Eivind Opsvik – Overseas III

Eivind Opsvik – Overseas III / 2008 Loyal Label / 7 Tracks / http://www.eivindopsvik.com/ /

The name Eivind Opsvik may not immediately ring a bell, but he is currently playing in acts such as Hari Honzu, Rocket Engine, the Ben Gerstein Collective, and the Kris Davis Quartet. He (and the acts that he is or has been in) have been chronicled in JazzTimes and the New York Times; he is no stranger to major labels, either , releasing a live CD on Universal Records. “Overseas III” is the culmination of five years of playing with the same act, and is released on Opsvik’s own label, Loyal Label. The seven tracks on “Overseas III” give listeners fifty-three minutes of Opsvik’s own interpretations on what current jazz music should sound like. Continue reading “Eivind Opsvik – Overseas III”

Rev Theory – Hell Yeah

Rev Theory – Hell Yeah / 2008 Interscope / 1 Track / http://www.revtheory.com / http://www.interscope.com /

Rev Theory is the band that had the Wrestlemania XXIV theme song, and “Hell Yeah” is the second official single for their second major label album “Light It Up”. The act plays hard rock that has equal parts Guns N Roses and Bad Religion. The vocals have the same grit of a Mike Ness, while the instrumentation is the same energetic type of rock that acts like Seether have brought forth to rock radio in the last few years. The chorus is what will bring individuals to the track, and while the guitars are similar to what Velvet Revolver placed on their last album, fans will not be given the time to breathe and figure that out. The fact that Rev Theory are able to bring a little bit of hair metal influence to the mix places the act at a level that few new rock acts have been able to achieve. They are not going to fall by the wayside, and it is extremely unlikely that this will not be on rotation all through the summer. If you like the bands mentioned, pick up this single and get the band’s upcoming album when it comes out in June. You will not be disappointed.

Rating: 6.2/10

Logs In The Mainstream – The Ridiculous & The Sublime

Logs In The Mainstream – The Ridiculous & The Sublime / 2008 LogsMOLE / 12 Tracks / http://www.logsinthemainstream. com /

Logs In The Mainstream start out their “The Ridiculous & The Sublime” with “Gotta Get Up”, a track that vacillates between sounding as if it came out in the sixties or the nineties. The amount of influences that come forth during the 12 tracks on “The Ridiculous” are legion; hints of The Beatles (which the cover of this album parodies), Beastie Boys, Anthrax, Jane’s Addiction and countless others can all be heard. Continue reading “Logs In The Mainstream – The Ridiculous & The Sublime”

Somehow Still Alive – Afterall

Somehow Still Alive – Afterall / 2008 SSI Records / 10 Tracks / http:///www.alivestillsomehow.com /

“This Time It’s Personal” is a very hard-hitting and angular bit of rock that should be on rotation on radio stations all through the United States. While the act calls forth acts like Tool and System of a Down during this and other tracks on “Afterall”, they push forth a sound that is completely unique while still allowing individuals to gradually ease into the album. Continue reading “Somehow Still Alive – Afterall”

Jason J. Bundy – Returning

Jason J. Bundy – Returning / 2007 Self / 4 Tracks / http://jasonjbundy.com/ /

After receiving “Returning”, I really wish I was more familiar with the I Ching, as the title refers to the 24th hexagram of that work. The limited edition of Bundy’s “Returning” features a hand-painted cover, and gives a certain gravitas to each of the four cuts on the disc. The first track on this EP is “Salutations To The Sun”, which shows Bundy as an artist that can work outside of traditional thought when it comes to genres and styles. There is a heavy atmospheric component that comes out during this introductory track – while there is little in the way of easily-discernible differentiation during the song, the slight shifts that Bundy takes snowball into something large by the end of the track. Continue reading “Jason J. Bundy – Returning”

Amelia – A Long, Lovely List of Repairs

Amelia – A Long, Lovely List of Repairs / 2008 Adrenaline / 14 Tracks / http://www.ameliaband.com /

I don’t know how well having a single start off an album in a foreign language is in terms of decisions, but the country-tinged bit of alt-rock that Amelia plays during “Enemigo” is something that is simultaneously catchy and intricate, touching on a number of genres and approaches. Individuals have little clue where Amelia will go from here, and “Farewell” does well in giving individuals a little bit more an idea. “Farewell” is the perfect example of a track that further establishes the music that opened up “A Long, Lovely List” but establishes its own unique sound before the track finishes up. Continue reading “Amelia – A Long, Lovely List of Repairs”

Telepathique – Love & Lust

Telepathique – Love & Lust / 2008 Urban Jungle / 5 Tracks / http://www.controlgroupco.com /

The funky arrangements that start out the title track to this EP are tied together  by a sultry set of female vocals that call forth acts as wide as The Sounds and Franz Ferdinand to traditional purveyors of electronic music such as Plastikman and the Crystal Method. One can definitely hear “House of Jealous Lovers” and even a little bit of the Go! Team in this first track. The result is the act’s first single on this EP, with two distinct singles and a remix still to go. The slinkier sound of “Eu Gosto” is a nice switch up of Telepathique’s style. While the track is not as immediately single-worthy as “Love & Lust”, the act gradually picks up momentum and energy. Continue reading “Telepathique – Love & Lust”

The Lions Rampant – Play Rock N Roll

The Lions Rampant – Play Rock N Roll / 2008 Self / 6 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/thelionsrampant /

The Lions Rampant are an act I must say with which I am not familiar. Their “Play Rock N Roll” starts of with “70-30”, a track that brings back the bombastic energy of sixties pop and throws a layer of MC5 on top of that. Following the retro approach of rock that acts like early Strokes and Vines pushed a few years back, the loud and abrasive vocals of Stuart’s vocal cut through the equally intense guitar and drums. The tracks are short, punchy, and are to the point on “Play Rock N Roll”. “Let Us In!” continues the high energy of “70-30” while not give listeners the slightest possibility of catching their breath. While not too terribly different from “70-30”, the balls to the wall, looking forward style of The Lions Rampant glosses over any early weakness. Continue reading “The Lions Rampant – Play Rock N Roll”

Mason Proper – Short Hand EP

Mason Proper – Short Hand EP / 2008 Self / 4 Tracks / http://www.dovecoterecords.com /

Mason Proper come to their “Short Hand” EP with a sound that has equal parts Nine Inch Nails, Maroon 5 and Depeche Mode jumbled all together. This makes for an interesting sound, and one that immediately hits individuals as unique after the first few notes of “Rest Up” start. The slinky style of the vocals play around the jangly guitars and deep-end drumming that represents the canvas which the vocals can paint. The track creates harmonies that could be present on pop tracks, but the challenging instrumentation that is present during “Rest Up” ensures that even the most abstract-leaning audiophile will find something that they can appreciate. Mason Proper put “Bone Men” second, a track that reduces much of the intricate arrangements that marked “Rest Up”. Continue reading “Mason Proper – Short Hand EP”

Lucy Bland – Down To Sea Level

Lucy Bland – Down To Sea Level / 2008 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.lucybland.com /

The slightly electronic instrumentation that immediately comes forth during the somewhat-titular track (“Sea Level”) provides listeners with an interesting counterpoint to the dreamy vocals of Bland during the track. While the music present during this track will provide listeners with something to zone out to, the chance that the track could make it to radio rotation is slight. There is nothing wrong with Bland’s introductory track, but there seems to be something missing that Bland may latch upon during any one of the disc’s next nine tracks. Continue reading “Lucy Bland – Down To Sea Level”