It’s awfully hard to do anything in the pop/rock genre that hasn’t already been done before, but this isn’t stopping folks like Jeremy Rice from trying their best to break new ground in a style of music as familiar to the planet as oxygen. Rice’s new single “Underneath the Ground” is more or less an experiment in aesthetical hybridity that desperately wants to veer further left than its leading man will ever allow; thus, it ultimately feels a little incomplete. However, the bedrock of this composition and its accompanying music video are important for one key reason – they represent a fight and fearlessness in Jeremy Rice far too uncommon in popular music today.

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The music video for “Underneath the Ground” is actually a little more original in spirit than its source material is in my opinion, and to this end it does a lot to enhance the theme, aesthetics and melodic wizardry of the track through its image-based filtration. It’s in this video that we start to understand the principles of the piece a bit better, primarily the spacey, almost neo-psychedelic edging that Rice gives the chorus (not to mention the reggae-infused beat he works off of from the start of the song).

Rice’s lead vocal comes off as being rather over the top exclusively because of the manner in which it’s been mixed, and not because of anything wrong in his singing style. His voice is truly one of the more solid elements in the main harmony we discover in “Underneath the Ground,” and were it not having to compete with the occasional swell of the bass part ahead of the chorus, its charm might have been easier to appreciate. It’s simply a case of botched cosmetics meshing with material that was meant to be treated more delicately; in reality, this is still one of the more provocative compositions Rice has released.

APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/album/jeremy-rice-and-the-legendary-fist-of-takinawa/1479796320?i=1479796325&ign-gact=3&ls=1

The general interest in Jeremy Rice’s music has been steadily growing in the past year, and with just a couple of minor revisions to his studio game, I believe he’s going to ready to take on just about any competitor in the business. Pop music is defined generationally, and out of those emerging from his local scene I think this is one indie rock singer/songwriter that doesn’t need to worry about his long-term viability in the industry – he definitely authenticates his worth as an artist here.

Sebastian Cole