INTERVIEW AND REVIEW BY : MIKE MOSCATO

 

“When you take whiskey-infused heavy rock from the 1970’s, store it in a time capsule, and then set it loose to the delight of modern audiences” is the description of Special Reserve’s music from their site. However, I would add some grunge/90’s/Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam to that statement, and you have Special Reserve.
I played guitar with the lead singer, Josh Erhardt, in a big event that I also produced a few years ago, and he played bass. To be honest, I had no idea he was as creative and talented as I have heard on this EP. He and his band have come a long way in a short period of time, and they really have something great here.
Special Reserve consists of:

 

Josh Erhardt – Guitar/Vocals
Adam Lazar – Bass
Andrew Kubicek – Guitar/Vocals
Shawn King – Drums

 


I got a chance to do a quick interview with Josh about the EP:

 

MIKE: Can you tell us about what went into the development of this EP?

 

JOSH: Kubi (Andrew Kubicek) and I are the main songwriters. We formed this band about a year ago with the idea of doing things our way. He and I had both been the consummate sideman in the past. The first thing that struck me about playing with Kubi is that everyone notices his guitar playing off the bat, but he really has an amazing voice. So, we approached the band with the idea that we wanted to make the best music we could without trying to be something. The development of this EP was almost a voyage of self-discovery for us because we tried a lot of different things and you can hear it in the songs. Although there is a common thread to our sound, we jump between harder-edged tunes and lighter stuff.

 

MIKE: What is Special Reserve doing now, and what do you all hope to be doing in 2017?

 

JOSH: The goal for our EP was to introduce ourselves to the Pittsburgh music scene and beyond. We are still a relatively new/young band, and we didn’t feel that we had enough groundswell to do a true CD release party, but we are gearing up for a “Vinyl Release” of the EP this summer. We are actively demoing new material with the hopes of recording a full length next year. Our overall goal is to continue to develop strong relationships within both the Pittsburgh music scene and some of our neighboring cities like Buffalo, Philly and Baltimore.

 

Track 1, “It’s Up To You” – they MUST be singing about me…well, I could easily relate to this song, as well as anyone else. The lyrics really hit me – “you gotta start somewhere, so why not now? Who knows, you might make it anyhow, it’s up to you.” Andrew does some really tasty guitar licks, and since I am a guitar player, I am definitely watching for that! Track 2, “Better Off Dead”, starts with a very cool bluesy lick, and Andrew belting out some emotional vocals. Then, out of nowhere, they jump into a much faster tempo, a powerful and dynamic change, which really highlights the rhythm section of Adam Lazar and Shawn King. Track 3, “Boca Raton”, definitely makes me want to go to Florida, especially with the crazy weather up here! “Charlene” comes next, which in my opinion really reminds me of grunge-era guitar and vocals, again, Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam really comes to mind, which is a positive. Track #5 is called “Maybe”, which just may be (did you catch that?) my favorite song on the EP. The harmony on “but I can’t stand the pain” really hits me, probably due to Andrew’s belting and emotional vocals. “So maybe I should know, maybe I should go” – the beats are just all in the right places during that line, and not to forget the beautiful leads under the verses. Last on the EP, is “Platypus Venom”, a very interesting title, but a real grungy/hard-rocker! Lots of power and tasty riffs in this one, not to mention the dynamics in the middle.

 

Overall, I really like this album, and much respect to Special Reserve for what they have put into this EP. You can check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/specialreserverocks, or www.specialreserverocks.com for more information. I hope to check them out at a show very soon!

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