Daniel Dewitt’s “Stomach On The Growl”

TBI’s Cameron Barham gives his thoughts on the newest record from Winston Audio’s Daniel DeWitt.

Cameron Barham

out of 10

Daniel Dewitt
Stomach On The Growl
January 31, 2012

I often lament the fact that there are so few true rock records being released any more. After listening to the first track ‘Outlaw’ on Daniel DeWitt’s ‘Stomach on the Growl’, I had high hopes for his self-released 5-song EP that serves as the first half of the larger project ‘Phantom Memory: The Musical’. Dewitt was the lead singer for the Atlanta-based rock band Winston Audio who put out a couple of EP’s and a full-length record, ‘The Red Rhythm’, which was a solid homage to a variety of rock subgenres. The band had a fair run with opportunities to open for bands like Manchester Orchestra and Meat Puppets. He has since gone solo and adeptly plays the vast majority of the instruments on this EP.

The EP opens very strong with ‘Outlaw’ which is by far the best track at all levels. It brilliantly lulls the listener in with some gentle Hammond B3 and strummed electric guitar for most of the first verse before cranking into a bluesy strut that matches the proclamations of the song’s antagonist like: “I am an outlaw I need my space, Don’t care about forgiveness don’t care about grace, You can keep your ten commandments I only need one, Thou shalt not conform, my own will be done.” Overall, this song has great blues rock dynamics which is why I was excited about what would follow.

‘Maryann’s Having a Baby’ is an adequate follow-up that continues the pacing set by the first track. This track has more of a ‘70’s rock feel that speaks to how events of significant gravity have a way of clarifying things and separating out from what is truly meaningless.

The driving pace comes to a screeching halt with the acoustic musings of ‘Nothing to Do’ which are not particularly profound at any level. It is lyrically spare in terms of content and felt particularly clichéd with DeWitt choosing to sing higher and softer over a gently plucked guitar. This track abandons all of his musical strengths.

‘Stomach on the Growl’ picks back up with ‘The Vultures Are Circling’ which channels Stevie Ray Vaughn. Unfortunately, the EP stumbles to a close with another track that finds DeWitt being reflective without tapping into his rock prowess. ‘Two Dollar Beer’ is an anti-climactic finish to what started out so well with the opening track.

Overall, Dewitt has a solid voice and is a very good musician. The EP is well produced but unevenly put together given the two weak tracks. The primary issue in terms of the 5/10 rating is that there is nothing new here either musically or lyrically. My hopes for the next ‘Appetite for Destruction’ or ‘The Bends’ will have to wait.