NIGHT “Charlottesville”

NIGHT’s “Charlottesville”is a tremendously emotional effect that needs little more to shine than a solitary set of vocals and a guitar. As the single continues to play, additional elements are able to join into the mix. At no point does this single lose its tender edge. At the 1:45 mark, an electronic element is brought into the fray; hints of Nine Inch Nails and The Tea Party bubble forth. The electronic side of things takes over at the 2:45 mark, providing a good amount of momentum as fans move into the final minute or so of Charlottesville. Video is below.

 

NIGHT “Charlottesville” / Facebook / Twitter

Images of Eden “Shield Me”

Images of Eden’s “Shield Me” is a supersponic metal track that showcases a band that is able to make something current while showcasing extreme reverence for the acts that had preceded them. Shield Me’s vocals are a melange of Queensryche and Iron Maiden, while the sizzling guitar work adds further narrative to the song. Shield Me has furious solos (2:45) and guitar/drum dynamics that push each to a higher plateau. We’d love to hear more from IoE in the future; Shield Me is from their Soulrise and showcases that a nearly five-minute track can go by as easily as a 30 second hook. Continue reading “Images of Eden “Shield Me””

Biting Elbows “Love Song”

Biting Elbows’ “Love Song” links together Disintegration-era Cure and mid-1980s Depeche Mode. The vocals that are laid down on this single are reminiscent of performers as wide-ranging as Walk The Moon and Conor Oberst. We dig the instrumentation that ebbs and flows on this effort. Take special care to focus on the track after the 2:30 mark. Love Song’s bridging point has the band move into new territory in the effort’s second half. A slightly quicker set of vox and a bit more echo allow the cut a bit of additional energy as it comes to a close. Check out the video for Love Song below the jump. Continue reading “Biting Elbows “Love Song””

nIMO & The Light “Skin to Skin”

nIMO & The Light’s “Skin to Skin” calls back to acts like The Smiths and The Tragically Hip. The instrumentation on this new single builds upon the tradition of performers like U2 and INXS, with subtle nods to 1980s goth music. Skin to Skin’s bass, guitar and drum dynamic is fascinating, pitting the rich and omnipresent bass line with a more sporadic and impactful guitar. The drums punctuate Skin to Skin at all of the right points, making for an effort that is catchy while having some serious instrumentation bubbling below the surface. Continue reading “nIMO & The Light “Skin to Skin””

Couch Jackets “Pillows And Rillos”

Couch Jackets’ “Pillows And Rillos” is a fascinating track. The distinct sections oof the single – the synths, drums, vocals, and guitars – are pulling double duty. This means that not only do they contribute to the overall coherent effort that is Pillows and Rillos, but that they also can be enjoyed on their own. In the same way, pick out pieces of the track – the 1980s synths seemingly pulled from a dystopian flick of the era or the more Pink Floyd / The Wall-era narrative that plays at the periphery – for additional enjoyment. The Couch Jackets have placed so much into their latest single that it will take fans multiple plays to hear everything that is secreted away. Continue reading “Couch Jackets “Pillows And Rillos””

An Old Friend “Lady”

An Old Friend’s “Lady” is one of those track that imparts as much deep and effecting emotion with its instrumentation as it does with its passionate vocals. The track draws from the late-nineties and early-oughts indie/alternative rock styles of the Deep Elm acts. Lady is an effort that ebbs and flows, with louder, most guitar / drum -heavy moments buttressed alongside rich and impassioned vocals. The track will keep listeners on the edges of their seats. An Old Friend is able to refresh a musical style that has by and large faded away with smart production, tremendous instrumentation, and a masterful hand in collating all the constituent parts of the song. Continue reading “An Old Friend “Lady””

Tritonal “Love U Right” (feat. Lourdiz)

Tritonal have brought in Lourdiz to their new track “Love U Right”. The inclusion of her voocals allow Tritonal the ability to layer glowing synths and perfectly punchy beats in a way that makes the resulting track incredibly deep. While it is incredibly easy to enjoy the song driving around or doing something else, Tritonal’s unique ability to make this a heady and complex effort means that one should really strap on a pair of headphones and hear the beauty in each interaction laid out during Love U Right. Continue reading “Tritonal “Love U Right” (feat. Lourdiz)”

Albert Hammond, Jr “Far Away Truths”

Albert Hammond Jr has been crafting music for well over a decade at this point, and on his latest single,”Far Away Truths”, he’s able to spin the very angular rock music of the oughts in a bright new way. A guitar / bass dynamic hearkens a bit back to the 1980s; supersonic vocals draw upon Rush as much as Interpol.

Continue reading “Albert Hammond, Jr “Far Away Truths””

Seconds Before Landing – Trio Volume 1

Seconds Before Landing’s fourth release is a three song EP entitled Trio Volume 1 and shows how far songwriting John Crispino and Seconds Before Landing has progressed since their debut concept album The Great Deception. Crispino is a multi-instrumentalist as well and his drumming and synthesizer contributions to the release are every bit as important as his vocal and lyrical offerings. The band has worked with engineer Andy Jackson before and he reprises his role mastering those earlier releases on this EP as well. Jackson has worked extensively with rock legends Pink Floyd and I hear some of their influence in Seconds Before Landing’s music, but the band is never imitative. Instead, Seconds Before Landing’s Trio Volume 1 will surely end this year contending for coveted spots on many Top 10 lists. They are reaching far beyond progressive rock and, instead, a far reaching artistry seems to grow with each new outing from this Pittsburgh based band.

 

“Maybe I’m a Weirdo” is definitely an offbeat beginning to Trio Volume 1, but the humor and strong characterizations are impossible to deny. It’s the lengthiest track on the album without ever over-stretching the band’s talents and John Crispino’s vocal and lyrical talents are a major reason why the song is so successful. There’s a number of compelling musical elements included in the song, piano, multiple guitar sounds, and some backing vocals from Vanessa Campagna – but none of these additions do anything to dilute the song’s power. Despite the foreignness of the character, listeners can connect with this tune – it’s weird, yes, but there’s something intensely human about the songwriting that engages with listeners without little effort. Andy Jackson’s mastering is exceptional for giving the song an expert sound.

 

The lead guitar on the song “1-9-2” from band member Steve Schuffert has more bite than any individual six string effort we hear elsewhere on the release. We hear piano in this piece, as well, but it illustrates how well they thread these disparate elements into an overall package rather than focusing on any particular part of the package. There’s a theatrical air surrounding the song similar to the opener, but it’s downplayed some instead of emphasized, and the subtlety is important to setting this tune apart from the opening song. It’s another example, as well, of Crispino’s lyrical prowess and how adeptly he leaves open to listener’s interpretation.

 

The EP’s last tune “You Won’t Deny Me” is, for me, the most impressive moment on the EP. There’s the same strong presentation of guitar distinguishing this song that sets the opener apart, but it is deployed in a much different way here and seems particularly attuned to the rising and falling of Crispino’s finest vocal performance on the album. The song’s subject matter is rather dark and the music matches that without ever becoming too strained – the focused, not a word or note wasted, attack of the song tightens its approach to a sharp edge that brings the EP to a memorable close. Seconds Before Landing’s Trio Volume 1 will impress casual and hardcore listeners alike.

 

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Kim Muncie

NeuFutur has covered Seconds Before Landing in the past, covering Now That I Have Your Attention and The Great Deception .