Album: American Volume; Take To The Oars

It’s pretty common knowledge that between the two of us, Monika and I listen to more local music than anything else. Both of us are so involved in our lives on the web that we rarely have time to even buy CD’s anymore, so just about every CD in our cars are those of the locals who tell us to listen to them. I can honestly say that I hadn’t ever been to a Take To The Oars(formerly Vonnegut) show before or even heard them until the Underground Music Showcase, where I met lead singer, Ryan Gombeski, outside of Moe’s BBQ after a My Body Sings Electric show, and The Hi-Dive where I met guitar player, Mike Trujillo, with a giant sign saying “Take To The Oars” as he advertised up and down the streets for their show later that day. Needless to say we were all drinking that day and a very excited Ryan handed me his CD and said “Promise me you’ll listen to this.” Of course, being the supporter that I am, I agreed after he made me promise several times…and it just might’ve been one of the best promises that I’ve ever made. The CD, titled ‘American Volume’ was later put into my CD player on my way home at the end of UMS and I was more than impressed. I fell in love with everything about this album the second I heard it.


American Volume


 Ryan Gombeski, Mike Trujillo, JP Manza, and Chris Weaver have literally created some of the best local music that I’ve ever heard, still even a little over a month after UMS, they’re the only CD in my car and what I listen to every morning on my way to work, and on the way home from downtown Denver. Their combination of rock, piercing vocals, and amazing beat has captured so many listeners ears that I think this band just may be the next big thing to come out of Colorado. ‘American Volume’, which can also be found on iTunes, was released early this year in January and although there’s only 9 songs on the album – each one is different from the last. Whether you need something to sit back and relax to or something to get you pumped up, the variety is written all over this album.

 With influences like The Kinks, Incubus, Brand New, Candlebox,  Metallica, AC/DC, Glassjaw, and Thursday, Take To The Oars has created a sound for themselves that isn’t just something people can connect and relate to…it’s rock ‘n roll. Songs such as ‘Stones and Sticks’, ‘Learning To Breathe’, and my personal favorite ‘Vanishing Act’ really show the bands ability to create a bold sound that really hits the heart like a new vein pumping blood. ‘American Volume’ is Take To The Oars release album as they dispersed from the name ‘Vonnegut’ and so far it’s doing them more than justice. When I asked JP Manza, bassist and background vocalist of TTTO, why the band decided to change their name he said “…we needed a fresh start and a name change was in order. I was going through some of my favorite quotes, and found the Latin quote “Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe” or “If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.”   I kind of felt like this quote embodied what were were all feeling and had a good positive motivational tone that we could use to remind ourselves that we were the only ones that we could count on to get to where we wanted to be at.” And damn, was he right.

Take To The Oars’ chemistry both in ‘American Volume’ and on stage are phenomenal, it’s very clear that these men love what they do and they do it very well. “I’ve always been that kid that wanted to meet the rock stars I listened to, so I would stand outside the venues and buses during sound check and after shows.” Mike Trujuillo told me after I asked what kind of influences he had and how they changed his life. Let alone, the album itself has created something completely versatile and relatable; “These songs all had a common theme of loss, and finding something about yourself in the loss of something else.  All these songs seemed to describe a part of a life or story about someone, and you could name this person or chapter “The American Volume”. (JP Manza) Although the band was taking a risk on starting something new with a new name and new album, everything seemed to fall directly in the place that it was meant to. “About 6 years ago we(Chris Weaver) reconnected and started writing and playing music again.  We finally found a great line up with Mike Trujillo and JP Manza and here we are.” Told Ryan Gombeski.

Whether you’re having a great day and want to feel happy, or a really shitty one and want to feel sad, ‘American Volume’ is without a doubt the album to listen to in the car, outside, in the shower, mowing the lawn, cooking dinner, and even relaxing at home. This is one album that I strongly believe in, as well as a band that I think will go very far in this industry if given the correct and very well deserved exposure; and there’s no doubt that they’re going to fight to make it.

 Don’t miss them this Friday, August 26 @ Bender’s Tavern at 7:00P.M.

Take To The Oars:




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