Post(s) tagged with "Track Reviews"
Song Title: I Saw Her Face
Artist: The Men
Album: New Moon
The Men are back, and oh boy are they back. With anticipation for a new album titled New Moon coming out in less than a week (March 5th, almost exactly a year after their previous release), they have released this amazing single titled, “I Saw Her Face.” With this new track, it is increasingly clear that The Men have come a long way since their inception. From their mostly punk//hardcore roots on Leave Home, to their country//surf-rock laden sensibilities on Open Your Heart, musical evolution and genre-leaping is no surprise when it comes to The Men. With “I Saw Her Face,” The Men seem to be making a strides towards a straight-forward rock record, and it is working really well.
The first thing I noticed about “I Saw Her Face” was the rapid change in production quality. The Men have striped away from their former lo-fi roots from their previous albums, Leave Home and Open Your Heart. This makes for a much more enjoyable listening experience, as you can truly hear everything that is going on in this track. The guitars on “I Saw Her Face” are real smooth, and glide through this track magnificently.
The best part “I Saw Her Face” has got to be the two-minute-long guitar solo at the latter half of the track. It’s so theatrical, and in such a classic-rock way. It eventually builds up to a fast-paced conclusion that’ll take you by surprise, but enthrall you nevertheless. If this song doesn’t make you want to bob your head then there’s something wrong with you.
Song Title: Busted Head
Artist: Jean Jacket
Album: Two More Songs
Purchase hardcore band Jean Jacket strike yet again with another painfully short release. However don’t let that discourage you, Jean Jacket is still bringing the needed energy that you’ve been missing in your life. They are indeed as consistent as ever. “Busted Head” is another great experimental punk journey for Jean Jacket.
On “Busted Head,” and Two More Songs in general, one could clearly see Jean Jacket has really figured themselves out. Long buildups, saturated atmospheres, piercing guitar solos, and brutally honest lyrics seem to be their signature weapons of choice and they are executed excellently on “Busted Head.” The best part about “Busted Head,” is that it never slows down or ceases it’s incredible poignancy. “Busted Head” is fast, short, and powerful like a bullet to the eardrums.
Song Title: Intension Tension
Album: Einstein Demo
Entropy is a hardcore//punk band from Orange County, NY. Living up to their band’s name, Entropy really channels some serious chaos on “Intension Tension.” Like much of their demo, Entropy barrages it’s audience with a concise and in-your-face message on this track.
The lyrics shouted on “Intension Tension” are both relatable and memorable. Exploring themes of dissatisfaction with the actions of those around us, and the difficulty of surviving in the world we live in. Fittingly, “Intension Tension” has all the necessary components of a great hardcore track. This will definitely resonate well with fans of Paint It Black, Kid Dynamite, or even any classic hardcore bands of the past. Keep an eye out for these guys they’re definitely worth the listen.
Song Title: Mandarin Oranges
Artist: The Ferns
Album: The Ferns
The Ferns are an indie-pop band from Bristol/Burlington, CT.
“Mandarin Oranges” is definitely the best track off of The Ferns self-titled debut. It is essentially the only track that slightly breaks free from the mellow and laid-back essence of the album. It starts off with a nice bright chord progression with simple and catchy drum fills that are definitely appealing. Towards the end of this track is breaks into a strange, almost tribal-feel, complete with bongoes and an echo effect on the vocals. Although the ending does make the song feel somewhat fragmented, I appreciate the energy and experimentation of the ending that The Ferns displays. All in all The Ferns’ “Mandarin Oranges” and self-titled debut are definitely worth checking out.
Song Title: Modern Times
Artist: All The President’s Men
Album: Modern Times
All The President’s Men is a hardcore band from Brighton, MI. For just a first demo, Michigan’s own All The President’s Men really throws down hard. Don’t let their long band name fool you, there is absolutely nothing pretend about these guys. “Modern Times” is a short, but meaningful, ballad about being trapped in the harsh and monotonous wasteland of our “modern times.”
For a track that is only just over a minute long, “Modern Times” really enthuses me. It may be short, but it has multiple and distinguished parts. “Modern Times” starts off with a nice thrash-filled introduction, and then breaks into a slow bass-led interlude; the type of thing that essentially gets moshers psyched. The track is ultimately finished off with a heavy onslaught of angry vocals and bombastic guitar that is surprisingly catchy as well. All The President’s Men don’t need to use the “gang vocal” effect because by the end of this song you’re going to be singing along whether you want to or not.
Song Title: queen engle xxl
Album: burger burger
Cwabs is an electronic duo from Binghamton, NY.
To be honest, I really don’t listen to this kind of music often, but cwabs is a necessary exception. This band is great, creating a catchy blend of both 8-bit sounds, and live instrumentation. On “queen engle xxl,” cwabs makes an upbeat tune that draws you in the second it starts on it’s voyaging beat.
“Queen engle xxl,” definitely caught me off guard at first. The track starts off with a strong beach kind of vibe, with just heavily reverberated guitar. However, once “queen engle xxl” begins it will take you to a place that feels magical. It may be because of the vague nostalgia of the classic video game music that inspired it, but it totally works here. This tracks got a kicking bass line too, and has a surprisingly powerful vibe. Cwabs may be a band that relies on electronics, but they aren’t just going to lay down and go to sleep like a “chillwave” band would.
Song Title: Paint
Artist: Bad Sound
Album: SO SO SO
Bad Sound is an indie-pop band from Utica, NY.
If you’re a Bad Sound fan, you might recognize “Paint” from a previous and related release. This particular tune was featured on the BAD CELLO/HISOUND split tape. Although, the version that was created on that tape was much different. On that release “Paint” was more of an experimental and electronic track, much in the vain of Animal Collective. However, I really love what Bad Sound has done with “Paint” on SO SO SO.
“Paint” has done a complete 360, and I would absolutely call this an improvement. This song has broken free from most of it’s synthetic origins, now leading with a terrorizing electric guitar that catches your attention the second you press play. It’s also hard not to feel enticed by “Paint“‘s lightning fast and equally complex drum patterns.
Another quirk I love about “Paint” is the brief “intermission” that the song seems to take towards the middle. The track gently slows itself down, developing a quaint little jam. The bass-line’s got a killer groove here, and how could you not love the flute that perfectly ties it all together. This part of the song heavily reminds me of the composure of elevator music, thus giving the listener a chance to catch up with the track. Without this “intermission,” you might blink and miss “Paint.”
Whatever direction Bad Sound is heading in, this is the right one. Their use of non-tradiational rock instruments on this release does not feel nearly as intrusive as it does on previous releases. Every inch of “Paint” and SO SO SO is virtually flawless and has got to be their best work yet. I hope they stick to the equation they’ve developed here, and I am beyond excited for future releases.
Song Title: Draft
Mrooney is an experimental singer//songwriter from Rochester, NY.
“Draft” is definitely a nice start to mrooney’s debut demo, Tape. With it’s melancholy chords and haunting vocals, this track is one that truly stands out. “Draft” in many ways feels like a storm, with it’s quiet beginning and raindrop-like cymbal hits. It also gradually builds it’s fury as it progresses, and throughout it you could feel the dreadful uncertainty that comes with it. The lyrics are fitting as well, feeling as gray and confused as the instrumentation.
Take a listen and see what you think. If you like what you hear pick up mrooney’s Tape for whatever price you want on bandcamp!
Song Title: Fortune Tellers
Album: Reference Tracks
Polaroids is a emo//hardcore band from New Jersey.
For just a first demo//EP, Polaroids takes quite a valiant stance. It may qualify as “pop-punk” for it’s broken hearted lyrics and heavy instrumentation, but it is so much more than that sinking genre. On “Fortune Teller” Polaroids creates a bitterly catchy track, with echoes of skate punk.
“Fortune Teller” is just an all around fun song. I feel as though it fits such a specific, “hanging out with your friends” type of niche. “Fortune Teller” takes me back to high school memories, either blasting songs like this in the car with my friends, or being at a punk show. Polaroids is a band that is definitely built for an awesome live performance. When I listen to “Fortune Teller” I continuously see stage dives and sing-alongs.
I can’t wait to hear more music from Polaroids, and for them to play an inevitably awesome show.
Song Title: Expanding Contracting
Artist: Our Daily Fix
Album: Metamorphosis EP
Our Daily Fix is a math-rock band from Monroe, New York.
Boy has Our Daily Fix come a long way since their Elephant days. Wait a second…that was only six months ago! You sure couldn’t tell by this amazing track or by the whole Metamorphosis EP. I guess the EP title doesn’t lie. On “Expanding Contracting,” Our Daily Fix continues on the highly experimental route that Metamorphosis carries throughout. Although much like their previous EP, there are plenty of awesome sax and guitar harmonies to keep you satisfied.
The new, more polished production definitely makes “Expanding Contracting” a lot more enjoyable. The saxophone has such a more crisp and airy atmosphere that it was lacking on previous efforts. This also allows for the drums to stand out a lot more in the mix, giving the song a consistently heavy feeling throughout. The effects on the guitar are amazing as well. It appears that Our Daily Fix has taken some pointers from bands of post-rock persuasion, thus adding a sense of ambience to their powerful instrumentation.
The last two minutes of “Expanding Contracting” has got to be the greatest part of the track. Our Daily Fix tries out a choral-style gangvocal harmony that completely works. After this quiet and beautiful interlude, vocalist Bryan Kopchak takes the lead again, exerting his voice at full force as the instruments backing him explode with intensity. And it doesn’t end there, for about a whole minute longer the song continues with storming drums, soothing saxophone, and reverb-laden guitar.
I love “Expanding Contracting,” and I love Our Daily Fix. Keep an eye out for these guys, they are not like anything you normally see out there.
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