Monthly Archives: February 2013

Quick Artist Profile: Gangs of Ballet

One of my favorite things to do is look for new bands, and I’m even more intrigued when I find out that musicians in said bands studied music. It’s not because I’m into the study of music on that level, but because I like to see the application of their learnings on to their own music. Thus when I discovered the Durban, South Africa based, Gangs of Ballet I was impressed.

The band which consists of vocalist and guitarist Brad Klynsmith, bassist Hardus de Beer, keyboard player  Jono Rich, and drummer Josh Klynsmith. The band mixes beautiful dynamics of soft and relaxing arrangements with soaring vocals. The band has released one EP entitled, and I can’t really say what genre it falls into, but I would say it falls somewhere between Coldplay and Lissie due to the melancholy nature of the music and vocals.

The band which has been studying full-time this past year are about to finish up their studies and go out to support themselves, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

-B. Harlow

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Vanna Deliver on New Tracks, “The Few And The Far Between/ The Lost Art of Staying Alive”

Vanna has been prepping for the release of their new album, The Few and the Far Between, which will be relesead on March 19th. The album which was produced by Jay Maas, will be the fourth studio album from the Boston-based band. It will also be the first album featuring Vanna’s new line-up after the departure of Evan Pharmakis and Chris Campbell. The new line-up sounds great and it is apparent that they are on top of their game, first with the release of the track “The Year of The Rat” and now with the release of “The Few And The Far Between/ The Lost Art of Staying Alive.”

“The Few and The Far Between” is a great intro track that starts out with a pounding drum beat and guitars that are very ambient with Davey Muise’s voice above the track. This continues until about the 1:30 mark when we start to hear the beginning of “The Lost Art of Staying Alive.” This song has a killer riff, and then Muise says ‘And it Begins,’ at this point the whole band comes in and delivers a bruising to the listeners ear drums. But this is why we love the MA based hardcore act because they always deliver a great product, and “The Lost Art of Staying Alive” is a great product.

-B. Harlow

Check out the Stream of the song HERE

Vanna

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rob Zombie Releases New Song, “Dead City Radio and The New Gods of Supertown”

Rob Zombie is a creative man. In fact Rob Zombie is so creative that he has his foot in comics, film, and his first love music. This creative impulse makes him one of the greatest minds in the arts and makes both his careers successful. Zombie will be releasing his fifth feature-length film Lords of Salem in April, but he will be pulling duty. Yesterday Zombie announced that he will be putting out his 5th solo album which will be titled Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor. Zombie also released the first single from the album, “Dead City Radio and The New Gods of Supertown.”

“Dead City Radio and The New Gods of Supertown” starts off with a sound sample that says “radio has changed our lives and possibly saved our lives” this repeats with a steady beat underneath. Eventually the whole band comes in, including the ringmaster of this crazy song, Rob Zombie. The first verse comes in and you can tell it is a Zombie song through and through, with the riffs with great grooves. The song then goes into a chorus that is very reminiscent of the Doors’ “The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)” it is evident of the influence right down to the 70’s style keyboards. None the less I like the song, especially the tight rhythm guitar playing of John 5.

Be sure to check out Zombie’s new record and movie when they come out!

-B. Harlow

John5-robzombie

Dead City Radio and The New Gods of Supertown

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Hip-Hop’s Dynamic Duo

Who exactly are Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? Well for starters, they’re one of the fastest growing musical collaborations in the business, and have one of the most popular hip-hop tracks of last year. Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) has been independently producing music since 2000 where he gained a large online fan base -like so many other unsigned hip-hop artists of recent memory. Ryan Lewis came into the picture shortly after 2005’s Language of My World had been released. The two formed a collaboration in 2008 where Macklemore raps, and Lewis conceives the instrumentals, album covers, and directs the music videos.

But why the sudden success? How did they go from their independent roots to international fame seemingly overnight? Quite frankly, the intensely popular single “Thrift Shop” is what brought them to stardom. With the single’s catchy beat, amusing lyrics, and zany hook, it managed to sell over 2.2 million copies. The single topped out at the number 1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 list, and was soon followed by the duo’s debut studio album The Heist, which claimed possession of the US Itunes number 1 album slot just a few short hours after it’s release. The album focuses on a variety of things such as political issues, personal problems, and the duo’s journey to the fame they have now. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis really hit the nail on the head with this debut album. However, without the hugely successful “Thrift Shop” to pave the way, their sudden rise to fame would have gone a lot slower. I see a very bright future for the two as one of the next big hip-hop artists.

-P. Lyons

Macklemore-Ryan-Lewis

Macklemore-Ryan-Lewis-2013

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sharp Dressed Men: Upon a Burning Body Bring You Metal, Texas Style

“Every minute you waste is a minute you’ve lost” is a lyric from the Texas-based metal band, Upon A Burning Body. This statement could not be more truthful, than when it comes to the band themselves because every minute you waste not listening to them is a minute you’ve lost. These sharp dressed Texans are a force to be reckoned with.

Upon a Burning Body have been tearing up the underground scene since 2005. Their DIY ethos brought them many fans when they were coming up, and this has led the band to have a very loyal fan base that came in handy when they were hand-picked to be the special guests for all of the Texas dates on the Thrash and Burn 2009 Tour w/ DevilDriver, Emmure, Despised Icon, and Veil of Maya. This tour brought the band a great deal of exposure and helped land them on Sumerian Records. The label also gave the band great praise for their very unique metal and hardcore hybrid.

In April of 2010 the band released their debut full length album entitled The World is Ours. The album was produced by William Putney all of the song’s on the album took their titles from movies that starred Al Pacino.   The World is Ours also marked the exit of drummer Ramon Villareal who was replaced by Jonathon Gonzales.

Almost two years to the date, the band released their sophomore album Red. White. Green. The album was also produced by Will Putney, who produced their debut album. Another thing that carried over from their first album was naming songs after films, but this time instead movie that featured Al Pacino they used titles of films that were directed by Robert Rodriguez. The album did well in sales debuting at No. 105 on the Billboard 200 an amazing feat for a metal band releasing their sophomore record.

The band continues to work hard promoting their music, and were featured on 2012’s  Mayhem  Festival. They wrapped 2012 supporting Trivium on their European tour, and will continue touring well into 2013 on the 19th annual Van’s Warped Tour. Check these guys and you’ll definitely understand why metal is bigger in Texas.

-B. Harlow

Upon-A-Burning-Body

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quick Artist Profile: Nemes

One of the most unusual bands to come out in the last few years is  Nemes a 5 piece rock/folk band from Worcester, Massachusetts. The band which is led by duel frontmen Dave Anthony (Guitar/Vocals) and Josh Knowles (Violin/Vocals) mixes folk sounds with a more modern rock influence to create a sound is uniquely their own.

I first heard Nemes when they played live in a mall in central mass about three years ago. I bought their EP 865 that day and was blown away especially by the standout track, “Pipe Song.” Since then Nemes have been busy releasing two new recordings the first being 2010’s EP Third Time’s A Charm! And more recently the band released their first full length, Don’t Flush Me which was released in June of 2011. The band has also been on a touring schedule that brought them through Europe and the US.

Be sure to check out Nemes, as their unique sound is something that you do not want to miss out on. The way they mix violin is just awesome, and I guarantee you will like their music!

B. Harlow

Nemes

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Honest Pop-Punk: Neck Deep’s New EP ‘A History of Bad Decisions’

Neck Deep consists of five guys who have committed to creating some awesome down to earth pop-punk, and this stripped down and honest nature is what makes Neck Deep’s music. Neck Deep are as straight forward as they come, but honestly being able to take their music at face value is what makes their songs great, especially the three new songs that were released yesterday on their three track EP, A History Of Bad Decisions which is available for pay-what-you-want download.

The EP starts off with the track “Up in Smoke” which is a very straight ahead song musically, but lyrically it tells a narrative that many people have experienced, and that is when parents lose trust and disapprove of you when you’re growing up. This is followed by the track “Table’s Turned” which is a song that is clearly about moving on after a break up. My favorite track on the EP was the last track, “Head To the Ground” which is an acoustic song that is lyrically about being in a relationship and worrying about not screwing up the relationship, something that anyone in a relationship goes through. Musically the EP is very simple, but the face value of the music is the most important part.

 Be sure to check out A History Of Bad Decisions which is available for pay-what-you-want download. I mean why wouldn’t you buy it? Well at least you can test drive it!

-B. Harlow

NeckDeep

 

 

Neck-Deep-A-History-Of-Bad-Decisions-EP

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fascinating Frantic Instrumental Music: Alright The Captain

Most people have a hard time sitting through a song, especially if it is an instrumental. However this is not the case with the music that is produced by the Derby three-piece, Alright The Captain. Alright the Captain consists of Marty on guitar, Todd on bass, and drummer Ash. Together they create a new sound that mixes elements of many sub-genres of rock and even show some jazz influence. They describe themselves as “noisy experimental music,” but I would tend to emphasize the experimental instead of the noisy part because of their tremendous musicianship which makes their intense instrumental compositions avoid the staleness that many instrumental bands fall prey to.

Since 2009 Alright The Captain have released three records all containing very different music that in no way could be considered monotonous. Their first EP was released in 2009 and was titled 123.EP. The EP contained three tracks including “Honey Badger” which is a frantic composition that has its roots in math-rock along with a slight influence of post-rock. The bands next release was entitled SNIB and contained ten tracks including three tracks from their first EP. This was followed by BINS which was a remix album that was the original albums title backwards.

Alright The Captain is a great band that is extremely experimental and extremely awesome.  The band will be releasing a new EP entitled Conversational Skills for the Socially Anxious which will be released in late March or early April to coincide with their European tour with Knifecutter.

-B. Harlow

Check Out Alright The Captain’s acoustic performance for the BBC below:

Alright The Captain

Alright The Captain live

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hatriot Hit Mach 10 Speed With Their Blistering Album, ‘Heroes of Origin’

In 2011 many metal fans were overjoyed when they heard that Steve “Zetro” Souza formerly of Exodus had come back with a new project that was straight ahead thrash metal and featured Zetro’s signature nasally snarly. Zetro who has been out of the thrash scene and focusing on other fun projects (AC/DZ, Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet) since he departed Exodus after the release of Tempo of the Damned in 2004. Well he is back and better than ever with the release of Heroes of Origin Hatriot’s debut album.

One of the coolest things in my opinion is that Hatriot along with being the vehicle for Zetro’s return it is also the coming out party for his sons, bassist Cody and Drummer Nick who throw down excellent performances, and let’s not forget the guitar pyrotechnics of Kosta V. and Miguel Esparza who are truly excellent musicians. Zetro definitely was in good company when he recorded this, and it shows by the amazing quality of the finished product.

Heroes of Origin starts off with the track “Suicide Run” which starts off very atmospheric, but this is quickly interrupted by a swiftly down picked riff which starts off the brutal assault on the eardrums this album is. “Suicide Run” is followed by the track “Weapons of Class Destruction” which was also featured on the 2011 demo. This song is very reminiscent of early Legacy recordings when it comes to tempo, but when it comes to lyrics it is a really interesting narrative about the current world we live in. Next up is “Murder American Style” which features some virtuosity in the opening measures, and again Zetro lyrically is on fire when it comes to providing a great narrative of the current state of affairs in America.

The fourth track on the album is “Blood Stained Wings,” and boy when I heard this my first thought was ‘Is this a Slayer song?’ as the verse sounds a lot like “Angel of Death” off of Slayer’s 1986 album, Reign in Blood. But even with the similar sounds I enjoyed the track, but my favorite track on the album was up next. “The Violent Time of My Dark Passenger” is the next track, and believe it or not this was only one of the songs that I felt let up on the attack of my eardrums, but hey it’s a great song. The guitars on the track definitely have an Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson feel, but lyrically the song is more in the vein of Slayer’s “Criminally Insane.”

“Globicidal”   is the next track on the album and this was another track that was featured on the original 2011 demo, but this time it has a much better production value thus making the track easier to listen to. I particularly like the diminished chords at the beginning of the song, but by the time the verse kicked in I felt my listening experience was getting a little monotonous. But then I got a straight dose of why I love Zetro and that is his Exodus inspired music such as the next song “And Your Children Be Damned” which is a clearly taken from a page of the Exodus playbook. But what really gets me on this song is the awesome guitar pyrotechnics in which Kosta V. and Miguel Esparza really run free.

The next track that really caught my interest was “Shadows of The Buried” which has a very slow and eerie intro that made the hairs on my back stand up, and this really drew me into the track which has a really “Seasons in The Abyss” feel to it, but this changes when the song lifts in BPM and Zetro’s vocals come in. Again this song features excellent guitar playing that is very intricate and delicate while still remaining ferocious and cutting. Next up came the closing and title track “Heroes of Origin” which is another straight ahead thrash song that shows Hatriot is maintaining Mach 10 speed.

Be sure to check out Heroes of Origin, as it truly is following the blueprint of everything that makes a great Bay Area Thrash record, and with a resume like Zetro’s, who could argue?

-B. Harlow

hatriot

Hatriot-Heroes-of-Origin

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Silk Demise: The Soft and Comforting Sounds of Trip-Hop

If steady calming drum beats and an hypnotizing tempo are what you are looking for, The Silk Demise may be the one to satisfy your music cravings. The group’s genre is classified as Trip-Hop, once a faction to differ from the crowded fans of Hip-Hop but is now an independent genre influencing many of today’s pop icons, one of which is currently a Grammy winner for Record of the Year, Gotye. They are now currently in the process of finalizing their second album entitled Oceanid. In describing what The Silk Demise has to offer, Grave Concerns webzine review says the group is essentially “sensual, stripped-down trip-hop”. They have also been featured in online publications such as Shout4Music.

Trip-Hop is not what one may call mainstream, but if you’ve been into music long enough or have dug through the histories deep enough, you’ll realize how much the genre is actually influencing and molding many popular artists nowadays. For many, this type of music maybe quite ominous to enjoy over a chilled bingo night over at http://www.foxybingo.com/ , but to others, the mesmerizing rhythms are otherworldly, inspiring enough that it even fits more immersive games such as the suspense game series, The Silent Hill. For The Silk Demise, their choice of genre maybe slightly inapplicable as mood music for bingo play but for them to embrace the electronic-yet-organic melodies is poetically similar to enjoying your popular music in their barest, most basic, most raw emotions. One of their singles, Professor’s Lake, gives you the feeling of freely wondering in a chilly vast field. The music they showcase fully utilizes what Trip-Hop music is all about, it’s grabbing you by the hand forcefully and then letting you enjoy the immersive feeling of entering a new world of varying sentiments and passions.

The Silk Demise’s new album  will feature 12 tracks, all of the titles now divulged in their blog. The Oceanid album is currently being mastered and is set to be released a few weeks after the mastering process is finalized. While we wait, go ahead and visit their page to learn more about them and listen to their previous releases.

The Silk Demise

Tagged ,