Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Voice of Addiction “The Lost Art of Empathy”

There are many different musicians and artists that make a statement in their art. One such musician who has been using his music as a way to make a statement about the way the world is Ian Tomele.

Ian Tomele grew up in the city of Cleveland, Ohio where many find living in the Rust Belt to be rather tough. But living in the Blue Collar town helped to form Tomele’s view of the world and that view of the world would later help to influence the Punk Rock music of Voice of Addiction, a Chicago, Illinois-based band that released its debut self-titled release in 2004.

Years have passed, but Tomele is still being influenced by the ways of the world. And his band of Voice of Addiction is still making a statement through their music. And while the band has seen a continuous line of musicians come and go, it was with the lineup of Dennis Tynan on drums, Jake Smith on guitars/backing vocals, Luke Ostojic on backing vocals that the band’s newest album was created. The newest album from Voice of Addiction is entitled The Lost Art of Empathy.

The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction begins with the track “Rustbelt”. Having grown up in the city of Cleveland, “Rustbelt” is Ian Tomele’s ode to the town that helped make him who he is today. The track features a quick pace to the music which seems to add energy to the lyrics about living in a town where you have to be tough to survive. The energetic nature of “Rustbelt” helps kick off the album in a strong way.

Voice of Addiction’s latest release continues with the track “Dead by Dawn”. The band picks up the intensity of the music and brings a lot more energy to the track than the previous song had. In fact, Ian Tomele, Dennis Tynan and Jake Smith combine their talents to create music that inches closer to Hardcore than Punk Rock on the track. The heaviness of the guitars on the track, as well as the intensity of the lyrics saying that we need to stick together in order to survive shows off just how intense the musicians in Voice of Addiction can be.

To show they are a pure Punk Rock band, Voice of Addiction included a definite punk track on their newest release of The Lost Art of Empathy. “Unity” is a track that finds the band showing off their defiant side as they tell those who want to oppress us that they will not be held down. The track’s quick and energetic pace adds to the punk nature of the track. “Unity” is definitely a pure Punk Rock lover’s dream track.

As a way of showing off his vocal abilities, the beginning of the track “Corporate Pariah” features just the voice of Ian Tomele and Jake Smith’s guitar. The track soon finds the rest of the band joining in. On the track, the band shifts from a straight-out Rock and Roll beginning to a Reggae delivery for a few measures before they take up the Punk Rock style once again. The shifting from one style to the next shows off the abilities of the members of the band. “Corporate Pariah” is easily the most creative track on the new twelve-song release from Voice of Addiction.

With the band Voice of Addiction, Ian Tomele writes and records straight Punk Rock. However, with the track “Lockwood,” Tomele changes directions a bit by creating a track that features a more Pop Punk-like musical delivery. The lighter, bouncier feel of the track makes for a strong and listener-friendly track. The track features lyrics dedicated to the memory of a fan and promotor of Punk Rock in the city of Chicago. While “Lockwood” is about one particular person, the track is a fitting tribute to anyone who helps to keep the style of Punk Rock alive.

On the track “Everything Must Go,” Voice of Addiction goes from one extreme to another. While “Lockwood” features a “pop” feel to the music, on “Everything Must Go,” the band creates a song that brings to mind the sound and style of some of the earlier Punk bands. In the song, you can hear elements of The Sex Pistols and/or The Ramones in the music. With the two tracks together, you get a good indication of just how strong the band’s influences are.

The newest release from Voice of Addiction comes to a close with the track “Are We Even Human Anymore”. This is the only track where the listener gets to experience the talent of Ian Tomele totally as the resulting track features only Tomele and his acoustic guitar. The simple feel of the song sets the track apart from the rest of the album.

The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction is a strong Punk Rock album. And while most of the release finds the band making use of their Punk Rock influences, the inclusion of Pop, Hardcore and other musical elements helps to give the album plenty of depth. As the band has been around for over a decade, the newest release from Voice of Addiction proves that the band still has plenty to say and the talent to continue making music that lets their voice be heard.

To hear the music of Voice of Addiction, check out the song “Rustbelt“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, RMG Artist Development.

To purchase The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction, click on the album cover below:

The Lost Art of Empathy