Amia Venera Landscape’s 2010 release, The Long Procession, was one of the surprise releases of that year. It probably could have even been near the top of our year-end lists if not for its mid-December release date. Its mixture of post metal, post hardcore, math metal, and ambience was expertly done (with some room for improvement, of course) and still generates discussion nearly two years later. The song that hit most people the hardest was the opening track, ‘Empire’, and this is the video for that song. Prepare to have your face melted… or something
NOTE: In other news, the band has just announced through their Facebook page that they’re going to be releasing more music this winter:
Hi everyone, after several months of almost silence, it’s time to see where we stand!
During this period we’ve been working on a lot of brand new music. The composition process took different directions, in terms of sounds and respective approaches, and it led us to create something around eighty songs of very different genres.
All this material will be recorded along the next three years, and the first of these releases is supposed to be out this Winter. According to this we won’t be going to play any live show for a while.
In the meanwhile, check out our previously unreleased video for the song ‘Empire’, taken from our first album ‘The Long Procession’.
Ten quick things about Friday’s The Gaslight Anthem gig at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan (if you clicked this just to see the setlist, feel free to skip to the bottom):
1. This was a Gaslight-only gig. The Detroit date was added after the tour kicked off, which saved me a trip to Grand Rapids (they will be playing there on Monday, future dates can be accessed [here]). Initially, it was a bummer that neither supporting act was present, but singer/guitarist Brian Fallon announced that Hot Water Music were playing a gig a few blocks away and that we could get half-off tickets into that venue if we furnished our Gaslight ticket at the door. Plus, as you’ll read later, the Detroit gig was, without question, a one-of-a-kind show, so I wasn’t too devastated that it was just them.
2. Since Handwritten’s release, especially when the band were hitting their TV gigs, I’ve read a lot of mostly-negative opinions about Ian Perkins playing live with the band. Questions like “Is that third guitar REALLY necessary?” and his uncredited addition to the band being deemed “excessive” and “superfluous” could be construed as plausible, but after seeing the band play as a quintet, I was thoroughly impressed by Perkins’ stage presence. Rocking his trademark black flat cap on his scruffy, chiseled-out-of-granite dome, Perkins appeared comfortable and confident, and even allowed himself to express some nervous laughter when Fallon poked fun at his Horrible Crowes counterpart and put the…
No matter how much you love music, there is quite simply too much out there to keep track of. Even in your genre of choice, it is possible to overlook an impressive release, which can be frustrating when you find it year(s) later only to regret every single day that you weren’t already listening to it. For me, the most recent discovery of this sort was Laminate Pet Animal, a 2011 psychedelic/indie release that took me almost a full year to stumble upon.
Laminate Pet Animal is a brilliant effort from Snowmine, a band hailing from Brooklyn that is too little-known considering the heights they effortlessly ascend to. Their stellar blend of pop-accessible vocals (think James Mercer of The Shins) and challenging-yet-melodic atmospheres beckons casual listens as well as late night headphone sessions. Their sound works as one cohesive wave of beauty, flowing over your ears and engulfing them in one gorgeous instrumental arrangement after another.
Laminate Pet Animal is consistently jaw-dropping, so attempting to pick a standout track is like trying to pick out a date from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Nevertheless, one that exemplifies the album’s true nature, as well as what Snowmine is capable of, comes via “Let Me In”, a song driven by downright stunning vocals and a spacey atmosphere. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Snowmine’s bandcamp page for a name-your-own-price download of the album (It may be free, but it’s worth dropping a few bucks on to support the…
It would be easy to sit here and spout off a few facts about Anthony Sly in honor of his passing, but after all is said and done that would be useless. For what he left us in his 41 years deserves more than just the script notes of a life lived. His heart and emotion resonated with thousands in a way that was more akin to a family member even though we never truly knew him or even met him outside chance run ins or through quick conversations at shows. Tony Sly took the adolescent soul of pop punk and channeled it through a lens of understanding clarity well beyond his years. It was a gift. He sharpened and refined this skill further when he embarked on a solo career that offered a more fitting medium to work with given his ever maturing, but still so youthfully rooted, outlook.
In a time when musician’s obituaries are running like a constant news ticker through the internet, I, like most people, am slightly disconnected from the news when it breaks. It’s saddening but only for a moment, until some new stimuli pops up on my screen calling away the focus of my attention deprived brain, but when I read a single 140 word millisecond long tweet about the passing of Tony Sly it made me stop what I was doing in a stunned silence. It felt like I had lost a family member even though I had only met the man…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 31, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
The Alchemist – Russian Roulette (Decon Inc.)
Anchor And Braille – The Quiet Life (Tooth & Nail)
ASC and Sam KDC – Cold Spot/Kaleidoscope (Auxiliary)
Audio – Fall Back/Rust (Renegade Hardware)
The Black Swans – Occasion For Song (Misra Records)
A Bullet For Pretty Boy – Red Medic (Red Int/Red Ink)
Blur – Blur 21: The Box (Virgin Records)
Close To Home – Momentum (Razor & Tie)
Cold Blank – The Agenda (Burn The Fire Records)
D.O.A. – We Come In Peace (Sudden Death)
Darqwan – To The Fly (Texture Records)
Domo Genesis – No Idols (Odd Future Recordings)
Everyone Dies In Utah – +//- (Polarities) (Tragic Hero Records)
Evoken – Atra Mors (Profound Lore)
Erik Gundel – A Home To Keep You (Mecca Lecca Recording Co.)
Gaelic Storm – Chicken Boxer (Lost Again Records)
Gaza – No Absolutes In Human Suffering [Digital] (Black Market Activities)
Gloriana – A Thousand Miles Left Behind (Emblem)
Ice Choir – Afar (Underwater Peoples)
Jackyl – Best In Show (Mighty Loud)
Jesse Harris – Sub Rosa (Dangerbird)
Joshua Radin – Underwater (Mom & Pop Music)
Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 (S-Curve Records)
Junk Culture – Wild Quiet (Illegal Art)
Korpiklaani – Manala (Nuclear Blast International)
L.P. – Into The Wild (Warner Bros.)
La Coka Nostra – Masters Of The Dark…
Sputnikmusic is currently holding a Linkin Park contest. One lucky winner will receive a CD copy of LIVING THINGS signed by the band, a pair of Rob Bourdon signature Vater drumsticks, a Linkin Park t-shirt and band stickers & buttons! Also included is a one year membership to the official Linkin Park fan club: LP Underground. Members receive early entrance to Linkin Park shows, chances for Meet & Greets, access to concert pre-sale tickets and best seats, exclusive music, live video chats with band members and much more. So, go here for more details.
We are also still accepting applications for anyone interested in becoming a Contributing Reviewer for this site. To submit your applications (and to read the submission guidelines), head here.
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 26, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
16Volt – LetDownCrush [Reissue] (Metropolis Records)
As The Sky Awaits – Rebirth
Beachwood Sparks – The Tarnished Gold (Sub Pop)
Blues Traveler – Suzie Cracks The Whip (429 Records)
Bondo do Role – Tropicalbacanal (Mad Decent)
Bright Light Bright Light – Make Me Believe In Hope (Self Raising Records)
Casey Abrams – Casey Abrams (Concord Music)
Cesium_137 – Science and Sound (Metropolis Records)
Chris Cagle – Back In The Saddle (Bigger Picture Group)
The Cinematic Orchestra – In Motion # 1 (Ninja Tune)
The Daredevil Christopher Wright – The Nature of Things (FILE UNDER MUSIC)
I first attended The Fest in 2011, and I’ve since wondered about what that weekend means, if anything. It is billed, rightfully so, as the largest punk festival in the country, but there were only a marginal number of big names and they all, for the most part, had the shortened timeslots that plague such events (one has to wonder why Warped Tour still draws a crowd year after year, offering outdoor stages, mediocre sound quality, the blazing temperatures of summer, and 20 minute sets). Granted, bands like Magrudergrind and Comadre are well-served by short sets, and an hour certainly seems enough for your Hot Water Musics and Against Me!s.
Much of The Fest’s appeal seems to lie in the possibility of what might happen rather than what is actually scheduled to. “Secret shows” always produce heavy rumors passed around with all the fervor of notes in school. One hears that Comadre is playing an At the Drive-In cover show in a warehouse 30 minutes outside of town (didn’t happen), and that Alternative Press is hosting their own mini-festival of bands playing cover shows, such as Bomb the Music Industry! covering The Weakerthans (happened). Not everyone is in the mood to be excited about these things at two in the morning after a long and sweaty night of shows. But there are people with boundless zeal who are constantly energetic to see something they may never get to see again. It is, even in a state of exhaustion, a little…
Are you Canadian? Do you like Death Grips or just enjoy free stuff? Well, here is your chance to win the most recent CD by hip-hop artist Death Grips. We have a copy of The Money Store to give away to one lucky Canadian fan. The only thing that you need to do is use the words ‘Death’ and ‘Grips’ in a sentence (paragraph or story if you’re feeling overzealous). Make it witty, funny or sarcastic — the end goal is to be amusing. Contest is open to Canadian residents only and will end on May 29th.
E-mail your submissions here (make sure the subject is “Death Grips Contest”):
In anticipation of Keane’s fourth studio album Strangeland (to be released this Tuesday, May 8th), Sputnik will be hosting a prize pack giveaway. The contest is based upon the music video to their latest single, “Disconnected”, which was filmed by directors Juan Antonio Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez inside a haunted house in Barcelona while following a distinct 70’s horror aesthetic. The contestant who submits the best movie slogan/tagline in 15 words or less (i.e. Jaws‘ “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”) will receive the following:
-Strangeland 12” vinyl record
The winner will be chosen based on originality, cleverness, and/or humor, as well overall quality of the slogan. All answers should be sent via email to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, May 13th.
The music video can be viewed below. Good luck to all of the contestants involved!
There is something about the Beastie Boys that goes beyond the records and CDs, songs and music videos. That something is that after all these years they’ve managed to keep the fire that burned beneath them as snot nosed kids from Brooklyn burning as bright as it ever did. From their rise to prominence, to being deemed cultural icons, to their being crowned the elder statesmen of an ever evolving form of art, it was never about the money and status that came with their platinum records. It was always about an enduring friendship put to tape. It is that energy that the Beastie Boys will be remembered for long after the shock of Adam Yauch’s death cedes from memory. But furthermore for the people like me who grew up with the Beastie Boys as an ever present force in the constant media barrage that accompanied the childhood of anyone who is currently under the age of 35 or so, their music progressed in a way that gave us a blueprint for growing up into functional human beings. In youth it was easy to latch on to the sarcastic rebellion of Licensed to Ill. Even though I was born in the later half of Reaganomics, that album remained everywhere well into when I was first becoming aware to music as expression. While I was too young to fully grasp the drunken machismo that surrounded it, Licensed to Ill was the b-side to my grade school discovery of bands like…
A few months ago, my best friend and I had the good sense to sign ourselves up for a competitive triathlon. 1.5km swim in the sea, 40km cycle, 10km run. We’re decent runners, decent cyclists, and terrible swimmers, so we figured why not. We like a challenge. I hadn’t swum aerobically for about six years before my first foray back in the murky blue a couple months ago. What an idiot. This shit is hard. And still is. We’re already much better than we were, but I’ll be honest, I’m fucking terrified of losing my cool in the ocean and pulling a Jack Dawson (sans the freezing cold and quiet, dignified death).
Anyway, I’m stuck in a little apartment in Vienna today listening to the rain rap its knuckles against the windows (fair enough after the beautiful week we’ve had here), trying to muster the energy to cycle out to the pool for another indecorous dip. But hey, procrastination seems so much more appealing, so instead I’m going to share a few tracks of my triathlon playlist with you all. Unfortunately, there can be no use of music during the actual event, so eventually I’ll start phasing out the usage so as not to become reliant. But, even if only in my head, I’ll still be keeping step to songs about the Holocaust as we round the last corner.
P.O.S – Let it Rattle
Well that’s a perfect starter. Worked perfectly on Never Better, works perfectly for setting…
Paradise Lost are just a few weeks away from releasing their thirteenth album, Tragic Idol, through Century Media Records. So far, the hype around the album seems to suggest that this is finally the release that fans have been wanting since Draconian Times. In a Q&A done a month or so back, Guitarist Greg Mackintosh tried to help adjust expectations when he stated that, “The core of the sound on Tragic Idol has an essence of Draconian Times and Icon, and I think that’s what people are picking up on. For the past five or six years we’ve been hearing people say that Paradise Lost has gone back to the roots, which is an absolutely horrible term in my opinion. I do think that you can draw lines between a few of the tracks on the new record and Draconian Times or Icon, but when we were writing the music for Tragic Idol, I deliberately made a choice to strip everything back down to the bare bones. It’s a very simplistic record in a lot of ways, really.” I’m not sure if he was directly referencing ‘Honesty in Death’ when referring to a few songs that have that Icon vibe, but to me, it definitely does. Check out the song and hopefully it keeps you content until the final album release on April 24th.
Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
Release Date: April 24th
Record Label: Century Media
I’ve always felt like this is the perfect song to start off spring. Not only does the title conjure up images of blossoming life, but the music nestles itself between icy winter-like pianos and the warm swelling of strings. The whole thing makes me picture a thawing landscape…ice melting and trickling down a hillside, tiny patches of green sprouting up through the cracks…this is the sound of life overcoming death.
This is one that packs a surprising punch, considering its all-natural and effortlessly fluid beginning. The sound of crickets and the bubbling water of a stream nuzzle your senses into a state of complete calm before the song erupts into all of its splendor with a magnificent riff and and epic string section…even the quiet, subdued vocals transform into a fit of passionate shouting akin to a triumphant arrival – not all that dissimilar to spring time coming into full force.
“The Fisherman Song” reminds me of morning. A lake who’s waves have just begun to curl and ripple, erasing the evening’s glass surface and setting the day in motion. The way the guitars are gently picked does an excellent job of depicting something soothing, such as water. Hell, even the squeaking fingers sliding up and down the strings remind me of a creaky old row boat. As the song gradually increases in tempo, it feels…