Written by Dustin Sclafani
Here we are, two months into the head-throbbing, gut-wrenching hangover that was 2020. After a battle for America’s soul, peaked in a terrorist insurrection, sponsored by a desperate con-man losing power, on January 6, 2021, it is easy to sit back and think ‘Whelp the dumpster is burning, just let the flames engulf you.’
Well, that is not the message on the record, Survivors, by NYC soulful rock band, Onism E. Does hope spring eternal? Of course not, but as frontwoman, Eline Chavez, conveys, track after track whether on “Stay,” as she longs for the community to “stay, don’t you set me free I’ll give you my everything” or the title track, “Survivors,” where she states “Only love can save me now,” you truly feel her heartbreak and understand that, although 2020 may have been fueled by hate and misunderstanding, it is love and open communication that is the key to truly be a survivor.
The musicianship on this record is so honest and beautiful, at times pulling us down the Jefferson Airplane vein with trippy guitars, played by Chris “Lefty” Vargas, clashing and painting the sonic landscape for Chavez to lament about not knowing how to “reach for you” on “Reach.”
Our the amazing heartbeat of the bass, Chris “CeeRod” Rodriguez, playing a slight samba on “Be Strong” or dancing around Raj Arenas slight shuffle in “My America.”
This record has brought me back to every small venue I once randomly walked into and discovered the real talent that your town has to offer. It is refreshing and raw. Chavez‘ delivery can be compared to Melissa Etheridge, Grace Slick, and Bonnie Raitt, as it comes from that same heartbreaking world of the soul, but trust me her point of view is 100% original and you all will be blessed with the message of hope Survivors gives you.
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