Take five cups of rock n roll, two spoons full of Buddy Guy influenced electric blues, a sprinkle of 60s style soul, and top it all off with a voice as versatile as a chameleon… and you have something that resembles The Paz Band, a five-piece from Tel Aviv, who have been packing large venues in their home country with their grand sound since 2013.
Fronting the group is acclaimed vocalist Gal De-Paz, who started her career in the music industry at the age of 23 as a singer songwriter starlet but soon changed genre. Now her powerhouse vocals are echoing off the brand new LP Supply & Demand, the third rock album she recorded with her band. After listening to the ten-track release, it is out of question that this is no ordinary band, and De-Paz is no ordinary vocalist. She easily skips from Robert Plant-esque rock n roll shrieks and howls, to soulful whispers, with a rasp in her voice that might remind one of Amy Winehouse.
But Supply & Demand doesn’t just highlight De-Paz skills, the opener “Thoughts” fuses foot-stomping blues rhythms with an elaborate electric guitar solo by the talented musician Motti Leibel. And just when you get into the bluesy groove, it shifts 180 degrees to a mellow bridge carried by De-Paz’ angelic vocals, only to turn back around to a loud rock single. Delivering more than noisy guitar shredding, the track is well thought out and nuanced with acoustic guitar melodies and a moody saxophone tune.
You are not the only one who sometimes feels torn between darkness and light, between the “Sun & Moon”. To a mid-tempo 60’s soul beat, De-Paz wallows in thoughts about the changes we undergo as human beings… “I am losing myself / I am turning into someone new”, she sings. The minimalistic “Never Far” is held together by the honey-like voice filling in the gaps between the slow guitar strokes and the marching beats, until it peaks in a drum-heavy rock n roll crescendo.
Even if De-Paz is passionate about rock music, she has not completely abandoned her singer and songwriter roots; “Old Bag Of Sand” is a folky single with just a hint of soul. The acoustic melody is heavy weighted by minor chords and melancholic vocals. Her talent as a songwriter shines on “Them All” – a painfully beautiful ballad with slow echoing guitar notes and a blue piano tune. “The soul needs more colours / the world needs more flowers” and definitely more artists like The Paz Band, whose dynamic and versatile sound is a true blessing to the 2018 music scene.
Just when I thought I could place the sound of The Paz Band somewhere between rock and soul, “Narcotic Heart” came along. The single sounds like something out of an opera. Backed by violins, you can truly picture Gal De-Paz dramatically singing on stage backlit by blue light and dipped into fog. The smooth theatrical sound of a dozen violins is rounded up by vocals that could easily fill the greatest theatre halls until the track peaks in a noisy outro; the electric guitar and the loud drums providing a dark and sinister twist.
And if you did not get goosebumps by now, De-Paz’ raw animalistic howl “Don’t it feel strange to feel strange eyes look at you” is sure to shoot shivers down your spine. Violins and incredibly soulful keys start off a track, which turns into an epic rock chorus packed with such high-energy guitars and vocals you will gladly let it burst your eardrums.
It would wrong this five-piece by merely labeling The Paz Band as a rock outfit. Supply & Demand is an album with a surprising amount of different facets from rock to soul, loaded with relatable lyrics, and more energy than a lightning bolt.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Supply & Demand is out now. Listen to it HERE.