The Julie Ruin’s Hit Reset out 7/8/16

Set for release on LP, CD, digital, and cassette formats on Friday, July 8th, Hit Reset–which finds the band operating at the peak of their considerable talents–is The Julie Ruin’s first full-length since 2013’s Run Fast and the release of the biographical documentary The Punk Singer (which charts Kathleen Hanna’s career from the founding of Bikini Kill through to this latest iteration of The Julie Ruin).  The band has also shared a lyric video for the song, starring Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield as she listens to the song for the first time at SXSW.

The Julie Ruin

Continue reading “The Julie Ruin’s Hit Reset out 7/8/16”

DeModa – The Future Perfect Premiere

NeuFutur Magazine is premiering the scenic and serene video for “The Future Perfect,” the new single from acclaimed electronic songwriter DeModa. DeModa describes the music of “The Future Perfect” as “very soft and endearing for the purpose of showing the sensitivity the protagonist feels towards the antagonist.” He attributes the song’s serene nature to a mother’s love for her child, and notes that the video for “The Future Perfect” perfectly captures that sentiment Continue reading “DeModa – The Future Perfect Premiere”

NorthShore Supreme Briefs

There are a new sort of incontinence briefs that is on the market, designed for those with severe incontinence both of the bladder and bowel. The padding on the Supreme Briefs is very absorbent meaning that it can contain a great amount of liquid – the larges can contain up to 40 ounces of fluid. The thickness of the brief is not incredibly noticeable under slacks, shorts, or other sorts of bottoms. Continue reading “NorthShore Supreme Briefs”

Depend for Men and Women Underwear

Depends have renovated their underwear line to ensure that there is a better fit, better protection, and overall lack of bulkiness from their product line. Depend Underwear are broken into male and female varieties with different amounts of padding to ensure that the greatest protection is provided. The coloration of the pull-ups – grey for males and a peach color for females – is a smart decision as the average underwear is not the white color of most types of pull ups. The company’s underwear padding is very dense, meaning that any sort of accident or other issue whether it be bowel or bladder will be able to be properly captured. Continue reading “Depend for Men and Women Underwear”

Promethium Origins Review

There are dark places in the mind of every person where feelings of bitterness and rage reside, whether acknowledged by their owner or not. For most, these are not enjoyable places to be, but for many, they are unavoidable.

On the new ten track album Origins from English metal band Promethium, the dark corners of the mind are tapped into and stimulated, to the tune of a thirty-eight minute long journey across the expanse of an aggressive and bloody soundscape.

Admittedly, I am not much of a metal person, so it’s difficult for me to come up with other musicians to compare these guys to—there were times while listening through the album when I thought of Disturbed and Lamb of God. I even detected a hint of Creed at one point.

So, not being an aficionado of any kind in relation to the genre of metal, I can only tell you about what I heard—both good and bad.

Upon first sitting through the album, I have to say that I was not overly impressed. The band rocks hard—there’s no disputing this, but I am the kind of person who is always looking for glimmers of originality when checking out new musical artists, and I didn’t find any here.

Interestingly, that may be sort of what the band is going for. According to their website and Twitter page, they identify as an old school group who are trying to keep the spirit of metal alive when rock and roll as a whole is largely going out of style. In this regard, I say: good for them… (even if it may not be a great move as far as commercial appeal goes). It sounds like they have real passion, and their music confirms this.

If you’re a person who is into intricate lyricism or powerful vocals, however, this album is not for you. The singer’s words, though expelled with vigor, are stale and of an oft-recycled breed. Hurting him further, his voice is kind of crappy—a lot of the time, he just sounds like an angry guy who could have been pulled off the street, handed some lyrics and a cigarette, and told to have at it on the mic.

And I think this is something that holds the band back.

Throughout the entire album, the guys on the instruments attack their work with a definite fierceness, driving the classic metal/hard rock vehicle from start to finish, with a few softer but nevertheless brooding stops along the way. And everyone in the group with their hands to an instrument is on board this car; you can hear their unity as they jam during points when the singer recedes into the background, creating head bobbing rhythm that could work even your arthritic grandma into a frenzy. Cut the vocals, and this album could serve as the backdrop for the apocalypse.

Vocally, though, it isn’t all bad. There are two songs where the group’s singer raises his game and, along with his bandmates, delivers tracks that are exceptional: the fifth song, “Rain,” and the seventh, “Plagued By Evil.”

“Rain” starts out with the singer looking back on the good and bad times in his life with melancholy; the hook, complimented by a rising and falling wave from the axe and drums, exclaims, “tell you no lies, look in his eyes, come down like rain; poison your mind, turnin’ ya blind, come down like rain; the memories you have, you never did have, come down like rain; and now it’s too late, to suffer the pain, of beautiful rain.”

The bassist, as those of all good rock bands do, skillfully sets the framework for the track and allows the intensity of the vocals, drums, and guitar riffs to drive this song into the type of realm that could never fail to create a lustful and violent mosh pit at a concert. This track shows what the band could be with more consistent strength from the lead singer.

Two songs later, the listener is immersed in “Plagued By Evil,” the most complete song on the album. The track starts out with a slow, haunting solo from the axe, and it steadily builds in its strength and depth as the singer exclaims, “Plagued by evil that lay within in my heart, plagued by evil that ripped my soul apart, it becomes me, anytime you’re near,” the final word being dragged out of the vocalist’s mouth in much the same way he perceives his evil to be wrenched from him. A long instrumental in the middle of the song unleashes the painful and immense power of the band’s electric guitar, in a way that would lead anyone to become blissfully lost in electric reverie.

As I said before, these two tracks are the greatest strength of the album, and I think they show what the band is capable of when everything comes together. Throughout the album as a whole, you can hear the togetherness this band maintains in the face of musical creations characterized by overtones of pain, violence, angst, and evil. But even though their style is dark in its nature—this isn’t depressing music, necessarily. I would liken it to an energetic stress reliever, especially for anyone who sometimes feels that they are plagued by the sort of evil or pain that rips their soul apart.

Another note: the ninth song on the album, “Believer,” is a piercing attack on organized religion, and an interesting ending to the journey Promethium takes their listener on over the course of the album—the vocalist bombards religious advocacy with lines like, “is this the will of God? Blood of the innocent spilled in his name.” This song represents a strange lyrical turn in a collection that is otherwise consumed by the pain of a tortured psyche, one which might, for others, lead to religion for salvation. For Promethium, however, there can be no salvation, as the final song on the album and its title track, “Origins,” is a somber instrumental complimented by steadily falling rain in its background.

It’s curious. The album Origins, as a whole, is a ride from start to finish, beginning with “Won’t Break Me,” and ending with a sound that emits an air of brokenness as powerful as any. It isn’t what I would term a great collection of music, but it is thoughtful in its composition, and a stark look into the minds of men that are well-acquainted with the darker realm of the human imagination.

 

–Owen M.S. Coughlin, Jr.
promethium

Review of Origins, the Second Studio Album from Metal Group, Promethium

A Return to The Cool (Album review of Tim Easton’s, Not Cool)

timeaston_notcool

A Return to The Cool (Album review of Tim Easton’s, Not Cool)

by Owen M.S. Coughlin, Jr.

            In the world of music and art as a whole, there is, for whatever reason, a tendency to try to put artists into a certain kind of box, based on the perceived genre under which their work falls. It’s sort of like, “well these guys rock hard but they are very emo, so this is punk rock; that’s all it is.” In the eyes’ of many artists, being stuffed into a specific kind of box like this is bothersome, and borderline disrespectful.

On Tim Easton’s 8th solo album, Not Cool, he calmly defies anyone who would seek to place his music in a box. The twenty-eight minute, ten song album runs the gambit of rock and roll—there are points where there is a distinctly classic feel, descents into the groovy realm of swamp music, catchy folk choruses, and even a couple points where Easton soulfully delivers his listeners into the world of soft rock. Basically, Not Cool clearly exhibits that Easton is simply a rocker—and that, I think, is the smallest box anyone can successfully stuff him in.

Admittedly, this was my first time listening to Easton’s music, but I had no trouble feeling at home from the jump. The album’s first track, “Don’t Lie” starts with a mysterious riff from the electric guitar before Easton jumps in with his acoustic—the foot tapping begins immediately, before Easton sings, “I came home, just the other night, the house felt like some-body was fight-ing; one last question I ask of you, tell me why you do the things that you do, and don’t lie.”

The song, as a whole, has a great rhythm, as Easton seemingly addresses a lover, asking her not to lie to him, as she seems to have been doing for some time.

As a life-long fan of music, I’ve always measured the strength of a song based upon whether or not it causes me to find my head bobbing or foot tapping, and there is no shortage of this throughout the album. What I enjoyed most about the collection of songs: Easton keeps things very simple and down to earth, as he lyricizes the common themes of love, the betrayals of lovers, the life of a rolling stone and the comforts of home. In fact, the only time when there seems to be any level of severe complexity to his lyrics is on the 6th track, “Four Queens.” The song is moved forward by the three musical instruments most commonly heard on the album: the electric and acoustic guitars, and a skillfully-employed harmonica. Throughout the song, Easton sings about four different types of women, represented by the four breeds of Queens found in a deck of playing cards; my favorite lyric: “aw, the Queen of Clubs, just can’t get clean.” Symbolism in this song is apparent, as a woman who can’t stay out of a club or bar rarely adheres to a strict schedule of sobriety. Sidenote: I listened to this album for the first time with my girlfriend, and there was some noticeable rump-shaking on her part during this track.

The two songs which follow “Four Queens,” move a bit away from the undercurrent of troubled love and discuss the difficulties of the life of a man on the road. The eighth track, “Gallatin Pike Blues,” begins with the lyric “If this stray dog keeps on howling, I believe I’m gonna lose my mind,” and moves forward from there with talk of courage and cowardice, amplified, at one point, by a haunting yet beautiful violin solo. The song is swampy and plucky, and it could only have been composed by a man, or group of men, who have spent much of their lives traveling the world.

The ninth song (and the album’s title track), “Not Cool,” is the only truly soft and somber ballad in the collection. It makes the album’s final return to the theme of painful relations between lovers, as Easton croons, “How could you put me in harm’s way if the reasons were not true?” which he follows with a chorus that repeats the two simple but dragged out words : “not cooool, not cooo-ooo-ooo-ool.” The only instruments heard on this song are an acoustic guitar and the piano, and it’s the type of ballad that anyone who has ever been sold down the river can easily relate to. Innovatively, I never imagined I would hear such a soothing rock chorus that simply repeated the words, “not cool.”

Apparently unwilling to end the album on such a downcast note, the music closes with a wordless song called “Knock Out Roses (For Levon),” which presents a sound that mixes southern, porch hospitality with the essence of the rolling countrysides of Ireland, where Easton lived for a time. The album, as a whole, obsesses over the betrayals the lyricist has suffered at the hands of women, but it manages to stay upbeat through it all. This, I think, could only be done by a man who can look back at a woman squandering his care for her and simply say, “yeah, that was not cool.”

Even though the album has a certain classic feel at times, it never sounds dated, and that is a real accomplishment. All in all, being only twenty-eight minutes long, I think it’s a musical creation that deserves the open ears of all breeds of people. And even though Easton settled on the title of Not Cool, in a world that’s “a mess, but ya just can’t let it break ya,” this album is about as cool as they come.