Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Black Hole - Land of Mystery

Black Hole - Land of Mystery 

Tracks: 
1. Demoniac City 
2. Land of Mystery
3. All my Evil
4. Bells of Death
5. Blind Men and Occult Forces
6. Spectral World
7. Obscurity in the Ethereal House
8. Overture
9. Angels of Lucifer
10. Crying Puppets
11. End of All Times

Background: 
 Blackhole, or Black Hole, I'm not sure what the correct spelling is, is an early '80s Doom Metal band. I found them searching on Spotify for a local band, since I can only really use my school computer and therefore bandcamp cannot be used. Formed in '83 in Verona, Veneto, Italy, they released a few demos before releasing their first full length, "Land of Mystery," in '85.

 A haunting symphony starts this album. If I were to compare them to a newer band, they remind me a lot of Ghost (B.C.), their thin, almost whisper-ey and fairly high pitched male vocalist, and satanic, creepy theme. the difference is their guitar tone is MUCH thicker, their bass well produced and one of the defining factors of this band. The band itself reminds me a lot of Black Sabbath or Candlemass. To say the least, its haunting. Definately something I'd play on Halloween. Ghost-like vocals, a bass with a wah pedal. There's really nothing I dislike about this band. I generally don't like higher pitched male vocalists, but this one fits the band well. The intro to "Bells of Death" reminds me so much of Suicidal Tendencies's "How Can I Laugh Tomorrow," that I wouldn't be surprised if Suicidal Tendencies copied Black Hole.
 One thing I must touch on though is this is no easy listen. Songs regularly exceed 7 minutes, a few of them 8 minute monsters.

This is a GREAT doom metal album, and is an essential listen for ANYONE who likes any form of Doom Metal. 88/100. The long song length wears on you after awhile.

Favorite song: Demoniac City. Classic Doom Metal.

Blackhole – Land Of Mystery

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ghost Bike--Ghost Bike

Ghost Bike|Ghost Bike|Ghost Bike|Ghost Bike|Ghost Bike

Trackz:
Murderboat
Satanic Wind

"help me"

Ghost Bike is a real band. I think.

listen

The Divine Unknown by East Beast

The Divine Unknown| East Beast
1. Werewolf Order
2. The Divine Unknown
3. Destroy Your Deceiver
4.♄
5. Quality over Quantity
6. Decipher

Awwww yes, Boston Hardcore band East Beast just dropped their second release (not counting their demo), and I'm more than stoked about it. East Beast picks up from where they left off on their self-titled and just keeps going. Hard hitting, angry,  the five tracks encompassing The Divine Unknown are ones that grab your attention from the beginning. Just as before, the tracks are quick and to the point, simple and mean. This is one of those bands that I would pay quite a mint to see live. Great band, great music, and in the twoish years between this release and their self-titled, it's obvious they've grown as a band, while still sticking to what they are. Instrumentally they all seem to lock into place perfectly, and vocals, oh gosh I can't get enough of 'em. 
I still listen to the first release almost every day, and seeing this is out made my day. Anyway, yeah I don't know, check it out without a doubt. 
Favorite Track: "The Werewolf Order"


CHECK IT OUTTTTT
Favorite lyrics:
"Reaagggghhhhhhhaaaahhhhhhh oh."

Those Who Challenge the Sun by Mariner

Those Who Challenge The Sun | Mariner
1. A letter home
2. The Grind
3. Kilgore trout
4. Pride
5. Patterns on the Ceiling
6. Boundary Waters
7. Statues
8. Occam's Razor
9. Eurydice
10. Pithy

Found another amazing Missouri band. St. Louis band Mariner's first release, Those Who Challenge The Sun, is a melodic/post hardcore/indie rock 10 song release. Maybe this is just a thing with post hardcore, but a lot of the songs sound really really similar. That's one of the major major major downfalls to this release. That's essentially the only one. Vocals are a mixture between defeater-esq yells and some Flawlessy singing. 
This was never about you

I notice that they seem to be putting lyrics and vocals in front of everything else. That's fine, if that's what you're going for, but if you do that than the band usually ends up with music that isn't that interesting. They kinda do it well on this release, music still is fairly good and all, and at least the lyrics are good. Right now they hit home so I can appreciate them even more. Song length wise they keep them at that length most post-hardcore bands throw out their songs. Normally around three minutes long, the longest track clocks in over six minutes. "Eurydice" is a symphony of a song, once again set around the lyrical aspects. 
I think on a whole, these guys did a really good job what with this being their first release. From the quite start of the release to the spacey fading outro, these guys define what they play, and they define it well. Really good release, and one that you should all check out.

Favorite track: Eurydice

Tsunami Bomb - The Definitive Act

Tsunami Bomb - The Definitive Act
Tracks: 
1. Dawn on a Funeral Day
2. Being Alright
3. 5150
4. Safety Song
5. I Bought You
6. 4 Robots and an Evil Scientist
7. A Lonely Chord
8. Epic
9. Negative One to Ten
10. My Machete 
11. Tetanus Shot 
12. Jigsaw

Background:
 Tsunami Bomb is a Bay Area punk band formed around '99. Constant touring and their interesting and original take on punk earns this band its well deserved spot in my top 3 list. Their first full length release (The Ultimate Escape) came out in 2002, and they hit the road immediately after. This is their second release, coming out in 2004. Unfortunately, this band broke up after releasing a DVD because of business and music industry problems in fall of 2005. 

 I have a confession. I don't like Paramore. They're not that bad its just... I couldn't place what I didn't like about them until I found this band. Paramore is too... girly. These guys don't hold back. The guitars are heavily distorted, and are in no way simplified, and the singer, (Agent M) sings loud and proud about all the various subjects you'd expect a punk band to. Society, government, psychopaths, life, ect. The reason I compared this band to Paramore is because the lead singer reminds me a lot of Hayley Williams... Just in an actual punk band. Every once in awhile there's a male scream or two, and Agent M sometimes pulls out all the stops and full-on yells. It's quite amazing to hear. This band stays within the punk genre, but can sometimes be described as Pop - Punk, and sometimes borderlines on straight Rock. Nothing really stands out to me on this album, other than the fact that I absolutely love every song. Even the ones that I don't like as much as the other ones, I'd listen to them over practically every other band on the face of the Earth. 

This whole album was great, I'd give it a 96/100, and recommend it to anyone the moment they say they like Pop-Punk, or early 2,000's punk in general. 

Favorite track: Negative One to Ten. It's fast, in your face, and doesn't hold anything back. Everything I like in a song.

Tsunami Bomb – The Definitive Act

Hello, I'm Glad You Exist by Southlakes

Hello, I'm Glad You Exist | Southlakes
1. Hello, I'm Glad you exist
2. Georgé Amoré
3. No Snowing throwballs
4. Leonardo Dicaprisun

Get your tears ready boyz, we've got another emo release to listen to. Hello I'm Glad You Exist is a four song release from the uk by emo band Southlakes
"You're still outside, 
crying your eyes out, saying 
"we're back at the start""
I won't go through a track by track detailed description of everything, but I'm going to mention that almost through the entire release, all vocals are harmonized/done as gang vocals. I actually really like this, it adds another layer to the entire thing. Drum wise, I spent quite a bit of time just listening to the accents thrown in randomly. Cool drumming going on there. This is a good emo release, but it's kinda stock. Most emo these days is just that, sadly. Anyway, if you're looking for a new emo/really sad band, this is a good one to listen to. Personally, it's not my favorite and I'm not wowed by it but as I said it's something to check out.

Favorite track: No Snowing Throwballs (cool tremolo parts)

bandcamp

Monday, April 28, 2014

Autonomads////No Mans Land

Autonomads|||No Mans Land

Trackz:
Great Benefit Cheat
The Struggle Continues
G.M.P
Foot In Mouth
Supermarket Sweep
Foundations
Dubbin' Up The Downfall
Back To The Bark
Motordread

Autonomads is an punk/ska band from Manchester, UK that dabs in the dub and dries in crust punk. Lyrics dealing with how things would be better without The Man over our shoulders, trying to control our actions. It's actually a really cool release with a lot of different elements that all flow into each other like a fast 'n dirty river. High energy and no low points. Most of the songs switch back in-and-forth between punk and dub/ska for the song structures which gives a push/pull feel to the entire album.

"Anarchy In The U.K"

The whole record grooves, musically and lyrically. I typically think featuring female vocalists is a very tacky and lame decision to made for "punk" songs but whoever Autonomads is featuring do a very successful job at not being either of those things. She sounds good. I don't know if you can call it "featuring" if she appears on half the tracks. The bass lines are pretty solid, but being a ska band, that's what I kind of expect. Drum tones are pretty cool. Keep that bass drum pumpin' dude, it's juicy and PHAT. Guitar melodies (when they're not skanking away) are simple 'n sweet. I think the sample in the beginning of G.M.P fits very well into the track. I would even say that this is the quintessential track of the album. In fact, all the longer songs on this album sound really good even though they repeat the instrumental part for the whole song with some different melodic ideas thrown around by the guitar/horns. All in all, the tones on this album are very professional for type of music these guy play. It's intriguing, and I dig the message of the band (I'm 50-50 on apologizing for the incredibly lame Sex Pistols reference)

Fav Track: G.M.P


Body Core - Decrepit Within

Body Core - Decrepit Within

Tracks:
1. Poison of Choice 
2. Encased in Human Remains
3. Immersed in Filth 
4. Decrepit Within
5. Enuresis 
6. Throathammaer/The Pity Relapse
7. O Lux
8. Misery Reigns Supreme
9. Her Arachnid Limbs Stretched Across the Room

Background: 
 Body Core is a modern Swedish Death Metal band bordering on Thrashcore, Deathcore, and Metalcore. Hailing from Hässleholm, they were formed in '97, went on a hiatus in '09 and started writing again in 2013. 

 This album starts out with a sound clip of a man screaming "Shoot me!" and it sets the tone for the whole rest of the album. Disturbing. Don't get me wrong, I like disturbing, but I was a little unnerved by this man's voice. He seemed to be in so much pain... so much agony. Deathcore ensues after what I assume is the click of a gun. You couldn't understand the lyrics unless you looked them up and read them with the music... But you probably could understand them if you could read them. This album was produced really, really well, I don't even have to mess with the equalization. The song changes suddenly into almost classic metal, then to a Metalcore section... back to Deathcore. Suddenly, there is a... Ska breakdown. All these genre changes don't detract from the seriousness of the album, oddly enough. It's actually really cool to hear, and shows how versatile this band really is. The second track is basically the same story, minus the semi-clean bridge that goes into a Wintersun type Blackend Power Metal riff. Track three starts off with with a double tracked speaker over a guitar with some interesting effects. It's still clean, but it's just about to break up and there is a large amount of delay. The speaker is obviously talking about sex.  The next track starts off as a technical Deathcore type riff. I don't think I can stress enough how often this band changes genres. I'm almost reminded of jazz during the clean section of this song. I keep having to check the song list to make sure it's the same song. Back to the Marilyn Manson type speaking, into a jazz breakdown... 
 Overall, this band is really good. Just when you think you've heard it all, they throw something new at you. I give this album an 87/100, and would definitely recommend this to a friend who likes modern death metal. 

Favorite Track: Decrepit Within. So many genre changes, really showcases the band's versatility.Body Core – Decrepit Within

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dos Equis by Qualia

Dos Equis | Qualia
1.  Prehistoric Ovaries
2. Casual Astronaut
3. Woodson Blues
4. The Moon
5. Slim Pickin's 
6. Untitled
7. No Suits to be worn here

Ya know what's nice? When you're just strolling through bandcamp and you accidentally find something amazing. Ya know what's better? When you're starting to find most music boring and repetitive with the same sounds, and you find something that isn't like that at all. Thrash-Funk Jam band from Kansas, Qualia just recently put out this 7 song instrumental release. Starts out really funky and gets really thrashy. Those bass lines. I mean I guess a funk band wouldn't work without a bassist that knows how to funk the funk up on bass but ya know it's cool to listen to. The recordings are a little lo-fi but in a way that suits the band 100%. Any more super nicely done and it wouldn't sound right. It's all really spacey and is totally something that you can just put on and do other things while this plays in the background, like read the latest installment of 17 magazine  or worship Satan. "Woodson Blues" opens with a gosh darn blues part and is like a BLUES song. Wowz. Maybe I just listen to too many emo and hardcore bands to appreciate some good jam bands but idgaf this is a sweet jam band. All the song lengths are relatively long, which is pretty cool (for once). Anywho could go on for hours about how so much music is boring and repetitive and stuff but I'm just happy I found a band that isn't so check these guys out. 
Favorite track: Woodson Blues.

Jonesing--Jonesing


Jonesing--Jonesing

Trackz:
Ted My Boy It's Gonna Be Legen...
DARY
First Interlude 
You're Not Even Listening
Coward Heart
Beacon
Second Interlude
My Dad Is Convinced To Live As Long As He Can
Five Twelve
Third Interlude
Well I WAS Writing This For My Girlfriend
Home Wrecker
Fourth Interlude//I'm Sorry

Jonesing (Not to be confused with Jonesin') is a emo/dream pop band from somewhere that starts off with a familiar-sounding, HIMYM reference-titled, interlude that builds with a twinkle-y melody into a Dinosaur Jr. mixed with Nai Harvest song talking typical teenage-angst that all sound very familiar but not stagnant. The whole album just kind of flows betweens songs and interludes all with the same overall looseness of a reverb of a big room.

Vocal harmonies bring forth more of that Nai Harvest-influenced vibe without much of the speed or energy. It's more a chill album that's probably more appropriate of end of autumn or rainy summer days. There is also vibes of Title Fight and Jawbreaker but they have their own sound with it. Beacon has a nice trumpet (or some horn instrument as I'm really bad at knowing horns from hearing them) melody but the vocals are kind of The Story So Far-ish and that makes me like it less. BUT I'm really digging how the drums are basically forcing the song to be in 6/8 and that beat towards the end is probably my favorite 6/8(or 3/4) drum beat and I think it fits well. My Dad Is Convinced To Live makes me kind of miss my dad, and it's a real downer. Five Twelve builds it back up and talks about how u mom is important. Nah it actually just three-line metaphor about how you shouldn't take things so seriously and shouldn't dwell on the past. Third Interlude is my favorite of the five interludes on this album.

if my mother can bare all the things that i put her through, then I can bare to think of this time we wasted away. It shouldn't be hard to deal with this pain

In general, I think this album is just a downer and makes you think about how sad you should feel. It's packed with emotion and is actually pretty tight release which is pretty cool for an emo band with the small amount of twinkle Jonesing plays.

Fav track: Beacon

Here's y'alls' bandcamp 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The World Is Empty by Wrong Answer

The World is Empty | Wrong Answer
1. The World Is Empty
2. Citizen of Hell
3. Factotum
4. Chance

Bust it!So lets just acknowledge that this is an older release but I mean it's not like that matters. But what we've got from this release from Wrong Answer is a tr00 hardcore release, the kind EVERYONE needs to listen to. It starts off a little 2010 metalcore with some weird talking part but the fast paced-hard hitting style of hardcore that it goes into is something to get pumped about. Vocals are mostly clean yells, the kind you see these days with bigger bands like Expire

the world is empty, devoid of life
the windows are barred
doors are locked tight
i followed a whisper down an empty street
i see no opportunity, my life is just immune to me

I imagine lots of posi jumps and two-stepping. Instrument wise you've got your simple drums, the kind that doesn't really stick out to me, and the guitars are mostly clean. This entire release is just one big simple thing. 4 songs of simple. But when it comes to hardcore music simple is good. Check this release out, like I said it's an older one, but it's one that you won't want to pass up. 

favorite track: The World Is Empty

Monday, April 21, 2014

Same Mistakes EP by Jerred Williamson

Same Mistakes EP by Jerred Williamson
1.  Too Much
2. Just Right
3. Apple Tree
4. Brain Feud
5. Perspective

\Ya know what I like? When a solo artist/acoustic act is actually fun to listen to. What you've got from solo artist Jerred Williamson is an acoustic pop punk/folk-esq release. Guitar seems layered in production (production is really good (thank god)), and there is some vocal layering. Listening to this Ep brings nothing but good vibes. Jerred has an awesome singing voice, and his guitar skills are really good. Thankfully, the songs aren't like 5 minutes each so thank god about that holy crap. Most of the lyrics are personal or about a girl, but I do want to mention the last song. It's in the title guys, it's about perspective. Like the song has a really cool message about butting things into perspective, which is cool. For someone who doesn't usually review about the lyrics, yeah, but ya know. Plus, I know I've said it once, but damn, Jerred can sing. He can switch to falsetto almost flawlessly and it's really cool to listen to. So check this release out.

Favorite Track: Perspective. 

Bandcamp

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything by Silver Mt. Zion


Grade: 8.2
1. Fuck Off Get Free (For the Island of Montreal) 
2. Austerity Blues
3. Take Away These Early Grave Blues
4. Little Ones Run
5. What We Loved Was Not Enough
6. Rains Thru the Roof at the Grand Ballroom


There's something so ostentatious about mixing politics with music. Generally, the synthesis of these two realms of thought result in a product that is either too oblique or too overt to be meaningful. Artists seem to either whisper their political ideologies or scream them. Both of these methods of communication are ineffective and undermine the power of the music. However, a thin line exists between the overt and the oblique and that line has been pioneered by many great artist's who have inserted political thought into their lyrics throughout the years. Think of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Radiohead- all of these groups discussed politics in their music and still made fucking great music. I think my model holds in most cases. I think that political ideologies implemented into music must be halfway between overt and oblique to be effective, but like any model, there are anomalies.

One such anomaly is Silver Mt. Zion's Fuck Off Get Free We pour Light on Everything. The politics of this album are quite oblique. Examination of the lyrics yields little in the way of answers. There are general themes that are explored throughout the album. There is a definite anarchist trend "We've all of us carried our load, Dull and young and bright and old, But thieves and liars rule everything we know, And thieves and liars rule everything that grows" (Austerity Blues). 

Most talented musicians are liberal (likely because most smart, talented people are liberal) and it seems that Silver Mt. Zion is no exception. There really aren't many right-wing anarchists and the band's views on capitalism confirm that they aren't a part of that minority. Topics on the album include: anti-establishmentism; disparity of wealth; complacency; revolution; moral decline; racism; fascism (relatively [often unrealistically] defined); the evils of communism and modernity; etc.

When the lyrics are examined on their own, they very closely resemble the lyrics of bands like Rage Against the Machine. Themes and ideologies aside, it is fairly easy to notice the similarities between the anthemic verses of Fuck Off Get Free's title track "Fuck off, Get Free, We pour Light on Everything We see" and the ending of Rage's famous song Killing in the Name "(16x) Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!". 

However, Silver Mt. Zion's lyrics are more cryptic than the overt, anarchistic melodies of Rage Against the Machine. Furthermore, the post-rock in which they are inlaid provides more variety than the monotonous roar of Rage's guitars.

It really is great music, which is to be expected considering that most of its band members come from the infamous post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This album very much feels like the core band from which it branches off, except that there are lyrics which give more information on the politics of the band. Music nerds are well-aware that Godspeed You! Black Emperor is notoriously anti-establishment; they have refused to show up at many music awards shows and have even refused the monetary awards that they have won.

There is a great passion in these actions, and that passion bleeds from this album as guitars roar, violins weep, drums beat, cymbals crash, and Efrim Menuck wails. Post-rock is really cool. It's insane to think that a 14 minute song can hold one's attention for so long. Many post-rock groups fail at this, but Silver Mt. Zion most definitely does not, and even if their lyrics are confusingly oblique, their passion comes through making up for them.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

EnJoyed.--ep one

enJoyed||||||ep one

Trackz;
sun
alive


To Shane
enJoyed is a noise rock/experimental/jammy band from Sringfield, MO. There's two songs 9 minutes songs that slowly (think glacier) evolve into more noise. Layers upon layers of the same groove/riff build into one explosive mess (think diarrhea). Although I feel like they could've split this into a 4 song ep because halfway through both songs they split into something totally different. But whatever they could totally do a two-song set live and I'm pretty sure everybody that doesn't know this band will either think it's 4 songs or 1 song       ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Cymbals are very upfront in mix, a common problem in cell phone recordings (speaking from experience), you can only feel the bass drum at the times, other times it's just inaudible. I don't know if the other instrument is a guitar or a bass or a synthesizer, but whatever it is, it's loud. When vocals come in, they stay there for a good 0.3 seconds and undecipherable and lyrics are probably artsy fartsy or about some girl that wouldn't make out with Shane.  

there's some neat grooves coming from Nathan that makes parts of these "songs" enJoyable and I like some of the effects he's getting with the other instrument.

Fav track: MOON and DEAD

Just Fine by Important Things

Just Fine | Important Things
1. Just Fine
2. Bitter Feelings
3. Suffolk County
4. The Only Thing That Matters

Important Things is from god knows where not in this hemisphere. Slightly lo-fi recordings and very moody lyrics, Just Fine is an emo/punk release about being Just Fine. Hitting the longer side of run times, the four song release does quite a good job at showing off what the band can do. It's always cool for me to see an emo band that isn't also a twinkle band. Sometimes the two genres seem to be the same, but there is a difference. Anyway, simple to intermediate guitar playing, raspy, not on tone singing (in some weird accent), simple drums and bass, I found myself spacing out and listening to this release multiple times.

Watching, Waiting, for some sign for my escape
Production wise, the entire thing is bordering lo-fi, and everything is mixed well, but the drums (dat snare tone) stand out to me most of all, aside from the lyrics. I do like how the guitar is kind of really simple but effective. Can't really hear the bass but you can tell it's there which is what it's needed for if you know what I mean.

There are some really cool things going on in "Suffolk County", which make it the track that stands out to me most of all music wise. At times I feel like the band isn't on time together, missing the one beat and such, but they always bring it back together and recover pretty well. Overall this is a normal emo music release that you'll find normally. Check it out, it's definitly something.


Favorite track: Suffolk County

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marietta//modern baseball split


Marietta//\\Modern Baseball | Couple's Therapy Split

1. Yeah Yeah Utah
2. Green Call Her Sims
3. Hope
4. It's cold out here.



Back from 2012, the Couple's Therapy Split features emo/twinkle bands Marietta and Modern Baseball. If you haven't listened to either of these bands before now, this would be a great place to get a sampler of the two bands, as the songs on this split are just as good as any other of the band's songs. Marietta shows a more emo/twinkle aspect to the split, while Modern Baseball delivers just the right amount of indie feel. I personally feel that Modern Baseball dominate's this split, hands down, but i'm a fan of the band so my opinion is a little biased. 
Marietta side:
Very much noodleing, and the songs have a slightly more hollow feel to them. Reminds me more of the straight American Football kind of twinkle (surprise surprise)
Modern Baseball side:
Sing along-able. Reminds me of some of the other bands like Hit Home, and Dads
All in all, this split is one that you should check out if you've not listened to either of these bands before, and are a fan of the genre. If you aren't a fan of the genre, check out the Modern Baseball  side of the split. It's a little toned down. 

Favorite track: It's Cold out here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Love is Love//Return to dust by Code Orange Kids

Love is Love//Return To Dust|Code Orange Kids
1. Flowermouth (The Leech)
2. Around my neck//on my head
3. Sleep (I've been slipping)
4. Liars//trudge
5. Colors (into nothing)
6. Nothing (the rat)
7. Roots are certain//sky is empty
8. Choices (Love is Love)
9. Calm//breathe
10. Bloom (return to dust)

I don't usually review bands this big, but a friend of mine asked me what some "Mainstream" bands that play hardcore would be. All I could really think of would be Expire, Backtrack, and then Code Orange Kids as a close second. (I don't listen to much non-D.I.Y. music). Anyway, C.O.K. plays a super sludgy type of hardcore. This release features 3 vocalists, led mostly by female singer/guitarist and male singer/drummer. I was talking with my buddy kasey about this band's live videos and how many of the one's we've seen the crowd doesn't seem to be moving much. I don't know why this is exactly, but I think it's because these guys don't play the most simple of hardcore music. Seriously, the drumming/instrumentation on a whole is awesome to listen to. These guys change temp/time signatures when you wouldn't expect them to, and I love it.
I'm not the biggest fan of female vocals, ask anyone, but C.O.K. is different. She can hit lows that I wish I could. Plus the contrast of the two vocal styles keeps things changing although I would say they sound a little similar on recorded versions, however in live versions the drummer's vocals seem much more punk-esq. Each person's instrumentation is awesome though. I had to listen to this release multiple times, and just focus on each aspect individually. Especially the bass. High in the mix, it almost takes the roll of the guitar. Drums for sure lead the songs, and guitars seem to take place of the bass, seeming to fill space and make spacy noises. Anyway, Code Orange Kids is going to be releasing a new record soon, and I'm really excited about it. If you've not checked these guys out because you think they are too big, you're missing out. They are a party. The only complaint of mine would be the super spacy outros they put on the ends of almost all of their songs. I'm all for spacy anything, but they kind of kill the vibe. However they also make the contrasts so much better. Check it out.
Favorite track: "Nothing(The rat)"


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sheol by Sabertooth

Sheol|Sabertooth
1. Dimensions
2. Gluttony
3. Necro
4. Trumpet
5. Spiders
6. Bones
7. Sheol
8. Brother

Hey qt's, do you like music that sounds like it came straight from hell? Well search no farther, I present to you Sheol by Sabertooth. I got to play with these guys a while ago and I've never been so scared for my hearing. So loud. Sabertooth plays some of the darkest chaotic hardcore I've ever heard. While a lot of music on Sheol is just noisy noise sounding, over the screeching vocals, the musical abilities of these guys is obvious. A more slow, tuned down stop/start kind of hardcore, this is the kind of band you hate mosh to. 
"I know I'm a lack of a better man."
Vocal wise, the vocals are harsh and raspy. Perfectly complimentary to the music. Don't show your mom. They make me want to vomit, but in a really good way, if that makes sense. 
Bass wise, as this is a band with only three instruments, you can for sure hear the bass. It's so sludgy and distorted though, it's crazy. I remember that live it sounded like the bassist was playing through blown speakers covered in lasagna. I know this sounds horrible but god damn, it fits. 
Guitar wise, when it isn't doing feedback, it's hard hitting and heavy. Nothing stood out to me too much, but it would sound weird with a different guitarist. 
The last song is long and spacey, but ties up the 8 song release perfectly. I can't wait to hear more from these guys. 
Overall, reading this review probably makes Sabertooth sound bad, but I've been listening to these guys since I bought their tape, and I love their sound so much. Check them out. A must listen to for any chaotic hardcore/devilcore-esq music lover. 

Favorite track: "Dimensions"

Bandcamp

Saturday, April 12, 2014

handwriting!--handwriting!

handwriting!--handwriting!

trackz
Stiffest Boy In America
John Glam Is Not Your Dad
A show about people who (get this) used to be babies
The Hobo on The Poor Jeremy Sticker
pizza b0ss
Busta Rhymes 
finger snaps!
MC Hamlet

handwriting! is a band from somewhere, they play emo (like almost everything else I review, eh) heavily influenced by the current bands of the "emo revival" phase and likes of American Football (duh), Have Mercy and Small Town Bike. They remind me a lot of The Reptilian but not as crazy. This album takes a few listens to get hooked on it, but once it catches on, it's totally worth it. But the vocals in both bands here are very similar. I had to look up John Glam to make sure he wasn't my dad. [Maybe he's Adrians' dad? We'll never know].

Talking about "John Glam Is Not Your Dad" towards the end there is a very american football part that evolves into a very Reptilian outro, that's pretty cool. Actually most the songs have parts where they almost feel like American Football covers. Cool. Songwriting is pretty much on point, except when it gets to the parts where the vocalists does repetition with the lyrics, it feels the same each time. Lyrics are about not belonging where said character is. Guitar work is very twinkly, bass is not following the guitars all the time (+10 points), drums are solid and give the song the usual emo texture, and yeah.

 I like the song titles.

Fav track: finger snaps!

"I have girly handwriting!" my friends all say

Feed Into Your Mind by Bad Investments

Feed Into Your Mind by Bad Investments

Tracks:
Informalites 
Swollen Pigments
Feed Into Your Mind
Trophy Wife
Side B

Loud, loud, loud, loud, loud, loud, loud, loud, loud, loud, loud. This band is loud. Bad Investments is a loud band from Columbia, MO that just got off of tour with Grammer, about a month a go (odd tour combo, but whatever). Feed Into Your Mind starts off violently and distorts the mind as the static and white noise convulse into wicked guitar riffs and shouty-vocals. It actually reminds me a lot of Mr.Bungles "Everybody I Went To Highschool With Is Dead" off of Disco Volante but 5 songs oppose to one.

Bass is very apparent in the mix, which is unusual, but cool. The riff towards the end of "Informalites" reminds me of The Sword, and the drum part towards the end of "Swollen Pigments" sounds like it would be awesome, but the clear-as-mud production of the track makes it where you can only hear the hit-hat, the ride and the snare drum (faintly).  Nothing about this release makes me think of The Chariot (that's a lie, the whole thing makes me think of The Chariot) especially the songwriting.

Fav Track: Side B

Bandcamp

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mason Mercer announces "SLOBBER". May 15th

Mason Mercer announces "SLOBBER"

Upcoming release from solo artist, Mason Mercer, Slobber is expected to drop May 15 through a TBA independent record label. Labeled as “adventure pop”, this release was mixed and mastered by 417's very own Jonathan James from “Someone still Loves You Boris Yeltsin”. Mason originally hails from Ozark, where the writers for this blog are all from. Cool thing however, Mercer announced that a certain Celebrity discovered his music on the internet and will be grooming Mason to a higher level of music. The identity of this celebrity isn't going to be disclosed till May-ish so we'll have to wait to find out who that is.
Check out Mason on the following sites for updates:

Sick promo Video can be seen HERE



Also you can see a video of him interviewing people about his newest release. HERE

Iron Born--Crimes Against Humanity

Iron Born--Crimes Against Humanity

note: ACAB

Tracks:
Crimes Against Humanity
Survivor
Birthrite
St. Peter
Earth & Hell
Evil Thing (Danzig cover)

Yeahhhhh, Iron Born, is a OK metallic hardcore band. Man, these guys are heavy, not like sludge-heavy, but HEAVY. This ep is so tight and clean. It almost sounds professional (probably is). Crystal clear and on fire, Crimes Against Humanity starts off with your typical hardcore open strums. \cool/ The vocals on this track has a lot of attitude, so watch out cops, you're not safe while this is playing. The riff that slows down at the end of the first track increases heaviness by 20%. The beginning of Survivor probably has the tightest groove I've heard in awhile, I just want to listen to that groove for the 2:24 time slot. (I don't have anything else to say about the rest of that song)

Birthrite comes out like a punch from the south, blues-rock influence is strong and I dig it. The bluesy guitar lead/solo totally compliments this. Vocals are very sassy. The only thing I could think about during St. Peter is this is probably what RZL DZL would sound like if they took themselves seriously. (lol) Earth & Hell gets all 80's trash going here, digging those groove parts, homies.

That Danzig cover was tight.

Note: Drum tones sound better than most hardcore eps I've listened to (I need stop listening to so much poor-recorded emo crap) and also, I played with these guys in sometime in January (In springfield) with my band, Alpha.

fav track: Birthrite

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Beginnings by Firestarter

New Beginnings|Firestarter
1. New Beginnings
2. 49 Stow
3. Myrtle Ave. 
4. Worth My Time
5. Three Years


If you're a pop punk band and aren't The Wonder Years, or Hometown HeroesI probably am not the biggest fan of you. It's not that I'm against pop punk, i'm against generic pop punk, which is what most pop punk bands are. I was a little skeptical when I first listened to Firestarter after buying their EP at a show that I played with them, and it took more than a while to formulate any opinion of them. Hailing from New York, Firestarter's release is an in-your-face kinda release. I'm not saying these guys aren't generic p0p punk$$$, but they do it really really well, making them one of the few pop punk bands I will voluntarily listen to. Drums are heavy in the mix, which I'm really digging. Guitars soar around and don't do anything too amazing, and when it comes to bass, unless it's a bass line they wanted to hear, you can't really hear it. Did I mention that the drums are really heavy in the mix? Maybe this is just a pop punk thing and if I wasn't such a damn music elitist about it and listened to more of the genre this wouldn't be such a big thing. These guys sound really professional on this release, and live they sound just as well. Lots of good sing along things. Lots of good things to say about this band. If you're a fan of the genre and you've not listened to Firestarter yet, you should get on that, I feel like these guys should be signed to some big label or something.

Favorite track: 49 Stow/Three Years

Bandcamp

Witches Take Them In by Quarrels

Witches Take Them In | Quarrels
1. Cupped Hands
2. Morning Sickness
3. Best Intentions
4. Scenes from a Jagged Sea
5. Bella Strega

You say your cursed but I went back to where you were born
The seasons there are changeless and the men live on the shores
You’ll find another man to fill you up to the brim
And I’ll drink water from cupped hands and start living, silent 

Hey, cool band from Boston, Quarrels plays an indie pop/ indie rock/ emo influenced style of music. I've listened to this release almost non-stop these past few days. Run times of the songs land on a longer length, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. In this case it's good. Production is done really well, and vocals(all clean) are amazing. This guy really knows how to sing. 
A few things  
The first song, "Cupped hands" is by far the best song on the release. the influence of twinkle/emo music is obvious. The song levels out at the end acoustically, and runs into the second song, "Morning sickness" perfectly. The band is really good at songwriting, and these songs won't bore you at all.  Instrumentally, I'm getting a Vessel vibe in all the songs. Guitar tone is light in most parts, nothing too heavy but not exactly twinkle light. The bass lines in this band though. Mostly great bass lines throughout. Not too high in the mix but still heard. In all of these songs, the lyrics are really well done. Nothing too cheesy, nothing too straight forward. Just the right amount of poetic. 

"I've got a master plan. 
I've got the best intentions"

Another cool thing is that everything about this release is really catchy, it'll stay stuck in your head for a while. Boston just seems to have an awesome music scene. I don't really know exactly how to describe this album, it's a hard one for me, so you'll just have to check it out yourself. So yeah, think of like a Basement-esq band but with a bit of a more popish feel. Check this release out, it's really good and one that you don't want to miss. 

Favorite track: "Cupped hands"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#BloodBrothers by Käptain Krünçh Cîdz



Grade: 6.0

1. Nightmare
2. Bloodshot Eyes and an Existential Crisis
3. It'z Krunch Time
4. Fall's End
5. Blood Brothers


Disclaimer: I am friends with the guys that made this album. In fact, they write for this blog. That bias exists but I want to make sure you all realize that I am attempting to be very objective as I review this.

This album drips of adolescence, and that's both a strength and a weakness. Its bio on Bandcamp is very short and admits of the band's inexperience. It says that it is the group's first release That's really quite evident. The general lack of direction is annoying at times because it is difficult to get inside the artists' heads, but its also intriguing- mysterious almost.

The songs are placed in a very logical order, but there is no continuity to the piece. The songs all flow well musically, but when it comes to the lyrical content of the songs, the listener is left confused. I'd almost say that it needs to be longer- that it needs a few filler songs that will better fuse the album together and give it some direction. Truly, there are a lot of shitty songs on a lot of great albums which both propel the lyrical narrative and give skin to the bones of the thematic skeleton established by the album's high points. With that being said, understand that this criticism is not that serious. It's very hard to give a 5 track album the strength of a full-length album. I wonder why Käptain Krünçh Cîdz didn't label this as an EP; that's really what it is.

There is a specific sound to each of the songs. I'd like to make note of the influences that I noticed throughout.

1. Nightmare- Queens of the Stone Age, The Clash, Soundgarden
2. Bloodshot Eyes and an Existential Crisis- Animal Collective
3. It'z Krunch Time- Modest Mouse
4. Fall's End- Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Rise Against, Joy Division
5. Blood Brothers- Animal Collective (Avey Tare)

Other influences that showed throughout: Metallica, Black Sabbath

The first track starts slowly and disjointedly, and then builds to erratic mayhem. When the vocals come in, things calm down a bit. Adrian Sprague's voice has a lot of character and he's capable of achieving many different ranges and styles. In this song the vocals remain calm and almost sadly apathetic. Think of the calloused melody of a grizzled punk vocalist's voice. It's a very strong start. 

Then comes the second track, whose lengthy, pathological title perfectly labels the erratic rhythm of the song. It meanders a bit too long- as do all of the songs on the album. They aren't particularly long, but it seems to take them a while to get where they're going. However, whenever the vocals do come in, there's no build up to them. They began and then they stay the same for the entirety of the song. This is particularly true on the second track, but it's also true on the other tracks. Kasey's vocals on this track are very, very emotional. He squeals... Almost wheezes out the incomprehensible lyrics to the song. That seems like a negative description, but in this song I think it works very well. As stated previously, he reminds me a lot of Avey Tare in this track and the last track. 

Track three is really where the album starts to fall apart. The first two songs are very solid and I like them a lot. They establish a very distinct style for the group. Track three is essentially an interlude. It's very short, it has no vocals, and it leads to track four fairly well. The problem with this song is that an EP does not need an interlude. An EP should not fuck around. It should get straight to the point and have less-than-perfect transitions. If an EP flowed from one song to the next flawlessly, the entire album would sound like one long, fucking song. Often times tracks with interludes sound like this on full-length albums, but the albums are long enough to support the illusion. I just see no need for such a short, pointless track on this album. 

Track four really doesn't need an interlude. It's quite solid on it's own. If Käptain Krünçh Cîdz had a large collection of songs, I really think that this would be the quintessential one. It meanders a lot and really keeps you guessing. The vocals come on suddenly and don't abate until the end of the song. Adrian rasps and moans like the bastard child of Billie Joe Armstrong and Ian Curtis. It's really good. Most music critics believe that Joy division spawns the punk movement. The vocals in this track help prove this and meld the two styles in a very artful manner. 

The final track attempts to slow things down a bit as the album comes to a close. It doesn't really do this well. It almost seems as if there was a lot that the listener missed out on. This album really feels like an LP. It has long instrumental portions and a senseless interlude. It's almost as if someone truncated a full-length album and released the first six songs. 

Once again, the album is short and it is clearly difficult to develop the theme of a short album. With that being said, there is evidence of a lot of boredom, teen angst, and introspection in the lyrics of the piece. this strengthens my opinion that the whole album needs to be developed more fully. 

Stray observations: 
  • Punk musicians are pissy, and generally they relish in telling us all about it. The angst present in this piece seems rather unarticulated. The listener is left to wonder what the musicians are pissed about. 
  • I heard very subtle (but deep-seated) 80's hard rock sounds. I may be judging this incorrectly, but I kind of feel like most people in a rock bands have been influenced by bands like Metallica and Black Sabbath. That's not exactly my cup of tea though, so it's hard for me to say with much confidence. 
  • I know that it makes me pretentious, but I think that the hash-tag in the title is gimmicky.  
  • They did name your own price on Bandcamp! That's badass!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Caterpillar by Buttons and Mindy

Caterpillar | Buttons and Mindy
1. Brian Fantana
2. Tai Chi Chai Tea
3. Orange Mocha Frappuccino!
4. I don't know the first thing about Kiefer Sutherland
5. The Haitian Sensation

You still taunt me with your green eyes
Where do I belong?
Before I review this: I think I've listened to this release so much and I think I enjoy it so much that whatever review I'll give it will be 100000% biased and just me complimenting every aspect of it. 

Anyway

Math Rock/Art Pop band Buttons and Mindy show a catchy art pop side to the emotional genre that is twinkle/math rock. Production is really really good, and from the first track, the band had my attention. This is the band I'd show people that I want to get into the twinkle/Math genre, but who aren't accustomed to the style. 
Lyrical wise, these songs are as catchy as the swine flu if you've got a bad immune system. I've listened to "Orange Mocha Frappuccino!" about a million times, and know mostly all the lyrics to this release by heart. Vocal wise, this guy knows how to sing. 99% clean vocals, there are some yells in this weird inhaling voice during one of the songs, but it's far back in the mix and is really just there to add the aesthetics or whatever.
"I like the vocals because they are catchy and sound good"
Guitar playing is amazing, obviously because it's twinkle music. If the guitar player wasn't skilled then this 
wouldn't be a math band. But what makes it even more cool is that the guitar player isn't only the main vocalist, but he is also the only guitar player. I'm a sucker for two and three piece bands because you've gotta be really creative to not make your songs boring and this band does a great job with the whole creativity aspect. "I like the guitar because I play guitar and it's cool"
Bass wise, I really love to listen to these bass lines. Not much I can say about them except they are really cool and stand out in the mix, which would be a problem, again, if the bassist was just some shmuck that played roots and clipped every time he touched a string. "I like the bass because it's not boring and sounds good" 
Drums compliment the tracks perfectly and don't over power anything. Sorry drummer guy, I'd talk about your awesome drums more but the only drum beats I can play are four-in-the-floors and blast beats. "I like the drums because I can't drum like this guy drums"
Finally, in all of the bands I play in, we like to string our songs together with our live set, kind of run them together, and it's something that I always love when bands do, so I'll just throw out that the small fact that Buttons and Mindy do that on this release is totally cool to me. 
Anyway, another horribly worded review. Check out the release. 

Favorite track: Orange Mocha Frappuccino!



The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas- Courtney Barnett


Grade: 7.3

Tracks:
1. Out of the Woodwork
2. Don't Apply Compression Gently
3. Avant Gardener
4. History Eraser
5. David
6. Anonymous Club
7. Lance Jr
8. Are you Looking After Yourself?
9. Scotty Says
10. Canned Tomatoes (whole)
11. Porcelain
12. Ode to Odetta


You've got to love the honesty of autobiographical music, even if that honesty admits of mediocrity, or supposedly worse, inactivity. That's exactly what Melbourne's Courtney Barnett admits of in her The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, a passionately passionless mix between slacker rock and 60's folk.

It isn't really folksy in terms of musical style, but it definitely is when it comes to the record's lyrics and their structure. The quick succession of the stories that Barnett tells in her music is very, very Dylan. Barnett's music really is strongest when it tells stories, when it drifts from meandering melodies about the banality and meaninglessness of the mundane to fascinating stories that could've easily been pulled from the pages of a very good novel.

This comparison isn't perfect though. The album does lack continuity. That's to be expected though. It is an EP. Barnett has stated that she is working on a full length record. Hopefully it will grasp the continuity that I know she could form so beautifully.

Avant Gardener (track 3) is really the best song on the album. It captures everything that makes this style of music so good. It's reserved chord progression meanders, her monotone focuses attention on the lyrics rather than inflection, the story is lovely.

Speaking of style, this is hipster music and it's incredibly difficult to put it in any musical category. The influences seem to be so eclectic that if I named them all in succession, your incredulity might keep you from giving this a listen. I'd hate to do that, this is great music and I'll certainly be keeping me eyes open for news of Barnett's full length album.

Stray Observations

  • How can something so twangy remind me so vividly of So-Cal Indie Rock? Maybe because it's Indie...
  • I love the Pulp Fiction reference on Avant Gardener and the fact that song is called Avant Gardener
  • "I'm not that good at smokin' bongs, I'm not that good at breathing in."
  • I realize that like %50 of music is influenced by Bob Dylan, but I really didn't expect to find that here. 
  • The name of this EP seems unnecessarily long

Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm a Fucking Vampire by Woodgraves

I'm a Fucking Vampire | Woodgraves
1. We're More Than Just Myspace Friends
2. I wish I could Leave
3. Let Me Sleep or Let Me Die, I don't Care Which Comes First
4. Let the Waves Carry Me to Pieces (I hope I drown next to your lifeless body)
5. Interlude I
6. These Sleeping Pills Don't Help. 
7. It's Too Cold out and I don't know where I am.
8. You've Become a Shapeshifter
9. It's hard to stay standing when all you've got to hold you is yourself.
10. Interlude II
11. Don't let me drown in a pool of my own blood

Saint Louis act Woodgraves's latest is a fully acoustic emo/twinkle release that shows off the solo act's ability at songwriting. Single guitar and vocals, these releases can usually either be really interesting, or really boring to listen to. On one side of the spectrum you've got your June and on the other hand you've got your releases by people who know how to play four chords and play 5 minute long songs. One thing I like about Woodgraves is that he keeps the songs emo style short. Averaging out at about 2 and a half minutes. So at least he's conscientious about these things. Recording is fine, lo-fi to say the least, was most likely done through a condenser mic. The thing that I go for on these kind of releases isn't vocals, or lyrics, which most people would want to take into consideration, but I go for the songwriting on the only instrument that is being played. If what's being played in the background isn't interesting, then I'm just listening to chord progressions for 13 or so minutes. If someone who went of vocals judged this based off of Ryan's singing ability, which reminds me of some emo band vocalist who ripped out his vocal chords screaming, then they would probably say this was horrible. I on the other hand, think that his vocals compliment the style of music/and the overall tone, perfectly.
A notable song for guitar on this release would be during "It's Hard To Stay Standing When All You've Got To Hold You is Yourself". It's got this twinkly vibe thingy going on that made me listen to it more than any of the other tracks on the release.
Overall, it's a cool release, so check it out.

Favorite track: It's hard to stay standing when all you've got to hold you is yourself.

bandcamp

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nothing- Guilty of Everything


Grade: 6.9

Tracks:
1. Hymn To The Pillory 04:41 
2. Dig 04:02 
3. Bent Nail 02:57 
4. Endlessly 04:13 
5. Somersault 04:30 
6. Get Well 04:32 
7. Beat Around The Bush 04:05 
8. B&E 05:18 
9. Guilty Of Everything 04:23


The first time I finished listening to this album, the same initial judgement was still swimming in my mind. I just kept thinking, "This sounds a lot like post-rock." I don't know if I could classify it in that genre though. I'm more inclined to classify it as a sort of alt-rock... mild space rock mixed with traditional 90's alt-rock, but the post-rock is definitely there. There is a progression in nearly every song. Each starts with reposed guitars which carefully build into triumphant riffs, the cousins of those used in metal. Things never get very heavy though. They build to a point and top out. So if you're a headbanger, find something else. Furthermore, post-rock songs are 2-3x longer than songs on Guilty of Everything

Nothing's vocalization is very hypnotic. Most lyrics are incomprehensibly murmured behind the careful arpeggio that the drums offer and the nearly incessant roar of electric guitars. The lyrics are cryptic, but poetic. They remind me of Deafheaven, minus the run-on phrases and general lack of structure. Dominic Palermo's ghostly voice whispers hidden truths which are poignant about half of the time. The lyrics are really quite surreal, inlaid in the fuzzy guitar haze. 

Spent Summers in a well watching pale moons disappear 
Alone 
And crucifixion seems noble 
when Paradise is Hell 
Atone

See what I mean? It's poetic and probably sort of profound, but its so cryptic it's difficult to deduce exactly what Palermo is trying to say. My one major contention with the album is that its stylistically one-note. There's nuance to the sounds that it creates, but it really does constrain itself to those specific sounds for the whole album (incessant guitars, steady percussion, hypnotically trickling vocals, etc.). Track 3 interested me the most. The whole album sounded very distorted, but this quality was most pronounced on Bent Nail. It had a garage-rock sort of character that very closely bordered grunge. It was the most obvious departure from the band's stylistic tendencies. It did keep the general sound of the band though. The departure was not a lewd one.

All in all, this is a very good album. It's ambient but still formidable. I'd imagine it's the type of things metal-heads fall asleep to each night. I couldn't fall asleep to it, but I certainly enjoy listening to it when I'm awake.