Sometime in 2009 I drifted away from music fanaticism. People who read this site might remember when I contributed album reviews and music criticism as a staff member and not emeritus. Similarly I had a couple of composition projects I was working on around that time that moved from amateur to professional (in aspiration only) and then to shelved before I could finish the mixing and mastering process. I have no interest in dredging the depths of my hard drive to complete these sessions, but I do think it’d be nice to share the demos.
The music is guitar-centric but is best identified as trip hop if only for the chill but detailed drum patterns. I wanted the textures to be pretty languid throughout so I sampled a lot of Javanese gamelan (a closeted love of mine) and combined this with an amazing drum kit library shared by a buddy who some of you may know as PSY/OPSogist. Compositionally I was heavily influenced by him as well as similar artists like Team Sleep, Blue Sky Black Death, DJ Shadow, and Xiu Xiu, among others.
Hopefully there’s a track or two in this collection you enjoy. Though the whole album is meant to have a flow (I’m an artíste bro), if you only have time for one track check out “These Arms.” It’s definitely the most energetic song on the album and I haven’t heard of anybody who thinks it’s scrubby (yet). Thank you!
I’ve pretty much said everything that I can about this album on my review, but here is an abridged version. Imminent Sonic Destruction play a version of progressive metal that mixes a large dose of modern metal riffing along with some different vocal styles. The main style sounds like a cross between Voivod and Mudvayne, but there are also black metal shouts, death grows and even some Hetfield-ish parts. As far as the song goes, it is actually one of the weaker tracks on the album but it can, at least, give listeners a decent idea of what to expect from the album.
When I learned that Dia Frampton had participated on season one of NBC’s The Voice, I decided that I would give season 2 a chance when it finally aired after the Superbowl. The episode that ran after the Superbowl was better than the crap that American Idol had been pushing, but, despite the talent, nobody really caught my attention — today was different. Lindsey Pavao is a bartender out of Sacramento, California that counts Radiohead, Bjork and Fiona Apple among her influences and it totally shows on her rendition of “Say Aah” by Trey Songz. The song on the video is an abbreviated version of her full performance, but it was enough to convince me to buy the full version on iTunes.
Lindsey Pavao definitely has a unique look and voice, and her take on “Say Aah” shows that she also has a bit of a creative side too.
Trevor Powers’ music makes me feel a lot of things I just can’t put my finger on. When I first heard it, the walls of reverb and slow burning melodies seemed tailor-made to lull me to sleep. Like the best dream-pop records, though, it kept bringing me back, searching for the power in these seemingly nonchalant, mumbled lyrics and those chords that surge upwards, eternally hopeful. It’s more of a feeling than anything I can write down, though, the kind of satisfaction you get from waking up from a really good dream that you just can’t remember the details of. Dream music, that sounds about right.
If this is what jam bands do nowadays, I need to start growing my mustache out and cultivate a stash of patchouli, because this is the kind of 21st-century music that you air-guitar along to. I don’t know what front man James Petralli is mumbling on about half the time, but that’s hardly the point – when they’re infusing psychedelic rock with prog and jazz and a healthy dose of innovative looping techniques, you’ll be plenty focused on just trying to keep up.
Czar formed in January of 2009 from the ashes of Chicago’s industrial-metal juggernaut Acumen Nation. The trio consisting of Jason Novak, Dan Brill and Brian Elza is a fusion of brain and brawn, power and finesse, brutality and hooks, or what Outburn Magazine has coined “thinking man’s metal”. For fans of Gojira, Jesu, Mastodon and Helmet.
Czar take the dense riffs of post metal, the twitchy rhythms of prog and a healthy dose of straight-forward industrialized metal and form it into one excellent beast of an album.
Dia Frampton is one-half of the duo known as Meg and Dia (mind-blowing shit, I know). Apparently, she decided to audition for the TV show The Voice after her band was dropped from their record label. Her only goal was to try to bring attention to their current release, Cocoon, but she ended up finishing second overall. So, with fame comes the great responsibility to go solo, and that is where we are now. Dia was signed by Universal Republic and is set to release her debut solo album, Red, on December 6th. This is the video for her first single, “The Broken Ones”. I haven’t heard the album yet, but apparently she will be sticking with her ‘indie roots’ throughout the album. As long as she releases more music videos, who cares
Dia Frampton – Red
Release Date: December 6th Record Label: Universal Republic
Actor-Rapper-Comedian? Rapper-Actor-Comedian? Whatever order you place them in, rapping is no stint on the side for Community’s Troy Barnes. With three albums under his belt all released all for free, the upcoming album Camp (due for release 15th November) marks his first commercial full-length release. Earlier in 2011 came the simply titled EPwhich alone probably justified a blind purchase of Camp. But for the content hungry comes some delicious early previews of the upcoming Camp.
Twisted electronic industrialists, Acylum, have released the first single for their upcoming album Karzinom. The song is called “Angel” and is one of the more subdued and ‘friendly’ tracks on the album. That doesn’t mean that the band have suddenly started making feel good music or anything that could be appreciated by your average music consumer. The music is still dark, the vocals are still heavily processed and the lyrics are still twisted. On the other hand, it perfectly showcases the band’s enhanced use of melodic elements to further increase the creepiness factor that has always been a part of their sound. Just don’t let this song lull you into a false sense of security, because the full album is still full of dissonant sounds, disturbing samples and a much more confrontational style, overall.
Acylum – Karzinom
Release Date: October 28th Record Label: Alfa-Matrix
The Jezabels’ first full length album, Prisoner, will be released on September 16th. If you pre-order the album here you will also recieve a bonus CD that contains four early demo tracks. The album is streaming in its entirety here.
The album release will be followed by a tour of Australia, UK/Europe and Canada/US. The tour will begin in Australia at the Caloundra Music Festival on October 7th and wrap up at the Corona Theater in Montreal, Canada on November 26th. (click links for full tour dates).
This is the first single from the latest Dream Theater album, A Dramatic Turn of Events. A Dramatic Turn of Events was released on September 13th through Roadrunner Records, and is the first to feature new drummer Mike Mangini.
Agua de Annique – Feel Alive [Official Music Video]
Anneke van Giersbergen is working on what is presumably the third album from her band, Agua de Annique. Of course it’s hard to tell for sure how it’s going to be released since sometimes her music is titled as just Agua de Annique, and other times it’s Anneke van Giersbergen featuring Agua de Annique. I guess she’s not really sure whether she wants to be part of a band or a solo artist. On the other hand, if this video is any indication, it’s solo artist all the way. The song is typical of what Anneke has been doing lately — alt. rock with an electronic undercurrent. It’s not bad and I’m sure the new album will be great, but the video is actually kind of boring. If you’re going to have the whole video be of you topless, at least tease a little
“Unsung” is taken from Insomnium’s upcoming album, One For Sorrow. The album will be released on October 17th in Europe and one day later in the United States. Apparently, the song is one of the faster, heavier tracks from One For Sorrow — an album that the press release describes as diverse. Personally, I truly hope that the album is diverse because this song sounds like it could have come from any of their previous album (minus the token clean singing). If there is one positive that I heard, it’s that the growls sound more powerful this time around.
Left Down Spine have signed with Metropolis Records and are back with their second album of digital hardcore. Those familiar with the band will notice that major changes have taken place since Fighting For Voltage was released in 2008. The band have dropped all of their metal influences and wall-of-sound production in favor of a fun mixture of punk, industrial and electronics. “X-Ray” is the first single from the album, Caution. Caution was released on the 26th of August.
(EDIT: Playback must be seen on YouTube due to copyright reasons. It’s worth it!)
It was only a matter of time. The Decemberists’ third single from their new album The King Is Dead features a fantastic video with a finely detailed reenactment of a scene from David Foster Wallace’s mammoth tome Infinite Jest. For those familiar with the book, the legendary tennis academy scene featuring a full game of Eschaton, a sort of thermonuclear war simulation played with tennis lobs, is set to “Calamity Song” (quite the appropriate lyrical choice). Given Colin Meloy’s hyper-literary tendencies, the connection isn’t too surprising, and true fans of the book will have a good time spotting out all the slight references stuffed into each scene. It’s also a damn good looking piece of work.
Now if only the band’s next video somehow recreated “The Entertainment” from the same book, that would be a real treat…