Slaves Live Show Event Coverage

I got the opportunity to check out the Sacramento based post-hardcore band Slaves as they toured through Cleveland, Ohio last week, and

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Perception By NF Album Review

Nathan Feuerstein (better known as his stage name NF) is a singer, songwriter, and rapper from Michigan known for his incredibly honest

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Metrocon Massive 6

Last month I got the awesome opportunity to attend Metrocon Massive 6, which is America’s largest convention rave that took place at

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It’s Alright By Sam Valdez Single Review

Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Sam Valdez is an up-and-coming artist that has creatively meshed the shoegaze and vintage Americana folk genres. This amalgamation of musical emotions has managed to create something quite unique and exudes a wonderfully melancholic and atmospheric vibe.

It’s Alright is a beautiful song. A dreamy atmosphere hangs above the track, which is only furthered by echoey vocals and vocal harmonies mimicked by the sound of a steel string guitar. While this piece might at first seem simplistic in nature, the intricacies of the instrumentation and precision of the vocal lines make this track, in reality, quite complex. This wasn’t written by some amateur songwriter- there is evident skill and purpose put into in each piece of this puzzle.

I am a huge fan of the melancholic vibe, so this song deeply resonated with me. It’s self-evident through this track that Sam Valdez is an extremely skilled musician that is on course to create a new genre entirely. Sam has said that there is more music coming soon, so stay tuned!

Lizard’s Mouth Feeling By Sanderlings Single Review

Sanderlings describes their new single as their anthem: “Lizard’s Mouth Feeling is sorta my ode to living in Santa Barbara, traveling and being outdoors. I’m a restless soul and love to keep moving.”

This song encompasses the vibe I’m sure many musicians feel: that desire to escape from the corporate lifestyle to perfect their craft, so as to begin to shape the world around them. The lyrics mimic this emotion bluntly, and I think it’s this lack of metaphor that really drives the point home; this is how the songwriter feels at his core, and that emotion brightly shines through. The descriptions of these beautiful locations further his romanticization of this life dream. On the instrumentation side, this track contains a recurring guitar riff that is extremely catchy and becomes very recognizable by the end of the track. The chorus has a beautiful chord progression and contains some subtle guitar work over pleasing vocal harmonies.

This song, while it might seem simple at first listen, resonated with me quite deeply (as I imagine it will with many others). It’s pleasing to listen to and contains an immense amount of passion that many listeners will quickly take to. I’m very excited to hear what else Sanderlings has for us in their future release, which is slated for this spring!

Set the Scene by Off Guard EP Review

Off Guard, an alt-rock/pop punk band from Long Island, released their debut EP Set the Scene last month. I was thrilled when I heard this EP; every track offers something unique and creates an incredibly beautiful atmosphere and immersive vibe. There wasn’t a single track that I disliked on this EP, but these three were my favorites:

Strawberry Moon has a great vibe. The vocal melody line is very catchy and mixes with the chord progression along with some echoy vocal harmonies to produce a beautiful resolution. Subtle, repetitive guitar riffs litter the background and aid in creating the beautiful atmosphere that this song lives within.

Tension begins with a really slick acoustic guitar picking riff. As the full band comes in, the electric guitar harmonizes with the acoustic to produce some absolutely beautiful tones. The very end of the song features a very short, but extremely pleasant piano riff that fits within the acoustic riff from the beginning of the piece. A short and subtle part, but certainly a wonderful addition to the piece.

Angie (I Don’t Much Care Where) has some beautiful guitar riffs that mesh with the vocal line beautifully. In addition, it has this really neat trick where the lyrical pattern matches up with the intense chord strikes and drum hits as it changes its pattern. It’s subtle, but it really stood out to me as being a unique addition to the piece. This piece also features some of my favorite echoy harmonies on the entire EP, and has the absolute best final chord. This song is a great finale track.

This band just does a phenomenal job at creating a vibe and keeping it consistent throughout the EP. From start to finish, this EP is well-crafted, unique, and musically quite interesting to dissect. Definitely check out Set the Scene by Off Guard!

Friendly Neighborhood Nightmares By Silence The Radio EP Review

Silence The Radio is a pop punk band from Providence, Rhode Island. They have a bit of an interesting origin story, as they formed to counteract the metal and easycore scene of Providence and bring the people back to the days of mid 2000’s pop punk and alternative music. They’re getting ready to release Friendly Neighborhood Nightmares, their sophomore EP, on December 1st and we were given the opportunity to check it out early. I’m pleased to say that it absolutely accomplishes its goal!

I’ll go over several of my favorite songs from this EP beginning with opener track, Knock Me Out. This song opens with an intro of organ chords played above distorted vocals. As the song continues, a beautiful and unexpected chord progression is introduced and filled out with layered vocals and intense emotional elements. Overall, this track is a great opener, and sets the vibe for the rest of the EP.

Friendly Neighborhood Nightmare is the midpoint in the EP, and opens with a beautiful jaunty riff filled with guitar chugs. As the first chorus is reached, you hear the catchy vocal line and simple, yet beautiful, guitar playing that complements the rest of the piece quite well. The song continues to build off of the catchy vocal riff, and even includes a pretty cool section with gang vocals.

Believe In Me (Believe In You) is the last track on the EP and one of my favorites. Right from the start, we’re given a beautiful vocal line atop one of my favorite guitar riffs on the entire EP. The chorus of this track has it all: the same guitar riff sitting with some beautiful and emotive chords, and an absolutely phenomenal vocal line (that is extremely catchy, I might add). This finale track ties up the experience wonderfully.

These catchy and emotive tracks convey the pop punk atmosphere perfectly. If the goal of this band is to capture and re-create the vibe of mid 2000’s pop punk, then as far as I’m concerned they’ve nailed it. This EP doesn’t do anything new, it just does what it does extremely well – and that’s precisely its purpose. Get ready for Friendly Neighborhood Nightmares, which comes out tomorrow!

Redeemed By Tommy Luck Single Review

Tommy Luck, California-based rapper/producer, just released his newest single Redeemed. He has a unique background that has colored his writing style, beginning as a rock guitarist/drummer and moving through the acoustic and electronic music genres. Working in so many genres allows Tommy to draw different facets from each to craft an interesting and unique musical experience for his listeners.

This song starts with a really sick rap placed above vocal chops and fast drum movement. It shifts gears quickly when the catchy chorus vocals (ft. ZADA) come in. The second verse seems way heavier, as it adopts a more emotional chord progression beneath the rap. This variety adds a lot of movement to the track, and you can definitely hear progression occurring. After the second chorus is an instrumental outro that builds intensity through some awesome synth riffs and drum patterns. Certainly not an ending I would have expected, but one that I quite like.

The attention to detail in this song is great. There are so many subtleties that exist within this track that make this experience even more awesome. The lines are catchy, the lyrical content is interesting, and the vocal feature is a lovely addition to the piece. I’m excited to see what else Tommy Luck releases in the future!

Tank’d By The Spins EP Review

The Spins are an indie/alt rock band from NJ who released their debut EP Tank’d earlier this year. The band has managed to create a beautiful and dreamy vibe with their pleasing guitar licks, pleasant vocals, and relatable lyrical content. The entire EP has a very nice continuity to it, so every song sits well next to each other. However I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites.

Where I’ve Been encapsulates a feeling of separation and distance, beginning with the lyrics, “Why are you so far away?” The up-and-down vocal riff is a nice touch, and it creates a very distinct but recognizable sound. Likewise the guitar riffs, particularly the one during the intro, are extremely pleasant, and help convey the message of the piece.

The Spins (yes they have a track named after their band name) has a very dreamy vibe. The intro contains lots of open strings within the guitar chords, which helps solidify an endless sounding progression. I’m also a sucker for some guitar harmonics, so I absolutely loved the addition of the harmonics to complement the vocal lines. Contained within this piece is also quite a bit of feeling behind the lyrics, which only furthers the emotional credibility of the EP as a whole.

This Room is the final track on the album, and just about twice as long as every other track. It begins with a beautiful finger-picking guitar line, but picks up the rhythmic pace as the vocals come in. The quick guitar riffs work in conjunction with the vocal lines beautifully, and create a very pleasing atmosphere. The riffs are also very recognizable and catchy. So taking into account the length of this song, by the time you’re about halfway through things start to seem very familiar. I also have to point out the addition of more beautifully placed harmonics. They add such a nice touch.

This is a solid EP. The tracks flow together nicely, they have a good atmosphere and vibe, and they are just pleasant to listen to. I also really like the inclusion of sound bytes in these tracks, it really take the songs a step closer to realism. Hearing the band members laughing or cars starting makes the words spoken within the tracks seem far more real. I look forward to what The Spins create in the future!

Moments by Everywhere Single Review

The London based alt-rock band Everywhere is back again with their newest single, Moments. We actually reviewed their previous single Man Up (which you can check out HERE) a few months ago, and were stoked to hear they had another new track for us to check out!

This track starts off with echoy guitar plucks that set up an emotive and engaging chord progression. The song builds to the chorus, which has a beautiful synth line coupled with a catchy vocal line. These vocals are further joined by some very pretty vocal harmonies. Each consecutive chorus adds additional elements which keep the song engaging – specifically more beautiful vocal harmonies that you’ll definitely want to look out for. This song has a great vibe to it, it’s easy to listen to, and it packs a surprising amount of emotion.

It’s great to hear another track from Everywhere. This band certainly has a unique and fun vibe to offer the music world, and I certainly plan to continue to check out their stuff in the future!

Hope for the F.U.T.U.R.E. By The Plague Album Review

The Plague is a “Futurepunk” band from Rochester, NY. They recently released their debut album, Hope For the F.U.T.U.R.E. earlier this month, and I’m so excited to say that it’s a unique and very well-executed album. The Plague’s goal is to “Instill hope and a sense that you aren’t alone. We all deserve love, we all need support, and no one should have to do it alone”, and that is an absolutely admirable goal. Luckily, they succeeded in their goal as the album is phenomenal both thematically and musically. 

Right from the get-go, it’s apparent that The Plague is a very melodic band. The digital futuristic/robotic theme allows for a lot of bizarre sound effects which The Plague didn’t short themselves on, and it really provides a unique atmosphere for the songs to live within. 

Not The Only One is the second track on the album (the first is sort of an introduction, however). This song has a great vibe, it’s very upbeat, and it delivers a positive message through both its lyrics and instrumentation. The vocal line is very melodic and catchy, the chord progression is happy, and there are some very nice guitar riffs throughout the piece. This song really sets the vibe for rest of the album.  

Antidote was another favorite track of mine. It makes use of some robotic voice modifications to continue to build on the futuristic theme of the album. The main guitar riff on this track is another that immediately stuck out to me for its catchy and intense nature. Halfway through this song it dials the intensity back a bit, supplying some keys and guitar strumming to fill the space. Then as some electronic drums enter in, the song builds up. This build up leads to the incredible high-energy final section of this piece, featuring more awesome riffing.  

Best year of your life is just an extremely happy song. “Behind you may be darkness, so your future shines as bright as the stars”, serves as hope for those who feel like nothing matters, no matter how hard they try. This song is extremely uplifting, contains beautiful instrumentation including some extremely pretty orchestral elements and synths, and has some absolutely incredible vocals and vocal harmonies.  

This album is phenomenal. It’s extremely unique, with its “futurepunk” genre and digital/futuristic thematic elements. It’s a wonderful example of a well-executed unique idea, which I can’t say I come across all that often. In addition, the album radiates a wonderful and positive message, which is something the world can certainly never have too much of. I’ll be jamming this album for the next few weeks I’m sure. 

American Standards – Anti-Melody

American Standards is a metalcore/noise punk band from Phoenix, AZ. They released their latest album Anti-Melody in April of this year, and we decided to check it out. Turns out this album became a means to deal with some extremely traumatic life events. The concept of the album began as a social commentary on the divide in our society, but soon the writing process became a means to cope after one of the founding guitarists committed suicide and shortly thereafter the vocalist’s father passed away from cancer. Vocalist Brandon Kellum described the band as “centered around the universal theme of separation on many levels”, which is evident in both the vocals and the instrumentation on this album.

Carpe Diem, Tomorrow was one of my favorite tracks on the album. It begins with a catchy and fast-paced guitar riff that becomes the theme for the rest of the track. As the song progresses, we’re introduced to more and more catchy riffs, and the intensity builds. About halfway through we get to hear a very nice guitar solo, immediately followed by a droning repeat of the lyrics “Time marches on” in a bizarre time signature that will keep you mentally on your toes. This song kept my attention all the way through with the unique musical tactics it employed.

Bartenders Without Wings captured a heavy and atmospheric vibe incredibly well. The song begins with beautiful solo guitar picking, and as the song builds we’re treated to an absolutely intense vocal performance; the emotion behind the lyrics is self-evident. The song takes a step back and gives us a very pretty guitar lead riff, and some well-placed keys to change the vibe. This is quite an emotional song and very self-reflective in nature – definitely another favorite of mine.

Cancer Eater is a song in memory of Kellum’s father who passed away. I think this song stuck out to me (apart from being well-written) because it shows what music is all about at its core. Music is therapeutic. It’s a way to relate to one another, to help each other through hard times, and to handle and even enjoy the emotional aspects of life. It’s evident through these lyrics that Kellum had a renowned respect for his father, describing him as “working man, worked all his life until the day he died/he fought for everything he had, I was the last to say goodbye.”

It’s always fascinating to listen to a band that writes music with such purpose and emotion, and American Standard definitely fits that category. The songs on Anti-Melody are well-written, musically quite interesting, and on a very intense emotional level. Heavy themes cover this musical landscape. This album isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to embrace the intensity, you will absolutely get something out of the experience. Check out Anti-Melody and show American Standard some love – they’ve earned it.

Midnight Appetite By Glass House Point EP Review

Glass House Point is an indie rock band from Tampa, FL. They’ve just recently announced the release of their new EP, Midnight Appetite. This EP comes out  tomorrow, and we got the wonderful opportunity to check it out early. Since Glass House Point formed in 2013, they’ve built up their sound to be something extremely atmospheric and beautiful, while also mixing in intricate guitar leads and beautiful vocals. I’m pleased to say that the Midnight Appetite EP follows along the same lines; it’s a beautiful EP that seamlessly creates a wonderful vibe. Here were a few of my highlights from the album:

Think Fast; It’s Gone is the opener for the 6-track EP. A beautiful song that wraps around beautiful clean guitar riffs and echoy harmonies. As the song builds, violins and rapid guitar picking help to fill the space, and create a very delicate, yet intense vibe. The song bleeds into the second track, Creatures.

Creatures continues the feeling of Think Fast; It’s Gone, essentially making it a second part to the track. As the song progresses, we’re met with more beautiful and increasingly more complex guitar riffs. The interplay between the two guitars is masterful, and creates this beautiful stereo image that is enhanced by the vocals and bass to continue the beautiful, almost nostalgic vibe that was introduced to us in the first track.

Breckenridge was another favorite track of mine. It has a slightly different vibe to me than the other songs. It opens with beautiful atmospheric synth sounds, as well as subtle harp lines. This combination, along with more intricate guitar riffs and echoy vocals, manages to craft a sound that’s very reminiscent of a cityscape in my mind. I was extremely impressed with the atmosphere and beauty of this track.

I thoroughly enjoyed every track on this EP. Not once did I feel like I was just listening to a song for the sake of the review; I genuinely got lost in the music. Definitely get excited to hear Midnight Appetite tomorrow!