EP Review: DownTown Mystic’s “On E Street”

It is an unfortunate reality in the current world of music crafted by today’s generation. It seems as if fearless, ambitious artists are becoming more and more rare and undiscovered. This is mostly due to an unapologetic desire by most new-coming artists to shamelessly reach into existing successful markets, void of any integrity, and follow an incredibly safe musical formula to churn out commercially appealing and catchy (yet entirely unambitious) Singles. This trend has infected almost every musical appendage and genre, whether it be commercially produced or independently released. The most unfortunate result of this trend is the stifling of musical ambition and the lack of innovation to set oneself apart in the industry.

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While this approach may work well if your goal as an artist is to make fast cash, albeit becoming forgettable, it certainly isn’t the winning formula for industry longevity and lasting notoriety.

DownTown Mystic effectively rebels against this trend with their newest EP “On E Street”.

DownTown Mystic is the musical alter-ego of celebrated American Rocker, Robert Allen. Robert has a deep passion for an “old school” approach to recording (which he jokingly admits borders on obsession). As Robert explains, “I grew up listening to all these great records and their sound and style has stayed with me”.  In DownTown Mystic’s newest 4-track EP, “On E Street”, Robert’s approach is refreshingly vintage-inspired and passionate, while his music remains curiously relatable and hard hitting. Emotive vocals shine through searing guitar riffs, smooth bass-lines, and a wildly groovy rhythm section featuring “Mighty” Max Weinberg and Garry Tallent from the famed E Street Band; making for a diverse and lively musical experience. DownTown Mystic’s overall sound is an amazingly varied fusion of Alternative Indie, Garage Rock, Blues, and good old-fashioned Rock & Roll.  Robert Allen brilliantly combines his wide-spanning influences, while maintaining effective and impactful songwriting. “Way to Know” acts the perfect opener, effectively containing a satisfying blend of all the EP has to offer. 

Check out “Way to Know”: 

Listeners are taken on a sonic journey through a broad spectrum of vintage Rock & Roll that pays homage to such revered artists as Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Eagles, The Beatles and Rolling Stones; all while adding an entirely unique self-defining twist. Vintage-inspired track “And You Know Why” is a great example of the variation in style you can expect within the EP.

DownTown Mystic has proven that with their addictive, passionate, and highly engaging tunes; music, as an artistic medium, can transcend the label of “commodity”, and become something much more intimate and memorable. Each track featured on the EP is fantastically arranged in a way that maintains the listener’s interest, and contains undeniable style and instrumental intricacies that are both unique and add undeniable character to the track. DownTown Mystic consistently surprises and impresses with his guitar-work  and displays a strong understanding of what makes the Rock genre so distinct. With the powerful and effective backing of guitars, bass, and driving percussion; the band proves that their instrumental ability is simply just one example of their many strong assets. Each vocal performance is authentic and memorable for the thoughtful lyrics.

“Hard Enough” particularly stands out upon first listen. The sonic landscape crafted within this track alone fully encapsulates the dynamic nature of the EP as a whole. The track showcases a fusion of sound that feels intimately roomy, well-balanced and evocative, with a great focus on electrified guitar-work, outstanding rhythm sections, and upbeat percussion. The sounds resonate, merge and surround the listener in a sort of sonic ecstasy, allowing you to get completely lost in the incredible music.

Check out “Hard Enough”: 

Another immediate favorite, “Sometimes Wrong”, utilizes a similar approach. Impressively, The audio production overall is nothing short of spectacular. This is especially remarkable considering the music itself is ferociously dynamic and unrestrained; Roberts obsession with “old school” techniques have certainly paid off. The infectious vocals are intertwined perfectly with each evolving and ever-changing layer.  It is a tireless listening experience and easily maintains your interest throughout.

“On E Street” is definitely one of those increasingly rare transcendent releases that doesn’t abide by the typical genre limitations and standards. Regardless of your specific musical tastes, regardless of any bias or animosity that you may have against the Rock genres; the sheer uniqueness and thoughtfulness of the songwriting within this EP will inspire and ignite applause and appreciation out of even the most reluctant listeners. Shying away from the typical clichés of the plethora of genres that Robert borrows inspiration from, DownTown Mystic has a remarkably unique style and sound which they maintain throughout the EP. He certainly veers away from Rock genre’s increasingly tired tendencies, creating a listening experience that feels entirely new and unpredictable. “On E Street” oozes with integrity, musical ambition, and fearless creativity. This release is definitely a trend-setter and sets an unbelievably high standard for indie artists hoping to break through in the scene.

DownTown Mystic is a remarkable act and an amazing breath of fresh air within an industry that has become overly saturated with copycat artists whose sole goal is to cash in on an increasingly uninventive formula. We can only hope that his music influences a new generation of independent artists and inspires a return to what made music something special. “On E Street” is a MUST LISTEN! 

“On E Street” is available on iTunes for purchase here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/on-e-street-feat-max-weinberg-garry-tallent-ep/1315666630 

Be sure to support/like/follow DownTown Mystic on:

Official: http://downtownmystic.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DownTownMystic/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/shalaman/sets/on-e-street-featuring-max 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6ts6chO0FQ7Fv6W2AroZ4d