Thursday, March 31, 2011


It's hard to get a feel for what Ethienne actually sounds like until you take a real listen to it. At times during the band's latest release The Old And The New World, the band's rock edge takes to the front, layering customary guitar riffs with synth and eerie electronics as in "A Fist In The Snow", or keystrokes as in "Random Walk". Other times the band shows a poppier side, like in the dancy electro-pop "Ultrapop!" or the beautiful piano ballad "Crave", or an atmospheric, post rock like side like in "Once Again" or "Iter". Really, the best way to describe Ethienne is Ethienne, as the band takes influences across genres and infuses them into their own music, creating somewhat of a boundary hopping record. Deep Elm has found another gem of a band, one whose uniqueness will continue to assist the growth of the label, and leading them to even more success. You can stream the record on the band's Deep Elm page here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bad Rabbits

With Warped Tour tickets available for purchase in two days, it's about that time of year when I start to become excited for the several bands (maybe six this year) I'll be able to catch live there. After learning of Massachusetts-based Bad Rabbits through various fellow Warped Tour goers, I decided to give them a shot. Ever since, I've been jamming their debut EP from 2009, Stick Up Kids, and the demos and covers of Michael Jackson and Deftones they've released since then. With influences ranging from the aforementioned MJ and Deftones to Prince and Envy on the Coast, Bad Rabbits blend synth-heavy alternative rock with a throwback funky soul type sound. Dua Boakye lends his rich chest voice and strong, piercing falsetto to songs such as "Can't Back Down", arguably the best track on Stick Up Kids. The goofy keyboard parts, courtesy of studio player RP Thompson, are prevalent throughout and only add to the soulful nature of the band's sound. More currently, Bad Rabbits released two wonderful covers, "Human Nature" and "Sextape". The former builds to a climax in the last minute, Boakye's high falsetto screams at the forefront of the mix. It's an incredible vocal display and an honorable tribute to the late King of Pop. The latter is a cover of one of the best tracks off of the Deftones' most recent release, Diamond Eyes. Lending a slightly more R&B feel to the track, the cover actually rivals the original, as, once again, Boakye's falsetto is magnificent. Bad Rabbits have a full length album due later on this year in the works and, based on what they've put out so far, it's bound to be of high quality.
Free downloads of Bad Rabbits' releases here.

Topshelf Records

What have you accomplished in the past five years? Maybe you got a new job, started a few relationships, perhaps you began to start on your vast collection of the Nickelback discography on wax. Whether or not you've delved into the most arduous tasks in the past five years is irrelevant however, as it's doubtful that you've been as hard at work as Topshelf records has been since their inception. I've always found it difficult to maintain an affinity for any specific record label due to the shady business motivations and money-grubbing actions of labels attempting to stay afloat; it's difficult to see the good business reasoning behind your favorite bands dropped from labels just because their release didn't meet its quota. So thank the sweet record label Lord in the sky for Topshelf Records' dedication and love for bringing us some of the best releases in recent years. More than having just a solid work ethic, Topshelf Records and I share a love for excellent bands, vinyl, and collaboration between their artists via split EPs. They've recently repressed the The Saddest Landscape/Pianos Become The Teeth and We Were Skeletons/The Saddest Landscape split EPs as well as offered pre-orders for the upcoming EP from You, Me, And Everyone We Know. If that isn't enough to convince you of their love of diverse, hard working bands, maybe their list of artists will convince you. With releases ranging from bands like Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), Pianos Become The Teeth, to Into It. Over It., the family of Topshelf Records is one worth taking note of. If you're interested in hearing for yourself, you can do a little social networking for them here, to get a free bundle of their earlier releases.

Panic! At The Disco - Vices And Virtues

I hadn't planned on liking this record this much at all. Instead, I can already sing pretty much every lyric to every song four listens in. That's how catchy this album is. If Pretty. Odd was pretty terrible to you, as it was to me, and you were awaiting a return to the band's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out sound, you will be rather pleased. Panic's customary cinematic instrumentation comes out in full force throughout the album. Dancy rhythms dominate the middle of the album as "Let's Kill Tonight", "Hurricane", "Memories", "Trade Mistakes", and "Ready To Go" all will keep any listener on his or her feet while "The Calendar" and "Sarah Smiles" take the best traits out of Pretty. Odd and combine it with the sound of A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. The only poor song on the album is the ballad "Always", while strong vocally is overall boring. For a while I was debating on even downloading the album. After a couple of listens, I'm embarrassed I even had those thoughts. This record is excellent, and can be bought here. The album can also be streamed on Facebook here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Runaway Brother's New EP

Runaway Brother previously got featured by me due to their similarity to Farewell Fighter and You, Me, And Everyone We Know due to their sound and honest, relatable lyrics. The Bull Moose Party EP shows the band diversifying even further, relying on more sophisticated instrumentation. The synth parts are much more noticeable and unique, while instruments such as the mandolin and tambourine are added. Even the customary rock instrumentation sounds much strong and more complex. Even while expanding their instrumentation, Runaway Brother doesn't hold back lyrically, as the phrases are as strong as ever, working together more cohesively than before. The Bull Moose Party EP shows the band moving in the right direction, and definitely shows potential to hit it big within the scene. The best part about the EP is that you can download it for free on the band's Bandcamp page here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Taking Back Sunday Song Streaming

The return of Tell All Your Friends era Taking Back Sunday has taken another twist. The band's latest released song, "El Paso", is a shock to fans looking for the group to return to their original style. With verses that sound almost right out of Envy On The Coast's Lowcountry and a very heavy John Nolan led chorus, this song is unlike any Taking Back Sunday song to date. After the New Againesque "Best Places To Be A Mom", this song is quite exciting to hear, and the self titled album (due out this summer) is bound to be excellent. You can stream the new song here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Versus Angels: Free EP

Ever since I heard Versus Angels, I couldn't wait to hear more. Luckily, Versus Angels released all of their songs for free this week. The EP features three songs that were already available for listeners; "Promise", "Wait for You" and "Oh, God It Bleeds" along with two new songs; "Putting Out Places Everyone" and "Just Alright". The band heads in a new direction with "Putting Out Places Everyone", which has more of a pop punk vibe. But don't let the sound fool you, these lyrics are raw and angry and vocalist Tony Morgan delivers them with angst and passion. You can download the EP here.

Album Review: Seven Mile Journey - Notes for the Synthesis

Ah, it's so refreshing when, once in a while, post-rock projects like Denmark-based band Seven Mile Journey release something in a minor key, really bringing out different emotions and feelings within songs, instead of just trying to rip off Sigur Rós (though to this, I have no objections, because post-rock in general is a great genre). But, getting back to the purpose, the tracks on the record are connected, passing on the subtle, sweeping sound, each in its own building up and releasing, in a cathartic motion, an intense and trudging buildup to the end.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rona Pano

As posted a few days ago with Yuck, I've been on a bit of a kick for lo-fi indie rock. It seems that Rona Pano has messaged me at just the perfect time. With influences such as Wild Nothing and Deerhunter, Rona Pano definitely shows characteristics of both of those bands, along with some Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and No Age. As noted on the album cover, this music is very beachy, and will be a perfect addition to any summer playlist. You can stream and buy the album on the band's Bandcamp page right here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interview With Moving Mountains

"We're a band that would play hardcore, or punk festivals, and end up performing 3 songs. We wanted to do something a little bit different this time around, but I don't feel we really lost any influence, or style. We've only expanded on it."

In anticipation of Moving Mountains' new album, guitarist and singer Gregory Dunn took some time out of his schedule answer some questions for Muzik Dizcovery regarding the difference in how the writing process Waves was in comparison to Pneuma, where Moving Mountains stand next to their peers, and the thoughts that went into making Waves a more structured release.

Album Review: LAVOLA - Leaving Paris

Kicking down the door with the sharp vocals of Julian Cires in "The Queen is Dead", LAVOLA begins Leaving Paris with an audible bang of post-punk energy that I only wished lasted more than the five minutes of its fiery discharge. The trio from West Palm Beach, Florida has presented us with a collection of six songs that shove listeners through Cires' nasally snarls and dark lyrical content. Between Leaving Paris' love for blazing guitar work performed by Cires and its playful ventures into post-rock inspired songwriting, the instrumental side of Leaving Paris is consistently interesting even if it isn't necessarily consistently good. Regardless of its few songwriting missteps, Leaving Paris is diverse, thrilling, and well worth the consumer-choice price that LAVOLA has offered.

The Lonely Forest

The new Death Cab For Cutie record won't be out until May, but The Lonely Forest will easily be able to hold down the fort until then. Produced by Death Cab's own Chris Walla, The Lonely Forest specializes in mid-tempo indie-rock songs that are beautifully written yet still catchy. Strings and keys are thrown in at times to just add to the atmosphere of the tracks. The band's latest album, Arrows, seems to be a perfect spring album, that will surely be even more perfect as fall comes around. The album can be streamed on Spinner here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marley Carroll

Oh Thom Yorke and your horde of glitchophiles and experimentally minimalist peers, how many more young musicians will contain elements of you and your cavalcade of contemporaries? Marley Carroll, a multi-instrumentalist and rather prolific man located in North Carolina, is but another victim of Yorke's legacy. Carroll spends his time not only as the DJ for NC rap trio Mr. Invisible, but also heads the band Melanaster and produces his own solo work. Carroll has recently given the world a taste of his own work and remixes in the form of his solo EP Comfort's Curse, a delightful mix of his aforementioned influences and his own creativity. Don't take my Radiohead jabs and comparisons as a piece of negativity however, Comfort's Curse is an absolutely delight mix of Carroll's electronic influences and his diverse talents. The title track may begin the record with Kid A inspired experimental sounds, but the EP as a whole takes listeners through everything from the folk sensibilities of "Highway Hearts," to the big-city piano work of "Flying Nomura Theme Parts 1 and 2." More than just a sprawl of Carroll's delightful solo work, the EP contains remixes of Imogen Heap's "Hide And Seek," and Björk's "It's In Our Hands."  The remixes don't amaze in a spectacular way, but they feel like delightful little love letters to Carroll's influences. With such a pleasantly diverse mix of styles for listeners, Comfort's Curse is something I feel safe saying is something that deserves to be heard by listeners of all tastes. The catch? You can download and do so for free. Don't let this glitch-indie pop artist rise without your attention, Comfort's Curse just might be the beginning of great things for Carroll.

Album Review: Kontakte - We Move Through Negative Spaces

Making a significant departure in your sound from bands with more renown is a difficult task for those riding the undercurrent of the music industry. Why should listeners pay attention to a lesser version of one band when a better discography rests at their fingertips? Given Kontakte’s similarity to their peers, it’s a problem that We Move Through Negative Spaces manages to frequently fall victim to. Its swirling hues of calm, winter-sensibilities mix Kontakte's electronic side ala The American Dollar with post-rock in the vein of This Will Destroy You. While those comparisons may raise eyebrows and pique interests, Kontakte fails to capitalize on the right aspects to make the influences truly successful. This sophomore release may not make waves of differentiation and lasting impression, but for what it lacks in ingenuity it provides in promise within the later, and more impressive half of the album.

Deep Elm Review of 2010: Dorena - About Everything And More

Another excellent band from Deep Elm Records, Dorena play post-rock in the vein of Mogwai or Laura. About Everything And More may have been influenced by these greats of the genre, but never mimics them. To create this relative individuality, Dorena incorporate musical ideas that most other post-rock bands do not. For instance, "From The Window Of My Room" builds to a nearly indie-pop section, complete with catchy synth, about three minutes into the track. Soon, vocals enter the mix to great effect. Singing is used sparingly throughout the record, but never muddies the vibe Dorena aim to craft.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Motion City Soundtrack Starts Recording New Album

Coming off of their debut major label release of 2010, My Dinosaur Life, Motion City Soundtrack have already begun recording their brand new album, which is currently nameless. Very little is known about this album at the moment. Expect info on who's producing the album, what label it will be released on, etc. in the coming weeks and months. The band was dropped from Columbia shortly after the release of their last album, so it would make sense if they went back to an indie label rather than major.

With The Punches

With The Punches are a pop punk band from NY, and let me tell you, they absolutely kill it. When listening to this band I feel a ridiculous amount of passion spewing from the lead singer's voice, and it lets me know that this is the real deal. Their last EP, Keep It Going, was an awesome, awesome romp, with soaring choruses and pounding drum beats that got stuck in your head for days. Their latest EP, Its Not The End Of The World is one hell of a follow-up EP, taking everything from the first one and booting it up ten notches higher. There's a sincerity in the vocals and lyrics that set this band far apart from any of the bands this type of music is commonly associated with. Okay, I think you've had enough convincing, so pick up their music here and get ready to mosh your brains out.

The Downtown Fiction Announces Let's Be Animals

I live in a hotbed for very solid pop-rock bands that failed on their first full length. The Friday Night Boys and The Bigger Lights all grew up about half an hour from me, and released excellent EPs before boring full lengths. I sure hope The Downtown Fiction has better luck with Let's Be Animals. The band's latest EP Best I Never Had had a fairly large hit with "I Just Wanna Run", a song that they are re-releasing on the album, and I hope that the band's newfound popularity doesn't go to their heads, and that they keep on making extremely catchy, yet still fairly mature pop-rock music. You can follow the band on Myspace here. The album is released on April 26th

Album Review: Yellowcard - When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes

Memories and nostalgia are at the forefront of Yellowcard's latest release. People used these two terms in response to nearly every significant event since the reformation of the band after their two and a half year hiatus. The release of first single "For You And Your Denial" brought many minds back to grade school, when many of us heard "Ocean Avenue", "Only One", or "Way Away" on the radio for the first time. However, unlike many nostalgia trips, Yellowcard's return isn't a letdown. In fact, the band may have even released their strongest to date, fueled even more passionately by flames of the past.

Album Review: Álfheimr - What Allows Us To Endure

Relatively unknown in the post-rock community, which is always a shame when great projects like these pop up, Madison Asche is Álfheimr - a one person project based out of Portland, Oregon, currently operating in Redding, California. With two albums, an EP, a compilation, and a few different singles down, Álfheimr has a sound that would be hard-pressed not to enjoy, having a progression and a dreampop sound comparable to well-known Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Rós.

The first song, "A Song For Laughter and Forgetting", throws us a loop with a familiar Mogwai sound, giving the professional, refined sound that we can remember off of Mr. Beast. As we delve further, however, the vocal aspect of the song really opens up the song, giving it qualities that even Jonsi could respect and learn from.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Weeknd's New Mixtape

Ever since hearing Frank Ocean's latest album, I've been a lot more open to R&B. The Weeknd's newest mixtape House Of Balloons makes me glad that I did. The beats are absolutely exceptional, as live instruments seem to be a common occurrence, yet it is hard to know as barely any information is out about The Weeknd. The only bio that I can find is on, as there is nothing on his Facebook page. The mystery just adds to the excitement of the mixtape. And in the words of Rebecca Black, "Everybody's lookin' forward to The Weeknd." You can download the mixtape (album cover NSFW) for free here.

Album Review: The Anytime - Crave EP

We all have that go to album that's fun and allows us to let loose. Whether you listen to bands like that often or not, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The Anytime's sophomore release Crave is perfect for that, with pop rock infused beats and catchy lyrics. Nothing on the EP seems stellar but there is enough there to keep listeners tuned in.

The EP opens up with a fast paced synth and then dives into powerful vocals from Andrew Gates. "Can You Feel It" could easily be a radio hit on the top 40 or thumping through club speakers. The title track, "Crave" follows suit and Gates showcases his voice the most on this track while backed by Caleb Wiggins quirky guitar riffs. Before the track closes, Wiggins takes the spotlight and shines with an amazing guitar solo.

Friday, March 18, 2011


This surprise could possibly be my favorite album so far this year. Yuck's self titled album is full of staticky, distorted guitars, and superb hooks. Often compared to 90's alt rock bands such as Dinosaur Jr and Pavement, Yuck has created an excellent warm weather anthem, perfect for blasting in your car with every window down. "Get Away" is one of the top five best songs I've heard this year, with a killer chorus drenched in distortion both in the guitars and vocals. Though many of the indie records I've heard this year haven't lasted too long, this record has held up over the past two months while continuing to grow in impact to me. In fact, I can see this record ending up in my top five, and will definitely be top two in my first quarter report, due by the end of March. But for now, you can listen to Yuck on Myspace here.

Album Review: Braveyoung - We Are Lonely Animals

I'm declaring a moratorium on using the words "atmospheric," "haunting," and "ethereal," for this review. Not only do I believe those adjectives are thrown around too carelessly for any band willing to indulge in a few moments of instrumental glee, I believe Braveyoung's We Are Lonely Animals deserves different, better musical jargon for its accomplishments. Instead of existing within the fences of adrenaline-driven instrumental work or the fade-to-the-background mindset of minimalism, Braveyoung find themselves nestled within that warm center between the two extremes. We Are Lonely Animals is an isolated path of tinged despair sprinkled throughout fine instrumental work, and the experience listeners receive is absolutely worth the trudge through the resonating emotions of grief and loneliness that come along with it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Between Copeland's legacy and Lydia's explosion and eventual implosion in the past year, the population and popularity of bands exhibiting airy vocals over delectable indie pop have been increasing exponentially. Surrogate, the next in line aiming for the crown of indie-rock relaxation, reign from California with a brand new EP featuring some of my favorite pop songs of this year yet. Diamonds And Pearls sees a soft combination of vocals from Copeland and Beach House while instrumentally approaching listeners with a summery, simplistic pop routine. While not as dramatic or as hazily-delivered as the aforementioned Copeland and Beach House, Surrogate contain enough attributes of each to make a pleasing mix of tracks that thankfully remain as intelligent as they are catchy. If you're as impatient as I am for the next Copeland, chances are this may only partially scratch that itch you've felt since You Are My Sunshine. Surrogate may be heading in a different,  more easy-going direction than Copeland ended up going down, but they're a fine distraction with a new release full of potential. As easy as it is to drift off on these spring days to Diamonds And Pearls, don't sleep on this mighty fine EP. You can buy it here.

New I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business Album

We need more people in the music industry like Ace Enders. Not just blessed with the voice of an angel and the song writing skills of some of the greats, he's a down to earth human being that's totally devoted to his music and fans. Ace has stated in many interviews that this may be his last chance to make music, as it barely gives him enough to live. Even through these hardships, he cares enough about the music that his latest tour gives a choice for ticket price. The best thing about him is that even though he released his last full length just a year ago and another EP a few months ago, his latest full length titled Gold Rush will be released on May 5th. You can preorder the album right here.
Also, I will be conducting an interview with Ace on June 3rd. Feel free to leave questions in the comments.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Body Rampant

The Body Rampant are a brand spankin' new alternative outfit from California. The band plays a swift, turbulent mix of fantastic guitar riffs, soaring vocals, and pacing drum beats. There's a little something for everyone here. The band is gearing up for the release of their forthcoming EP, entitled Transient Years. You can check out a stream of their song "Living In Spurts" on their profile here. Personally, I'm quite excited for this EP. It was produced by Casey Bates, who has previously worked with the likes of Gatsby's American Dream, Dr. Manhattan, and Portugal. The Man.

Artist Spotlight: Early & Often

An interesting blend of an ambient band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and a more noise-based, driving sound similar to 65daysofstatic, Early & Often brings a new interpretation of post-rock to the table. It's really encouraging to find that more and more of these creative projects are popping up to show off their stuff, and E&O truly does a great job with everything they do - their sound has the ability to sway the emotion, entice the ear, and baffle the mind. With a release on the near horizon for the band, and a prior three releases under their belt, Early & Often is consistently a strong listen, with creativity, intuition, and sensitivity backing up solid writing and a fantastic post-rock sound. You can stream the newest album, Present No Fiction, Fear No Tense, at their bandcamp here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Vinyls

In these final days of winter, as spring rolls in to take the crown, The Vinyls might just be what you need to get by. Ever since bands like Jimmy Eat World took the spotlight years ago, many other bands have taken that sound and butchered it down to a pulp, losing what really made their music "music" in the process. The Vinyls, however, triumph far and above over all those bands by a long shot. Their latest EP, Extended Play, has garnered much attention since its November release date, and I'm happy to say that its streaming on their purevolume page here for the beautiful price of zero dollars. The opener, "American Dream" is also available for free download. Definitely take a small chunk out of your day to listen to this band, they are not one to miss.

Hands On The Stereo

I'd like to welcome Nick to Muzik Dizcovery. He will be covering plenty of pop-punk bands and will bring his knowledge of the genre to our posts.

In the pop-punk world right now, over-saturation is a common issue. Countless bands take the Set Your Goals and Four Year Strong style and imitate it. It's always a joy when one finds a band with their own special twist. Hands On The Stereo is that said band. From the moment their self titled EP starts with the opening crunchy guitar lick, you know you're in for a healthy dose of pop punk goodness. The band shows a ridiculous amount of energy throughout their debut effort, and undoubtedly will gain a heavy amount of buzz in the coming year or so. They're currently in the process of getting ready to record their new EP, which is sure to turn alot of heads when released. The band has created a kickstarter page in which you can donate to help fund recording costs, with some pretty sweet deals depending on how much you donate. You can stream and download their debut EP for free here, and check out the kickstarter page here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Dangerous Summer Streams Acoustic Album

Very rarely does a band surrounded with as much drama as The Dangerous Summer consistently put out absolutely brilliant albums. In order to tide us over until the release of their album (supposedly due out this summer), the band is releasing an acoustic version of their excellent full length Reach For The Sun. The acoustic versions of the song definitely bring out the best of lead singer AJ Perdomo's emotion filled voice, as pretty much every song stands out even in this minimalist setting. The album is out for full stream on AbsolutePunk right here, and you can buy the album at midnight tonight on iTunes.

Album Review: Emery - We Do What We Want

It’s only been two years since Emery’s return to form with In Shallow Seas We Sail, and they’ve washed ashore with some dramatic changes in their new album We Do What We Want. While In The Shallow Seas We Sail, we saw the Emery that fans knew and love burst back with astonishing force, We Do What We Want focuses on a heavier sound that doesn’t deliver as nicely as it might initially sound in concept. Between the change in the formula in vocal delivery and the awkward transitions between their melodic and heavier aspects, Emery find themselves stumbling more often than not.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Finding a female fronted band that doesn't sound like Paramore or Hey Monday isn't easy these days. But Kindlewood set themselves apart from the rest with their indie folk sound. Kelci Smith's soft voice is lulling and adds to the lullaby-esque songs. Smith is backed by her husband Galen and their friend Jamison Lyman. Lyman and Galen provide a serene blend of acoustic guitars and a tambourine at times. Kindlewood released their first EP in November of last year and plan to release more music around late Spring. Check out a few of their songs here. Also, keep yourself updated by checking their Facebook page.

Stay Offers Up New Album For Free

Stay has shown up on Muzik Dizcovery quite a few times, and with good reason. The band's new record American Cherry Bomb shows a little bit of growth since the previous EP, appealing to more of a widespread crowd than the teenage girls centered debut. Tracks like "Car Crash World" and "Machine Gun Summer" have much more of a rock edge, while "Arson In The Suburbs" seems to be influenced by Sum 41. The one thing we have learned to expect from Stay is a massive hook in pretty much every song. "American Cherry Bomb" and "Motor City" will be in consistent rotation in any playlist, as the need to listen to the choruses is overpowering after the first listen. The band still has a lot to work to do, as many of the lyrics are subpar, focused on themes like girls and partying. The profanities sometimes seem thrown in just to show off the band's "edge". As the band's first LP, the band has accomplished everything that they needed to. Hopefully in the future, the lyrical content will be stressed more, and we may soon get an excellent pop-rock album. The band seems more interested in exposure than profit, as they offered up American Cherry Bomb for free download. This trait will definitely help them gain more fans, and give them a bit more freedom to experiment. You can download the whole album on the band's Purevolume page here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Brighter Life

This five piece from South Carolina have all the makings of a pop-punk band. Their upbeat rhythm and on point vocals provide the perfect blend for this genre. Vocalist Jordan Kirk is delivering fun lyrics about partying and of course, some relationship problems. The gang vocals at the end of "Better Friends" emphasize the point of the song with the lyrics "Don't be surprised to find that nobody's there/So take a second look, to see if I care." "Another Late Night" reflects the band's title of their new EP Where Tonight Can Go and documents a night of partying. The track shows that the band can still have a serious sound while singing about having a good time. With The Starting Line and New Found Glory influences, A Brighter Life have everything they need and should have no problem working their way to the top to be alongside those bands. Download their latest EP Where Tonight Can Go on their bandcamp.

New Holiday Parade Song Streaming

There's no secret that I love good pop-rock. I mean, is there any genre more irresistible than it? Holiday Parade continues to prove that they are at the peak of the genre, consistently creating excellent tracks that are as catchy as Raul Ibanez wishes he could be. The new track "False Alarms" will be on the band's upcoming seven song EP, and although the "woos" seem a bit out of tune, after a while they fit in with the scheme of the song. Lead singer Andy Albert shows off his excellent vocals in the chorus, moving to a falsetto in a few phrases. Although some people were disappointed in Tickets and Passports, there was nothing about that album to be disappointed about. The new EP should easily be classic Holiday Parade, and something that will be in consistent rotation in my car this summer. Stream the new song on the band's Facebook page here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sharks Stream New Song

Diversity and Rise Records was something I never thought to hear in the same sentence. The addition of Sharks to their lineup was extremely curious, and the band's new song definitely seems to not belong with the rest of the label. Taking after bands like The Gaslight Anthem and The Clash, Sharks produces songs that simply are the definition of rock and roll. The band's new song, "Sweet Harness", definitely has that Gaslight Anthem-esque twang to the guitar parts, though lead singer James Mattock doesn't have that uniqueness that Brian Fallon has. The song is definitely a great introduction to Sharks, and The Joy Of Living 2008-2010 will be released on April 5th. Until then, if you like the band's Facebook page, you can stream "Sweet Harness".

Interview with Sims

Being gracious enough to sit down with Muzik Dizcovery before his Raleigh, North Carolina stop on his tour with Astronautalis, Sims answers a few questions for us concerning the process of making Doomtree material compared to solo material, the lyrical content within Bad Time Zoo, and future plans regarding both Doomtree and his solo work.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Leaked A Lot Like Birds Demo Feat. Kurt Travis

In a recent Tumblr post, someone seems to have leaked an untitled A Lot Like Birds demo, featuring recently added member Kurt Travis (ex-Dance Gavin Dance, Five Minute Ride). The seven-minute long track continues A Lot Like Birds' brand of progressive post-hardcore, while featuring Travis' vocal prowess prominently. The intro of the song is the same as the one to the rickroll from a couple weeks ago, which upset some fans. Travis sounds stronger than ever, backed by intricate guitar lines and crawling bass. Though the screaming is a bit rough, it might be merely the result of the lesser quality of demos in general. Lyrically, the repeated, spoken line "You might know this/But I've got a rifle that's stifling manners" builds up into a mathy riff leading into a breakdown of sorts, complimented by synths. Thankfully, it doesn't resemble a foray into Attack Attack!-type crabcore in the slightest. Immediately afterward, the proverbial roaring tide is quelled by a more ambient transition, which leads into a post-rock with screamed vocals section, closing out the song. For a demo, there's much to be pleased with here. Hopefully, this is a sign of the quality of their upcoming full-length.
Stream the demo here.

Childish Gambino

Many of you may know Donald Glover as Troy Barnes from the NBC comedy series Community. But did you know he is also a rapper? Known in the music circles as Childish Gambino, Barnes is an extremely witty lyricist, which is shown extremely well on his newest EP. Lines such as "Everything I’m sayin’, I’m super sayin’ like Goku" from "My Shine" and "Let me poke-ya-mom, Raichu" from "Lights Turned On" are only a few of the excellent one liners that Childish Gambino raps. Although most of the lyrics are sexually explicit, they can definitely give a good laugh to anyone who isn't taking him too seriously. He's has a very solid flow as well, though not one of the best out there. The instrumentals aren't just club beats, which adds some uniqueness to his style. Barnes has shown that he is a very talented performer not just in comedy and acting, but in music too. He is offering his whole EP for free on his website here.

Album Review: Hypomanie - A City in Mono

Being such a mixed band (although their most widely recognized genre is primarily depressive-black metal), Netherlands-based project Hypomanie has released a solid album with A City In Mono. Though it might not have been recognized as a stay-true to the core genre, the band has been known to experiment with their sound, and it shouldn't surprise that there's a very post-rock feel to a majority of the songs, namely the title track.

As stated immediately before, "A City in Mono", the premiere track of the album, brings on a feel that much imitates well-known post-rock project Explosions in the Sky.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Deep Elm Signing - The Cast Before The Break

By this point, it should be expected that Deep Elm will never sign a poor band. The Cast Before The Break is a perfect fit for the label, as the label has already produced and developed quite a few bands of similar style, including The Appleseed Cast, Athletics, and Moving Mountains. The band's post-rock meets indie-rock meets post-hardcore style is perfectly represented on "Head On A String", as they go from an Explosions In The Sky like intro to a vocal based verse, to a much heavier instrumental segment. The band has re-released their newly remastered LP Still, and hopefully will begin on recording new music soon. You can stream and buy the new album on the band's Deep Elm page here.

Explosions In the Sky Announce Pre-Order; Free Download

How do you create a follow up to 2007's All Of the Sudden I Miss Everyone and all of its haunting qualities of loneliness, despair, and hope? As a band that has not only been known for practically defining the standards of crescendo-focused post-rock, Explosions In the Sky carry a lot of weight on their shoulders to continue their impressive career of making their famous brand of instrumental work. Their reputation aside, as someone who fell deeply in love with Explosions In the Sky's last record, I found myself questioning whether or not a follow up could do justice when Explosions announced Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. It's safe to say now that with a new song in hand, it's a good chance those worries are completely baseless. Don't take my word for it though, pre-order the album and download the new song here.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Dessa is the best female hip-hop artist out there right now. As the only female member of Doomtree, she is also easily the most unique. Her combination singing/rapping is an acquired taste, but soon becomes irresistible. The best part of her songs is definitely the instrumentation, as Doomtree producers Paper Tiger, Lazerbeak, and others place horns, clarinets, drums, and many other instruments in the songs in unimaginable ways. Hooks also run rampant throughout the album, with "Dutch" and "Mineshaft II" as two of the catchiest tracks. There isn't one poor track on the entire album, and is definitely a cohesive product meant to be heard as a whole. Doomtree is full of the best hip-hop artists around, such as P.O.S, Cecil Otter, and Sims, but Dessa could possibly be the best overall artist of the entire group. You can stream the whole album on her Bandcamp page here.

Oculi Maris

When Jason Vena (ex-Acceptance) realized he had been bandless for so long, he decided to call another bandless all-star, the one and only Aaron Marsh (ex-Copeland. Together, they called up friends of theirs from post-rock leaders Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, and Godspeed You! Black Empire in order to recreate both singers' former styles for their new band Oculi Maris. Marsh and Vena rarely sing alone, as wonderful harmonies dominate every one of the band's songs. Munaf Rayani (Explosions In The Sky) creates beautiful ambiance around the two incredible voices, and Martin Bulloch (Mogwai) knows how to create stunning rhythms to keep the music driving. Finally, the multi-talented Sophie Trudeau (Godspeed You! Black Empire) hops on bass for the first time since Thee Silver Mt Zion's The Pretty Lightning Paw EP, along with adding violin, trumpet, and her sweet backing vocals in the recording of the band's self titled debut album. Oculi Maris means "Eye of the Ocean" in Latin, fitting the band perfectly as the band wants to recreate the sound of the ocean and the rest of the world in their music. The band plans to begin recording soon, with Marsh taking the lead in production. The band's debut should be released in Fall. You can follow the band's progress here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Felix Culpa - Sever Your Roots/Bury The Axe

After self-releasing Sever Your Roots in 2010, indie/post-hardcore act The Felix Culpa signed to No Sleep Records, culminating in this re-release of the album, with three bonus tracks. Collectively these additions make up the EP Bury Your Axe. While not a sharp break from the sound found on Sever Your Roots, the EP tends to focus more on the instrumentals and slightly less on vocals. The result is three tracks which, though less hard-hitting than the emotional material found on Sever Your Roots, stand alone in their own right.

Penguins Kill Polar Bears

Hopefully, no polar bears were harmed in the making of this EP. Penguins Kill Polar Bears, a name that makes me somewhat scared of one of my favorite animals, is from the great country of Scotland, a place that's given plenty of solid bands in the past several years. As with the excellent band There Will Be Fireworks, Penguins Kill Polar Bears brings a post-rock edge to powerful rock music. The ambient background only brings out the best of the rest of the instrumentation. While the vocals need work, and the songs are slightly boring and repetitive, the talent within the instrumentalists suggests a lot more variety in the future. You can stream the band's music on their Myspace page here. The EP titled Vessels and Veins will be out March 22nd.

Album Review: Sleeping At Last - Yearbook - March EP

Is it that time of the month again? Sleeping At Last have graced us yet again with another Yearbook EP, and where February lost me, March has ensnared me once more in the pervasive beauty of Sleeping At Last once again.

Adventuring as they did in January, Sleeping At Last begin March with a beautifully orchestrated instrumental piece that floods the listener with all the joys of the duo's piano work and robust string work. "Pacific," was born for cinema-quality moments in time, and it is wonderful to hear Sleeping At Last flex their instrumental prowess again.

The Rise Of Science

How can I dislike a band who names their album after me? Way back in 2008, The Rise Of Science released their excellent album Casey, that still receives spins from me. With vocals that are not unlike ex Tides of Man singer Tillian, and instrumentals that could easily be found on a Circa Survive record, The Rise Of Science combines technical instrumentals with superb hooks. Keys are common and used very well, separating them from the two above bands in a positive manner. "Short Comings Can Be Incomplete" is a perfect representation of the band's sound, with a variety of keys and fluttering guitars surrounding the verses with a much heavier, yet extremely catchy chorus. The band is currently in the studio recording their first release in three years, and you can follow their progress on Facebook here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Album Review: The Great Valley - Ruthless

Brotherly love can be unstoppable. When two brothers have passionate motivation to work together, they can complete anything. Louis and Nick Matos, known together as The Great Valley, have been working together to make music for most of their lives, and Ruthless is the best product they have released thus far. Their honest pop-punk sound is reminiscent of an early Valencia or You, Me, and Everyone We Know, comparisons that only signify the great things the brothers can potentially do in the future.