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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chevelle Point No. 1 (1999) Review

Chevelle "Point #1" Click Here To Buy 
I was only 16 years old when Chevelle’s first record came out. Many people to this day don’t realize that this was in fact their first record. It was released in May of 1999, and I got it immediately upon release. I’m a music nerd, through and through, and had heard that Steve Albini was producing this record, and was definitely looking forward to seeing what he came up with, since the band’s label was a Christian one. Squint Entertainment was an independent Christian music record label that put this one out, therefore the distribution put Chevelle’s record in Christian book stores, and throughout youth group airwaves. That led them to playing with a lot of the bands in the scene. I recall them playing with Project 86, Stavesacre and others right before their second album came out and they became superstars. The three-piece rock outfit, really impressed me with “Point No. 1”, and many still haven’t heard it.

Chevelle’s release was definitely a hard rock record. If you are a fan of Tool, then you’ll get a sense for the sounds that are on this record. The trio were able to tap into a “fuzz” metal guitar sound, and the singer’s vocals are very much like you’d expect from Maynard. This is a “softer” record, if you can believe that, as the record has a toned down experience through the tracks. However, their title track is perhaps one of the best songs that showcases that power of metallic influence.

You get a sense for the young band through the track listing. The second track, the title track, is a blistering hard rock song that leads into a lot more bass heavy and melodic heavy D tuned guitar work. You’ll find that this is a record that is definitely the beginning of a career as the band isn’t as fluid as some of their other work. Pete Loeffler’s vocals are good however, making this one a fascinating approach to the song’s structures of hard music. Look out for track eight, in which a 12 second scream from Leoffler completely blows you away. Once again, this is like Tool’s little brother, because of the structure and production that Steve Albini provides. That’s not a bad thing, it is just going to be apparent.

Overall, Chevelle’s “Point No. 1” is a classic for those that love the band. I think it’s a great introduction to a career that is still going strong. The three guys that make up Chevelle tapped into something great here, and Albini produced a very laid back, layered rock record. I recommend checking it out if you haven’t yet.

You can pick up Chevelle's "Point #1" By clicking here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Hippos Self Titled (2003) Review

The Hippos 2003 Release (Buy It here)
If you were living in Southern California, like I was, in the mid-2000s then you loved ska. You had to. Ok, maybe not, but I was growing up in a religious community near Santa Monica, California and we loved our ska. I wanted to be a rude boy so bad. If you rewind to 1997 I saw my first concert, and it was MXPX, The Hippos, and Less Than Jake. The band put on a showcase of ska fused music that I just couldn’t get enough of. They toured the country with the other two bands and they even made it to MTV and radio airplay.

Then things started to change. The band went from ska punk to synthpop and completely disenfranchised their fans. I didn’t like the synth heavy record that came out in 2003, but hey, that’s just what happens. The band didn’t even put this out initially, they waited 3 years to get it out after fans wanted to hear it. That being said, this is not the traditional ska music that you knew from The Hippos.

This time around the band uses synth all over the place, and while they are still catchy and interesting, this is NOT ska music. It’s such a jump from their 1999 release, “Heads Will Roll”, that you are left wondering what happened.

At the end of the day, The Hippos “Self Titled” 2003 record is good at best. I’m not a huge fan, but I like some of the tracks on the record, as it still has the drum section and a few trumpets here and there.

You can listen to The Hippos and pick up their record by clicking here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Holstered Turn Up The Amps For Outer Space From Their Forthcoming Record

2016 has been quite the year for music, and it’s just beginning. The Holstered is a band that I spoke about on this blog in the past. Well, they are back in action for 2016, and they have released their first rocking single from their upcoming album. The song “Outer Space” takes the psychedelic 1970s punk rock, garage sound and turns it to 11. It’s a catch song that brings about themes that are straight out of the garage punk era of the past.

Fans of Iggy Pop, The Cramps, and Buzzcocks are going to be absolutely delighted with “Outer Space” as it has a definitive punk rock, retro feel. You’re going to be lost in the easy going guitar riffs, the soothing guitar solo elements, and of course the lyrical subject matter that will transport you back to a simpler time. This is a rocking track that continues The Holstered’s sound and yet improves on it in many ways. The band truly knows how to push that retro, punk, button, and it’s definitely something that you have to listen to right now.

If you’re looking for new music, then The Holstered’s got you covered. “Outer Space” is just the first of many tracks coming from these garage punk dynamos! Don’t miss out.

Check out “Outer Space” by clicking here, and stayed tune for the record release coming sooner than later, this year! Also, make sure to keep up with the band's releases through Itunes, Spotify, and Amazon!

Keep up with the band via the following links:


Friday, April 1, 2016

Wild Rossa and The 88 Create Art Through Musical Genres On Their Latest EP

Wild Rossa and The ’88 take the best parts of music, all music, and throws it into a blender to create an absolute incredible mix. Their Self-Titled EP is a musical handbook. It’s like Ozomatli’s brother, because the band has found a voice that is like the latter, mixed, varied, and just astonishing in my view. There’s so much here, from the moment you get the bass booms of “Gasoline”, you know that you’re in for a real treat. The music is crafted so well, you are going to be lost in your senses, as you will not be able to nail down what it is you love about the music Wild Rossa and The ’88 brings to the table. There’s dancing elements, there’s serious lyrical thought processing, and there’s a beauty found in the tracks that transcends one label, which is why this is so great.

Name a genre, any genre, and you may find a sound in the release that Wild Rossa and The ’88 to consider within it. From soul, ska, punk, to guitar picking, bass line dancing, to rock, swing and more, the band has found a way to tap into a lot of elements and make you think twice. Not to be outdone, the lyrics are thought provoking, and you just have a good time with every track. The band is all over the map musically, but there’s a congruency in that the band’s musicians all put together things that make sense. This is not punk chaos, it’s organized, it’s expertly delivered, and it’s art, it’s powerful, it’s what music should be.

Overall, Wild Rossa and The ’88’s self-titled EP is something that you have to experience. It gives you a taste for what the band can do, and doesn’t hold back. There’s no pretense here. There’s nothing that is going to make you question what you’re listening to, it’s going to pour through you and fill you up, because there’s true emotion and dedication found in the sums of the part. Equal parts, jazz, soul, ska, punk, rock, funk, and so much more all wrapped into an EP.

This is a great record, and something that you have to experience for yourself. Wild Rossa and The ’88 truly tap into musical genius on this record, and I can’t get the songs out of my head. This is what music should be, an infectious blend of expertise.

Check out Wild Rossa and the '88 via Facebook here and get their EP via Itunes here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

K9 Kev Unleashes The Dear Diary EP And Brings Serious Production With Him

K9 Kev is an interesting musician that brings about a whole new balance of hip hop and production with his latest record. “The Dear Diary EP” is a collection of 5 tracks coming straight out of the coastal town of Oban, Scotland. This unassuming EP is quite strong, and you'll get hit hard if you pay attention, as there's some great honesty in the songs, and excellent timing with the rhythm that is set forth in this release.

The lyrical measurements that K9 Kev has on this record are nothing short of epic. The rhymes are good, but it’s the story telling that really takes center stage. I love when emcees focus on telling you more than just how great they are, and that’s something nice about this record. This is a story book that is quite personal, and while it’s deeply rooted in hip hop, there’s so much more to it. The character of the music speaks volumes about the artist, and the ear he has to production. The production is spot on here, with vocals soaring over the melodies, and creating a cavalcade of focused writing.

Stand out tracks include “School Days”, “Growing Pains”, and “Dear Diary”, but the 5 tracks are hard to single out. This is a fully realized record that has a lot to say in such a short time. BY the time you finish “West Coast Town”, you can’t help but listen again and pay attention to the story that K9 Kev so eloquently raps through. It’s fascinating, the talent exposed here, and the penmanship in the lyrics. You get a taste of what life, love, loss and more are found in the narrative. There’s a lot of beauty found here, and if you pay attention to what is being said, you are going to absolutely love this record even more.

K9 Kev’s “The Dear Diary EP” is one of the better hip hop records I’ve heard in a long time. The production is solid, the lyrical content is good, and the flow is powerful. The sound design is great, not just relying on looping beats, but rather fully realized song structure. You can’t help but be impressed with the timing, and sounds that come through on this record, and if you give it a fair chance, you’ll absolutely want to play this one over and over gain. It’s a good release, no, it’s a great release!

Check out “The Dear Diary EP” from K9 Kev by going to band camp here, and check out K9 Kev's facebook here.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jamie Alimorad Strings Together Incredible Lyricism With Musical Prowess on Rock Me To Heaven

Jamie Alimorad brings out one of the most incredible songs with “Rock Me To Heaven”. I don’t just say that, it really hit me hard. There’s a spiritual quality to this, and it absolutely rings true to your soul. The opening lyrics of “Rock Me To Heaven” send images in my mind of travel, coming home after a long trip. “You quiet the storm in my mind…” hooks you at around the minute mark and you’re absolutely lost in the soulful track that Alimorad has puts down with ease. Few artists can catch you off guard, especially when you are a music fan. I listen to music 17 hours a day, thanks to my writing career, and a lot of it becomes a part of the background. That’s not the case with “Rock Me To Heaven”.

The track is very well written. The opening will grab you, but it’s the progression of the lyrical elements, the notion of love, the comfort, the peace, and the glory of love really shine through. It’s easy to wax poetic about this all, especially if you have ever loved someone deeply, because the lyrics are truly compelling. These are things I didn’t understand when I was younger, but now that I’m a bit older, I can truly appreciate the compelling soundtrack that comes through with this track.

As far as singles are concerned, Jamie Alimorad’s “Rock Me To Heaven” opens up the doors for so much more. If you have not heard of him or his music, you are in for a treat with this track. It’s not only a compelling one, it’s so catchy. The lyrics balance so well with the guitar work, and the layers that you get from every instrument on this song. It’s easy to get lost in the words, in the structure, and the sentiment, that by the time it’s over, you want to listen again, and again. It’s one of those songs that is hard to forget, as the catchy chorus and structure of the lyrics will no doubt stick with you for a long time. This is one special track.

Check out the official music video for “Rock Me To Heaven” below:

For more information on Jamie Alimorad, check out his official website here. Like his facebook page here, follow via twitter here, and check out Instagram here.

Diarrhea Planet I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams Brings Garage Punk To The Masses

There’s always an interesting band name lurking in the annals of history. I personally loved “Vaginasore Jr.” which my friend No Sleep thought I had made up. It’s a great one, but hey, that’s where all greatness starts, in the absurd, right? Or maybe I’m just reaching for something that isn’t really there. Whatever the case is, today I was in the middle of burning out with writing, and heard another classic track from Diarrhea Planet. I see that they are getting booked to more summer shows, and decided to review their record, “I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams”.

You see, there are a lot of bands that have funny names, and have no talent. That’s not the case with this band. These guys can rip, and their 2013 record is testament to the low fi punk rock ethos that they are subscribing to right now. If you hear the record, you are going to get treated to a muffled bass sound, vocals that are right outside of Fat Wreck Chords from their early years, and a raw sound that is hard to get away from. The band has found a way to make punk rock solid again, and it’s really interesting to hear. The sound is heavy, flowing through walls of noise, chaos, and then back to something altogether simple. The band knows what they are doing, and it shows on tracks like “Life Dream”, “The Sound of my Ceiling Fan”, “Kids”, and “Ugliest Son”.

This is the type of punk rock that gets you moving, grooving, skating, and sticking a pencil in your ear. I found it to be quite compelling, and love the transitional elements in the tracks. You’re going to be hard pressed not to like this record as it grows on you, and causes a major stink. Diarrhea Planet has a name that is not fit for radio, but their songs are so much stronger than the name suggests.

Fans of Archers of Loaf, Screeching Weasel, The Huntingtons, and Guns N Wankers are going to love this mix of punk rock, alternative, and garage punk sounds. Man, it’s records like this that make me still write on this site. You have to listen to these guys, or don’t, what do I know?

Diarrhea Planet “I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams” is available now, by clicking here. Get to it suckers!

OH and here's a FULL performance from the band on KEXP! Yeah, love it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Solopsi Radio Is Herman Martinez’s Masterpiece of Exceptional Rock Music

Labeled as an experimental, meta-rock record, Herman Martinez takes on the tropes of what alternative, rock, heavy music, and shatters definitions. From the first track that opens “Solopsi Radio”, you are treated to an eclectic arrangement of instruments that are very much heavy, and very much in the same framework that Tool’s debut started with. However, the comparisons to the past slowly lift as the song’s structure begins to reveal an all different approach to the rock genre. There’s a staggering bass line, a triumphant guitar lead, and vocals that create a haunting experience.

As you progress through the record, you are given a mix of heavy, soft, mellow, and contemplative lyrical elements. Tracking on this record is diverse, unique, and bring about a lot of comparisons. You are not going to be able to pinpoint “one” genre here, but it’s definitely rock heavy. This is a strength of Martinez’s composition, layering plenty of rock sounds into a larger portrait. Tracks like “Fictional Realism”, “Spoonbender”, “Every Letter I’ve Ever Sent”, and “Dogon With The Wind” give the first half such a strong opening, that you are left spent by the time the second half comes through.

“Solopsi Radio” triumphs in bringing together a lot of sounds. It’s rock operatic at times, it’s alternative 90s at times, it’s flowing like a Primus disc and yet as strong as System of a Down’s early work. There’s a connective tissue that Martinez works so well on this record, that you’re left wondering what will be next.

Herman Martinez has a strong record here. One that is equal parts heavy, alternative, and cerebral. It’s records like this that should get the ear of major record heads, because there’s a lot of talent all over the songs here. Just one listen isn’t enough to catch all the sounds put forth. This very well may be the best rock record that I’ve reviewed thus far this year.

You can listen to Solopsi Radio by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Soul Spear Shakes Your Electrical Core With Built With Girders

I’m always impressed with new music. Soul Spear caught me off guard, however, as I didn’t know what to expect. The artwork for “Built With Girders” was really cool, but the sound on my computer didn’t come through very well at first. It was because I didn’t plug in my speakers, and that’s my fault. Once I got things working, I was really impressed with the layers of EDM that Soul Spear puts through on this release. It starts with an orchestral solution then moves into a deep entrancing rhythm and flow of sounds that you will absolutely get lost in.

Just when you think that you have figured out what Soul Spear is doing with their tracks, they throw a wrench at you and switch up the electronic soundscapes. This record really puts on a showcase of musical prowess, but not without showcasing layers of traditional digital music. There are moments that you swear you heard something before, but right when you try to figure it out, things switch up and you get a new sound, and a new layer. The timing is second to none here, and that’s a testament to the power of EDM as a whole, especially when the artist knows what they are doing. That’s the glory of “Built With Girders”, you don’t really ever figure out where it’s going, making it a unique experience each listen.

Stand out tracks on this record include “Built With Girders”, “Alchemy”, “Sound of Summer”, “Fuel For The Mind” and “Tapestry of Light”, but that’s not to say that the album isn’t great as a whole. If you take this record on fully, and listen to it in one sitting, you’re in for a treat. In fact, this is the type of record that is going to absolutely floor you with the sound turned way up. It’s a multi-layered EDM release that showcases the amazing production skills that Soul Spear has. In fact, if you listen closely, you may very well get lost into another world, because there’s so many layers and elements sewn throughout.

Overall “Built With Girders” is a solid electronic release. It never gets boring, the production is good, and the approach is definitely on par with some of the most artistic of releases available today. Soul Reaper is on to something special with this, and you’ll definitely love it. It’s one of the better ambient records I’ve heard thus far this year. You can listen and support Soul Spear's latest effort via bandcamp here.

Follow Soul Spear via Twitter here, check out Facebook here, and the official Soul Spear Website here. You gotta keep up with this masterwork, it’s going to captivate your mind.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Nick Driver Gets Creative On His Acoustic Mixtape EP

Nick Driver is a very talented singer, songwriter, and he’s poised to get a lot of attention with the latest release that he has out, “Acoustic Mixtape EP”. Focusing on a stripped down, simple song structure, Nick Driver finds a way to create impressive layers of lyrical storytelling, and quality production. His work flows quite well, putting catchy elements with acoustic guitar and a little percussion here and there. From the opening track “Tip Jar” forward, you’re going to have this full EP stuck in your head.

Often times when you get an acoustic record, you get a lot of soft, slow music. That’s not the case here. While this is not punk rock, it doesn’t need to be. Nick Driver finds a way to make the song structure catchy, without leaving you asleep amidst watered down acoustic traps. Driver really comes to life through the transition of tracks, from “Tip Jar” to “Baby Come Back To Me” to “Coffeehouse Hero”, you get a true sense for the emotional musings of Driver’s guitar work. Needless to say, it’s a fun narrative to listen to.

As far as “Acoustic Mixtape EP” is concerned, it’s a very interesting, poignant record. It has a lot going for it, playing on a lot of different emotional connections. From a fist in the air to a vulnerable place, you get to see a bit of Nick Driver’s soul poured out in each track. This is a fun record, a catchy mix of songs, and something that is no doubt a powerful release that should garner Driver a lot of success.

“Acoustic Mixtape EP” is a good release. One that I am definitely a fan of right now. It’s creative, it’s playful, it has real emotions, and it has good production quality. You owe it to yourself to listen to this one, it’s really good. By the time you get to “Wrapped Up”, you can’t help but be a fan, trust me.

You can learn more about Nick Driver via his official website here, and support via Itunes here.

Also, keep up with Nick Driver online with these official links:
snapchat: nickdriver1

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Figures of Light You Better Wise Up Brings Out Some Stellar Rock and Roll

There’s something really cool about the latest single from Figures of Light. With their latest single, “You Better Wise Up” (Instrumental Version), they certainly put on a classic showing of gritty rock music. From the moment you turn it on, you are going to be banging your head, as the garage punk really comes through the speakers. Turn it up and there’s a tinge of California surf guitar in the mix, but it’s the steady pace, and the outstanding production that really grabs you.

Unlike other bands, Figures of Light throw down a lot of music, and each time they do something new, cool, and all their own. They keep pushing the limits, and are not isolated to just one genre. While they can do it all, on this track, they stick to the garage rock, punk sound, and do so with such precision it’s absolutely stunning.

You owe yourself a listen to this track. If you are looking for some good tunes, a throwback to that punk, garage noise that came through college radio and the likes from the past, this is going to be your next big anthem. It’s a rock track that just keeps pushing, and I love it. Turn up the speakers, start playing some air guitar, and let the solid sounds of Figures of Light “You Better Wise Up” (Instrumental Version), wake you up from your slumber. This is rock and roll done right, listen to it, and enjoy!

Figures of Light - You Better Wise Up (Instrumental Version) from Figures of Light Archive on Vimeo.

Monday, February 29, 2016

10K Drops A Killer Track With Fresh White Tees

10K comes out swinging with the latest catchy hip hop song you’re going to absolutely love. I’ve heard a lot of rap and hip hop tracks this year already, but a lot of it is just boring. The rhymes are just repetition, or the words just get slurred across some mediocre beats. But this, this is pretty cool, 10K drops a story rhyme that is all out catchy, and fun.

10K goes across several different thoughts in just 2 minutes and 58 seconds of music, never letting up and continually processing consciousness with rhyming ability. You’ll get hit hard up front, and by the first chorus, you’re going to be singing along. This is the type of song that really showcases a good ear for beats, rhyme schematics, and professional flow. 10K is no slacker here, he throws down as many adjectives and ideas as he can without losing the audience.

Often time’s when rappers have a lot to say, they speed it up and try too hard to spit out as many sentences as possible, but not here. Here it’s a bit laid back, confidence, and truly a testament to the prowess that 10K has in his rhymes. That being said, “Fresh White Tees” is a solid track, with a lot of promise. It is no doubt going to get stuck in your head, as it really is a catchy tune.

Check out 10K and his latest release “Fresh White Tees” by going Here. Don’t miss out, this is a very catchy, solid hip hop track.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

King Saylee Brings About A Positive Spin on Music With Two Incredible Tracks

King Saylee brought out two tracks of absolute fire with “Keep Going”, and “No Regrets”. These two tracks hit me like a ton of bricks, and they don’t let up. The lyrical elements of “Keep Going” alone are stuck in my head. King Saylee has found a way to bridge the gap between hip hop and rhythm and blues on these two tracks.

First up, “Keep Going” gives a positive spin on the daily grind. The message of hope for a brighter future is definitely showcased here. The point is to keep on moving forward, and just don’t give up. No matter what comes your way, keep it moving, because you’ll get to the greater good that awaits ahead of you. “No Regrets” comes through with another slice of positivity, giving the listener a sense of empowerment. These tracks are not too unlike the positivity that artists like Bob Marley put out in his prime. You’re going to find that there are moments here that get you singing along with ease.

Overall King Saylee’s two latest tracks truly give you a sense of urgency, and empowerment. They cross barriers, they give you hope eternal, and it’s not preaching. It’s encouragement, and it’s shining light on something that many songs don’t push. There’s poetry flowing through the lyrics, alongside a hip song structure that will lead you down through some mellow moments. It’s this kind of music that should get promoted more often. I love the tracks, and definitely will be keeping track of King Saylee’s releases, as this artist is destined for greatness, no doubt.

Check out King Saylee’s official website here. Listen to more of the tunes, and make sure not to miss this amazing artist’s unique voice. Also, follow updates via Twitter here, and Instagram here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Elmo Karjalainen Illustrates Perfect Acoustic Guitar Work On Where We Belong

There comes a time when others become envious of what you do. Today, I can truly say that people are going to absolutely be envious about this blog, and the music that I am able to review. Why? I would credit Elmo Karjalainen’s latest “Where We Belong” as a major contributing factor in that regards. I’ve heard a lot of records, and have reviewed over 300 of them on the site so far, but nothing has been as poetic in song structure as this one. It’s a testament to the creativity that is provided with music of all types, and I’m honored to have heard this one for review.

A Symbiosis of Melodic Guitar Sounds

There’s a lot to this record. 15 tracks and nearly an hour of music comprised of acoustic elements. Each track creates a story through the language of acoustic guitar playing. This is not just strumming, there are layers to it, and each one creates a pictures for you to see when your eyes are closed. From the opening tracks “Where We Belong”, “By The Ocean” and “Black Jack Time”, to the latter tracks on the record, you will be taken through a journey of musical landscapes you don’t get from radio. Elmo Karjalainen’s record has a lot to offer the music fan, whether you like rock, pop, or any other type of music. This is a classic example of how to create a rich tapestry of acoustic guitar music.

Telling A Story Through Music

The best songwriters can create a visual with their lyrics, no doubt. But it takes a special kind of writer to create stories without uttering a word, and on Elmo Karjalainen’s “Where We Belong”, you get just that. You get a new life, a new visual story with each track. It’s the type of music that calms you down, that helps guide you through rough patches, and assists you when you’re feeling joyous. It’s a friendly sound, a lonely one, and a crowded one all the same. It’s deep, like a classical novel.

As far as acoustic guitar records are concerned, Elmo Karjalainen’ “Where We Belong” ranks high among them. This is beautiful music, through and through. You owe it to yourself to pick up this record, it’s very good.

Check out Elmo's work and social media profiles, as well as pick up this record below:




Album available at:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Underlined Passages Introduces A Must Have Rock Record With The Fantastic Quest

I’m not alone in saying that I’ve given up on rock radio. They never seem to break new bands, and they focus on the same old 10 hits from 1991. They are missing out on bands such as Underlined Passages, that are putting out catchy, melodic rock music. While this isn’t the type of rock that is going to smash your head in with distortion, it’s a throwback in a way to the alternative era of music from the early 1990s, and no, I don’t mean the Seattle heavy groups. “The Fantastic Quest” is the latest record from Underlined Passages and it is already one of my favorite releases this year.

A Union of Melody and Musical Integrity

The first comparisons that I started to pick out from the band took me back to The Juliana Theory and Sunny Day Real Estate. The band has found a way to get the same ethos that they put out, and mixed a little bit of early Jimmy Eat World and Nada Surf to create their own sound. If you liked those bands, then this is easily going to fit into your playlist without worry. There is a unique component of drums, bass, and guitar that float through catchy choruses and interesting lyrical elements. “Everyone Was There” for instance, should be a college radio break out, had this been 1994. There’s something to the track, but it’s not just this one, there’s a lot to this record.

A High Quality Rock Record Awaits

While you get an easy flowing rock sound through “Calamine”, “Arabesque”, and “Everyone Was There”, the band settles into changes through “Rearview Blue”, which could very well be my favorite track from the record. It’s this type of free flowing record that many music fans keep longing for, and yet aren’t finding in the mainstream. It’s a breath of new life, fresh air, and earnest musical landscapes that makes this one a stand out. “The Fantastic Quest” bridges the gap between pop and rock and throws it into a blender, smoothing out the pieces.

Breaking The Indie Mold

There are moments when you close your eyes while listening to the record and you swear it’s Two Thirty Eight, or B-Sides from Sunny Day Real Estate, but the band breaks the mold, and creates a rich tapestry of rock sound. It’s indie, but produced with a lot of love and careful clarity. It’s a seriously catchy, rock infused record, and it demands your attention. It’s one of the finest records to come out this year, in my humble opinion, picking up the slack of a somewhat slow start in music.

Check out Underlined Passages via their official website here.

Listen to more music by Underlined Passages via Bandcamp here

Follow the band via Twitter here, and Tumblr here.

Matt Tiller Releases Drops A Killer Release With We're In This Together

Matt Tiller threw me one of the most interesting tracks I’ve heard in a long time. I didn’t know what to expect, as I heard the first track of his latest record. “Awkward EP” got me laughing, and singing along. Tiller has found a way to engage the comedy power of Flight of the Conchords and even a little Weird Al and douse it with a tinge of Ska and even Punk to give you a hilarious track. George Osborne gets absolutely skewered in this track, but in such a funny way, that you will absolutely find it amusing, and poignant all the same.

Matt Tiller has a winning combination here, and if you can’t find yourself singing along to the standout single, then you’re dead inside. Seriously, what’s wrong with you? “We’re In This Together” is one of the best tracks I’ve heard in a long time, and it’s comedy gold, mixed with pop sensibilities that you will definitely love. Aside from this track, you’re going to find that “Awkward EP” is full of smartly tuned comedic elements. “Flat Packing Anger Management”, “Consensual Stalking”, “High As A Kite”, and “Rats” all play very well on the lyrical and emotional levels you’d expect from perfect song writing.

Tiller has found a way to create one of the more memorable batch of songs that I’ve heard in a while. With clever quips, and comedic timing, you’re going to find yourself thrilled with this release, especially the first track which is still stuck in my head. This is an acoustic based record with some sweet honesty at times, and jokes that are definitely going to make you chuckle a bit. This is not all jokes though, there’s some serious thought into the song writing, which I appreciate a great deal.

Matt Tiller’s “Awkward EP” is a great record. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s well written, and it’s the kind of record that should very well bring Tiller to the mainstream. If you’re a TV producer reading this, call this guy and have him play “We’re In This Together” on your show. I love it.

Check Out The Music Video For “We’re In This Together (How I Kidnapped George Osborne” and marvel at the greatness of Matt Tiller’s song writing capabilities! Oh and laugh at the jokes, great song, great video, just watch it.

Check out Mat Tiller's latest single via Itunes Here and SoundCloud Here

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Figures of Light Introduces A Whole Set of Instrumentals To Rock Out To

Figures of Light continues to impress with their prolific release schedule. No other band seems to get the formula of releasing music quite like this one, and it shows. This time around they have put out a set of instrumentals and 3 new tracks that take the essence of the band, and strips it down to their main components. Figures of Light “The Instrumentals” is perhaps one of the best things I’ve heard this year so far. There’s a refreshing sound to these instrumental tracks that just works so well beyond any genre.

Surfing USA With Figures of Light

I’m originally from Southern California, and surf culture is huge. Living 4 miles from the beach for 27 years really got me into surfing, and along that came the classic surf rock from the past. Figures of Light taps right into that with some of my favorite songs they’ve ever put out. “Ninety-Nine (Minimalist Mix)" replaces “Wipeout” for me,  as my standard for surf music. It’s the powerful bass line that mixes well with the guitar tone, and percussion that comes across here so well. I love a good bass line, and this track really has as driving tone. “Ides of March” also plays on the surf guitar, but with a more “dub” vibe akin to Trojan Records. Once you hear it, you’ll know what I mean, as the track works quite well in the lo-fi garage punk sound it pushes. The record finishes with another classic, “Surf’s Up!” and again, you’re in for a treat with this one, pushing that surfer vibe to all new heights.

A Perfect Soundtrack For Surf and Skate

Out of the surf culture of Southern California came skateboarding, and that’s the vibe that this record truly possesses. There’s an eclectic mix of sounds, but that guitar, lo-fi, punk rock style comes shining through on many tracks, making this one of the best records to get you in the mood to glide on water or concrete. I like the mix, and as far as instrumental rock records are concerned, this is on par with some of the best ones I’ve heard.

Overall, the guys in Figures of Light have found a way to tap into some very cool surf sounds, amidst a punk, garage sound. They continue to defy labels, and have once again won me over with another release. This time around, they put out 25 instrumentals, with 3 new songs to get you out of your chair into some motion. I highly recommend checking this release out.

Take a moment to check out one of the new tracks from the record - “Surf's Up!"

Figures of Light - Surf's Up! from Figures of Light Archive on Vimeo.

Support Figures of Light and Pick up "Instrumentals" via the links below, you'll be glad you did. 25 tracks of pure joy, if you ask me!

Via iTunes Here

Via Amazon Here

Via Rhapsody Here

Via Spotify Here

Figures of Light Video Archive Here

Oh, and don't forget to check out Figures of Light's Official Website Here

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hazy Dreams Brings About A Serious Instrumental With Living The Dream

There’s a lot of great music out there online today, and if you take a little bit of time to seek them out, you’ll find greatness. One example comes from the band Hazy Dreams. The band has created an intriguing instrumental rock song that is going to absolutely send you to all new heights. Regardless of what genre you love most, you should listen to the finer points of "Living The Dream" by Hazy Dreams.

Overall, the sound is crisp, the arrangement is interesting, and leads you through various soundscapes overall. This is the type of track you listen to once, and then starts to absolutely fill your dreams, your thoughts, and mind. It’s simple at first glance, but over time it starts to sprout wings, and you really get a feel for the nuances of the instruments.

Often times, with instrumentals, they get repetitive and boring. But when you listen to "Living The Dream" by Hazy Dreams, the mold gets shattered. The guitar work, percussion, and follow through is well timed. Right when you think you’ve figured out what is coming next, a subtle change comes through and it’s never out of place. That’s the true treasure here, the turns aren’t break neck, yet they are there, and they take you through a journey of sound.

Close your eyes and listen to "Living The Dream" by Hazy Dreams and you could very well be taken away to another time and place. I had to take several listens to it because it just has so many layers. It’s this type of music that really speaks volumes to the talent that is getting published online. Hazy Dreams really puts together a solid instrumental track here. It’s fun. It’s eclectic, and it is very well arranged.

Check out Hazy Dreams "Living The Dream" and get lost in the eclectic instrumental track.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Matt Skiba and The Sekrets Kuts Review

I have been a Matt Skiba fan for a long time. If I were to have one guitar player in my band, I would hire Matt Skiba, and that’s what Blink 182 did. Whatever the case is, this guy has so many musical outlets, it’s insane. What surprises me each time I hear about a new Skiba project is the fact that each one is tremendously well done. That’s what you’re going to get when you pick up “Kuts”, the latest release from Matt Skiba and the Sekrets. Holy crap, the guy can write a song, and the band is right on par with what you’d expect from their post punk, pop stylings.

Not Alkaline Trio, But Close

I’m not saying this in a bad way, but the record sounds a lot like you’d expect from The Alkaline Trio. However, the drumming and the guitar work is not as fast. This is not a fast paced, punk rock record like you’d expect from the trio. Instead, you get a more post rock, pop punk approach. That’s not a bad thing. The song writing is very well done, the bass tracks are layered in, and the drumming is on par with what you’d expect from Skiba’s musical output. The band adds a lot of interesting sounds, fuzz, noise, and distortion to make this a more complex album than you’d expect from The Alkaline Trio. This is definitely one of the more compelling releases from Skiba’s crew.

Bass and Drums Win Again

Lately, I’ve been blessed to listen to a lot of great records that have drums and bass as a big part of the sound. While Matt Skiba always has some good tone to the guitars, this record’s bass and drums are so good, you can’t miss them. Just listening to “She Wolf” with the fills and drops will absolutely stun. The attention paid to the structure of the song, with the mix of tones really works. It’s a classic example of how well you can put together certain sounds and rhythms within punk and rock in general.

A Good Throwback Post Punk Record

I call it post punk, but really, there’s notes of pop, alternative, and indie rock. Matt Skiba and the Sekrets puts on a clinic of musical elements, and each song is layered through an incredible tone. For my money, the bass guitar and drumming stands tall against Skiba’s unique vocals. The fuzz, shoegaze elements, and distortion on the guitar work also shines, especially on the first half of the disc. If you’re not familiar with Matt Skiba, then this is all going to seem foreign to you, but if you are familiar with is work, this record is going to be on repeat for months. I am completely in love with the record.

Buy Matt Skiba and The Sekrets “Kuts” by clicking here, and experience one of the best records of 2015.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Janes Addiction The Great Escape Artist Review

2011, what a year. This release came out in October of 2011 and it was the fifth record from the band Jane’s Addiction. I have been a fan of the band since I first saw Perry Farrell in “Been Caught Stealing” and of course my affinity for Porno For Pyros is also well documented in my blogs. This record came out swinging with a whole new attempt at capturing the magic of the band’s earlier material, without sacrificing too much. Was it really worth it? Did the guys really come through on this one, or was it another miss in a long line of bad rock records that came out in the 2000s?

The Heavy Bass Lines Makes The Great Escape Amazing

“The Great Escape” shows Jane’s Addiction’s prowess for song writing. The music is well produced, and what I find to be absolutely astonishing is the bass work. Dave Sitek’s bass guitar playing on this record is not to be missed. If you’re a bass guitar fan, then you have to listen to this record a lot. It’s fascinating how the record pulls through so well on top of the fabulous bass production. The drumming and guitar work are classic Jane’s Addiction with the rises and drops, palm mutes, and leads that you would expect, but it’s really the bass that drives a lot of it. Farrell’s vocals are on point as usual, but the drumming and bass keep me isolated inside the chambers of this record.

Dave Navarro on Guitar and Keyboards?

Here’s a tricky one, as Dave Navarro pulls off some great guitar work on this record, but it’s the keyboards that are going to fascinate you. The multi talented guitarist takes on keyboard duties in a lot of the tracks, and even does some vocal work. This creates an interesting dichotomy to the tracks, including his contributions on 1, 3, 5-10 as listed. He really does a great deal to put on a showcase. These tracks are really good, especially “Curiosity” kills, which represents such a strong rock effort from the band.

A Bass Heavy Rock Record That Shines

Jane’s Addiction is widely popular for their radio singles, but I honestly think this is one of their best records they ever recorded. The line up was solid, the bass heavy rock recording is just a stellar example of the progression that the band’s gone through. If you purchased the deluxe edition, you got a full live concert. However, the 10 songs that make up “The Great Escape Artist” are magical. It’s a record that you’re going to want to listen through from start to finish. I cannot say enough about Navarro’s guitar changes, and Sitek’s bass guitar, as well as Stephen Perkins drumming. On a side note, Stephen Perkins came into my video store once to rent a Clint Eastwood movie.

For those that are interested, you can buy “The Great Escape Artist” by clicking here, and add it to your collection.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else Review

It’s seriously cold in Indiana. I moved from Los Angeles to this Midwest staple, and can truly say that it’s very cold. Whatever the case is, here’s another review flying at you, because I write for an audience of one or two. The band Cloud Nothings is a band that has come out swinging from the Midwest. They are from Cleveland and they play a brand of rock that you most likely want to say is “indie”, but it’s far better than that. The band has a way of making a post punk sound feel much more important. Perhaps it’s the drumming, the bass heavy rhythms and Dylan Baldi’s guitar work. Tie that together with the urgency of Jawbreaker’s debut, and you have one hell of a band.

The opening track on “Here and Nowhere Else” should hook you, especially towards the end of the song where the drumming goes balls to the wall. There’s something incredible about the drumming in the opening track, and that pacing keeps things going through the rest of the disc. In this release from 2014, you are treated to 31 minutes of post punk fury. The songs are catch, solid, and really play on that post punk sound that you may not hear a lot on the radio. I was immediately floored by “Now Hear In”, “Quieter Today”, and “No thoughts”, which I had on repeat for some time.

Cloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else Is One Hell of A Record - 4 Stars! I Say! 

Cloud Nothings is a band that can do no wrong at this point. Their drumming is so good, the guitar work is not distorted and blown out through the noise of modern rock and roll. The singer’s quality of vocal is within perfect range and if you listen closely, the bass player is walking up and down the neck with reckless abandon. There’s punk moments, there’s hardcore moments, there’s a steady pace that screams, “listen to men”!

I’m late on finding out about this release, and well, that’s my fault. I’m an idiot. Cloud Nothings presents one of the single best independent rock records I’ve heard in a long time. For a band to come out swinging this hard is unique, and it’s not too unlike what I said about The Bronx when they first came out and people laughed at me for loving their no-nonsense punk rock approach. This band does the same, they hit you in the mouth with a wall of post punk noise, and do so while having a bit of fun. I love this. You’ll love this, Why aren’t you listening to the record now? Cloud Nothings is Dylan Baldi, Tj Duke, Jayson Gerycz, and are probably going to be your new best friends. Ok, maybe not. But this is a seriously good record, so listen to it, or get made fun of by an aging Mexican blogger (me).

You can buy Cloud Nothings “Here and Nowhere Else” by clicking here, and supporting the band.

The Chariot The Fiancee Review

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Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie Dead At Age 69

David Bowie has died at age 69. He was battling cancer. He just put out a record, make sure that you go and pick that up. There's a lot of death to start off this year on the blog. I'm not really sure what to write or why, since so much is going down. I'm sure I'll come up with something sooner than later.
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