La Crescenta, California isn't known for being a musical hotbed of up-and-coming acts. It's a city that's tucked in the hills at the edge of the San Gabriel Valley, out of sight from the well-known artistic havens of Los Angeles subdivisions like Hollywood or Silver Lake.
But perhaps it's such isolation that's led to bands like Nural to develop and nurture their wholly original mix of modern, melodic rock without the fashion show and requisite posturing that the big city requires.And it's purely evident on Nural's Hopeless debut full-length, The Weight Of The World, which finds itself well beyond the band members' young ages of 19 and 20.
Instead of the tired adolescent whine that's plagued countless groups appearing on the scene, Kyle Castellani's vocals are clearly communicated via a full-bodied delivery and a strong conviction behind every lyrical line. The dual-guitar attack of Charley Hoy and Ryan Davis provide more than just a foundation � distinct textural elements, detailed riffs and a strong sense of interplay also find their way within the pair�s repertoire. And the consistent yet dynamic rhythm section of bassist Kyle Black and drummer Aaron Breding infallibly maintains a lucid course of which the fivesome follows.
Formed roughly five years ago while still in junior high school, Nural was constructed from a combination of rival bands. With the assistance of a local mentor-turned-manager, the fivesome quickly refined their sound.
After performing locally and gaining a core audience, the band soon found themselves on a quick ten-day stint of the 2003 Vans Warped Tour. Nural then performed showcases for several major labels in New York City and Los Angeles. Still, the act wasn�t convinced. "For the most part, it didn't work out because we just felt like things weren't right," says Castellani. "And most of the time, it wasn't."
Fortunately, Nural was able to find a new home, courtesy of a friend who had been working at Hopeless. After spinning the CD in the Hopeless office, the label contacted Nural and a deal was put in place. Hoy says he got a good feeling about the label from the start. "We knew that they'd be able to spend a lot of time and attention on us," he says. "It's more like a family there."
The band immediately began work on The Weight Of The World. After selecting producer Michael Rosen (Rancid, Less Than Jake), they headed up to Oakland, California to commence recording in February 2005.
Nural finalized their 12-track debut roughly a month later, after finishing several mixes with Martin Feveyear. As for christening the disc The Weight Of The World, Castellani explains: "It's a lyric from one of the songs in the album. Everything up until to this point has been this weight that's built up on our shoulders over the years. This is finally our big break and it's kind of cool."
The Weight Of The World launches with the bold, striking "Tension," which leads with the question, "Can you feel the tension in the air?" followed immediately with a punchy guitar assault and propulsive drumming. It�s a melodic rock tour de force, crammed full of twists and turns on multiple levels � and within mere seconds, �Tension� instantly offsets Nural from the current league of carbon-copy rock acts.
"The chorus talks about your conscience, about how you know what you're doing is wrong, but you do it anyways," he explains. "The whole song is battling good and evil." The Weight Of The World is resoundingly diverse, with ballads, powerful anthems, melodic rock gems, all rolled into one finite unit. From a group that, according to Hoy, cites listening choices as wide-ranging as Kelly Clarkson to the Dillinger Escape Plan, Nural plans to take The Weight Of The World to places across the world.
"We're stoked," Castellani says. "We just want to get our music out there anyway we can."