Friday, November 29, 2013

Question Master, by Companion

Question Master, by Companion
Companion is a local 417 hardcore band. Question Master was a release of a single track back in 2012. What you've got on the surface is a simple, fast paced track. And while it may be as such, something about it really gets to me. I've essentially had this song on repeat since I heard it, and it's becoming one of my favorite tracks of this year. To me, it's way underplayed. This is a great song. What I think makes it so great, honestly, is the pure emotion that Shane puts into the song. His vocals are done wonderfully; raw, powerful,  angry yet completely sad.
A few words about the drumming: I know i'm not exactly a drummer, but I can tell that in some parts this drumming is fairly simple, but in other parts of the song it's something different entirely, moving the song from behind. This drumming really pleases me in this song, not sure why, maybe if I was a drummer I'd be able to explain, or maybe it's because I'm not a drummer at all that it makes me feel as it does.
A word about the bass: I would hate to pass up the bass lines in this song. Simple, driving, yet there. Stock bass playing but it works with this song greatly. Really comes out in the last parts of the song.
Guitar: Alright as a guitar playing man I can talk about this and know what I'm saying, kinda. Here goes:
The guitar seems like the thing that stands out most in the mix, so it's quite noticeable. What you've got is a driving guitar playing. While it doesn't differentiate much throughout the song on the aspect of chords and stuff, what changes it up to defeat the monotonous chord progressions would be the strumming pattern changes throughout the song. I really like the guitar done in this song, it adds a wonderful air to the song in it's entirety. Especially at the end "breakdown-ish" part.
Vocals/lyrics.  Like I said, raw, powerful, angry yet sad. Shane puts so much emotion into the song. I still listen to it and get chills at the ending part of the song. The first few times I listen to it, and still some times when I'm feeling sad, I almost tear up. It's definitely something. Mad respect for that. Plus, the lyrics are great, amazing in my opinion.
Overall: Damn, it's becoming one of my favorite hardcore tracks of 2013. Even though it was released in 2012. Deal with it. Listen to it. Love it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Jake Wesley Rogers--Diamond EP

Jake Wesley Rogers--Diamond EP

1) Jim Dean
2) King
3) Matter Of Time
4) Wonderful
5) Hall Of Fame

Jake Wesley Rogers is a singer/songwriter from Ozark, MO (hey, that's where Adrian and I live.) That really embodies art-pop on basically every level I can think of. This is a well put together first release, that really help Jake push off.

This album starts off with the dance-y, pop tune "James Dean" that kind of reminds of some newer Linkin Park tune up until the verse. Talking about the verse, they're really short on this song, like 8 bars or whatever. Which leads into the pre-chorus, and then Chorus. Which leaves this song into a very common pattern; Intro/verse/pre-chorus/chorus/intro-thing/verse/pre-chorus/chorus/bridge/quiet chorus/chorus/outro that really just the intro again. With a strong emphasis on the Chorus at the end. This is how this entire EP is basically written, but it's the instrumentation and how it flows so well--that is the catcher for me.

The main song of this EP, "Matter Of Time" (basically the one that's pushed the most) starts off with a tribal drum and bass groove, remains that way for the verse and then drops out into some piano chords for the pre-chorus and comes back together for the chorus. Lyrics are kind-of generic for a pop album, but I don't usually care about lyrics, so it doesn't really bother me.

All in all this is actually a solid EP, tight instrumentation, great voice, and a change-up on what's inside the stereotypical pop song.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Am Going To Die+Dad by Roof Doctor

I'm Going To Die, by Roof Doctor
1. Ocean City
2. Thanks For The Blankets
3. Mark Dog
4. I Am Going To Die
5. Dishwasher with a Dishwasher
6. Family: Mark Do Better
7. Soda Jerk
I'll apologize in advance for the longish review, I had a lot to say about this release.
I recently did a review on June, Roof Doctor's first release, and I wanted to finish up by doing Roof Doctor's other releases. Now, let's have it known June was a completely acoustic release, and I'll tell you what, I was in for a pleasant surprise when "Ocean City" opened up the song with some nice Saxophone and easy guitar playing. What you have returning in I Am Going To Die is a few aspects seen in June. One is that nasally singing voice from Mark Harper. I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, however. I was talking with Kasey, who also does reviews for this Blog, and he stated that he for one enjoyed these vocals. I for one did grow accustomed to Mark's singing through June. Anyway, for me it was an acquired taste, but I love it. Another thing brought back would be some of the songs from Roof Doctor's first release, June, such as "Thanks For The Blankets" and "Dishwasher with a Dishwasher".
Maybe it was just me because I heard "Thanks For The Blankets" from June, but the addition of the drums, guitars, bass, and sax just made an already great song, so much better. Plus, "Thanks For The Blankets" is one of those songs with lyrics that go with my life right now.
There is definitely an Emo twist to the music this time around, the simple-yet-well done guitar parts adding so much to the songs. The addition of the Sax brings around a Jazz feel, and the drums seem to roll with that in some songs.
Run times are a little longer on this release, but that's not bad in anyway. I had to download and re-listen to this release multiple times because the sweet Jazz and sad emo put me into a trance-like state, making me space out for half of many of the songs. While June seemed like the kind of album that should be the soundtrack to Juno or some other teen-coming of age movie, this seems to me like the kind of album you put on in the background of taking a bath, taking a nap on a summer day, or kissing your girlfriend in a car or whatever. It's chill.
Just going to point out some favorite part. "I Am Going To Die". Alright, sorry, but if you put Gang vocals into the "I love you song" by Barney, I'll freaking love it. I love the addition of Gang Vocals towards the end of "I Am Going to Die", which seems a little repetitive through the entire song, even though it's the good kind of repetitive, like "Imagine" by John Lennon repetitive.
"Soda Jerk" has a quartet kind of thing going on, and, as a choir student/barber shop quartet lover ,this is awesome for me to see. You've got this sick bass singer and tenors and probably alto or sopranos doesn't matter and then there is clapping and it's good okay.
Just going to point out least favorite parts: "Family: Mark Do Better" I can see this is supposed to be a lyric-heavy song, but clocking in at 6:29, it does get a little repetitive. And not exactly in a good way. In a back of the bar Jazz band playing kind of way, still good, but not really an attention grabber. However they tie the song together in the end with a buildup, even if it is a little too late into the song.
In all, yeah. Make out with your girlfriend to this, or something. It's chill. I dig, recommend.
Favorite Track: "Soda Jerk" "I Am Going To Die"
Dad, by Roof Doctor

1. Dad. (Dad is off the upcoming full length release Mobile Freedom Home)

"Dad" was released over 2 years after June, Roof Doctor's first release. If you showed me June Roof Doctor, and "Dad" Roof Doctor, I'd have a hard time realizing they are the same band. "Dad" has a chill Emo aspect to the song, and with the lack of Sax, it's almost like they are heading back to the indie-emo sadnesscore aspect as seen in their first release. Which would be totally fine with me, I loved June. There is a spacey-ish feel to "Dad" the kind you get from an indie band trying to be a shoegaze band, if you know what I mean. I for one enjoy "Dad'. Not my favorite of Roof Doctor's, that would have to be either "Roof Doctor" from June, "Soda Jerk", from I Am Going To Die.  
"Dad", however, is a perfect precursor to what is to come for Roof Doctor, and I for one can't wait to see what Roof Doctor has in store. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013



1)Surf Bitches
2) Lip Curl
3) Grow Old
4) Jacob's Story
5) Ice Cream Dreams
6) Home And Away
7) Joy Revision 

BEST FRIENDS is a Surf-rock band from somewhere in the UK, I don't really remember how I found these guys, but I've fallen in love with this EP nevertheless. I've been getting into a lot of underground stuff the UK has been providing lately, like Nai Harvest or Gnarwolves (which you should check out both of those bands, too) and some other bands off of Art Is Hard Records--which has usually been lo-fi surf bands like this one. But this is BEST FRIENDS first release from 2011, it's also one of the only free ones ;)

So BEST FRIENDS--EP is kind of a dream come true for me, lo-fi, high-energy, sleepy vocals, and short runtimes (which I like longer songs, but not in this style, typically.) and basically shows off some cool guitar leads and nice melodies, all being very surf-y. The guitar just keeps going away at the chords, which really brings out the lo-fi production of this EP. The riffs that bassist bust out are just delicious, which I dig. I mean, besides all the songs being a pretty close to the same tempo, there's nothing bad about this EP.

You need to get this, it's very addictive.

Favorite track: Surf Bitches

Flawless--Something I'll Never Miss

Flawless- Something I'll Never Miss

1) Leap Year
2) Model Home
3) 1992
4) Words
5) Free At Last

So Flawless is a Pop-punk/Emo/Alternative/shoegaze band from right here at home in Springfield, MO. These guys are single-handily the best band in Springfield. This is their first release--all the way back from 2011--which is a perfect ending-of-summer EP and really just gets you prepared for the winter. 

Henceforth, the first song on this EP starts off like a punch to the face and the energy doesn't end until the last song fades out. I can't many albums that really pull that off very well, while keeping the overall vibe through out. I mean this being one of, like, 5 bands Alex Harris is in, the beats are crazy, driving, and awesome. The lyrics are mostly about how they're trying to figure out who they are; or why you don't accept them the way they want you to; or how you twist their words to make problems for other people. My only complaint (if you call it that) is that the guitar does the same pattern whenever the d-beats start rolling out, but that's just me. I don't really thing else to say about the instrumentation, it's just...Flawless ;)

The song-writing on this EP is wonderfully done, I haven't got bored of it yet, and it's basically been on repeat for me since February. I would suggest you get this and their other EP NOW.

Favorite Track: 1992, Free At Last


Monday, November 25, 2013

imagine like 12 dogs running around on top of you, by Leaky Soups

imagine like 12 dogs running around on top of you, by Leaky Soups
1. jameson (not) lameson
2. i want 300 girlfriends
3. coconut part ii
4. "over the horizon" by samsung

What can I say, I clicked on this band on bandcamp because of the release title. Leaky Soups is some weird indie rock band from Philadelphia that I found under the emo genres on Bandcamp. I can kinda see where emo may come into the songs, like the guitar parts in "i want 300 girlfriends" and such, but the vocals are all clean. Runtimes are all short on this release, the longest tracks tying in at 2:58 between track one and four.
I enjoy the drums and bass lines done on coconut part ii, which is a song that's quite progressive. It starts off slow with a simple uke and vox part, and in it's 2:04 runtime it goes somewhere. In all Leaky Soups is the kind of indie-cute band that you need to already be into, in my opinion. But then again this is coming from a guy in an indie band who hates the fact that he is in an indie band. So I'm kinda prejudice against indie music. I do enjoy the guitar in all of these songs, which does in fact border on Emo. Cullan's vocals are done well throughout the entire release, and did I mention the guitar lines? They're good.
Favorite Track overall: ""over the horizon" by samsung" It has great guitar, drums, bass, everything. And the ending, which, I won't spoil, is perfect.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

June, by Roof Doctor

June, by Roof Doctor
1. Thanks for the Blankets
2. Dishwasher with a Dishwasher
3. When I was really losing it
4. I think it went quite alright
5. Ocean city May 2011
6. Roof Doctor
7. Losing Matt and leaving school

I found Roof Doctor on Bandcamp by searching Emo music, but the review I'm doing now is of Roof Doctor's release, June, which is not Emo in anyway. June is Roof Doctor's first release, entirely acoustic, guitar and vocals. I feel like this entire album should be something on a "growing up teenager" type of movie, like Juno, or something. The guitar is well done, nothing just "Same for chords every song", and the lyrics are personal and deep. The Vocals are a little nasally , but that's fine because it all fits.  One good thing about this release is that the songs aren't all five or so minutes long, like I've usually seen with this genre. The songs are around 2 minutes long on average, the longest song being Losing Matt and Leaving School, clocking in around 3:16.  Everything about this release screams indie acoustic sadness. The kind of music you listen to after a breakup and cry, which, I think may be the point. It made me a little sad to listen to.
Favorite Track for guitar: Losing Matt and Leaving School
Favorite Track overall: Thanks for the Blankets

Friday, November 22, 2013

S/T by Blackhole

S/T by Blackhole
1. Back Alley Brain Abortion
2. Lost Sight Start A Fight
3. Cornerd
4. Auto-Tuned Existance
5. Homospirituality

Blackhole is a local hardcore band. I'm kind of scared to review this band because to me they are so amazing. One thing about Blackhole that I notice from this release is that there isn't really a dull moment. Another thing is this is the kind of band you get angry to. Some nice guitar riffs in Homospirituality and Back Alley Brain Abortion is great song. The Drumming in the entire album doesn't stick out to me too much, Hal's vocals and the guitar playing sticks out to me most, but maybe that's just because I'm a guitar playing boy. Cornerd, clocking in at 39 seconds, is quite a power violence song, and Blackhole seems to do it quite well.
Favorite track overall: Back Alley Brain Abortion
Blackhole is definitely something you should listen to if you are into hardcore.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Darker Things by Choir Vandals

Choir Vandals- Darker Things

1)Darker Things
2)The House On The Corner
4)An Honest Conversation
5)Freaking Out 
6)Primary Colors

Choir Vandals is an up-and-coming emo/indie band from St.Louis, Mo. They seem more indie than emo, but that is a-okay because they're just so sad and catchy.

Okay, first thing I want to point out is the atmosphere that is set-up on the first song--remains throughout the entire EP, which is awesome. It's such a beautiful atmosphere, dreamy and "longing for old times": this would be something I would play Sunday night to help me get over the fact that Monday's next. And I like the way "The House On The Corner" kind of adds a ghostly-vibe to that dreamy-vibe.

 Next, I want to point out the simplicity of the drums (naturally, because I'm a drummer). It's not a bad simple either--every hit made fits the song--every fill (like the one in the middle of the verse of "An Honest Conversation") just feel so good--keep doing what you're doing. For the guitars, they're giving me a kind of twinkly sound which remains me a lot of Vampire Weekend, and the vocals kind of go with that vibe. The bass lines kind of mirror the rhythm guitar most of the time, but there are some moments where they don't but I can't pick those out right now. As for the vocals and lyrics, his voice is so melancholic and I love it, the lyrics reflect those feelings

My favorite track: An Honest Conversation, The House On The Corner

I mean there really isn't a boring moment on the track, besides the beginning of the first track, which seems to drag on just a little too long for me, but otherwise I'm really impressed by this first release. I can't wait to hear more from Choir Vandals in the future. 

A Better Hope Foundation

A Better Hope Foundation - You Can Never Go Home Again

I'm going to start off with a favorite of mine, and then get the ball rolling on some other albums that I don't enjoy as much as this one.

ABHF is an Dark Hardcore/Emotional Hardcore band from somewhere California--they mostly play at a local café called Ché Café Collective. This guys just really sit on the border of not being Emotional Hardcore, the only I'm saying they are is because these lyrics are stock emotional hardcore lyrics. BUT they are definitely the best I've come across; deep, thought-provoking, and generally on the sadder-side.

The instrumentation on this 4-song EP is fairly common (vox, bass, guitar, guitar and drums). It has all the D-beats you could hope for in all the right places, and the drumming is actually one of my favorites on ANY release, everything helps the songs while not being a lame drum part, thus making me spend plenty of hours playing along for the shits-and-giggles of it. The guitar is pretty common too but there are moments were the atmosphere they provides is more dark than the usual emotional Hardcore provides. I almost get an Egyptian atmosphere which is a real ticket seller for me. The bass lines on this EP, oh my god. The bass lines on this EP is probably the best I've ever heard out of the genre, so damn tasty that it makes the drums sound so good, which is important.  Now for the vocals, this guy has probably one of the better sounding voices in hardcore, it's kind of in your low-medium range, and it just helps build that atmosphere I was talking about earlier.

My favorite track for vocals: City Laments
My favorite track for drums: Brothers In Broken Arms
My favorite track for bass: Below The Salt
My favorite track for guitar: Below The Salt

The songwriting on this EP is just fantastic, there doesn't ever seem to be a dull spot in this 13 minute time span. The use of dynamics is so tasty.

Just beautiful.

Happily Ever... by Hit Home

Happily Ever... by Hit Home
1. Show & Tell
2. Yearning
3. Per Se
4. Bedthreats

I'm really struck by this Emo band from Boston. A for sure favorite off this release is Per Se. The Gang Vocals just make me so happy. Throughout the entire release you get some great guitar parts, some great drumming, and some great vocals overall. This might be my new favorite Emo band, and I'd say give them a listen, they sound amazing.

Demo 2013, by Good Mourning

Demo 2013, by Good Mourning

1. Happy
2. Interlude
3. Resurrect (This Broken Home)

Good Mourning is an emotional/alt. Punk band from Grimsby UK. This release is definitely just that. The Vocals stand out a lot in the mix, and there seems to be some layering in vocals, with a deeper, almost spoken voice behind the lead singer's vocals, which I for one like. However, I'm not the biggest fan of the lead singer's voice. Happy is a good song, the hook in the lyrics is something that stuck in my head after listening.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where We Exist, by Survay Says!

Where We Exist, by Survay Says!
1.Where We Exist
2. The Netflix Song (Light Of Day)
3. Simplified
4. Cold Showers All Around!
5. Bridges And Hop-Ons (You're gonna get some hop-ons)
6. Gas Money Millionaires
7. Garie Got Bent
8. Seriously, You're gonna hit the guardrail
9. That's Cold Blooded!
10. Hipster's Hipster (Your way's left behind)
11. Hollywood
12. Falling Apart
13. Dear JCP&L, I'm Tired of this nonsense
14. Outro (skit)

Got to play with these guys a while ago while they were on tour, and they were a great group of guys. Where We Exist is a greatly done Ska album, and one that everyone should have on a Ska inspired-playlist. Not much bad to say about this Album, it has so much good on it. Definitely recommend to anyone. Give it a listen, it's free on their bandcamp.

Randy's Bacon, by Dirk Frazel

Randy's Bacon, by Dirk Frazel
1. $20 1/2 8th Club
2. Stylish but Illegal
3. Plymouth Blue Horizon

Okay, so I'm a huge fan of Dirk Frazel, my drummer showed them to me, and I fell in love instantly. Partially because they were my first Emo band, but ya know. Randy's Bacon is a weird one, and that's what great about it. If you've met the guys in Dirk Frazel, you'll know they are a lot like Randy's Bacon: weird, but in a good way. Anyway, the downsides to this would be the sound mixing in the vocals. You could argue that it was on purpose, and it could have been, but still it's a little distracting when you're listening to the crazy guitar parts and realize suddenly that Garrett is crying out some lyrics in the background. Their lyric style is very similar live, as it is to their recorded lyric style. When they played live, many times Garrett didn't even try to aim at the Mic's. But anyway, even for being such a huge fan of Dirk Frazel, the downsides of the songs can be a little tiresome. Check them out sometime though, and don't you ever miss one of their shows.

Cigarette Regimen, by Grammer

Cigarette Regimen, by Grammer,

1. Cigarette Regimen

Got to see these guys live, and even though they had some technical difficulties with their guitar at the show, they did really good. I really enjoyed the singer's voice. Cigarette Regimen is a good song, and pretty generic Emo music, but that doesn't mean it's bad. They have a guitar riff that kicks in at around the 2 minute mark of the song that is literally music to my ears. I'll be honest and say that there isn't much to this band that I find wrong. Great lyrics to this song so far, listen to it.  It's one of the songs that you should definitely have on your Emo playlist. I hope to see a lot more from these guys soon.I freaking love the riff at the end of the song, and the lyrics kinda speak to me. 

Golden Noose, by Surrender

1.Golden Noose ft. Kyle Roller
2. I'm not sorry
3. Advocate ft. Hal Crossno of Blackhole
4. Watch you decay
5. Bothered
6. Tomb ft. Joe Strong
7. Failure

Golden Noose, by Surrender

Surrender is what seems like a run-of-the-mill hardcore band from Springfield Missouri. This band is heavy on the feedback and deep dark, 100% mosh-able guitar parts. Christian's vocals are really dirty and high pitched, but seem to compliment the band perfectly. It's a short LP, clocking in around 16 minutes, but it's the kind of hardcore that I can put on repeat and not get tired of.
My favorite track on Golden Noose would have to be Advocate. It's the longest track, and has a nicely played deep setting guitar part throughout. However, Hal's verse at the end of the song wraps up the entire track perfectly.
It's a great one, and one that I recommend to all my friends. The only downsides of it would be the amount of feedback used throughout the LP. Like, it's a lot.