MusicDish e-Journal - January 18, 2018
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Box of Poems - A Contagious Melodic Rock-Pop Debut
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
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Amit Dhar (Electric and Acoustic guitars), Billy Genaurio (Vocals), Johnny Mennonna (Electric Bass), Kenny Schwartz (Drums and percussion), and Rob Vasquez (bass) are the eclectic band Box of Poems. On their new CD, Box of Poems, they feature rock-pop oriented tunes with a contagious melodic foundation that propels them in many different directions during the course of the pleasing recording.

Amit Dhar plays some fine guitar licks, and Billy Genaurio makes it all worthwhile with vocals that are energized and emotional. Every word has a meaning when Genaurio sings. Mennonna and Schwartz are a talented rhythm section that allows Dhar to get into a non-stop groove on guitar, and everything falls into place beautifully for Genaurio to lay his memorable vocals down.

"They feature rock-pop oriented tunes with a contagious melodic foundation that propels them in many different directions."

While rock-pop is the predominant style on this recording, you well hear some nice Latin flavored acoustic guitar, like on the "Pools of my Love." This demonstrates that they are a talented group with different dimensions to offer the listener who is always looking for a little something extra or different with their listening experiences. They certainly do not disappoint the discerning listener, as each track has some surprises that come up during the course of the CD.

While maintaining a certain style and approach is the safe route to take, the music buying public gets the short end of the stick. I think this band understands that perfectly well. The excitement of something new or unexpected happening is reason enough to explore a band like Box of Poems. They take the road less traveled and explore their talents in many different ways. You most certainly will hear uniformity on this CD; however, the mixture and evenness of all of those elements within in each genre covered are what impressed me the most.

Amit Dhar's heritage is in India, and he told me there is a huge untapped market there that he would like to explore. He thinks the accessible music that Box of Poems offers would be very popular there. The college market is another target, as most rock-pop is. I think the fact that they are an independent band may make it a little harder for them to break some markets. However, it makes them more interesting, and the college crowd loves Indie music, particularly the kind that can offer something different.

With the availability of on demand streaming and literally thousands of web radio stations available to market your music to, the options bands have at their fingertips to reach audiences allows any band that is worthy an opportunity to become very well known. Be damned the big labels and their narrow minded thought processes; the Internet has changed everything for bands like Box of Poems. I think once perspective listeners hear all the great music offered on Box of Poems, their popularity will grow exponentially, in direct proportion to the position the band puts itself on the Internet.

"The band felt that for this project, the key to the music was to create a feeling of kinetic energy without resolving to dance or disco rhythms."

They even do a cover of Elton John's classic tune "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting." I must say that I was impressed with the cover and that signature guitar line is spot on. Dhar does a nice job of rockin' down the house, just the way Elton did so many years ago. There is certainly no lack of variety on this CD, and this band knows how to stay true to a classic rock-pop sound with crisp and refreshing touch.

The band felt that for this project, the key to the music was to create a feeling of kinetic energy without resolving to dance or disco rhythms (thank god). Every time they worked on a new song, the thought was to maintain the pacing that was established from the beginning.

Rob Vasquez commented: "Songs are reintroduced, but you never get a sense of slowdown during the process of taking this album in, even in 'End of Days.' So while you can't really nail down a specific genre in the program material, it's obvious the music has a similar sense of substance and style and tries to get to the same place.

"As far as the niche for the music, I always envisioned this stuff playing to a kind of beach or outdoor culture. I never put a limitation on age, but a bigger factor was the mindset of the people listening to it. They are just enjoying life! So hang out and have fun! I do not know how you define a demographic. I guess that is one of the challenges of promoting the CD. In any case, we are hoping this kind of philosophy appeals to a wider international audience."

I agree with Rob. You simply cannot define the demographics of such an eclectic CD. While it is clearly rock-pop, the diversity of it puts it in a different category, one that it will eventually define itself as the music circulates. If I were the band, I would be very excited about the possibilities of this exciting new album, and if I were listener, I would be looking forward to a bright future of many great recordings that will follow Box of Poems.

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