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Listening Party

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 “Ego Machine”

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…

A couple weeks back, after a bit of an absence, I wrote a review.

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”

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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…

White people.

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.”

I think I’ve said all that needs to be said here.

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

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LOUD NOISES

I’m really not sure what to think of the new Justice song, which premiered in an ADIDAS commercial you can check out below. It definitely has a killer beat, and I like that the French electro duo is sticking to the sound that made them one of the preeminent voices in the dance explosion of the late ’00s. But it does kind of sound like they just made a point of throwing as much random shit into the song as possible. To be fair, however, it does make more sense in the context of the commercial (which is awesome, by the way). Look for a probable extended mix of the tune on their upcoming album later this year.

First off, let me apologise for the title: this isn’t the new DragonForce material you’ve all been eagerly awaiting.

It is, however, the UK power metal band’s Guitar Hero-fuelled hit ‘Through the Fire and the Flames’ limberly transposed to the marimba, with a little extra percussion courtesy of the boxy hitty thing that’s just out of picture but is eagerly fingered by the short-sighted man in the orange beanie.

With Activision having taken decision to end its Guitar Hero franchise, could Rock Band’s next move be to corner the fake music market completely with a marimba upgrade? There’s no evidence to suggest that they will, but nor is there evidence to suggest they’ve ruled it out completely, so we’re going to have to file this one under probably.

Enjoy.

Sarah Fimm’s upcoming album, Near Infinite Possibility, is going to be released on May 5th and the first single from that album is “Yellow.” If you’re familiar with Sarah Fimm’s music then you’ll know that the album title is the perfect description for the way Sarah seems to view life as well as the potential direction of every new album. She has delivered such a wide array of music over the course of four albums that it’s hard to ever predict what she might do next. She’s dabbled in trip hop, ambient, soulful acoustic rock and even some atmospheric alt. rock.

If “Yellow” is any indication of the direction of Near Infinite Possibility then we’re going to be in for quite a treat. “Yellow” continues Sarah’s move towards an organic sound that relies much more on live instruments than on electronics. The song is mellow, emotional and even kind of depressing. The depressing atmosphere shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise once it’s learned that the song (and video) were inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a dark collection of journal entries written by a woman whose husband has put her on “rest cure;” confining her to a bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. Forbidden to work, she has to hide her journal entries from him, so that she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression —a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common…


If that headline got you clicking, you either already know what follows or you just want to know what could possibly bring these three popular British artists together. Or you just clicked. Whatever.

Four Tet and Burial have already produced music together with “Moth”, but today, the three announced a new 12″ single with two songs on it, titled “Ego” and “Mirror.” Later tonight, Four Tet premiered the tracks on his radio show on Rinse FM.

The Internet provided, almost immediately, radio rips of the tracks, and they sound much like you would expect. Dark, introspective, but at the same time pretty uptempo. Yorke sings with his typically spaced out, reverberated vocals as Four Tet and Burial combine on the production. “Ego” sounds more in Four Tet’s vein while “Mirror” takes a huge cue from Burial’s album Untrue, using the same rim click backbeats found on “Archangel”. They’re also really good.

Listen to the two songs below:

“Ego”:

“Mirror”:

Believer fans should always expect the band to constantly push ahead and deliver something challenging. This is, after all, the band that mixed technical thrash with violins and an opera singer on their 1993 release, Dimensions. They’re also the ones that came back after sixteen years of silence and immediately pushed their sound in a new quirky prog direction on Gabriel without abandoning their thrash roots. If “G.U.T.” is any indication of what Believer’s upcoming album, Transhuman, is going to sound like, though, it appears that their most challenging album is still ahead.

Believer – Transhuman — Released on April 12

“Temptress” by In Every Breath from JNP Productions on Vimeo.

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After more than three years, In Every Breath are back with four new songs in the form of their latest EP, Awakening. At first it might seem like a long time to wait for another EP, but during those three years they had to endure a few line-up changes. Awakening is the first In Every Breath recording to feature the band’s new guitar and bass player. The video is for the song ‘Temptress’ and is a pretty decent representation of their current sound. Awakening was released on February 8th and is currently available through iTunes and Amazon Digital. The full EP is also streaming here.

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In Every Breath – Awakening — Released February 8th

Stream the entire album at Bandcamp.com

 

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German melodic death metal/metalcore/metal (depending on the album you’re listening to) band, Deadlock, have released a video for the song “Virus Jones.” The song is taken from their upcoming album, Bizarro World, which is scheduled to be released on March 15th through Lifeforce Records.

Bizarro World is a continuation of the band’s push towards a mainstream sound. While the metalcore and death metal elements are still present, they’ve been injected with a strong pop influence. This has lead to some of the band’s strongest choruses to date, but the music itself isn’t nearly as powerful as it was in the past. Overall, Deadlock are only asking their fans to accept the ongoing transition that has been in progress since the band’s inception – a slow evolution towards an equal blend of soaring pop melodies and powerful metallic riffs combined with the divergent styles of Johannes Prem’s growls and Sabine Weniger’s powerful clean singing.

 

The Strokes broke the Internet earlier today when they released the first single from their upcoming album Angles on their website, which still isn’t functioning quite as it should. Because I’m a generous and loving person, thought I’d upload it for your listening pleasures here. “Under Cover of Darkness” finds the Strokes seemingly trying to recapture some of that Is This It magic, complete with bouncy guitar chords and Julian Casablancas’ ever-present cold. Angles is slated for release on March 21.

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Who says you can’t remix a classic? Sputnik favorite Pretty Lights certainly doesn’t seem to give a damn, as his newly released, uh, 2010 Unreleased Remixes EP, which you can download in all its seven-song glory here. “Time” might be my favorite, but check out his Steve Miller Band and Kanye remixes for some more electro glory.

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This weekend is a bumper one for fans of egg-chasing on both sides of the Atlantic.

For the Yanks among us, Sunday night is the big day on the football calendar (of which more later in the weekend). But for we Europeans of the oval ball persuasion, the first weekend in February ushers in the beginning of the Six Nations rugby union championships, fought every year between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and, since 2000, Italy. It hasn’t got the popularity of real football (and by “real football” I mean Gaelic football, of course), but it is a unique event on the sporting calendar here since the demise of soccer’s Home Nations Championship.

As 2011 is a World Cup year, the championship comes packaged with an extra bite this year. As with the round-ball game, the English have taken it upon themselves to set aside the pessimism of the past three years, disregard all form and logic to install themselves as favourites to win everything in sight. It’s a lovable trait that only the English seem to possess and,with the tournament due to kick off in just under half an hour with England facing arch-rivals Wales in Cardiff, it’ll be interesting to see just how long it lasts.

For the time-being, we’ll have to make do with a comparison of the two countries’ respective singing prowess. Rugby is the closest thing Wales has to a national sport, but singing is not very far behind, and Katherine Jenkins’ regular appearance at the…

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