Tuesday, June 25, 2013

For Want Of - Smoke

For Want Of returns with these long awaited eight songs that are collected together under the title "Smoke". The band seems to pick up where they left off, expanding on their own brand of chaotic masterpiece. 

What I really love about For Want Of is their ability to intelligently blend a good dose of chaos with aspects of a very "matter of fact" vocal style. You can find yourself catching on to some of the words without consulting the lyric sheet; though this doesn't compromise the extreme song structure or rapid pace of the delivery. The musicianship here is spot on.  The guitars and drums work extremely well together.  The 'pull of note' guitar style is littered through out the record, while hyper active drums compliment each note.

Just about every song stays below the two minute mark, but I feel fully satisfied in the contents of each package. The band subtly pulls off a good use of dynamics by ringing out chords or  slowing down the drums, all at some nice key moments.  On some songs there is a bit of a buried melodic vocal that, for the most part, sounds like a held out bellow of the chord being played.  I think the songs could have stood without this extra vocal, though it's not really taking away from the experience persay. The standout tracks here for me are "Golden Cages" and "Mentors", though, the whole record is a well oil machine.

For Want Of will be heading out on tour this summer and I am very excited to see these songs pulled off in a live setting.

Two of the songs are posted here.

Reptilian Shape Shifters / Light Theives split 7"

A split 7" between two noisier, interesting bands from the West Coast.  I stumbled upon this after hearing that Reptilian Shape Shifters are making their way out east this summer. 

RSS has an interesting two piece sound of guitar and drums sprinkled with some versatile vocal work.  With spurts of mathy, technical work interlaced with more drawn out large chords, the band seems to keep things moving and interesting.  They never get too caught up in the math, keeping a nice attention to the groove of the songs.  It's great stuff that I would be interested to see pulled off in a live setting.

Light Thieves are much slower and atmospheric, drawing into more of a post rock, space age sound.  There's tons of delay pedals and reverb happening here to communicate that big room sound.  The vocals have a very watery drawn out feel to them that adds to the whole effect. 

Have a listen here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oracle Bones - Demo

From Toronto, Oracle Bones consists of members of I Spoke and Titan.  The sound here is very reminiscent of the earlier I Spoke material, however this more refined and executed with much more precision. I'm picking up some early 2000's influences like bands such as To Dream of Autumn or Joshua Fit For Battle as well.

Song lengths stay in the 2 minute range as the band seems to aim to pack in a concise and hard hitting plan with both of these songs.

The production is quite nice and translates well.  The guitar sound is large and powerful, taking up a good deal of the forefront.  Screaming, yet somewhat coherent vocals fill in the gaps while the reverbed drums whale away. All in all, a good little presentation of songs with a solid flow.

Have a listen here.

Calculator - This Will Come to Pass

Picture Touche Amore with some more complicated musicianship, an even vocal mix and some extra chaos; then you'll start to get an idea of Calculator's sound. There are some elements that come off as accessible and easy, but Calculator can change gears pretty quickly, delivering something all together foreign and interesting.

Straddling a line between modern and mid 90's, the sound here has a little something that I think will most likely have some mass appeal. The strained scream keeps the vocals coherent, anchoring the sometimes frantic guitar work in.  These guys have some chops on their instruments and know how to work it all in without sounding too showy. 

All in all, a nice presentation., listen to it here.