Herman Martinez released the much-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s Solopsi Radio, this summer’s Secret Doors Hidden Stairs. Working with Ahmed Mahmoud and Hank Yaghooti, all three of these men are seasoned vets who’ve played their fair share of shows in the New York City/New Jersey rock scene from the infamous CBGB’s to The Bitter End to The Knitting Factory. Together they’ve brought all their skills to the table for Herman Martinez’s sophomore release. Influenced by bands such as Pink Floyd, Soundgarden and Radiohead. Experimental rock at its finest, but heavily relying on the fall out of the 90s is where it drops.
And drop like a bomb it does. Wow is all one can say after hearing it just once. It’s like everything comes right back in just one artist/band. It makes me keep an eye on Herman Martinez, and-also want to hear his first album to see what it has-to offer. That’s the best thing an album can really do these day. You also have-to give it up for anyone with the guts to come on so big sounding anymore. The bands of today should stand up and listen. The opening track alone is one of the most interesting alternative rock tracks to be heard in years, either that or I’ve been out of the loop. “Phonic Chronicles” knocks you off your feet, with what sounds like an all-out homage to Layne Staley. There’s much more to it of course, but you get the picture. It sounds like they’re coming right out of Seattle, but Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin also comes to mind. There’s much to soak up in this this one song it’s worth everything to credit. The vocals are layered and the guitars soar over the whole song with searing, incendiary fills. I’d consider this for a single because it’s enough to draw attention across the board. If not, there’s so much more where that came from it’s almost too much.
Dig as far into “Spoonbender” as you can, with its almost Creed like sound, but it also has its own wings to fly, with much of its own moxie. Even though you get the feeling it’s been in your ears before, it’s just the style and overall sound playing tricks on you. Listen to it enough and it stands on its own two feet. That goes for every track, but the mellower ones are what deliver the goods to me. This is one of them, about being in a cage within a cage and trying to get out. It’s a mesmerizing track with some tasty piano that puts the icing on the cake with double thickness.
Other highlights include “Sculptor” with its smooth acoustic guitar lines and moments that bring back memories of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. This is another mellow cut with all the classic trimmings. Singing of legends and bygone times. It drones on a little long but it’s such a majestic track it comes highly recommended for all it’s worth. Even the token novelty titled “Clusterfux” has a lot to offer in the meditation department with one of the most mind melting tracks, and once again one of the mellowest. For all the hard rocking they do, it sure does please on every other level as well. “Recreate” closes with an appropriate title indeed.
SOLOPSI RADIO: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/solopsi-radio/id1046752127