Ep Commentary: Tarek Kasmi’s ‘The New Century’

For some, punk-rock brings on images of The Sex Pistols or perhaps Green Day. The music has an edgy sound combined with a don’t care attitude. And there happens to be several occasions in one’s life where you need to hear the pulsating beat of a kick-butt drummer or the heavy wailing of a guitar. In the case of Tarek Kasmi’s EP “The New Century,” you get a taste of that punker-attitude angst and it’s pretty good.

The names of these songs draw you in emotionally. “We’re Not Sorry” has the feel of a screw-the-world anthem where the protagonist won’t give in to the societal demands of “the Man.” The track has a solid hook as Kasmi sings that his “life won’t be run by corporations.” He’s battling the very conglomeration that could make him famous while keeping his musical integrity. It’s not preachy either and those guitar licks truly make the track one of the best to practice your best air guitar.

The guitar is also prominent in the slow and soulful track “The Quiet of Morning.” There’s something about it that makes you want to press replay continuously. It has that familiar sound of an old ‘80s track where there’s a storyline alongside the solid instrumentation. More importantly, it has the sort of value that true artists look for in their listeners – the desire to try to understand why this song is being written and the ability to appreciate the artist’s attempt to make a connection.

“Unchained” tends to suffer from its preachy lyrics and the album’s title track hits you over the head with its message that was so nicely encapsulated in “We’re Not Sorry.” Still both songs are better than what’s been put out there lately. Better still Kasmi is taking chances. Even though these two tracks are not the best off the album, you can’t beat the guitar solo in “The New Century.” It rocks. If there had been more of that musicianship on that track it would have been a much better song.

“The Sky is Falling!” is the final song on the album and leaves you with a sense of satisfaction. The heavy drumming is prominent and there’s that punk-rocker angst again that began this musical journey.

Overall, Tarek Kasmi’s The New Century features each track as a way that forms into one mini-opus; which blends a mix of emotions starting from anger to sorrow to mild irritation. However, heard individually the songs tend to lose their emotional punch. Still the five tracks are memorable and deserve a listen.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 618 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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