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…
Green Day performed a new song entitled ‘Amy,’ presumably written in tribute to Amy Winehouse, at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, California last week. The band performed 15 new tracks in total at the gig in aid of cystic fibrosis.
The band also posted the lyrics for ‘Amy’ on their website:
Is your heart singing out of tune
Are your eyes just singing the blues
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes
No one really knows about your soul
And I barely even know your name
Burning rhythms and posting lies
For a bunch of fools drown in shame
Amy don’t you go
I want you around
Singin’ woah please don’t go
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?
Did you tattoo a lucky charm
To keep you out of harms way?
Warding off all evil signs
But it never really kept you safe
You’re too young for the golden age
Cause the record bin’s been replaced
27 gone without a trace
And you walked away from your drink
Is your heart singing out of tune
Are you eyes just singing the blues?
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes
May I have this last dance
By chance if we should meet?
Can you write me a lullaby?
So we can sing you to sleep
It is fairly easy to see that Alex Smith matches his peers within Detroit in terms of talent and quality of his output. That says a lot given the rich musical legacy of Detroit. His output of late hasn’t dropped off the standards set by 2005’s Just Ask the Lonely. On its own, Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance!can attest to that.
Though one can keep pretty close tabs on artists’ releases these days, sometimes a very pleasant surprise comes about unexpected. High School Graffiti is one of these pleasant surprises, with five cool little tunes. My Naffew Randy is one especially worth checking out. So hurry up and grab this EP for free here, and remember your please and thank yous.
This one’s a bit unexpected: London rapper Sway freestyling over Ed Sheeran’s ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.’ Sheeran’s original is easily described as a sort of an English take on Jason Mraz (I’m more a fan of his cousin Laura), but Sway’s mix takes in a busy grime beat and a tongue-twisting lyric to give the track a completely different, much-improved feel.
Meanwhile, the lyrics – “next thing Slick Rick meets Chris from Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush” – are specific enough to alienate 95% of today’s UK hip hop audience, which is just as well since most of them are busy rioting at the minute.
Take a listen to an improvised live version of the original, here: