The Influence: Falling Objects

RIYL: Bush, Jimmy Eat World, ’80s modern rock

On their current album, the Influence have produced a collection of emotional guitar-driven rock songs that may have a lot of people recalling the glory days of Gavin Rossdale and Bush. For geezers like myself, it’s hard not to hear elements of early ’80s modern rock in the music of this band from Virginia. The Influence create a certain groove in their music. Although it contains driving guitars and a big drum sounds, it also have a beat you can shake your ass to.

Listen to “Falling Objects,” “Bleed Out,” “Torn” and “Break” and you’ll find your head unconsciously bobbing to the beat with your eyes closed and images of a sweaty dance floor in your head. Isn’t that the signature of a great pop song – one that tugs the heartstrings but also gets you moving as well? Bowie knows this; so do Springsteen, Prince and Madonna. Not sure I’d place the Influence in the pantheon of those icons, but Falling Objects is one heck of a catchy album.

This record is not an explosion of emo angst, like so many of this band’s contemporaries. Instead, lead singer Matt Stephenson controls his voice to serve the music. He may wear his heart on his sleeve, but he doesn’t make each track bleed like it’s his last thought and prayer, either. This isn’t Dashboard Confessional.

That doesn’t mean these guys don’t bust out some crunchy guitars when it’s called for. “Slippin’” is a nasty metal-driven number with some excellent harmonies. Toss in a thoughtful acoustic number (“The Sleep”) and a couple of power ballads (“The Following” and “Anisoptera”) and you have what constitutes a really good pop/rock album. (Flying Eye 2010)

The Influence MySpace Page


Dare to Dream…to meet Gavin Rossdale

In the wake of Patrick Swayze’s passing, we have a sudden urge to post something that will, you know, actually do some good, so when we heard about an upcoming concert at Chicago’s House of Blues featuring Gavin Rossdale that will go to benefit the Lukemia & Lymphoma Society, we said hell, yes.

Come on, are you really going to say ‘no’ to that face? Gwen Stefani doesn’t even say ‘no’ to that face.

Here’s the deal: it’s called Dare 2 Dream: A Special Evening with Gavin Rossdale, it takes place November 5, and it will feature a silent auction where bidders are vying for the opportunity to meet Cheekbones McLadykiller himself – if that sounds like we’re poking fun at him, rest assured we’re not, especially not after Rossdale charmed the daylights out of us in an interview last year – where every $5 donated is worth an entry into the grand prize drawing. They are even hosting a contest for bands to determine who gets to open for Rossdale that night, so keep your eyes peeled on SonicBids for more info on that.

Tickets went on sale this past weekend, so if you’re interested in attending, we suggest you get yer tix now. We’ve been to several shows at the Chicago House of Blues, and they invariably sell out. And make sure you cheer for Gavin’s new stuff. It’s better than you think.

For more information about Dare 2 Dream: A Special Evening with Gavin Rossdale, click here.