Recently a unique, alternative-rock band called Erudition has been gaining ground. The band was constructed in Bolivar, New York and involves three talented musicians Josh Wells, Justin Sabel, and Shawn Chase – who have created a lot of tracks together. Managed by Shariff James, fronted by Josh who also plays lead guitarist, with Justin on bass and Shawn sounding the drums, they say that “each song we write is a completely new idea”. The guys stay busy and all have gigs outside of the band as well. Josh and Justin manage and work at a Seven Eleven, while Shawn runs Blind Sun Enterprises which is compiled of the studio Overgrown Music and Art Festival Record Label and Vision Moch Media. The band’s soul is based on exploring music without limitations or “a musical journey without restrictions”. So far the band has frequented at Montage Music Hall, recorded with Leesta Vall Sound Recordings, and played at Weedstock Festival as well as Happy Meadows as their earlier cover band project known as Those Guys. They have since been working hard on creating new content for Erudition including not just one, but two albums, Chapter One being a ten track full length record. Erudition has also already reached almost four and a half thousand streams through Amazon and they are hungry for more as they plan on going back to playing to live crowds one the COVID-19 pandemic is sorted out.
The three piece created the record Chapter One, which came fully into fruition on August 15th, 2020. The full length album embodies ten songs that are all full of raw passion, alternative style rock and a dash of funk. Chapter Ones’ cover features awesome art that was created by Josh’s late Uncle. The ten tracks; Killer, Lost Memories, Out of Reach, The Blackest Night, Judgement, Jaded, Despondent, Take Me Away, Asylum, and Hope-are all unnervingly unique.
The first track is called Killer and it is actually one of my favorites. Justin starts off the entire record with a killer but super funky, bass line. Shawn kicks up the beat on drums with a (for once, lol) sick sounding snare, followed by a few sick electric guitar riffs and hard lyrics that seem to flow straight off of Josh’s tongue. I love tracks like this because its one that you can tell will just end up as a classic with its unique funky vibes and catchy lyrics.
Lost Memories gets interesting as it starts off with a radio-like static that fades in and out with a light drum beat mixed with bass before hearing Josh come in shredding on electric guitar and belting out powerful, upbeat-like vocals. The end of each chorus slows us down and pulls us back into its clutches before the music proceeds to blend back into this chaotic beauty, ending the same way it started off- with radio static, which is probably my favorite part about this track other than the mix between the two different styles it embodies.
Out of Reach keeps us intrigued by starting the track with with a fast, upbeat rock themed tune that kind of sounds like it’s straight from an old, first-person shooter video game. This somehow ties perfectly in with ominous and eerie lyrics about a love, creating a very unusually satisfying track. The lyrics are extremely catchy and I caught myself singing along, even just the first couple times listening to it.
The next song, The Blackest Night, has a slower more ballad feel to it. It begins with a short and sweet, melodious guitar solo, that soon welcomes a jazzy bass and drum pulsation thanks to Justin and Shawn. The dark but extremely poetic lyrics from Josh, layer in and the track almost takes flight with an uplifting energy despite the depressing words he sings. The few beautiful guitar riffs throughout this song really back the melody and help pull it all together, making it a longer, alternative rock but smooth beat. All of the musical aspects combined give the track an Offspring feel with hints of Celtic energy. I personally think this one could become a classic for them as well.
Judgement has a heart stopping beginning, the sound of a gavel pounds on a podium and a strong male voice says “All rise for the God of new beginnings” while the music starts in the background. The track is hard rock style with an echo effect on the vocals. The lyrics are poetic and from the way the words are so smoothly written with it’s literary devices, to the way they slip through Josh’s lips. We also get to hear him shred on the guitar. The track takes us out just as it brought us in, with our faithful Judge and the pounding of the gavel.
Jaded is track number six. Slower than most of the tracks on this ten song album, Jaded has a jazzy-rock vibe to it. This track showcases a euphonious guitar solo, before harmonizing with Josh’s voice. This song involves the perfect vocal synth effects, making it’s vibe cheerful but almost slightly demonic; fully embodying the true essence of the tracks title. Mixed with the slow but hard rock music the track comes to life.
Next on the record, Despondent, has us jump right in with an immediate cymbal crash to begin the steady reggae but retro beat that seems to consume the notes in the best way. The other aspect that really frames this track is the bridge, bringing an alternative-rock energy before we are thrown back into the original Offspring like beat. The chorus of Despondent had me singing along, with it’s catchy retro, reggae layers.
Take Me Away does just that, takes me away to a land of of hard but harmonized rock. Similar to Despondent, we hear a clash of a cymbal, except in this song, the sound is articulated to draw out. Josh chimes in on the electric guitar while Shawn is drilling on the drums. Mix all of this with the bass layer from Justin and this track immediately forms a hard rock energy full of bad-assery; especially in the chorus, where I believe you can fully appreciate the layers. Take Me Away has that Offspring feel to it like in Despondent or The Blackest Night. This energy with the layers, raw vocals, and meaningful lyrics combined, really complete it and make this track hard to forget.
The unexpected clattering, scattered chatter, groaning and laughing keeps us intrigued as the beginning of track ten, Asylum, starts. I never really thought that using noises and sounds that you hear in an asylum would be this pleasing to the ear, especially not in a song that isn’t full on metal but I was wrong. The eeriness of it all is something that fans and listeners won’t want to miss when consuming. The unsettling sounds set the tone up perfect for the slow, dark, ominous instrumentals to follow. Even the lyrics and vocals fit the theme, including some growling amongst the organized chaos. The ending is just as good as the beginning, fading out into an array of disrupting sounds of an asylum again. Everything about this song is dark and so I, of course, love it! It’s a track that I think you really need to listen to in order to understand how it charms you.
Hope is yet another unique track on this ten track album. It starts with a sermon playing over Josh shredding on the electric guitar before Shawn shifts the beat up on the drums, making room in the layers for Josh to chime in with the vocals. The essence of this song reminds me of “The Smith’s” mixed with a harder rock sound. The rhythmic drum beat really guides you through the music even during the awesome guitar solo- that Josh kills. The record ends by Hope taking us out the way it began, dramatically, with the vocals fading out into the same sermon that plays over some electric guitar and what sounds like a violin with a touch of piano.
As a collective, Chapter One, is an intoxicating experience. The ten track record was definitely a perfect start to Erudition‘s non-restricted journey. The band also already has a visual video made for each song that you can see and listen to the album via their YouTube channel and you can buy their music digitally to stream on Amazon for $6.99.
Erudition has already started on recording the second album. Carrions Boat, Pans Lament and possibly Story, Alexandria.