Even though teenage bands are not something new, I continue to be amazed at the amazing talent coming from adolescents these days. One of the more intriguing teenage bands to hit my virtual desk is Culture Shock!. Originally formed about four years ago by Ben Archer (bass and vocals) and Ethan Reinek (drums), Culture Shock! began as some jamming between old friends. In 2020, the lads met Travis Rains (guitar and mouth noises) and they haven’t looked back since. The latest addition to their discography is the single ‘Empire’.
Inspired by the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, TOOL and Muse, one can imagine the US-based trio to have a hard-hitting rock sound – and this is just what we get from them. Following their debut single ‘Flashflood’, ‘Empire’ has a nostalgic breath fluttering through the melody with inclinations to Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Yet, we also hear tinges of TOOL and System of a Down flickering in the hard-hitting tune.
Leaning toward the sounds of the 90s, I feel very comfortable listening to Culture Shock! and remember rocking about to CDs in my bedroom. I can feel the blare of scorching music blasting from my speakers – then I need to remind myself that this is not Nirvana or Green Day. While the eclectic arrangement elegantly staggers pounding drums, powerful guitars and gruff vocals, there is an eccentric whole where all aspects harmonically come together.
Recorded at Cape Coral, Florida’s The Star Sound Studio, Culture Shock! worked with an engineer to create something raw and brutal, but also soothing and soul-stirring. It is this raw oozing edginess from the gruff instrumentation that makes ‘Empire’ palpably gritty. In other words, the kids seem really naïve, but this immaturity masks an overwhelming sophistication. This is only their sophomore single, so I cannot wait to hear what else Culture Shock! has in store.
For more information about Culture Shock!, check out their official website, Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Spotify.
This artist was discovered via Musosoup #sustainablecurator