While Winston Audio still enjoys exercising its textural muscle on slow-burn rockers, much of the newly released CD, The Red Rhythm, delivers a throaty, open-throttle attack. Even when Daniel Dewitt's anguished croon saunters, post-grunge guitars bristle with tension, threatening the group's more majestic sound with terse peals of aggression.
"We definitely made an effort to write some straight-forward rock songs that didn't have a whole lot of other stuff going on," says Dewitt, who fronts the group alongside Dan Gleason, Zach Brown and Michael Adkins. "That's what we wanted this record to be about."
Though the band traces its roots back six years, 2006 marked Winston Audio's official debut. That's when they settled on the current lineup and released the EP, Come On, Hibernate. Around that time, they formed a friendship with Manchester Orchestra after playing a couple shows together. Manchester frontman Andy Hull even adds vocals to the barnstorming Nirvana-like rumbler, "Keeping It Down."
But The Red Rhythm wouldn't have happened without producer Dan Hannon (Manchester Orchestra, Right Away, Great Captain!). To the delight of cash-strapped Winston Audio, Hannon agreed to a flexible payment arrangement after recording a couple of the group's initial tracks. Though it took 18 months to record the total project – which was stitched together from an assemblage of odd sessions – the time allowed them "to get a lot of perspective on our songs and come at them from fresh angles," Dewitt says.
They plan to spend the next few months touring the region, supporting the new album and building the band's reputation. Two of the members are married and a third will be in a few months, so they can't hit the road as hard as they might've a few years ago.
"We're making it work so we can get our record out," says Dewitt, who's gung ho about performing but not necessarily ready to play for free. "We'll work hard for the fans to keep them happy and to put out good music for them, but it's not a charity either."
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