7 Aug 2020

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Lorenzo Hazelwood - Single Review: Pharos

21 May 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Having performed lead vocal duties with Auckland hard rock band Close to the Bone, Lorenzo Hazelwood has added another entry to his musical repertoire by going solo. Known for his guitar playing, bold vocal range, and an uncanny resemblance to Incubus’s Brandon Boyd, Lorenzo beavered away at this home studio, recording all parts himself. Mixed by Toby Lloyd of Tiny Triumph Recordings and mastered by Luke Finlay from Primal Mastering, Muzic.net.nz's Steve S jumped at the chance to check out Lorenzo’s end product, the single Pharos.

A slow, gentle mix of acoustic guitar arpeggios and strums opens the song, with picked notes turning into strumming upon the verses’ entry. There’s quite a stark difference to the hard-rocking ways Close to the Bone usually serve, but those who follow the singer’s Instagram account will know that this has always been his field.

Lorenzo’s baritone vocals carries a warmly calm quality, with a touch of ruggedness, which, as the chorus runs its course, he trades it for a more tense and emotive register. Though at times sounding somewhat similar to Jerry Cantrell, it’s when the guitar distortion and the post-grunge singing are combined does one hear more of an alternative-rock feel.

The pace is slow and steady, and it bears something of a whiskey-hangover atmosphere: A bit remorseful, a bit blues-y. Speaking of which, for fans of Alice in Chains with a keen ear, listen out for a Heaven Beside You-esque guitar riff before the choruses. Perhaps an intentional homage, or maybe the influence of grunge simply emerged subconsciously in Lorenzo’s songwriting.

The primary hook is actually hidden in the post-choruses, where the line "All I wanted was for you take for granted what you use" is sung over a heart-achingly melody. The emotional quality in the song is further amplified by the subtle backing vocals, held around an octave higher than the main line, during the interlude as well as post-choruses.

This is a superb post-grunge ballad, and a promising start to a solo path. Equal parts beautiful and moving, but never so much that it loses power as a rock song. The potency lies in the vocals and instrumentation, which is the bullseye many solo musicians strive to strike. Lorenzo’s strengths in guitar and singing has ensured that he strikes true, and he indeed has with Pharos. I’ll personally go out on a wild limb here and suggest that, if fellow rockers Devilskin ever performed an unplugged performance, Lorenzo Hazelwood will be the perfect addition to that bill.

Listen to Pharos on Spotify or YouTube, and follow Lorenzo Hazelwood on Instagram for more snippets of his work.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Lorenzo Hazelwood

Lorenzo Hazelwood is a 22 year old musician from Auckland. Although he is most known for being the vocalist of local Auckland heavy rock Band Close To The Bone, he spends his time away from the band composing music on his own. Playing every instrument for his solo project, mostly as a way to be more productive. It's darker and more intimate than CTTB's roaring live sound. "It's a little more personal" - LH.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Lorenzo Hazelwood


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