Ours “Mercy…Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy” Album Review + Videos…

In Case You Missed It Series: Episode 8

Ours

Mercy…Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy – CD // DD

American Recordings – released April 15, 2008

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup for Mercy…Dancing…:
Jimmy Gnecco – Vocals, Electric Guitars, Bass, Drum outro, Percussion
Static – Space Guitar, Loops
Locke – Electric Guitar in instrumental, Piano, Keyboard
Anthony DeMarco – Piano
Michael Jerome – Drums, Percussion

Previous Releases:
1994 Demo “Sour”
2001 “Distorted Lullabies”
2002 “Precious”
2008 “Mercy…Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy”
2013 “Ballet the Boxer 1”
2017 ***upcoming “Spectacular Sight”

Tracklist:
“Mercy” 6:41
“The Worst Things Beautiful” 4:21
“Ran Away to Tell the World” 5:00
“Black” 4:51
“Moth” 4:34
“Murder” 5:35
“God Only Wants You” 4:23
“Live Again” 4:27
“Willing” 4:41
“Saint” 5:06
“Lost” 5:18
“Get Up” 4:50

                               Video of Title Track “Mercy”

 

The Band:  Ours is an Alternative Rock band from New Jersey.

Album Art:  “Ghost Girl” was made by James Gnecco IV.

Review:  In 2004, Ours relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles to work with Producer / Engineer Rick Rubin. The resulting album, Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy was released on April 15, 2008.  If you are not familiar with Mr. Rubin, he is one of the most famous producers of modern music. He has produced music from genres like: Hip Hop, Rock, Heavy Metal and even Country.

Musically this album is very similar to the other music from the late 90’s and early 2000’s like heavy hitters like H.I.M., U2, Sixx A.M., and at some points have a Muse flair. Some more accurate (meaning more recent) comparisons are 10 years and Evans Blue. There is a heaviness in the music but not enough to change the genre from Rock to Metal.

800px-Jimmy_Gnecco_-_Rockwood_Music_Hall

This album is a family affair, in between the album art, the singing (track 12) and the lyrics themselves are focused on Jimmy’s family. It is also a heavy album because of the emotion that is delivered through the singing and with some string arrangements that are present, but not overpowering. Ours’ “Mercy…Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy” could be considered a sulky emo record; while it is a more downtempo album, it isn’t wallowing in its own sadness. It is just poppy enough to be played on the radio and even in some TV shows like NCIS and CSI.

While looking around for info on this album I found that there is hardly any reviews, so in turn, not much open love for it by “The Powers….”. This is a really solid album that (if you like any of the bands above) you should take a listen to. Ours mix their first two albums together perfectly; the great production that was used in their first album, and a rough (while still polished) vocals. The personal lyrics from all of the band’s releases are fueled by meaningful, personal and often times heavy in weight that only frontman Jimmy can deliver.

There isn’t a dull song in the album (and after 20 months) that shows how good Ours are as musicians, as well as arrangers. If I were to choose a favorite track, it would be the title track. It is one of the most powerful vocal performances by Jimmy Gnecco; along with “Live Again”. Give “Mercy…Dancing…” a listen as I cannot recommend

Stream, download, and buy the album HERE

Logo

Extra Links:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/oursmusic/about/?ref=page_internal

http://www.ours.net/ourspages/

https://www.discogs.com/artist/473602-Ours

https://www.amazon.com/Mercy-Dancing-Death-Imaginary-Enemy/dp/B00133KDWS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_for_the_Death_of_an_Imaginary_Enemy


Deaf Radio “Alarm” Album Review + Stream…

Deaf Radio

Alarm  – Vinyl // CD // DD

Self-released:  January 9, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Panos Gklinos (Vocals & Guitars)
Dimitris Sakellariou (Guitars & Vocals)
Antonis Mantakas (Bass & Backing Vocals)
George Diathesopoulos (Drums & Backings Vocals)
Honorary Member : Vassilis Petris

Previous Releases:
A two track E.P. from 2015 “Deaf Radio”, containing; “Down On Her Knees” & “No Hay Banda”

Tracklist:
Aggravation                                       03:25
Backseats                                           05:06
Vultures & Killers                            04:11
Anytime                                             05:03
Flowerhead                                       04:32
Revolving Doors                              04:32
Trapped                                             03:01
Oceanic Feeling                               04:23
…And We Just Pressed The Alarm Button 06:05

 

 

Review:

Deaf Radio are a Post-Punk/Alternative/Hard Rock band from Athens, Greece. On their Bandcamp they describe themselves as “a rock quartet inspired by the independent rock music scene.”

Track-by-track Breakdown:

Aggravation – This track launches us into what we will hear on and off for the rest of this of this album. Rockin’ riffs and lyrics that sound like they are from the late 90’s revival of Punk music.

Backseats – This song starts of slow with a repetitive strumming and builds up with quick little riffs interspersed between the delivery of lyrics. In the final two minutes it introduces some screaming in the background making the song harsh. It reminds me of a We Are Harlot song that I cannot remember the name of.

Vultures & Killers – Here we get another change where their Post-Punk influences come out again and we hear a mid tempo beat with some almost falsetto vocals.

Anytime – (Don’t get too mad at this analogy but) this is their Lana Del Rey song minus the orchestra. It is a slow drug filled atmospheric falsetto vocals (like the last track) until the last minute and the music picks up speed and returns back to the Hard Rock that we have heard so far.

Shot by Evan MaragkoudakisPro Shot

Flowerhead – This song is a lot like Vultures & Killers, almost like it is a continuation or sequel to it. They are structure similar and the vocals are sung in the same way. The exception is this one is heavier on the bass and heart monitor beeping in between bass notes.

Revolving Doors – Here we return to a style close to Aggravation, which reminds me of some of Rise Against’s music. A repeating structure with it being changed in the last minute or two.

Trapped – This song reminds me of a mix of Bush and Muse types of playing and singing. The guitar almost sounds surf like with it’s reverb. The tempo and rhythm change a bunch in this song the music goes back and forth between the types we have heard in the songs before it but it isn’t disorienting.

Oceanic Feeling – This song begins with a simple drum pattern that changes to signal the reverb guitar and bass to kick in. We return to backseats but a slower version of it.

…And We Just Pressed The Alarm Button (Favorite track) – Here we return to the Bush/Muse mix.

Photo: A Memory of Live of September 22nd, 2017
Live Band Pic

The band reminds me stylistically of early Rise Against and Queens of the Stone Age with a good mix of 90’s Hard Rock with Punk influences. Panos reminds me of a mix of the two singers as well. The main guitar reminds me of music that I used to listen to a lot but I cannot pinpoint from what. The bass is one of my favorite parts of the music, especially when it is alone, Antonis just goes at it without it going on too long, making me want more.

This album is good for playing in your car (on the verge of too loud) on your way to work or wherever (which is how I’ve listened to it). It is heavy but not too heavy to add to road rage and is chill enough to kind of zone out and relax to.  In essence, Deaf Radio have given us a 1-Stop-Shop with “Alarm”.  This band has a very bright future!!  Highly Recommend!!

 Download, stream; buy the CD, DD, and Vinyl here.

Additional Links:
https://deafradio.bandcamp.com/

https://www.discogs.com/artist/4863064-Deaf-Radio

https://www.discogs.com/Deaf-Radio-Deaf-Radio/master/1175259

https://www.youtube.com/user/12gafs

https://www.discogs.com/Deaf-Radio-Alarm/release/9690126

https://www.facebook.com/deafradioband/

 


Bat Chain Puller “The Anatomy of Thera Macula” Album Review + Stream…

Bat Chain Puller

The Anatomy of Thera Macula – CD // DD

Mesolithic Records – released July 1st, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Bill Wyant – Guitar, Vocals
Jed Guthrie – Bass
Dennis Flynn – Drums

Tracklist:

  1. Perversions of the Anti-Ego 03:59
  2. On Pilot Wave 05:07
  3. Ostrich 06:38
  4. Nothing Is, But What is Not? 10:27
  5. The Anatomy of Thera Macula 11:04
  6. Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder 06:31
  7. Neon Spiral Hydra 10:57
  8. Glory Whole 05:46

 

 

Review:
Bat Chain Puller are fuzzy Stoner Rock group from Bloomington, Illinois. I use the adjective fuzzy because; as they explain it themselves, [We are] “Specializing in fine handcrafted metal that is fuzzy […] even before you bake…” (From their Facebook page). Their name is likely in reference to the album(s) by Captain Beefheart. The band have two previous releases; the first being a studio album from 2012, “One Million Tomorrows” and the second being a single (that is the first track off of this album with an altered time from 2016,) “Perversions of the Anti-Ego

I could not find any direct pictures that the cover is made of. I am guessing that it takes place in either World War II or after some nuclear fallout. I say WWII because of the gas mask the model is wearing and because the background looks European. (Which leads into…)

Track-by-track Breakdown:

Track 1. “Perversions of the Anti-Ego” – This is the single that was released a year before the album came out. It is Black Label Society-ish sounding; slow, it keeps the same tempo for most of the song until the last few seconds where they pick it up barely and once they hit the last note it fades out.

Track 2. “On Pilot Wave” (Favorite track) – I will elaborate more below but I feel that this should have been the single they chose from the album. It is Bush-ish sounding; abstract sounding lyrics, changing tempos, pseudo-Grunge aggression and a good rhythm.

Track 3. “Ostrich” – This is the song where you hear the bass guitar the most and it is what makes me enjoy it. This track is more of a Black Sabbath/Bush hybrid; strange lyrics, the bass keeps the track moving (along with the drums of course)

Track 4. “Nothing Is, But What is Not?”/Track 5. “The Anatomy of Thera Macula”(Best tracks) – These tracks go back and forth between all of their influences. There are brief points of Metal throughout both with points of Progressive Rock and Stoner Rock.  Thera Macula most likely refers to one of the dark spots on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Which just happens to relate back to the cover, because; “Thera Macula is a region of likely active chaos” and that is what the cover and even points of these songs include.

Band Logo

Track 6. “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” (Heaviest song) – This is a close second favorite song. It goes between Bush style lyrics and modern (1990’s-2000’s) radio metal music. The repeating riff and how the guitar is the fade out at the end.

Track 7. “Neon Spiral Hydra” – This is a close relative of tracks 4 and 5 but different enough to where it doesn’t fit into the one song scheme. The song is very close to newer Alice in Chains.

Track 8. “Glory Whole” – Very Alice in Chains with hints of Layne Staley vocals. The way the vocals are layered is reminiscent of how AIC do theirs.

Bill Wyant’s vocals remind me of a strange mix between Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne) and Gavin Rossdale (Bush). The music itself is a strange mix of newer Black Sabbath, the William DuVall lead Alice in Chains, Black Label Society and Bush and often the music styles come together and move apart song to song.

The drumming is the highlight of the album to me. Strangely enough; this album reminds me of Bless the Martyr Kiss the Child by Norma Jean, but a softer Rock version. Even though I feel the album has more of a Metal feel than a Rock feel. Tracks 4 and 5 serve best as one track. In these two the band creates a world that showcases their influences and shows the talent that they have as composers. Other than the 10 minute plus tracks this is a good biker album. Tracks 4, 5, 6, and 8 are the highlights.

If there is anything to complain about it is that it’s not heavy enough! At some points when they are building the soundscapes, I kept expecting some rapid fire drums or a speedy guitar solo, they teased it a little bit. Also “On a Pilot Wave” should have been the single, even if it would have to be shortened for radio play. (But these are personal gripes, not a musical one.)

Overall, Bat Chain Puller puts on a stellar performance with “The Anatomy of Thera Macula.”  Definitely get a copy of it!  Take a listen here and buy the DD or CD

Additional Links:

https://batchainpuller.bandcamp.com/releases

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/batchainpuller

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/batchainpuller2

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/batchainpuller3

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BCPMusic/about/?ref=page_internal

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/fig_tab/nature10608_F2.html?foxtrotcallback=true

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/europa_20111116.html


Alone In The Moon “Glamour Grunge” Album Review + Stream…

ALONE IN THE MOON

Glamour Grunge – Digital Download

Self Released – released June 26, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed2012

LocationBudapest, Hungary

Line-up
Adrian von Castlebridge: Vocal // Guitar
Simon Zoltán: Bass
Menyhárth Balázs: Drums

Previous Releases
“Collection Of Great Generational Anthems” May 2015
“Collection of Generational Anthems” “Digital Deluxe version – March 2016

When asked to describe themselves, the band said quote “Alone in the Moon” is a rock metal trio from the exotic Budapest that mixes the rawness of punk with the seducing cliches of hard rock  and the music of the 90’s and early 00’s: from Nirvana to Deftones, from Radiohead to Kyuss, from Korn to Tool.” Enquote. With this sophomore effort, it would seem the ‘punk’ tag has been lost and it is to no detriment in this case. With the first release, ALONE IN THE MOON set the bar particularly high and the demand was such that the “Deluxe” version contained an additional 30 tracks, from instrumental versions of various songs to demo versions to everything in between.

 

Band Pic

 

With this record, they have foregone that paradigm to concentrate on the HEAVY side of things and bring forth this 26 minute opus that is SONIC in the hard-rock trappings and are even more precise in delivery and content. From opener ’27’, with the fade in guitar chord before the bass and drums hit in this almost stoner-tempo.  The sheer plush POWER rumbling out of your speakers for the first minute plus takes the bar and raises it even higher than the last release as we listen to this tale of “a beautiful anger”. The loopy soloing and non-stop pummeling your ear drums are taking in from this power-trio takes you along at a clip that is comfortable and static at the same time. ‘The Jury’ is a faster pace and equally punishing with the bass guitar combo that is driven even further with that drumline that keeps everything moving hard and fast compelling you to keep pace as you hear the extra clicks and sticks flowing back and forth over that chunky guitar/bass progressions, moving along in response.

‘#MyLifeIsBetterThanYours’ opens with an ultra-fuzzed out bass line, accompanied by a closed-hit hat tick before that vocal begins the diatribe here about “Beautiful People” that is almost tongue-in-cheek. There is a sneer that follows that bass-hook that never stops in it’s gravitas pull, where ‘Be A Woman’ is even faster in pace and has that almost-punk attitude in delivery and content, heavy and fast chord progressions driving this one right to the edge. ‘Body Police’ is one of those songs that will be an ‘earworm’ as it gets instantly stuck in your brain with it’s chugging engine that screams like a V-8 with the power of nitro fully activated.

Then there are the between-track insertions that are all named, no seeming correlation between the inserts and the songs prev/after and the relevance of each is unique and makes you pay attention, even if just to say “What the fuck was that?” from ‘Office Rockstar’ to ‘Daily Private Minutes’ and they all suit this album perfectly.

The stand-out track on this one for ME, is closing song ‘Recluse’. Opening with a solo guitar, before this tome of ‘pulling away from people” gets rolling and the solo section alone has enough bravado that you can’t help but smile as the notes soar and dive all around you.

Rarely is a second record anywhere close to being as good as the first release and with “Glamour Grunge”, ALONE IN THE MOON has completely surpassed what the first album established. Get it as soon as you can, share with every person in your plane of existence, support them ‘live’ if you get the chance and keep it LOUD!!

Picture Collage