I was recently introduced to this youthful trio quite by accident – thankfully. A friend of mine shared on Facebook some of this band’s music and I found it intriguing, to say the least. It turned my head and made me pay attention, to say the most. I followed his links and made my way to the band’s Facebook page, and, subsequently, their website. Having been able to obtain a copy of their latest release, the Secondhand Life E.P., I dove right in.

First, a little background (this is from their website): “Based in Athens, Georgia, A.D. Blanco is a full-sounding rock band that represents a unique blend of genres: organic indie rock paired with hi-fi modern alternative. This young group reflects their age with the energy they bring to live performances, while their creative sophistication reflects that of a group, far their senior. 

Frontman Bennett Evans leads the group on guitar and vocals, while bassist Owen Lange and drummer Aaron White comprise an energetic and tight rhythm section. Their debut album Time Never Wasted, was released in summer of 2021, and was recorded and mastered with the help of notable Athens musicians Ben Hackett and David Barbe.”

This E.P. was released in March, 2022 and (of course), I’m now going to be making my way backwards to their previous work. But here’s the reason why we’re here: because I want you to do the same as I did – sit up and take notice of the music. Let the full impact hit you and bowl you over.

Four songs, but each one is dynamic, powerful, sharp, melodic and tight. And I love it. Starting with “Where Are You Now?”, I am instantly 21, 22 years old again and hearing something amazing. The passion in the vocals; the thrust of the rhythm section in tandem with tasteful guitar work and the varying movements of the song’s structure itself – everything about this track is so on-the-one, it’s probably unfair to continue except to say “let’s move on to the next track” – “Backburner” is another pop thrill (!) – I love the way this band puts their songs together – they obviously understand the mastery of how to write and arrange and make it interesting and compelling. This is one of those songs that takes you on a ride, leaving you breathless and wanting more.

“Codes” is one of those moments that I hear snippets of bands I loved through my youth (and were influenced enough by to utilize in my own songs) and to hear this band do this so naturally; so organically, is a joy for me. Again – fully-realized and executed in an impressive manner – this is the “statement” track. It’s like “this is who we are and what we can do – take it!” And the closer, “Anticyclone” takes the speed down a little bit, but ups the melody and skill. At 6:21, it’s an epic moment and a perfect way to close this 4-song set (and has a wonderful surprise at the end).

Athens, Georgia (a beautiful town, by the way) has given us a plethora of bands over the decades that still live with us. Some of them you know and I don’t need to mention. Some of them you may not know, so I will recommend you research the Athens scene of the late ’70’s/early ’80’s. Nonetheless, this is 2022 and A.D. Blanco is the first band I’ve heard in years that gives me hope. Not because they’re from Athens – but because they’re that good.


Secondhand Life is currently available


By Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been involved in the music industry for over 30 years - as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, freelance journalist, producer, manager and working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star, traveling down South and his orange Gretsch. He's pretty groovy!