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Degreed - Degreed

by Jon Conant at 30 October 2017, 12:58 PM

DEGREED is a band that is still relatively young, having released their debut album “Life, love loss” in 2010, but they have been very busy. Their brand new s/t release DEGREED marks their 4th, which is an impressive feat in a span of 7 years. Degreed is interesting, because while on the surface they may appear to be just a modern rock band, the rhythm guitar work on occasion is reminiscent of Djent and heavier Metal riffs. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing in the end, but it is interesting, I’ll give them that.

The first track, “Sugar”, is a pretty textbook opener. Catchy, upbeat, and it’s meant to kick things off to a quick start and to it’s credit it does do that. The lower “Djentier” riffs I referenced can definitely be heard a bit here. But, overall, it is still Rock and Roll through and through.

“Shakedown” is the second track, as well as lead single and music video. It’s rather disappointing; no way to sugarcoat it. It’s a slower and softer track, clearly meant to rely on the hook to draw you in more than anything else. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, but in 2017 when Rock and Roll as a genre is shrinking, you are looking for bands to elevate to new sounds and try new things. While the song is catchy and pleasant to listen to, it sounds like any other hit soft rock single from the last 15 years. Which would have maybe worked out great in 2007, but 10 years later it feels like more of a genre afterthought.

“Save Me” gets back to the quicker and Rock and Roll roots, but there are production issues. While the rhythm guitar is interesting and provides a bit of a heavier riff, it is mixed quite soft and ends up sound underwhelming as opposed to energizing, which was the obvious attempted vibe of the track. Through the middle of the album we see more of the some. Softer Rock that is catchy and pleasant to listen to, but is held back by unoriginal songwriting and occasional production issues.

However, with track 8, we have ourselves a legitimate gem. “War” is quicker, heavier, and isn’t quite like any rock song I’ve heard, which is fantastic. It has steady rhythm guitar metal riffs, and there is a lead guitar line throughout the song that sounds like it was pulled from a video game soundtrack and it gives the track an exciting and unique feel. The drums and bass set a perfect pounding pace, and we hear Robin Ericsson giving his best vocal performance of the album.

All things considered, this album is absolutely not bad. It just lacks creativity, isn’t going anywhere bands haven’t gone before, and is ultimately forgettable. That is, from the average music fan’s standpoint. If laid back NICKELBACK-esque rock that sounds like it’s from 2009 is your jam, you’ll have a great time with this album. It is generally speaking done well, has catchy melodies, and plenty of emotion. You just have to take it for what it is.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Sugar
2. Shake Down
3. Save Me
4. Tomorrow
5. Animal
6. If Love is a Game
7. Evil Eye
8. War
9. Lay Me Down
10. Nature of the Beast
11. Silence
Robin Ericsson - Vocals, Bass
Mats Ericsson - Drums
Micke Jansson - Keyboard
Daniel Johansson - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Gain Music Entertainment


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