If you want an in depth (and hilarious) look at the band, you can visit their website at http://crashingtide.cjb.net, where you can also order their compact disc.

Lately, the group has been working on gigs and building their fan base. It won third place at University of Miami’s Battle of the Bands, and recently played at The Alley.