Title: I Know Your Voice
Label: YMA Records
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Review By: Scott L
02. Love Is War
04. Outside Your Window
05. Tear Me Down
07. Where Are You
08. Run Away
10. Hello Liberty
11. The Missing
12. Get It Away
There’s a whole lot to be said about straight up, melodic modern rock. And Kessler, a 5-piece out of Dallas, Texas, goes a long way towards saying it. I felt an immediate connection to this band. You see the Vancouver Canucks, the soon to be 2009 Stanley Cup champions, have a very gifted young player named Ryan Kessler. Sure these guys spell it with an extra “s”. Sure it’s a weird association. And, hey, as hard as it is to imagine, they might not even be fans of the greatest sport on earth. But the connection was there… and so every time I thought about my beloved Canucks, which is probably way to often, I thought about this band. When I saw that no one had taken the time to review this CD, I knew it was time to get off the bench and make something happen.
“I Know Your Voice” is a 12-track CD that, while not overly imaginative, is still very enjoyable to listen to. Nothing stands out as exceptionally spectacular, but nothing is glaringly deficient either. It’s just a nice solid release. Vocals are fitting, if somewhat strained at times. Guitars are appropriately crunchy. The lead and rhythm pieces are well-layered. The bass and drums drive the songs home with some good thump. The mix is good, as it should be given the fact that this is a label release.
Style-wise, Kessler plays melodic modern rock. And although I’d never call these guys emo, my best description would be something along the lines of Jimmy Eat World meets The Wedding. Strange bedfellows to be sure, but when you listen to it you’ll see what I mean. You may not totally agree, but you’ll at least get what I’m trying to convey.
The standout track for me was “Run Away’. There were catchier songs, but I chose this one was mostly because it showcased the bands’ musicianship so well. My buddy, Cody, however, puts in a plug for “Bravo”, which was my runner-up. Both are great songs.
The downside to all of this is that Kessler is on an indefinite hiatus at this point. I’ll let them explain, “It has been a very busy couple of years filled with many highs and lows. We’ve had some amazing tours with some very great bands and friends, played for thousands, and traveled the entire country multiple times over. Before we go any further please don’t freak out! This doesn’t mean Kessler is breaking up or that you can’t expect to see us performing in the future. It does mean that we are taking the time off to be with our families and re-evaluate God’s plan and purpose for our lives. It also means that the crazy tour schedule of the past is coming to a screeching halt. At this point, we’re really not sure as to the capacity of which Kessler will continue to operate. We all feel very privileged and blessed to have lived our dreams thus far and been able to do what many thought were impossible. The last thing we want to do, however, is continue to do this for however many years down the road and feel like we’ve missed the call of God on our lives. We are each very passionate about music and performing but, at some point you just have to ask yourself if this is all there is. It’s time for a change. This could mean changing the direction of Kessler as a band or quitting altogether. Rest assured, we will keep everyone in the loop when we roll around to the new year. As for shows, we still have a few left this year so if you happen to live close please stop by and hang out for awhile. Who knows, might be the last chance to catch one! We love each and every person out there who has ever been at a show, bought merch, let us sleep on their floors, and have shared in our trials and triumphs over the years. I’m sure this will leave many of you asking a lot of questions but, unfortunately there’s really no answer right now. We are all very excited about the last few shows this year and what 2009 holds for us.”
Overall: Kessler is a smooth modern rock outfit that will get your blood pumping. With the NHL playoffs just around the corner, this would make great music to listen to between periods to keep the momentum going. Go Canucks!!