Jupiter in Velvet releases new LP

With a swing step furiousness that can’t help but evoke imagery of soldiers marching into battle, Jupiter in Velvet’s “Can’t Get It Right” starts walking us down an ominous path from the get-go. Jupiter himself struts with a stone cold, ominous demeanor among one heart stopping guitar riff after another in a layered sonic cataclysm that pushes us to question our own definition of melody. There’s so much rock n’ roll swagger steaming off of the amplifiers that one can easily feel suffocated by its thick, heavy basslines and cutting vocals, but it’s just a taste of what’s in store for those who listen to Beautiful New Day, Jupiter in Velvet’s latest slice of musical thunder and arguably his best yet. Continue reading “Jupiter in Velvet releases new LP”

The West Coast Feed “August Peach”

The West Coast Feed’s “August Peach” is one of those tracks that moves through distinct styles and approaches with incredible ease. There are hints of jam bands, blues, and even hints of Bob Segar and mid-1990s college rock that one can discern during this track. The vocals are a bit Hootie, a bit Cat Stevens, and it is through these impassioned lyrics that fans will be converted. The rest of the band is robust, coming together for magnificent blends of horns, bass, violin, and guitars. August Peach is our choice for September’s best track.

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VIKINGO! – Set It On Fire

VIKINGO!’s Set It On Fire is a powerful track that builds upon the pop-emo sound of acts like early Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy. Assertive vocals, a chugging bass line, and angular guitars unite to make for a song that will tattoo itself deep into the minds and hearts of fans. The guitar / vox dynamic on Set It On Fire keeps the energy high from the beginning to end, while the fuzzy guitar / drum sections ensure that listeners will be on the edges of their seats. Listen to Set It On Fire below the jump.

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Wave 21 release debut LP

The country rock tradition remains one of the more satisfying vehicles for me to hear thanks to its abiding quality for speaking to the listener in straight-forward, yet often affecting language. It is usually music full of universal experiences, wears its influences on its sleeve, and makes the form its own. The young Canadian country rock band Wave 21 has a rich musical lineage; Longtime member of Men Without Hats Stefan Doroschuk’s daughters Mary-Lynn and Emmy-Lou Doroschuk are, respectively, lead vocals/acoustic guitar and vocals/keyboards. Stefan joins them on this album playing bass, contributing backing vocals, and even memorably adding violin. They are, as well, the songwriting tandem behind the album’s ten songs, but the contributions of many fully realize the self-titled album’s potential; among them, legendary drummer Kenny Arnoff, Simon Beaudoin, drummer Harry Stinson. They are definitely carrying on in a fine tradition and the performances fulfill every bit of my aforementioned requirements for this genre. Continue reading “Wave 21 release debut LP”

Anja Kotar “Theory of Relativity”

Anja Kotar’s “Theory of Relativity” is a powerful pop track that immediately showcases the power of the performer. The instrumentation and vox are able to push one another to a higher plateau. Theory of Relativity is an effort that brings in hints of pop, EDM, and R&B in a very timeless fashion. The bit of new age sound that is presented during the single calls back to an earlier musical tradition (e.g. Enya, Enigma, early Sarah McLachlan). By the time the song concludes, listeners will be amazed at the sheer vocal range of Kotar. Check out the video for Theory of Relativity below the jump. Continue reading “Anja Kotar “Theory of Relativity””

Czarina “Blaze”

Czarina’s “Blaze” is a wonderful piece of synth-pop that weaves in hints of goth and darkwave. There’s an equally intense instrumentation that plays along nicely with the booming percussion and synth line. I like that Czarina is able to build upon the tradition of modern revivalists of synth-pop like La Roux and Chromeo in creating something retro but impressive with modern sensibilities. Czarina’s vocals are supersonic here with a back and forth male/female dynamic both telling a story and adding considerably to the overall harmonies of the single. Listeners will have to play Blaze a number of times before hearing each and every turn that has been included within. Continue reading “Czarina “Blaze””

Introducing Isolated Ave

Las Vegas is typically a place that is full of glitz and glamour, dotted with massive works and lacking perhaps a bit of the human side of things. It was surprising when we first learned about Isolated Ave, a four-piece rock act that showcases musicianship and soulful song-writing in their music. One need online listen to Monotony, the first song on their Contact EP, to understand. Brooding guitar work gradually gives way to a driving beat, deftly mixing together early emo, 1990s-alternative, and even hints of jam band rock into a musically complex and wholly unique sound. The bit of fuzz and echo that bubbles up at points during this track acts as a glue, making the resulting effort musically cogent and coherent. The number of twists and turns that Isolated Ave includes into their Hurricane makes the nearly-five minute run time go by quickly. There is a ropy bass line playing at the bottom of the track while hints of Stone Temple Pilots and mid-1990s Dave Mustaine and Billy Corgan can be discerned in the vocals.  Continue reading “Introducing Isolated Ave”

Payson Lewis – Can’t Go Back

On Can’t Go Back, Payson Lewis is able to make an emotionally intense appeal to the past. The brooding, intricate instrumentation of the single provides a perfect counter-point for Lewis’ voice. With just a tinge of distortion dripping off of Payson’s vox, the resulting effort is cohesive as all get out. Can’t Go Back has so much going on during its run time that listeners will have to play the song multiple times before hearing each and every nuance that has been inserted within. A solid fit for rock and alternative rotation, with just enough pop influence to keep listeners happy. Continue reading “Payson Lewis – Can’t Go Back”

21 Taras – Change

21 Taras begin their new album Change with Change Is Gonna Come , an introductory effort which immediately showcases the band’s technical ability. The dynamic established by the bass, guitar, and drums during the first half-minute ensures that the vocals have a tremendous bit of momentum as they enter into the equation. The driving dynamic between the vocals and guitars call back to the heavy rock of Thin Lizzy and The Cult. Continue reading “21 Taras – Change”