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!!


Zuul “Zuul” Album Review + Tour Schedule + Stream…

ZUUL

Zuul  – Vinyl // CD-R // DD

Sump Pump Records – Release Date: September 8th, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Location:
Iowa City, Iowa

Lineup:
JL BOLINGER – GUITAR/VOCALS
IAN KOEHLER – GUITAR
DENNY RICHARDS – BASS
ALEX WATTS – DRUMS

Review:
Was sent this record to review, never heard of the band, had heard of the Tyrannosaurid Theropod Dinosaur that had been found in 2014 in Montana and had only recently been named and described this year, and by looking at the cover art, I gathered the name was probably more akin to the demon and demi-god Zuul the Gatekeeper of Gozer, from the Ghostbusters movie that, coincidentally enough, was a facet in the name of the aforementioned wicked lizard.

 

 

Eight songs making up this 32 minute romp of all things rage/punk/screamo complete with surf-punk kitsch in the guitar lines and an hyper-fuzzed bass line, enough cymbal crash to simulate roaring waves and a sneer-filled growling vocal line to rival even the fiercest on delivery.

ZUUL’s debut on vinyl for the first time, includes poster of the album artwork, lyric poster and an additional live album on the download code (w/vinyl version only).

From opener ‘747’ to ‘Punk Funk’, any pretense is wasted as these are full speed ahead through ‘What If’. ‘Middle Child’ is a slower tempo’d rocker that even the purest would have to appreciate in it’s heavy handed arrangement to keep your head moving. And then there’s ‘I Don’t Drive’ that comes out of the gate with a soft-touched clean guitar that breaks into over distorted squeals at the chorus break where the plush returns to envelop the ardent among before the clean returns to circle again.

‘Jimmy Buffet Killed Iowa City’ has a staggered intro that takes a hold as the winding guitar returns weaving circles around from all directions leading to the demanding vocal line that forces you to listen in a riotous cadence that shifts on a dime and again and again to almost a dizzying proportion that flows perfectly into ‘Greg Hall’ with it’s Spaghetti Western intro before full on shrieking rage comes back through the mic.

Live Band Shot

 

Final track ‘untitled’, may be the one that doesn’t seem to fit until you listen to the lyric that flows with a voice that is almost impossible to believe is the same guy that you have just spent 7 previous songs with. Even the first guitar notes are clean and slightly warbled, showing a completely different side for this band on what I have to assume is a first release from as I could not find anything online besides the album listing and release party info on their labels webpage. This song shows ability typically not associated with a band that is seemingly pissed off all the time to deliver on any level imaginable.

Great outing from the Midwest and shows great promise in MY opinion. I have a feeling that in a live format they could rip your face off or get you pumped up and screaming at the very least. Get the album, play it to no end and share it to any set of ears you can, catch them live if they come anywhere close and keep it LOUD!!


Dead Acid People “Mocker Fuzzers” Album Review + Stream…

DEAD ACID PEOPLE 

Mocker Fuzzers – Vinyl // CD // DD

Self Released – Released May 28, 2016

Album Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Born2014

LOCATIONParis, France

Dead Acid People is a stoner rock band formed in 2014. In February, Guillaume (d) had posted an announcement to recruit musicians and Stéphane (g) responds to the call, and after a conclusive test, proposes to Alain (b), his friend, to join them. The trio works assiduously to consolidate the basis of a blend of rock embodying the sounds from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, all the while injecting their own flavor into these dynamics, and by the end of the year, the group decides to recruit a singer. Several unsuccessful attempts later, in August 2015, with the arrival of Mathieu (v), the “training” is finally complete.

Pro Band Pic_2

 

Fast Forward to March 2016 and we are presented with 35 minutes of this hybrid-stoner/punk meshing that contains 8 tracks that run the rails from the opening progression of ‘Ashes’ that has a single bass progression for two measures before being joined by the six-string as the drumline fast-fades in and we’re off and running with Guillaume, Stéphane and Alainshowing time spent honing their edge as a unit over the last almost two years and when Mathieu’e voice enters at 40 seconds with the words “Everything can burn, everyone must die, everyone, until the crimson sky” the stage is set for the tale of darkness, full of hooks and distortion and a vocal clarity lacking in a lot of first-time releases any more; no pro-tools sounding anything here.

‘Sell Me To The Dust’ hits harder from the first and the staccato drumline is the perfect cadence for the body of, where ‘Happiness’ comes out with bass solo with the minor cymbal-kiss before the rest of the band join in and then we hear “Looking for some happiness, acting like I’m someone else” in a somber almost-monotone before the power chords jump back out and your head is moving again.

Live Band Shot

‘Blood Red Tide’ is another bass-opened track but is faster and fuller and including  some cowbell that fits right in as “Now we dance together, now we dance forever, me myself and I,  we all die under a blood-red tide” before settling into a medium tempo for the first section. ‘Burn Out’ opens with a staggering guitar-swagger before the thunder returns to pummel everything in it’s wake, especially pounding mid-track, before the spaced out solo takes over before that opening stagger hits again to lead through to the end.

‘Let’s Go’ and Burning Man’ each open with a drumline hitting hard before that defining punch in the face from the rest of the band that allows the eerily clear vocal line to deliver the tale of each that keeps you locked down, drinking each nuance in. Standout track for ME, absolutely has to be closer ‘Weird Jimmy’, a rocker with an edge that simply stated “This is a story of Crazy Jimmy. This is the story of a weirdy man” that slams and jams with the power of time shift and winding guitar notes to satiate the masses including a chugging solo that is short enough to not dull the senses but season to taste.

Well worth your time if you don’t have it already, share it with every set of ears you encounter and support them live if they come near you!!


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.


NARCS “A Thinking Animal” – Album Review & Stream…

NARCS

A Thinking Animal – Vinyl // CD // DD // Merch

Clue Records – July 8th, 2016

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

It may come as a surprise to some people given my pedigree, but I’ve got a real soft spot for the guitar driven indie/alternative rock of the 90’s.  My favorite band and biggest influence in high school was The Smashing Pumpkins. When you really think about it, it’s not that surprising at all.  Growing up in Western Mass, some of our most prominent local bands were The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, and Sebadoh.  Also, growing up in a small town with no music scene whatsoever, none of us realized that it wasn’t cool to like both Metallica and R.E.M.  Our musical tastes were allowed to develop organically, outside of the confines of the types of local scenes that often promote purism, elitism, and insularity, a hive mind whose tastes are established by a few strong personalities within the group who have a strong influence over what’s defined as “cool”, and what’s musical taboo.

What I liked about these indie bands were that they were distinctively guitar-centric bands, and they were distinctively rock bands, with an emphasis on distortion, volume, big rhythm sections to back up the guitars, and elements of anger mixed with other various emotions within the songwriting.  Which transitions us right into NARCS, the little Leeds U.K. band that could.  Wow, that was a rather short tangent for me, I may have to drudge up another one later in the review!!  The first sentence of this paragraph accurately describes their sound, though I’d obviously like to get into it a lot more.  I’m not much of a fan of one sentence reviews, although I do believe the review I wrote for Metallica’s new record was right on the money, and distinctively wrapped up everything I had to say on the matter in a single sentence: “Wow, Metallica tries really, really hard….”  I’m just quoting it here for posterity, and to also start my second tangent, which is basically to say that more and more, I’m realizing I don’t want to fall into any kind of formula when I review records.  I used to talk a little about each individual song, because a lot of other reviews do that and it seems impressive.  It also makes the reviews lengthy, and maybe too much so for a society that’s been conditioned to have such short attention spans.  I’m largely going to start avoiding this practice, because it is formulaic, and it’s redundant.  Plenty of other reviewers do it, and I’ve said time and time again that their opinions are just as valid as my own.  Read their reviews.  I’m not taking it totally off the books, as it may make sense at times, just like my Metallica review makes perfect sense for me in the context of that record.

 

Pro Band Shot

 

What I’d like to really get into during this review is a point of contention: I do read other reviews because I’m insatiable curious about the thoughts and opinions of others, and what keeps reoccurring is this tendency to refer to NARCS as a grunge band.  And I don’t really like that, perhaps because for me, grunge pretty much died with the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind.  Seriously, from my perspective that’s the nail in grunge’s coffin.  To me, grunge was the sound of early Soundgarden, Melvins, Green River, Mudhoney, and TAD. These bands initially recorded their records loudly and cheaply, often with Jack Endino, and often releasing them with Sub Pop.  They tended to mix elements of punk and metal in a way that differed vastly from crossover thrash. These records came out in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and yes, I’d include Nirvana’s Bleach as a prime example of an actual grunge record.  Later on, the term became applied to just about ANY band that came out of Seattle in the record industry’s attempt to figure out what in the fuck had actually happened with Nevermind, to replicate that magical yet allusive formula, and most of the aforementioned bands got major label contracts and mainstream-ized their sounds.  Of course, this also led labels to sign just about any band with “alternative”/underground credibility, which led to the term “grunge” also being applied to bands like The Meat Puppets, Cell, The Screaming Trees, and Nudeswirl.  I can accept that, and in this terms, I can also accept that NARCS are a “grunge” band.  They’re loud, swanky, aggressive, quirky, catchy, noisy, and draw from a wide variety of influences.  However, another part of me thinks that it’s really a disservice and a bit lazy to call them a “grunge” band.  They certainly draw influence from almost all of the bands that I’ve listed, and their sound is extremely 90’s centric.  With that being said, I can hear also hear elements of The Jesus Lizard, Unwound, and Fugazi in certain songs, and none of those bands fit very neatly into the grunge category.  There’s also a lot of shoegazing going on in terms of the production and the way that the guitars are layered.  Some of the stereo panning is quite lovely.

The vocals are also quite lovely and subdued at times, though at other times, they’re snarling, over-the-top blasts of bile and vinegar.  For me, they’re one of the high points, and frontman Wilko (not to be confused with the critically acclaimed band that I do not really care for) is to be commended for his performances.  The juxtaposition of his soft, lulling indie adulation and roaring punk sneer is one of the  main things that makes this record sound so vital and so immediate, and his performances always mirror the instrumentation. Wilko should also be commended for the passion of his lyrics, and their political relevancy.  England needs more bands like this right now, hell….we all need more bands like this right now.

Live Band Shot

Despite that no two songs sound all that much alike, there’s a strange coherency to the record, largely in part due to how eerily the guitars, vocals, bass and drums are always clearly on the same page stylistically.  It’s rather magical to listen to.  At 11 songs in 43 minutes, NARCS don’t overstay their welcome, and it’s the perfect length for vinyl.  I feel like the supremacy of the CD in the 90’s often led to albums that were overlong, had filler, weird “hidden” tracks that were ultimately annoying, etc.  You’re not going to find any of that on A Thinking Animal, just another demonstration that these definitely were using their heads when they made this record.  It’s aptly named.  Do yourself a favor and check out the single “Pigs”, which I’m sure is up on YouTube.  It’s a pretty accessible place to start.  If you really want to hear something wild, see if you can find some of the more acetic tracks like “Mile Die” or “Empathy The Dog.”  Everything is on YouTube these days, so you can make up your mind if this is an album that’s worth your continued attentions beyond reading this review.  For me, I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t hear this last year when it came out, though they were largely off my radar.  I’m seeing an extremely bright future for these Leeds lads, as long as they can keep thinking like animals.


New Album Review – Gold “Optimist”

GOLD

Optimist – Released January 5th, 2017

Available in Vinyl // CD // DD // Merch 

Van Records Ván Records (world excl. N-America) | Profound Lore Records (N-America)

 

Created 2011

Band Members – Milena Eva – vocals / Thomas Sciarone – guitar / Kamiel Top – guitar /

Jaka Bolic – guitar / Tim Meijer – bass / Igor Wouters – drums

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The first minute and  a half is nothing but guitar chords setting a tone of dissonance before Milena’s voice enters with her signature clarity and grabs your attention beckoning “Remember…” and the journey of this, the third full length release from GOLD, is underway. ‘You Too Must Die’ establishes the pace and as lead off, it is plush in the mix and makes you thirsty for more. ‘Summer Thunder’ uses the same extended intro of a minute before Milena states “There is nothing I would rather do…” and the galloping drumline pulling the rest of the band forward into this composition that perfectly suits the title conveying that very thunder through your veins until the sudden end. ‘White Noise’ enters with a cacophony of twisting notes and the body comes in with a more even pace, yet one that still compels you to keep up to the end. ‘Teenage Lust’ fades in slow and mysterious sounding, much like the subject does for the entire 5 minutes plus, no drum line is needed for the tale there in, while ‘No Shadow’  hits with a driving beat, quickly joined by thick base before the guitars join with punch that beckons you to keep chasing along with them.

 

Live Band Shot

 

‘I Do My Own Stunts’ begins with a fury and there is nothing holding back here with the masterful fills and the edges of three guitars chugging on in sonic syncopation. ‘Be Good’ hits with Milena’s command “Stick to your guns…” and we’re off for what is, to this point, the fastest song on this record and is as lush as can be until the sudden stop-ending. ‘Come With Me’ is as quick-paced with the noodling guitars intersecting with a fury of quick-picking that accents the solo perfectly, the rest never missing a beat.

Final track ‘Tear’ begins with a melancholy dirge of notes that summon the dark clouds to return to bring the cover to consume the tears that flow from Milena’s lips into our ears and is the one that stands out as the go-back-to track to take it in again.

 

Pro Band Shot

 

Front to back, a stronger album than the previous two and shows that with maturation comes growth both lyrically and musically and each song delivers with a different flavor than the one previous. This could be the one that breaks GOLD out into the rest of the world and is well worth checking out. NOT metal by any stretch and they refuse to classify their own music… no need for all of the micro-genre’s so prevalent these days and that is indeed refreshing. Something NEW & DIFFERENT, as it is supposed to be. For the masses…

Link:

Words by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr


New Album Review – Super Snake “Leap of Love”

SUPER SNAKE

Leap Of Love – CD / DD

Self Released – Release Date:  February 14, 2017

 

Band Members:

Pete August: Guitar
Vinnie Fiore: Drums
Jerry Jones: Vocals
Joe Laga: Guitar
Jesse Marianni: Bass, Keys

Hometown; New Jersey

Super Snake were Born in 2012 and were baptized in the waters of psyched-out post-whatever!!  “Rock ‘n’ Roll Mind Control via a mouthful of psychedelics washed down with ten beers while listening to Black Sabbath and the dirtier parts of Sonic Youth. ”

 

Band in a car

 

This being the first full length release, opener and title track ‘Leap Of Love’ sets a pace for the album that those unaware of SUPER SNAKE will have a quick idea of what they are in for with this album. Super Snake has certain flavor the band describes as “…a Ouija board chopped up into little pieces, made into kindling, stuffed into your pipe.”  This is pretty much what you get, from the first line about how ‘Sometimes they never get your name right…’ and PUNCH the double guitar assault hits and bowl is lit as the first break shifts to a dream/nightmare state as you follow the mix of cascading sounds swirling over each other until that double-six hits again. ‘Lie4U’ is the perfect 21st century anti-love song ripping forth with lyrics steeped in questioning and declaration like ‘I’d lie for you, even if you wouldn’t’ and a ghostly-mixed vocal rolling left and right as the solos whip back and forth to the end. ‘Hot Pavement’ begins with a measure of high bends and the rest hit after a measure, slower paced than we have been so far but still rolling along making your head bounce in time where ‘Spirit Cave’ has a 70’s wah-pedal rolling along with a stoner’s wet-dream of flow-along on this air stream vapor feel through the seven and a half minute ride along this tale of two. No break between, ‘Lavish Sum Of Dread’ comes in with a drum line filling the air as the perfect pace for this tale of a ‘Sunday thrill for one’ as described in what has become comfortable this voice that never quite fades out as it shifts speed and pitch. Standout ‘Sister Margaret’ wastes no time in the perfect headbanger 4/4 time signature with the mystic-sounding keys lilting between the melodies that keep winding around as so much smoke in a room surrounding the bodies bouncing along. ‘Dreamcoated’ give a quick four-click heads-up before it’s sonic blast rips the paint off the walls, ‘Too Late Who Cares’ instead is a full-on SONIC YOUTH/UNDERNEATH WHAT recipe of swirling lights melting into the walls and it makes sense. ‘Get Lost Be Mine’ has a blues-fueled bounce while ‘Cecelia’ reeks of Mississippi mud with the chugging single guitar jag. ‘Big Seize’ has a cleaner guitar tone that we tend to hear a lot out of New jersey but with a punch that is often lacking for whatever reason, switching to pure crunch across all strings as we slide onto a stellar solo that bridges the mid section across to the screams that come in and grab the frontal cortex while the drummer kicks into overdrive and everything is back to swirling together.  Next enters ‘Take My Breath’ kicks in in true psychedelic bliss, clouds of varying colors circling like so much bong smoke to the end showing a band that is ready to make a stand and have accomplished their goal with this record.

Super Snake in a live setting would have to be insane if they can deliver the intensity of each song on this record and I have no doubt that they can and MORE… buy the album, support the live venues and let’s get these guys to your town and mine!!

Links:

 

https://supersnakerock.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/supersnakerock/

Words by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr


Album Review – Sorority Noise “Joy, Departed”

Sorority Noise

Joy, Departed

Topshelf Records – Vinyl / CD / Cassette / DD

When I saw Sharon Van Etten play to perhaps 30,000 souls at a festival in Kentucky, she unabashedly announced from the stage that she is very serious about her feelings.  That’s one of the many things that enamors her to me, though the list goes on and on. I’d like to take this time to unabashedly announce that she’s my celebrity crush.  Perhaps if I write a review that’s intriguing and interesting enough, she’ll one day become aware of my precarious existence and think to herself, “Hey, that guy is pretty cool for a supposed critic.  Andy Dingus Beresky seems like a guy who gets things done.  I wonder what makes him tick.  I wonder if he’d be interested in knowing what makes me tick.”

Of course, it’ll never work out between us, as she lives in Manhattan, and I’m motherfriggin’ country mouse as it comes.  Last time I was in Manhattan I had a full-fledged meltdown when I was stuck on the subway in the dark for an hour.  This ended with me sitting down and crying on a crowded subway car one fine May morning, and this did elicit an unexpected outpouring of empathy from the normally stoic New Yorkers who shared in my plight, though seemed so utterly unphased by the incident.  When I finally emerged from that underground nightmare, I’d missed my bus and chose to alleviate my woes with an expensive beer and cheap sushi at 10AM.  All’s well that ends well, I suppose, and maybe someday, my morning will end with Miss Van Etten and I sharing AM beers and sushi while we stare longingly into each other’s eyes.  I wonder if she even likes sushi??  Wow. I’m suddenly acutely aware that I’ve derailed this review from the very get-go.  That’s a new one even by my own admittedly low standards.

 

Great Band Shot

 

I bring this all up simply because Sorority Noise also strike me as being very serious about their feelings.  Actually, I’ll recant that statement ever so slightly, as I’m sure there’s a bit of tongue in cheekiness to Sorority Noise’s lyrical approach.  I mean, the first lines sung on the album are “Let me be the drug, that you use to fall in love, the heroin that keeps you warm enough” from the aptly titled lead track, ‘Blissth.’  Sure, that’s kind of sweet and romantic from a somewhat somber and morbid perspective, so I can relate to the underlying sentiment.  Still, it’s too over the top to be totally serious.

Sorority Noise is a four piece outfit from Hartford, Connecticut. They name check a bunch of bands that I’ve never heard as influences, such as Roswell Kid, Pinegrove, Modern Baseball, and Led Zeppelin.  Oh wait…I HAVE heard Led Zeppelin a couple times, and the two sound nothing alike.  The most obvious analogy to me is Weezer, who are a pretty straight forward rock band with obvious indie influence and emo appeal, though the big sound and clean production of their albums obviously sets them apart from the aesthetic of the original “emotional hardcore” bands that were in full bloom during the early to mid-90’s.  Sorority Noise may not sound exactly like Weezer – they’re far more dark, with a heavy emphasis on melancholia and moodiness.  However, they have a similar approach and appeal, in my mind.  They understand the emotional impact of indie/alternative rock, and are able to elevate it to anthemic heights by adding in the perfect amount of stadium-ready bombast.

Heck, these guys might not even like Weezer.  They might even hate them for all I know, and this paltry review may incite them to commit questionable acts of throwing star violence.  Sorority Noise have some similar elements: the big catchy choruses, the big crunchy guitars and the big rock solid rhythm section.  But there are a lot of reasons that my Weezer comparison is way, way off.  Overall, this record is much darker and bleaker, with a pervasive slacker/junky vibe to the lyrics, even in the moment when the music itself is all bittersweet pop and candy-coated melodies, such as on the self-explanatory song, “Using.”  The big difference is that Sorority Noise sound like they’re haunted. There are more atmospheric and orchestrated elements, and the dynamics are more stark.  They shift gears between minimalistic, downtempo indie to frenetically upbeat pop-punk with twin harmonized guitars, sometimes within the course of the same song.  At times, their lyrics go beyond simple self-deprecatory humor, and land firmly within the realm of the full-blown bummer.  This shouldn’t be much of a revelation, given the title of the album.

“Does hell taste as sweet as you thought, do you like what you bought?” This was the question I was left musing to myself after I’d finished the closing track “When I See You (Timberwolf)”.  I was starting to feel haunted as well, though it was that pleasant, warm, fun form of haunting, as if I’d transcended the gloom veil of the mundane, and for a brief instant tasted the highs of heaven and then drank the depths of hell before I took off my headphones, bundled up, and walked down the street for that next cup of afternoon coffee.

Reviewed by Andy “Dingus” Beresky