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: 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

Song of the Week#13-Embracing Facts by Into It. Over It. (School Edition-E)

school

This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Week except each week there will be for the alphabet/numbers! and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is: E!

Into It. Over It is a one-man band from Chicago, Illinois that started out in 2007. Evan Thomas Weiss started out by writing and recording songs every week for one year that quickly got picked up by record labels and then became something more. Since then, Weiss has released three split EPS and five albums. Embracing Facts is off of his album Proper.

Okay, so this song might not have to do anything with school but guess what? I don’t care. And you shouldn’t either because the record label is giving this away as a free download. See, not caring can be a good thing sometimes.

My favourite part is:

How the hell could I have been so weak?
A plush backseat flips my switch on to speak and says
“Your common sense will never pay the rent.”
Harsh words from a path that I seldom choose.
I’ll scream at the wall as you sing the blues
To the minor chords that you and I simply can’t afford

You can download this whole album for free (and legally too!) here.

Song of the Week#1-Say Hello by Alexander (The Bonus Edition)

song of the weekA few months ago, I just randomly stopped posting “Song of the Day” mostly because it became difficult to find good, free music for every even day. So, instead of doing a daily meme for songs, I’ve decided to start doing a weekly meme that’s for the most part the same except each week there will be a different ‘edition’ and not every other week will have a free download. But to start off this new Song Of The Week, do have a free download for you guys!

Alexander (Uk) - Say Hello Single ArtworkHailing from Newcastle, Indie Rock 4 piece ‘Alexander’ are releasing their debut album ‘Say Hello’ in early 2013 on I Am Mighty Records. The band have been creating a buzz across the UK already. The first single ‘You Lost Youself’ taken from the record is out now, with a beautiful acoustic version of the song as a B-side. Taking influence from the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Futures and Two Door Cinema Club, ‘Alexander’ are bringing a punchy and appealing sound to the indie UK music scene.

A few months ago, I reviewed this album and I really liked it. Alexander has finally gotten a music video out for their song, Say Hello and the music video is awesome. 

“The song is about getting away from something that is really dragging you down, finding something fresh and just feeling great, even if it’s just for a week. The video is about being open and just smiling at people saying hello, it’s a message for people to just let everything go and be happy and open. The star signs which are featured on the bottom of each sign, are a symbol of who we are and it’s metaphor to show we are opening up to people”-From the band.

My favourite part is:

I never thought that for a moment that I could believe
There is a better way out for me
Yet the best thing about this
Is that there’s nothing to breathe down my neck
While I’m trying trying, to figure my head out

 

You can watch the music video for Say Hello here.

Lyrics are here.

THE BONUS STUFF

Lower Lands has a new EP out that’s free! If you’re a fan of Twin Atlantic, You Me At Six, and We Are The Ocean then you will like this EP! I like this EP especially Wasted Youth.

You can get a FREE and LEGAL download here.

Song Of The Day#60-Next Year By Speak Low If You Speak Love

cover

I’m not exactly sure how to put this song into words because I’m still kind of in shock. How on Earth did I not know about this band before? They are way too good to miss out on! Go Listen to them right now!

Speak Low If You Speak Love is an acoustic indie/pop band from WESTLAND, Michigan. Next Year is off of their most recent EP that is also a split EP with their friends, Northbound.

My Favourite part is:

And honestly, I think I like being sad,
It’s a narrative of everything I never had.
That’s why I smile when I put on my cap,
Just knowing what’s underneath my hat.

So when I finally cut it off it’ll be for me,
And maybe next year I’ll be happy.

you can listen and get a free download of the whole EP (with Northbound’s half) Here.

Song Of The Day#58-Hello My Old Heart By The Oh Hello’s

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To be honest, I haven’t listened to this song in about a week. But I thought that it was a good song that people will enjoy.

“The Oh Hellos are Maggie and Tyler Heath, intentionally-independent self-produced music-making siblings hailing from the great state of Texas.”-Taken from the band’s bandpage.

Hello My Old Heart is very much a folk kind of song about seeing your ‘old heart’ again which is pretty much your old love. 

My favourite part is:

nothing lasts forever
some things aren’t meant to be
but you’ll never find the answer
until you set your old heart free

you can listen and get a free and legal download here.

Song Of The Day#56-Beautiful Soul by Noelle Johnson

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What a fun song that makes me think about blue skies, sunny days, and happiness. So all around just a very happy day. Even without the lyrics, the song is just too hard to resist with its fast pace notes and sweet melodies.

Noelle Johnson is a folk/indie singer/ songwriter. Beautiful Soul is her first EP that is realised.

My favourite part is:

why are you spending all your time on it
Worrying about things, things that they say to you
You are not too big, and you’re not the ugly little thing
That you think you see across from you in the mirror
Love yourself and it will be one small step, but one giant leap
For woman kind

you can listen to Beautiful Soul and get a free download here.