Category Archives: Discoveries

Song of the Day: 11/29/11

Biffy ClyroMountains

 

I gave Biffy Clyro and attentive listen for the very first time yesterday, and I was honestly blown away. For some reason, something, possibly the name, possibly the shirtless live performances, possibly the name, just turned me off. I have actually watched them play live several times at festival appearances while quickly glancing at Palladia, and I did find myself watching it through to the end. However, I have no explanation whatsoever as to why I’ve completely written them off until now.

 

Their most recent release, Only Revolutions, is chock full of anthemic rock songs. To be honest, I love when I can hear hints of an accent in a singers voice, and the Scottish drawl of singer/guitarist Simon Neil shines through here, full of passion. The album balances well between harder, faster paced songs and ballad type offerings. It is gritty at times and and crystal clear at others. The dichotomy just works, and this comes from a person who doesn’t really like when a band who can rock slows it down.

 

In closing, to quote myself from a mere paragraph ago, “…I have no explanation whatsoever as to why I’ve completely written them off until now.” I’ve got some catching up to do!

 

Below is a live video for Mountains, from their Live at Wembley DVD.

Tagged , , , , ,

Proceed//Curious Electric EP

I came across this UK based act yesterday, and have been consumed by it in the hours that I’ve had the Curious Electric EP in my possession. I’ve listened to it 3 times through already since I got it, and each listen brings more and more enjoyment.

Dan Lancaster’s vocals are the key, as he travels through each song with a voice that at times feels akin to a more interesting version of Dallas Green’s (City and Colour/Alexisonfire). Thats what drew me in, and keeps me listening. Now, don’t get me wrong, the entire band KILLS it on this record, but his voice plays so perfectly with the instrumentation that you’ll have goosebumps by the end of the album opener, Fight / Flight. The music is a well controlled chaos, staying tight to the groove while keeping a frenetic pace, with Lancaster’s vocals soaring over it all. Honestly, every track is a standout, making this 7 track EP a solid listen from front to back.

 

As of January 2011, the band was in the studio recording their follow up debut LP. I haven’t found much news on it besides what’s been posted by the band on their website, so I hope that is still in the works.

Check out some tunes on their Facebook page, and check out the video for A Tricycle Journey below. The EP is available on iTunes if you’re so inclined. Enjoy!

Tagged , , , , ,

4 Quick Blasts…

There are several bands that I have come across in the last week, and besides a few other go to albums I can’t get enough of, these are the bands I’ve been listening to. It’s Sunday, and I don’t want to take up to much of your time, but here are 4 Quick Blasts (hence, the clever title) for you to dig in to. Click on the band name and you will be directed to their music.

The ComputersThis is The Computers

This is a solid album, which is the debut full length from these Exeter, UK lads. Simply put (much like the bands sound), this is a fun record that successfully fuses hardcore punk with a garage rock quality and style. In the end, this is a no frills, in your face punk record that should be enjoyed with your stereo on full blast.

HexesWhite Noise / Black Sound

This is a very interesting album, and it comes courtesy of a few angry Brits. It is difficult to pin them down to a specific genre/sound, because while it stays consistent, it does incorporate several elements. The guitars are loud and tight and the drumming isn’t all over the place, yet it still has a metallic vibe. There are electronic elements and synth lines that give the music another layer as well as another sense of melody. Then, from the moment you hear the vocals, you will a) know they are English, b) have to acquire the taste of Daniel P. Carter’s screaming, and c) probably be completely hooked like I was. The album came out in 2009, but from what I’ve read they are working on new material, so stay tuned if you dig this album.

None More BlackIcons

I am not usually one for punk bands, or at least modern “punk”; it always tends to sound way to happy for me, as I live on music that puts out a darker vibe. But, after coming across None More Black on a recent music search, I have found a band that does it well. Icons came out in 2010 on Fat Wreck Chords, and is the perfect blend of modern punk and hard rock. I also love the guitar work, as it combines a punk sensibility with solid rock riffs, helping the tracks standout. The vocals don’t know whether they want to be screamed or sung, which lends to the overall sound of the band and gives it a nice edge. And, with a name that pays tribute to Spinal Tap, you can’t go wrong!

This Time It’s WarTerror Plots

This one is for the metalheads out there, who are sick and tired of the overwhelmingly boring and stale technical metal scene. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE metal, but I’m just over the current scene (8 string guitars, PERFECT recordings, image over substance, etc.). Enter This Time It’s War and their self released 2010 album, Terror Plots. It does modern technical metal without sounding overproduced and devoid of emotion, refreshing your stance on the scene in the process. Great screams and clean vocals, great guitar work and drums that keep everything moving in a frenetic yet comforting way. Once you’re done consuming this album, click on the link above to check out their newly released Rusted Screws EP. It can be found as a ‘name your price’ option on their BandCamp page.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and if there is anything you’re listening to, make it known in the comments section and I’ll check it out!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Middle Class Rut // No Name No Color

Sometimes, you find exactly what you need. Sometimes, you don’t realize what you’ve found until it shuffles through your iPhone on the way home from work. When “New Low” came blaring through my speakers tonight, I knew that it was Middle Class Rut, an alternative Sacramento, CA based duo consisting of Zack Lopez on guitar/vocals and Sean Stockham on drums/vocals. What I did not realize during previous listens, was how amazing this record was.

 

No Name No Color is the bands debut full length, and it came out in 2010. It made its way to my ears just a few months back, but it got pushed to the back burner. I found myself enjoying the sound and style of the album, but I kept waiting for something to happen. I suppose that in the height of my progressive metal listenings, this wouldn’t really be the album I was trying to found. However, after getting somewhat burned out on the overproduced riffs that are modern metal, I needed to clear my palette. I’ve always loved the post-punk/post-hardcore genre. In fact, that would probably be my favorite of all genres, mainly because of the energy and emotion you hear laced within the comparatively unpolished tracks. Case in point, Middle Class Rut.

 

This album is dirty. Its raw, yet it sparkles in a way that a lot of albums in the genre don’t. It has a quality to it that you can’t turn away from, because its lyrical content and overall vibe fits within the context of the everyman. Lopez plays the guitar with a passionate precision that is unrivaled, and you can feel it. His heavy use of effects gives him a heavy, darkly textured tone that provides Stockham’s drums the perfect musical bed to pulsate on. Add to this Lopez’s searing vocals with the backgrounds provided by Stockham, and you have yourself a marvelous debut full length.

 

As I found out, while ‘waiting for something to happen’, I failed to realize that it WAS happening. This album is perfect in its simplicity, and it doesn’t need to be anything else. Its a real album. We don’t see that enough anymore, so I say thanks and I am grateful that we have bands that play with this kind of heart.

Here is USA, from their debut album, No Name No Color.

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

I’m Back… And here’s a new band for ya.

Well, it’s been a while. For one reason or another, I have neglected to write about the music I listen to. I have discovered many a new band as well as the new releases from bands that I’ve loved for a long time. I just haven’t written about them, so I apologize for the lull. I plan to start writing more to show you all what I have been able to pull from the musical soil.

 

I just found this band the other day while floating through last.fm. If you know anything about my musical tastes, I tend to gravitate towards the interesting, to say the least. I enjoy being surprised by a song and the turns it takes while coming to a completion. The band Kiss Kiss does this for me, and their most release, The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left, is quite a work of art. Vocally, it reminds me of what I always want Geoff Rickly from Thursday to sound like if he were really release his voice. Musically, it has that avant-garde feel without being to incomprehensible.

 

This album came out in 2009, and even after some extensive research, I am not sure if they are still a band. I do know there was a side project that was created, but I wouldn’t rule out any future tunes from Kiss Kiss. At least, I hope not.

 

Enjoy the video for the song, All They Draw.

 

Tagged , ,

Too Late The Hero

Chris Adler, the drummer from Lamb of God, is the brains behind the new Rethink record label. And now, they have made their first signing; Too Late The Hero.

 

They currently have one song up on there MySpace page titled Life as Fiction. It only quickly wets the appetite as to what fruit their upcoming release will bare, but I have good expectations for what the album will contain. Its a somewhat straight forward rock/metalcore track, but I really like the vocals and the playing is worthy of a repeat listen. From what I’ve read, they are releasing their album sometime in April, so stay tuned for that.

 

 

Tagged , , ,

Pin Up Went Down

Odds are, you probably won’t like this French Avant-Garde Metal act. You probably won’t “get it”, and you will think it is a pointless waste of time and just another contribution from the “French”. UNLESS, you enjoy the uniquely strange, creative, and artistic aspects that music can bring forth. If you are one who allows yourself to think outside of your musical box long enough to understand what else is out there to bathe in, this is for you. Or, of course, if you developed an obsession with anything involving Mike Patton while in college… oh wait, thats me. Either way, Pin Up Went Down is an act worth checking out.

Their most recent release, 342, is one of the most brilliant works of art I have come across in years. It is an artful album that showcases the vocal talents of Asphodel (the female operatic vocals, while Alexis provides backing vocals and screams), and the multi-instrumentalists that are the brothers Damien. Alexis and Nicolas Damien both have a hand in the instrumentation of the album. Their first release, 2 Unlimited, only featured Asphodel and Alexis, and was the brainchild of Alexis, as he wrote all the music and from what I understand, the majority if not all of the lyrics. Asphodel joined forces after feeling a true connection to the project and knew it was something she wanted to be a part of. As mentioned, Nicolas joined the band prior to the recording of 342.

I haven’t been able to stop listening to the album since I got it. It is so interesting and exciting that I just want to dig further into it. It is like staring into a painting for hours, and just traveling deeper and deeper to examine each layer in an attempt to understand and appreciate the work as a whole. It has the Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, etc.) vibe, and that is never a bad thing. In fact, is hard to come across anyone who can even come close to matching his work. As out there as it may come across, their experimentation and combination of genre defining elements come together quite well and allow 342 to feel very cohesive as a complete piece.

For me, a lot of this symphonic/death/avant-garde metal just comes across as a joke, so this album is very special and I am ecstatic to have uncovered it because I have always liked the idea of what was possible within this genre, I just never really got into it. This is what I dig for with hopes of finding something different. Something iTunes and Last.FM won’t recommend to me. Pin Up Went Down is that band.

Allow your curiosity to get the better of you. Check your preconceived notions at the door. You haven’t heard anything like this, and you might not for sometime. So pick up 342 and enjoy some of the remaining musical creativity that is still left for us to enjoy and discover.

Experience Pin Up Went Down:

MySpace – www.myspace.com/pinupwentdown

Interview with Asphodel – http://zolireds.net/blog/2010/06/07/pin-up-went-down/

Murphy in the Sky with Daemons” from the album, 342.

 

White Arms of Athena

 

White Arms of Athena are a five piece progressive metal act from Texas, somewhat in the realm of Between the Buried and Me. However, a little easier to digest.

This is some pretty awesome stuff, and I suggest you check out their BandCamp page to hear 4 streaming songs from their upcoming full-length, Astrodrama. The album is scheduled for release in the Spring (April – May) of 2011, and will be 46 minutes long and split into 4 sections. It will without a doubt be a highly anticipated and epic release.

Check out the BandCamp page below and get behind these guys before the album gets released.

http://whitearmsofathena.bandcamp.com/album/astrodrama

 

Also, follow the band via:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/White-Arms-of-Athena/271063494450?v=info

MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/whitearmsofathena

Unicron

 

 

 

Well, this is an interesting band I stumbled across on Tuesday while checking out the Fall in Archaea MySpace page. I was checking to see why their EP had not yet been released on iTunes, when I noticed their tour banner, and I just searched thefirst band on their below FIA, and it was a Canadian band that call themselves UNICRON.

I was drawn in by the technicality of it all. On top of all of that, the vocals sucked me in as well. Color me intrigued. I won’t lie, I tried to find the EP via “online resources” first. But, my unsuccessful attempt led me to the iTunes store and the eventual purchase of the Powerbomb EP. It only cost me a few bucks, and I was more than willing to part with 3 bucks to satisfy my growing curiosity brought on by the brightly colored MySpace page and sample songs they had on the player.

I would say that this in an interesting collection of songs. There are 4 total, and each includes technical noodling and electronic-laden, yet unconventional breakdowns. The majority of the vocals are done by Courtney LaPlante. The choruses and clean vocals are extremely catchy and bring out a very melodic side of the band, while bookended by brutal growls by LaPlante and bassist and 2nd vocalist Kenny Walker. Their are only 4 songs (not nearly enough!), but be sure to listen to Manic Panic, that is probably the stand out for me.

I have to give it up to Unicron, because they created such a buzz within me that I needed to have the album as soon as I heard the first song on their MySpace player. There is room for growth, and I don’t mean that to be a negative thing, because I think it is an awesome EP, I just know they have alot of potential and I am excited to hear what they are going to be able to create next. Be sure to grab the Powerbomb EP from iTunes to show them some support!

MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/unicronwillrockyourface

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/unicronband

The Ocean Collective

The Ocean Collective (often referred to by fans simply as The Ocean) are a band from Germany that has been releasing albums for a few years now. From what I have read, they have gone through numerous lineup changes before settling on the current contingent of musicians they operate with today. They began as an instrumental group, then added vocals on recent albums, however, to some fans dismay. They solidified the lineup we can currently enjoy in 2009, and subsequently released 2 full length albums in 2010; “Heliocentric” on April 9th, and “Anthropocentric” on November 9th.

 

I was originally drawn in by the song “She Was the Universe” off of Anthropocentric. It was the first song that played on their MySpace page. Its heaviness is nicely woven with the dark melodies of the clean vocals. Both new albums act the same way, and over the last 2 days I have listened to them exclusively, and the textures of each song continue to shine through with each new listen. If I had to compare them to anyone, I imagine this is what it would sound like if Thrice and Mastodon produced musical offspring.

 

Check out their MySpace page to hear some of the songs, www.myspace.com/theoceancollective, then go get both of these albums and play them as loud as possible. I promise that this will not let you down.