R.W. Roldan – Falling Star

Although not always on the same page, every now and again country music flirts with rock n’ roll, and I’ve found that in these flirtations, it never sounds the same way twice. Sure, there have been hard pumping southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd or Molly Hatchet that have harnessed the sheer power and rumble of rock’s blistering guitars and thunderous basses, but there have also been more acoustically minded country singers influenced by the spirit and essence of rock music as well. Often discounted as too poppy for country or too country for the mainstream charts, these artists often get lumped into the folk crowd just out of scenes giving up on finding a more suitable home for them. And then there are artists like R.W. Roldan, a Texas-based country singer/songwriter who isn’t interested in what you want to call him or his music, because he’s going to be playing regardless of what you decide to label him. Ah yes, how I love intellectually-based artistic rebellion in my pop music. This is what we live for, folks. The composers who totally reject our attempts to place them neatly in a box. Because real art just doesn’t work that way. And thankfully, thanks to people like Roldan, it never will. Continue reading “R.W. Roldan – Falling Star”

Lord & Lady release The Lift

Picking the right time to release a record can be a challenging process even for the most experienced of artists. Winter albums are designed to warm us up during the coldest of months, summer albums are usually meant to get us excited about being out having fun in the sun. All of them are set up to fulfil the sonic needs of us, the consumers, but moreover they can artistically capture the mood and feel of an entire section of the calendar, too. Lord & Lady have chosen this June to release their EP No Ghost, and anyone familiar with the aspiring dream pop duo will agree that it’s the absolute perfect time for the world to get acquainted with their stunningly romantic and emotionally poignant style.

 

Lord & Lady remind me a lot of The Vaselines. The Vaselines were an instrumental force in the development of alternative rock in the 1980s, and arguably the most melodic noise rock band that ever pressed vinyl. Coming screeching out of Glasgow, Scotland in 1986, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee developed a signature duality in their sound that was equally feminine and masculine, and it made for sheer pop magic. If you strip out their noisier, more atonal parts in their sound, you would essentially get what Lord & Lady is recording today, albeit a much more evolved, 21st century format. There’s space for their style to grow a little more into the big speakers they’re trying to fill, but their new single “The Lift”  off of No Ghost is really too inviting to really be picky over. Unlike The Vaselines, Lord & Lady have a distinctly more pop-focused drive that allows for their sound to be significantly more accessible and radio friendly then their punk rock forerunners, and it may end up doing the genre well to see this kind of friendliness with melody rising back up to the surface of the scene.

 

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsZwuz2Idyo

 

In many ways, “The Lift” and the extended play that it’s prepping us for are stylized like a soundtrack to the epic picture that is the twilight of 2010’s pop music. It’s like we’re listening to all of the sounds that have materialized in the last ten years tucked tightly under a blanket and made to simmer and create a spacy backdrop that Lord & Lady use as a template to weave their ascending psychedelic verse and gentle vocal exchanges. Having come together in the most classic of California circumstances and now creating something that we can almost universally agree is fresh and appealing to music intellectuals, the end is nowhere in sight for this dynamically attractive unit. I can see their cult following finally bursting at the seams after No Ghost drops next month, and it will only be a matter of time before we begin seeing plenty of sound-alikes coming out of the woodwork to try and replicate the shimmering resonances of “The Lift.” I for one won’t forget who the originals were, and it should be mesmeric to witness how they decide to set themselves apart further from the crowd.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/37fJ2QD1jR5zJcru9GZsJr

I-TUNES: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1387737489?ls=1&app=itunes

 

Bethany Page

 

Naurea – New Zombie Generation

Abel Oliva Menendez has recorded and released music under the moniker Naurea and “stage name” Olimann since the early 2000’s and, nearly two decades on, sounds as witless and unconvincing as ever. His latest collection New Zombie Generation deserves the title Variations on a Theme as Menendez dazes listeners with twelve by the numbers cuts that often can pass as alternate takes on other songs. His understanding of what makes for collar-grabbing, hard-hitting metal/industrial rock/house music is obviously limited and frequently imitative. The wont for imitation extends even to his lyrical content as the songs tend to riff on common themes in this musical style, but his focus from one disconnected image to the next – any chance, however remote, for these songs to connect with their intended audience wrecks on the shores of Menendez’s inability to offer much coherent. Continue reading “Naurea – New Zombie Generation”

Fogo De Chao (Denver, CO)

Our first night in Denver, we were lucky enough to be invited downtown to Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse buffet. The restaurant is in a fairly non-descript building downtown, but opens up into something ornately appointed as soon as one enters. We were greeted and sat in short order, and our drink order was taken. I decided on their Brazilian Gentleman, a cocktail that utilized Knob Creek as its base. From there, port and Bitters are included. Passion fruit and honey tie together the drink as a marriage of opposites. Sweet, sour, strong, and assertive, it played the perfect counterpoint for the masses of food that I encountered.

Continue reading “Fogo De Chao (Denver, CO)”

AV Super Sunshine’s “Time Bomb”

Synthetic stripes of melody drift before our ears, and ticking of a clock reminds us that time is at hand. The pressure is on as the percussion starts to kick in on the club mix of AV Sunshine’s “Time Bomb,” and AV himself doesn’t even have to inform us that we’re going to have to act fast if we’re going to make it to our destination – dance ecstasy – in time. “I’m working on a time bomb, baby” he croons as the song churns and builds towards an anti-climactic release that is reminiscent of neo-mod psychedelia. At once we’re rousted from our seats and pushed into the heat of the volcanic core that is radiating all of these tones, and AV appears to be the conductor of this sinful symphony of noise. Every time it feels like we’re about to go off the rails and into a black oblivion, we’re swung back in the opposite direction whether we’re ready for it or not. This isn’t music for wallflowers – its purpose in life is to remind us that we’re not living if we’re not dancing. Continue reading “AV Super Sunshine’s “Time Bomb””

Morne – To The Night Unknown

Doom metal is usually a miss for me owing to a slew of bands devolving into a formulaic trudge through molasses of mediocrity. But ever so often, there comes a piece of music so gargantuan and animalistic that you cannot help but get excited. The fifth release To The Night Unknown by Boston doomsludgers Morne released on Armageddon Records and the first to be released on the band’s own eponymous Morne Records is one of those works. Continue reading “Morne – To The Night Unknown”

Mika Means – “Single Life”

Mika Means’ “Single Life” has a lush production that builds off the work of Sean Kingston, Nico & Vinz and Jason Derulo. Mika’s own vocals will bury themselves deep into the minds and hearts of listeners, while the bouncy beat provides the perfect counterpoint for these vox. The tempo ensures that listeners will make it out on the dance floor, while there is just enough in the way of differentiation that fans will be as energized on the concluding note as they were when Single Life began. A strong message that listeners tat have just gotten out of a relationship will be able to draw strength from. Continue reading “Mika Means – “Single Life””

Slothrust – “Double Down”

Slothrust’s “Double Down” is a snarky bit of alternative rock that showcases a tremendous amount of instrumental skill with a bit of funkiness. The fuzzy guitar work that starts at about the 1:45 mark is a nice counterpoint for the smoothed-out beginnings of Double Down. As the guitar line continues, the bass and drums are able to add further depth to the composition. A bit of The White Stripes come forth towards the final minute of the effort, further mooring Slothrust to the corpus of alternative rock. Double Down is a track that will bounce around listeners’ ears for months to come. Continue reading “Slothrust – “Double Down””

The Aces “Last One”

The Aces’ “Last One” is a wonderful piece of 1980s power-pop that has just a hint of electro-funk contributed by the bass. The vocals and synths presented on this single weave in bits of Walk The Moon and Paramore. With seems as if with every subsequent single, The Aces are able to make a more engrossing and musically taut effort. Last One is light, airy, and contains enough twists and turns to keep listeners focused on in five or ten spins in. We’ll be playing the song through the beginning of school. Check out the video for Last One below the jump.

We covered The Aces’ previous single Volcanic Love back in March.

The Aces “Last One” / Website