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Doug Kistner Releases New Singles

From Verona, NJ Doug Kistner has always had a particular sound he’s gravitated towards. The kind old school music fans will immediately respond to as the type of sound made by some of the most revolutionary acts of the 70s and 80. It’s breezy and rocking in an almost contradictory way. One minute it feels like you’re coasting along before it switches gears and you’re on a ride, never dangerous but you’re excited and feel a part of it like you’re really connected and that’s the feeling I get about Kistner and these songs. Having certainly been inspired by these sounds, it makes sense he would want to dust them off and give them his own unique spin, and while maybe a little too much like the sounds of old, they’re some solid tracks that are sure to leave a notable impression on those looking for a ride in the way back machine.

The first song “Only Road I Know” is a quaint intro with some great backing band sounds that always keep this thing rolling along. Kistner’s voice is very naturalistic and he never aims higher than what he can give and I mean that in a good way, He’s not hung up on trying to be the best voice, but it gets the job done and trucks along at a consistent and pleasant pace. There’s an almost spoken-word quality to it but never devolves into talk-singing.

The backing instruments are really what make these solidified as near classics. With an amazing roster of people he’s picked up over the year, the drum, bass, and sax that’s featured in “Only Road I Know” elevate it above what could have just been an average song. These pieces are filled with professionalism and the mixing is great, albeit, in some ways, the lyrics in very very tiny parts are a little obscured by the sounds around Kistner, specifically when he tries to be a little lighter vocally when the band is still going at full force. But it’s very few and far in between when that happens and I doubt your more casual listener will notice.

The lyrics are great across the board for both songs especially with “Only Road I Know” where Kistner says “Too many negative thoughts in your mind, just let the music get you through the day”. I’m sure it’s something he told himself too while making these songs and I wonder if maybe the events of the last few years where everyone has been painfully aware of themselves and their own mortality, may have been a driving factor as to why Kistner is using his gifts to craft himself a solo career. I’d say I’d give these songs a solid 8/10 with high praises especially directed towards the mixing, master, instrumentals, and vocals of Kistner and company, but sometimes these songs leave a little to be desired in way of something truly new either sonically or lyrically as good as they may be. Kistner’s solo career represents a lot of mystery moving forward and it’s exciting to see what comes next.

John McCall

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