ALUK TODOLO Release Voix 2/5

Aluk Todolo returned to the studio during May – June 2015 to record their fourth album, entitled Voix (“voice[s]” in French). And now, the album is set for European release on February 5th via Norma Evangelium Diaboli [NED] (same date in North America via The Ajna Offensive).ALUK TODOLO Continue reading “ALUK TODOLO Release Voix 2/5”

The Shrine Release Coming Down Quick Video

The Shrine have released the video for “Coming Down Quick” from their upcoming Century Media Records debut, Rare Breed. The record will see a release on January 15, 2016 (with extended content) in North America. Produced by Dave Jerden (Alice In Chains’ Dirt, Jane’s Addition’s Nothing’s Shocking, Social Distortion’s self-titled, The Offspring’s Ixnay On The Hombre and Eno/Byrne’s My Life In The Bush of Ghosts); the track was recorded through the very amp that Greg Ginn recorded Black Flag’s Damaged on.

Continue reading “The Shrine Release Coming Down Quick Video”

DaVinci Ascent Vaporizer Review

davinci-ascent-smokazon-blog

The intuitive nature of the DaVinci Ascent allows individuals to easily find the temperature that they would like for their herbs. The easy to read screen allows users to know precisely the level at which they would like to vaporize their plant material. The product is able to impart the effect of medicinal material without having to combust it.

The Ascent is very light and will fit into any sort of purse, satchel, or messenger bag. The glass portion of the Ascent is telescoping, ensuring that it does not get sheared off or will break or chip. The only thing that I would have liked to see with the Ascent would be a hard stop for this stem. If one is unfamiliar with the vaporizer, there is a chance (albeit small) that they may pull the glass piece out. The receptacle for the plant material is sufficiently deep that the Ascent will provide vapor for a few minutes of sustained drags, without having to burn or miss out on vaporizing some portion of the material. The buttons on the vaporizer are easy to identify, press, and will not be altered through passing around the device. One has to want to use the button in order to register any chance, making this a solid addition for anyone that has social outings with the device.

An Ascent Vaporizer can be purchased for around $250; the product package comes with an additional mouthpiece stem, oil jars, a carrying case, and a charger. The company sells the Ascent online at their main domain; visit it today for more information about the color schemes and the company’s other devices.

Rating: 9.0/10

 

DaVinci Ascent Vaporizer Review/ http://www.davincivaporizer.com / https://www.facebook.com/DaVinciVaporizer

Iggy Pop – A Million In Prizes: The Anthology (CD)

Iggy Pop has went too long without a comprehensive discography, especially considering the sheer weight of eir contributions to the state of current music. EMI has found this fact to be particularly fitting and really have hit a home-run with this disc. Now, there is nothing wrong with the collection of tracks – all the hits are there, whether it be “Raw Power”, “Lust For Life”, “Real Wild Child” or even the newer tracks “Mask” and “Skull Ring” .

Hell, even the incorporation of a few live tracks (TV Eye, Loose) makes this worthwhile, even to those completes who have every piece of Iggy memorabilia and music. The layout of the disc is intelligent as well, following some general idea of chronology and not just sticking the hits too closely together (which was a problem with the 2-disc Ramones set). To be honest, there aren’t the glaring omissions that are too prevalent on greatest hits compilation, even though Iggy’s career has spanned thirty-five or so years. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this second disc is present, and many of the “Greatest Hits” discs are confined to one disc. What I feel to be the most useful thing about “A Million In Prizes” is the sheer number of non-“hit” tracks present on the disc.

Individuals that might like “Lust For Life” after hearing it on the Carnival Cruise commercial can put on the disc and be inculcated into the entirety of the Pop world. With the chronology largely intact, one can hear the evolution of the Iggy Pop sound, with a little bit of weakness towards the most current track (the Sum 41-aided track “Skull Ring” feels a little bit too plastic to come from the mind that created “Raw Power”) throughout the years. The only thing that I could conceivably think of to make this compilation any stronger would have been a third disc compiling some video footage of the always-entertaining Iggy. While not all the performances included chickens or peanut butter, this inclusion would make the choice to buy this compilation ever the stronger. This album is essential for newbies that are trying to get into the music of Iggy Pop and it is a smart buy for the completists who do not already have copies of the two live tracks contained within. Not necessarily as strong as the aforementioned Ramones compilation, but still miles beyond anything that the majority of bands could cull together.

Top Tracks: TV Eye (Live), Lust For Life

Rating: 6.9/10

Iggy Pop – A Million In Prizes: The Anthology / 2005 EMI / 37 Tracks / http://www.iggypop.com / http://www.emi.com / Reviewed 03 July 2005

Incarnated – Pleasure of Consumption (CD)

The repetition that starts out “Dying Sounds” is on the verge of being unbearable; there can only be so many times that a band can expect a riff to win over the crowd. A number of times on “Pleasure of Consumption”, especially during tracks like “Blood For Blood” “the drumming moves beyond the realm of what can be done a human and honestly sounds as if someone looped the hits using a program like Cakewalk. “Life Organs Transplantation” seems to be the first track of Incarnated’s to really strike fans, as there are a number of different styles present throughout that make their presence felt during this track. Continue reading “Incarnated – Pleasure of Consumption (CD)”

I Farm – So My Kids Won’t Have To (CD)

I Farm are beyond quick in their style. A screamed out vocal style is present that is not quite unlike Leftover Crack, where there is a high amount of early (1,039-era) Green Day hidden amongst these screeched-out vocals. Tracks are almost always under two minutes; if a song is going badly for I Farm, there is ample chances for the band to bail. During a track like “Luck (Likes The Cops)”, I Farm assume a Vandals type of ironic sneer even if the general sound of the band sticks through the track.

This album is a re-master, and for good reason; each track blasts through its short runtime with popping drums and clear vocals, creating an atmosphere that is conducive for moshing, drinking, and overall having a good time. The shortness of some tracks, especially “Chairman Me” (which clocks in at a very light twelve seconds still does not sound syncopated or otherwise half-assed by the band; in this short period of tiume I Farm is able to come up with enough of a harmony to create one distinct burst of music. There is a style that I Farm have during tracks like “Spoil Your Dinner” that seems influenced in style by bands like Fugazi and Buffalo area masters The Pissants. The amazing thing about “So My Kids Won’t Have To” is that even with all these short tracks, there are enough of them for the disc to crack the thirty-minute mark.

The abundance of tracks and the somewhat different approach done with each one gives the disc a much higher replay value than if I Farm had just cut an album that was focused on one point. Overall, I Farm come out with some of the most inspired punk of the last decade. Each track is ultimately singable and there are very few bald spots on this disc. The spastic and eclectic focus of “So My Kids Won’t Have To” is reminiscent of some of those memorable punk/thrash bands of the late nineties, bands like M.O.D. and D.R.I. In a sense, I Farm pop-i-fies influential hardcore acts like Verbal Abuse and panders the same speed to a completely new audience. Just listen to the chunky bass of a track like “No thanks To You” to hear this pop influence, which is not necessarily just a good helping of Blink 182 but also from early Replacements and Husker Du.

Top Tracks: No Thanks To You, Lucy (Likes The Cops)

Rating: 7.0/10

I Farm – So My Kids Won’t Have To / 2005 Blackout! / 18 Tracks / http://www.ifarmrock.com / http://www.blackoutrecords.com / Reviewed 17 December 2005

[JMcQ]

Idioverse – Demo (CD)

“Lounge Music For Punks”; no. Alternative music with strong ties to Radiohead and Jane’s Addiction, yes. Beginning their disc with “Outstamp”, an over-distorted track that has hints of “Street Spirit” in it, a mess of two and three voices that really doesn’t get far off the group, especially with the 60s-influenced guitar work in the bridge. The odd time-signature and squeaky, Incubus-esque vocals of Ben van der Poorten during the follow up track, “Pole & Hook” mesh well with the wanky-guitars but still leave listeners with a sense of not going anywhere. After two false starts, Idioverse really starts to get somewhere with their “Red Buzzer”, a track that puts Athos’ strong bass lines at direct contrasts to the higher range of Ben’s voice. However, the overly-crunchy nature of the CD is maintained even through that sound, creating a drone to the entire disc that really detracts from the CD itself.

The interplay between the dark guitars and Ben’s vocals on “Red Buzzer” is something that should not be overlooked; the two demarcate two completely different paths, with Ben’s voice reaching for the upper echelons of the stratosphere while the guitar plows into the deep loam. The pitch-shifting of Ben’s voice on “Steam Whistle” is more than a little disconcerting with the tinsel-sound of the guitars falling all among eir. Moving farther into the ethereal side of things with “Fur”, using a monk-like drone for the majority of the track, Ben seems over-bearing in a track that affords eir very little in the way of instrumental accompaniment. After moving into wordless vocals, Ben gets some idea what ey should be doing with the track, and as a result, “Fur” ends on a stronger note than it started.

Idioverse is a band that takes all the advances in alterative and hard rock and mixes them together to make something that is different from what is currently out. While there are a number of moments in which they falter, the fact is that Idioverse is going along that path that is much less traveled. The spiraling nature of “Thin Walls” is the perfect way to end a disc, losing all control of instruments and voices until the system cannot bear the strain for any longer. Idioverse does their style of music well, but I could not see them doing it in any other ways. If the band can break out from this sound on subsequent records, I would have to say that I would be amazed.

Top Track: Thin Walls

Rating: 5.7/10

Idioverse – Demo / 2004 Self – Released / 6 Songs / http://www.idioverse.com/ / Reviewed 30 March 2004 /

Idiot Pilot – Strange We Should Meet Here (CD)

The sound of idiot Pilot looks back to the shoegazer rock of the mid-nineties, slowly gliding over tracks like “Losing Color” with controlled chaos (in terms of the guitar riffs) and ethereal-feeling vocals. The much more noisy “A Day In The Life of a Poolshark”, specifically the Jeckyl/Hyde nature of the track allows for all listeners to see another side of the band. The look-back towards Radiohead’s “Ok Computer” is a constant throughout “Strange We Should Meet Here”, as Idiot Pilot’s only retooling of that general sound comes in the infusion of more emo elements. The ethereal nature of the disc comes back in places more heavily than others; take a listen to the Erasure-influenced “Les Lumieres” and try to make a case that Idiot Pilot is not at least inspired. What is really a break-out track for Idiot Pilot is their two-track “Spark Plug”, which starts out as a number of the previous tracks on the disc have, but rapidly moves into an intense, bowel-shaking monument to Idiot Pilot’s harder influences. In fact, the breakdown on “Spark Plug” moves into the realm of both System of a Down and Ministry before sliding back into the digital muck that the band revels in.

The sound that Idiot Pilot cultivates throughout this disc is innovative, only trending a little closely to the Postal Service a few times throughout the disc. The mixture of U2 and traditional emo/hardcore screaming present during the title track really creates in a nutshell exactly what Idiot Pilot is; a band that hap-hazardly puts together their influences in such a way that what emanates forth is different from anything ever heard. This is perfectly shown by the inclusion of some blistering rap on “Militance Prom”, which (aside from that section) traces the same path drawn by the rest of the tracks on the disc.

Idiot Pilot may have an excessive amount of material that is only slightly distinguishable from each other, but the little shake-ups that happen seemingly throughout each and every track on “Strange We Should Meet Here” are really the gold that is to be panned on this disc. Idiot Pilot have been able to cultivate a number of different styles on this disc without losing the main focus that they infused the disc with at the onset. Idiot Pilot is thus a band for a new generation, instead of just being someone that cops mindlessly off of 80s synthpop (Killers, Bravery, et al).

Top Tracks: Militance Prom, A Day In The Life Of A Poolshark

Rating: 6.8/10

Idiot Pilot – Strange We Should Meet Here / 2005 Reprise / 14 Tracks /http://www.idiotpilot.com / http://www.repriserecords.com / Reviewed 14 May 2005

I Am The Avalanche – S/T (CD)

It is rare when a band puts their biggest hit as their opening track; when a band is newer, like I Am The Avalanche it may just be the smartest move that they could do. With a bouncy bass line and a mixture between screaming and smoothed-out vocals. The production on tracks like “New Disaster” is strong and sure; when the track moves between the different speakers, one knows that I Am The Avalanche really has their combo brand of emo, punk and rock together.

The nice reggae influence on “Murderous” is nothing like the self-parody reggae that bands like 311 force upon their listening audience; in a sense, the slightly-snotty vocals present seem a little closer to Billy Talent (even as the chaotic backdrop of instrumentation screams out something like the Meat Puppets or Soul Asylum). The stop-start sound of “Green Eyes” is perhaps the first snag that I Am The Avalanche gets themselves into; the track itself is not weak, but really just does not bring much of anything new to the then-continually innovative music on the disc. However, I Am The Avalanche comes back in a strong way with the Ten Foot Pole (especially “Subliminable Messages-era”) sounding track “I Took A Beating”. With a simplistic, driving beat to fuel the catchy vocals thrown out on the track, listeners will be as titillated with this track as they were with the opening salvo. The slower tempo of “Wasted” really puts I Am The Avalanche into the “Untitled” (Simple Plan) brand of emotive, driven pop-punkers while this tone really seems to be solidified by “Always”.

The band tweaks the sound to reflect a slightly harder sound for “This Is Dungeon Music”; by incorporating AFI-all in choruses with a Sum 41 type of vocals, this late-disc track is just another star in I Am The Avalanche’s corona. There is a great deal of work within the same rigid framework, but I Am The Avalanche really tries their best to keep the disc interesting. The instrumentation could use some variety, but the vocal inflection (which jumps to something as wild as the Butthole Surfers for “Symphony”) may just be the disc saving grace. There may only be a few really strong tracks on the disc, but the bulk of the tracks stay clustered together at an above-average quality that will never bore or tire out a listener before the disc’s end.

Top Tracks: Emergency, Dead And Gone

Rating: 6.1/10

I Am The Avalanche – S/T / 2005 Drive-Thru / 12 Tracks / http://www.iamtheavalanche.com / http://www.drivethrurecords.com / Reviewed 17 October 2005

[JMcQ]