“528” Review by Rhonda Readence

“The Tom Cashman Experience (The TCE) is comprised of Tom Cashman on lead vocals, Shawn Byrne on rhythm guitar, Raymond Crawford on lead guitar, Frank Schlupp on drums and Phil Williams on bass. Citing influences such as Nirvana, Radiohead and U2, The TCE offers their debut album 528 as a melodic story about life. Songwriter Tom Cashman draws from a diverse set of life experiences to give listeners what he calls “an amazing debut of 7 messages, each carrying with it a sense of self-triumph and personal freedom.”

The first of these messages is titled “Wait For Me” and it begins with a contagious rhythm that will get the feet tapping right off the bat. The guitar work in this piece is excellent and this is likely what listeners will notice first. Secondly, the vocals are delivered with confidence and the lyrics are very well-written. The opening track is the perfect introduction to The TCE, with its upbeat tempo and screaming licks. The second piece, “Easy Sunday,” has a slower tempo that is melodic and easy on the ears. The vocal harmonizing is elegantly done, Cashman’s vocals are solid throughout and the smooth rhythm of this track will make it a fan favorite. The sound quality also bears mentioning, as it is extremely crisp, with each harmonious note heard clearly.

“This Way” is an artful and creative piece with candid lyrics that are full of emotion and honesty. The slow and graceful guitar work lends itself to the melancholy essence of this track. Although the lyrics are not overly complex, they are written with skill and fans will find themselves singing along whether they are hearing this song for the first time or the hundredth. As it fades out, the listener may be left with a feeling of peaceful contentment. The next track, “Radiovana,” carries a heavy Radiohead influence coupled nicely with dashes of Nirvana, hence the song title. This piece is exceptionally well done and Cashman’s vocals have an edge that may surprise listeners. The instrumentation, sound quality and overall essence of this song is near perfection. This wonderfully composed track allows each member of The Tom Cashman Experience to shine and fans will clamor to see this performed live.

528 continues with “Count On Me,” a beautifully performed acoustic track with lyrics that will melt the heart. With soft emotion, Cashman delivers his exquisitely written words with confident honesty. This piece also highlights the diversity of The TCE. From complex intricacies in tracks like “Radiovana” to the stripped down acoustic “Count On Me,” this collective has the ability to create music that calls to listeners of various genres and walks of life. Additionally, Cashman’s lyrics are solid throughout and cover a variety of subjects that anyone with a pulse can relate to.

“Miracles” is what listeners have come to know and love about this artist; Melodic harmonies, polished playing, strong vocals and a killer sound. This piece has some of the more thought provoking lyrics on the album, and the message The TCE wants to send is clear. Don’t take anyone for granted and enjoy life. This feel-good song will leave listeners with a smile. 528 closes with “Must Be Heaven,” a sweetly written love song with elegant guitar work. As with each of the preceding songs, this track is performed with perfection and The Tom Cashman Experience has indeed given us seven messages of self-triumph and personal freedom, not to mention exquisite music. This band will lodge themselves in the heart and the mind, where they will make themselves right at home. Anyone with an ear for good music with meaning will welcome them gratefully.”

Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)