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:
TV on the Radio covered one of the greatest songs of all time, ‘Waiting Room’ by Fugazi, at the Pitchfork Festival over the weekend. Here’s a good-quality video of the performance, though it cuts out about halfway through.
It sounds more than a touch lightweight to me. Then again, my favourite part of the original is Ian MacKaye’s raspy vocal and Tunde Adebimpe’s shrill singing doesn’t really measure up in my eyes. Check out this live recording of Fugazi performing ‘Waiting Room’ and compare.
Nuclear Blast records is making the first single from the upcoming Anthrax album available for free download. The song is called “Fight’em ’til You Can’t” and is taken from Worship Music which will be released on September 13th through Nuclear Blast Records. The song itself is pretty much classic Anthrax with just a hint of their 2003 release, We’ve Come For You All. It’s got the classic hardcore-tinged thrash riffs, Joey’s soaring vocals, a strong chorus and a fuckin’ driving beat. What more needs to be said? If the entire album is like this then it’s going to kill.
Dutch alt-prog artists, The Gathering, are currently in the studio recording the follow-up to their critically acclaimed (by me) album The West Pole. The currently untitled album will be the second to feature new vocalist Silje Wergeland. In order to create a bit of excitement for its eventual release, the band have released one of the songs as a free download and video. The song is titled “Heroes for Ghosts” and clocks in at just under eleven minutes.
Sonically “Heroes for Ghosts” shares the same crisp clear production featured on The West Pole (which dropped the grittier sound of the few albums before it), but musically it has more in common with the expansive and moody experimentation of How to Measure a Planet. Over the course of the eleven minute song, it seems to pull from a handful of different influences that the band have tried over the years. There’s the obvious experimentation of How to Measure a Planet, the synth/brass sounds and distorted guitars of Mandylion, the chill vibes of The West Pole and even a bit of Souvenirs in a few of the percussive elements. It’s definitely another excellent song by The Gathering and seems to imply that they aren’t ready to make the same album twice. With the lack of a clear, recurring chorus the song will take a few listens to sink in, but it seems to be The Gathering’s preferred method.
Marissa Nadler has a sound that is a little hard to nail down. Her music is commonly referred to as ‘Dream-Folk’, but it often feels less like a dream and more like the morning after a drunken cry. Her music is generally soft and introspective as subtle acoustic melodies are washed over by layers of warm sound and Marissa’s beautifully expressive voice. This is a sound that Marissa has been perfecting since the release of her debut album in 2004, Ballads of Living and Dying. The album title itself should leave little doubt that Marissa doesn’t often sing about summer days and sunshine. Her last album, Little Hells, was released more than two years ago, but it appears that the wait is almost over.
Marissa Nadler’s self-titled fifth album will be released on June 14 through Box of Cedar Records. In preparation for the album’s release, Marissa has posted the video for the first single, “Baby, I Will Leave You in the Morning.” The video stars Marissa Nadler (apparently only the second video for her music that she has ever actually appeared in) singing in an old theatre that can only be described as haunting. The video continues its eerie trip as it fades from one peculiar location to the next while Marissa continues to sing in her flowing white dress. The song itself…
Note: The stream for Sarah Fimm’s new album has run its course. Thanks again to Sarah for making this music and allowing us to share it before the official release date. The album is now streaming at theAOL site.
Remember, if you liked what you heard you should seek it out and support independent artists:
This album has really been a decade in the making. Obviously Sarah Fimm hasn’t spent the last ten years writing for Near Infinite Possibility, but every previous release has been building to this. Each album has slowly saw Sarah’s songwriting skills increase and her reliance on electronics and sparse compositions fade. They have been little snapshots in time — displaying her gradual inclusion of additional instruments and guest musicians. This progress seemed to culminate with Red Yellow Sun in 2009, but apparently it was but another stepping stone.
Near Infinite Possibility sounds full and varied as it picks up where Red Yellow Sun left off and leaps forward another ten steps. It is a mixture of 70s psychedelic rock, alt. rock, moments of prog and elements of folk. It is a moody album that is sometimes dark and sometimes strange, but always excellent.
I’ll admit that my opinion of Korn’s music is pretty low these days. I haven’t even remotely enjoyed one of their albums since Take a Look in the Mirror in 2003. I understand that a band has to expand their sound after a decade of releasing variations of the same idea, but See You on the Other Side and Untitled were terrible. It seems that even the band knew that they were headed down the wrong path because they eventually released a ‘back-to-roots’ album called Korn III: Remember Who You Are. Unfortunately, it seemed to lack actual conviction and appeared to confirm that God stole the only decent songwriter in the band. This takes us to the new song, “Get Up”, that features American electronic artist Skrillex.
When explaining “Get Up” Jonathan Davis had this to say: “I heard a few of Skrillex’s re-mixes and really felt there would be a good chance that he would have the right sensibility to connect us to a new hard sound and direction, but still keeping Korn guitars and our vibe. We were just thinking of trying something new, to be honest, so I had my manager reach out to the Skrillex camp. When we got into the studio the connection was instant!”
The song is apparently due to be released on a new Korn EP in May, and I’m not sure if this is a one-time engagement or if Skrillex will collaborate on…
Believer will be releasing their fifth album, Transhuman, on April 12th through Metal Blade Records. They initially released a video for the song “G.U.T.” which showcased the band’s new direction — a direction that seemed to focus more on stiff rhythms than on thrashy aggression. It was also the first song to showcase the band’s new vocal style on the choruses. The clean harmonized vocal style worked well contrasted with the band’s typical metal ‘rasp’ and showed that they were serious about continuing to push their progression.
The next song to be released was “Mindsteps”. This is an uplifting song that closes out the album with more stiff rhythms and a huge focus on melody. It also features nothing but Kurt Bachman’s new clean singing style. “Mindsteps” is also notable because it’s easily one of the band’s most subdued numbers. With the release of this song the band proved beyond a doubt that Transhuman had the potential to be a huge departure.
They’ve now released the final song before the release of the album, “Ego Machine”. “Ego Machine” displays yet another facet of Transhuman’s overall sound. This song brings back some of the band’s thrash leanings as well as the high pitched rasp associated with it. The chorus has the potential to be a surprise to fans with its deep throaty growl contrasted with clean singing in the background. Despite the thrashier sound it also still adheres to the band’s focus on stiff rhythms and a slightly…
See, I just wanted an excuse to post a South Park clip, although everybody knows that Randy Marsh has convincingly overtaken Cartman as being the funniest character on the show.
No, no, it wasn't me – it was a SPOOKY GHOST!
All tangents aside, the review covered Digital Daggers’ debut EP, entitled Human Emotion. Sonically, it sounds a bit like Frou Frou meets Boards of Canada. The group is comprised of Andrea Wasse (The Weekend, not to be confused with newcomer artist The Weeknd) and Space (he of many hats, including his solo effort, Memento, and Kevin Martin & The Hiwatts), the band has garnered a bit of buzz from their covers of “New York New York” (Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra) and “Head Over Heels” (Tears for Fears), not to mention their original tunes being spotted in various television shows (“Surrender” on ‘One Life to Live;’ “No Easy Way” on ‘Nikita’).
Today, I wanted to highlight the title track, which is my personal favorite from the EP.
Digital Daggers – “Human Emotion”
Never again with your human emotions
I won’t take the hate from your heart
I’ll take my chances outside of your kingdom
You know when I stop I won’t start
I long to be where the stars still shine brightly
You know they won’t breathe where…
In a culmination of all that is funny about “Average Homeboy,” “The Renewed Mind is the Key,” Jon Lajoie, cults, children, epilepsy, urine, old men dressed as God, and ponytailed Aryans, comes “Pee Pee.”
Believer have released the second track from their upcoming album, Transhuman. The song is called “Mindsteps” and it is the final track on the album. Whether you’re a long time fan or just curious, you should really check out the other song released for this album, “G.U.T.” — Go Here. I say that because “G.U.T.” is already a large enough departure from the band’s typical technical thrash style, but it’s not nearly the change that “Mindsteps” is. “Mindsteps” is a change in so many ways that it’s hard to even know where to begin. To begin with, it is easily one of the most laidback songs in the band’s history. The riff is a start/stop semi-proggy thing that is accompanied by warm synths and the occasional undulating synth. As if that wasn’t enough, the vocals have entirely changed from the nasally rasp that has been employed on every Believer song (if you don’t count the opera vocals). I won’t ruin it for anybody, but I will say that they’re really damn good.
“G.U.T.” had me curious about what this album would sound like due to the slight vocal departure and the less thrashy musical direction, but “Mindsteps” has thrown me for a loop. Believer is a great band that seems to be able to pull off whatever they do and if Transhuman ends up being a straight forward, progressive metal album that has more in common with Devin Townsend (or something similar) I believe they can do that…