“Alternative rock” is a term in music which is not used as much as it used to be, with “indie” being the preferred label for artists whose sound is a bit left of center. However, the band G2P prefers to call themselves alternative as they attempt to showcase their love for classic 90’s alternative bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Candlebox and Green Day. G2P’s love for these 90’s legends is evident in their guitar style and music composition, but they attempt to put a modern twist on alternative rock, blending subgenres with mixed results. Their self-titled EP was released on Capitol Records in September and has gained them a following, both in their native Central Florida and throughout the country.
The most recognizable 90’s influence in G2P’s music is in its guitars, which are played and arranged by Nathaniel Shepherd. The rhythm guitar riffs show a heavy influence from both funk and 90’s hard rock. The funk component will remind some listeners of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and there are elements of The Peppers’ singer, Anthony Kiedis, in the lead vocals, which are also performed by Shepherd.
The third song on the album, Me, is probably the most funk-heavy on the album. Also in the backing guitars are lashings of punk reminiscent of Green Day and arrangements which might remind listeners of Candlebox or even Linkin Park. The opening track, Animals, displays this mix. The track weaves back and forth between Chili Peppers-like funk complete with slap bass work by bassist Matt Mallory and more grunge-styled guitars in the chorus.
Shepherd brings a unique twist to this diverse guitar mix with his lead guitar, which hearkens back to the days of 80’s and 90’s hard rock. The guitar interludes and solos show off his skills, are polished and fit seamlessly into the backing tracks. He uses the string pull-off technique with feedback to gain that “tune up” effect on his guitar, which really gives tracks like Animals and Purge a classic hard-rock feel. As the album rolls on, the music appears to lean towards hard rock and even metal, though it closes with the funky and punchy Rain, which has a heavy dose of Descendents-era punk.
The one failing with G2P, unfortunately, is Shepherd’s vocals. In some tracks like Rain, and its precursor Scream, his voice seems relatively relaxed and fits into the music, however, in much of the rest of the album it seems he is over-singing. While mixing of genres is something the band does very well musically, it seems that Shepherd cannot decide on a vocal style. He goes from sounding like Anthony Kiedis to Kevin Martin from Candlebox – often in the same phrase, and he does not seem to be able to vary his volume, though this could have been a problem with production levels. The lyrics, while heartfelt, seem a little contrite and sometimes do not fit in with the well-crafted music. It seems that Shepherd is still trying to find his style with his vocals and lyrics. As this is G2P’s debut album and they have such a solid musical base, however, there is little doubt they will find a representative vocal sound as they develop their style.
G2P’s self-titled album is definitely worth a listen and is available to stream on their Soundcloud page or to purchase on their Bandcamp page. The band has been touring in the five months since they released the EP and they will be playing shows in the Tampa area over the next few months. Interested fans can find the show dates on the band’s website, which also gives exclusive access to a special version of a secret song. Links for Soundcloud, Bandcamp and the band’s website are listed below in “sources.”
Review by Layla Klamt