Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ruined Families - Blank Language

From Greece, Ruined Families return with a new record and a recent tour around Western Europe.  The band has a pretty varied style that contains various tempos, time signatures, while borrowing from a few different genres.

They stay pretty aggressive for the most part but seem to intelligently insert nice melodic parts into the fold at appropriate times, creating some nice dynamic range. Musical range seems to go from metal-esque speed picking, to straight forward hardcore, to effects-ladden melodies.  It's all wrapped into a pretty effective package.

My only gripe here is the production quality.  The drums seem to have way too much reverb on them, so much so that at times I takes away from the other instrumentation and full song presentation.  My ears adjusted about 5 songs in, but I'd be interested to hear a cleaned up version of this.

Check it out here.

Altered Boys - Deranged

I'm the kind of guy who can only really take small spoonfuls of the more straight forward variety of hardcore and punk.  Altered Boys provide a nice 6 minute spoonful that allows me to get my fill for the month. 

At times this reminds me a lot of early Youth of Today, particularly in some of the vocal executions and faster four chord guitar riffs.  With bass that sounds like it's about to explode and some gritty drum work, the overall presentation stays pretty raw. The dual guitars seem to mirror each other with no deviation;the only exception being a small lead to end the record.

Timebomb was the standout track for me as it sort of reminded me of demo-era Uniform Choice. 

Have a listen here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Young Leaves - Alive and Well​/​The Love Song Single

Young Leaves offers up two songs here that remind me a bit of mid 90's bands like Texas is The Reason and Garden Variety.  There's a great melodic overtone here but it doesn't take on the usual characteristics that most of the pop/indie bands take on these days.

There's a maturity to the whole approach that conveys a certain sadness and age to it.  The production is nice and bright without sounding too thin.  The vocals have a bit of held back sound to them that I really like here.  Nice, high gain guitar and strong bass give this a very full sound. 

"Alive and Well" is the  more upbeat track of the two, but the slower tempo of "The Love Song" doesn't leave anything out.

Have a listen here. 

Retina - Demo

Epic and foreboding are the two words that come to mind when listening to Retina.  They hail from Greensboro, North Carolina and carry a sound that at times reminds me of bands like From Ashes Rise or Tragedy, but also carry a more melodic sensibility to them than the afformentioned bands. 

Lyrically heavy, themes are abstract and seem to focus on the interaction between humans and nature. Long prose seem to tell one story through all three songs, which adds to the epic feel of the presentation. 

Song two is a little intense at just about 16 minutes long, but it's woth the ride.  Good stuff here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tiny Teeth - Blood in the Soup Demo

In preparation for an upcoming show I checked out some new bands today that definitely fall into the lighter category of things. Coincidentally this decision is helping me get through the mid-week blues. 

Tiny Teeth is from New Brunswick, New Jersey and have a happy-go-lucky sound to them.  The female vocals get a little gruff at times creating a nice contrast to the up tempo tunes. Intricate bass walks litter the verses and some aggressive drums help to create a nice backbone to the twinkling guitar. 

The production quality could use a little help, as the vocals sort of fade in and out a bit. This won't stop you from getting a good idea of what this team has to offer though. 

Check it out here.

Sourpatch - Stagger & Fade

I  needed something like this.  Graceful pop played with some wonderful melodies but still maintaining that certain level of rawness which makes it deserving of the "indie" banner.

Sourpatch come from San Jose, CA and have a jangly guitar sound, moderate bass, stable drums along with some male/female trade off vocals.  Though, on these tracks the female vocal dominates most of the landscape (which I prefer when comparing the two voices).  There's lots of "oohs and ahs" on this one that will have you singing along. 

Check it out here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reservoir / Bicycle Ride - Split 7"

Reservoir has a strong 90's emo influence that I can liken to bands like Promise Ring and the Jazz June.  The vocals are just a smidge off key and the songs carry that range of soft to quiet to emphasize some emotional ups and downs.  It's nothing new, but it does this style by the book and seems to have no reservations about it.

Bicycle Ride has a softer, moody sound that carries some acoustic instrumentation and melancholy melodies.  They offer one piece that goes for about 6 minutes and would be a good backdrop for driving at night and relaxing.  The vocals have an nice dual track sound to them and remind me of the type that can hit the key perfectly without sounding too polished or trained.

Check it out here.

Fucking Invincible - Very Negative

Featuring members of Daughters, Soul Control and Drop Dead, Fucking Invincible seem to have a built in fan base even though their travels and exposure have been relatively light. 

What you're mostly going to hear on this is fast and raging hardcore coupled with high pitched, screaming vocals.  It's an intense offering and never really lets the listener up for air.  The tough part is that without peaks and valleys it's a bit of a task to write music in which the listener can make large distinctions between songs.  The EP falls victim to the symptoms of monotony at times due to this.

This is not to say that the songs lack any musical engineering expertise.   It's quite good, though a little more dynamics would make these songs glow with a little more individual life.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

xRepetancex - In Violation of Asa

Imagine if the 2005 resurgence of 90's vegan straight edge metal was actual done well.  If xRepetancex is any indication , then 2013 could be a year where this style is going to be done with precision, attention to musicianship and an overwhelming dramatic lyrical execution.

There's always going to be a soft spot in my heart for bands like this, however this is the band that appears to be doing everything to the style's fullest potential, far exceeding their forefathers in tone, production and song writing. 

Picture "Life. Love. Regret." era Unbroken done with less noise, some better production and some more attention to intricate string work.  Desperately screamed vocals round off the team over pounding double bass. I'll be listening to this all week.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Let It Die - s/t 7"

Let It Die comes to us from the UK and play an ugly, gruesome style of hardcore that hits very hard in all the right places. 

There's a great use of upbeat rhythms and slow breakdowns here that are mixed together in just the right amounts to emphasize the power of each.  This has that darker hardcore sound infused with a bit of speed picking metal, though I can hear influences across the board from Tragedy to Converge to Trap Them. 

Lyrics stay abstract but seem to focus on social and political themes from religion to the judicial system.   This is some great stuff.

Have a listen here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Onodrim - Winter Demo

I'll just come out and say it. I love this.  It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's breaking all the ground I need it to break and doing it extremely well.

Onodrim reminds me of some of the more melodic bands from the early 90's..think Garden Variety, Walleye with maybe some lighter Iconoclast vibes in there for good measure. 

This is filled with melodic guitars, shouted vocals and mid tempo drums that all seem to come together in perfect harmony.   I'll be listening to this all day.

Check it out here.