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

Album Review: South of the Mountain by Bears and Company

mnt treeSouth of the Mountain by Bears and Company

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Indie Rock

Release Date: April 27, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Bears and Company is a progressive/indie rock band out of Kansas City, Missouri. Each member comes from different musical backgrounds and collectively they craft a unique taste for those with open mouths. They are a band that share a story worth listening to, and paint a constant raging tone to illustrate such. This quintuplet is a band that gets in your face and will have you screaming every word in company. They create sound for honest connection, and work restlessly to break any and all resistance. The Bears started when songwriters, Alexander McClain (Guitar/Vocals) and Logan Tyler (Vocals/Bass) got together in the winter of their first and last year of college and began working on the songs and ideas of Bears and Company. Not long after McClain’s long time friend and past bandmate, Allan Latini (Drums) joined the band out of great desire to be a part of a hard hitting project. As a Trio the band played multiple shows, wrote, and recorded an unreleased E.P. and in time decided that it was time to step up their song direction and guitar section. Zach Knoll (Guitar) became the missing piece of the puzzle after a couple sessions. Charisma came completely natural for the four piece and things took off immediately. They began writing their full length record titled, South of the Mountain, in the fall of 2011 and started tracking it in the birth of the new year with producer Aaron Crawford (The Beautiful Bodies, We Are Voices, Flee the Seen, Now Now Sleepyhead). After a long summer of touring and hard work they returned to the studio to record their debut album “South of The Mountain”.

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

opinion

Bears and Company have a unique sound for a genre like Indie Rock. It’s too dark for indie, but then it’s too light for rock. It’s mysterious but oh so enchanting and saying that these guys are great would be an understatement. But I’m at a loss of words for how to explain them well. Still, I think everyone should check them out. Good music is getting harder and harder to find these days and Bears and Company portray their experience and love for music well on this work of art.

Unfortunately, When the Sky Opened and Moskstraumen are both quiet but fast songs that hold listeners’ attention and I do like them but I don’t like the bridges because they both don’t go well with the song, it sounds too out of place and upbeat for what the band is trying to accomplish with the songs.

South of the Mountain shows their talent and skills creating memorable lyrics and even more so choruses. The guitar solos in Occurrence in the Wildwood and After the Quake are great They really create a mood that goes well with the lyrics.. The vocals in Susannah and the Elders and Carroll A. Deering have a lovely range that’s really strong. Carroll A. Deering is also a slow song but it’s a lot more calm with a smooth build-up and transition that I barely noticed until the ending of the song that the tempo changes. Something that I’m learning to appreciate more and more in music and in bands are the drums. Although they’re not as unnoticed, they still tend to get overlooked. I’m still reeling over the drumming in South Side of the Mountain is super tight and skilled.

The best thing about this band is their confidence in themselves and their talent. All their songs are easy to distinguish with their slight differences that keep everything new and fresh. Their transitions between verses and choruses are close to flawless with lyrics holding so much meaning. Even more so in We Were Brothers and the short monologue that’s captivating and lyrically beautiful. Choosing my top three songs for an album as wonderful as South of the Mountain is pretty tough. Nonetheless, I have to go with Carroll A. Deering, After the Quake, and We Were Brothers. But actually, everyone, go give this album a listen, it’s so worth it.

4 awesome Treble Clefs
4 awesome Treble Clefs

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

1. I Dreamt I Destroyed the World-3:55

2. Occurrence in the Wildwood-4:21

3. Susannah and the Elders-4:26

4. Carroll A. Deering-4:50

5. When the Sky Opened-5:00

6. Return of the Hunters-4:28

7. After the Quake-3:02

8. South of the Mountain-2:11

9. We Were Brothers-4:22

10. Moskstraumen-5:20

Album Review: Summer Death by Marietta

Marietta Front

Summer Death by Marietta

Record Label: Big Footprints

Genre: pop punk

Release Date: October 21, 2013

Songs: 8
good good

Philadelphia’s own Marietta have released their debut LP “Summer Death” which will be released on vinyl via Soft Speak Records, a charity based label where 100% of profits gained will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

After acquiring a strong fan base in the ever-growing Philly music scene, the 90’s emo-indie-pop punk hybrid have proven that they can write much more than just a strong EP. Prior to “Summer Death” Marietta had released a three track Demo, where the track “God Bless Eric Taylor” was originally released; and a split EP with fellow Philly punks Modern Baseball (Run For Cover Records) titled “Couples Therapy”. Now, Marietta has put together an album that perfectly captures their style and sound. Passionate and somewhat poignant–“Summer Death” mixes the musical styling of 90’s emo with the lyrical honesty that is loved in pop punk today.

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

opinion

Marietta’s biggest problem is their confidence  level and need to make their sound more unique and personal. The similarities between The World Is and Marietta are almost identical. And although this is a fairly good album, Summer Death lacks the creativity to make it theirs. However I still found myself enjoying the songs and even more so the song titles.

Just like The World is a Beautiful Place, vocals by Marietta in cinco de Mayo Shit Show, Deck Wine,  and Ever is a Long Time (Ever is No Time At All are a lot shakier than they should be and make the songs sound really panicked. Another problem that I have is with God Bless Eric Taylor because the intro is pretty messy and confusing but the chorus saves the song.

Summer Death has some awesomely smooth bass parts that give the whole album a nice feel. The female backup singer in Cinco de Mayo Shit Show has such a lovely voice that if quieter, could have rocked it. You’ve Got the Map Backwards, Matt is a very personal song with a soft, enchanting intro and a beautiful build-up that isn’t rushed. The drumming and guitar riffs are quite well done throughout the album. But, by far, Fuck, Dantooine is Big is their best song. The song is very raw with the bass, guitar and vocals all complimenting each other in the best way possible.

Overall, Summer Death is a solid album that I think will gain the band a lot of followers. In my opinion, their best songs are …So They Left Me at a Gas Station, You’ve Got the Map Backwards, Matt, and  Fuck, Dantooine is Big. Their passion and inspiration are very strong and intense which are the reason why I can’t wait for Marietta to come out with something else. Their next album will be nothing but great.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

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

1. …so they left me at a gas station

2. cinco de mayo shit show

3. you’ve got the map backwards, matt

4. deck wine

5. god bless eric taylor

6. ever is a long time (ever is no time at all)

7. chase, i hardly know ya

8. fuck, dantooine is big

Album Review: Death Chorus by Polar Bear Club

I use the plagiarism checker at Grammarly.com because like a poutine with shredded cheese, it’s not as good as the original! 

download (6)Death Chorus by Polar Bear Club 

Record Label: Rise Records

Genre: Punk Rock

Release Date: November 19, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Polar Bear Club are an American punk rock band from Rochester and Syracuse, upstate New York. Formed in 2005, the band has released four albums-Sometimes Things Just Disappear, Clash Battle, Guilt Pride, and Death Chorus. They have also released one EP called The Redder, the Better. Current members are vocalist Jimmy Stadt, lead guitarist Chris Browne, Patrick Benson, Tyler Smith, and drummer Steve Port.

opinion

Polar Bear Club are roughly a new band to me. Their music is so pop punk/punk rock that it’s a bit scary. Normally, bands like these usually end up starting in pop punk but then change their sound years later whether if it’s for the best or the worst. Polar Bear Club’s dedication towards pop punk is respectable and encouraging, and Death Chorus is proof of that.

These days, I’m a real stickler when it comes down to vocals. In Death Chorus, vocals are very strong, don’t get me wrong, but I would have loved some songs to have a darker tone to them. But other than that, my biggest problem with this album is the middle where songs start to sound the same without any of them being easily distinguished.

Before the middle, the choruses in the beginning are really tight and smooth like in Blood Balloon and So I Buy. WLWYCD has a tremendous build-up with the drums and guitar slowly coming back in. The drumming is awesome to the extreme in So I Buy as well as For Show. Siouxsie Jeanne is one of the softer songs on the album and it’s sadder and of course about love, but I still love it.

Overall, Death Chorus by Polar Bear Club is an album that pop punk lovers will enjoy. They seem to have a solid reputation and release very solid album, and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

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

1. Blood Balloon-3:12

2. Graph Paper Glory Days-2:50

3. So I Buy-2:50

4. For Show-4:09

5. Siouxsie Jeanne-2:24

6. WLWYCD (Why Live When You Can Die)-3:14

7. Chicago Springs-3:27

8. When We Were College Kids-2:41

9. Twang (Blister to Burn)-3:15

10. Upstate Mosquito-5:40