Max Tovstyi “Mesmerize” Album Review + Stream…

MAX TOVSTYI

Mesmerize – Vinyl // CD // DD

Clostridium Records – released May 21, 2018

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

 

Location: 
Kyiv, Ukraine

Other Projects:
The Heavy Crawls
Lucifer Rising
Turnaround
The Red Sterns

 

 

Review:
While most of us have taken the summer to live life, the way we do, soaking up all of the joys life offers us while taking a break from the ‘every-day’ as it were. Max Tovstyi is the exception to the rule here. Having completed another tour with The Heavy Crawls and their rotating cast of members, he completed his Broken Bricks Studios project, including getting the right building and equipment, and doing most of the work himself. During all of this he had going on, Max was able to complete a series of 12 songs that tend towards a more blues-feel record, complete with faster tempo tracks interwoven with the slower, and Max does it ALL on this album. Previously, he seemed to concentrate on the space-rock type of structure and letting his guitar work speak for itself while sitting at the helm of his creative juggernaut, steering into the world.  This time, it is just him, no pretense, no other minds involved so we get PURE Max, claiming responsibility for every nuance and note.

I had been contacted directly by Max to review this solo-outing, the day before it’s release and upon initial listening, I was floored with the simple purity of each track, surprised with the dozen compositions that sound very little like anything I had heard before from…

Pro Shot

From the power chord intro of ‘Rising Sun’ through to the phased-out beginning of bonus track ‘So Unfamiliar’ and it’s slow-cascading tempo, there is just so much to ingest here. While ‘Wait Till Tomorrow’ comes out of the gate relatively quick, he slows to a mid-tempo pace that allows him to flex his muscle, including harmonizing alongside himself in the chorus and you can hear some multi-layered soloing as it permeates the air around. ‘Interstellar Girl opens with a jazzy drumline that leads right into some funky 70’s sounding keyboards that follow the pumped-up bass line and is jaunty enough to keep your head moving along, and ‘Feel Like Dying Now’ keeps that feel but is a diatribe in sadness as Max describes what took him there, all frosted in some of his most-personal soloing he has done yet.

‘From The Blues To The Funk’ sounds like something lifted directly out of Mississippi mud and by the time you have reached the three minute mark, the funk has overtaken the bass and the ‘funk’ is all over the place, replete with some sassy horn work for good measure. ‘Yesterday’s Blues’ is more traditional in arrangement and delivery but still containing his heart on his sleeve, much like the token ‘heartstrings-puller’ delivery of ‘You Have To Make Up Your Mind’ that includes some female back-up vocals to compliment the chorus here.

‘Show Me The Way’ maintains this feel and does not disappoint while tracks like ‘World Of Sin’ give you something to chew-on with the lush mix that manages to convey a little of the previously mentioned space-rock’ feel and still feeling heavy as fuck, where ‘You Know That I Know’ is one of the faster tracks offered and keeps it moving as much as any other from this album. ‘Show Me The Way’ sums up the rest of the record in keeping with that standard 3/4 time sig that is so prevalent with the blues overall.

Painting_Album Cover

The one that stands out and away from the others on this in I didn’t just want, I NEEDED to listen to this one over and over, that being the title track ‘Mesmerize’ with what can only be described as fuzzed-out, punch you in your chest hard rock brought perfectly into this century by Max’ own hand. The structure/arrangement/delivery is flawless and FOR ME, is the best I have heard from Max to this point.

Having watched this all develop has been fascinating and I can only hope for more, including a tour to the USA. Get it if you haven’t already, share it with ALL that surround you and when all else fails, keep it LOUD!!


The Ugly Kings “Darkness Is My Home” Review + Stream…

The Ugly Kings

Darkness Is My Home – CD // DD // Vinyl

Kozmik Artifactz – released April 13, 2018

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Russel Clark (Vocals)
Christos Athanasias (Guitar)
Nicolas Dumont (Bass)
Andy Alkemade (Drums)

 

Tracklist:
Promised Land     04:53
Black Widow        03:53
Raging Bull           03:21
Killing Time         04:31
Love Enemy         03:56
You & Me             03:58
Lazarus                 05:43
Little Birdy Told Me 04:10
The Fire                06:24

 

 

Review:

The Ugly Kings are a Rock band from Melbourne, Australia. I’ll let the band explain themselves further; “[we] offer a stripped down but powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene [by] formulating what can only be described as ‘Power Blues’ [with] memorable beats, thunderous bass lines and an electrifying barrage of bluesy ‘grit’ riffs tied with raw and emotive vocals.”

Darkness Is My Home is the first full length album by the band. (The previous releases being a E.P. of sorts, Of Sins, and a single, Promised Land, which is the same as the version on this release but has a b-side that is not on this album.)

Overall the band’s sound is a mix of early Classic Rock and are heavily inspired by Blues Rock. The perfect descriptor tag for the album is Doom Blues with Rock flair. In a way this album sounds like you can chop up and mix it up and make different songs each time. At the same time I like that it sounds that it was recorded in one take in a converted garage to studio.

Track-by-track: (Briefly)

Promised Land: I found a quote from the band on the song; “‘Promised Land is about the false promises that are preached to us by the charlatans of our society (politicians, big business, etc…). It’s about the pipe dream they sell us to keep us in servitude to the 1%, to keep us slaves to the dollar and material things. There is nothing at the top of the ladder, except another ladder. The Promised Land isn’t the destination we get sold, it’s inside of us.”

The band also have a beautifully shot video for the track too.

 

 

Black Widow: This is the 2nd hardest rocking track on the album. There is a bunch of back and forth in the tempo. It is also what I imagine the cover art comes from. (That and for Love Enemy)

Raging Bull: This is the hardest rocking track on the album. The riffs on this song sounds so familiar and I can’t think of what it is from.

Killing Time: Watch the music video for this track HERE

Love Enemy: This is a slower and more blues filled track. They sit on the riff while Russell is delivering the vocals. This track also feels like it could be a 2nd part to Black Widow.

You & Me: This is where the title of the album comes from. This is another slow track.

Lazarus: This track is a cover of David Bowie’s Lazarus from his swan song album “Blackstar” and the band manage to make it their own while keeping the original close at hand.

Little Birdy Told Me: Kind of feels like Love Enemy.

The Fire: Is my favourite track from the album.

Pro Band Pic

 

 

 


Black Space Riders “Amoretum Vol. 1” Album Review + Stream + Videos + Lyrics

BLACK SPACE RIDERS

AMORETUM Vol.1 – Vinyl // CD // DD

Self Released – January 26, 2018

Reviewed By Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

***The Riders Mount Up Again***

 

Line Up:
JE (VOX, Guitars)
SLI (Guitars)
MEI (Bass)
C.RIP (Drums)
SEB (VOX)

Previous Releases:
2010 – S/T Black Space Riders,
2012 – Lights In the New Black,
2014 – D:REI,
2015 – Refugeeum
2016 – Beyond Refugeem

Musical Influences:
Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, The Chameleons, David Bowie, Bauhaus, Tom Waits, Slayer, Motorpsycho

Hello once again friends, this is The Ancient One and today I’d like to tell you about some out of this world music by a Quintet of space rockers from Münster, Germany called the Black Space Riders. In 2008 founding members JE, SLI, SAQ and C.RIP sought to give the music world music that could truly be called PSYCHEDELIC SPACE ROCK and created what they call a “NEW WAVE of HEAVY PSYCHEDELIC SPACE ROCK”. After listening to their current Album AMORETUM Vol. 1 released January 26th, 2018 and  with their past releases I gotta say the band and their style of rock are aptly named.

What I enjoy most about the music is the detached far away sound. To create their take on the psychedelic space rock sound Black Space Riders seems to have combined desert rock, electronic music, a bit of 80’s new wave and some Post Punk with powerful vocals with anthem-like lyrics on the 2 most recent albums. If I were to compare them to anyone I’d say that I’m often reminded of Pink Floyd, and David Bowie with a harder edge.

Live Band Pic

When I first gave AMORETUM Vol. 1 a spin I was really not impressed with the first song however what followed changed my mind as I quickly realized Lovely Lovelie was a cornerstone for the rest of the album to be built on to give the listener a good starting point. It’s also a play on words.  Lovely Lovelie – Lovely Love Lie get it. I didn’t because maybe I am a Doofus. Also its not a single song in a collection of songs that are put together simply because the sound fits with the occasional filler song to make the album longer. Rather its part of an album with a theme created by Black Space Riders. Although theme albums are nothing new to me, Black Space Riders may quite possibly have delivered a Magnum Opus with this one!

Refusing to be swallowed by the darkness AMORETUM  Vol. 1 is the  follow up to their July 2015 album “REFUGEEUM” that came out when it seemed the world had gone mad with fear and hate in Europe. Continuing to rage against that darkness  with in us all Black Space Riders have mounted up and released AMORETUM  Vol. 1 which is about conflict and seeks to inspire us to overcome our dark side. Specifically the conflicts between fear, hate, and rejection, darkness on the one hand, and love, empathy, and care light on the other. This album and band seem to be very relevant with acute razor-like lyrics that seek for positivity and rejecting hate…universally!!  The superb musicianship by these veteran rockers shine with each new release and is again evident with Amoretum Vol. 1

Rather than bore you all to death with a track by track description of all the songs I am going to provide you links to my favorites on YouTube and  Bandcamp and let you decide for yourselves.

 

Track Listing with Lyrics

 

LOVELY LOVELIE

Get back to your beds, hide in your hole

You lovers collapse while facing your fall

A paradise will no longer exist,

peace and love can no longer resist

Erupting fear breaking the wall

Lovely lovelie

Our garden, destroyed, taken by storm

We‘re bringing the harm, the hideous swarm

A love so deep, now determined to die,

wrapped and muffled by hate

Get back to your beds, here comes the storm

Lovely lovelie

Get back to your beds, hide in your hole

A love so deep, now determined to fall

Get back to your beds, facing your fall

Erupting fear tearing down every wall

Get back to your beds, hide in your …

Lovely lovelie

Lovely, lovely lie …

Another Sort of Homecoming

The times were terrifying

and coldness wrapped me up

I‘d been sent to see, to seek, to save

A long way to the top

How they turned their lives

into a mellow mass:

how they shed their feelings and their souls

forgot about the past

So, day by day

I denied my moaning heart

and repelled temptation, brave and strong,

to join and fall apart

Now it‘s time to change

My longing growing strong

Leave this place and coming home again

is what I really want

GO! Time to return to my ground

GO! I have to leave these souls I found

GO! Time to rest under the shield

GO! Energy!

Another sort of coming home

 

Live Band Pic 2

SOUL SHELTER (Inside Of Me)

Bringing back the sunshine

Remembering the light

A place attacked from outside

I keep this place inside

Inside of me, inside of me

Garden of completeness

A warm and tender light

A place attacked by darkness

Don‘t hide this place inside

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of me

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of you

Silent is the inside

All quiet now and clear

Knocking from the outside:

denial, hate and fear

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of me

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of you

 

MOVEMENTS

Just a glimpse of something lost,

flickering in my mind

Like a memory from the past, echoing

Ground control, lost control, no control

In a place where I belonged:

echoes from the past

In a time I called my home, wandering

Ground control, lost control, no control

How I missed the ones I loved,

moments passing by

Still I‘m waiting for the call, remembering

Ground control, lost control, no control

Movements

Comes a time, comes a time of reunion

Comes a place, comes a place of communion

Comes a time, comes a time of affection

Comes a place, comes a place of attraction

Comes a time, comes a time when we meet again

Comes a place, comes a place where we meet again

Comes a time, comes a time when we love again

Comes a place, comes a place where we live again

Stop and rest – consider and remember

Stop the quest – rethink and now remember

Rest, remain – and realize amazing

grace, retain – the echoes of your living

Go and see – now realize the beauty

Go and turn – now realize the grace

Go, return – get hold of all the beauty

Go and feel – compassion to embrace

Movements

Comes a time, comes a time when we meet again

Comes a time of reunion

Comes a place, comes a place where we meet again

Comes a place of communion

Comes a time, comes a time when we love again

Comes a time of affection

Comes a place, comes a place where we live again

Comes a place of attraction

Realize the grace

Realize the beauty now

Echoes from the past

Passion to embrace

Movements

 

COME AND FOLLOW

Follow me, take my hand

Don‘t look back, just trust my way

Follow me, leave this place

I will take you far away

Watch my shades: familiar shape

with sweetest taste of the unknown

Bite into tender doom

Worship and adore my throne

Beautiful but treacherous

Rotten to the bone

Serpentine but sensual

A queen of hearts dethroned

Now you love, now you know:

adoration brings the light

Idolize, now you‘re lost

I take you to the other side

Beautiful but treacherous

Rotten to the bone

Serpentine but sensual

A queen of hearts dethroned

Come on follow me into the darkness

Come and follow me, follow my love

Come on follow me, beauty is transforming

Come on follow me into the dark

 

FRIENDS ARE FALLING 

Open your arms after closing your thinking for ages

Missing the trust that you lost on your way to the stars

Fighting the hating has taught you to hate for ages

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of love

Open your mind to the memory of love and affection

Missing your friends who vanished while you‘ve been

away

Yearning for turning to someone so close and familiar

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of faith

Falling, friends are falling

Falling and lost in a vision of trust

Falling but lost in my vision of trust

Open your heart to some gratitude,

kindness and friendship

Empathy melting the ice that‘s enclosing your soul

Yearning for turning to someone so close and devoted

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of trust

Falling, friends are falling

Falling and lost in a vision of trust

A vision of love and a vision of trust

Open your heart after closing your spirit for ages

Missing the feelings you lost on your way to the stars

Fighting the hating has taught you to hate for ages

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of love

Falling, friends are falling

Falling but lost in a vision of trust

My vision of faith and my vision of trust

Falling but lost in my vision of trust

Falling for ages, falling from the stars

 

FIRE! FIRE! (Death Of A Giant)

Facing the past, deeply crooked for ages

Annual rings of a life, witnessing hope

Murder and death, lovers and birth, closely entwined

The battle of darkness and light, observer of life

Here on the hill, bound in hostile surroundings

Cracks in the bleeding wood: scars and remains

Here all alone, shelter and symbol of freedom:

a giant, so massive and old: gentle but strong

Tearing down to the ground

Burning heat, smoking coal

Fire! Fire!

Burning down to the ground

Timber heart, holy wood

Fire! Fire!

Facing the day, changing the soul of perception

Father of life, father of fire and death

Cold is the night , warm is the shine of the torch

Now and forever: deep is the heart of the flame

Tearing down to the ground

Burning heat, smoking coal

Fire! Fire!

Burning down to the ground

Timber heart, holy wood

Fire! Fire!

 

FELLOW PEACEMAKERS

 Will she find, will she find, will she find?

Withered blossoms falling down to earth

All she left alone

Nothing else than footprints of the years

before they reached her home

Will she find, will she find, will she find?

Looking back: she missed her final choice

Mandatory hate

Where’s the place? Now listening to her heart

Hope it‘s not too late

Start a new world, so far up above

Waiting to return

Gathering the troops of heart and soul

Sowing seeds of love

And she will find her way!

Will she find, will she find, will she find?

Will she find, will she find, will she find:

fellow peacemakers?

She will find, she will find, she will find:

fellow peacemakers!

We will find, we will find, we will find:

fellow peacemakers!

Black Space Riders Live

Live Band Pic 3


Arcadian Child “Afterglow” Album Review + Stream…

Arcadian Child

Afterglow – CD // DD

Self-Released – October 29, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Vocals, Guitar – Panayiotis Georgiou
Backing Vocals – Mikaela Tsangari
Bass, Backing Vocals – Andreas Kerveros
Drums, Percussion – Christos Dimou
Lead Guitar – Stathis Hadjicharalambous

Tracklist:
She’s On My Mind 02:56
Little Late For Love 04:16
Rabbit Hole 03:54
Electric Red 02:51
Irresistible 03:15
Run 04:54
Afterglow 03:39
Used 03:47

 

 

Review:

Arcadian Child are a rock band from Limassol, Cyprus, Greece and this album is the debut release by the band.

This album is a great blend of Classic Rock influences, Modern Rock, and little sprinkles of psychedelia. Musically they remind me of Wolfmother and those other “modern classic” rock bands like The White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, (1990s) Divinyls and many others that continued writing and performing music as if it were still the late 70s.

That “modern classic” style started in the early 90s and continued into the new millennium. (With some bands still carrying the torch, like Arcadian Child. Even the track-listing is set up for a vinyl release (if the right people get a hold of the rights. Which they totally should…)

Band Pic

Track-by-Track:

She’s On My Mind 02:56 – This is a great track to start the album with, and in my case, it is a track that will stick in your head for days afterwards. If it weren’t for the effects used on the tracks this track could be from the 70s. The music video is a trip as well.

Little Late For Love 04:16 – This track works great as a cool down from the first high energy track. It is more chill but it still is an experience though, there are spots were they compress and pan the music during instrumental parts. This track also has more of a groove than the first.

Rabbit Hole 03:54 (Favorite track) – Here they bring their psychedelic influences in a little more. They take their time to set up the world of the song with slow strumming of the guitar and after a few seconds they introduce the drums and vocals. The lyrics are especially in that vein; “How deep can you go? Can you trick your mind? Are you deep in the zone? Can you deceive your soul? Would you walk bare footed at the edge of the unknown?”

Electric Red 02:51 – In this song we go back to a harder rocking track, reminding me a little of King Crimson’s Red. I feel like this track is miss titled and should have been called Don’t Ask Me Why.

Irresistible 03:15 – This is a much darker track, lyrically, than the first four. With lyrics like; “Down the broken road, You will find us all, Don’t caress their hopes, Love our absent soul” and “Solemnly abide, To all that make you smile, All things in between, Burn in melting ice” Musically it is similar to Rabbit Hole.

Run 04:54 – This song has a very 90s alternative feel and I cannot quite place why. It might be the simple repeated riffs or the affects used of the vocals as flange-y sounding guitars.

Afterglow 03:39 – Back to a hard rocker but still holding on to that 90’s feel. Maybe because of how the lyrics are set up; “You make me feel like the only man alive, Loved and caressed by your controlling lies, Addicted and free, I’m certainly involved, You make me feel like an empty broken soul”

Used 03:47 – We are left on a slow burn of a song that rounds out the album well. It sounds like they mix together a good chunk of the aforementioned influences. There is Rock, psychedelic, modern rock and a good solo.

Live Band Pic

Final Thoughts:
For some reason it sounds like there are tracks missing or maybe it is just that I want more… I’ll be keeping my eye on this band. Hopefully they continue this trend on their next release.  If you are in the mood for some modern rock with that classic and psychedelic feel you should definitely pick this album up!

Stream and download from HERE

Links:
https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.discogs.com/Arcadian-Child-Afterglow/release/11445794


Wolf Parade “Cry, Cry, Cry” Album Review + Stream…

Wolf Parade

Cry, Cry, Cry – Vinyl // CD // Cassette Tape // DD

Sub Pop Records – released October 6, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

Lineup:
Arlen Thompson – Drums
Dante DeCaro – Bass
Dan Boeckner – Guitar, Vocals
Spencer Krug – Keyboard, vocals

 

Previous Releases:
(2003) Self-released:  4 Song EP
(2004) Self-released: 6 Song EP
(2005) Sub Pop Records: Self Titled EP
(2005) Sup Pop: Apologies to the Queen Mary
(2008) Sup Pop: At Mount Zoomer 
(2010) Sub Pop:  Expo 86
(2016) Sub Pop: Apologies To the Queen Mary – Reissue // Deluxe Edition

 

Tracklist:
Lazarus Online 03:25
You’re Dreaming 03:39
Valley Boy 03:38
Incantation 04:22
Flies on the Sun 03:42
Baby Blue 06:00
Weaponized 06:39
Who Are Ya 03:43
Am I an Alien Here 03:36
Artificial Life 03:48
King of Piss and Paper 04:47

 

 

A Little History and Review:

Wolf Parade are an Indie Rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They formed in April of 2003 by Spencer Krug and original was a two piece with Dan Boeckner and a drum machine. Later Arlen Thompson joined and “the newly formed trio rehearsed as a full band only the day before their first show. During the tour, Wolf Parade recorded and released their self-titled debut EP.” In September, Hadji Bakara joined as the keyboardist. A year later “the band traveled to Portland, Oregon to record with Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock. Brock had recently signed the band to Sub Pop when he was an A&R man for the label at the time.”  There is surprise that Wolf Parade’s early work is heavily influenced by Isaac and the crew over at Modest Mouse.  The similarities still exist with “Cry, Cry, Cry” to a lesser extent as each band stands firmly on their own footing well enough!!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This is Wolf Parade’s first release in seven years. In 2011 the band announced they were going into an indefinite hiatus, but in early 2016 they were back together and expecting to record another album. (More info on the Bandcamp page for the album)

At moments it sounds like Spencer sounds like Singer/Songwriter Pete Yorn. The music itself is very 90’s Indie Rock with 80’s influenced synth parts. Kind of like the early era of The Flaming Lips and the aforementioned Modest Mouse.

The sound is warm when the synths are present otherwise it sounds like garage rock with an indie flavor. The instrumentation varies as the songs progress, there are elements of many sub-genres like post punk, garage rock, indie rock, some pop and others. That is why there are such a strange mix of influences/sounds kind of like… There are also influences R.E.M. or even The Violent Femmes. At moments they sound kind of like Ours or even a more poppy Muse. The album almost sounds like it belongs in a 90s coming of age film (calling Molly Ringwald!)

Track-by-Track:

Lazarus Online – As an opening track it introduction to what part of the album has in store. The vocal style is introduced and he doesn’t stray too far from it throughout the album. There are some synths and keyboard parts but they do not dominate much. It is mostly a new Radio Rock track.

You’re Dreaming – This track introduces the other part of what you will hear, upbeat repetitive synth parts and almost Pop sounding tracks. The music is very patterned; there are some vocals then the synth comes back and then vocals again. The way the vocals are processed makes it seem very dream like. It isn’t a bad thing, it just makes the song seem like it does come from a different place.

Valley Boy – This is a track that has a wall of sound with the vocals almost inaudible when the other’s instruments are playing. But there are parts where there is no music and brief moments of only vocals which is helpful. Going back to that “sounds like it’s from a movie” thing, this sounds like it would go after a scene of a friend moving away and then coming back and talking to someone they left behind.

Incantation – This song’s style goes back to what the first song set up. It has a sing along feel, not like a kid’s song, but one you sing to in the car when it comes on the radio. It is a night driving song. (Mainly because it has a distant feel and keeps focus but also distracts a little bit.)

Flies on the Sun – This song almost sounds like a Fuel song. It is a slow, get your lighters out type of song. It sounds like a song that would play after an emotional fight in this imaginary film that happened in my head while I listened to the album.

Baby Blue – After the almost Foreplay (an intro by Boston) sounding intro we go back to the Pete Yorn and Fuel sounding song that is the majority of the album. This track also adds a faster paced back end that is almost like Incantation.

Weaponized – This track is the closest to the first track. It also has an almost dance beat to the drumming until halfway through when it turns to just voice and piano. Then it slowly builds back up to the dancing beat.

Who Are Ya – Who Are Ya is a strange song compared to the rest of this album. It has a very familiar sound that I can’t place for the life of me… At the end it has almost Emerson Lake and Palmer feeling keyboard parts at the end.

Am I an Alien Here – This song sounds like the sequel to Valley Boy and You’re Dreaming in the nonexistent movie for this in my head. It sounds like an almost triumphant song but has a blueness to it that keeps it from feeling happy. Much like the I in the song itself I guess.

Artificial Life – Is the most Post-Punk sounding song on this album. There are synths and repeating rhythms. The vocals are delivered in faster motion, than most of the other’s songs. It also sounds like the first track of the album.

King of Piss and Paper – This song feels like it is a continuation, or a part two, of Am I an Alien Here. They both have a similar sonic feel. This song is slightly darker in the lyrics but lighter in the instruments.

Band Live

Final Thoughts:
Reading over the review makes it seem like I did not like the album, but I did I really enjoy how they combine classic rock sounds with newer more modern rock. This is a good and solid album you should definitely take a listen if the comparisons I made interest you, definitely pick this one up or take a listen HERE.

Additional Links:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/WolfParadeMusic/about/?ref=page_internal

http://www.wolfparade.com/

https://wolfparade.bandcamp.com/album/cry-cry-cry

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


Earth Drive “Stellar Drone” Album Review + Stream…

Earth Drive

Stellar Drone – CD // DD

Raging Planet – released June 10, 2017 (DD) & October 20, 2017 (CD)

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

 

Lineup:
Hermano Marques – Vocals and guitar
Luis Silva – Bass
Luis Eustáquio – Drums
Sara Antunes – Vocals

 

Previous Releases:
2014 Known by the Ancients
2015 Planet Mantra

 

Tracklist:
Lactomeda 01:49
Known by the Ancients 07:01
Dead Blood for the Royal Weather 07:14
Two Temple Place 09:36
Stellar Drone 10:59
Are we Drowning in Digits 06:13
Magical Train 05:07

 

 

Review:
The band have their album described as an “Addictive cosmic journey, one entrancing hybrid embracing heavy psych riffs and sweet vocal harmonies.” The album does have those elements of that. When Hermano is singing it sounds like Jane’s Addiction but heavier and more distortion on the voice. The parts when Sara takes over it sounds like either Belly or Hole. When they sing together it sounds almost new, but still has those influences. So in shorter terms; they gave their album a good description.

Track-by-Track:

Lactomeda – Is a Spanish term for the Milky Way Collision with Andromeda. The cover even seems to be depicting it. The song is a collision of Noise Rock and Space Rock. It is almost sludgy for a noise song but in pace but it is also fast for a space song. It is a good intro for what the rest of the album holds.

Known by the Ancients – Here is where the Jane’s Addiction comes in (Especially in the 3 minute area). This song is more of noise than of space origin. This is a heavy rock song, Hermano comes in at the last two minutes and makes the song seem even heavier.

Dead Blood for the Royal Weather – This is one of the more radio friendly songs, even though it is eight minutes. It plays it safe and doesn’t do anything too crazy. It stays on the cusp of being space and noise.

Two Temple Place – This is the first true Space Rock sounding sounds and as it moves along it introduces some of the harmonies the description on bandcamp mentions. It is a slow song with slow vocals with stretched out chords with reverb and drum fill. That is until the 3 minute mark; more drums and distortion to the guitar is added and everything gets slightly faster. At around the four minute mark the tempo changes again and is like Known by the Ancients.

Stellar Drone (Favorite track) – This track is more spacey than the previous track but it is also faster and more distorted and changes tempo a few more times.

Are we Drowning in Digits – This song is almost like a continuation of Two Temple Place. It sounds very similar but has more “Normal” Rock influences.

Magical Train – This is the most radio friendly track and could have been released as a single to promote the album. It is also the song that reminds my the most of Hole (the first album.) Sara really goes in on this track and gives a great performance. It is like the previous track but stays on the heavy rock side of music.

Pro Band Pic

Review (Continued):
Musically, Earth Drive are bringing back the 90’s Noise Rock and helping to bring back Space Rock (in the more expansive tracks). During the mostly instrumental parts it sounds almost like a soundtrack to a late 80’s sci-fi movie. In some ways it sounds like it is two separate ideas for an album that were pieced together but it is done well so it doesn’t sound too different. To paraphrase the TV Series “Stranger Things” – ‘The Upside Down'”.

This is a very easy first listen and is also very accessible because the stretches of odyssey are in between more pop/rock radio-ish oriented tracks. If you have any interest in Space Rock or a modern take on it with influences with 90’s Noise Rock, you should take a listen.

 There are two choices either from the Raging Planet (For a physical and/or digital) Bandcamp HERE or the band’s HERE !!! (Where you can get the full digital discography)

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

Album Promo


Our Ceasing Voice “Free Like Tonight” Album Review + Stream + Music Video…

Our Ceasing Voice

Free Like Tonight – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Self Released: August 25, 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

Austrian Ambient / Alt. Rockers Our Ceasing Voice have been at it awhile, though this is my first encounter with them.  Folks are always surprised when I haven’t heard of this band or that band, especially if it’s something that is well within the realm of what I usually find myself listening to.  The fact of the matter is just that there’s a whole slew of music out there, and there’s simply no way for me to keep up with it all.  Nearly everyone these days is in a band, or two, or three, or five.  With that kind of saturation, it’s easy for even really good bands to slip through the cracks.  That’s the case with Our Ceasing Voice, and I’m honestly surprised that these cats don’t have a bit more exposure.  Their sound is both unique and accessible, though perhaps the vocals are a bit of an acquired taste.  Also, Free Like Tonight was only released about a month ago, so this album hasn’t really had enough time to get out there and reach a wider audience. In truth, I’m not sure how their back catalog compares to their latest, so this album is my only point of reference.

When talking about this album, I think that it’s important to write about the vocals first and foremost, as they’re the center point; they’re what stands out and drives the music.  It’s the kind of style that’s going to be polarizing: a deep and tortured baritone, goth-inspired and pain-strickenly emotional.  For me personally, they work and totally make the album, and I can see how others may be turned off by them, especially as they veer towards the melodramatic more often than not.  Still, vocalist Dominik Dorfler delivers his poetic lyrics with both poise and power.

The songs themselves are fairly simple in structure and instrumentation.  They’re focused on texture and atmosphere rather than any form of musical pyrotechnics – layers of reverberated piano, subtle guitar parts echoed for emphasis, and airy washes of synthesizers float in and out of the mix, laying a backdrop for the vocals, and minimalist drums form the bedrock and foundation underneath.  It’s tough for me to tell if there’s an actual bass guitar playing, or if the low end is simply carried by the guitars and synths; if there is bass, once again, it’s subtle.  There’s no bassist credited on the album, so there very well may not be one.

Now, as much as I like this album, it’s not without faults, like most albums.  While I can appreciate the shifts in dynamics that break up monotony within the songs themselves, on a whole, there’s not a lot of diversity within the album.  Every song is extremely similar, and the tempos are all in the same ballpark.  There’s not a whole lot to differentiate them, and perhaps that’s why these guys have kept a relatively low profile.  This isn’t a deal breaker for me, and it shows a clear area for growth.  Moving forward, if they incorporated something different every third song or so, or even used some interludes to break things up a bit, I think that they could have a lot of success with future albums.  Their basic formula is solid – they just need a little bit of tweaking so that their albums really stand out and don’t start to feel tedious or repetitious halfway through.

Band Pic

I can see fans of ambient music, post-rock and goth rock getting into Our Ceasing Voice.  The vocals make their music fairly unique without being wildly experimental, and what they do, they do extremely well.  As I’ve noted above, I’m more concerned with what they don’t do.  Namely, they do need to fix things up a bit.  It’s tough for me to even identify a standout track because….well, they’re all pretty good, and they’re all pretty similar.

A band like this has all kinds of options – add some more experimental elements  and really abstract sounds, rev up the tempos for a tune or two, add some vocal harmonies, get some guest musicians.  Hell, even add some more traditional rock elements like a fitting guitar solo, adding more hooks in the vocals and instrumentation, or just some bridges.  Getting a bassist may help with this by beefing up the rhythms and offering opportunities for interplay between the bass and drums.  Like I’ve stated over and over – Our Ceasing Voice have developed a unique sound, and they’ve got a ton of potential.  If they can carry that approach over to the treatment of individual songs, so that each song on an album stands as its own individual statement, then I think they’ll really start to go places.

Our Ceasing Voice at The Great Wall of China during their last Tour!Our Ceasing Voice at The Great Wall in China!!


Murder Love God “The Negative” Album Review + Video + Stream…

MURDER LOVE GOD

The Negative EP – Digital Download

Self Released – July 11, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed 2007

Location –  Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

Line-Up
Medavon DeRaj’e – vocals, music, production and creation (Murder Love God / LOCKJAW)
Jeremy Gardipee – modular synth and keys (Insekt)

Previous Releases 

2007 “Sell Me Your soul”

2011 “Killing Time V2.0”

2013  “Alter of Evolution”

 

Review:

The first time I heard Murder Love God, was a few months after we had gone to see Milwaukee’s own LOCKJAW for the fourth or fifth time and Medavon had shared an advance with my wife of an album he was working on. While listening, the first thing we noticed was that the feel was even darker and deeper as Medavon was perfecting the blue print for the style known as “Hell Rock”, a mixture of all parts industrial/rock/electronica with a twist of trip-hop thrown in. When recently asked to describe the ethos behind Murder Love God, Medavon replied,

“Undefined and unexplained pieces of rotting parts floating down the sewer to a destination unknown. Excessive thoughts and complaints portrayed through music from a sometimes twisted perspective. These fragments are broken and often bitter but hopefully a few will find them comforting or entertaining.” Each previous release, including the remix’s have been pretty incredible in their own right and hinted at ‘something more’ looming in the shadows, and with this EP, that ‘more’ is finally revealed for the masses. Five tracks, 22+ minutes and this one was released as ‘parts’ over the course of the beginning of this year, coming together as an EP released on 7-4-17.

Live Band Pic

Opener ‘Bipolar’ comes right out of the gate with that familiar staggered tempo that grabs your attention and refuses to let go as the stark-dark twists around you immediately as you grasp onto the consuming keys that seem to linger just out of reach and still, right there as Medavon’s ethereal vocals seem to come at you from all directions as you grab every letter of every word that flows forth and as the body falls into disarray as the song itself, and everything else winds to… nothing.

‘Can’t Look Away’ opens with a slightly faster tempo and Medavon busts right into a rapid-fire vocal that to my ears is a new twist that rides the cascades of ghostly guitar tones delivered with a  surgical precision that gives the body of this track the added feature of ‘plush’ that has never entered the MLG camp in such a manner and even the harmonics mixed with the pick-slides are an indulgence that fills the air to an even higher level of ‘completeness’ to make this one of the most concise songs to come from Medavon’s hand yet.

And then comes ‘Fire Walker’, the longest song contained on this offering and is the pick for the video teaser. This is the exact song to give a complete smattering of the flavors contained here in and shows the growth and purity that musically demonstrates a confidence earned and a maturity in the arrangements and running order that were there before, but not quite to the level that this release is burning with. ‘Cannibal’ is even more of the progressions that while natural, seem second nature here flavored expertly with the seasonings of the life-blood of…

Band Pic 2

Standout track on this one for ME, is the closer ‘Devil’s Favorite’. Shortest offering included, it has everything I look for and devour greedily from a Medavon composition; a relentless beat, full bodied and driving and that special lyrical twist given as only he can do with flair and rage all given with the roar of the master-purveyor of Hell-Rock, delivering with “To taste it, don’t waste it, just touch the sky and shake it…” and the tone is one of need as you have to run along to savor each drop of this glass of absinthe-stained tears to the very last.  If it doesn’t hit you between the eyes once you have traversed from first note to last, Medavon has a response for that as well…

“That is acceptable….my comfort is failed and my soul has been sacrificed by desire. Please enjoy my testimony.” Listen once, drink deep from his veins as he has poured them once more into his art and feel it flow through you… “A musical acid trip on the industrial tip.” he said.

If this is your first sample of, then by all means GET IT ALL like, YESTERDAY!! If you are already one of the ‘aware’, add this to your library and share it with ALL in your personal realm. Support them live if you are given the chance, and keep it LOUD!!

Links:
http://www.facebook.com/darkdrugrecords

http://www.facebook.com/mlgmusic

http://www.soundcloud.com/murderlovegod

http://www.reverbnation.com/murderlovegod


Screamfeeder “Pop Guilt” Album Review + Stream…

Screamfeeder

Pop Guilt – Vinyl // CD // DD

Rogue Wave Records – June 23rd 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

Believe it or not, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I don’t particularly like reviewing stoner rock and doom metal.  Not all the time anyways.  The less I listen to that kind of material, the better, because it just makes it more memorable when I do reach for my old Kyuss albums.

That’s really the crux of the issue for me – those Kyuss albums are indeed old.  It’s hard to believe that I bought Blues For The Red Sun 25 years ago, based solely on an offhand comment that Nirvana’s Krist Novoselik made praising the band in an interview.  It’s even harder to believe that 25 years later, there are still bands that go out of there way to sound like Kyuss.  I can remember thinking that was cool around 1999-2000, when there were only a handful of bands going for that sort of sound, and it was truly exciting every time a new one popped up.  Ah, the Golden Age, it’ll never be the same….Okay, it’s 2017 now, and frankly, I can’t keep up with all the stoner/doom bands coming out, nor do I want to.  It’s like glam rock from the 80’s – there was only so much we could take of it before it was just formulaic, cliche, and ultimately passe.  It’s also simply a case of “too much of a good thing” at this point for me personally.  I like to be a LOT more selective and diverse about what I listen to nowadays.  I’m sure some of you have seen me go off on similar rants in other reviews, so I’ll cut this one short today.

Pro Band Shot

With that all being said, I still have quite the insatiable curiosity when it comes to new music, and I do love writing these here reviews.  So when Taste Nation LLC founder Matthew Thomas ran the idea of reviewing a band named Screamfeeder by me, at first I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.  That name could really suggest anything, any genre.  I listened to about 30 seconds of the first track, “Half Lies”, and immediately told him “I’ll take it!!  This sounds very 90’s indie guitar rock.”  Matthew was kind enough to inform me that this was probably because they were an indie guitar rock band from the 90’s, and they were from Australia, so lo and behold – here we are!!  I’m very fortunate that Matthew puts up with my nonsense, and seems to have good instincts about just how finicky I really am, and that we’ve also got a terrific writing staff here at Taste Nation who are passionate enough to compensate for my disillusionment with certain styles.

I’d heard through the grapevine that Ripple Music owner Todd Severin was going to be starting up a second label, one that focused more on indie rock and shoegaze, and I was really excited to hear this news.  Actually, I’m pretty sure that Todd and I discussed this briefly at one point, in full disclosure.  I listened to a lot of that stuff in the 90’s.  I was a huge fan of Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, The Pixies, The Replacements, The Breeders, Guided By Voices, The Posies and Sugar.  There was something special about these bands that could write a totally sugar-coated melody, and just juxtapose it with over amplified guitar, brash fuzz, and abrasive noise.  I mention this because A) this Screamfeeder album is the first release from Todd’s new label, Rogue Waves, and B) they are definitely cut from the same mold as those bands I so adored in my youth, while they don’t directly sound like any of them.

Screamfeeder formed in Brisbane, Australia in 1991.  They’re were originally a three piece, though their current lineup is composed of Tim Steward on guitar and vocals, Kellie Lloyd on bass and vocals, Dean Shwereb on drums and Darek Mudge on second guitar.  This is the first  that I’ve ever heard of them, which is a real crying shame, because they’ve got quite the back catalog going for them and I would have eaten this up back in the day.  Well….I guess that gives me something to do with all my copious amounts of free time.  Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1992!

Pop Guilt proper is 13 songs, which is a very lucky number, because that’s how many people were seated at the last supper, and it’s also the name of the LP that Fugazi released which combined their first two EP’s.  However, I’ve got two bonus tracks (NOT on the Fugazi record) included in my promo package, which is pretty sweet, especially considering that they’re both just as good as any of the album tracks.  This really isn’t surprising, considering there isn’t a clunker to be found on here, so I’m really not sure what these cats are feeling so guilty about.  My favorite of the bunch is “Got A Feeling.” It’s a driving number written around an upbeat two chord progression which reminds me of Pearl Jam’s “State Of Love And Trust”,  which is my favorite PJ song. (don’t worry haters, they otherwise sound nothing like Pearl Jam whatsoever, and Tim doesn’t sing like Eddie Vedder at all)  Another track that I really love is “Alone In A Crowd”.  It features a more jagged, abrasive main guitar riff, though once Kelly’s dreamy vocals drift in and the beautiful swirls of layered guitars take over, it’s overwhelming. “Sonic Souvenirs” starts off eerily reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr’s MTV classic,  “Out There”, with its blown-out lead guitars and fragments of distorted chords before Kelly’s distinctive vocal style sets the tone. “Karen Trust Me” has a really strange, off kilter ending that even gets a bit on the heavy side.  “I May Have Some Regrets” is the best song that Paul Westerberg never wrote. “Sciatic Heart”, the closing track, is also an early favorite, due to the quirky lyrics and Kelly’s more energetic vocal delivery.  Really, the whole album is ear candy, with no two tracks sounding the same.  Every track stands on its own and has something unique to offer.  I’m not sure who’s written what, though it seems like I generally like the tunes that Kelly sings just a little bit better.

Live Band Shot

If you’re like me and missed out on these guys and gal the first time around, do yourself a favor and check out Pop Guilt if my description sounds at all intriguing.  It’s such a fun listen, and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those classic summertime records for me, the kind of record that reminds me of cruising around the back-roads with the windows down, meeting up with my friends, lying around soaking up the summer sun and sensing the sweet smell of the newly mowed grass with just nothing particular to do whatsoever but enjoy each other’s company and whatever happened to be playing on the stereo at the time; that magical time in one’s life when we were all still so bright eyed and bushy tailed; every crush is just like first love and every new record just like heaven in our ears.  That’s the kind of mood this music puts me in, and it’s not just nostalgia.  This is something special, a bygone relic from a lost age, fully actualized in our present day.