6BN-PDB Relentless

3 July 2016
Written by Sean Willoughby 

The Paul DesLauriers Band Releases "Relentless" on an Unsuspecting Public!

Photos by Phil Brisse
Although the album is dirtier and greasier than its' predecessor, Harrisson has taken a unique approach to timekeeping and applies it in good form from start to finish, keeping the balance in check. He could have thrashed away and they would still be great songs, but his methodology allows the compositions to remain under control giving the guitarist ample opportunity to shine. Hard pressed to define the style, the writer approached the source and asked the drummer what technique he had applied, to which the reply came, "that's jungle shit man!". Harrisson's experience pays off in spades. I'm Your Man and Wipes Away Your Sin are prime examples.

Relentless is the result of three musicians sitting down in the same room and bouncing ideas off of each other until a kernel is conceived, which then triggers a process that the trio feeds off of. It's an almost lost art in this day and age of being able to share files electronically. In person jamming and recording gives music a different vibe which Relentless lends evidence to. Make You Move has a complete jam feeling to it with hints of The James Gang, The Stones, and Grand Funk. With Relentless, the trio finally finds its' true voice- their IBC success in Memphis confirmed a lot of things for them.
Having played together for a month of Sundays, Paul DesLauriers, Sam Harrisson, and Greg Morency have knuckled down over the past few years. The road hardened vets branded themselves as the Paul DesLauriers Band (more affectionately known as PDB) and subsequently released their self-titled freshman CD under that moniker in 2014. The creative juices have been overflowing since, so the trio began working on the follow up in late 2015, and the resulting Relentless was unleashed on the public at large in early June 2016.
  
The disc kicks off with a theme statement, titled Stewtro Rock, with a heavy riff that should have 70's guitarists looking over their shoulders. This song has more crunch than the good Captain himself. The rest of the album, while not as raunchy, is groove driven rock and blues. Ten Feet Tall could (and should) well become a staple in every radio station's regular rotation. If I Still Had You is done in a classic blues vein while We Just Might is the firestarter uptempo party tune (with Harrison undoubtably heeding Christopher Walken's advice for more cowbell!).
While great rhythm sections are defined by knowing what to leave out, the next level is knowing where to add. Those additions on Relentless are quite subtle, yet prominent. A few weeks ago I was listening to a recording that Morency was featured on over 10 years ago and I was blown away with some of his playing. In person Morency is courteous, refined, and his tone is always kept 
at the same level, whether telling a joke or telling someone off, but said in a way that is clearly understood. Those characteristics sum up his bass playing throughout Relentless.

All said and done, this is a great listen. Oh yeah... there's also some guitar playing on the album as well...ok, some good...no...some flipping awesome guitar work. DesLauriers' playing is controlled anger, that's how it can best be described. Great riffing throughout, and solos galore, each one as impressive as the last. Still Under My Skin has an Eeyore pace to it only to see Pooh get torn to shreds by Tigger when the solo kicks in. Up in the Air, losing it's rhythm guitar to be taken over by some inspiring slide playing, doesn't miss a beat. Four Kings, six strings, and Memphis bound for a reason. Vocally, DesLauriers seems to have stretched a little further that what we've been accustomed to hearing from him. Some great melodic deliveries and grit.
I have to admit that when I first listened to Relentless it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I believe that’s what won me over. It isn’t simply a rehash of leftover material from the previous release. The tunes are fresh, aggressive, and powerful and are all originals. It took me a few spins before the infectious venom set in, but it has, and there is no antivenin to cure it.
Sláinte,
Sean
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