Despite being formed in 2009, Sans Parade – an indie-rock trio two thirds Finnish and one third Swedish (amongst a studio support cast of several others) – had released only a handful of songs prior to last month, when they released their self-titled debut album. For that, they had good reason. They were working on it.
The band described their journey to the album’s release as ‘long and arduous’, and it’s easy to hear why when listening to the album opener ‘The Last Song is a Love Song’. Not that the song is strained, difficult, or heavy with conflict. It isn’t. Rather, it appears to have been meticulously crafted from the bottom up, thoughtfully structured and arranged, and fastidiously tinkered with to achieve the most accomplished opening statement the band could ask of themselves.
It’s obvious in the choice of instruments, the way they’re played, what they’re accompanied with and when: they’ve all been given a consideration rarely seen amongst fresh upstarts, let alone more experienced outfits. The familiar quiet-loud post-rock dynamic is employed with no eye-roll backlash; instead, the guitar-embellished string section behind singer Markus Pertulla is dynamic and expressive, offering a contained, delicate intensity in the verses, swelling at the bridge, and then throwing it all to the sky for the eruptive chorus. It’s a chorus that begs to be played loud, and you’d do well to oblige.
It’s clear that Sans Parade have not just aimed for, but doggedly pursued, a first impression…
Based in Aarhus, Denmark, the band BOIL plays an ambitious style of music that properly balances polyrhythmic modern metal with melody-driven alternative rock. Their third release aXiom is both technically intricate and highly accessible showcasing a large step forward in an ongoing evolution of the group. Krisitian Outinen, who plays the bass in the band, has agreed to answer our questions.
As most SputnikMusic users are not familiar with Boil, could you tell us how your musical path has started and what exactly inspired you to be the member of an alternative metal band in the first place?
For me personally, I study classical guitar at the conservatory in Aarhus, Denmark. Soon after I moved to the city, I saw an ad from a local progressive metal band looking for a bass player. I listened to the songs (mainly from the second album, A New Decay) on their myspace and was blown away. I could hear tremendous potential and there was already a mature, yet original style I hadn’t heard before and immediately wanted to be a part of. I started practicing bass like crazy and successfully auditioned for the spot. I’ve been driving the entire band crazy with my love for Finnish melodic power metal and baroque classical guitar ever since and I expect them to be admitted to a mental institution within the next year (haha).
aXiom is your third full-length and it surely showcases your rapid growth as an outfit. How…
Sputnik Music, in conjunction with Finch, is currently giving away two tickets to their New York City concert on Wednesday March 13th. Check out the contest page and make a submission. Contest ends March 12th.
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 5, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Autechre – Exai (Warp Records)
Ashley Monroe – Like a Rose (Warner Bros.) Blue hawaii – untogether(Alternative Distribution Alliance)
Boz Scaggs – Memphis (429 Records)
Caitlin Rose – The Stand-In (ATO RECORDS)
The Cave Singers – Naomi (Jagjaguwar)
Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving (Matador Records)
Cloud Cult – Love (Rebel Group)
The Demigodz – Killmatic (Dirty Version Record)
Enforcer – Death By Fire (Nuclear Blast)
Hatchet – Dawn Of The End (The End Records)
Hiromi – Move (Telarc)
Hollis Brown – Ride On The Train (Alive Records)
How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion (Columbia)
Jason Graves – Tomb Raider – Original Soundtrack (Sumthing Else Music Works)
Javelin – Hi Beams (Luaka Bop)
Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell & Angels (Legacy)
Josh Ritter – Beast in Its Tracks (Pytheas Recordings)
Kate Nash – Girl Talk (INGROOVES) Kvelertak – Meir (Roadrunner Records)
Krokus – Dirty Dynamite (The End Records)
Madeleine Peyroux – The Blue Room (Decca)
Making Movies – A La Deriva (Independent) The Men – New Moon(Sacred Bones) – Adam Downer
Mishka – Ocean Is…
London-by-way-of-New-Zealand rockers the Veils recently debuted the new single from their upcoming fourth album Time Stays, We Go, the first bit of proper new material since 2009’s Sun Gangs (the less said about 2011’s EP Troubles of the Brain, the better). Frontman Finn Andrews (son of XTC founder Barry Andrews) has always been a combustible sort – his vocal performance tends to range anywhere from stately and forlorn to bloodied and raw, sometimes all on the same song (see opener “Not Yet” off their classic 2006 album Nux Vomica) – and nothing seems to have cooled the fire in his voice in the intervening years since they last appeared on the scene. Yet that album begged the question of just what all this emotional turmoil was really accomplishing; an accumulation of dramatic hard times that seemed more exhausting than cathartic, the end result of a band never quite seeming to capitalize on that consistent “underrated” label to achieve greater indie success? “Through The Deep, Dark Wood” sweeps away all the hesitant trifles of Troubles of the Brain and embraces Andrews’ inherent talent for stirring anthems, the thud of the drums and the whipcrack of the guitars marrying Andrews’ stark, powerful vocals to a thrilling hook. “No, I can’t go back,” Andrews wails on that cleansing chorus, and while that may not be true, strictly speaking (this song would have fit right at home on either Nux Vomica or their 2004 debut The Runaway Found), “Through The…
Finch has re-united in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album What it is to Burn. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a ticket to the Irving Plaza date you’re out of luck because it is sold out. Fortunately, there are still tickets available for the March 13th show at the Gramercy Theatre in New York and Sputnik Music has two to give away.
In order to win these tickets just e-mail us at sputnikreviews at gmail dot com and tell us which of Finch’s full length albums you like more and why. Make sure the e-mail subject is Finch Contest. In case you can’t remember, they are What it is to Burn and Say Hello to Sunshine. It’s a tough choice, so you have until Tuesday March 12th to let us know. The show is 16 years and up unless you opt to bring a parent with you. So, be the coolest 14 year old to ever take their mom to a Finch concert — just don’t be surprised if you leave the show alone (we all know your mom).
You can also buy your tickets here for $28.00 plus fees. The show will begin at 7:00 pm and will also include The Almost, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die.
Effective music videos are hard to find in 2013. There’s not really a uniform outlet in which music junkies can watch videos from their favorites, and financial issues in the music industry have led to a sharp decline of high-caliber music videos.
What this means, then, is that I freak out when something substantial comes along. Take Sigur Rós’ 2012 video for “Fjögur píanó,” and how the piece was simply saturated in eclecticism: the underwater car ride, the potentially electric popsicles and even Shia LeBeouf’s exposed penis all made us realize that a), director Alma Har’el had a disorienting message for us music-goers, or b), the specifics didn’t really matter. The latter makes more sense to me, although there are certainly poignant parts to the music video. Overall, though, what you got from the piece probably differed vastly from mine. I’m partial to my theories of the ‘ol acid trip gone amiss, but ultimately the video said much more to its audience than I can possibly know.
And ultimately, this is how I see fantastic music videos. The unconventional ones stick with me, the videos pushing the envelope towards what the song itself could only hint. Maybe it’s easier for directors to work with more ambiguous songs, then: more space means more flexibility. And “Old Skin,” serene as it is, really does leave room for the imagination. This is why I didn’t have specific expectations for the video, because it could probably focus on any…
Georgia sludge metal outfit Kylesa are set to release their new album Ultraviolet on May 28th. The follow-up to 2010’s well-received Spiral Shadow is going to be way more ominous. The first song that has just dropped is an ideal indicator of that. “Unspoken” incorprates a notable post-punk influence into the band’s signature sludge metal. As a result, the track is atmospheric and crushing in turns, taking full advantage of its groovy bass lines and understated guitar solos. Add contrasting vocals of singer/guitarists Philip Cope and Laura Pleasants to that and you’re left with one of the most intriguing tracks of the young year. One can only wonder if Kylesa are capable of retaining such a high level of song craft throughout the entire album.
Here’s how Pleasants describes the new direction of the band:
“Whereas Spiral Shadow was a warm album suggesting concepts of hope, Ultraviolet is a bit colder and darker. All of our studio albums have their own unique identity and we’ve always been a band who strives for something different than what current fads suggest. With Ultraviolet, we took a step inward and wrote music that we felt we had to write; this album centers around the multiple themes of loss and you can feel it in the music. Everyone goes through it during their lifetime and this record reflects that experience.”
It was a blustery day in Yadon Yanai Zivojinovich’s (we’ll refer to him as Yad, for short) neighborhood. Despite every attempt to try and find out what caused Bloodstone Avenue to act as a wind tunnel, no one could explain the inexplicable howling wind that blew down the small, suburban street. As usual, Yad was sitting in his room alone, flipping through his parents’ old magazines and listening to some classic jams. Currently, he happened to be listening to “No Quarter”, his favorite Led Zeppelin song, but his (self described) true appreciation for real rock and roll spread to a wide variety of bands, from the guitar nirvana of Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix, to the punishing mysticism of Morbid Angel or Incantation.
Yad had decided to spend the rest of the day reading early press clippings he had collected of Bathory, when something strange happened. His record player abruptly stopped, repeating the first note of the final phrase in the last solo of “No Quarter”. Being as attuned to the music as he was, Yad was quite taken aback and went to investigate his turntable.
Approaching it, he noticed that the sky outside was darkening, but as this wasn’t too strange a phenomenon in the town of Caravan, he paid it no mind. Examining the player, he noticed the needle hadn’t somehow managed to force itself into some kind of…
Ian Fleming’s fictional MI6 operative James Bond has helped the Western World through a cold war, civil and technological breakthroughs, and a rapidly globalizing culture. As the film franchise celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, it’s time to take a look back at some of the memorable and quality music at the forefront of those films.
Dr. No (1962)
Monty Norman & John Barry – “James Bond Theme”
Byon Lee and the Dragonaires – “Kingston Calypso”
Monty Norman was recruited by Albert Broccoli after backing one of his musicals, Belle or The Ballad of Dr. Crippen, written by Wolf Mankowitz who would also go on to be involved in the screenwriting of Dr. No. The theme is arranged by John Barry and performed by his own orchestra, though the arrangement goes uncredited in the film. It has been speculated (and even argued in court) that Barry, in fact, composed the theme rather than Norman, though it contains reworked portions of music previously composed by Norman. At any rate, the theme’s big horns and buzzing guitar line are now instantly recognizable and entirely synonymous with the British agent.
The latter portion of the original Bond film’s opening contains a rather jaunty calypso number performed by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, who also make an appearance in the film performing their song “Jump Up.” And after all these years, it would seem odd for Ursula Andress to run around Jamaica in a two-piece to anything else.
Right when I start to think the forthcoming album should be renamed to something along the lines of This Record is Never Coming, Trash McSweeney and his merry band continue to release teaser after teaser that The Revolution is Never Coming is actually going to see the light of day sometime in 2013 (as opposed to the heavily-rumored 2010, 2011, and/or 2012 release dates).
Trash may have tone-to-color synesthesia, but just imagine how much I’d have to curb my anticipation if he had triskaidekaphobia.
All kidding aside, I’m looking forward to seeing them on their Chinese Whispers tour in April (the band is currently touring the United States after spending the latter part of 2012 in Europe), and keep your fingers crossed that I’ll be able to have a chat with the band prior to the gig. Their live shows are one-of-a-kind, and while I can’t promise that I’ll be a human canvas (the dude version of Lane Bryant wouldn’t want me to model for them, no matter how much they airbrush the hell out of my pasty ass), I can guarantee you that I’ll be obscenely geeked to watch them perform.
“Rain” is today’s track of the day, but it is the re-recorded version found on the forthcoming The Revolution is Never Coming. Similar to how the band revamped the immensely popular “The Streets Fell Into My Window”, their new “Rain” arrangement is characterized…
Congratulations to our newest contributors and staff. Go to their shoutboxes and let them know how happy you are for them.
Our news has been a little off-and-on lately so here’s a list of major new releases beginning February 18, 2013 and running through March 1, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Anders & Kendall – Wild Chorus (Nine Mile Records)
Atlas Genius – When It Was Now (Warner Bros.) Beach Fossils – Clash The Truth(Captured Tracks)– Cam Boil – aXiom(ViciSolum Productions)– Greg Fisher
Bobby Long – Wishbone (Ato Records) Buckcherry – Confessions(Century Media)
Dark New Day – Hail Mary (Pavement Ent)
Devourment – Conceived in Sewage (Relapse)
Eat Skull – III (1-2-3-4-GO!) Giles Corey – Hinterkaifeck(Enemies List Home Recordings) Iceage – You’re Nothing(Matador Records)– Adam Downer
Jamie Lidell – Jamie Lidell (Warp Records)
Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet – In A World Of Mallets (Basin Street)
Krypts – Unending Degradation (Dark Descent Records)– Kyle Ward
Mark Kozelek – Like Rats (Caldo Verde)
Mark Kozelek – Live at Phoenix Public House Melbourne (Caldo Verde)
Matmos – The Marriage Of True Minds (Thrill Jockey) …
I’ve always found it difficult to express to other musicians why I find indie music* so intriguing. Instrumentally, there usually isn’t much there — indie tends to be vocally driven, minimal, and frankly a bit repetitive. (* what is indie music? whatever I want it to be for this post)
The new single ‘White Leather’ by Wolf Alice doesn’t break this mold. It consists of a simple four measure riff that repeats throughout the entire song. In the chorus they add a second riff. That’s it.
Liverpool-based Ninetails have spent the past twelve months picking up plaudits and fans like there’s no tomorrow, all of it well deserved. A clinical sound and unwavering attention to detail led to the creation and release of last year’s Slept And Did Not Sleep EP; a fine record that shows a group very much in control of their talent and potential. Not much else to say here except “enjoy”!
Download the EP for a price of your choosing HERE.
In conjunction with Fake Four Records, Sputnik Music is proud to present an exclusive stream of the upcoming sophomore LP from Seattle rapper Sadistik. Flowers For My Father is due for release on Fake Four Records this Tuesday, February 19th in the US. Sputnik’s recently featured review can be found here: Sobhi Youssef’s Review.
Flowers For My Father marks Sadistik’s first solo album since his 2008 debut, The Balancing Act, and charts his growth in spades. Evolving his style to a more synthesized rendition of a signature cinematic Seattle sound, the new album displays a distinct combination of Sadistik’s complex, vulnerable writing with textured, ambient production handled by the likes of Blue Sky Black Death and Kno of CunninLynguists. Featured guest performances from indie hip hop heroes such as Cage, Deacon The Villain, Astronautalis & more result in his most developed, mature and revealing project to date.
Shortly after the release of The Balancing Act, Sadistik’s father tragically passed. Never one to shy away from heavy topics or keep his personal life personal, Sadistik wrote this album for his late father, choosing to treat each song as an update of what has happened in his life since. This is reflected in writing which delves into depression, romance, heartbreak, optimism and the struggle to make sense of the ever-shifting pieces in the world around him.
A heart-wrenching exposition, the video for James Blake’s latest single is an artful, soul-steeped take on the apocalypse. As the lone motorcyclist approaches what seems to be a party of sorts, she finds herself in a time warp of what seems to be the last second before certain all-inclusive death. Perhaps a message expounding the sanctity of our time on this planet, regardless it is refreshing to see such a creative take infused with science-fiction. Many circles have branded the single as lending far too much from the likes of Tom Krell (How To Dress Well), but as the adage goes, imitation is the best form of flattery. “Retrograde” takes this ambient pop formula and couples it with the most evocative soul performance of the fledgling new year. If James Blake performs this at the end of the world, I’ll surely see you there.