Executive Order Releases New Single
Hawaii isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for hard-hitting rock, but Honolulu’s Executive Order is poised to change that. The single “A to Z” from their release All Bleed Red points towards this collection being one of the most formidable rock releases in recent memory. I have a close friend who is a big fan of various kinds of rock yet believes there’s nothing new to say or do with the form. It is true, in some respects, but Executive Order mixes things up by bringing a stylistic flourish to bear on this cut that spins it away from a cookie cutter guitar workout.
It accomplishes this despite embracing fundamentals. It has considerable audience appeal as well and it isn’t difficult imagining a live crowd eagerly belting out the title. Executive Order has constructed a tune easily translatable to the stage; “A to Z” will lose little, if anything, in its journey from the recording studio to the stage. The intense physicality they generate during this track makes it ideal for a live setting.
The primary wellspring of this physicality is the guitar and drums. Rich Elg’s guitar playing culls its sound and mode of attack from a wide variety of axe-slingers transmuted through his personality. It never sounds imitative. The mix of melody and taut riffs through both the lead and rhythm guitar work is one of the song’s key strengths.
Joseph Olson, the band’s lyricist and lead singer acquits himself well. He never leans on the words with overwrought and unbridled passion but, instead, attempts to convey dynamics with his singing. Dynamics, in this usage, is the emotional ebb and flow embodied by the arrangement. It never slips into ham-fisted melodrama. It engages listeners, without question, and possesses undeniable immediacy.
Bassist James Anthony Hewahewa Christian, like the rest of Executive Order, began playing at a young age. Like the others, there’s no question he isn’t in it for the money. He’s a more than capable bass player who errs on the side of restraint while still manifesting a lively presence with his playing. The band has a distinctive touch despite working within a well-worn idiom and much of that can be chalked up to ever elusive intangibles.
These whispers of greatness are in short supply nowadays. Rock is far from dead, despite the bevy of naysayers prattling otherwise, but it is creatively dead in comparison to older generations. Bands such as Executive Order, however, possess the ability, songs, and outlook capable of restoring the form’s commercial prominence.
All Bleed Red promises, based on this song alone, to be a gripping affair. The band understands how revitalize the familiar, an invaluable skill for modern musicians, and “A to Z” is one of the best rock songs released in recent years. It illustrates the band’s cross-generational appeal and benefits from heavyweight production that accentuates its many strengths. If you enjoy a solid shot of rock music made by people who sound like they mean every word, “A to Z” from Executive Order will be right up your alley