The ability to blend and mix musical genres to create a truly unique expression is no easy task. If you go too heavy in one direction and sparingly drop hints of another, it can sound forced and contrived. But if you work your magic and can find that sweet spot- where genres criss and cross seamlessly expanding upon one another, you can find yourself in refreshing, unchartered waters. Noise Ratio are a shining example of this. Noise Ratio perfectly blend a combination of alternative rock leanings with perfectly place industrial instrumentation. The result is a syle of music that will haunt and mesmerize you.
Jeff Valput, the creative mastermind behind Noise Ratio serves as the band’s sole member. He handles all the song-writing, vocals and instruments. The band recently released Songs on Fire. Through the album’s ten tracks, Valput weaves through dark, ominous passages brought to life with his intense, yet vulnerable vocal approach. “Trial and Error”, the second song on the album, delivers on Valput’s promise.
The track kicks off with a symphonic assault. It’s unexpected. You’re left guessing what you may be in for. Quickly single piano notes fall into place, carrying the song into its first verse. The drums possess a very Nine Inch Nails-esque characteristic. They chant and rattle, lending a feeling of unease all while setting the song up. Valput’s vocals haunt. You can hear a bit of Ben Folds in his cadence; a very welcome surprise. His vocal’s work on a number of levels. They present a new-wave 80’s type feel. It’s not totally out of left field but again, adds a nice layer to the overall picture.
When the song’s chorus takes shape, the wonderful mashing of genres comes to fruition. You can’t help but admire the transition. It throws in an array of industrial, atmospheric sounds while continuing the driving, forceful attack of the verses. Valput sings, “No dice. No luck” over a harmonious marriage of musical eccentricities.
Valput’s approach to song-writing is unique. It carries a take no prisoners approach. The music isn’t compromising. In order to perfectly express his desired sound, he leaves nothing on the cutting room floor. The multiple instruments, including the brash, alt-rock guitar later in the song fits perfectly. It’s not there just to be there. It serves the song; helping to further add depth while rounding out the song.
West Virginia’s Noise Ratio are positively a band worth checking out. Especially if your tastes lie to piano-driven, charismatic vocals and melancholy melodies. Check out Noise Ratio on Facebook and Youtube and absolutely check out Songs on Fire.