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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