XII is the latest release by New Jersey band Wiser Time (some of you would associate this name to another band from Atlanta, and you are absolutely right). In the tradition of their previous albums, which I highly recommend to those who don’t yet know them, gathers intensity, soul and passion combined with a huge concrete music, including southern flavored guitar and harmonious vocals by Carmen Sclafani. It is the voice itself, maneuvering inside the spacious musical architecture crafted by Rob Clores (B3 Organ, Piano), Steve Decker (Drums), Chuck Hammer (Guitararchitecture), Andy Hess (Bass) and Jimmy Somma (Guitar), that flags this EP with the trademark of Wiser Time. Following a loose metrical pattern through the verses, culminating in an incisive refrain “Gonna Be Alright”, emphasized by accents of orchestrated rhythmic base which creates an inspired tit for tat. The idea of stating XII as an EP, despite being formed by the instrumental “Renaissance” and “It’s gonna be alright”, merged to form a single track, makes clear the desire of the band not to enclose their music within well-defined boundaries, favoring, on the contrary. It lets the listener go with the flow. Deep bluesy solos a-la Marc Ford perfectly fill those parts of the track where there is no singing, never left completely unadorned with the embroideries of piano and B3, at the beginning and at the end of each song.
Although the clear influences of the band, it would be reductive just connecting Wiser Time to Robinson Brothers & Co, because Wiser Time have written great Southern Rock/Blues/Country songs staying true to their roots while, at the same time, showing an innate ability in composition, and XII is just the tip of the iceberg to their sound and abilities.
As the saying goes, “well begun is half done” and if your first approach to Wiser Time is XII, you won’t be able to help but fall deeper and deeper into their art.
Great Stuff from these guys… Their Beggars and Thieves record got a lot of PT on my faves setlist. XII continues to expand their sound. Carmen’s vocals are excellent… Never seem strained, always smooth and his lyrical imagery and story telling is easy to enjoy. Musically, I always dig the pure tone and tasty riffs Somma delivers. Complementing talent like Clores and Hess only take this stuff to another level. Anybody who hears their music wants to hear more. It’s like a goto pair of jeans… Always a good fit