Rise Above This

New Day Dawn

Independent release, 2013


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


There comes a point in the lives of most musicians where a choice needs to be made between submerging yourself in a band and all the obligations that come with it, or making a go at a stable career outside of music. In a time when it's becoming increasingly difficult to sustain yourself playing music, singer/songwriter Dawn Botti didn't think twice when she arrived at that inevitable fork in the road—she traded the comfort of executive life for a gamble at rock'n'roll. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It had to have swayed her decision that she had already led the respected outfit Slushpuppy until 2003, but even so, I highly doubt that band was paying any mortgages. With her husband Gary Szczecina behind the drum kit and PJ Angeloni on guitar, Botti's new endeavor New Day Dawn has become her full-time focus, delivering what she describes as “anthemic rock with big choruses.”

You could argue that Rise Above This, was destined for greatness. With Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) and John Moyer (Disturbed) behind the scenes turning the knobs, it's hard to imagine this not being a vital rock explosion. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Botti's voice is alluring and commanding, while the instrumentation is raw and energetic, but also pleasant and tuneful.

The five-song EP puts the soothing alt-rocker “You Are My Everything” in the leadoff position. Backing vocals are used strategically here as Botti shows amazing range. “Lay Your Head” follows and illustrates a more pensive tone and “Life Impossible” complements this notion with a more sophisticated, graceful backdrop and some well-placed handclaps. “Whatever It Takes” is the highlight here, with “single” written all over it, encapsulating both the soft and harder moments of the band and featuring an all-out vocal performance from Botti.

This is a quick listen but one you're not likely to forget. A hard-rock-meets-alt-rock EP with plenty of mass appeal in the form of timeless music, charged guitar solos, and singing that is both forceful and calming, Rise Above This sounds like a precursor to an LP we all want to hear.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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