Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

July 12, 2012

NineDollarMelonBaller ~ Seeing In The Dark

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Style: pop rock, hard rock
Label: Surgeland Records
Year: 2000
Home: Iowa (disbanded)

Members: Marc Barry ~ guitar/vocals/drums
Mike Linsey ~ drums
Brandon Mills ~ bass

Additional: Denny Gibbs, Matt Hartleip ~ n/a
Tom Barry, Jack Graham, Kathy Cameron, Tom Tritle, David Rachor ~ strings

I was recently talking with someone about the ways I keep up with new music to review. I confessed that I didn't do a very good job at it, often relying on submissions & promotional companies & even then, I get to things long after the street date & initial buzz. I look at my delay as reminding people the album still exists. I also said that I wasn't very good at covering new releases, on the whole, as many of the new bands don't interest me. Those who read this blog regularly may see that I have an affinity for 80's/90's rock & music that stems directly from that era. I do like a lot of new music. Some genres I know little about & wish I would review more often but just don't have their music at my fingertips. Other styles I tend to avoid as it generally doesn't interest me, beyond the the casual needle in the haystack. It's no secret I'm not a punk fan, regardless of era. While the new music that calls itself alt rock tends to bore me with its slashing guitars, lack of interesting solos & screaming vocals. I prefer the alt rock of the 80's & 90's, I said in the conversation, the era when alt rock still meant Dave Matthews Band or Hootie & The Blowfish. 9DMB fits the bill of the last era of the alt rock I find enjoyable. Seeing In the Dark, their third & final album, falls heavily under the shadow of the hard rock band Live, but without the heavy spirituality dominating the mood. Though primarily an acoustic outing, the harder moments, the undoubtable highlights, have that same somewhat funky unpredictable stop/start rhythm & strained vocals & chorus that Live made popular (i.e. "Nothing At All", "Drown", "Brother James", "Is There Any Reason?", "Insomnia", "Reconciliation"). But, they also throw into the mix a dose of the heartland (i.e. "Moving Mountains", "Marco Polo", "Trapped"). Though, some might feel more comfortable calling it more akin to the acoustic/electric commercial pop of Bare Naked Ladies, sans the humor, or Hootie (i.e. "King For A Day", "Selfish Acts Of Kindness", "Dogged", "Years Ago"). Sadly, Seeing In The Dark got ignored in the post-grunge world of 2000 where their friendly sound was no longer the popular trend. But, a decade later the music no longer sounds out of place & appeals to a wide audience. If anything, though, the album does have a heavy commercial sheen which some might find uncomfortable, but its no worse than any of their contemporaries. Formed in 1996, 9DMB was led by frontman & songwriter Marc Barry. Who knows where he is now, but if he's still doing music Seeing In The Dark is a great album to show off his many sides. I could imagine him doing straight hard rock, folk or country. It should be mentioned that the track “Marco Polo” has been featured on two Columbine tribute albums, while 9DMB was also heard on CD Baby's first Mp3 compilation, MTV, the Disney Channel, ABC & the show 'Dog The Bounty Hunter'. Seeing In The Dark is one of the few releases from indie label Surgeland Records, also responsible for releasing music by vocalist Kelly Keeling of Baton Rouge & promoting many other musicians including members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Carmine Appice, Asia with John Payne, & prog royalty Erik Nordlander & Lana Lane.

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