Thursday, May 23, 2013
So as I stated before in the last segment, as a functioning record label you tend to get press kits from bands/artists seeking support to release their upcoming material. Unfortunately more times than not you receive demos that sub par at the very least, and at times, deemed unlistenable. But for the ones that are awesome or do show promise, I feel if they have put forth the effort into assembling a physical press kit, then I owe them some sort of reply or response in exchange.
Here we got a band called Barbarian, They are four piece hardcore band from El Paso, TX that play pretty hardened style metal-hardcore, which has always been a common mainstay within the Texas hardcore scene. Both demos display a lot of the same elements that you would expect given the region and the EP's aesthetics, heavy riffing laden with metallic tinges that roll into bouncing breaks that make me imagine how ignorant the dance floor gets when those drop. Don't get me wrong, I grew up in the Inland Empire scene in the early 00's and have a soft spot for music that induces violent crowd reactions. I would expect none less here.
Though both demos definitely show growing pains as all demos do, there is something here behind the shortcomings. The recording quality on both EP's are pretty rough, muffled and unbalanced. Some aspects of the recordings tend to dominate over others causing some of the songs to lose their effect or connection with the listener. Drum recording is one thing I tend to pay close attention to. On the first demo EP entitled World Gone Wrong, the drum recording could be improved significantly. The snare retains a intolerable "can" sound along with the bass kick level being too high, leaving the rest of the toms and cymbals to fall into the background somewhere. Though the guitars levels could be brought up some. The distortion and crunchiness that they give off works well with the low end the bass provides. Lyrically and vocally the music is well supported. Recording quality on the more recent demo Ashes To Ashes does improve but not by much. The drums although better, is still a ways away from being decent.
The lyrics are nothing ground breaking but show a level of sincerity I tend to gravitate to when digesting music. Vocally I was pretty impressed in the sense that it's not your typical "tough guy" guttural barking delivery but more of a raspy "I sound like my age and a human" style, which was refreshing.
I would have to honestly say this isn't a band I would be interested in working with, but they do show promise. Given time and dedication to grow and perfect their sound I would think they could do more with it and become a band that really grab people's attention. As for now I would say they are one of those bands that are "okay" on record but probably pretty entertaining live. Check out the links below and make your own formal opinion. They have both demos available for stream on their respective bandcamp page.
Barbarian via Bandcamp
Barbarian via Facebook
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
2. The Flex
4. Like You
5. Scum On The Run
One of the best new bands out of the UK.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Tawny Peaks is your new favorite band -- that is, if you like anything related to 90s Emo. For me, then, it's an obvious win. With the resurgence of twinkly emo, it's pretty commonplace to hear signed bands that sound like bands that ripped off bands that ripped off American Football. Thankfully, though, Tawny Peaks, hailing from Montclair, NJ, has decided to give that wave the finger, and to plow straight ahead, starting off their musical career at the intersection where "American Football" and "Nothing Feels Good" ended. Yeah, it's fucking incredible.
"With Steps," the album's opener is a short, sweet triumph of Cap'n Jazz worship, played by people who've wept openly at Owen shows. That's the best way to describe it, and I'm sticking to it. The vocals carry the same weight of the Kinsella brothers, but have the amateur stylings of The Promise Ring -- the highest compliment I could give. And the fucking lead guitar on this track... Sweet Christ. This sounds like a late-90s Polyvinyl release, not one from 2012. The gorgeous, male and female duet harmonies on this track are just the icing on the cake. This song is wonderful in every sense and degree of the word.
"March Sadness" is one of my personal favorites on the album. If you listen to 5 seconds of it, you'll know why it is, and why it's your favorite, too. The sheer beauty of the guitars on this track paint a portrait of absolute godliness; nevermind the gorgeous female-led verses and heart-breakingly poetic lyrics. There's many things I could say about this song, but I'll just tell you to listen to it instead.
"The Tree Song" absolutely reeks of American Football... and, goddammit, I love it. Everything is perfect. Time changes, unconventional drums, and twinkling guitars are enough to put the listener in a sickly sweet coma, like taking a bath in "Pixie Stix."
"Molehill," although somewhat discordant and experimental, follows along the same, stunning lines -- clocking in at just under 2:30, and packing in every measure of the song with close-knit leads, manic bass, and hoarse vocals. However, it leads in perfectly to its polar opposite: "Ambiguity." Originally written by guitarist Jonah Fried, the addition of female vocals and a full band has made the heartfelt, genuine song an absolute masterpiece. This song is my absolute favorite. Taking cues more from Pedro The Lion than the Kinsellas, it never fails to impress at any moment.
Ending the album is "Bring Back The Mountain." Adding in mathy elements similar to Roadside Monument, this 8-minute epic is almost completely masturbatory in structure, flow, and message. Even though it is an incredible song, I think I love it more than most people, simply for the fact that Tawny Peaks, at some point, had to have said, "You know what? Fuck four minute songs. We're going double." Absolutely incredible, though, and a fitting closer.
Plain and simple, Tawny Peaks is the best thing to happen to Emo music since the Kinsellas. I mean it, I swear to whichever deity you prefer; I know it's a "lofty" statement, but there's simply no close second. Download their album for free, pre-order it on vinyl, kiss them on the lips, whatever... just support this band.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
2.State Of Distress
3.Disgust For Reality
5.Quarter Life Crisis
6.Disgust For You
As well as writing reviews and contributing to the blog in general, I also sing for a band from Tampa, Florida called Escapist. Collective Void is a collection of everything we have recorded/released thus far. We fall somewhere between powerviolence, stoner jams and straight up weird. If you listen and enjoy it, we'll be releasing new material later this year and making tour related plans for 2014 so keep an eye out for that, and thanks for your time..
Friday, May 17, 2013
Quality: VBR (V0)
After months and months of delays, we're extremely excited to bring you our new installment of the CdD compilation series. As per usual the compilation is 100% free.