Friday, July 31, 2015

Album Review: "Dig In" by Idlewar

Dig In
More DIY music for you today.

Today we're looking at a power trio. You know, I've never liked that designation. I mean...are there non-power trios?

What about The Jimi Hendrix Experience?

What about Wolf Mother?


Anyway, I'm losing the plot as I always seem to do. Idlewar is a brand new band. They formed in 2014, so it's possible they're not even one year old yet.

All we have here is guitar, vocals, and the rhythm section. It kind of reminds me of Rod Torkelson's Armada Featuring Herb Menderchuk. Except that not only is bass good, the drums superfine, but the whole rest of the band doesn't suck.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Album Review: "What Tomorrow Brings" by Lord

What Tomorrow Brings
Many different kinds of metal have come through my hands over the course of the past few years...and decades before that.

Something I don't pay enough attention to though, is power metal. More specifically, today we're looking at epic power metal.

We'll get into that more later.

Lord is from Australia. The good people at their label were kind enough to send me a CD of their latest release, What Tomorrow Brings. It's generously labeled as an EP.

Tim Lord ended his previous band, Dungeon, in order to create a solo project which has now been transmogrified into a full fledged band.

This all happened in 2003, but this is the first I've heard of them personally. Well, I'm always ready to listen to something I've never heard before and now I want to tell you about them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Interview: Derek Bishop Didn't Write About Lucky Charms

Derek Bishop
For quite awhile now, Derek Bishop and I were following each other on twitter with no real interaction.

We've all got folks on the list like that, and when I saw his sophomore record was coming out, I decided I needed to reach out.

Well, I ended up reviewing Bicycling In Quicksand. It turned out to be an album that surprised the hell out of me. Every now and again that happens, well seriously get thee to iTunes, Amazon, or his website and buy that album.

Going back and forth with him, turns out he's a pretty fun guy a good follow on twitter, so do that too.

I present to you his answers to my questions. They're long as he has a lot to say and plenty of time to work on it. I find oftentimes that if I like an artist as a person, it can color my opinion positively about said artist....

Check it out!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Album Review: "7" by To The Pain

The world has changed.

I remember when the only touring and recording independent artist I could name was MC Chris, but I can remember the first time I purchased an independently produced album.

It was A Dying Breed by the local metal act, Crucible. That was in 1992. I've been supporting indie music since before it was a bumper sticker.

Back then, it was hard to get out there. How would a band get their name out before the internet, iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook, and the like.

I have no idea. In this day and age indie artists have won grammys. That's just hard to fathom. It's now possible to make your way alone in the music industry, at least somewhat alone.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Album Review: "Astro Getaway" by Attic Empire

Astro Getaway
Let's talk about funk.

I think this is the first time I've ever reviewed anything funky.

I'm a long time fan of Parliament/Funkadelic and the Red Hot Chili Peppers though.

Bootsy man...Bootsy. He plays funk and appeared on numerous albums by Buckethead.

We're off track now.

As I'm in "Not So Much Death Metal July," I decided to take a look at this album that they were kind enough to send me.

Attic Empire are a seven piece astro funk ensemble. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what that means, aside from that meaning there's a lot of them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Album Review: "Totem" by The Hiders

 In my writing, I find myself coming across more music than I could ever listen to, much less review.

I'm just one man and I need many, many minions to give all of the music I see the true attention it deserves, but it's also shaped my review philosophy:

Music you need to hear.

So, that's why sometimes I need my attention grabbed in order to give the music the attention it rightly deserves. This time, I was contacted because of my review of Jeremy Pinnell's solo debut.

Billy Allezhauser emailed me. It was his impression that I could very well love the music he's making. You might remember him from the band the Ass Ponys.  Well, he sent me a copy of his album...and I have to tell you about it now...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Interview: Jeremy Pinnell Tells His Stories

Last month, I received an email regarding a man from Ohio and Kentucky.

Still my grasp of geography confuses me as to how these states touch. Please don't point me towards a map and attempt to dispel my ignorance on this one.

The email said something to the effect of I know you're not too big on country, but would appreciate if you could give this one a listen.

The email went on to explain how Pinnell lived in both Ohio and Kentucky. He'd gone through some rough patches in his life, but what struck me was how honest he was about his life in his songs. Further emails told me that he won't talk about these periods in his life.

He'll only sing about them. He's given us a window into his life and his experiences. Here's what he had to tell me about OH/KY.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Album Review: "Destrier" by Agent Fresco

Have you noticed my direction this month?

I've been making sure to check out a wider variety of music in July. As I'm not a genre focused blog, but a dude who loves extreme metal...

I have to sometimes remind myself to check out the other albums that are floating about.

Again, we're enjoying some progressive music.

Agent Fresco is about to release their third album on Long Branch Records. It will be available in all the popular formats: CD, Digital, and Gatefold Vinyl.

I believe that we have crossed a new bridge here. I cannot recall another band that I've reviewed that hails from their home in Reykjavic, Iceland. For some reason, lately I've been thinking about the Icelandic Honey Festival from Monty Python lately....

Friday, July 17, 2015

Album Review: "Agusa 2" by Agusa

Agusa 2
Once in awhile, a genre of music will be labeled pretentious, self-absorbed, and worthless.

Progressive rock often finds itself being labeled as such. With long meandering passages, pieces of music that have nothing to do with each other, unbridled noodling, and seemingly no point other than the music itself.

Instrumental music is also given these unfair labels.

To this day it confounds me when people need vocals in music. Do they never go to the symphony? Do they find no beauty in the hands and lungs of the players?

Well, today we're taking both of these genres head on in a genre-bending mashup featuring music that's largely instrumental and wholly progressive....and Swedish.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Album Review: "OH/KY" by Jeremy Pinnell

Today let's talk about another debut album.

Jeremy Pinnell is a country singer from somewhere between Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio. Frankly, it's hard for me to conceptualize that these two states even touch one another, so I'm not going to dig any deeper.

Now, when I say country, let's be clear.

This is not Toby Keith throwaway pop about red solo cups, how awesome his truck is, and partying on a Saturday night.

Frankly, the fact that this music is now considered to be legitimate country kind of bothers me. Real country music is old time music. It's retro. It tells stories.... It doesn't try to impress upon you how cool and hip the singer is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Album Review: "Andholan" by Mekaal Hasan Band

The best way to start a music blog is to have absolutely zero focus.

Consider Folk Rock, Electronic Dance Music, Death Metal, Techno, Pop, Grindcore featuring trombones, and any other crazy thing that comes across your desk.

Review it all!

Well, at least that's my line of thought. I wrongly get called a metal publication, when I'm not, but I am a publication that reviews metal, along with classical, folk, cellos, club music, rap, and again everything else that comes across my desk.

That's what I call branding right! I mean come get your whatever music here. Most folks don't have the eclectic taste in music I do, but in the hopes that you're feeling a bit adventurous today, I present to you some Pakistani Folk Rock. 


Monday, July 13, 2015

Album Review: "Glitter Lung" by Jesse R. Berlin

Glitter Lung
Today we're looking a man who's been around the music scene for quite a long time.

Jesse R. Berlin cut his teeth in the Tex-Mex Blues scene in Houston, TX.

So he's been around. Know what I mean?

Nudge, nudge?

Over the years he released blues albums and later decided to give all that miss and take on electronic music. That's a bit of a strange turn, but didn't Johnny Lydon go electronica too?

Glitter Lung will certainly disappoint those who are looking for a hard and fast blues on the order of Stevie Ray Vaughan, but listeners will be treated to a very different kind of sound instead.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Album Review: "Æra Dementiæ" by Antropofago

Æra Dementiæ
It feels like it's been a little while since we've had any brutal death metal on these pages.

France's Kaotoxin Records and Antropofago are taking care of that today however.

Much like Tuesday's post, this band comes from a place whose music isn't really heard throughout the world...but this time they're from France.

I don't really picture the French being all that angry, but more chill really. I suppose I finally need to go to Paris and see how angry they are over there.

Antropofago has been around since 2007. Their debut was released in 2011, an EP in 2012, and finally their follow up album in 2015.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Album Review: "Demon Blues" by Datura4

Demon Blues
Let's talk debut records.

Today we're talking about a band from Australia. Frankly, it's been a long time since we've talked about anyone from that side of the earth.

Too long.

We're looking a group of players who've been around the block a bit in other bands....The Stems, You Am I, etc. Honestly, I wasn't familiar with any of those acts.

They were described as fuzzy, lo-fi, garage rock, etc. You know the stuff that real rock'n'roll is made of.

Nowadays, these fellows have created a new band that focuses on lo-fi rock and psychedelic blues, as I think evidenced by the title of the album. It's also worth mentioning that we're looking at another title from Alive-Natural Sound....such a great label.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Album Review: "(almost)" by Apt

Not trying to offend anyone here, but when I think about the State of Utah, I kind of think of it like being behind the Iron Curtain.

Sure they've got Real Salt Lake, the Utah Jazz, and I think there's another team out there....

But what do you really know about Utah? I know they are only allowed to sell 3.2% beer, but that may have changed.

There's great skiing.

Of course, they're dominated by the Mormon Church. 

I can't think of anything that's decidedly Utahian. So, it's interesting that I've gotten a couple albums from some bands out of Utah. Deathblow comes to time, as does Atheist, who actually sent me this album.

Let's peer behind the curtain shall we?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Album Review: "Written In Blood" by Raise Hell

Written In Blood
Today's subject plays the oft forgotten about metal genre that's a clear response to what the English forebears began.

There was a time when metal wasn't fast or too aggressive and even when it still retained some of the old flower power, but then some Americans took hold of it and added the anger to stew...but I do go on don't I?

Let's meet some new old friends.

Today our album review is for some Swedish Thrash Metal.

You read that as death metal didn't you? Honestly, I don't blame you. It's really hard to conceive of Swedish Metal not being death metal or black metal, but here we are.

Raise Hell are  hardly new to the scene. Written In Blood is their sixth full length album, but this is my first time sampling their wares.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Album Review: "Important Things Humans Should Know" by Dirty Bourbon River Show

Important Things Humans Should Know
What is music?

I saw an internet meme recently that said art is how we color spaces and music is how we color time.

Thinking about music as coloring time is a very interesting concept to me. It's amazing how some kinds of music are lost to time and how some kinds of music transcend time.

The Stoner/Groove/Doom Metal movement was a way to bring back the music of Black Sabbath after being painted by Cream.

There are many other kinds of music where antiquated styles are taken and done up in a more modern fashion. Then there are artists who take a genre of music that just no longer exists and breathe life into it again.

Today we consider the latter in the form of Dirty Bourbon River Show.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Album Review: "Call of the Vultures" by Vorzug

Cry of the Vultures
It's not uncommon for me to poke a bit of fun at metal and it's proclivity to create a million billion subgenres.

It's even more fun when you're in my position and you get to see how many bands are pigeonholed into this strangely worded slots that make very little sense to anyone who's outside of the metal world.

What I think I'm trying to say here is...guys we need to simplify the metal genres if we want non-metal heads to begin to think about them.

Epic Folk Finnish Pagan Metal isn't going to interest anyone I don't think...

Today we've an Old School Blackened Death Metal band from Arizona. At least that's not too much of a crazy sub-genre, and I'd say it's not so specific as many I've heard.

But more to the do you picture music out of Arizona?