The young fivesome from St. Charles, MO released their debut album “Soma Holiday” in May of this year. From start to finish, the 12-track disc is a solid compilation of hard-edged alternative rock.

Filled with potential hits and hidden gems, “Soma Holiday” plays heavily to our vast array of emotions.

In appealing to the listener’s sensations, Greenwheel’s album can be experienced under a variety of moods.

The CD opens with an in-your-face burst of angry energy entitled “Shelter.” This lick delivered the band onto the national scene as it was featured on the soundrack to “Spiderman.” The CD closes with a heart-wrenching poetic cry coined “The End,” which is guaranteed to stimulate your imagination.

Everything in between is an emotional roller coaster. Check out the raw fury in tracks like “Strong,” “Faces,” and “Identity.” Enjoy the uplifting alternative hooks in songs such as “Sustain You,” “Louder Than Words,” and “Dim Halo.” Find solace in the bittersweet love pieces like “Breathe” and “Disappear.”

“Soma Holiday” offers a cornucopia of expression. Its presentation is well organized, with respect to pace, balance and attitude. It’s one of those rare CDs that can be played through in its entirety.

The production of Greenwheel’s “Soma Holiday” is band-oriented. Each member contributed to the song writing process. Feeding off each other’s ideas, they added, twisted and molded until the pieces were just right. The resulting arrangements are full and deep.

The sound off of “Soma Holiday” is fully textured, rich with acoustic guitars, keyboards and various in-studio sound effects. And of course, there is plenty of distortion packed in there, too.

By far the most distinctive quality of Greenwheel’s sound is the vocal work of lead singer Ryan Jordan.

His passionate tone and clenched delivery capture your full attention. The moving projection of his raspy voice further invites you.

He sincerely pours his soul into each lyrical expression, letting his voice and words carry the compositions. His artistic aesthetics are therefore the real driving force behind Greenwheel’s music.

In terms of identity, some have likened Greenwheel to Matchbox 20. But this comparison does not do them justice, for Greenwheel’s energy and harder edge bring them into another domain. A better association would be that of Fuel. If you are a Fuel fan, you will love Greenwheel.

“Soma Holiday” is a solid album, yet it cannot tell you about Greenwheel’s live performances. Entertaining the audience is a big part of being in a rock band.

Greenwheel’s greatest asset may actually be their ability to put on amazing concerts. The band immediately toured to support the album’s release, playing with bands such as Injected, Our Lady Peace, Audio Vent and Hometown Hero. Recently they performed at RIT with Hoobastank.

In each show, the band takes their emotional material, channels it and then infuses that emotion into the crowd. Experiencing Greenwheel in concert is truly incredible and undescribable. They are one of the best live alternative bands currently out there.

If you get the chance, catch Greenwheel in concert. But more importantly, be sure to check out their debut release “Soma Holiday.” Their most recent hit, “Breathe,” is currently on the playlists of Rochester’s rock radio stations.

Greenwheel is a new favorite of mine and I fully endorse them. Bring their buzz to a higher level.

For more info, check out their website at www.greenwheel.net.

Rudy can be reached at drudy@campustimes.org.



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