If you were told that a band decided to call themselves One.Five in remembrance of the 1.5 million people killed in the Armenian genocide, you might think they were an angry “political” band. But you would be wrong. This group of five Armenian-American guys produces music that is moody, yet peaceful. And to create these urgent tracks, the boys use everything from Greek guitars to Armenian flutes. Among the influences they list are Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, and Queensryche, but their sound most resembles the energy and emotion of the 90's Seattle grunge scene. This music is the type that never goes out of style, and is always easy to relate to.
One.Five's recently released ten-song self-titled album begins with “Welcome,” an emphatic, bass driven, Stone Temple Pilots-esque tune that welcomes the listener to One.Five's world. Next up is my favorite song on the disc, called “The Way.” It is a haunting and thought-provoking track about the way humans often choose a self-destructive lifestyle for themselves. Although slightly preachy, the message behind the lyrics is agonizingly true.
The CD contains several songs possessing the Pearl Jam-flavored rock n' roll recipe of thick vocals, savory guitar riffs, and prominent drums and bass (“Knock Me Down,” “That Night,” “Selfish,” “US”). But rather than sounding bland and uncreative, the boys add their own spice and seasoning to the formula, and it definitely works.
Another one of my favorite offerings on the album is “Loss Of Life,” which is about the pathetic redundancy of the life-sucking daily ritual of a working stiff. Frontman Armand Dorian gives the following detailed narration: “Sit at work email another page/ Dream for lunch/ Little freedom from the cage/Just another day./ Back at home, turn on the television/ Off to sleep/ Dream of what your life's missing/ Just another day.”
The song “She…Belongs To Me” is such a beautiful and ethereal vocal and instrumental magnum opus that it takes up two track numbers on the CD. The lyrics of this epic song are vague but inspired: “And the sun still rises on your right side/ And my moon still falls behind your brown eyes.” Another romantic groove on the disc is “The One.” This dreamy number is about finally finding the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and pledging your devotion to them. A bit sappy, yes, but still fiercely mighty and worth a listen.
One.Five may hope to educate the public about the Armenian genocide, but there is not a single mention of that plight in any of their songs (unlike System Of A Down's brazen tune “P.L.U.C.K.”). Their topics are universal, and their music is cosmic. To listen for yourself, you can check out their web site, www.onepointfive.net, or catch one of their live shows as they play various venues on the Sunset Strip.