Penna – ChemicalGod

Penna - ChemicalGod

It’s not always necessary to collaborate with others to make music. Although, it’s often a wise choice to do so just to have differing sets of ears and perspectives to aid in the process. This is precisely the point of having various levels of production (from mixing to mastering). Despite this fact, if you have enough talent, vision, and work ethic, you can make music all by your lonesome. While we’re on this subject, let’s talk about ChemicalGod, the debut EP from Penna.

Penna is the brainchild of David Penna, a musician from the Big Apple who has made a career both by being a solo artist and by working with other bands and musicians in the past. Penna is not a full band, as far as what I can tell, only a project. A check of Penna’s Facebook reveals no pictures of a band but only what I assume to be David Penna working solo in the studio.

The project draws influences from acts such as Deftones, Jawbox, and King’s X. However, after listening to the album, I can’t help but draw comparisons to space rock groups like Hum, and Failure. The otherworldly sounds heard on ChemicalGod make it a fitting listen to accompany an evening of stargazing.

The opener, Ghost, seems to be written about a loved one who has passed away. “Last night I saw you in a dream, it’s all I have since you were taken away from me.” As morbid as it may sound, the song is quite uplifting and spiritual. Effects play a big factor here, the most notable being a tremolo effect used on the vocals beginning at 2:19.

Quicksand is a mostly serene track; although, it has its moments of down-tuned heaviness. The guitar is played sparingly during the verse allowing the bass line to shine through. The spacey vibe applies to the vocals as well. There’s something alien-like about them, almost as if they lack certain elements of human emotion.

At 7:35, Change is the longest song on the record. There’s a dissonance to the notes at the start, which might leave you feeling uncomfortable. A soothing chorus helps to smooth things out. As a whole, the musical phrasing makes perfect sense and all the sections to this lengthy piece fit together nicely.

The album ends with Polarity, a rather raw sounding song considering what’s been previously discussed. This one is lighter on the effects side, giving a much more traditional alternative rock vibe. All the same techniques are still used, but this change in experimentation makes Polarity unique among the rest.

As previously stated, there is not always a need for multiple songwriters or producers to make something good and I sincerely believe that there is no need for such on this project. However, I do hope this project forms into a full band, listening to music like this live has the potential to be an entirely different experience on its own.

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