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5 Elements has a party going on

Thursday, October 25, 2012

By John Benson

When you’re a rock-rap- reggae act, there is no better comparison than being told your band sounds like The Beastie Boys and 311.

That’s exactly what Youngs-town group 5 Elements — Tony Parent, (drums), Jim Logan (vocals, turntables), Kevin Gallite (bass), Dan Newsome (guitar), Josh Warnock (vocals, guitar) and Nick Barbush (vocals, percussion) — is hearing these days about its recently released second full-length effort, “Enter the Zao.”

“We jam a whole bunch of different styles into one thing,” said Youngstown native Logan, a 2000 Chaney High School graduate. “So we’re kind of more rocking, but we’ve got a lot of reggae songs we play. We’ve also got a lot of hip-hop influence and punk-rock influence.”

Though 5 Elements, which formed in 2006, had a full-length effort years ago, Logan said the release was more of a demo that didn’t accurately capture the group’s originality. Now with Newsome recently added into the mix, the singer said the band never sounded better.

5 Elements’ kitchen-sink approach can be heard on new tracks such as the catchy “Champion Sound” and the straight-ahead punk-rock “Party Going On.” Then there’s the new cover of Gregory Isaacs’ “Night Nurse.”

“It’s a classic reggae song that came out in 1982,” Logan said. “The reason we recorded it is mainly because since middle school, we all grew up with a love of reggae music and Gregory Isaacs. In fact, when we were first starting out as a band, the first song we ever covered was from Gregory Isaacs. Considering he died a year and a half ago, we decided to record ‘Night Nurse’ as a tribute. Plus, it’s a huge crowd favorite. The girls really love that one.”

Up next for the sextet is its annual Halloween blowout show where, as Logan describes it, anything goes.

“We really put extra effort into making that show something different,” Logan said. “We get to goof off more, and we’re a pretty goofy band as it is. In the past, we’ve covered ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ [songs].”

Being Halloween, what costumes does Logan have planned?

“Well, this year I’m going to be going as a zombie Macho Man, paying respects to one of my favorite wrestlers,” Logan said.

Hmm, does this mean you’re going to try to eat the audience’s brains?

“No, they shouldn’t be worried about their brains,” Logan said, laughing. “I’m a vegetarian.”