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Posts Tagged ‘Alternative’

Black Light Burns Holes In Bedsheets

Posted by Scotio on June 28, 2008

It’s been a little over a year since Wes Borland, former Limp Bizkit guitarist, released the material from his creative output known as Black Light Burns. Since then, he’s gone on to underground success for his new act; tearing up club stages, and displaying a much more gothic styling to his former stage persona. For the most part, he’s had a good deal of nice reviews for the debut album Cruel Melody, but there are always naysayers no matter what you do or who you are. Still, fans of the band have been eager to hear the next album from the act, as Borland said that he will waste little time hitting the studio up to release it. Then, it was announced that the next offerings from the band would be a CD/DVD combo. The anticipation rose. Then, it was announced that the CD would be full of covers and other little odds and ends that didn’t make the debut album. At that point, the anticipation froze. “Cover album? WTF!” the fans said. Then, when they announced the list of cover songs, it was revealed that you couldn’t find something reasonable to allow hearts to soar for eagerness of hearing the BLB crew ripping through the tunes. But, still, as shaky as the fans were, they were still oddly curious to know what the material would sound like. Me, being a fan of the band, I was similarly eager, yet slightly put off. After all, BLB is an Industrial band. There aren’t any Industrial covers or material that inspired Industrial music being thrown in the pot.

So, when I received the album, you could only imagine my wanting and stalling of hitting the play button to listen. Still, curiosity always controls in the end, doesn’t it? The moment it came on, I will admit, I as still riding the fence. But, the twenty second mark hit, and I found myself lost in the world where Black disappears and White glows with a blue hue. The cover of Lard’s “Forkboy” sounded incredibly energetic and extremely chaotic. Borland’s vocals on the track, amazingly, are really great. He doesn’t even sound like Wes. He sounds like a man possessed. A creature hidden inside of the enigmatic music maker. Something that headbangers would flock to see in a live performance. The song assaults the listener with its aggressive guitar work and the hair-pulling visualization of the singer in front of the mic. In truth, it took me back to the days of the Broken EP. If you don’t know what that is, then you’re really wasting your time reading this review in the first place, aren’t you?

What followed next was the thriller, Love And Rocket’s “So Alive.” Again, outside of his realm, Borland’s vocals seem perfect. The Industrial reformation of the song seems so brilliant. It isn’t heavily distorting, nor isn’t playing a quiet backseat role to the movement of the melody. Like a fine Chef’s work, it seasons the song just right. The Post-Punk attack that is Sisters Of Mercy’s “Lucretia My Reflection” seems like it would be such an off-shot for Borland & Co. Yet, with his insanely brilliant insight, he tames that beast and makes it his bitch. Riding it with such insecure confidence that you’d might even want to go and check his location of birth . . . maybe he’s a Brit in disguise. It perfectly captures that “Look at me, I’m shying away” feeling that Robert Smith tagged as Post-Punk Perverted Cynosureness(he didn’t create that term, I just tagged him as that).

There are some really odd parts that might take a few listens to get it easily down to swallow. Like their rendition PJ Harvery’s “Rid Of Me.” Don’t know, but after hearing the great covers before it, it just sets out as being awkward. Another one is Fiona Apple’s “On The Bound.” It’s not bad. It’s just so far fetched from what you’ve been hearing. That is, of course, if you never heard Borland’s Big Dumb Face. And, speaking of BDF, they even do a cover of one of their songs “Blood Red Head On Fire.” I always thought it was odd when someone does a cover of their own songs. Is that even truly declared a cover? But, I will state that it is a more cohesive sound than the original. I suppose because he has an actual band doing the positions and it isn’t all on him.

After the 10th track, the music is switched over to original compositions by the band. What kicks it off is the song “Drowning Together, Dying Alone.” It, for the most part, is the sister track of the song “New Hunger” that was featured on their first LP. Housing acoustic guitars in place of electronics and electric guitars makes the song more mellow and dreamy . . . despite its morbid title. Also, being entirely instrumental sure helps with that. “Falling” also contains material heard before. Expanding on a solo that was featured on the debut album, as well. The slightly goofy electronic melody played throughout (I couldn’t tell if it was simply a guitar with a weird effect or an actual electronic styling) sounds almost like it’s 8-bit/Chiptune styled.

Mr. Borland dives deeper into the Industrial world on the track “Ribbons.” Though it’s under a minute and a half long, it leaves a lasting and eerie impression on listeners. Something that isn’t easy to accomplish, and you wouldn’t have actually expected from this unexpected guy. This song starts the trend of very schizophrenic songs that follow after it. Stuff that seems to have been created when Wes wasn’t eager to take his medication. Stuff that, though it’s so strange, you find yourself questioning your own sanity for your enjoyment of it.

All in all, this album is not only a surprising one, but one that I feel bad about having questioned it in the first place. All those out there that are on the unknown about checking this out, and have enjoyed the first album needs to go out on a limb and snatch this up. In a very bold statement, I will encourage you to download this first, to see if it does tickle your fancy fully, then, if it does, purchase it and support him. Though he does come from a heavily commercial band, he is now on the underground circuit. So, every piece of support does let him know that his efforts at branching out are worth it.

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Ulterior Has Fiendish Motives

Posted by Scotio on June 9, 2008

I’ve just recently found out about this band Ulterior. I was browsing around and came across their name and a picture of the band(the one listed above). So, I decided to see if I could find anything out about them. Well, the only thing I could find that contained samples of their music was their myspace page. So, I sighed, and clicked away. Usually, when I have to do this, I’m treated to a bunch of rubbish and foolishness that makes me wish I saved the last 1 min and 42 seconds of my life that it took me to visit their page. Surprise Surprise. I was in store for something altogether different than whatever I was expecting. The band is just mind melting. It’s music that’s hard to place inside of one category. They blend electronics, with shoegazing and 70’s styled Punk music. It’s like one big giant WTF. What’s odd is that, the music isn’t really that hard to perform. It’s quite repetitive in it’s nature. Yet, for some strange reason, it’s highly addictive and infectious. For me, out of all the music I listed that it combines, I think the spirit of it is closer to that of 70’s punk. With it’s no holds barred style, coupled with the cocky yet drugged out uncertainty. It’s just so dirty, rugged, and unshaped that it’s almost beautiful. I literally used profanity out loud when I first heard their music. Which was their song “Weapons.” What followed that was their more structured, if you could call it that, song “15.” But, what sealed the deal and made me stare into my monitor as if it was going to nod up and down and say or flash the words “Yes, I know. I feel the same way as you. I’m just as blown away.” was the track titled “Dream Dream.” I mean, I’ve heard a lot of retro music, recently. Most I like, not all, but a good bit. THIS, though, this is something completely and totally different. It’s strange enough for me to request that the water from their well in the UK be checked for some sort of contaminant or something. And, if there is anything found inside of the water, it should be bought and sold to the stupid recording artists hogging the radio and TV airwaves with their slapstick joke-for-talent music. I feel like writing/emailing all the major acts that are going to be touring my area in the next few months and demand that they add these guys as opening acts. Seriously, it’s like their music is some sort of hypnotizing rhythm that should be treated as a possible controlled substance, or even something that could contain subliminal messaging demanding your full attention. I can’t go on about them enough. I’m just really hoping that this British 4-piece band comes together and pushes out an album sometime between the end of this article and 76 mins til my death. Which should be just long enough for me to hear it twice. Then, I can brag about hearing it at whatever is next after this life. Do check them out, and tell them to push out an album IMMEDIATELY if you enjoy it.

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Save Your Soul Because She Wants Revenge

Posted by Scotio on May 19, 2008

Clearly, She Wants Revenge is one of my favorite bands. They were heavily criticized about “ripping off” the Interpol sound. I didn’t think so. I thought they leaned more towards the Dark New Wave sound of Post Punk more than Interpol did . . . plus added in more sexiness to the whole thing. Their first two LPs got brutally attacked by Mainstream critics. Totally unjust for a groovy band with truly high octane potential. Finally leaving Geffen behind and pushing out their own music, the Terrific Twosome pushes out their Save Your Soul ep as their first offering. It’s only a 4 song serving, and it leaves you salivating for more. Starting off the EP is the song “Sugar.” The duo pushes an actual drummer on this. Something that they weren’t known to do in their studio recordings. And, it seriously pushes things up a notch. The bassline is pure gyration inspiration. The drum attacks offers up it’s own sense of sex appeal while Justin pulls it all together with his Joy Division‘s Ian Curtis influenced singing style. Justin & Adam must have used all of the money towards their studio. Yes, it pays off. Following up the buttery smooth mood is “Save Your Soul” the title track to the whole shebang. This song, the guitar riffs remind you of the SWR that you’re most familiar with. But, that lasts for only about 15 seconds into the song. Then, they bring out their new guns to the party, and they make those feet dance. The chorus is an easy chanting “Save your soul before it’s too late/Save your soul before it’s too late… `Cuz nothings going to change my mind/Nothings going change the ways.” It’s so infectious that it should require a vaccine to prevent you from being absorbed if you’re not normally into this type of music. Marching behind this song is the tune “Sleep.” Bass heavy as it wants to be, and old school Post-Punk drumming to make all you children of the lost generation feel found once again. It’s the most normalized rock song that you’re going to get from this. You’d be a fool not to feel the UK’s influence lacing everything about this song. The closer track, “A Hundred Kisses,” is the most envelope pushing song of all four. Coming in with a sound resting somewhere between Shoegazing and Ambience, they follow it up with something that they aren’t used to pulling out on their audiences: An Acoustic Guitar. The most mellow of all of the songs, and the most heartwarming of them, as well. It’s a captivating tune, and it demands that you fall into Stockholm Syndrome for it. The band is going in new, more bold directions. I guess with their creative freedom finally being held in their hands brings out the best in them. So, if this is just a 4 track delivery, I can’t wait to see what they are going to do for their next Full-Length that is supposed to reach their fans later this year.

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E For Explosion Finally Detonates

Posted by Scotio on May 18, 2008

I’ll admit something here: I like some Emo. SOME. Not all. Indie/Emo like bands. Those, I like. JamisonParker was one such band I thoroughly enjoyed. I used to champion them to my friends and peers. I converted quite a few folks over to their musical depressive coolness. Then, they did one of the most horrible things. They broke up. So, I was stuck with a bunch of other new fans wondering what the hell happened. Jamison Covington just was through. Dunno why, but he was. After some time, he created a “band” called E For Explosion. I use the quotation marks because in the studio, it was primarily just him creating all the pieces to the puzzle for this new act. I heard their Paper Flowers EP, and thought “Hmm . . . it’s like JP, but with electronic ambience.” And, yeah, it was pretty darn groovy. Well, the “band” has a full-length release titled Reinventing The Heartbeat. That’s quite a bold title for a record. I mean, to say that it is supposed to be music that makes your heart beat like it found new life is a very cocky statement, in my book. So, let’s see if this music lives up to the statement, shall we? The first track on the album, “Sunday” is an ambient heavy starter. It sounds like something that would open up an underwater documentary film. With Jamison’s vocals just as whisper-like and airy, it adds more to the music than it would if he flat out sung. Halfway through the song, though, he brings in shoegazing-styled guitar work. Now, if you’re not a fan of the shoegazing, then this album is going to piss you off. He seemed to have heard My Bloody Valentine, and decided it would work well with his new style. Strangely enough, it does. The title track follows suit from the movement that the first song brought to the table. It’s a blend of Shoegazing and Indie-Emo that is incredibly uplifting and saddeningly depressing(but, in a good way) at the same time. That’s not an easy feat for an act to accomplish. Especially if it’s primarily a solo one. I’m actually glad that he included the song “Echoes” on this album. It was my favorite track from the EP. Romantically beautiful, and hurtfully honest . . . that’s what this song is. This song is like a total and complete depiction of being 100% in love. And, it’s hard not to fall in love with the track. Even moreso if you have ever felt such a way for someone. It isn’t filled with loud abrasive guitar work. Just a simple acoustic melody and soft electronic sounds. No drum track, either. Which is impressive to be so moving without feeling like your feet need to be in motion. The LP also includes the songs “Paper Flowers Never Die,” “I Explode” and “Antarctica” from the EP, as well as the finished version of the song “Behind Every Breathe.” “See You Soon” is very much a “Night at the beach with fire around” type of song. Again, featuring no electric guitars, but rather acoustic ones, and a string section that swoons and sways you over. “Unit 402” pushes more towards a much more sober and personal moment. Jamison switches instruments of attack, moving from the guitar to the piano. Singing more about being tormented over the loving memories of a love-lost, it’s hard not to relate to the lonely soldier. The most upbeat moment(if you choose to call it that) is the song “Saving Lives.” Owing more to a moment from The Breakfast Club and other flicks from the 80’s the promoted the music from bands who later dominated radio airwaves with a similar sound than anything else. The formation and application of the concept of the song is just breathtaking. It swings you when it needs to, calms and leaves you inching closer at the right time, then builds back up with perfect execution. No, this isn’t a page-by-page rewrite of JamisonParker, but rather the reason why Jamison walked off the stage that day. He wanted more emotional music. And, in a very intelligent Coffee Shop Emo kind of way, he’s found just what he was looking for. For him, I’ll applaud and a nod everytime I sip my White Mocha beverage from Starbucks. Now, where the hell is Parker Case’s I And The Universe?

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Brokencyde Leads An Army Of Damaged Toy Soldiers

Posted by Scotio on May 15, 2008

Ok, I’ll be honest, here. I never really heard of this band until not too long ago. Someone I wasn’t very friendly with decided to bring up the band name, and I checked them out due to curiosity. After my lightning fast fingers clicked away on Google, I found their Myspace(a site I’m not very fond of . . . but has included at the bottom of this post) link where their darling little Emo-Angst Fans praise them like Roman Catholics does the Pope, and took them for a twirl. What I heard was really awkward. It was Screamo/Post-Hardcore(P-HxC, for you emo brats’ delight) screaming, with some “Ok, at best” rhymes and some “Is he singing or just moaning with words?” serenading. Yet, something about these three young men caught my attention, and, oddly, held it. So, of course, I had to chalk up a review for them. The album kicks in with a cut that sounds like Bone Thugs mixed breeds with Esham, A Heartbroken Depressed Teen and The Bled, “Dead B4 I Died.” The beat to the song borders between what I used to call “Evil Midwest Rap” and Down South Have Synth-&-Bass music. The group’s Emcee/Screamer/Mastermind Se7en is clearly the star of the trio. He rides the beat with ease, even though his lyrics aren’t ground-breaking or “Hip-Hop” in anyway. The trio has the keyboard running with a loop that would sound sick if done with a guitar(here’s hoping they do that live) for the song. It’s not hard to get into, at all. On “Schizophrenia!!!,” Se7en comes on sounding like he really is diagnosed with some type of mental instability the way he screams unapologetically into the microphone. Stealing a rhyme from the Freddy Krueger movies, and then flipping them to sound more . . . well, angry-teen style, the song isn’t hard to figure out . . . or nod to(I know, shameful, isn’t it?). “Jealousy!!!” with the beat sounding like the songs before it, has Se7en starting off in the digital background rhyming his pissed off teen problems from his small chest. Then, they change it to lead him come to the forefront without the digital restraints. The second verse of the song houses him screaming with such constant force that you’re forced to check and see if your eyes aren’t squint with him. “Still Waiting 4 U” sounds like a Screamo remix of an old Eminem song. With Eminem-styled string melody, and the eerie digitalized atmospheric sounds. Actually, you feel more like you’re in some revamped Sci-Fi Romance Terror movie when hearing this. The surprise hit kicks in for the song “Taking Lyfe From Me”‘s acoustic version. The intro sounds like someone learning to play chords on a toy guitar. Once the intro is over, you’re treated to some moderate guitar plucking, and, again, whiny boy singing. Still, it’s the concept that seems so strange for this attention seeking threesome. No, this isn’t music that will shake things up. Nor is this music that is of a brand new design/concept. It’s like having a younger lizard-hissing profanity-prone “Look at me! Look at me!” Linkin Park. Yeah, Se7en is Japanese . . . not good for trying to discredit my comparison, is it? And, sadly, as much as I bash them, I like these little idiots. I guess you can call them my guilty pleasure. Go figure. I wouldn’t even look at you funny if you walked towards the exit of the room when their music is played. But, I do know that with a cult-like young fanbase, it’s only a matter of time until their attacking MTV and Radio airwaves until I’m planning their assassination. Not much of a review, you say? Well, these guys aren’t much of an actual BAND. So, we’re even.

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Maybeshewill, But I Know I Would Definitely

Posted by Scotio on May 11, 2008

Post-Rock is a beautiful thing. But, only when done right. Well, that’s with everything right? Well . . . everything except pancakes. But, I stray. So, this British Post-Rock band, Maybeshewill is as beautiful as a Botticelli Cherub. The foursome group implements some of the most grooviest rock orchestrations, with the perfect blend of electronics on their album Not For Want Of Trying. Think of them as a more softer side of 65daysofstatic, but not too soft . . . not by much. Well, on some songs, yes. But, allow me to continue, ok? The UK outfit is primarily a DIY one. They set up their own bookings, handle their own money, and produce their own music. They feel that music should be fun for the creator and not just the listener. And, yes, they seemed to be having fun jamming out for these sessions. Each track takes you to a new place, covers a new ground, and places in you a new vulnerable, yet empowering, state. The guys have a great sense of humor. They even named one of their songs “The Paris Hilton Sex Tape.” Though everyone has seen the tape whether they wanted to or not, not everyone has heard their musical rendition of that “Night In Paris.” And, if the sex tape was as grippingly moving as this music is, it probably would have made that nightvision moment that much more memorable. With sonic blastings of walls of guitar sounds, and a machine gun drum set-up, not to mention a motivating piano performance, it compels you to almost take up Prince of Persia-styled Free Running. Hopefully, you won’t do that unless you’re actually trained for it. On the title track, the quartet assaults listeners right out of the gate with blasting shoegazing power chords. Then, they pull out a Peter Finch sound sample from his speech in the movie Network. The music turns down for the first time the sample is used. Allowing Finch’s words to build you up where the music was formerly taken you. Then, when it comes back on, the music becomes one of the best backing tracks to such a stirring and teeth-clenching moment in movie history. It’s hard to say that this band is going to be the band that breaks Post-Rock into mainstream attention. Especially when Explosions In The Sky still didn’t hit that mark after creating the backing sound for the movie Friday Night Lights. But, it’s even harder to say that this band doesn’t have the goods to blow the socks right off of your feet and straight through the front of your shoes.

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Charlotte Sometimes…

Posted by Scotio on May 10, 2008

Let me start off by saying that I know that I usually have catchy titles for my posts/reviews. The only thing is, I couldn’t come up with something catchy for this album. So, I just let the name say it all. Now, on to the review, shall we? Named after a 1981 song by The Cure, which was in turn named after a Penelope Farmer novel from 1969, Charlotte Sometimes(which I guess could also mean that she goes by her middle name on occasions) releases her debut album via the Geffen record label after much coverage and anticipation thanks to the wonderland we call Myspace. This young 20-something is here to bring her take on pop music. Hoping to showcase that Pop music from America isn’t all about make-up, lollipops, booty gyrations and airheaded ideas, Ms. Poland showcases, to my surprise, much promise on her Waves & The Both Of Us album offering. Possessing a voice clearly ahead of her measured time on Earth, she has very good control over her range and has a good concept of her limitations. That is possibly due to the first 13/14 years of her life being spent in various dancing/vocal classes. “Losing Sleep,” her album opener, has a soft sound that fits between Sarah Bareilles and Vanessa Carlton, but with intelligent implementation of electronics in the song. She speaks for the current generation of listeners who loves pop and doesn’t feel that they’ve been properly satisfied with what’s offered(or their relationships in love/at home) with lyrics such as: “I’m awake/And I’ve been/Losing sleep/I’ve been fighting all my demons/I’ve been/Getting reamed/Cuz I’ve been/Trying/Trying/Trying/To be/Anything other than me.” It’s almost like she’s a Fiona Apple for a newer, less serious audience. The title track of the album is a more romantic song. Here, she talks about her longing for the man that drives her dreams into a moist loving place. Possibly a song written after spending the night with her beau on the beach, it’s going to be heavily used by females under the age of 22 for the rest of the year if this album catches on. On the track “In Your Apartment,” Charlotte dives deeper into her Fiona influence. A slow jazzy track of a love gone sour, possessing some smokey room styled instrumentation and piano lounge-themed singing. It’s a piece that displays confidence and insecurity intermingled beautifully together as a representation of how virtually every woman truly is. Stand out tracks are “How I Could Just Kill A Man,”(no, not a Cypress Hill cover) “Ex-Girlfriend Syndrome,” “Army Men,” and the breathtaking “This Is Only For Now.” The latter track features digital distortion and disruption of an acoustic guitar melody. It starts off with just Charlotte and the robotic guitar, then comes the club dance floor-ready bass drums. This song would tear airwaves apart if her A&R person is genius enough to have them release this as a single. Charlotte sings with passion, sassy, and determination. Even though the lyrics house some uncertainty from the narrator, the way that it’s delivered makes you think that she’s possibly just playing possum with you. It’s not a long track, though. Clocking in at a little over 2 mins and 50 seconds. This debut is one of a young woman with a true passion for pop music, and her determination to not be regarded as merely another piece of eye candy with cookie cutter musical offerings. She’s a bright little star. And, if she continues to develop properly in her future, then she better wear shades.

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The Bianca Story Is A Tale To Be Told

Posted by Scotio on May 9, 2008

Recently, Pop music . . . or rather Indie Pop has came back in by the flood-folds. Yes, headphones, radio waves and music video stations everywhere have been swamped by the storm of new bands who just seem to want to have a good time tickling away at their guitar strings. Europe being the central point of such an output . . . specifically England. But, you can’t count out the Swiss. They’ve been dumping it out by the truckloads as well. The band The Bianca Story is one such case. A team of 5 musicians who, supposedly most aren’t from Switzerland, came together and decided that they have something more to offer to that field. The outcome of their collaboration is Hi Society!, which was released in the First Quarter of `08. The first single from the album is “Paper Piano.” Featuring Elia Rediger on lead vocals and a sound somewhere between Vampire Weekend & Arctic Monkeys. The song is strangely moving, as the drums sound live and unfiltered, giving a more personal relationship between the band and the listener(s). It’s an alluring teaser for what one feels the rest of the album would sound like. That is until “Lover” kicks in. The lead vocals are handled by Anna Waibel and the whole sound structure of the band switches to something similar to The Duke Spirit. Taking you completely by surprise, you begin to realize that you can’t pigeonhole this band into one spot. With a such dynamic Lo-Fi recording style, it sounds more like a band taking things into their own hands without worry of a label. “I Should Shout” has the band pulling out 80’s drama synthesizers for assistance on the song. The song seems very intimate in its delivery, with both Elia and Anna having singing parts on the track. The Anna, though, comes in like Lisa Hannigan did on Damien Rice songs. Then, she breaks off into the most powerful part of the song featuring soaringly loud background singing while she chants out “La La La . . . La-La” at the end of the best song on the whole album. One of the funniest moments on the album comes in for the groovy track “Waste Of Time.” Elia, sounding like he wasn’t even in the booth yet, walking around with with the microphone making grunts and moans before the listener starts becoming assault with a trembling bassline that would/should shake the close off of any lass standing near you. The last song on the album is “Sweet & Sour.” Elia and the rest of the band must have had a hard hankering to do a U2-styled song. It’s drifting, beautiful, and somehow ripping. With Anna running her fingers over the ivory keys to add more emotion to the song, you can’t fight against the drifting that comes from listening to this track. Again, this band is not one that is easily categoried. Nor is it one that doesn’t deserve proper attention for present releases and future endeavors. They span across the field of Pop Rock in every sense, and, though it does seem schizophrenic in design, maybe it’s just what this schizophrenic world needs.

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Grey Monday Unchains The Spirit Of Alice

Posted by Scotio on May 7, 2008

Grunge music. It was such a groundbreaking departure in sound for the late 80’s early 90’s rock music. It was dirty, gritty, grimy, and unapologetic. The artists who made it were the same way. One of the harder of the bands for the grunge movement was Alice In Chains. New band, Grey Monday, channels the spirit of the iconic grunge outfit on their debut album Thirteen Sharp. Housing exactly 13 songs, and each of them very piercing pieces of music, it’s not hard to figure out the naming of this album. The band hails from Switzerland, and is around the same age the members of AIC were when they broke through the Industry’s tape. The crunch guitar riffs of Dömu and the bassy growl of Pad does more than just bring to mind Jerry and Layne. Clearly marking a strong alternative for the pop sound that their country is infamous for. The album opens up to a low rumbling thunderous build-up with the track, “Nightmare.” With distortion run a muck and bass trembling out of your speaker system, you have no choice but to allow your starting weekday to get gloomy with excitement. Steff, the band’s drummer, leaves no head untapped with monstrous authority. This is the type of opener that lets you know Pandora has little to compete against. The band goes into a Heavy Metal frenzy on “Everything,” giving forth gallops galore and intricately simple guitar attacks. Still, the charisma that this young band possesses pulls you in enough that you simply lose yourself amongst their powerfully charged performance. “Hate At First Sight” could easily be a head turning single if they choose to release it as their lead. Pad switches from Layne to Aaron Lewis with his vocal stylings for this tune, and the band, for the most part, follows suit. It turns into a battle between Dömu and Sam(the band’s bassist) for dominance on the tune. GM offers you so much on this track that it’s hard to just sit there and care about merely on facet of it. If you haven’t found your inner badass by the time you come to the song “Come Closer,” then you’re about to meet him/her head on for this cut. This some of the sexiest guitar strumming that has been missing in most of the heavier side of rock music. I’d go so far to say that you should be required to house a Harley in your garage to listen to this song the whole way through. But, don’t think this act is a one trick pony. “Two Coins” hosts their softer more thought-provoking side. Even throwing in a piano melody inside of it to bring out more from their listeners. Though it’s no “Nothing Else Matters” it is a good show of what is to come from this promising act. The most standout track from this brilliant ensemble of music is definitely a tie between “The Vicious Circle” and “Shadow, I Am Your Sun.” The latter featuring, what I feel, is the pure soul of this band. Playing between softer, mellow moments and heavy grunge-tinged power chords, it’s hard not to fall in love with this song. This is what Nickelback wishes they could even try to achieve. The former of the two is the album closer. And, it’s such a grand way to end such a wonderful start. Bringing the force and the growls needed to start hair swinging and bar-top dances. This song is 100% rebel music. The type of music that folks who really go against the grain listens to(or those who wish they could). Matter of fact, the whole album is that way. And, the way it was made doesn’t show the band’s immaturity. Truly, fans of this genre should rejoice that they have new champions to hold up as representatives for their pent up and held back aggression.

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Magnetic Morning Draws In Listeners

Posted by Scotio on May 2, 2008

Adam Franklin (of the bands Swervedriver & Toshack Highway) & Sam Fogarine (of the band Interpol) have teamed up and created The Setting Suns, then renamed it to Magnetic Morning . . . and released a self-titled five (5) song EP. Filled with vibrantly smooth guitar work and purely driven drumtracks, the album stands tall on the path to a very productive side-project for both members. They released the album on Record Store Day to help give a nod to those record stores theat refuse to die easy to the corporate giants. On the first track “Cold War Kids,” you’re greeted with softly alluring guitar plucks and subtle yet sober bassline. When the drums kick in and Franklin starts vocally stirring up the mix, it’s officially too late. They have you stuck to them like a paper clip to a horseshoe magnet. Franklin’s voice is like velvet over top of this retro slow-pop musical masterpiece.  The two-piece follow that delightful tune up with an equally mesmerizing one titled “Yesterday’s Flowers.” Again, following the formula of Pop music’s greatest decade, Forgarine’s drums give way to the two-step & sway motion that was popular during that time. The second track of this EP fits well in the backdrop of a very lonely and saddening moment, and for a the first kiss between a newly formed couple at a school dance. “The Way Love Used To Be” is a song that reminds you of the way movies used to be. Specifically Cameron Crowe ones. They pick up the tempo for this one, but don’t kill you with adrenaline or speed. It’s just soft enough to throw you in the flow of the breeze while you’re enjoying a smooth day skateboarding, surfering, or even cruising around in your convertible that only comes out during the summer months. The music plays the key figure of this tune, even slowing down so you can really take a moment to pay attention to the very delightful details at the end, and Franklin’s voice is just along for the assist. The slowest and most introspective song on here is the strangely titled “DontGoToDreamState.” No, that’s not a typo on my part. That’s the actual song title. It can be compared as the sonic interpretation of the space between being awake and sleeping. The place where everything is hazy, but you can still make out what’s going on if you look closely. Which makes it hard to try to listen to the plea to not enter the dreaming world. The only reason I could see not slipping to sleep would be due to the fact that you’d miss the reprise of the first song called “Cold War Kids (Get Claudius).” Sounding just a big more dynamic and orchestrated than the original. Or, that just could be something my imagination created because Franklin’s vocals are not present for this rendition. But, then again, being that it is longer than the original, I must retreat back to my basic instinct on this song. All in all, this new side project, which is renamed after half of a split EP Franklin’s band Toshack Highway had with Sianspheric, is not only charming, but captivating in a sense of pop music that most only border around and few actually dive in completely.

Preview

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