Pressure 4-5 to sting Buzz Festival
By Shiley Carter
Daily Cougar Staff
Houston's rock/alternative radio station KTBZ-FM, a.k.a. 94.5 The Buzz,
has its annual — or, in this year's case, semi-annual — Buzzfest to bring
together its mass audience for a day of fun and tons of music.
Occasionally there will be one or two bands, aside from the headlining
band, that make a much bigger name for themselves than the others (Linkin
Park, for example).
This year's Buzzfest, to be held at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
in The Woodlands on Saturday, will have a variety of "Buzz bands" for the
sold-out audience to experience. And there is a band that most attendees
may not have heard of quite yet, but my suspicion is they will leave Saturday
night talking about it.
Pressure 4-5 has a definite future in music. The band was formed about
three years ago by Santa Barbara, Calif., college students Adam Rich (vocals)
and Mark Barry (guitar), who passed out flyers and found bassist Lyle McKeany.
The addition of second guitarist Joe Schmidt led to the discovery of his
brother, drummer Tom Schmidt. This came after several bouts of Joe playing
DJ for the band when he managed to show for practices and shows — hence
the "4-5" in the name. The band was not sure if it was going to include
four or five members.
Lisa Johnson/Dreamworks Records
From left, Joe Schmidt, Adam Rich, Lyle McKeany, Tom Schmidt
and Mark Barry comprise the rock group Pressure 4-5.
"DJing was just my angle to get in the band," Joe Schmidt said. "It
wasn't really my bag."
Rich admitted that Schmidt was better suited to playing guitar.
"He's a better guitarist anyway," Rich said. "And adding the additional
guitar really beefed up our sound."
The sound Rich mentions is one of pure, intelligent musicians who truly
thought out and creatively combined musical influences and ideas to form
a masterpiece of work that deals with everything from nonconformity to
The band has a heavy undertone but is topped by a vocalist who can sing
through many songs and scream when the time is right. The bass lines throughout
the album are complex and undying. The double guitar adds a lot of complexity,
while the drums are ferocious but obviously influenced by Tom's four years
of jazz drumming.
Pressure 4-5 released its first independent album, Antechnology,
on its own Dripping Records label in 1999. The new album, released Oct.
2 on Dreamworks, is titled Burning the Process.
"As individuals, we're constantly learning and trying to figure things
out — it's an ongoing process," Adam said. "It's what life is about, and
we named this record Burning the Process in honor of that."
The album delivers 11 tracks of brutal honesty. The first radio track,
"Beat the World," is a melodic song about overcoming life's obstacles and
was written after Rich's best friend died.
"Even Worse" is a power-punch song with a lot of harder-hitting bass
lines, faster-paced drumming and a few gut-wrenching screams intertwined
with the emotional singing about the complexities of spirituality.
Rich sings, "This is not your purpose/ This is not why you were born/
Sickening your devils/ Even worse, your gods."
Pressure 4-5 combines lyrical depth with creative musical talent and
an unending drive to succeed.
"We're ready to give all our effort and make sacrifices," Rich said.
"We want to take our band all the way."
Burning the Process
**** 1/2 (out of five stars)