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.
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