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Album Review: "Tension" by Corner Gospel Explosion 


Corner Gospel Explosion shall not be pigeonholed. The debut album, "Tension," bounces between styles that most bands need years to gain the confidence to pull off. From the dance rock album opener, "Sky is Falling (Na Na Na)," to the epic, seven-and-a-half minute closer, "Through the Fence and Out," Corner Gospel Explosion is ready to be heard now.

CGE is the brainchild of lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Bradley David Parsons, formerly of the band Wilderness.

"I started the band about a year-and- a-half ago as a way to get some song writing jitters out. The original lineup consisted of myself, my brother Tyler Parsons on bass, Nick Graham (from Wilderness) on guitar/keyboards and Andrew Harris on guitar. Over the last year both Andrew and Nick made separate moves to Portland and were replaced by our longtime friends and musicians Chase Mickel (keyboards) and Brandon Prinzing (guitar/vocals). Brandon and I had previously played in four other projects; they all failed miserably... so we have our fingers crossed."

"Tension" might seem like a straight ahead rock record at first listen, but that isn't giving this selection of songs a fair shake. "Song in the Trees" is a space lounge odyssey, whereas "Under the Covers" is a throwback to 90s alt-radio. The album stretches and contracts as it goes.

The direction and focus of the album even came as somewhat of a surprise for Parsons. "When writing the album, I didn't intend there to be a concept. Once we finalized the track listing, I realized that there was a very consistent theme: the push and pull that exists in all of our lives. The place between being comfortable and making a difficult, but crucial move forward. A lot of the songs parallel things that happened in my life during the last few years and it just bled into the storytelling."

Following Corner Gospel Explosion where it goes next will be interesting and worth the ride.

Available now on iTunes.

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