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Best of WNY.com/Reviews  /  Best of WNY Music.com
 Cd Review
By Bob Silvestri

    Usually when a group of very talented musicians get together to record or play the results can be disastrous. Instead of cohering as a unit, each performer tries to out do the other. That’s not the case with the new self-titled CD from the band In From The Cold as the immense talents of Maria Sebastian (vocals), Jack Sherman (guitars/bass) and Gary Mallaber (drums/keyboards) merge to form a pleasing adult pop sound. Of course the most recognizable name here is probably Mallaber’s. He is world known for his session and live playing with Steve Miller and Bruce Springsteen and for his work with the local legends Raven. However, the contributions by both Sherman and Sebastian are impressive.
     Good songwriting, playing and an adult sound not found on radio today, this is intelligent music for intelligent people. This does not translate to chart success nor does it rack up sales like the mindless pap they feed the masses. The CD is too adult sounding for alternative stations and not bubble gummy for the other formats. (kudos to WBNY for playing In From The Cold) While some have found success in this style of music, radio programmers and AOR people seem to have no idea what to do with adult artists except to put a cowboy hat on them and country-fy them. Hopefully this won’t happen to In From The Cold.
     The twelve track CD kicks off  “Let’s Be New”. The guitar and drum intro perfectly sets up the vocals of Sebastian. All throughout the CD, I was impressed with her clarity, phrasing and the emotions she expressed. Mallaber and Sherman add solid musicianship with their uncompromising vision. The arrangements and pacing of the songs is in part why Sebastian’s vocals are so good.
      The wobbly sound of “I Might” chugs along as Sebastian wrangles with indecision. Nice bridge in the middle of this one too. “Hearts, Stars & Fireworks” is more adventurous with a harder sound on guitars and drums. My favorite track is the fourth one on the CD titled “We’d Never Do” an acoustic tinged number in the best Lone Justice/ Neko Case tradition. On this one Sebastian’s vocals ache with the pain of someone who has had her heart ripped out and stomped on by a former lover. The laconic and lucid guitar solo and background strumming are superlative. Absolutely beautiful! This would sound perfect in one of those Meg Ryan romantic comedy movies during the required break-up scene. This could be an avenue for the band to explore to get this music heard. Other favorites include the thick guitar sounds of “Please Don’t Wear Me Out” and the lover’s lament of “Here With Me”. When you hear Sebastian sing the refrain of “Here With Me”, you know she means it.
     After some live shows in Buffalo and Los Angeles over the summer, IFTC is on semi-hiatus right now. The entire band is continuing to work on other projects they are involved with and are preparing the next IFTC release as well as shopping this disc to the record labels.
    The CD is currently available at New World Records on Elmwood Ave. and Media Play on Sheridan Dr. only. For more information on In From The Cold go to www.infromthecold.net

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