Psychic TV – Hell Is Invisible / Heaven is Her/E

Psychic TV – Hell Is Invisible / Heaven is Her/E / 2007 Sweet Nothing / 10 Tracks / http://www.genesisp-orridge.com /

In regards to actual full-length albums, and not singles (2002’s Snowflake/Illusive) and live albums (2003’s Live…series, 2006’s Live in Russia), it’s been a few years since Psychic TV has released anything. Genesis P-Orridge’s band’s last foray into studio albums were the triplet of albums that were Breathe, Cold Blue Torch, and Trip Reset, all coming out in 1996. Since Psychic TV holds the Guinness World Record for most albums released in a year (surprisingly, this set of albums did not win it), one can feel okay in giving them a little slack. Continue reading “Psychic TV – Hell Is Invisible / Heaven is Her/E”

Canvas Solaris – Cortical Tectonics

Canvas Solaris – Cortical Tectonics / 2007 Sensory / 6 Tracks / http://www.canvassolaris.com / http://www.lasersedgegroup.com /

Despite the fact that “Berserker Hypothesis” is a mere four minutes long, the harder progressive metal played by Canvas Solaris here bends and breaks an individual’s sense of time, with the band’s detailed arrangements being what stretches the perceived runtime of the track to a time much longer than reality. “Sinusoid Mirage” follows up “Berserker Hypothesis”, and it shows (At least at the beginning), a calmer, quieter Canvas Solaris. The same type of energy is present with each effort of the band; one can just hear that the band wants to jump into the heavy stuff, but they hold themselves back and show off their calmer side for the vast majority of ‘Sinusoid Mirage”. Continue reading “Canvas Solaris – Cortical Tectonics”

Delft – The Brain Is Wider Than The Sky

Delft – The Brain Is Wider Than The Sky / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.purevolume.com/delft /

“Declare Your Love To The Person On the Right” is the first track on “The Brain Iss Wider Than The Sky”, and it immediately defies categorization. The band is able to go forth and create a rock style that draws influences from Coldplay, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, and even Interpol in the ultimate construction of something that is unique while still having a familiar sound. The band is able during “Declare Your Love” to have the first seventy five seconds be purely instrumental; this actually benefits the act, and when the vocals kick in in a very instrumental way (more based on the harmonies than conveying information), the progression feels much more natural than anything. Continue reading “Delft – The Brain Is Wider Than The Sky”

The Hibernauts – Periodic Table

The Hibernauts – Periodic Table / 2007 Self / 7 Tracks / http://www.thehibernauts.com /

While the opening of “Off Key And Violent” does not sound much different from what a countless number of indie rock bands are doing at the current, The Hibernauts step up their game immediately and come forth with a catchy, hooky set of vocals. Of course, the instrumentation is driving and supports the vocals much the same way that the latest Death Cab For Cutie album did. Hints of Weezer, the Bay City Rollers, Matthew Sweet, and other disparate acts unite together to give The Hibernauts a sound that few individuals have ever heard before. “Sleeping In Space” is another tracks that follows in the styles first broached by The Hibernauts during “Off Key And Violent”. I don’t mind the track, but the band seems to throw in individuals to this track without any further context to what “Mission 221” may be. Continue reading “The Hibernauts – Periodic Table”

Botox Party – E.P.

Botox Party – E.P. / 2007 Upchuck / 6 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/botoxpartyva / http://www.upchuckrecords.com /

Aside from some crust punk albums, the runtime of “E.P.” has to be some of the shortest I’ve ever heard. This does not mean that the harder edged punk music of Botox Party is forgettable. In a way, a track like “Problematic Emotions” calls forth bands like Pulley and “Cheshire Cat” or “Buddha” era Blink 182. The production is a little bit on the weak side, but does not hinder the harmonies used by the band. Blending this Pulley/Blink type of sound with Misfits-like vocals at points during “E.P.” show that Botox Party know the genre well. “Elitist Social Class”’s opening has hints of eighties metal present in the guitar riff that fuels the song, but the vocals bring the band into more of a pop punk sound. The rapidly spat-out vocals of “Elitist Social Class” make for another short (sub two and a half minute track), keeping the energy of this recording up. Continue reading “Botox Party – E.P.”

The Hazey Janes – Always There

The Hazey Janes – Always There / 2006 Measured / 3 Tracks / http://www.thehazeyjanes.co.uk /

“Always There” is the first track on this EP, and it sounds like The Hazey Janes have heard a lot of “Big Me”-era Foo Fighters. The opening strains of the track have a high amount of this influence, with only later the band taking a sixties boy band (think a blend of equal part Beatles and Beach Boys) sound. “Always There” is a track that relies heavily on earlier styles, but the energy brought to the track by The Hazey Janes is solid enough to keep individuals interested. The use of multiple instrumental levels beyond what is traditionally heard from the band is what makes this barely two minute track into something that individuals have to write home about. “Something Between Us” has a similar spring in its’ steps, operates from the same stylistic approach, and provides individuals with the second straight Hazey Janes track. The band works in a larger band during this track, as there are slower and quicker parts of this track. The use of multiple vocal layers during this track is similar to how this construct was used during “Always There”. The band makes a strong start during this mini WEP,, and the band’s retro sound will be something to enjoy regardless of one’s musical tastes.

Top Track: Something Between Us

Rating: 6.5/10

Scene of Action – S/T

Scene of Action – S/T / 2007 Pop Smear / 5 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/sceneofaction / http://www.popsmearrecords.com /

I have to be honest here. When I first the instrumentation at the beginning of Scene of Action’s disc, I heard The Killers. In much of the same way, the first time I heard the band’s vocals on “Daydream Stop hock”, I thought they paid off Gerard Way to do the vocals. The vocals do stop being such a direct imitation when the band hits the chorus, but the band struggles with providing a unique product for the entirety of the inaugural track. While individuals that have gotten into pop music in the last few years will not know it, “Conscience Ache” sounds as if Scene of Action have taken their fair share of late nineties British rock, specifically Placebo and Muse albums, into the recording booth with them. Continue reading “Scene of Action – S/T”

Caleb Micah – Come Home

Caleb Micah – Come Home / 2007 Aux / 6 Tracks / http://www.calebmich.com / http://www.auxrecords.com /

“Come Home” starts out with “Juan Shoe is Gonna Rock You!”, a track that uses a duet of vocals done in a back and forth style that is given the perfect amount of support by the slightly country-tinged sound of the guitars and drums. This style reminds me vaguely of The Anniversary, but don’t get me wrong; Caleb Micah’s work here is unique and amazing in its’ own right. I could completely seeing “Juan shoe” being the next black sheep-type of hit. Micah’s vocals are incredibly hard to pin down in regards to what influences eir; during “Science (As In, She Blinded Me With), one can hear a tension between two distinctly different sounds, being those of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and Goo Goo Dolls. Continue reading “Caleb Micah – Come Home”

The Action Design – Into A Sound

The Action Design – Into A Sound / 2007 Pop Smear / 6 Tracks / http://www.theactiondesign.com / http://www.popsmearrecords.com /

The first track on “Into A Sound” is “The Scissor Game” and it gives The Action Design a rock meets goth type of sound that really brings the band into a Nightwish or an Evanscence sound in my opinion. The second track on the disc is “Eyes On Me”, and aside from being a more pop-influenced track, hints of dance music present themselves just as the Rasputina influence does. The end result is that The Action Design is a catchy act that is quite like a chameleon; each track varies the approach enough that individuals are always left wondering what is next from the band. There are only six tracks on “Into A Sound”, and six different sounds promptly issue forth from the disc. The best track on “Into A Sound” has to be “City Committee”. Continue reading “The Action Design – Into A Sound”

Monikers – Eat Your Young

Monikers – Eat Your Young / 2006 Kiss of Death / 5 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/monikers / http://www.kissofdeathrecords.com /

“Eat Your Young” starts out with “Information”, a track that has a emotional blend of guitar and drums until the slightly snotty vocals of the band kick in in a very Fat Wreck type of style. The production of the disc seems to oppress the guitars and vocals while giving an accurate sound to the deeper (drums and bass) parts of the band. Still, the catchiness of Monikers shows through and “Information” is a track that succeeds through appreciation of mid nineties punk, grunge, and a little bit of the current energy of rock music. The very dense style of the tracks means that the sub-three minute runtimes of tracks like the aforementioned “Information” and “Two Stories” feel as if Monikers have given their fans a five minute long opus. Continue reading “Monikers – Eat Your Young”