Who? While recording Underoath’s critically acclaimed Define the Great Line in early 2006, Aaron Gillespie used studio downtime to write what would morph into his side project, the Almost. Taking cues from his idol Dave Grohl, Gillespie — drummer and singer with aforementioned Christian metalcore heavyweights — emerged from behind his drum kit to fully flex his musical skills, singing and playing most everything on the Almost’s debut, Southern Weather, which is out today via Tooth & Nail/Virgin. Jay Vilardi (guitar), Alex Aponte (bass) and Kenny Bozich (drums) round out the Almost’s live lineup.

What’s the Deal? The Almost pack a decidedly rock-oriented punch on Southern Weather, reflecting Gillespie’s admiration of a little band called the Foo Fighters. First single “Say This Sooner” is a steam-rolling bundle of anthemic energy that’s equal parts melody and percussive stomp, while “Amazing, Because It Is” shows off Gillespie’s powerfully intimate side around a choir and reworked bits of “Amazing Grace.” Former Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk also lends guest vocals to the Red House Painters-inspired “Dirty and Left Out.”

Fun Fact: A Clearwater, FL native now residing in Salt Lake City, there’s no saying Gillespie’s adoring fans are passive — the first week songs posted online, the Almost received over a staggering 100,000 plays. COREY APAR

Now Hear This: The Almost – “I Mostly Copy Other People” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web: thealmost.com

Talk: Do the Almost bring the rock all the way or just partway?


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