Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lucy Gucy Is Your New Favorite Band

When I got an email from Tiffany of The Electrets fame, I was surprised to know that someone remembered my email, and that I love all things new music. I was informed of a new rock, punk trio named Lucy Gucy. The band is set to release a debut single, “So Good” on 9/29 and I’m already floored by it. The song has a strong guitar rock sound, good percussion, and catchy lyrics.

Lucy Gucy may be new, but the band already has a sound that mixes The Donnas with The Muffs and throws in a catchy element that you can’t resist. It’s equal parts punk, pop, and alternative into a solid union. There’s a lot of talent here, and you’re going to absolutely love the debut single, and will no doubt want to hear more from the band.

The band is made up of Tiffany Schirz, Lila Marshall, and Garry Ventura. Together, they have really impressed me, with just one song, and I’m sure the band is going to put out some quality tunes soon enough.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you have to catch them play October 5, at The Silverlake Lounge.

You can catch up with the band via:
Instagram @lucygucyband
Twitter @lucygucyband

Don’t sleep on this awesome band. If I still had my old record label, I’d sign these guys in a minute, that’s how smooth this single is. Just you wait, this will become your new favorite band.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nofx They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live Review

They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!
Ah yes, the Nofx live records. They put one out early in their career and it wasn’t half bad, but it wasn’t half good either. In 2007, right around the time I was graduating college, they put out this sequel to their live recordings. They once again go with the moniker that they suck live, and put on a showcase of 24 songs in just under an hour. Unlike other live records from bands, this is a full set, straight through, including the banter that they have between songs. “They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live” is actually halfway decent, with a lot of songs from every aspect of the band’s career up to that point.

If you’re a Nofx fan already, then you are going to live the record’s production. The production is really good, with my only gripe being a lack of bass on the recording. The treble is turned up, the drums are a bit muted, but the overall fidelity of the guitar work and Fat Mike’s vocals make this a good record to listen to any time. Some of the best tracks you’re going to pull out of this one include, “You’re Wrong”, “Scavenger Type”, “The Longest Line”, “Franco Un-American”, “Monosyllabic Girl”, “New Happy Birthday Song”, and many others. 24 tracks, 59 minutes, and a good overall live record.

If you need a star rating, here you go, 4 out of 5. Nofx “They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live” can be downloaded here. Enjoy, you bastards.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Figures of Light Brings Out More Tunes With Maximum

Figures of Light is one of the most prolific bands in music, and they once again push out a series of hits with "Maximum". This record has a lot of layers to it. There are moments that take you to a garage punk sound, surf guitar sound, and 1980s new wave sound and more. There’s a lot to this 5 song release, and it’s something that you’re going to absolutely love if you’re looking for new music.

From the starting line of “Sterling” through “Nowhere/Somewhere” and onto the rest of the record, you find yourself in a kaleidoscope of rock sounds. Think Sonic Youth meets New Order at times, with a balancing act that is hard to really put into one box. Figures of Light balances so much on this record that you truly are going to have a hard time picking out a favorite. “Just Once”, “Maximum”, and “Time Will Tell”, guide you down several alternative rock notes, leaving you to wonder if you’re listening to a compilation from MTV’s “120 Minutes” program.

With “Maximum” Figures of Light brings on a staggered sound design that is catchy, interesting, and with great balance. All 5 tracks are worthwhile, and bring about a lot of points of interest. For me, this album reminds me of surfing and skateboarding in Santa Monica, California. But for you, it may bring about other memories, as the music really has a way of triggering good times and thoughtful moments.

You can pick up Figures of Light “Maximum” by clicking here.

Check out "Sterling" from "Maximum":

Figures of Light - Sterling from Wheeler Winston Dixon on Vimeo.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Operation Ivy Energy Review

In 1989 I was still a young lad, and was being exposed to all types of new music. One of the coolest things that I was exposed to was the southern California underground music scene. I loved it so much, that I ended up joining the ranks and starting a record label in 2001. Today, I’m not in the scene, and don’t even live in Los Angeles. However, I still listen to a ton of music. One of my favorite records, and today’s review focus is that of Operation Ivy “Energy”. This record was release initially in 1989 through Lookout Records. You may know the label as the one that released Greenday’s early records.

As far as “Energy” is concerned, you most likely will pick up the reissue version that has 50 minutes of music. That is the one that I listened to in order to come up with this review. This updated version combines all the major tracks that Operation Ivy had. If you read the Buzzfeed list of the best pop punk albums, then you’re an idiot because this is NOT a pop punk record. This record is ska punk, with a lot of upwards strumming on the guitar work. Matt and Tim of Rancid are in this band, and you can hear their influences in the songs. This record touches on what Rancid would come through with, and it shows. Operation Ivy's "Energy" is one of the best ska records to pick up, even today. 

Operation Ivy "Energy" - 4 out of 5 stars

Buy Operation Ivy "Energy" by clicking here.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Leon Bridges Embraces The Lover’s Soul On River

Leon Bridges Coming Home Vinyl LP (click here)

Leon Bridges has put out one of the most soulful albums I’ve heard in a long time. But it wasn’t until I paid attention to “River” that I truly fell in love with the ideas pushed on the record. It’s in this song, that the nature of love is captured. But not just emotional connections with someone, but rather a larger scope. Obviously, music means different things to different people, lyrics can mean something but end up painting something else. For me, it is the structure of “River” that gets me every time.

A simple man’s song turns into a beautiful, soulful institution. It’s not just about love for someone else, if you think about it. You can think about it in terms of God, losing a loved one, church, sanctuary, or just home. I recall that in 2011 when I stepped off an airplane headed home, divorced, saddened, and lost, a song could bring me hope. Little did I know that the soundtrack for that memory would be this. It’s in the lyrics of “River” that my eyes bring about a sense of loss, communication, divorce, and sin. I grew up religious, and you know what, this is a religious song at times. “As my sins flow down the Jordan”, a reference that is so good, and such a wonderful note.

“Take me to your river, I want to know”

It’s in the lyrics below that I truly come apart, and perhaps you know it too. Perhaps you feel it.

“Oh, I wanna come near and give ya
Every part of me
But there is blood on my hands
And my lips aren’t clean”

Wow. Whether you have lost a love, you married the wrong person, you’re divorced, you’re young, you’re religious, or you just love good lyrical content, this is by far one of the most memorable lines I’ve heard in a long time.

Leon Bridges creates a portrait of so much in this song. So much so that I cannot recommend you picking up his latest. Check out the music video for “River” below, and see why this is such a powerful song. Wipe the tears, this is a song of incredible glory.

You can pick up Leon Bridges "Coming Home" on vinyl LP here.

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