No Absolutes, Just Music

By Jenna Croyle

Over the decades, we have heard countless styles and genres of music emerge, with even more musicians that mix their own sounds and flavors into what has become an overflowing melting pot of rhythms and musical textures.

Occasionally we see a group of musicians, who when melded together, defy the confines of the genres, making music in its purest, rarest form.

If music is the lingua franca spoken by the angels, then this week’s featured band, Is What It Is defines the words and crafts the sentences.

With all the talent, energy and fortitude that they can muster, Is What It Is boldly goes where no local band has gone before, forging not a new sound, but capturing the quintessential essence of the music itself.

Is What It Is was formed in early 2011 and is comprised of perhaps the three most talented musicians to have ever picked up an instrument in Erie over the last twenty years, Stephen Trohoske on the

Bass Guitar, Ian Smith on Guitar and Kenny “Stix” Thompson on Drums and Vocals.

Much like the accuracy of a fine Swiss timepiece, Is What It Is executes every note with exact precision, flawless transitions and an amazingly melodic flow throughout every musical piece they perform.

Is What It Is has taken the experiences and styles of genres such as Funk, Rock, Jazz, Elektronica, Hip Hop, Trance and Dub music and has created not a fusion of music, or even a new musical genre, but something that can only be described as a rebirth of “Music” as a concept.

The trio’s front man and Bass player, Steve Trohoske is simply outstanding, truly putting the boom in the Bass. With an unmatched and uniquely funky groove to his baselines, Trohoske’s in your Face, hard pounding style is mesmerizing and very addictive, while his originals are refreshing and exhilarating from the first beat.

The band’s Guitarist, Ian Smith could easily be considered the most innovative player in town, and a true groove master. Smith’s rhythmic textures, killer breakdowns and explosive riffs along with his high voltage delivery offers yet another electrifying nuance to Is What It Is.

Kenny “Stix” Thompson offers the most incredible combination of rapid-fire chops with shocking precision, coupled with a stunning display of integrated rhythms that simply blow your mind. With a clear love of music and an aggressive passion that is Reminiscent of the great Bill Bruford, Thompson is without doubt, one of a kind.

With an ensemble of musicians that are talent personified, a stage show that bleeds such a cool vibe and a sound too distinctive to even try to put into words, Is What It Is gives new meaning to the word “Music.”

If you are looking to hear music that is original, raw and real, Is What It Is will certainly give you what you want and so much more.

For more information on Is What It Is and their show dates, please visit their Facebook page.