Album Review: Rose by The Front Bottoms

download (8)Rose by The Front Bottoms

Record Label: Bar None records

Genre: Pop punk

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Songs: 6
good good

 The Front Bottoms are an American acoustic-indie-punk band originating from New Jersey that formed in 2006. The duo have since released two albums: The Front Bottoms and Talon of the Hawk. As well as one EP: Rose. Band members are: Brian Sella (Vocals, Guitar) and Mathew Uychich (Drums, Bullhorn, Megaphone).

opinion

The Front Bottoms truly grow on you. I remember listening to them for the first time at a friend’s house and I hated them. Their music was too strange for me, especially the singing which killed it all. Luckily, I couldn’t get one of their songs out of my head and I decided to search them up. This band might take time to love but no matter how long, love always goes their way. Rose seems to be a tribute to the old times, and to the fans. It’s obviously something that they’re proud of and happy to release and although I wouldn’t recommend starting with this EP, it’s still fairly great.

The beginning of Lipstick Covered Magnet is not properly done. Sella’s voice isn’t the greatest but the singing is worse than usual. He holds the notes longer to give them a sing-song texture and it doesn’t work in his favour.I hate to say it but it’s annoying. Same with  Awkward Conversations is only a repetition of the same group of words with nothing new to bring after the first minute.

Moving onto the good stuff, the first track starts off very strong. It has a steady beat and strange with great lyrics and a chorus of voices singing along.  I love the trumpet piece displayed in Twelve Feet Deep. I also love how this song is so easy to picture, the room-mate sleeping, the skipping of class (who hasn’t done that?), and most importantly, the stupid shit that make up the good times. Moreover, Jim Bogart has a sweet duet and a soft guitar piece that doesn’t distract from the vocals. There’s a great build up which leads to a few seconds of hardcore drumming.

Overall, This album is a tribute and I do like it. But then again, I think I’d like anything they release because of their relatable lyrics, smooth beats and even smoother tempos, but most importantly the vocals. It took me a very long time to get over the out of key singing but I get it now and I think that everyone will get it sooner or later. Favourite songs are Flying Model Rockets, Twelve Feet Deep and, Jim Bogart.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Flying Model Rockets-3:14

2. Lipstick Covered Magnet-2:34

3. Twelve Feet Deep-3:45

4. Jim Bogart-3:18

5. Be Nice to Me-2:47

6. Awkward Conversations-2:46

Album Review: I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home by Hotel Books

a3716073364_2I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home by Hotel Books

Record Label: InVogue records

Genre: Indie/Post-hardcare and Spoken Words

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Songs: 11
good good

 Hotel Books are a California based band that formed in 2011. So far, they have released one album: Call Me Human. One Double EP: I’m Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel at Home. And four EPs: Amid the Beautiful Devastation, Found Out I’m Not So Brave, 2013 Tour, and I’m Almost Happy Here.  Band members are: Cam Smith (vocals, drums), Daniel Adams (bass guitar), Jordan Leal (guitar), Johnny Blackwell (guitar), Daniel “Cowboy Dan” Colasanto (drums).

First of all, I would like to thank the PR, Earshot Media for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Using a mix of ambient music and intense, bone chilling spoken words, Hotel Books are a band that I’m giddy to talk about. Like most people, I try my best to connect with everyone and everything around me, especially the things that I love and while listening to I’m Almost Happy Here, but I Never Feel at Home I feel so connected on such a personal level just by simply hearing the intros and the broken and raw vocalist tell the band’s stories. It’s exciting and fresh and like no other type of connection because spoken words is supposed to reach into your soul and take a part of you to make you remember how awesome spoken words is.

The record starts off with threes songs that are a bit muffled. Lose Yourself is a bit all over the place and albeit this type of form works for them, it doesn’t do so well here. Although the intro for Cult Leader is awesome and sassy, the quick and clipped guitar tempo doesn’t quite match the speed of everything else during the beginning of the song. Because of this, the song sounds off and a little panicked, trying to play catch up. Moreover, Nicole is a sweet song. As an instrumental, it’s soft and calming, with a beautiful tone to it but when paired with the harsh vocals, it gets confusing and sounds like two different songs trying to forge together but not fitting correctly.

Nonetheless, vocals in most songs are amazing as well as the lyrics. Listeners of this album will be able to easily hear the raw emotions in every song and be able to feel the love through the words. They’re sad but so beautiful, ah! Constant Collapse starts off quietly but I like the build-up, the screaming and guitar riffs are paired well with the intense drums. This song is full of so much emotion and anger and sadness and love. It’s an easy song for most people to relate to. A song about romance that was flimsy yet great turning to crap. Another great song is Dreaming or Sinking,the words are so very smooth and flow nicely in this one. There aren’t any long awkward pauses, the build-up is great and really emphasises the words that are being spoken as well as the crescendo for the volume is perfect. Adding onto that, the Bass drum is well pronounced in Two Eight One. It’s rhythmic and is in time with the vocals. The crescendo not only for the guitar but for everything, moving as a whole is perfect. Near the end, the lone guitar is creepy! The riffs are steady and moderately loud but have a huge thud to it. However, what’s creepier is Lungs which starts off with, “Scream Hallelujah until you cough up blood. ‘Cause the Devil came for our minds but left with our love.” Woah, talk about a tough life. Anyway, the song has great build-up, the drummer is obviously having fun with this one. The tempo is great, it picks up speed when the vocalist starts giving more into it by seamlessly following the lead and then slowing down when the song hits its soft spots that need as much emphasis as possible. Hotel Books ends the record off with Car Crash which is, by far, the most realistic song on the album. They truly did save the best for last. You can really imagine the crash. The pain, the fear, the strength. I get chills listening to this one. It’s a realistic look on what goes on when someone is seriously injured. They’re scared, they pray, they curse, they’re doing something and trying not to die and sometimes they don’t while sometimes, they do.

Hotel Books has strongly fabricated their beliefs of love and faith into their music. I say that it’s strongly knit because the way they connect back to their religion and love is in a way that makes the utmost sense. In Car Crash, I think that most people, even atheists would turn to god and try to strike up a deal. Or even in Constant Collapse where it’s romance and a painful love. It’s done in a way that wouldn’t make people uncomfortable but connect. Favourite songs are: Constant Collapse, Dreaming or Sinking, Two Eight One and Car Crash although throughout the album, songs are heartfelt and strong. I could easily picture myself in them.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

 

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Lose One Friend-2:58

2. Lose All Friends-2:19

3. Lose Yourself-3:01

4. Constant Collapse-3:33

5. Dreaming or Sinking-3:19

6. Two Eight One-3:20

7. America’s Next Model-3:06

8. Cult Leader-3:41

9. Nicole-3:30

10. Lungs-4:15

11. Car Crash-4:33

Album Review: Profanity by Sinai Vessel

a2358356391_10Profanity by Sinai Vessel

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Pop Punk

Release Date: March 12, 2014

Songs: 6
good good

Sinai Vessel is: Caleb Cordes (vocals/guitar), Daniel Hernandez (bass), and Joshua Herron (drums). They are from Charlotte, NC / Chattanooga, TN and formed in 2009. 

  One night after his band Sinai Vessel had finished playing a set, a newly won fan came up to Caleb Cordes and described his band as “punk for sissies.” For some reason, it’s stuck. “I don’t know why that’s resonated with me so much,” he laughs, “but it really has.”

Really, Sinai Vessel isn’t as sissy as they seem. After all, their 2013 EP Profanity is full of honest, overwrought moments—verses that climb into clamoring melodies, trickling lows interrupted by turbulent and gushing highs. It happens on “Cuckhold,” where veering chords  crash into each chorus, and on “Drown Around,” as Cordes’s husky voice floats on whirling guitars before they shatter, becoming jagged, jangling shards above which he must roar.

First of all, I would like to thank the publicist, Colin Czerwinski for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

 

opinion

It’s a funny thing the way the mind interprets sounds. It’s all just noise at first, you can’t decipher anything and then somehow, with some effort (or a lot, depending on what you’re listening to) everything starts to make sense little by little until it’s not just noise anymore. It’s art. It’s music and it’s amazing. Profanity is an example of this. It starts off as just noise with nothing making sense at all but Sinai Vessel quickly organizes themselves and throughout the album, it shows that they understand their music yet are still trying new things and will hopefully work on a few of their flaws. Overall, I am definitely digging this album.

What bugs me the most might have to be a part in my favourite song, Cats at about the bridge where it’s so soft and quiet and then it stops just to start-up again in a very rushed, sloppily done way. Changing from slow and quiet to fast and loud in roughly two beats is always tricky to do and almost never works out well and it really doesn’t here. Another problem that sticks out is the screaming and how raspy it is. I’m all for mixing clean vocals with rough vocals however in Drown Around it’s all over the place. It’s obvious that the vocalist, Caleb Cordes isn’t very comfortable with his range and this needs to be worked on as well the weaving in and out of both clean and rough vocals in a way that they’re smooth without any disjunct motions.

Nonetheless, I love Cats and I’m not saying that just because I have one. The song in general is slow but builds up well, they prolong it as long as possible and I really like that, I also love the volume of the vocals, how it starts off quietly, barely louder than a whisper all the way to half yelling half singing. Daniel Hernandez does a great number on this track as well, with the bass riffs sticking out at just the right time to add that really nice deep sound. Cuckhold is different from the rest because it has a rougher feel to it and this element will reside well with many listeners as well as the fast pacing drumming from Joshua Herron that’s steady. Moreover, my favourite thing about Flannery is the lyrics. They’re simple and catchy, light yet dark at the same time, I always love songs that have double meanings because the meaning can change every time you listen to it. The lyrics that are stuck in my head are: “Just good country people with bad city hearts/white wool for our charm and a wolf’s bite marks .” There are a few ways to interpret this phrase and it’s one of my favourite lyrics this year.

Profanity is a great EP for fans to gets used to and prepare for great things to come which is pretty much all that should be expected from a band that understand the power in quick drumming and beautiful lyrics that somehow ties everything together with a nice ribbon on top. My favourite songs are Cats, Cuckold, and Flannery although listeners will pretty much love this whole EP. If you’re a fan of Citizen, Weatherbox, or Dear and the Headlights, then Sinai Vessel is a band to check out.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

 

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Cats-4:44

2. Greatham-0:40

3. Cuckold-2:37

4. Drown Around-2:58

5. Flannery-4:47

6. Index of the Oval-5:24

Album Review: Musicassette/Magnetic Memory by Night WIndows

Musicassette Magnetic Memory - Album ArtworkMusicassette/Magnetic Memory by Night WIndows

Record Label: Black Road Records

Genre: Indie

Release Date: April 15, 2014

Songs: 12
good good

Night Windows is a project started by Benjamin Hughes. His self- engineered/produced album (Musicassette/Magnetic Memory) was crafted from the perspective of a young man facing a reality far different from the one promised him in his youth.

A 26 year-old with a bachelor’s degree worth of debt and a series of unrelated day jobs to pay it back, Hughes is a poster boy for the bursted-bubble millennial generation. He sings about being part of a downtrodden blue-collar work force, helping loved ones through hard times, and clinging desperately to his musician dreams which ebb to the margins of his days. With his acoustic guitar, a hand-me-down drum kit, and an array of gritty lo-fi instruments and effects, Hughes shaped this seamless 12-track debut album in his bedroom; creating an album with an authentic tone and a personal character you only get with quality lo-fi music.

First of all, I would like to thank Audiodaft PR for giving me an advance copy of this cd to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Sometimes in life, you just need to relax and have fun. You need you look around you and say to yourself, “You know what? Fuck this. I need to take a break.” But then there’s always that quiet voice in the back of your mind saying, “Yeah but will you have enough time to finish your task?” Although no one really knows how much time we have left, Night Windows covers the need to relax fairly well in Time, the first song off of the album. As a whole, I think Musicassette covers all the things a person wants in life–to have more time and be happy in Time, to love and be there for family members in Brothers, find something to believe in, in I Believe in the Wind, and to say Fuck you as well as don’t be sad in Green Shirt. At least these are the things I want in my life.

As a person with a limited attention span and very limited fucks to give per thing, I expect the music that I listen to, to move me. I don’t want it to be too repetitive and too predictable. I hate songs that are these things, despite how well done they might be, they’re boring and annoying and I can’t help but get annoyed with the oh so repetitive, Home that only has the lyrics, “I just wanna go home. Hoooommmeeeee.” I got the message the first time, I don’t need to listen to almost 2 minutes of you repeating this.

The first half of the album is fairly energized and I really enjoy that. There’s a Friend of Mine and Life’s a Spinning Wheel both start off fast and carry that energy to the very end. However, right at Human Shell things get fairly slow and quiet. The change isn’t too sudden since listeners will get a heads up from Brothers which is actually a sweet song that has great build-up and a lovely message about always being there for family. I also like I Believe in the Wind and how fast it is, the vocals are so smooth and strong and full of talent and experience. Songs about not caring what people think as well as songs about finding happiness are always songs that young adults will enjoy which might be partially why I love Green Shirt. The beginning of the songs is solely talking, a mini monologue that leads into a slow guitar riff and steady vocals.

Musicassette is an album with a message. My favourite songs on the album are Time, Brother, There’s a friend of Mine, and Green Shirt although most songs sing to people and I recommend this album to everyone because Night Windows is band that will help listeners relax. With exams coming up for many people and all those hectic deadlines that everyone else has, many people just need a break even though they don’t have much time to spare because if you don’t take a break now, when will you?

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

Album Review: Unearth by John Bassett

Unearth-Album-CoverUnearth by John Bassett

Record Label: Stereohead Records

Genre: Folk/ Alternative Rock

Release Date: March 31, 2014

Songs: 10

good good

John Bassett is a multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter, producer primarily known for writing the music and producing the critically acclaimed albums of Progressive Rock act “KingBathmat”. He has so far released seven albums since 2003 and self released them through the record label Stereohead Records. This winter 2013/2014 will see the first release of an acoustic themed album under his own name.

First of all, I would like to thank the record label, Stereohead Records for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

John Bassett has such a creepy voice. It’s smack in the middle of Patrick Watson and Copeland with his soft yet strong voice that reaches those high notes. Unearth starts off with such a unique style that, at first, might make listeners do a double take (I know I did!) and really listen to what music is playing around them. Nonetheless, I like this album. It’s great on its own but it also would be great in tv shows to give that emotional edge that Comedian has.

However, nothing is more disappointing than when an intense feeling starts to wear off. I love the haunting feel that comes during the beginning of each song, but somewhere in the middle, that effect wears off fairly quickly especially in Survival Rate, Tv is God, and Keep Dear. After this, the songs get a bit boring and repetitive.  Another thing that I have a problem with is that although all the songs are well done and go together nicely to make a coherent album, the songs sound a little too similar at times and makes it hard to distinguish each song from the other.

Still, I really like this record. Stay Away From the Dark reminds me so much of Kiss from a Rose by Seal just with the medial sound and the mood . Unearth is perfect. I absolutely love the overlapping vocals that give off an echoing effect as well as the creepy lyrics about sacrifices. I also love the guitar riffs, they’re simplistic yet memorizing in Unearth, Comedian, and Nothing Sacred. For an instrumental, Kylerhea is very well done. The guitar is brought out nicely but still doesn’t overpower the rest of the instruments like the soothing drums. The mood is so relaxing in this song, like a beautiful spring day.

Unearth should be called Unearthly haunting because I feel the need to watch as many beautifully done horror movies and tv shows as possible. Like Hannibal. Or something equally as elegant and odd. Off of this album, my favourite songs are: Stay Away from the Dark, Unearth, Kylerhea, and Comedian. I recommend this album to anyone who enjoys folk and alternative rock as well as some Patrick Watson.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs

3 Sexy Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Since this album isn’t out yet you can listen to Stay Away from the Dark as well as a the album trailer here.)

1. Stay Away from the Dark-4:35

2. Survival Rate

3. Nothing is Sacred

4. Unearth

5. Pantomime

6. Kylerhea

7. Tv is God

8. Keep Dear

9. Something that’s More Worthwhile

10. Comedian

Album Review: Math Major by Art Contest

a4208721938_2Math Major by Art Contest 

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Indie Rock

Release Date: January 17, 2014

Songs: 13
good good

With its mischievous chords and rhythmic horseplay, it’s almost too easy to call Greenville, SC’s Art Contest a math rock band. There’s something about Math Major, their first full-length, that resists this limiting label—something that’s difficult to pin-point.

Maybe it’s the album’s endearing lo-fi quality, which seems to muffle the Cole Monroe’s wiggling guitars on songs like “Banana Boat” and subdue drummer Garrett Burke’s more frenetic rhythms, including those on “Misty Flip” and “Riff Raff”. In effect, Math Major feels more like a jazz record than an emo one, though they’re more likely to be lumped into the latter.

First of all, I would like to thank the publicist, Colin Czerwinski for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

Maybe it’s that the band sometimes decides to slow down. Songs like “Jungle Book” thrum softly, blooming in soft bursts at the end of each phrase. Others, like “Bed Time”, sway slowly, but swell into looming landscapes; during its chorus, Aaron Burke’s bass rolls back and forth in the background, adding depth as Monroe’s bright guitar, sticky with reverb, shimmers beneath his soaring voice. Or maybe it’s that Math Major expresses energy without succumbing to aggression or arrogance. Whatever it is, Art Contest reaches well-beyond the boundaries of math rock—and emo, and jazz—to realms were few bands have the ability to tread.

opinion

Art Contest are an odd group. They mix together crash thimbles with fast tempos and somehow make it work for the most part. Their talents aren’t in creating memorable lyrics, it’s in creating memorable guitar riffs and drumming combinations that defy the term music in the twenty first century. Surprisingly, they do it well and with excitement that’s pretty contagious.

I’m a person that’s all about words, I mean, I do own a blog. Anyway, even though Art Contest’s strong points are their instrumentals, it would have been nice if they switched up the lyrics instead of it consistently being the same words repeated over and over again in every song. What makes this even worse is the fact that the vocalist has an amazing voice that’s really strong which is shown in Bedtime, Shish Kebab and Sugar Bay. Nonetheless, there are songs that I really didn’t enjoy like the last two on the record, Bassnectar and Sonic Level 4. The problem with Bassnectar is that it sounds like the band was out of ideas and decided to let a toddler go wild since the key banging is done on the high side in an annoying way. Sonic Level 4 is just as annoying with the vocals choppy and odd, like a caveman trying to speak. Word. After. Word. After. Word. Until somewhere in the middle where it’s smoother but at that point, I didn’t care.

You know when you’re a pretty shitty mood and you just want to scream, punch, or throw something? Math Major is that kind of album. Their sound is all quick tempos, and harsh banging that shows off their intimidating power. They seem to encourage these outbursts by having random outbursts of their own throughout their songs. The Intros are great, they really will reel listeners in with their unique sound like in Bedtime, Tripp Pants, and WAV.  Washing Machine and Jungle Book are quite smooth in the beginning and then randomly start to bang and clash. Without even having seen a music video by Art Contest I could literally hear them, ‘jamming out’ to their songs.  Sugar Baby is probably their most poetic song on this album, although it’s still with their fast pacing, the drums and guitar start and stop in sync with the vocals and give off that smooth feeling.

Math Major isn’t an album I would usually listen to. I like, for the most part, smooth bands that have smooth build-ups and a relaxed overall feel to them. However Art Contest is a band that’s unusual and have taken me by surprise. Their energy is contagious and even though my favourite songs off this album are Jungle Book, Bedtime, and Sugar Bay, this album as a whole is something that’ll force listeners to want to jam out and get loud and crazy.

3.5 Treble Clefs

3.5 Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Banana Boat-3:26

2. Washing Machine-3:55

3. Jungle Book-4:21

4. Bedtime-3:46

5. WAV-3:26

6. Misty Flip-0:49

7. Shish Kebab-3:54

8. Riff Raff-1:12

9. Tripp Pants-2:19

10. Sugar Bay-3:23

11. Mean Note-2:44

12. Bassnectar-1:10

13. Sonic Level 4-3:43

Album Review: Made for More by Skylight

wpid-Skylight-Cover.jpgMade for More by Skylight

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Indie Pop

Release Date: May 25, 2013

Songs: 10
good

Skylight’s roots can be traced back to 2009 when three like-minded musos – Greg Jorden (vocals and guitar), Peter Klein (bass) and Bradley Cumming (drums) and later Wesley Ayliffe (guitar and back-up vocals) – joined forces after performing at a music event. The trio soon began writing music together, the chemistry instantaneous, and their individual visions started to take form.

In 2010, their song Always Enough became an instant hit, and it wasn’t long before the track secured them a spot on the “Joburg Day” line-up, performing in front of 18 000 people. Early 2013, Skylight released their first single Give It Up, a taster of what they have to offer and it only gets better. This summer the band introduces the catchy hooks of Born To Love You, taking their fans into 2014 with a smile.

First of all, I would like to thank the publicist, Genevieve Vieira for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

image
Skylight plays with a few different sounds on Made for More. They try out the indie rock band, the super steamy sex kittens, and then finally the hopeless romantics which really works for them. I’m a real sucker for hopeless romantics (probably because my best friend is one) especially the ones that can talentedly stir up emotions that pull at my heartstrings. Although right now they sound to be on the same road as early Parachute and This Century but with more creativity and experience with their sound in the right direction, skylight can be just as great maybe even better than them.

For me, when it comes to any type of media I expect it to be flowing and relaxed, I don’t like it feeling contrived or awkward in any way and the problem with Give it Up is that it’s too sexy and too much for the band that they just don’t know what to do with it. Never Empty is similar because Skylight try out the hardcore indie rock band which I find awkward and poorly executed. Another problem I have with this album are the vocals. Skylight knows how to seamlessly strum together a few chords and make up a beautifully enchanting melody full of rich textures. The problems are the uncontrollable high notes for the vocalist that sound misplaced and odd in songs Made for More, Smile and Always Enough. The guitar solos in Made for More and Our Dreams Were Everything are really good it’s just sad that they’re at the very end of the songs and it’s really short but if they were longer than it could be better. And leave listeners with a more finished feel. Most songs on Made for More seem to have the same song structure of albeit lovely, typical melodic guitar notes. It would have been better if they decided to switch things up with the different structure once in a while to make it easier to distinguish the songs.

Moving on to the better, more likeable parts of this record, I really love the southern tang that’s lightly dashed into their music to help fans feel more welcomed. More than Ever and Fire both have great bass parts that smoothly carry the songs from verse to chorus and then back again. The drumming however a little slow, delivers a well done beat that compliments each song and emphasises the lyrics. Lyrics really can make or break a band and I swear, the words that Skylight have fabricated into each song are absolute perfection, a masterpiece within a masterpiece.

Made for More is a remarkable effort of a debut album. Fans of anything sweet, meaningful, and smooth will adore this record and probably everything Skylight releases afterwards. Off of the album, Born to Love You, More than Ever, Our dreams were Everything, and Fire are the most touching songs that easily became favourites for me. The band goes through a few mishaps and missteps during Made for More but I’m happy they start and end it on a warm, love-filled note.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs

3 Sexy Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1.Born to Love You-2:32
2. Give it Up-3:29
3. More than Ever
4.  Made for More
5. Smile
6. Our Dreams Were Everything
7. Always Enough
8. Never Empty
9. Overwhelmed
10. Fire