Canadian band AZTEC is a motivated band of friends formed with a “play anywhere for anyone” mentality. AZTEC’s performance is an intense emotional display fueled by time spent crammed in a van and the efforts demanded of today’s determined ‘indie band’. AZTEC is Lead vocals/guitar-Kyle Schepens, Lead guitar-Saul Sitar, Bass-Patrick Gleeson and Drums-Amber Banman.
The have just released their 5-track EP, , Mixed and produced by Nathan Hussey (All Get Out), Charleston S.C. and Mastered by Kenny McWilliams (Archer Avenue Studios), Columbia S.C.
AZTEC is a band that came out of nowhere for me. Their EP walks all sorts of lines; it’s just the perfect amount of offbeat indie, with the perfect amount of melody and good old rock n’ roll. The dynamics are also well above par; the right amount of loud gritty, raw guitars riffs mixed with beautiful six-string melodically-inclined notes, and matching vocal verses and choruses from Kyle. The little harmony touches to every song are also vitally important in giving the songs an extra touch of class.
Kyle Schepen’s vocals are delicate, fragile, and emotional at times, and then gritty, raw, and biting at others. Lyrically the band’s writing is superb. Some of the lyrics are enigmatic and cryptic. Others are 100 percent honest, and personal. Saul Sitar’s guitar work is refreshing. If you like guitar-based music, you will like this album. At the other end, Amber Banman’s drum work is subtle, and explosive, while Patrick Gleeson’s bass lines, are, exactly how they should be!
The flow of this EP is smooth. Every song flows right into each other seamlessly. These songs are at their nature, Indie, yet at the same time they are catchy enough to be on the radio without sacrificing any substance. In fact, ‘substance’ is the word that best sums up “Stitches”. And it can be found in what I consider the EP’s standout tracks, in this order: “Untitled Part One”, “The Benefits Of Being Alone” and “If I Believed In Anything”.
Overall is a AZTEC is a band that isn’t afraid to flex its rock n’ roll muscles in contrast with most indie bands who hide behind the façade of ‘sublime eclectic ‘. AZTEC hit power chords and anthemic choruses with unabashed chivalry whenever the occasion calls for it!
In addition, you can understand every single word that is sung. Meaning that AZTEC take their vocal responsibilities seriously. Lastly, but certainly not in order of importance, several of the songs on “Stitches” have killer hooks that will worm their way into your head very quickly.
AZTEC is extremely talented and the EP itself is consistent, demonstrating the band’s incredible musicianship and songwriting. I would highly recommend “Stitches” to anyone – high quality crafted songs that you’ll be listening to for quite some time.