A Forgotten Collective Crafts an Instant Alt-Rock Classic with "Allegory"
Living, as we are, in a time when even the best "alternative" music can, unfortunately, often sound every bit as contrived and synthetic as its mainstream counterpart, it can be so refreshing to hear an artist take the genre back to its roots with an organic, bare bones release like "Allegory", the debut EP from Atlanta singer/songwriter Josh Padgett's brand new project, A Forgotten Collective.
Already a familiar figure in the local scene for his work as the lead vocalist of progressive metal sextet Palpable Defeat (who released their first album, "Dystopia", late last year), "Allegory" sees Padgett flex his muscles as a multi-instrumentalist and join forces with friend and fellow singer/songwriter Michael Shultz for a concise, but strong set of 6 songs (and one 51 second intro) which explore themes of ambition, personal struggle, social alienation, and more.
Raw (and I use that term in a very positive sense), thoughtful, and undeniably well-crafted, the EP possesses a certain nostalgic warmth, and calls to mind the work of alt-rock pioneers like Neil Young and R.E.M. In fact, it even features a cover of the latter's "South Central Rain (I'm Sorry)". The guitar takes center stage, and Padgett's playing really shines, though never so much that it overpowers his (or Shultz's) subdued, gritty vocals.
Every song flows smoothly into the next, and the record is highly listenable as a single, cohesive artistic statement (a rare accomplishment in the digital age).
A remarkably balanced offering, there's a magnificent blend of melancholy and optimism; angst and tranquility; seriousness and silliness at work on "Allegory". From the defiant, anthemic opening rocker, "Wake Up", to its concluding track - a humorous, drunken homage to Tom Waits (which describes a homemade cocktail as foul and abrasive as the legendary bluesman's haggard voice) penned and sung (in character) by Shultz, the EP manages to be both interesting and fun; intelligent, without the slightest hint of self-importance or pretension.
Put simply...it's a well-written, well-played, and supremely down-to-earth release.