In March 2014, five musicians got together on Long Island, New York and decided to form a band. Christening the band "Sir Cadian Rhythm," a play on the circadian rhythms of the human body, the name presages the band's goal of instilling musical rhythm into the hearts and souls of their listeners.
Sir Cadian Rhythm is made up of Sir Jack Weppler on vocals, Sir Alex Laudani on guitar, Sir Richard Cluxton on bass, Sir Keith Miller on drums, and Sir Matthew Carlin on keyboard. Each of the members comes from a different musical background, be it jazz, rock, pop, or classical. This strange brew of musical styles combines to produce a singular sound that exhibits definite aspects of each discipline. The resulting concoction bedizens itself in a balanced, stylishly textured sound that's surprisingly satisfactory.
The biggest, and most satisfying, surprise the band's musical elements is the vocalist, Sir Jack Weppler, whose voice resembles Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame, and Pat Monahan of Train. A caveat though, that Weppler's voice evokes those of his more famous brethren, he avoids imitation which, for a vocalist, is the kiss of death. Infused with his own brand of distinctive zest, Weppler's voice is sui generis; he owns it and knows how to use it.
The first track on their new self-titled album is "Flood of XIV," a light rock tune certainly influenced by the alternative scene. The song's melody, in conjunction with Weppler's voice, does sound a little too much like Maroon 5 or Train to allow Sir Cadian Rhythm to truly capitalize on it. Still, the song does establish the band's credentials. It's well arranged, has bounce to it as it progresses, and demonstrates the group's ability to compose music.
"Holly's On Fire," the second track, may be the best song on the album and the most commercial. It's progressive rock distilled in Latin Jazz. But what really sets it apart is the introduction of a 1950s-style Big Band element. Imagine Benny Goodman backing up Robert Palmer at the Tropicana in Havana, circa 1954, as Robert belts out "Bad Case of Loving You." Rocking guitars, blaring brass, dynamic drums and jazz-infused salsa. The title of the song nails it: it's on fire.
Alternative rock makes another appearance on "Ouroboros." Unlike the serpent of the same name, the song doesn't devour itself. It starts off lightly, and then builds on the strength of Sir Alex Laudani's excellent guitar work, which is intricate and potent. There are some extraordinary licks in the middle of the song.
The last two tracks on Sir Cadian Rhythm are "Run Around Town" and "Villain Fear." Compared to the other tracks, both disappoint. "Run Around Town" is a vain attempt at jazz rock that's too subdued to work, as if suffering from a deficiency of Vitamin B-12. The song needs to eschew vegetarianism and add some beef to its diet. "Villain Fear" fares a little better, coming across as a jazz-influenced ballad. It's pretty, but lacks gumption.
All in all, despite the two diluted tracks, Sir Cadian Rhythm is a first-rate album. "Holly's On Fire" alone is simply marvelous, well-worth the price of admission. And on the whole, the energy driving the band is palpable, and the music generates a vivacity of expression that is both original and engaging.