Friday, October 26, 2012

New tunes from Mechina and All That Remains

Good afternoon, everyone!  I have some new stuff to share with you today.  Yes, that means I found some, and in unusual places at that.  Thank YouTube, sort of.

The first couple of tracks are from Mechina, an industrial metal band from Chicago.  Mechina hasn't quite hit the big time yet, but they have existed for nine years per their Facebook page.  The style of music they play is reminiscent of Fear Factory, but with a few electronic elements, all contrasted against grand orchestral swells.  After I heard the band's previous album "Conqueror" I was hooked.  That album showed a lot of promise.  These new tracks showcase what the band is good at, indicating an excellent upcoming release.  These tracks are from the band's forthcoming album "Empyrean", which is due out on January 1.  The first of these tracks is very much indicative of the music Mechina plays.  The second is a longer, purely orchestral version of the same song.  It is incredible, so hopefully it makes the new album.

The next track I found out about through the usual channels, from The NewReview, which has been severely lacking in interesting music of late.

All that Remains is a band I have experience with.  I own copies of both "The Fall of Ideals" and "Overcome".  This new track captures the same style as both, not as heavy as "The Fall of Ideals" and not as mainstream-sounding as "Overcome".  As with most metalcore, the chorus is filled with catchy clean singing that is easy to understand and sing along with, while the verses employ mostly mid-range screams.  The harsh vocals I think sound relatively stale and generic on this track, but the cleans are dynamic.  It remains to be seen whether the forthcoming album can deliver the sort of music I crave enough to purchase it.  The new album, "A War You Cannot Win", will be released on November 6.  Check out the first single, You Can't Fill My Shadow below.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Good Charlotte and Garbage

Hello everyone.  Today the plan is to blog two bands that start with the letter G.  As I was looking through my music I found that I had many male artists to choose from and not very many females.  I ended up choosing Garbage and Good Charlotte.  These are two great bands who were really mainstream in the late 90's and are not heard very much on the radio today which is a shame since both bands are incredibly talented.  Lets start with Good Charlotte.

Good Charlotte is an American pop/punk band out of Maryland.  They started singing in 1996 and have released 5 studio albums with talk of a 6th on in the future.  This band attributes its sound to bands like sum 41 and blink 182 so if you like those bands you will love Good Charlotte.  The first song I choose to write about is Emotionless off the off the Young and The Hopeless album.  This song was written by Benji and Joel Madden.  These two are brothers and wrote every single song on this album.  This is one of their slower songs off this album.  It's a very emotional song talking about the boys relationship with their father.  As you listen to this song you can really feel how the abandonment from their father left them with many scars.  The lyrics to this song are powerful and heartfelt. I think the use of the acoustic guitar makes this song real and believable.  It really make you think about the relationship you have with your own father.  Check it out below.

The second song I chose is a lot more upbeat and fun.  I really like the Dance Hall Album ( I don't Wanna Be In Love).  This song is found on the Good Morning Revival album.  This song is really upbeat and has great rhythm.  As soon as the song starts with the guitar and the drums you are totally ready to jam along with them.  This song has intense dance vibes.  This song is about how to get over past relationships and if it is worth it to move on.  Please listen to it and let me know what you think.

The lucky female band that I chose a couple of song from is Garbage.  Garbage is an American alternative band with lead vocals by Scottish singer Shirley Manson.  This group found instant stardom with their debut album Garbage.  Unfortunately they were never able to live up to the fame from their first album.  They went on hiatus a few times over the years and have reunited in 2010 to record a new album.  It was released on YouTube and made the UK billboard top one hundred chart at number 13.  The first song I would like to share with you is off their debut album entitled I'm Only Happy When It Rains.  This song is takes me back to high school when everyone was into the grunge thing.  I think that this song kind of makes fun of that.  I like how it is kind of grungy sounding though but her vocals are crystal clear.  I like that this song is upbeat and I love the additional emotion that the guitar adds.  Take a trip back to the 90's by listening to this track below.

The second song I want to share with you is I Think I'm Paranoid off the album Version 2.0.  I have a confession to make, the first time that I heard this song was while playing some version of rock band.  But I really enjoyed playing this song on their and it ended up being one of my favorites.  Why??  It's really fun to sing.  This song has a great chorus and the bass and the guitar are chords are great too.  I think that this song is fun and saucy.  I think that there is a lot of attitude that comes across in this song.  I hope that you enjoyed today's pics and thanks for reading-Kristy

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be'lakor-Of Breath and Bone review

We now take a break from your regularly scheduled post-rock review to bring you some metal.  I often talk about metal here, but the problem lately has simply been a lack of interesting new metal releases to review.  This year has been surprisingly short on new metal that I like, as opposed to say 2010-when dozens of bands I enjoy released new music.

One of the standouts this year from the metal genre has been the brand new album from Australia's Be'lakor.  To get a feel for what this band truly sounds like, let me refer you to the more popular bringers of melodic, progressive doom metal Insomnium.  Be'lakor's sound is as close as you can get to being a carbon copy of the aforementioned band, but much more progressive in sound and structure. 

On this album, plentiful doom melodies populate the more prominent portions of the music while progressive keys and acoustic plucking fill out the sound scape.  What makes this band so interesting are the prominent doom passages filled with simplistic, soulful guitar leads that slowly build in tempo and intensity towards what you would call a climax in the music.  This band pulls off this interesting effect masterfully, never sounding too simple, but staying safely away from technical wankery.  These melodies are heartfelt and memorable

The vocals this band employ contrast with the doomier elements in that they are excessively harsh and guttural.  The style of vocals you hear with this band are mid-range growls that sound neither like black metal howling nor Cookie Monster grunts.  This singer can also hold notes with this vocal style as long as the music dictates, leading to a more interesting listening experience. 

There are many bands that play a similar style of metal to Be'lakor, but few who do it so well.  I compared them to Insomnium, but I actually enjoy this band more than I do Insomnium.  It is good enough to nod your head to, angry enough to sound appealing, and melodic enough to be memorable.  I found their previous release, "Stone's Reach" to be powerful.  "Of Breath and Bone" promises the same power, but show the band further refining their sound.  If you are into metal music, especially with harsh vocals, check out this album.  Listen below.  Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Finch and Fiona Apple

Today's blog is about two of my favorite artists that start with the letter F.  I chose Fiona Apple and Finch.  I feel like both these artists are lesser known than others I could have chosen.  Plus they both sing totally different types of music and so it is fun to play them right after each other.  Let's start today with Fiona Apple.

Fiona Apple gained stardom in 1996 with her album Tidal.  If you have heard of her it is probably because songs off this album became very popular in the late 90's.  As an artist Fiona has exceptional talent with great vocals plus she writes her own music and plays the piano.  Criminal earned Miss Apple a Grammy award and this is one of her songs that I would like to share with you.  This is a great piano rock song.  It is not often that the two can be grouped together in the rock genre which is another reason why I like this song so much.   I also appreciate the bluesy tone in her voice.  This song is about a woman who lures men using her sexuality.  The lyrics do this song justice and so does the music video which has been posted below.  I hope you enjoy it.


The second song I have chosen is her rendition of Sally's song off the Nightmare Before Christmas Special Editon Soundtrack.  I think she does a great version of this song.  There is talk about who did this song better justice between Fiona Apple and Amy Lee. They both do a great job it's just that both ladies sing differently and I really like Fionna's version.  It's a little darker and so I think that it fits in with the theme of the movie a lot more.  I also think and this might be weird but Fiona and Sally kind of look a lot a like so it's believable to me.  This music behind this song is very mellow and the vocals are outstanding.  Let me know what you think.


Finch is a post rock hardcore band from California.  They started singing in 1999 where they recorded a couple albums together before they took a break in 2006.  The band has reunited and taken another break since then. They are planning a reunion in 2012.  Most of the members of this band have projects on the side and so they have been very busy.  The song that I would like to share with you is the title track of their first album What It Is To Burn.  I like this song.  I actually don't mind the screaming.  I think that the vocals are great I mean Nate Barcalow has a great voice when he's not screaming ;).  I googled what this song is about and Nate claims that her wrote this song from the viewpoint of a man in hell sending his loved one a letter.  Makes sense to me.  You can listen to this song below.

The second song I wanted to share with you is also off this album.  OK I have to tell you that this is actually the only Finch album I like.  I listened to their second album Say Hello To Sunshine and I actually only found one song that I thought I would be able to listen to.  I'm just saying they changed their music to have a more harsher sound and that wasn't for me though lots of their fans liked it more because it made them fit better into the post hardcore genre.  Anyway I would like to share the song Ender with you.  This song is slower than than some of the others on this album.  I like this because as most of you know I like the slower songs better because I can sing along with them.  I'm weird I already know this.  The vocals and the lyrics for this song are great.  I enjoy the soft slow guitar in the beginning of this song.  I like how the music starts out really mellow and then picks up the pace as you get more into the meaning of the song.  As always I really want to thank you for reading and listening and we hope you hear from you-Kristy

P.S. So I checked and for those of you who are interested Finch will be reuniting on Ocotber 12th to start working on a 10 year anniversary editon of the album What It Is To Burn.  You can listen to this performance on Feb 1st 2013.  They will be performing at the Glasshouse in Ponoma, California.  Ticket information has yet to be released.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tamaryn-Tender New Signs review

I've been sharing a lot of full album reviews here lately, mostly because the web has been eerily quiet with decent sounding new music.  It's not that a lot of new stuff isn't being released, just that I haven't found much that is worthy of sharing here.  It has been pretty boring at most of the blogs I frequently visit.  Of course, due to the obvious time constraints, there are only a handful of blogs I frequently visit, mostly focused on the styles of music I most enjoy.

I first discovered Tamaryn earlier this year when I blogged about a new song the San Francisco act had just released called I'm Gone.  Last week marked the official release of the brand new album "Tender New Signs."

Vocalist Tamaryn is a New Zealand-born singer with a dreamy, mostly low-end voice, at least as far as female singers go.  Her pitch and timbre fit the music well and are precisely what you would expect.  This predictability is not so much a mark against the band as it is a sign that the vocals won't go horribly awry in any of the songs on the disc.  Tamaryn's vocals are similar in style to those produced by Spc-Eco, but more spaced out.

Shoegaze music generally has a flair of same-sounding song structures that can get annoying if not varied enough.  While Tamaryn does vary the music in both tempo and beat, it is not enough to offset the otherwise flawless production on this disc.  This proves to be my only beef with the album, though thankfully the running time is relatively short.

This band consider themselves 'skygaze' owing to the heavily distorted guitar and keyboard lines that lend themselves to an atmosphere similar to what some ambient musicians employ.  There is a lot of looping on this disc in both vocals and instruments, so this style of music definitely is not for everyone.  Some songs do lend somewhat an aura of dream pop, but these tendencies are brief and well-spaced.

Overall, this is a decent record worthy of a few listens.  It is not something I would listen to on repeat, but for random spins once in a while, it is not a bad album at all.  Check out the official video for Heavenly Bodies below, and pardon the preceding advertisement.  Thanks for listening and enjoy!