Music with a message

Providence Rockers for Life takes on drunk driving
By BOB GULLA  |  July 31, 2007

It’s impossible to not take note the alarmingly high number of teen traffic fatalities. Everywhere you drive you see those roadside shrines — crosses on trees, flower arrangements, stuffed animals, photos — poignant reminders of the hefty price some pay for bad judgment.
In an attempt to phase out the existence of such sad sightings, Illumina Records, a label based north of Boston, has decided to do its part to call attention to this epidemic, not just in South County but state- and nationwide. Ground Control: Providence Rockers For Life 2007 features a roster of area bands who have contributed their time and effort to the cause of raising awareness of drunk driving. Money collected by the sale of the CD will fund prevention programs and media campaigns from Providence to Portland, Oregon. “We’re really excited about being a part of this collection,” says Curtis Lambert, whose band BearKat Grooves contributed the cut “The BearKat Denial.”
Spearheaded by Illumina Records president and founder Ron Bellanti and produced by Bellanti and Andrew Swaine, the compilation appears thanks to the support of a number of worthwhile organizations, including 1 Loud Street, Cusp magazine, Driver Agent, Amped PR, and Amped CD Duplication. In the coming months, Illumina, along with the bands on the CD, will be spreading what they call their “lifesaving message”: “Never Drive Drunk.”
“We want to educate our young people on the dangers associated with drunk driving,” says Bellanti.
The recording project serves as an eye-opener for the issue at hand and a really good disc, and the Providence Plantation reps acquit themselves nicely. Kanerko shakes the house with a Load-era-Metallica-like riff on “365.” Psycle rocks too — only a notch quieter — with the heartfelt “My Letter to You,” with some strong vocals and an arcing, melodic chorus. Incidentally, Psycle, from northern Rhode Island, has been cranking things up lately, so be on the lookout for a bump in activity. Noreaster, with musos from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, haven’t been together long but have already pumped out a CD and are working on another. Evident rips it up on “Asteroid,” with a slammin’ Pantera vibe. The Faulted strums out the passionate “A New Day” with moving vocals by Robert Quinn. Phil Ayoub, from nearby Franklin, Massachusetts, opens the disc with the rootsy, lyrical “Cinderella and the Subway,” and Unbroken Ground closes it with the unusual “Common Place,” a slightly psychedelic metal outing with prominent percussion and emotive vocals by a belter named Melody.
While we’re a little confused as to why the disc is billed as “Providence Rockers” but features a handful of non-local bands, we won’t quibble over semantics, not with a cause like this. It’s all good stuff, regardless of where it was birthed. And it’s nice to hear some bands that fall outside the list of “usual suspects” taking part in a high-profile project.
To learn more about the Providence Rockers for Life CD go to the Myspace site:

Kanerko | August 10 | The Living Room, 23 Rathbone St, Providence | 401.521.5200 | The Faulted | August 13 | The Penalty Box, 1119 North Main St, Providence | 401.331.8545 | Psycle | August 17 | The Blackstone, 1005 Mainn St, Pawtucket | 401.726.2181

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