Using killer guitar parts and an agro-rock intensity, these band delivers eight hard-rocking tunes. This is no frills and rock and roll, equally intense and melodic. Id say they compare to such bands as Seaweed, and Sunny Day Real Estate. Solid rock thats just too good for radio; an all-around excellent release.
There arent many D.C. bands these days doing the post-punk/emo genre they founded proud, but there are plenty from elsewhere still digging on what Rites of Spring and Fugazi etc. commenced two decades ago. If theres nothing new or particularly now in this Greater Cincinnati four-piece (pared down to a trio since this recording, after the defection of bassist Rob Stanley, which is a shame), the quality of their songs and playing is unusually high on their new seven-song EP/mini-LP (following 2006s debut, One Percent). The quartet is tenaciously tight; singer/guitarist Matt Tomlinson sings like a cornered, wounded animal, often extending his vowels for whole seconds like an modern Ian MacKaye without ever resorting to screaming; and the rhythm section snarls with a menace to match their marauding, jagged post-punk, off-beat scatter rhythmslike my favorite old Rifle Sport or Jawbox records. Best of all, when this genre works its because a band isnt afraid to teeter on a knife-edge for long passages before letting out a full force, piling up a pent-up aggression instead of just layout out an overload of noise. This style may never go out of business!
THE BIG TAKEOVER/Jack Rabid Issue #65
Forceful guitars and hard-hitting drum beats meld together with raw, spacey melodies on This Empty Town, the opening track on The Strongest Proofs debut album [One Percent]. The four-piece is loud, aggressive, but decidedly diverse. Songs such as Tremble and Live for Something carry the band in a softer, more ambient direction providing a nice change of pace to heart-stomping anthems Windswept and Where Are We Going? The band is unrefined, aggressive and confident is their crafty song writing abilities. This record exemplifies what it means to be refreshingly different and effortlessly excellent. The album walks the tightrope between chaos and order, melodic control and noisy anarchy; whether slow and sweet or fast and hard, The Strongest Proof finds its own niche and sound on their debut album.
Featuring a member of Cincinnati indie band Humans Bow Down on bass, The Strongest Proof have found seemingly lost tracks by Helmet and reworked them. Their sound is bass-heavy with heart-pounding percussion and a whirlwind of guitars. The goal seems to be to blow away your mind with each and every track. For an eight-track strong album it feels like a triple-disc collection of post-hardcore. Blistering vocals that range from almost spoken word dementia to slickly screeched yelps are just the tip of the iceberg on this post-hardcore/indie rock manifesto. Phratry Records continues to amaze me with their eyes and ears for great talent.
A powerful set of seven songs that bristles with the viscerally channeled chaos of Fugazi and the menacing passion of The Afghan Whigs, Robot Eats a Steak further establishes The Proof as a bold Post Punk presence in the scene.
CITYBEAT MAGAZINE (2008)
This band never seems to stop amazing me. It seems that these guys have one goal: to make the best damn music as possible…and that’s it! One of the most noticeable traits of TSP is how much energy comes out through the music and how it’s all put together in a way that speaks, we know what we are doing without letting things become overdone or underdone in the final mix. One could say that [Robot Eats A Steak] is a extension of Quicksands first album, Slip, or maybe heavily influenced by that album, or era, if you are looking to deep into things, but TSP make you remember what good ROCK N’ ROLL is all about with the abilities of just making the music that they want to make and letting it speak for itself. ...vocals are powerful with neverending conviction of the craft while the guitars take you from the simplest to the complex and making the bass and drums drive it all home for a perfect ending every time. Seven new tracks from a amazing band that keep it real and alive and should not be passed up.
Its a perfect night to suck down a shot of bourbon before spinning The Strongest Proof… In a world of over-mixed and meticulously tight loops and beats, this band retains all the bad ass intimacy of being live in a small room. They play intuitively together, thrusting through creative changes with heavy but agile dexterity… The tunes are consistent, each still individually arranged with dynamic flair and experience. The lyrics are just enough to ponder but not too poetic to lose anybody after those bourbon shots. The elegant, well placed guitar harmonies create simple, uplifting melodies. Matt Tomlinsons vocals are dead on and strong… unwavering and charismatic.
“...this group explores more of the post-hardcore/ indie territory with strong songwriting, progressive structures, and still manages to rock face with a sufficient deal of heaviness, executed in a rather clever manner.”
HANG LIKE A HEX
The Strongest Proof has forged a heavy sound that veers from the expected paths enough to create an interesting listen. Their debut, One Percent, fits in nicely with the prog and post-hardcore movements underfoot and also wouldnt disappoint fans of heavier emo or straight up hard rock. One Percent is another fine release from Phratry Records, the local label that is home to a growing roster of artists who are bending established genres in exciting new shapes.
While some who tinker with the Rock & Roll formula in more artistic ways tend to sap out all of the testosterone in the process, One Percent proves that you can still make unique and interesting Rock music without cutting the balls off.
CITYBEAT MAGAZINE (2005)