Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winston Audio at Mac's Bar

It was an early show on a Tuesday night, but Winston Audio wasted no time getting to the core of their music. The band played for a small crowd at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, and immediately filled the room with a unique sound: one part grunge, one part Southern rock and just a hint of eerie, circus-like keyboard.

The band isn’t new to the local scene – guitar player Daniel Gleason is a Lansing native so they tour the area like it’s a second home.

The rest of the members of Winston Audio are from Georgia, which is reflected in their sound. The band’s music is aggressive and honest, almost noble in its consistency. It’s not predictable by any means, but every song is true to the band’s grunge influences and Southern roots.

On Tuesday, the band started out with “Distortion”, a new song not featured on their album The Red Rhythm. They also played songs from the album, notably “Hey Ann,” written for a friend of bass player, vocalist and lyricist Daniel DeWitt who was killed in a car accident.

DeWitt’s lyrics are good, and he executes them with purpose. Every word is necessary, emotional. His writing is influenced by his faith, and a lot of the songs focus on honest reconciliation with God.

The name “Winston Audio” – an anagram for “I wait on sound” – has been around longer than any of the band members. There has been some form of Winston Audio since 2001, but with an entirely different lineup. In 2006, the group had a major reconstruction and found its place in the modern grunge vein.

Winston Audio sets its own parameters for its music; the members have a specific sound in mind and they want to stick to it. The songs are structured, and it’s from that structure that the originality emerges.

My favorite song of the night by far was “On My Trail.” It’s a slow, emotional song with a beat so deliberate that nobody watching was left standing still. I was sad to see this one end and will definitely be looking out for this band to come back to Michigan so I can hear them play it again.

Winston Audio also features Zach Brown on guitar, Jon Cole on keyboard and Shane Lenzen O’Connell on drum set. You can listen to the band and purchase their full length album on their Myspace page.

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