rhBand, First Tone

by Brad Engler


With effects in full force, rhBand brings us their third album, First Tone. It comes at just about the time we’ve all become a little fed up with drummers who only know rock beats and guitarists who only know power chords and the little soloing they learned from their friends teaching them “Johnny B. Goode,” or from listening to Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and saying, “I think I’ve sorta got it.” No offense Kirk.

Then along comes a band like this, and suddenly everything is different for an hour.

cover art


First Tone

(Drunken Fish)

The album opens with a relatively short track, Track 1, moves on to a longer track, Track 2, and finishes up with Track 3 and Track 4. (I should point out that all of the tracks are numbered, not named, just in case you were about to accuse me of being the newly crowned king of the obvious.) Track 2, a slow moan which crescendos extremely slowly over 30 full minutes, is the ultimate answer to pop songs. It would also be the ultimate party killer, unless you have one of those video game systems that shows graphical interpretations of the music. Then, you could just sit and watch, and be hypnotized. The same could be said for Track 3, except that the video game system could be replaced with just about anything, provided of course you were wearing headphones and didn’t have anything to do for just over 12 minutes.

On this disc, rhBand, freaks you through its droning and mumbling and banging on its way to making you forget about the outside world and just get lost. If you close your eyes, you may actually think for a second that you’ve died and gone to heaven, except instead of someone sitting at the gate playing a harp, there’s a guy playing some weird homemade stringed instrument through seven or eight different effects racks, and it’s kind of scaring you. But it’s a good kind of scared, because for that moment, it’s all you have to think about.

A great escape, but certainly not entertaining enough for everyone.

First Tone


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