Tied in 2 / Blog

1st EP Review: 5/25/11

Michael Fog, Partner- Lix Music and Creative Productions “Tied in 2”, the new EP from New Jersey’s power pop/rock band of the same name, is a collection of songs that are impossible not to immediately like. Engineered and produced by the up and coming Andrew Chervak at Midnight Studios (Chervak’s Phillipsburg, NJ facility) and mastered by the always outstanding Hans DeKline at Sound Bites Dog in LA, the EP contains five songs that are easily distinguishable as being by the same band, yet just slightly different enough in style where if you’re not crazy about one, the next one will floor you. From a technical aspect, Chervak’s production is impeccable, with clarity normally only found in major label studios. (Jim Toscano’s drums on “Mistakes” are so clear you’d swear the high hats were right next to you and the acoustic guitars on “Self Control” are sensational). Chervak, a relatively new producer, who was schooled by the legendary Earl Cohen, has certainly learned his lessons quickly, as these tracks exemplify. The review copy of “Tied in 2” opens with the “Female”, a bouncy, upbeat tune about a guy’s view of the female mindset regarding looks, self esteem and even gossip magazines, with almost a Green Day type feel to it. Leigh Wilson’s lyrics paint imagery, in every day words, of everyday events (when asked by his girlfriend if she looks okay when preparing to go out for the evening and responding “yes”, the songs’ hero is met with “you’re lying now, my ass is as big as a cow” – what guy hasn’t been there?) and Gabe Orpaz’s guitar solo punctuates the freedom and soaring that the song’s hero/narrator seems to be searching for. “Mistakes”, which goes off in a totally different direction, is reminiscent of the Dead’s Skeleton’s in the Closet, with a shuffle feel driven by the near perfect bass track of Lyon Orpaz and the above mentioned Toscano drum track. My favorite line is the hook, “take it from me, mistakes can make you see, so we should all be making more of them” …ok….. but somehow it makes sense. “Friend”, the EP’s third track and my personal favorite, is an example of yet another avenue of this band’s writing diversity. Dark, haunting and moody, with a hint of early Alice in Chains to it, “Friend” is a sad story of a friend helplessly watching another friend self destruct, while the victim swears it’s everyone else who’s changing. “You” is back to power pop in style and driven by Toscano’s drums, punctuated by precise hits that clearly indicate this band must rehearse/play out a LOT. There’s only so much editing you can do in the studio. The EP closes with “Self Control”, a nicely paced acoustic track that describes “things better left unsaid”. Again, hats off to Orpaz and his work on the bass, which makes this track go from being potentially ordinary to really enjoyable, with the Tied in 2 punctuating hits in all the right places. Despite their ventures into different genres (something that most bands would fear to do, while Ti2 does it flawlessly), Tied in 2 has a distinctive sound, thanks mainly to lead singer Leigh Wilson’s voice and vocal range and the overall performance of the band. If their EP has this much variety, I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with during a live performance.


On the 1st week of January 2011 Tied in 2 walked into Midnight Studios in Phillipsburg, NJ to start recording with engineer and producer Andrew Chervak. They came prepared to record their debut 5 song EP and had been meeting 3x a week for the last 6 weeks in their rehearsal studio in Jersey City hammering out and agreeing to all arrangements, lyrics and material. It took them 29 hours total to record each of their parts and the album should be fully mixed by the 1st week of February. Then, they are sending their album to be mastered by "one of the greats" in Los Angeles that has also worked with Snoop Dogg and Matchbox 20. Look for Tied in 2's new album on iTunes at the end of March 2011; and look for them coming to a town near you starting mid May 2011!

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