Rock on to the debut album by this promising Los Angeles-based band, peeling back the layers to reveal the dark and turbulent emotions that dwell in the heart of vocalist Elana Justin.
Peeling back the layers to reveal the dark and turbulent emotions that dwell in the heart of vocalist Elana Justin, Los Angeles, California-based Alternative Metal/Hard Rock group Motive Black is about to release their debut album, entitled Auburn. In collaboration with Grammy winning guitarist and producer Nick Rowe (Bloodsimple, Vampire Weekend), the duo have reworked songs from Elana’s former New York band, taking the music in a much heavier direction while also having guitarist Marcos Curiel (P.O.D.), drummer Ray Luzier (Korn), and vocalist Carla Harvey (Butcher Babies) as very special guests in the album. Produced by Nick at the legendary NRG Studios and mixed by Josh Wilbur, Auburn, which name was inspired by Elana’s sister’s auburn-colored hair (as losing her forced Elana to reexamine her life and make significant changes to it), will appeal to fans of Evanescence, The Pretty Reckless, Halestorm and In This Moment, among many others, representing a wild ride through that journey of anger, mania, deep love and self-discovery.
Nick wastes no time and begin an incendiary riff attack in Lift Me Up, featuring the she-wolf Carla Harvey as a guest vocalist, with the screams by Carla beautifully complementing the striking vocals by Elana; and featuring Ray Luzier on drums and Marcos Curiel on the guitars, Broken is another onrush of Alternative Rock and Metal that will please all admirers of the music by In This Moment and Halestorm. It’s then time for a headbanging tune titled Let Down, with Elana’s vocals alternating between Nu Metal and modern-day Hard Rock, not to mention how awesome Nick’s bass punches sound, and if you enjoy Halestorm’s modern sound you’ll have a blast with the rockin’ tune Bloodsport, showcasing hints of Punk Rock while Elana keeps kicking ass on vocals. Ray crushes his drums in the heavy and thrilling Caged, supported by the incendiary strings by Nick and, therefore, resulting in one of the best moments of the album. Such groovy and dark atmosphere continues in the Nu Metal feast Purge, again spearheaded by Elana’s strident vocals while Nick extracts tons of electricity from his guitar.
Supported by the frantic beats by Ray, Elana screams and roars in the name of Rock N’ Roll in Cellophane, an electrifying song perfect for slamming into the circle pit, followed by Bad Decisions, one of the most modernized of all songs, blending elements from the music by Korn, Nine Inch Nails and other renowned acts from the 2000’s rock scene. After that, Elana sounds insane in Fake, speeding things up to the classic beats by Ray while Nick’s riffage sets fire to the song’s already flammable vibe in an ass-kicking Alternative Metal extravaganza; whereas despite the solid job done by Ray on drums and the heavy riffs by Nick, the song Fight Alone sounds a bit generic compared to the rest of the album. The title-track Auburn offers our ears a passionate performance by Elana on vocals declaiming its pensive lyrics (“Who are you / When you’re all alone / When there’s no one looking / Do you still feel whole / What’s been living inside your soul / Are you empty inside / Are you empty inside”) while Ray dictates the pace with his pounding beats in a powerful heavy ballad, and lastly as a bonus we’re treated to the radio edit version of Lift Me Up, keeping the same energy of the original version.
The stunning Elana and her Motive Black are waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram with news, tour dates, more of their music and other nice-to-know details about the band, and don’t forget to also stream their classy creations on Spotify and to purchase your copy of auburn by clicking HERE. “I’m not an aggressive person,” Elana says. “But my music is very to the core; everything goes into it. I do most of my venting through music. It’s definitely a collaboration with Nick. We feed off each other and we’ve created some really cool music,” and we must all admit their partnership has been very productive and exciting so far, with Auburn becoming a must-listen album in the current American rock and metal landscape.
Best moments of the album: Lift Me Up, Cellophane and Fake.
Worst moments of the album: Fight Alone.
Released in 2023 AFM Records
1. Lift Me Up 3:45
2. Broken 4:05
3. Let Down 3:36
4. Bloodsport 3:22
5. Caged 2:50
6. Purge 3:42
7. Cellophane 3:54
8. Bad Decisions 3:07
9. Fake 4:19
10. Fight Alone 3:40
11. Auburn 4:00
12. Lift Me Up (Single Edit) 3:34
Elana Justin – vocals
Nick Rowe – guitars, bass
Carla Harvey – vocals on “Lift Me Up”
Ray Luzier – drums on “Broken”, “Caged”, “Cellophane”, “Fake”, “Fight Alone” and “Auburn”
Marcos Curiel – guitars on “Broken”
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