Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Whiteboard Project - A progression in progress.

Kicking off their first Western Canada Tour, The Whiteboard Project, in my opinion, gives new meaning to unrealized potential. I say this because two thirds of this hard rock/light metal trio are amazingly talented while the third member is more of a novice that seems to bring down the band rather than help to hold it up. It's really an unfortunate scenario. Now don't get me wrong, they are a talented band, but they would probably do better to add more creativity and talent to the front line. Their lead singer/lead guitar player appears to not be at the same level as the rest of the band, and really leaves something to be desired. Seemingly playing simple chords, and singing in a pitchless scream, I have to wonder if friendship is more important than the life of the band. I will admit that Paul did have some shining moment on the guitar, but they were far and few between, sadly surrounded by lackluster solo's and basic heavy handed rifts. Although, as a frontman, he does have great charisma and connects well with the crowd....when he's not focused solely on his slight finger movement of course.
Moving on to the better half, percussion and bass.
When it comes to bassist Mark O'Halloran all I can say is "Wow"! With an apparent jazz background he add's originality and complexity to an otherwise repetitive sound. The jazzed up undertones flowing from the bass take this band from basic to progressive. Mark creates a sound that pushes through the music and becomes more like a low pitched melodic guitar than a bass line. He definitely stole the spotlight with cool toned solos, and came together with Paul to create excellent full sounding harmonies. I think Mark's only fault was his attempt at singing, I mean the boy can scream, but should really leave the singing to the pro's.
Now, in the back on drums we have Jeff Laird. In a three piece band you either have to have an amazing lead guitar or a creative and powerfully talented drummer to create a full sound, The Whiteboard Project has Jeff. His precision drumming, and fantastic energy drew me in and held my attention for most of the set. While the intensity and my interest were lost for the more amateur sounding down tempo songs, Jeff makes sure to bring it all back with heart pounding drum fills and creatively strong party style beats. The only issue I have is that there were a lot of similarities between songs and I would have preferred more noticeable differences rather than subtle changes. At the end of the day, I was impressed and intrigued, I wasn't expecting that much raw talent...especially from Nanaimo. Kudos.
Overall, The Whiteboard Project produces good music, not great, but with time and more experience they very well could be. With simple and relateable lyrics, original bass lines plus hard hitting, fast paced precision drumming, these guys have all the makings of an up and coming band. Throw in some vocal lessons for Paul Jacobs and possibly a new lead guitar player with more creative fingering and you've got a contender. These guys have an eclectic sound with amazing moments of originality. I am definitely interested and excited to watch their progression. So with that, I will say to check these guys out and continue to support local music.

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