May 13, 2012

The Design: In Search of Their Own Design

About: The Design

Despite the fact that The Design, a rock band from Raleigh, North Caroline, has existed since 2005, only now, after 7 years and the release of 2 albums, have they found themselves, or in other words, have they finally found their own design. As so often happens in the creative process, what has crystallized differs a lot from the initially declared genre.

Back in 2005 when Bryan Smith, the founder of the band, held auditions to find a vocalist for the band, his idea was to create a formation which was supposed to strike the whole USA, and not only their native “oak city” with the energetic pop-rock. The idea was just right as in the 2000s such genres seemed to have occupied all top positions of the pop charts of the world. The first album “Laziest Perfectionist” released in November 2008 was very close to this genre. Unfortunately it didn’t win any special laurels for the band.

Apparently, the band came to the right conclusions and decided to add more drive, expressivity and rock to their sound which allowed their charismatic frontwoman Katherine “Kat” Whitaker to show off her powerful, deep and slightly hoarse voice to the fullest in the band’s second album “The Young America” released in 2011. This record has a classic-rock sound paying tribute to the arrangements of Rainbow, Aerosmith and Patty Smith. The vocal style and arrangements are truly rock like, on one hand, but on the other - they would easily allow Kat to compete with Pink and Shania Twain.

Songs vary from college rock to classic hard and heavy and this fits really well into the back-to-70s trend which seems to have become dominant in the last 5 years. The Design have all chances to be in the avant-garde of this old-new tendency in music, assuming of course they have good management and an album release within the next 2 years that contains tracks at least as good as Burn, Scream, and Young America from their latest release.

Review by Bogdan Butkevich

The Design`s song "Burn" was featured in E104 of the ArenaCast. You can also read a brief interview with The Design posted in our blog.

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