The Daily Gamecock

Review: EP from local band Opus & The Frequencies is an anthem for self-confidence in 2023

<p>The band Opus &amp; The Frequencies play a local gig in Columbia on June 12, 2021, at The Main Course on Main Street. From left to right: Kirk Barnes (guitar), Tony "Opus" Williams (multi-instrumental and vocals), Jesse Tortorella (drums), and Steven Tapia-Macias (bass).&nbsp;</p>
The band Opus & The Frequencies play a local gig in Columbia on June 12, 2021, at The Main Course on Main Street. From left to right: Kirk Barnes (guitar), Tony "Opus" Williams (multi-instrumental and vocals), Jesse Tortorella (drums), and Steven Tapia-Macias (bass). 

EP Title: "You're Trash, Kid."

Artist: Opus & The Frequencies

Release Date: Jan. 7, 2023

Duration: 23 minutes

Label: YTK Records

Grade: A-

Opus & The Frequencies released their first EP on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube this month. From eclectic drum sequences to mellow acoustic melodies, each track presents a unique groove with the common theme of letting loose and being true to oneself. 

Native to Columbia, this up-and-coming experimental band is led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tony "Opus" Williams. The other three bandmates, or "The Freq's" as they call themselves, complete the group. Steven Tapia-Macias plays bass, Jesse Tortorella plays drums and Kirk Barnes plays guitar. 

The band has made a name for itself in the Midlands area playing at local venues and garnering fans on social media. The group will be featured at the annual St. Pat's in Five Points festival this March.  

The EP, titled "You're Trash, Kid." features five tracks, which are a mix of the band's previous releases and new songs.

Opening with a funk-style groove called "Invitation," a distorted electric guitar lead and rhythmic drum pattern provoke listeners to bop their heads to the catchy beat. With uplifting lyrics such as "Let it all hang out / Let it all hang loose / No limitations," and "Let all our demons go," Williams encourages listeners to enter a state of freedom. The upbeat groove coupled with the liberating lyrics sets the tone for the rest of the album, which focuses on empowering listeners through music. 

In a stark mood change, the following track, "Survivor," features Williams' vocals against a simple electric piano progression. The song centers around feelings of inadequacy as he soulfully expresses how the world does not "see me as I am." In the final lines of the verse, Williams says he is "going skyward as planned" as Tapia-Macias lays down a groovy bass rhythm, building towards a triumphant climax. Williams exclaims "I'm a survivor / I'm a fighter / You can push me to the ground / Cool cats fall safe and sound," emphasizing the importance of resilience. 

Marking the mid-point in the EP, "Jesse's Song" opens with a western-style electric guitar lead and acoustic chord progression. It's not long before a rock drum beat takes over, reminiscent of the punk group Green Day. In this song, Williams experiments with his higher register and vocal rasp, testing his skills as a performer and succeeding. While the track is certainly easy on the ears, it also shows a unique side to Williams' capabilities. 

The penultimate track "Who You Talkin' To?" opens with a catchy guitar lead to set the pace for this rock-style song. Following the theme of Williams' exploratory vocals, he implements a metal-style "scream" into the chorus, creating an electric energy. While the words are difficult to discern, the emotion means more than the lyricism. Expressed through vocal technique and serious guitar shredding by Barnes, the thrill of the piece is exhilarating. 

It is no surprise that the EP's final track, "F.A.M.," has the highest number of streams in the band's repertoire. The instrumental pop groove with Williams' energetic vocals makes it impossible to stay still while listening. The chorus' explanation of the title gets the message across, but accompanying lyrics such as "I'm a sour and a sweet / From my head down to my feet" help to convey the overarching themes of self-confidence and empowerment. 

Overall, the release of "You're Trash, Kid." could be a defining moment for the band. With tracks that continue to improve, it would be no surprise if 2023 is a year of growth for the group in both streams and exposure. Like its song says, Opus & The Frequencies is certainly headed "skyward as planned." 


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