THE BRUISER is the title of the new album by Chris Paul Overall. Former frontman of the melodic dropkick-rock band Wonderlove, CPO has cracked open the aftermath and come out with his finest sensibilities intact. A friend who was tragically taken before his time offered this powerful observation a few years back. “He referred to me as a bruiser with relationships. Part love bully and part bullied lover.” This album, Overall explains, is a tribute to the frank resonance of that moment - a reflection of how a candid look at a mixed up state of affairs can result in music rather than meltdown. These songs are as easy to listen to as they are a hard-hat trip into the depths of heart mine. The formidable pipes that carry the motherlode of the Chris Paul Overall sound have drawn in critics and fans alike. Secure within his own voice, his inspired singing gives off undercurrents reminiscent of soulful troubadours of the past. From the swagger of “push” to the breezy lope of “I love you still” these are the kind of melodies that will come in through the sliding glass door in your head and stay for a drink.
Chris Paul Overall grew up in San Antonio, Texas in a household where music was as everyday as food. When they weren’t singing as a family or listening to gospel and roots music on the radio, Chris’s father Robin, a deadly guitar player in his own right, would let the sounds of the Beatles, Jackson Browne and Eric Johnson permeate the living room. The cliche says that when it rains it pours. Sister Sara has followed her brother into the garden maze of music and echoes her brother’s four octave vocal talents in her own spinoff of the family music genes. At 19, Chris headed for Southern California and in ensuing years his studies turned from books and papers toward songs, late nights and smokey clubs.
After a few years of laying band roots, Wonderlove quickly established themselves as one of the most potent melodic rock bands around and walked away with a ‘best live band’ Orange County Music Award two years in a row ('02/'03). The band worked up its chops within the rehearsal haven of The Space, a collective of musicians and artists who shared a vision of honing music, making new friends and throwing eclectic blowouts in the confines of an underground warehouse. Bands became friends and friends became peers and Chris grew roots within the middle of a scene including other rising acts like Buchanan, Rocco Deluca, Brett Bixby, Deccatree, Fielding, The Dibs and Thinking Aloud. As the songwriting force behind the band, the dissolution of Wonderlove became an evolutionary opportunity as the overall sound of Chris Paul has broadened beyond the genre of modern rock into territory where songs with subtlety and sharp pop instincts are welcome beside the bedrock guitar anthems. The OC Register christened him an architect of “the new sound in OC” and The Bruiser is a welcome first chapter in his new musical testament. A combo of explosive rock and heart wrenching ballads, Keavin Wiggins of Antimusic.com
sums it up…“The bottom line is this: Chris Paul Overall is a rock star for the 21st century. He has it all. A unique and powerful voice, exceptional songwriting skills with songs filled with sing along melodies and hooks, an onstage charisma that can’t be ignored and, most importantly, the drive and vision to achieve his musical dream.”
Do yourself a favor and let your own ears be your guide. The album is Chris Paul Overall - THE BRUISER, and it is available beginning May ’06 at local and southwestern shows, online through cdbaby, playing on myspace and headed for a store near you. Remember, the one thing that you can’t get on the internet or through television is the visceral experience of a live show, the sound of a pure voice vaulting off of a stage in front of you. CPO will use his voice to deliver you on the altar of music with this knock out blow of a record.