Playing IN Traffic
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Playing IN Traffic

Deer Park, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Deer Park, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Metal




"Mix it up Review"

This one is for our very passionate hard rock/heavy metal enthusiasts: we recently received the latest from New York-based band Playing IN Traffic, and it’s smart, occasionally reserved, but mostly thundering. The new album, Mix IT Up /\ Mix IT Up /\, features 11 powerful songs expressed through hard rock, heavy metal, thrash…and heck, I may have heard a few bars of ska. So, what we’re dealing with isn’t your standard hard rock band; they mention progressive rock influences, which explains the quick, clever changes in mood and meter. Ready to, uh, “mix it up” with Playing IN Traffic’s latest album? Let’s hit the highlights.

Playing IN Traffic is one of those rare bands that actually gets along, having stuck it out through times of creative and personal tension, and for over 14 years (they met when they were teenagers). Who makes up this band of unflappable friends?

Lead Singer – Karais James
Bass – Shane Sarno
Lead Guitar – Raymond Carroza
Drums – Jim Horan

Album opener “Another Day” begins with James’ Scott Stapp-ish voice and some clean electric guitar. I’m reminded, subtly, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers with that funky vibe and James’ casual sing-speaking. But then comes a hammering change – a deviously chugging thrash kicks in underneath James’ now sand-scoured howling. And this is the kind of push/pull dynamic, the softly retiring versus the rocket-launching aggression, that takes us to the song’s diabolical ending.

“Empty” begins with clean, dark guitar chords before the song bares its teeth with aggressive guitar chugging. It sounds like Soundgarden meeting the more theatrical heavy metal of Iron Maiden, and the satirical vocalizing of Megadeth. The softer sections remind me of grunge – of Candlebox – before those big, crushing chords jettison from the amp, blowing over everything foolish enough to refuse a rope.

“We H8 U Anyway” is hard, unapologetic, and driven. I hear a little White Zombie thanks to James’ deeper, more sandy delivery.

Track #7, “A Dead Man’s Hymn,” is a descent into nightmares with ferocious chugging and James’ fiendish delivery. The pre-chorus slows in an interesting way, like the hammer is withheld, briefly and torturously, before slamming down with additional merciless velocity.

Track #9, “Until They Bleed,” starts with phasing guitar, and heavy vibrato singing reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden. And this more epic, almost theatrical singing continues throughout the song (well, until the howling/growling commences). This is an epic track that, again, embraces dramatic, thematic metal.

Album closer “Slow Crawl” presents a somewhat chaotic beginning launched from a clever bass lick. Overall, this is another display of James’ more diabolical voice over hard but smartly changing sections – it’s reminiscent of Faith No More with Mike Patton’s constantly shifting vocal characterizations.

But is it good?

I would say it’s VERY good, and VERY obvious these musicians have been together, through thick and thin, for over 14 years. It’s that kind of bond – that amount of time – that allows a band to deftly create and perform such ostensibly catchy but technically challenging music. Each member here is absolutely solid, and they have to be, because what they’re doing? It’s no easy feat. If you’re a fan of hard rock, classic heavy metal, thrash, unexpected mood shifts/time changes, and exceptional playing, you will absolutely rock out to Playing IN Traffic’s new album, Mix IT Up /\ Mix IT Up. Because we certainly did, and now our necks must pay the price. Recommended. - ARK Of Music

"Mix It Up"

I’ve heard many comparisons to what being in a band is like. The “relationship” comparison comes up the most. I agree with that one. Much like a relationship a band requires time, love, and money. NYC native’s Playing In Traffic has been together for 14 years. Through their highs and lows, they have stayed together and pressed on. Their love of music strengthens their bond. Listening to their latest LP, Mix IT Up /\ Mix IT Up /\ was a lot of fun. Let’s get to it.
Heavy is the theme all eleven songs featured in Mix IT Up /\ Mix It Up /\ share. First track that stood out is ‘River’. Big mean distorted chords rain down after clean guitar verses. Power on power to the track’s climbing intensity like rising RPMs on a race motor. We are given the full metal treatment with double bass hits and cymbal grabbing stops. Who do we credit for the harmonica on the outro. A brilliant touch.
The very next track is another metal anthem. Clean verses cascade into a pool of fire on ‘Empty’. There’s an effect on the guitar lead that would make Dimebag Darrel smile. This track in general has a Pantera ‘Strength Beyond Strength’ kind of feel. There’s a swagger to the way the band plays. I love that they lean into it. This track is a banger.

My absolute favorite track is ‘Kool Ade’. This one carries a different vibe than others. I thought of Robert Trujillo and Infectious Grooves. Here, the groove dominates. The little switch up on the outro showcase their writing chops. Do some head stretching before listening to this song. You don’t want to pull something.
The band’s sound takes me to the heavy side of the 90’s. Conjuring nostalgia as a teenager listening to Biohazard, Pantera, Agnostic Front in my bedroom. Playing metal is technical. Executing at that level, together as a band takes time. Beyond being technically proficient, Playing In Traffic shows their ability to craft melodies. While their new album is for the heavy music listener. The album’s melodic underpinnings should make it appeal to a wider audience. I’m on board. - Indie Band Guru


Playing in Traffic is Releasing - Mix IT Up /\ Mix IT Up - on January 19th 2024 it is (10) Remastered songs from their Debut album (All The Kool Kids are Doing it)  as Chemically Controlled Children '
it will have 2 new Bonus Tracks on it. 

(The Slow Crawl & Anger Room)

The spring will bring  The full Album (The new Machine)  which will truly bring life to the new tracks we are giving you ahead of time along with some new videos Playing IN Traffic has been around a long time we take our time to bring you Quality material and we Back it up with Quality performances we look forward to seeing you and playing for you live in the very near future thank you.

 Karais James for Playing IN Traffic

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Playing in Traffic one of N.Y.C’s Premier Hard Rock Bands’

Featuring: Karais James - Shane Sarno - Raymond Carroza and Jim Horan. 

Playing in Traffic’s Rock style is really hard to pin Down.

They are Having too much fun creating music to worry about Style, They write what they feel and bring Fire To it! 

Rock’n’Roll is Alive  and well with This band. 

Playing in traffic is available for bookings year round in The N.Y.C. area and beyond please contact us at (631)-223-9118 

Playing in Traffic was  formerly known as Chemically Controlled Children) the band has been together since 2011 

Band Members