Shrink is the debut album of The Blood Rush Hour, a trans-Atlantic band formed early in 2011. It is a fourteen song CD featuring the songs of Robert DeStefano, singer and keyboard player. The album is difficult to describe in many ways. The songs on Shrink are quite varied in their presentation and style, yet there is a definite unique sound. When asked who or what does it sound like Robert always finds himself speechless. Eventually he will say well, I use backing vocals quite a bit because I love the sound of the human voice. I m a big fan of melody, so the songs will generally feature melodies of more than two or three notes. I like guitars, lots of guitars. My favourite cd s are ones in which there are a variety of styles presented, lyrics that are well-written and thoughtful, and music that doesn t sound as if it were written by someone who can only play the white keys on a keyboard. Does that clear things up? Clear as mud. I suppose that it may be easier to repeat the words of Sean Magee, the mastering engineer at Abbey Road Studio. Sean said This music is very, very interesting, yet easy to listen to. Most interesting music can by a bit tough to sit through, but this, well, there s so much going on yet there is great space in the music and it s filled with hooks. Others have noted that while the songs are fairly accessible, they also reward repeated listening and get better with each listen. That s the best we can do to describe this album. Why don t you give Shrink a listen and let us know what you think?
About the Artist
In late 2010 Robert returned to Wales from a visit to the States with two partially recorded songs that he had written during his tenure with an earlier band. His search for a quality studio in which he could finish the songs led him presently to Sonic One Studio in Llangennech. There he met Tim, studio owner, in-house session bassist and guitarist, and an engineering mega-mind. Robert recognised Tim as not only a musical kindred, but also as a person who is particularly adroit at understanding and implementing a musical vision. With promises of fame, fortune, and cookies, Robert hoodwinked Tim into forming a band for a fourteen song CD. Oh, and Robert also told a bit of a porker to Tim about already having the fourteen songs written and ready. Keep that to yourself, because I think Tim still believes it. Jack's RickenbackerWhile Robert is a multi-instrumentalist, his instrument of choice is the keyboard. Robert and Tim concluded that additional pickers and strummers were required. Robert put in a trans-Atlantic call to his brother Jack, a twelve string player of some renown, and asked him to join as well. After Jack s initial reply of Go to hell! I never liked you much anyway he reconsidered. This was mainly because Robert promised him free air fare, room and board, along with a pledge to paint Jack s garage upon his next visit State-side. Robert then discerned the need for a special type of guitarist namely a left-hander who does not play a left-handed guitar but instead, plays a right-handed guitar upside down. Additionally, Robert wanted this guitarist to use a finger, a thumb perhaps, instead of a plectrum. This special guitarist would also need to be a multi-instrumentalist and a vocalist. But where would he find such a guitarist? As luck would have it, Robert s dear friend Peter fit that bill perfectly. But would Peter join the group? Absolutely! Peter's Left Handed Fender TelecasterIn late Spring of 2011 Robert and Tim began recording the basic rhythm tracks of what would eventually become Shrink. Inasmuch as international rehearsals, despite conference calling and Skype, are problematic at best, Tim emailed the rhythm tracks to the American members who then rehearsed together. Jack and Peter then made two trips to Wales to record their bits for Shrink, the first a two-week visit in November of 2011 and another two-week stint in April of 2012. Robert chose the group name The Blood Rush Hour for a few reasons. Firstly, it reflects the one-hour psychotherapy session, which made sense as Robert is a trained shrink. Also, an hour is the approximate time it takes one to listen to the entire Shrink CD. Finally, the phrase blood rush hour comes from the Vivian Stanshall lyrics to the Bonzo Dog Band song Busted, a particular favourite of Robert s. Robert also called on some of his favourite singers and musicians to help out on Shrink. This included Scott A.Evans, the bassist/vocalist/guitarist with whom Robert played in an earlier band, whose unique tenor graces the chorus of Into the Fire. Christian Phillips, late of the Sonic Executive Sessions, offered his dulcet, Carl Wilsonesque tones to the project. Mal H.Limit, local drummer and all around good lad, beat the tubs throughout and Andrew Griffiths and Angharad Edmunds added horns and violins respectively. The Blood Rush Hour eagerly await the release of Shrink. Will they be out on tour soon? In the immortal words of Tom T. Hall, one of these days we might be in your town.