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Down to Earth stays in the box

Michele Jeffers | Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Acolytes of Dr. Phil (and those who shop with my mother) are probably familiar with the expression that a person needs to get out of his or her box. It seems lately the whole world has developed an obsession with this 3-dimensional figure – everywhere you go, there is the ubiquitous persistence to think, climb, overthrow, do anything at all besides get near that dull, boring old box. Spurring innovation and avoiding catchy gimmicks almost promises obscurity, but sometimes sticking to one’s box isn’t quite so bad. They contain who a person is, what he loves and the things that bring him the most comfort. One might even want to invite some friends over and build a clubhouse out of it. Down to Earth Approach unapologetically insists on staying in its box. Inspired by their love of “The Get Up Kids” and “Saves the Day,” Jonathan Lullo, Ryan McClurg, John McCampbell and Peter Metzler came together to form Down to Earth Approach in 2000. In what must have been a dream come true, the band was signed to its idols’ label, Vagrant Records. In recording its first LP, Down to Earth Approach strongly adhered to its name. On Vagrant’s Web site, frontman Jonathan Lullo explains how the band’s name reflects its approach towards music. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel; right now we just want to write some really good pop songs. We don’t want to change the music scene, we just want to have our own place in it,” he wrote.Down to Earth Approach did, in fact, find its place in the music scene with the release of the album “Another Intervention” in August, 2004. “Another Intervention” features eleven melodic rock songs that reveal a strong kinship with concomitant Vagrant bands. Lullo’s wide vocal range allows him to hit the high notes without skirting on the whininess espoused by many bands in the genre. “Exhibit of the Year” is a great opener, hooking the listener into a series of upbeat, level tempo tracks. Standout tracks include “Triple Black,” “Books on tape,” and “Living Rooms.”The band successfully conveys its enthusiasm and energy on “Another Intervention,” but it is on the stage that the band really blazes. After seeing the band perform at a concert earlier this year, Knott on the Knoll president Joe McCarthy worked his magic to bring the band to Notre Dame. McCarthy stated that Down to Earth Approach “seemed like a band that could have a lot of fun, and their music is energetic and very catchy. After I saw them on stage, I knew they had the charisma to headline a college rock concert.” Down to Earth Approach is bringing its box and rocking it out at Knott on the Knoll this weekend. All are invited for revelry and rock music at the box social of the season Saturday night. Knott on the Knoll will also feature performances by This Day and Age, The Weakman’s Alliance and Detroit Rock City’s finest, The Basement Stairs.