Monday, 29 June 2009

My Own Private Alaska - MOPA (2007)

Genre: Experimental/Screamo

Imagine if their was a screamo band without guitars. Just piano, drums and vocalist. Where's the frustration and hell-bent screaming in that you say. Well give the disc a spin and see for yourself. The music here is very creative and the vocals are so amazing. Poetry for one's ears.

Check It Out

Saturday, 27 June 2009

*shels - Sea of the Dying Dhow (2007)

Genre: Post-Rock/Metalcore

Progressive metalcore with some heavy post-rock influence and a whole bunch of chill acoustic bits as well, I imagine there would be something for everyone here probably. I guess. Okay, maybe not. Sea of the Dying Dhow (yeah, I don't know what a 'dhow' is either) is a meticulously arranged album, everything has clearly had a great deal of thought put into it and as a whole the record flows fantastically, going from ambient sections to acoustic sections and onward to some damn heavy riffs, post-metal style. These progressions work really effectively and overall the album is really great, if at times it might drag slightly. But that's no big deal because this album is really cool and definitely worth giving a listen.

Pretty much.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere in the Between (2007)

Genre: Ska/Punk

It's the summer time! So, as a result I decided to listen to some ska stuff. Well, here it is. Streetlight Manifesto's Somewhere in the Between. Lightning fast chord progressions, anthemic lyrics and absolutely awesome brass and woodwind sections make for what is probably my favourite ska album of all time. What makes this album even better is how accessible it is, regardless of whether you're a ska fan or not I'm pretty sure anyone could pick this up, give it a spin and enjoy it. Infectiously catchy and a whole lot of fun, overall it's definitely worth giving a try. So I believe you should, in fact, do just that.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Cursive - Domestica (2000)

Genre: Indie/Post-Hardcore

Domestica is a concept album concerning the relationship between a couple and how it eventually crumbles away to nothing, something Cursive's vocalist would know only too well after having just divorced his wife. As a result the lyrics are intensely thought-provoking and emotional, he's pouring out all his thoughts and feelings to the world through the music. Instrumentally the album is solid too, the throbbing of the bass is audible throughout and the guitar-lines are very well written, going from heavier parts to almost lo-fi at times. Overall it's a catchy, enjoyable and ultimately thought-provoking album that ends up being a cool listen. So check it out, in case you haven't already.


Monday, 22 June 2009

KRS-ONE - Return Of The Boom Bap

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

The greatest MC that has ever lived. All I have to say. Just download, it's a must have album.

Spittin Rhymes

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Castevet - Summer Fences (2009)

Genre: Indie/Punk/Emo

Castevet deliver an awesome blend of indie, math rock and emo, clearly influenced by the likes of Cap'n Jazz and various other midwest emo bands like them. They have a very gruff vocalist who is only juxtaposed by the intricate, airy guitar melodies in the background that at times give a nod to post-rock. I really like how it has this really relaxing, kind of dreamy vibe, but at the same time has a bit of a punch to it. Ah, whatever, if you're a fan of Cap'n Jazz or Algernon Cadwallader you'd probably really really like this, and if not you may well like this too. So it's a win-win situation really - do yourself a favour and check it out.

'Melodic Beard Punk'

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Blue Letter - Prima Facie (2007)

Genre: Screamo/Post-Rock

The Blue Letter are yet another band that deliver the epic brand of post-rock influenced emotional hardcore, which, in my opinion, they just so happen to pull off pretty damn well. The guitars are used in a spacy manner, setting the whole tone and emotion of the music while the drums power over the top, moving the music along. The vocals are hoarse and raspy in the typical emotional hardcore fashion and compliment the whole textural soundscape that makes up their sound. Also the songs flow into each other flawlessly, so it all seems like one long song which strikes me as pretty cool, however my one qualm is with the 14 minute long track 'Moved in 98', it just doesn't really seem to go anywhere, but it's not too big a deal as the rest of the album more than makes up for it. Either way, emotional hardcore coming your way.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Ceremony - Still Nothing Moves You (2008)

Genre: Hardcore

With Still Nothing Moves You Ceremony deliver 20 minutes of blistering, furious and angry as hell hardcore, proving that as a band they are very, very pissed off. I feel this album really showcases Ceremony's maturity as they evolve on from past releases, instead of playing at breakneck speed all the time they place slower droning interludes (which are still absurdly angry I might add) that flow fluidly between the more aggressive songs. They showcase furious riffs and fairly unique vocals throughout, with some really proficient basswork supporting all the other instruments. That said, Ceremony are by no means for everyone, at times their songs might seem like disjointed messes, however when it comes down to it these guys are just really passionate and clearly care about the music they make. Obviously when I say care I mean in a really pissed off, angry way. Really, really pissed off.


Monday, 15 June 2009

So Many Dynamos - Flashlights (2006)

Genre: Indie Rock/Experimental

So Many Dynamos pretty much blend a rather impressive amount of genres into their brand of very interesting progressive indie rock. The instruments constantly shift around and develop their sound, resulting in an album that literally almost never becomes boring. Each member of the band is very talented, guitarists moving in and out of dissonant passages to atmospheric sections that draw influences from post-rock, and going on to upbeat indie rock sections as well as much more. The band even makes us of further less commonly used instruments that only add to the album's very eclectic feel. I think the vocals on this release are much more interesting than on their most recent release, The Loud Wars, switching between passionate yells, lazy sung sections and even the odd gang shout. I'm pretty sure there's something here for everyone to enjoy, so check it out.


Sunday, 14 June 2009

And So I Watch You From Afar - And So I Watch You From Afar (2009)

Genre: Post-Rock/Math Rock/Instrumental

And So I Watch You From Afar deliver a unique brand of, well, post-rock punk so to speak. They produce a very heavy instrumental sound almost reminiscent of post-metal but with precise almost math-rock style melodies interweaving over the top. Rather than choosing to use gentle, brooding build-ups like most post-rock ASIWYFA instead transition from section to section explosively and spontaneously, a much more jagged and immediate switch in sound, giving the album a more energetic, exciting feel. Unfortunately the album did strike me as being a bit too long, I feel they could've cut some bits out as at times it seems somewhat repetitive or incoherent but it's really not a huge problem at all. Overall this is certainly an interesting listen and a different approach to a genre that is all too full of the same old clich├ęs. So do yourself a favour and give it a try.

Part One.
Part Two.

City Of Caterpillar - City Of Caterpillar (2002)

Genre: Screamo/Post-Rock

City of Caterpillar is pretty much what you get if you throw a little post-rock and emotional hardcore together. Now I happen to be a fan of both those genres and as a result I just so happen to be a fan of City Of Caterpillar. They implement the basic formula of long ambient spacey bits that end up building up to chaotic crescendoes and it does, in fact, work pretty damn well. From an instrumental point of view it's solid, particularly on the drumming front, and generally pretty great, but the real attraction is the emotional factor and the tense build-ups that explode impressively afterwards. Well I really enjoy it anyway, to the extent that I'd probably call this an emotional hardcore classic.

But Why Caterpillars?

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Yndi Halda - Enjoy Eternal Bliss (2006)

Genre: Post-Rock/Instrumental

Probably one of the most beautiful records I've ever had the pleasure of listening to, Enjoy Eternal Bliss is just an awe-inspiring album of post-rock awesomeness with extra violin to boot. I find this really mesmerising to listen to and will probably have great difficulty doing this any justice with my description. Unlike most post-rock Yndi Halda take a much happier and just generally blissful approach to the genre, using a lot of violin and the like to build up to just plain beautiful crescendoes that are simply wonderful to listen to. I'm not going to spoil anything but the end of the first track "Dash and Blast" is just amazing, seriously, it makes me want to laugh, cry and sing all at the same time whenever I hear it, it's just that good. This really holds true for most of the album and I really can't wait to see what these guys put out in the future, which hopefully should be soon since they're recording at the moment. Awesome.

Part One.
Part Two.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Skycamefalling - 10.21 (2000)

Genre: Metalcore

10.21 is easily one of my favourite metalcore releases, coming from a band that is somewhat unheard of in the metalcore scene (as far as I'm aware). Rather than attempting to be incredibly 'brutal' Skycamefalling focuses more on memorable songwriting and pouring emotion into it, with the lyrics concerning the breakdown of a relationship. I know this might make it seem somewhat whiny and the like, but don't be fooled, it's incredibly well written and ultimately proves to be very moving. Ironically my favourite track off this is the instrumental interlude towards the end '10.21', the band choose to eschew their crushing guitar riffs in favour of acoustic guitar and piano and it works really well, displaying some Eastern influences and just proving to be a breath of fresh air. Whatever, this release is just awesome.

Yep, awesome.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

So Many Dynamos - The Loud Wars (2009)

Genre: Indie Rock/Experimental

With their new release So Many Dynamos (which in case you haven't already noticed is the same if you read it backwards) have expanded on everything they'd previously done, however at the same time have toned it down a bit. Musically they make use of less contrasting elements as they did previously, so it's not as heavy hitting and there aren't really any stark bits that stick out, instead they've combined them together subtly, the contrast is still there if you look deep enough. The vocals seem less energetic than the previous release, which I'm not really a fan of, they almost sound lazy, like the vocalist can't really be bothered - I'm not sure what's up with that, but either way this is a relaxing listen and is actually far from 'loud' as the title might suggest. Anyway, if you feel like a chill indie rock listen then hit this up.


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Dear Hunter - Act III: Life and Death (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock/Alternative/Indie

Life and Death is the third act of The Dear Hunter's ambitious 6 album concept and it's really good. Casey takes influences from all over the rock world, incorporating them into his grand scheme and managing somehow to make it all work. It sounds fantastic listening to the album all the way through, it really conveys the concept and the feel he was going for and when listened to individually each song is great too. One thing I love about Casey is how he uses all sorts of instruments and experiments with them, I find it really cool and this album doesn't disappoint on the instrument front. So really, what's not to like? I actually can't wait for the rest of the installments, listening to each album back to back from Act I through to VI would be pretty ridiculous, assuming that the future albums will be great too (which I'm sure they will be).

Part One.
Part Two.

The Syncope Threshold - Tales Of The Complex Circuit (2009)

Genre: Metalcore/Progressive/Hardcore

Lol lame Protest the Hero worship lol. wankywankywank.


Oceansize - Frames (2007)

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Genre: Rock/Experimental/Progressive

If I could, I'd also classify this band as tech-indie, ambient, post-hardcore, post-metal, post-rock, shoegaze, and mathcore. Yea. Oceansize is one of the most amazing and intriguing bands I've ever heard. Lovely Gavin Rossdale/Chris Cornell-esque vocals on top of lightly distorted guitars and powerful drums with the occasional pummeling of double bass. And you can't forget the presence of the piano ambience. Oceansize maintains their composure from song to song, whether it be a slow post-rock song like "Savant" or an aggresive powerhouse like "Unfamiliar" or "Sleeping Dogs And Dead Lions". This CD contains 9 songs and manages to keep it under 115MB. Lol. This is another band that I push people to listen to. So if you have time to chillout and listen to about an hour and a half of eargasms, then I strongly encourage you to give this CD a try. For fans of Amplifier, A Perfect Circle, and music without any boundaries.

Part Uno
Part Dos

Monday, 8 June 2009

Daitro/Sed Non Satiata - Split (2008)

Genre: Screamo/Post-Rock

Two of the leading bands of the current wave of french screamo decided to record a split and what do you know? It just so happened to turn out awesome. Both bands showcase their brilliance and execute their own niche of the genre near-perfectly, Daitro following a slightly more aggressive approach to the genre and Sed Non Satiata deciding to take it more slowly and steadily, crafting epic build-ups post-rock style. I might be slightly biased as I love this style of more melodic, epic screamo but to be honest, both bands are really good at what they do and as a result this split is also really, really good. Isn't that a coincidence? Listen and enjoy.

Nice nice nice.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Pg.99 - Document #8 (2001)

Genre: Screamo/Hardcore

"Punk rock should mean freedom. Liking and accepting anything that you like. Playing whatever you want, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and it has passion." Passion is something that pg.99 (or pageninetynine) most definitely have an abundance of. They play a highly emotional brand of chaotic hardcore that transcends musical talent or anything of the sort - it doesn't matter that they don't play a thousand different time signatures and aren't ridiculously technical, because the music is just straight from the heart. This record has to be felt rather than just listened to, I can't really describe it. It drips emotion from every seam, just don't be put off if at first it just sounds like a chaotic mess - it takes a while to get it.

Crazy Stuff.

Means - Sending Your Strength (2007)

Genre: Melodic Hardcore

Sometimes hardcore can be beautiful, which is the case with Means. "Sending Your Strength" an album I listen to almost everyday, it usually never leaves my cd player and is the most top played album on my itunes account. Means play melodic hardcore but they differ from the rest of the Comeback Kid and Misery Signals clones. Blending brutal yet honest screaming with one of the most sincere singing voices ever put to tape. Means set themselves apart from the hardcore scene. When I found out they were breaking up I couldn't believe the news. They left us with great music and I guess it was just their time. Means left a mark on the scene. A mark that will never go away and shows us all to believe in hardcore till the day we die.

"These Cadences
These Songs I Will Remember"

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Breather Resist - Charmer (2004)

Genre: Hardcore/Metalcore

Yet another awesome band that felt the need to split up after releasing but a single full-length, Breather Resist deliver a pummeling assault of metal-influenced hardcore. Violently discordant guitars and the throbbing, distorted bass result in an impenetrable wall of sound, complimenting the mess of distortion that is almost always present. The music is pretty damn relentless and the lyrics are dark and introspective (although you wouldn't be aware of this unless you actually read them, the vocalist's screams are pretty much incomprehensible). Overall this is just a great release and a cool listen, so by all means, give it a try.


Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Past Lives - Strange Symmetry (2008)

Genre: Post-Hardcore/Experimental

Feel like listening to 15 minutes of music that somehow manages to be easy to listen to, almost catchy and yet still retains a feeling of danger or fright? Yeah? Well then Strange Symmetry may well be the EP for you. Past Lives are made of former members of The Blood Brothers (among others) and are really quite cool. They go from distorted almost poppy riffs to a frenzied mess of guitar within seconds, all while maintaining their momentum and musicianship. I love how the music is drenched with a very dark atmosphere, which to say the least ultimately ends up making this very interesting to listen to. Well anyway, I really like it and am looking forward to whatever they release in the future so give it a try.

Link removed due to request. If you really want it I guess you could ask nicely.

Sides Of The North - The Incurable Romantic (2005)

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Genre: Rock/Indie/Ambient

Sides Of The North is a band that I listen to that differs from my usual tunage. They are a bit more alternative/mainstream sounding. Even though no one has really heard of them. Don't let the word "mainstream" scare you please, the sound these guys produce is magic. What really makes this cd what it is, is the vocals. They are not Dallas Green league, but the style of the vocals is beautiful. I thought they could do a bit more with the music, but what the music lacks, the vocals make up for. I know I'm really bad at constantly comparing bands with a group of other bands, but it's what I do, and it helps people out. I would say SOTN is a mix of Cool Hand Luke vocals and music, Deftones guitar and music style, and Scarlet vocal style. Sounds interesting right? It's worth the download. Also, make sure to check out tracks, "The Incurable", "The Up And Up", and "Slowly And Sometimes Never". Enjoy :)


Monday, 1 June 2009

Converge - You Fail Me (2004)

Genre: Metalcore/Hardcore

Raw, powerful and edgy, You Fail Me is the 5th (?) full-length release by prolific metalcore titans Converge. I also happen to think it's criminally underrated when compared to the likes of Jane Doe, arguably Converge's magnum opus. This is a solid wall of punk, hardcore and metal that violently assaults your ears and just plain rules. The vocalist, Jacob Bannon, is one seriously pissed off guy, I don't understand how he can shriek his tortured lyrics album after album, it's pretty intense stuff. Also, they're releasing another album this year which I'm really excited to get my hands on, should be really good from what I've heard of it! To be entirely honest, I just love Converge and everything they've done. Everything. So you'd better like them too. Or else.