With spectacular alternative pop sensibilities, this band has created a strong CD rich of electric guitar ranges and powerful vocals in the vein of Alex Woodard. Aaron Vaughn, the lead vocalist, has a rich yet gritty set of pipes, and the his sound adds the touch of Red Letter Print, Counting Crows or Graham Colton Band to the album - but you can hear a little Staind in it, too. His emotions come across clearly in "Something More" as he sings, "I'm just needing something more from you/Can't put my finger on it/But I can prove/It's not right, it's not right/These things we do/I choose to lose/This fight." A stellar semi-dark album with complete meaning and great rock-and-roll substance.
Favorite Tracks: Nowhere Land, Let Me Be
Rating: 4.5 stars
From the heart of the country, well, Oklahoma, comes this month's first band. Their sound is on the ballad side of rock, with mid-tempo numbers that evenly mix acoustic and electric guitars. They use hooks along with other nice melodic devices that make the young girls lazily swing their arms to the groove of the music. The band might remind you of, say, 3 Doors Down, Matchbox 20, or 10 Large Crates (sorry, I just made that one up) in that they never cut loose like head-banging madmen. No ear-piercing guitar solos or thunderous rhythm sections, just plain pleasing music. The songs are well crafted, and the disc is slickly, but not overly produced. In fact, each song sounds as if it could easily be a hit of the month on any given rock radio station. If there is a knock to be found, it is just that the disc is perhaps too well done. That is, there is stylistic variation, but more a matter of degree than of kind here, and a bit of idiosyncrasy might have been a nice touch. That minor snippet aside, this is a well done disc from songwriting and instrumentation to production.
- Bill Ribas, nyrock.com
You have heard the term cardinal sin, well, in reference to music; we have a band called Cardinal Trait hailing from Oklahoma. This is a twist on a negative term to make it more positive and forceful upon first impression. Therefore, we are off to good start right out of the gate. The title of the album reveals a truth right from the beginning of the opening track "Something More." Their roots rock melodic sound makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, like You Already Know them.
I really enjoyed this album; in fact, I appreciated it immensely because there was not one throwaway track. If you were wondering what this band sounds like, the best way to explain it would be they are a combination of REM, Hootie and the Blowfish and Dave Matthews with a smidgen of the Allman Bros. for good measure. Sounds like heady stuff indeed, however, I did hear all of those influences in their musical output. Each of those bands has a distinct sound and a magnificent reputation for recording quality music. So to say, that they are in good company and going in the right direction is hitting the nail right on the head.
This band has a melodic foundation with a marvelous pop sensibility; they are intelligent, crafty, and very talented at every position in the band. Get ready folks, the south is gonna do it again. They have all the cardinal traits of greatness and I hope you as the listener are curious enough to check them out, if you don't you will be missing one of the best musical rides of 2004. 11/30/2004 Rating-9/10
- Â© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-http://www.muzikreviews.com
Cardinal Trait - You Already Know (Emanon Records)
Cardinal Trait just released their debut on Tulsa's indie label Emanon Records recently, and the effort shows them to be quite the pop-rock machine.
The songs through out the disc are concise and catchy, with enough grit and rock'n'roll behind them to keep the energy up without feeling forced, yet enough polish to make them pure ear candy. This is an album that will appeal to pop-radio listeners and probably the 30-somethings and up that are tired of buzzing and distorted guitars.
Basically, at its core, Cardinal Trait is an acoustically driven rock band with a Southern charm that automatically puts you at ease and draws you into the songs. Never overbearing, the songs are guitar driven with good hooks and strong melodies that will likely have you singing along before you realize it.
My favorites of the disc fall squarely in the middle of the track list with "So Called Friend", "Nowhere Land", and "Ardmore". Whereas most albums are front-loaded with the strongest songs and tend to be weaker at the end of the sequence, You Already Know actually builds to a peak mid-disc and lets the listener slide out the back side of the CD engaged but relaxed.
"Flashback" is the first single that has been sent to radio for airplay consideration, and if Cardinal Trait can get a break, there are probably at least two more potential singles on the album. I'd lean towards the aforementioned "So Called Friend" for pop radio, and possibly "Lately" for adult contemporary stations.
Cardinal Trait may not catch on with the college and modern rock fans, but music fans looking for strong songs and melodies should love it.
- Gary Hizer, Urban Tulsa
This foursome picks apart the best of the world of pop, rock 'n' roll, Americana, and country never sitting back on their laurels for a moment. Armed with a dynamic debut album in "You Already Know", Cardinal Trait are set for a massive amount of possibilities that the mainstream will welcome with open arms.
- J-Sin, smother.net
You Already Know was recorded at Tree Sound Studios - whose clients have included the likes of 3 Doors Down, REM, and Matchbox 20 - in early 2004. It was mixed by Kevin Churko (Ringo Star, Shania Twain, Ozzy Ozbourne) and mastered by GrammyÂ® award winner Ted Jensen (Dave Matthews Band, Norah Jones, Eric Clapton). It is available on the Tulsa-based Indie label, Emanon Records. Whether on your favorite radio station, CD player, or on stage at your favorite venue, Cardinal Trait will make you smile, move you to dance, and perhaps move you to follow your own dreams. Put simply, you ought to know Cardinal Trait. (2004-116)
Check out the artist's website:
1. Something More
2. All For You
3. Every Now and Then
5. So Called Friend
6. Nowhere Land
10. Let Me Be