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Ebb N Flow | Airplay | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop
by Scott Hefflon
Finding a band like Ebb-N-Flow in the always-overflowing box of "never-heard-of-'em"s is the rare payoff for listening to each and every CD that comes into this place. 300 CDs a month, for those keeping score. This three-piece is from Milwaukee, WI, a town I've never been to, might get lucky and kinda come close to if I tried pointing to on a map ("up top, near those lakes," right?), and a town I'm not in the habit of reviewing unsigned music from. Cuz, yes, Ebb-N-Flow are unsigned. They have four songs on mp3.com, for those who want to avoid their website, which seems to take a while to load the rather simple pages. The few people I've played Ebb-N-Flow for (ok, so I burned a couple copies, but for writers who now reference the band and include them on their playlists at the bottom of their emails) unanimously responded, "Wow, who are these guys?"
Three guys from Milwaukee, WI who've been compared to Travis and Coldplay. That oughtta peak some interest... Furthermore (cuz I can't leave it at that, cuz others said that and it's kind of, well, obvious and slightly misleading, but that's how I feel about many of my "peer" journalists, ya know?), there's an odd Dennis De Young vocal quality here (he sang for Styx, which isn't nearly as icky as you might think, once you get passed that foul "Mr. Roboto" taste), and a sweet, complex, dynamic songwriting style like Muse or Ours or a few of the better Jeff Buckley/Radiohead-inspired rock bands. You know, the near-pretentious, wide-reaching vocal style that whispers and belts it out, then delicately offers a frail falsetto that almost makes you clear your throat and scratch your balls cuz it's kind of, ya know, sissyish, but you go with it cuz it's pure, like blue skies and light rain and the heart-warming, huge smile-inducing feeling you get when you play with a small child and their face just lights up.
I don't know if these guys are rock star dicks or indie elitists or cool humble musicians who know their shit, but I urge you to check them out and find out for yourself. Unless they're ugly quadriplegics with extra limbs sticking out of places they shouldn't be, you'd like to think that on sheer talent alone, a band like Ebb-N-Flow will become "huge," or at least a reference point among people who know and love great music.