6 East has previously been defined to me as a folk duo with a subtle pop-rock sentiment. A lot of their work has been reminiscent of Jack Johnson meets The Band in the past, and I think they stay true to that feel on this record as well. Reggae-roots-rock… maybe? Perhaps not being able to be fully defined is a blessing as you can fit into many different versions of the band, fit a ton of different bills, and have a broad spectrum of listeners. A little more shine and polish on their new record “Rising”? Perhaps, but their sound is still faithful to what they begun as.
“Cold Steel Rail” is my favorite of the bunch. It has a bit of a darker vibe to it, about as haunting as the songs get on this collection. Plodded along the tracks with some great harmonies over the chorus. A real standout on the entire record to me. All around a great tune.
A few out tracks that are fun, energetic and a good listen are the finely picked “Caroline” and the head bopping singalong song “Coconut”. There is an extensive variety in sounds and feelings throughout the album, as the two songwriters explore territory in reggae, rock, folk, and all sorts of influences. So you will surely find something that you dig.
There’s a lot of pop sentiment with a faint rootsy edge in their music. Well written hooks, extensive harmonies in the breaks that are placed “just right”. Over all the record is extremely well produced, which makes it lose a little of the ‘organic roots’ feel you typically get with a live acoustic duo, but with that is gains a certain element that perhaps makes it more commercially viable. There are certainly allusions of more popular music/country in the songs (that soft pedal steel ringing in the back of the mix). Most importantly I think that as I know 6 East, as a duo of two voices and two guitars, it is still very evident that this is where the boy’s roots are. There are very distinctive and separate acoustic guitar parts throughout and despite guest vocal spots, both Todd and Jonathan’s voices are at the forefront of all the tracks.
Check out 6 East online at: www.6east.net