Robertas Semeniukas spent many years working with other musicians. His talent and energy was sought after, and for clear reason. But all the while, he knew he had solo tracks inside him. Backstage Stories is a 20-track showcase of what he can do when he takes the reigns.
The album has twelve instrumental tracks and eight with vocals. All the vocals on original tracks are recorded in Semeniukas’ native Lithuanian. With influences like Van Halen, Slash, and Led Zeppelin, the result is a melodic, guitar-forward collection of songs that classic rock fans will feel at home within.
“Kai nieko nebelieka” opens the album with a heavy set of riffs and a rap energy, pushed along with more canorous vocals. Giving way to the gentler duet of “Nesustok”, it is clear early that feeling tethered to one mood or genre is not something Robertas Semeniukas is too concerned with.
Wistfulness abounds on “Journey Home” — a jangly track with distance in the reverberations. When Semeniukas keeps a track instrumental, it is no loss to tune or hook. “You Gotta Move” holds Americana sweetness and a slowed down tempo and is the one English-language track: a cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell.
Backstage Stories is an endeavour, a long collection of songs that showcase diversity more than unity. The funk-tinge of “See Jam” lingers and the hard rock edges of “Icebreaker Comes to Town” demands high volume. You can check out the incredible energy of “Eat My Dust” with the music video, which features Mr. Jumbo. But the album really strikes gold in the spacious, dreamier moments like “Silo Kopa”, which channels a strong sense of nostalgia.
Backstage Stories was released on November 20th, 2019. To hear more from Robertas Semeniukas, you can find him on his website, SoundCloud, and Facebook page. You can also follow the artist on Twitter.