Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sixteen - 3 Songs

I'm always a fan of bands using a configuration that is less than orthodox, such as with Sixteen, which consists of just guitar and drums.  For some bands this can result in sounding empty and uneventful, but for a band like Sixteen it sounds pretty damn good.  You may think this is just another "twinkle daddy" band, but I find Sixteen rising above the classic perception of bands in that genre with something a bit more distinct.

The fact that this guy can really play guitar, using a nice combination of pull offs, scales and open chords to create a canvas that works both the the melody and harmony at the same time, is really a selling point.  There seems to be a trading off of vocal duties as well which keeps things moving and varied.

"Michael Palledorous" was the standout track to me as it launches into an upbeat frenzy of anger and love gone bad.  I'd love to get the chance to see these gentlemen pulls this off in a live setting.

Have a listen here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Retribution - Consumed

Retriburtion is a straight edge hardcore band from Michigan. They carry a pretty traditional sound that will remind you of bands like Have Heart, Carry On, Betrayed and others of that genre, but perhaps a bit more on the fast and thrashy side at times.

The production here is very raw and up front. This makes everything sound a bit dirtier, but at the same time more intense. The overall sound gives an impression of just bordering on exploding. High gain guitars, heavy reverb-ladden snare and bright sansamp bass tone create a nice full canvas beneath the shouted vocals. Some gang vocals are thrown in to tie up that traditional sound.

If you're looking for a band to fill the void of quality, traditional hardcore in your life, then Retribution may be able to do that.

Have a listen here.

Not The Bees! - Another Hour To Burn

Not The Bees! returns with a new set of songs that seems to take the sound of their first release and refine all the loose ends. If you're not familiar, Not The Bees! is a band from New Jersey that reminds of what would happen if the older material of both Hot Water Music and Saves The Day had a baby....and maybe throw in a small dose of Gaslight Anthem for good measure.

At times you'll hear the band strumming big open chords, leaning more to the rock n' roll side of things.  Other times, like on a tracks like "Stay Indoors" or "Maiden America" you'll hear more single note action coupled with sharp start/stop strumming patterns that seem to follow more of the traditional pop punk tricks. They mix it up nice in this regard, as nothing ever gets too predictable.

The gruff vocals on here are what capture that Hot Water Music flag for me, and personally I enjoy the way that they're executed here. Five tracks of some catchy stuff, for sure.   

Have a listen here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cavities - 64 years

Cavities have it all. Seriously. This band pulls off just about every dynamic I can think of and they do it flawlessly.  Whether it be frantic, fast drumming or swirling lead guitar runs, these songs are woven together with some careful attention to detail.

Within these songs you're probably going to hear a technicality that will be reminiscent of bands like Itto or Ampere at times.  However the band also manages to maintain a pretty epic sound which has me thinking of early Envy or perhaps some of the more on point Funeral Diner material.

The production on here is pretty great, communicating a big sound that clearly highlights every instrument and nuance.  Why is there not more talk about this band?  

Have a listen here.

Lurker - split 7" with the Flops

This is a split, though, I could only find this Lurker side online so I'm going to ahead and review this because I find totally interesting.  Lurker is all over the map musically.  They throw anything from technical metal, to blast beats (see "Pinched Nerve") to 80's punk (see "Dumb Drunk Dialogue") at you.  Somehow this is all blend pretty well and never comes off as sounding forced.

The vocals come out of nowhere with a high pitched cadence that have a very "matter of fact" delivery to them.  These vocals are very distinct, a definite gamble that pays off.

The production could use some cleaning up, but it never interferes with the listener's ability make out what's happening. My least favorite track was "Diet of Worms" here which hangs a bit too much in the 80's punk neighborhood without any variation.  Other than that, you get some pretty distinctive work. 

Have a listen here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Greek Favourites -Forget Shit And Move On

Last night I caught The Greek Favourites for the first time at a show in Bethlehem, Pa at The Secret Art Space.  Knowing nothing about the band, I didn't really know what to expect.  What I got was a refreshing sound that seemed to encompass a Dillinger Four style pop punk sound with some all out screaming and chaos.

These songs have a lot of character in that they never just ride straight and get boring.  There's always some sort of pause, interesting guitar lead or staggering drum beat that pops out and lets you know you're not dealing with just some average crew here.

"Forget the Shit and Move On"  is four tracks of something that I find new and exciting. I'm pretty happy to have run into this band.

Check it out here

Deep Heat - Low Lights

We're playing a show on Sunday with Deep Heat and I thought it would be a good to check them out prior to the show.  I'm very happy that I decided to do this because, as I've discovered, Deep Heat are pretty nice on the ears.

There's an early 80's pop feel going on here that reminds me of Joy Division at times, though, not in any sort of copycat manner.  I suppose a comparison to a modern day band like La Corde wouldn't be out of order here.

These songs contain catchy melodies with an upbeat tempo. You'll find these tracks are laced with beautiful, rich clean guitars that seem to overlap and create some nice texture.  There's a dark feel to them that I love, as a band like this never gets happy or poppy, but remains gloomy in their upbeat composition.

The vocals alternate between male and female, though, keep a nice consistency while adding some nice dimension to the formula.  Pretty excited to see this live.

Check it out here

Friday, August 17, 2012

Disobey - S/T

Back in January I reviewed Disobey's debut called "Human Suffering in Five Movements".  Since then the band has been playing quite a bit and writing new material.  This self titled effort is comprised of three songs that carry the same Tragedy influence as their first release, though their dark hardcore sound seems to be developing it's own characteristics as the band matures away from being just another d-beat clone act.

The production on these songs is pretty large, presenting the band with a hard hitting sound.  The vocals are a little louder than I'd prefer, but I'm not too bothered by it. There's a great mix here of slower parts that groove nicely.  The opening bass line of "Use" lays down the groundwork for a nice 70's metal style jam before the song picks up. 

With addition of some nice melodic guitar leads and dynamic pauses, these songs carry a good deal of variation and movement that never gets stale.  With a great live show to back it up, I would recommend checking this band out when they come your way.

Check it out here.

Cavalcades - Coping

Cavalcades give me the impression of a screamier version of Small Brown Bike due to it's melodic and mid tempo nature.  At times the melody falls off and gives way to what sounds like all out screaming chaos perhaps reminding me of Birds In Row at those moments.

You'll find five tracks of pretty consistent music that sticks to the aforementioned battle plan.  I find the delivery pretty appealing though I do wish the recording quality was a bit more focused.  You'll find some mid gain guitars, unflattering bass tone and pretty dry drums.  When things are raging in a music fury it all comes together pretty well, though the quieter parts enunciate some of the production downfalls. 

All in all, pretty awesome.  Check it out here.