Foo Fighters “Concrete and Gold” Album Review + Music Videos…

Foo Fighters

Concrete and Gold – Vinyl // CD // DD

Released By Some Big Label on September 15th, 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

So….I’ve been asked to review the new Foo Fighters record.  Taste Nation owner Matthew Thomas prefaced our conversation around the possibility of this review happening by saying that he’d talked to another reviewer he’s friends with, and this particular guy had said that “it was actually pretty good.”

Okay – let’s just take a moment right here to talk about the significance of this statement.  What does it actually mean that in order for folks in our business to take a band seriously, we need to be told that the record is “actually good” in advance?  What does that say about Foo Fighters, and about the way we operate in the review business?

In full disclosure, I’ve never been a Foo Fighters fan.  Okay, there was this one song, on one album that they released in the early 2000’s that I actually enjoyed (the song was “Come Back” from the album One By One, thanks Googles!!), though that’s really about it. I actually bought the album, because someone told me that it was “actually good”, then I sold it because I never really listened to it more than a handful of times or appreciated it beyond that one song.  I can, however, appreciate Dave Grohl’s contributions to the canon of punk and rock n’ roll, obviously with Nirvana, though also with Scream.  And I recognize his contributions to our little scene itself: when he took over drumming duties on the third Queens Of The Stone Age album, and with his Probot record, which brought some of the biggest movers and shakers in the underground metal scene into the limelight by virtue of Grohl’s musical reputation.  And I believe that it’s Grohl’s reputation that has prompted the writing of this review – I may not be a Foo Fighters fan, though I recognize that in an industry filled with some real d-bags, he doesn’t seem like a total asshole.  He seems earnest and passionate, hell, even humble….well, as humble as a guy in his position can be.  Aside from that, I do want to recognize his contributions beyond Foo Fighters, and let’s face it – Foo Fighters are a mainstream alternative radio rock band with a huge following and fan base.

Pro Band Shot

Also, the album ACTUALLY is good, by mainstream alternative radio rock standards.  That’s what we’re really talking about in the underground when we say that a record of this stature is “good” – we’re saying that it has at least something that appeals to those whose tastes tend to either veer away from the mainstream, or who are perpetually in search of something beyond the mainstream.  We’re saying that it’s not run of the mill radio swill, and I’d be tempted to dismiss much of Foo Fighter’s catalog as that kind of fluff.  That’s not entirely the case this time around. In regards to reaching beyond the mainstream norms, Concrete And Gold delivers the goods, ironically by embracing the mainstream norms.

Bear in mind, I’m not 100% behind it.  Grohl’s grandiose statement that its a combination of Sgt. Peppers and Motorhead is patently absurd.  I’m not fully endorsing the Foo Fighters as the second coming, nor am I hailing this album as the one that’s going to “save rock and roll.”  There’s some critics who love to drop those kinds of statements; always have been.  I remember in the “alternative 90’s”, when Fig Dish released That’s What Love Songs Often Do.  Great album, you should pick it up if you like 90’s guitar driven alt rock.  It’s a beauty, eh.  I like it well enough, I still own my original CD copy and it’s gotten a lot of repeat plays over the years.  They managed to get a single on the radio that was pretty decent, though it didn’t make much of an over all impact.  My point is, I read this one review of the album in Spin Magazine or some other big name rag, that praised it with outrageous hyperbole and  bold prophesy, saying that in 10 years we’d be referencing Fig Dish as a household name, that we’d be comparing all other similar bands to them, and saying things like “oh another band that sounds just like Fig Dish.”

…………………………………………………

Obviously none of these things came to pass.  Granted, we’re talking about the post-Nirvana 90’s, where everyone in the industry was both eager and unable to recognize the “next big thing” in the wake of Nevermind’s surprising impact and legacy.  I’d like to think that we can all agree that the conditions in the music industry of the time were what made Nirvana’s meteoric rise from promising indie rockers to colossal megastars possible, and that those conditions are no more.  Everything about the music industry has changed, and things will never go back to how they were.  The other key ingredient in Nirvana’s success, that’s more nebulous and harder to define, was their ability to take all of the angst and alienation that our generation felt after the impact of the 1980’s, and channel that into an album that succinctly and directly addressed to how many of us were feeling.  That’s what gave “Smells Like Teen Spirit” it’s anthemic quality and lasting resonance – at the time it DID smell exactly like teen spirit.  Not the cheap, superficial spray that simply masked  what lies underneath: the lyrics, jagged power chords, dynamics, even the simply chorused solo that echoed the song’s main melody cut right through all the glitzy and glossed wool that had been perpetually pulled over our eyes during the 80’s.

I bring this all up because simply making an album that’s “actually good” isn’t going to have the same impact; it’s not going to magically save rock and roll from the vapid auto-tuned pop ditties and overproduced pop country that dominate the airwaves.  Lots of folks would love to see that, I get it.  Part of me would love to see that as well.  The stark reality is that it’s not 1992, and this isn’t Nevermind.  It’s Concrete and Gold, and much like that long-lost Fig Dish album, we’re not going to be saying “oh another band that’s trying to sound like Foo Fighters on Concrete and Gold” in 10 years.

Part of what makes this album actually good is its over-the-top production.  Instead of rebelling against the machine and recording a raw, stripped down rock album, as his prior outfit did with In Utero, Grohl opts for the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach.  It makes sense, since Foo Fighters have basically pumped out pop-rock since their inception.  This is as overproduced as anything that Taylor Swift has ever recorded.  That’s actually not a bad thing, as it makes an otherwise milk toast band sound pretty peaches and cream.   It’s got plenty of layers and nuance, little touches here and there that really make the album shimmer and shine.  Grohl and company have definitely made excellent use of their studio time and a veritable “who’s who” list of special guests (look them up), and I can appreciate the album solely on that level.

What really makes the record work better than prior Foo releases is that it feels more album oriented to me.  It showcases a chance to explore music within the context of a studio, rather than just to write a collection of hit songs.  Sure, there are obvious singles; I guess the second track (after a brief but bombastic intro track), “Run”, is the first single off the album.  It’s the obvious choice.  It’s upbeat and catchy with a huge, hook laden chorus followed by a crunchy, remotely heavy two note riff and harsh screams that will make those whose musical tastes gravitate towards modern rock radio pronounce “Wow!  Grohl’s got his edge back!!  He’s angry.”  Yeah, sure he does….it’s a pretty transparent ploy, and I’m sure it will be lauded and successful in its re-branding effort, thanks to sly marketing campaigns, plenty of PR, and the credulous naive, gullible, and downright disingenuous critics at more “respectable” music rags.

The rest of the album has its moments, its ups and downs.  “Make It Right” has a funky/fun guitar riff that’s akin to what Queens Of The Stone Age are doing.  “La Dee Da” also reminds me a bit of QOTSA, though Josh Homme and company are much quirkier in terms of songwriting and instrumentation.  “The Line” sounds like a classic Foo Fighters track, simple, non-offensive guitar driven rock, treated to the production standards of modern pop.  “Dirty Water” is similar, although it’s more subdued, like the kind of track a band would release as their third MTV video in the 90’s daze of Alternative Nation after their first two hard-hitting singles.  These songs, though unremarkable, are at least coherent – I’m not sure what Grohl was thinking with “The Sky Is a Neighborhood”. The composition and arrangement make about as much sense as the song title, and his attempts to write “political” lyrics are frankly embarrassingly disconnected from the zeitgeist.  His weak, equivocal words don’t capture any spirit of our current age, they simply smell like Axe body spray.  “Sunday Rain” is a fucking mess; the intro has some bluesy licks before the verse uses a reggae styled downbeat/offbeat and keyboard swirls underneath the overproduced vocals, which seem an attempt at Grohl sounding “soulful.”  Instead it’s pure cliche heaped upon cliche.

It’s actually the more somber, understated songs that I prefer.  “Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)” sounds like a bar room ready drinking song, and although there’s much better music I’d prefer to have a beer to, it stands out as a stronger track, as does the title track, which finishes the album on a melancholy note, with drawn out passages of slow, longingly over-saturated guitars and moody vocals….

I don’t know folks.  Sure, this album is “actually good” in that it’s not totally boring and takes some unexpected turns, which I think is largely a product of the modern pop production combined with some actual ambition on Grohl’s part to push himself outside of the typical verse/chorus/verse format that’s par for the Foo Fighter course.  It’s also not going to have very much replay value for me, nor is it going to save rock and roll.  Plus, Taylor Swift’s last album was much better.


The Flying Eyes “Burning Of The Season” Album Review + Stream…

The Flying Eyes

Burning Of The Season – Vinyl // CD // DD

Ripple Music // Noisolution (Europe) – released September 22nd, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

The Flying Eyes:
Adam Bufano – Guitar, Lap Steel
Mac Hewitt – Bass
Will Kelly – Vocals, Guitar
Elias Schutzman – Percussion, Vocals

Tracks:

  1. Sing Praise (4:17)
  2. Come Round (3:26)
  3. Drain (4:41)
  4. Circle of Stone (7:29)
  5. Fade Away (5:18)
  6. Farewell (4:29)
  7. Rest Easy (4:56)
  8. Oh Sister (8:09)

 

 

Review:
The Flying Eyes know exactly what kind of band they are: A riff or two, some vocals, a solo, and a heaping tablespoon of Black Sabbath worship- that’s all they want, and to be frank, that’s all they really need.

Despite it being reminiscent of “the good ol’ days”, it’s always refreshing to hear a band that knows that all they need are guitars, bass, drums, with quality guest keyboards from Trevor Shipley, and a good, solid overall composition.  That’s precisely what Maryland natives The Flying Eyes deliver.

Pro Band Shot 2

Opening track “Sing Praise” bursts out of the gates with an astonishingly memorable bass riff. “Drain” opens with reverb guitars that one would be forgiven to expect out of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” before taking a left turn into Sludge and Doom territory with an absolutely blistering guitar solo. Even though the music is well-composed and performed even better, the vocals of guitarist Will Kelly are the real standout here. They won’t be fronting an opera or performing a Tenor aria anytime soon, but they are absolutely perfect for the music that is focused on here. When this music is coming out of a sound system, images of cruising through the desert in a 1970’s muscle car are sure to follow. This is the type of music that should accompany a vision quest or a protest montage of the Vietnam War and The Flying Eyes seem all too aware of this, owning that image with all the confidence in the world.

However, this album wears its influences (or “influence” in this case) on its sleeves perhaps a little too proudly. The Flying Eyes seem to have listened to Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality” many, many times and that particular influence seems to show itself quite a bit. That’s not to say it’s their only influence, as by the time the 7th track, “Rest Easy”, begins, some sections are reminiscent of Pink Floyd rear their heads. but by the time the listener gets there, they may have already gotten used to the already strongly-established vibe, giving them something of a case of stylistic whiplash. The riff-verse-riff-verse-solo-riff structure permeating throughout this release gets a little old after a while, and a listener would be excused for needing a couple of listening sessions to really get the intended effect from Burning of the Season, and it takes a little bit of patience despite being a fairly short album at a very digestible 43 minutes. Make no mistake, this is a high quality and highly recommended album.

On the whole, Burning of the Season is an album that knows what it wants to be.  If you are looking for an album that provides what is promised very effectively despite putting nothing particularly new on the table, then you should look no further than The Flying Eyes’ excellent new release.

Live Band Shot


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!!


Ruff Majik “The Hare And The Hollow” Album Review + Stream…

RUFF MAJIK

The Hare And The Hollow – Limited Vinyl // DD

Self Released – released June 20, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed:
September 1, 2012

Location:
Pretoria, South Africa

Band Members:
Johni Holliday (Guitar/Vocals/Organ)
Jimi Glass (Bass)
Benni Manchino (Drums)

Previous Releases:
“The Bear” EP (Oct 2015)

“The Fox” EP (Sept 2016)

“Monarch Of The Hills” single (March 2017)

“The Real Swan” (March 2017)

“The Swan” EP (April 2017)

Review:
Three piece band with a penchant for recording LIVE in the studio and this release that is being touted as not an EP, but part one of a four part release and was recorded in one take per their notes on their bandcamp page. According to their bio, Ruff Majik “has been aggressively marketing their brand of super-stiff rock ‘n roll madness since early 2012. Now they have three EP’s under their belt, an album filled with out-takes from the sessions for this album, and a reputation for wild and aggressive live shows, and they’re coming your way – tie down everything you want to keep, the boys are bringing earthquakes with ’em.” An intriguing descriptor for certain and I had to dive deep in. With the previous recordings, there has always been that garage-sound that lent itself to the ‘live’ feel that these guys tout as their modus-operandi,  while keeping that bass-heavy groove they are known for intact.

Live Band Pic

Let me re-emphasize that these songs were recorded  live and in only one take, not stopping for a break between songs but rather charging on through as a means to keep the cohesion true and the feel as ‘real’ as possible. Opener ‘Harpy’ starts off with a staggered drum line, mid-tempo pace, the bass hits four measures in and then the distorted guitar reaches out and grabs your throat before the vocals come out front in classic RM fashion, sounding slightly distorted and still clear in delivery.

Using all of the twists, turns and time shifts of stoner rock/metal you could hope for, ending with that hyper-fuzzed bass line that slowly fades into the opening progression of ‘Gone Down In The Woods Today.’  This is a full throttle galloping track that hits as hard as any SABBATH track with the veracity of a cobra and is relentless in the pummeling heaviness of the arrangement. Still no pause between as closer ‘Breathing Ghosts’ is even faster than the other tracks during the first minute until the vocal hits, tempo shifts and guitar drenched chords leaving their juices running down your chin as you drink it all in to the very last note.

If this is the tone of the next three releases, then the wait will seem unbearable. An amazing jumping point in this next stage of the evolution of this trio, MAJOR leaps in mix and composition and the arrangements truly are stellar in advance over all previous releases and should absolutely signify the turning of the tide for this band. Add it to your ‘rotation’ immediately, make sure every person you know hears it and support them live if they come to your shores…this IS South Africa after all. And as always, keep it LOUD!!

The Hare and the Hollow logo


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


POSEIDON “Prologue” Album Review + Teaser Video…

POSEIDON

Prologue – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Ripple Music – Release Date:  JULY 21st, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Poseidon…crushing, destructive, monolithic. Juxtaposed with melodies of melancholy and the starkest and darkest of beauty. Poseidon…volume, monster thickness of tone. Rhythms with a pulse that can go from subtle to leveling pulverization. Emotional atmospheres of foggy desolation. Based out of East London these four blokes bring the smoke and the ash. Raza Khan-Drums // Matt Norris-Guitar // Matthew Bunkell-Bass/Vocals // Jaime Starke-Guitar hurl fire and smog. They bring a weight down on you that hits the soul. Prologue  is Poseidon’s Ripple Music debut. Ripple most definitely know what they are doing. The label is the leader of heavy in North America and expanding. Signings such as Poseidon and this concrete slab of a record will keep Ripple’s reputation held in extremely high regard.

 

Band Pic

 

Prologue begins with ‘The Beginning The End The Colony.’ Our journey starts with a slow build of epic proportions. Feedback and tension swirl around your brain. The thickness pushing and putting pressure on the mood. As the monolithic and devastating riff drops, the drums of thunder kick in heaviness and groove that suffocates, and simultaneously exhilarates. Slow, meaty, weighty, emotionally charged sludgy doom. Midway through, the flawless vocals come in as Poseidon proceed to drop the sledge. The band transitions into an atmospheric and dissonant short reprise. Complete with swirling and weaving leads. You are able to catch your breath…if only for a minute. Savor that breath, because the last four minutes of this jam, the band will crush your lungs, your mind, your heart, and your soul. All has gone black.

Mother Mary Son of Scorn follows. A poignant acoustic dirge that lets the sparks and ashes fall and settle, on the smoldering landscape of desperation. Beautiful and dark, lamented and empty. This song makes you feel. Feel deep.

Chainbreaker  breaks the chains. The beast is rising. Slogging across a swamp of mud and guts. Angry and agitated, the creature destroys the tethers of persecution, and is coming for the black tower. Tribal rhythmic drums mimicking the heartbeat, guitars raining molten lava. Waves of noise suffocate, as passionate and desperate vocals send shivers up the spine.

 

 

Closing track Omega opens with a biblical sermon on top of clean guitars with some reverb. The mood it sets is  immediate and intensely felt. Poseidon smash the psyche and the face until the final note.

On Prologue, Poseidon lay the wood. This record takes you on a dank and darkened  journey of diabolical sludge and doom. Neurosis noise, ethereal Yob vibes, Conan crushing tones. From the opening feedback, to the feedback at albums end, Prologue has everything. Heavier than one hundred heavy things. Emotional with weight and eerie underlying melodies throughout that are amazingly beautiful. Poseidon will be making waves, or should I say…Poseidon will be making tsunamis. We are all going under, and we are all going to be swept away.


Pink Frost “New Minds” Album Review + Stream…

Pink Frost

New Minds – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Under Road Records – Released June 16th, 2017

Reviewed By Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

Taste Nation LLC founder and owner Matthew Thomas is well aware of my penchant for shoegazing at this point in time and had recommended I check out this new Pink Frost album.  He described them as a shoegaze band that was going for a heavier sound on their latest album.  At this point in time, I should be well aware of his penchant for understatement.  This album sounds like the ungodly love child of Smashing Pumpkins and Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, conceived at a Cure concert during the Disintegration eraThis certainly ain’t a bad thing – let’s recall that The Smashing Pumpkins were my favorite band in high school, and Disintegration is a top ten all-time album for me.  The heavier tracks are blown out with some seriously fat fuzz-tones straight from the Siamese Dream era, and they have the melodies to match.    However, the overall vibe is dark, evil, and ethereal, which may sound like an unlikely combination, but they somehow pull it off.  It’s like listening to the soundtrack from your most pleasant nightmares ever.

 

Band Pic

 

Pink Frost actually have a bit of a back catalog, even though this is my first time listening to them.  That’s a shame, as this is my kind of band.  I’m going to do a bit more exploring into their past efforts and see where they take me.  It makes total sense that these guys and gal are from Chicago, also the hometown of The Smashing Pumpkins.  They’ve got that classic 90’s Chicago sound, with just a dash more of a modern edge and slightly sinister overtones.  New Minds  is rather entrancing in its approach, how it balances these somewhat disparate elements.  The opening title track starts off noisy and upbeat, with an off-kilter riff punctuated by a punk-ish rhythm section assault.  ‘Bare Roots’ is my favorite track on the album, with its relentless groove, stoner-ish riffs and incredibly guitar melodies.  There’s a breakdown into a quieter middle section that is straight up Siamese Dreamy, like something the Pumpkins would have used on tracks like ‘Silverfuck’ and ‘Geek U.S.A.’  The biggest difference is that you’re not going to hear any of the over-the-top lead guitar pyrotechnics that Billy Corgan was able to pull off in his heyday.

New Minds isn’t all about being heavy, and Pink Frost certainly shift gears into shoegaze and dream pop territories on tracks like ‘Avian’ and ‘Headlights.’  Despite the cleaner, lusher soundscapes employed on the quiet tracks, there’s still an underlying emotional longing and a resonant, bittersweet darkness in the lyrics.  Take some of the “Avian” lyrics, for example – “I will take what’s given/And I will steal your air/I’ll take your breath away/And the name you once wore.”  The vocals are emphasized and enhanced by a delivery that’s one part whisper and one part sneer.  The guitar interplay is textured and nuanced, even when the fuzz is full throttle, and the rhythm section certainly holds things down.  Production wise, everything has its place in the mix, and it’s all very full and powerful.

This is a solid album from start to finish, and culminates in the haunting samples from a newscast about a large fire on final track, “We No Time.”  There’s not a clunker or weak track to be found on New Minds, it’s one long goth-fuzz mindfuck of a listen.  I’d be curious to catch these cats live, and I’m also quite curious about what their next album will sound like.  Personally, I’d like to encourage them to continue in the heavier vein, because what they’re doing is working in my eyes and ears.  New Minds is one of this year’s stronger albums, and it’s gotten quite a bit of repeat plays from me, which is always a good sign.

Lineup:
Adam Lukas: Guitar, Vox
Paige Sandlin: Guitar
Alex Shumard: Bass
Jesse Hozeny: Drums


THE BUZZARDS OF FUZZ To Release New Single [Streaming]; To Play 828 Rockfest II

Atlanta’s swaggering smooth alternative rockers The Buzzards Of Fuzz are preparing to release a new single “You Never Bring Me Any Flowers” b/w “How Could You?” on July 15th. The band’s laid back, heady demeanor is a real blues-infused treat for rock fans as evidenced by the Soundcloud embedded streams of the songs below. They serve as the The Buzzards Of Fuzz first new material since their critically acclaimed debut EP Buzzard Custard was released.

In related news, The Buzzards Of Fuzz were recently named as one of the many bands that will perform at Asheville, North Carolina’s “Only Real Rock N Roll Music Festival”: the 828 Festival 2! The latest round of this event sees it growing to encompass three stages at The Boilerroom, Scandals and Club Eleven. It all happens in AVL on Sunday September 17th, 2017 from 2pm-2am. Find more info and details here.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

828 Fest

RESCUE RANGERS To Release ‘Join Hate’ In September; Streaming New Song

September 1st, 2017 will see the eagerly awaited release of the third studio album, titled “Join Hate“, from the French rock band Rescue Rangers. The album was produced by none other than Page Hamilton (Helmet) and will be issued via F200 Records. The band is sharing the new song “Khalil” today, a song that firmly unveils the band’s tight, melodically appealing style. Join Hate is sure to be an out-and-out treat for fans of heavy rock and electrifying song writing. Ballsy, voluminous and best of all stacked with promise, for anyone just discovering the band it’s an ear opener, and for those already in the know, a real statement on just how far they have progressed since day one.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

RR LP
Track Listing:

1. Join Hate
2. Khalil
3. Moped Synch
4. Choke
5. Malcontent
6. Treading Water
7. Repetition
8. Vibe Hotel
9. Keep Smiling
10. Broken Faces
11. Tiger
12. Join Hate (Reprise)