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From beginning to end, “Dopener” is a playful blend of rock and jazz, instruments complimenting each other perfectly. And then the vocals kick in, which really surprised me. Sam Luna’s voice is filled with soul, which makes EPV different from other post-fusion bands, especially in the rock aspect. The delivery of the lyrics is what wins it for me. In tandem with the drums and saxophone, it’s not only fast paced and high energy, but raw and meaningful. The mid-tune guitar solo reminds you that “Dopener” is still a rock song, and right after that, Levi Downey kills it on the sax-which sounds like an odd combination out of context, but Ian Taylor on drums and Nolan Henderson on bass pull the song altogether. They keep the pace going throughout, making the song sonically cohesive in the most entertaining way.
Hailing from Oregon, Echo Pearl Varsity began formation in the summer of 2012, with “Fires” to become the band’s first studio album, which comes after years of local performances.