Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It’s been happening more and more often lately. Bands, seemingly out of nowhere, inexplicably erupt onto the scene, often being hailed as the next “thing”. However, rarely do they profoundly command attention and even less frequently, do they actually deserve it. Hardcore act, Departures, on the other hand, is an exception to this sentiment.

Departures, hailing from the UK, are currently signed to Fist in the Air Records. With their debut EP, Escaping, they proved themselves to be a powerful and thoughtful act in the scene. Heavy, chaotic, and filled with wonderful melodies, Escaping was a 2010 hardcore stand-out.

On June 13th, the band plan to unleash their debut full length, When Losing Everything Is Everything You Wanted. The album, having been streaming for a number of weeks, has already garnered a surprising amount of praise. Carrying over everything that made their EP such a thrill to listen to, When Losing Everything… should rightfully place Departures amongst their peers, whom include Defeater, The Carrier, and More Than Life.

When Losing Everything Is Everything You Wanted can be listened to in full on the bands facebook

Album Review: Touché Amoré – Parting the Sea between Brightness and Me

Though we may be losing Kyle Minton, who will make a post or two more before moving on to other things, we have another Kyle joining us. He's already shown his excellent writing skills (as seen below), and we are very happy to have him with us here.

Touché Amoré, a post-hardcore group hailing from Los Angeles, presents us with their second LP in Parting the Sea between Brightness and Me. The album undoubtedly maintains the band’s core sound, consisting of short, abrasive songs full of dark, pensive lyrics. However, the band shows greater maturity on Parting the Sea… with a more dynamic sound that will surely garner Touché Amoré much deserved attention from new fans. The album was recorded live with Ed Rose (The Get Up Kids, Emery, The Spill Canvas) at Black Lodge Studios and is slated to be released on June 7th through Deathwish, Inc.

Album Review: Laura Stevenson and the Cans - Sit Resist

One of the several new writers that will soon be joining us, Eli is a consistent reviewer on SputnikMusic. However, he will now be joining us as a full time staff reviewer. He has plenty of experience with writing reviews, and will be covering a wide variety of genres.

In mid 2009, armed with an acoustic guitar and a dulcet croon, a young woman by the name of Laura Stevenson captured the hearts of an entire scene. With her EP, “Holy Ghost,” Laura Stevenson did in 15 minutes what many folk/indie artists could barely achieve in a length of twice that. Bursting with poise and personality, the EP captured a feeling of drama and urgency, whilst coming off a wholly fun and capricious. “Sit Resist” is her first full length, but even more so, it is solid, wonderful album that signifies what could possibly be a truly exceptional career.

Album Review: Mental Architects - Patience, Communcation, Understanding, Go!

My good friend Sean Rizzo has decided to devote his time to us as a guest writer. Though he doesn't have the time to be a full staff writer, he will once in a while be donating his writing to us. Be ready to see some big changes in Muzik Dizcovery over the next week or so, and be ready to see a bunch of new names on the screen.

I've been at a quandary about how to approach this review for a few days now, and you'll see why momentarily. Hailing from Sofia, Bulgaria, Mental Architects are something I like to call a blender band. Most bands who take on this characteristic are side project supergroups, and it's often to their detriment. Bands like Isles and Glaciers and even The Sound of Animals Fighting on their second album fall victim to a destructive tidal wave of pent up creativity. The music lacks cohesion, the various components clash more often than not, and it's not uncommon to have a very difficult time enjoying the warfare between all the creativity that couldn't take place in a main project.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Giants

Like so many acts that are ignored, the Giants EP was basically shrugged off at its release in 2005 for bigger and better things. However, half a decade later, the band is going strongly, with two full lengths and a third in progress, so they decided to take a second shot at the EP. Sharing sounds akin to Final Days Society, yet almost completely their own, I'm surprised the EP didn't attract more attention than it did - it's truly fantastic, down-to-earth post instrumental music. The tracks are mostly lead by either acoustic or clean electric guitar, and there are some very creative, albeit repetitive, choruses that suggest an introspective feel with a simple, breathtaking effect.

You can follow the band and stream some tracks on Myspace here, and check out some of the Mylene Sheath's other sounds here.
The EP is released on June 14th.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Rocket Summer Releases Free Live Acoustic Album

For the past couple of weeks Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer has been teasing fans via Facebook about a big time announcement he was going to make. Many people became excited for a new album or a big tour, but that wasn't the case. However, a free acoustic live album was probably the next biggest thing he could have announced. Recorded from several of his intimate acoustic shows from 2010, Bryce's voice sounds studio quality singing many of the band's fan favorite tracks from each of their last three studio albums. The tracklist was perfect except for the five minute jam session in the middle of the album, hitting all of the band's best tracks such as  "Hills and Valleys", "Never Knew", "Do You Feel", and "Of Men And Angels". The one unfortunate thing about the album is the crowd, getting in the way of songs such as "Never Knew" and "Hills and Valleys" with their extremely off-beat clapping and many other songs due to being extremely off key in their singing. However, Bryce did encourage fan participation for the album (as seen in the title Bryce Avary, His Instruments, and Your Voices), and it does give the feeling of the intimate experience of the shows. Bryce is a genuinely good guy, and passionately appreciates his fans. Giving away this excellent live album for free just shows his dedication to his art. You can download the album for free after the jump.

Album Review: Jesu - Ascension

For those of you who don't know Jesu (and trust me, most of us are duly ashamed at this point), think along the lines of Envy, who Jesu has done a split with, and Isis. Jesu embodies the lighter side of post-metal and a heavier side of post-rock, creating a median between the two genres to create something as influential as Explosion in the Sky's Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. The band shares a bit of the same sound, as well as taking some ideas from bands like Pelican and hashing up some ideas for Ascension that fans have longed to hear since the release of the last true full-length, Conqueror, in 2007.

Friday, May 27, 2011


For me, the best thing about the underground music movement is all the opportunities for fusion between genres that have not been explored before.  Toronto group Austra is poised to be a jewel in a diadem of these genre-bending indie groups.  Lead songwriter and vocalist Katie Stelmanis is a classically trained soprano opera singer and her rich, evocative vibrato is possibly one of the most spellbinding voices in the indie music realm.  But Austra is very decidedly a new wave electronica band.  The band's lead single "Lose It" from their new album Feel It Break is a dark anthemic piece.  Their electronica is decidedly melancholy, but also claims a complementary sprightly atmosphere.  Be sure not to miss the album's closing piano masterpiece "The Beast," a sophisticated and gorgeous track dripping with all the emotion of Stelmanis' desperate vocals.  Check the band out on MySpace here.

Album Review: By Surprise - Mountain Smashers

In a different, better world, By Surprise replaces the absurdly popular examples of pop-rock "fun" bands, is released in my final summer before college, and all the girls I'll ever meet fawn over Mountain Smashers like it is this reality's latest All Time Low record. Unfortunately for me and By Surprise, I am already a year deep in higher educational debt and Mountain Smashers' unique collection of silly, intimate, and summery compositions won't get the attention that a truly adolescent record like itself should. I don't mean to lead readers in the wrong direction by using terms like pop-rock and adolescent; Mountain Smashers' love for never taking itself too seriously and its occasional spots of emotional honesty make the record feel as accessible as it is fun, and the band is far too focused on guitar noise, drum racket, and a large heft of indie-rock influences to be confused with the majority of pop-rock fluff that is focused on a cleaner sound. By Surprise's Mountain Smashers isn't polished at every corner, it doesn't sport pristine vocals, and it certainly never becomes a repetitious package of catchy choruses. It is however, a record of insecurity, summer joy, and the album that cements By Surprise as an excellent part of the Topshelf Records family.

Hidden Pictures - Synchronized Sleeping

It's 85 degrees outside, and I feel like just laying in the sun and listening to music. This is the time of year when upbeat, beachy music is exactly what many people are looking for. Hidden Pictures' new album Synchronized Sleeping is perfect for those situations. Compared to She & Him due to the shared male and female vocal harmonies, the record simply sounds like summer. The guitars have a surf rock sound to them, and the heavily used glockenspiel adds a positive touch to the record. But Synchronized Sleeping is more than just a simple summer rock album, as song writer, producer, vocalist, and guitarist Richard Gintowt heavily orchestrates many of the tracks, including segments of saxophone, cello, viola, and trombone. At the core of it all, Hidden Pictures is a pop band, constructing sweet hooks to go in front of the tan inducing instrumentation. Get your swim suit on, apply sunscreen (important!), and  listen to Synchronized Sleeping through your headphones. Summer is going to be great. You can stream the entire album (on purchase Tuesday, May 31st) on the band's Bandcamp page here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Album Review: Eksi Ekso - Brown Shark Red Lion

A listen to Brown Shark Red Lion will change one's entire view of what post-rock can really accomplish. Eksi Ekso manages to throw together, from what sounds like atypical experimental rubbish, a radically innovative and unexpected piece of work. The Boston, Massachusetts-based group has been known for their interesting instrumentation and unorthodox style, but as I haven't listened to anything prior to the March release, I've been pleasantly surprised by the interesting tonal shifts and overall progression of how each song adds something completely unique and yet relevant to the overall feel of the album.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Album Retrospective: Something Corporate - Leaving Through The Window

Something Corporate sold out two shows in two nights very quickly on their reunion tour to my hometown of Washington DC. Quite a feat for a band that only has two commercially released albums and had been on hiatus for six years. But anyone who grew up a fan of the band as well as younger fans who discovered the band through Jack's Mannequin immediately jumped at the opportunity to see the elusive band live. Any fan knows that the band's cult following began with the extremely influential Leaving Through The Window, a record that started a huge trend of piano-rock as well as launched both the band and Jack's Mannequin to stardom.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Select Start - The New Atlantic

I'll admit, I only checked out this EP because of Daniel Lancaster, better known as Jason Lancaster's brother. Select Start's pre Lancaster material was very familiar, as that was back in the day when I did nothing but scour PureVolume for new pop-rock bands. Looking back at the old material now, it's amazing that Select Start has released one of my favorite EPs so far this year. The band has ditched all the synths that devoured their powerpop sound, and now embraces a harmony heavy, indie influenced pop-rock style.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Album Review: Fireworks - Gospel

2009 and 2010 marked the introduction to the newest wave of pop-punk. The Swellers began to redeem Fueled By Ramen with their first record on the label, Man Overboard and Transit released excellent debut full lengths that consequently got them signed to Rise Records, and The Wonder Years became somewhat of a cult icon due to the release of The Upsides. However, fans of this new era of pop-punk worried that these debuts would be difficult to top. Though Fireworks was an often forgotten name on the list of upcoming pop-punk acts, they are the first to show that they could follow up a strong debut with an outstanding sophomore effort. Gospel is stronger than All I Have To Offer Is My Own Confusion in every single musical aspect, and will no doubt launch Fireworks to the head of the pop-punk class.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Actors & Actresses - We Love Our Enemy

Judging by how well it's bands are coming along, the Mylene Sheath will have a successful year - especially in part of the re-release from Actors & Actresses. The previous, seemingly-unappreciated release, We Love Our Enemy, is being remastered in every way, shape, and form in order to give it the spark that it failed to attract before, and to draw more people into the heavy post-rock / shoegaze sound that A&A does so well. It's amazing to hear the depth and complexity that is portrayed on a first release like this, with incredible transitions between what is essentially audio anarchy, to a simple, delicate, tranquil melody; the band shows they hold full control over any progression in their songs, and the entire EP is an awe-inspiring harbinger of pure post-rock.

We Love Our Enemy will be released on June 14th, on The Mylene Sheath, and you can stream some free tracks here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Video Game Soundtrack Spotlight: Shatter

Whether the Jack Thompsons of the world would care to admit it or not, the video game industry has become a viable medium of entertainment for consumers and there’s simply never been a better time to come to accept it. Whether you’re witnessing your middle-aged relatives waste away on Facebook with Farmville or enjoying the meatheads in your college class converse about how "sick" their latest streak on Call of Duty was, the nerd culture that was once tucked away in the corners of society is now acceptable, unfortunately fashionable, and even capable of incorporating impressive levels of other entertainment industries within it. In laymen’s terms, I’m speaking about the wealth of original soundtracks found in modern video games. In this new feature, we’re going to take a look at a few soundtracks that stand as not only impressive within their respective product, but stretch far enough to be able to be found respectable under musical criticism as well. Specifically, the albums spotlighted will be completely original pieces of content, games containing pre-existing songs that have been collected to form a soundtrack will not be highlighted as we specifically want to find the original soundtracks that stand apart as worthy pieces of music themselves. Today, we highlight electronic artist Jeramiah Ross, who performs under the alias Module and his outstanding, dynamic work for PlayStation Network game Shatter. 

Like So

This past week has contained a loss of one of the bigger names that consistently use guitar tapping, as the lead singer of This Town Needs Guns has quit the band to be with family. Though the band can still possibly recover, it remains to be seen whether the band and their new vocalist can ever return to the greatness of Animals. Now, Like So really seems to want to This Town Needs Guns, but other than the guitar tapping, they really aren't that similar. They're poppier, and they stick to more conventional song structures. There are some time signature changes, but they aren't as prevalent or technical as This Town Needs Guns. The vocals are reminiscent of a rougher Stu, but they do not make the band a perfect replacement. However, Like So is still extremely talented when you look past the comparisons, and you simply just need to enjoy the mathy-pop band. You can download the band's new EP Has A Pajama Party right here for free.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tilian Explains Saosin/Archives

With the new song posted by Tilian Pearson (ex Tides Of Man) for the band Archives, there were a lot of questions if he was still working with Saosin. I chatted Tillian and this is how he responded.

Lydia Return and The Cinema Appear

After teasing Lydia fans with ambiguous twitter messages, the indie-pop group (duo?) consisting of lead singer Leighton Antelman and drummer Craig Taylor are set to head back into the studio to continue the band's career soon. As Antelman and Taylor are apparently the only individuals behind the band at the moment, it's difficult to tell whether or not the sound of Assailants will be continued, but it's nice to see the group responsible for Illuminate back in the saddle and making music again. While the news is now buzzing about Lydia's future, Antelman has also revealed the single from his and Matt Malpass' new project The Cinema and the project's new song "Kill It." The song sounds extraordinarily like, you guessed it, Lydia. Antelman hasn't strayed very far from his signature murmuring within his croons and Malpass has crafted nothing but a poppy background for Antelman to do his thing in. The song's lack of unique qualities is slightly disappointing considering the duo's excitement surrounding the project, but hopefully Lydia fans can at least be satiated with The Cinema's similarity to the band until Lydia returns with a product in hand. You can find the Alternative Press statement from Antleman here, and the brand new The Cinema song here.

Album Review: Final Days Society - Ours Is Not A Caravan Of Despair

Upon the dawning of the first sounds of Ours Is Not A Caravan Of Despair, I immediately made connections with a Sigur Ròs-esque, atmospheric sound, and I have to say that it doesn’t disappoint. Swedish project Final Days Society utilizes the tools and sounds given to them by big names in post-rock, and creates something just as beautiful and meaningful as any record that Jonsi or The Album Leaf ever made. The first mature release since Noise Passes, Silence Remains in 2008, the new album is a clever blend of ambient, shoegaze, and traditional post-rock (or what can be considered traditional in the genre) to create something unique and impactful.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tyler, The Creator Releases Goblin, and The Internet Goes Morally Crazy

If you're enjoying reading through blogs about music on the internet, there's not a chance you've passed through the last few months without coming to some understanding about who Tyler, The Creator is. Ringleader of rap group Odd Future, Tyler, The Creator is no stranger to pissing off people's lyrical scrutiny and moral structures when regarding socially acceptable material in music. While it's true that music remains, and will always be, an instrument for self-expression to the artist's utmost intent, much of the internet and even fellow musicians have questioned whether Goblin is just a symbol for the world's leniency when regarding homophobia, misogyny, and other discrimination and hate language. If you're wondering what the fuss about Goblin's content is, here's a look at what prominent artist has taken a shot at Tyler's most recent work, and what lyrics are dividing the musical community between those who consider Goblin fun and harmless music, and those offended by the product.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Go Radio Full Acoustic Set

Surprisingly, I happened to be at an acoustic Go Radio set at the Best Buy in Union Square, New York City today. With this excellent opportunity, I took video of every one of the band's five songs, which can all be seen below. A quick show review will be up tomorrow.

Hold On
Singing With The King
House Of Hallways
Goodnight Moon (sound cuts off at 4:00)
Why I'm Home

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our Life Story - I'd Rather Change Than Stay The Same

When I get sent a new pop-punk band, I really need to be impressed in order to cover it. I've been sent too much boring, generic, and simply awful pop-punk and pop-rock bands, and it's gotten to the point where I simply ignore most of it. Our Life Story is a needle in the haystack. Their five song EP I'd Rather Change Than Stay The Same is only thirteen minutes long, but you will not find a dull moment in the entire thing. Aggression is the best description of the album, as the drums are brutal and intense, while the vocals are rough and scream-like at times, similar to Such Gold or State Champs. Though the first two and last two tracks are very similar and do blend together, it still makes for an excellent short car ride. The middle track "Clark St" places slower riffs behind an ambient background in a minute and a half long instrumental interlude. While these 90's emo influences only show up in this one track, they at least bring hope that they may be displayed more prominently in a future release. This band could easily break through to the upper tiers of the pop-punk scene. Those other pop-punk bands sending me emails should be a little worried now. With every band like Our Life Story that is sent to me, my expectations get higher and higher. You can stream two of the five songs on the EP on the band's Bandcamp page here.

Sin Fang

For a country of not even 320,000 people, Iceland has certainly produced an impressive number of exceptional musicians and artists who have charmed audiences internationally with their dreamy language, pastel soundscapes, and sweeping melodies. One of those artists is Sin Fang, the newest project of Sindri Sigfússon, frontman of Seabear and solo artist. Sin Fang at times sounds a bit like Jonsi’s critically acclaimed album Go might have if he hadn’t had genius composer Nico Muhly working with him. Other times, Sin Fang has a definite pop sensibility and “Slow Lights” could even be called “infectious” in a lazy, rhythmic way. Sigfússon’s latest album Summer Echoes explores acoustic guitar, electronic beats and bleeps, and choirs all while feeling characteristically Icelandic, taking the nation’s signature sound into genres it has rarely ventured as yet. Listen to Sin Fang's lush tunes here.

Mansions Offers Dig Up The Dead For Free

Not too much to say here, but listen to this album. You can read a review of the album right here, while you can read an interview with Chris Browder here. The album can be downloaded for free for the next few hours at the above link

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Puffin On My Side - Lech-lecha

As far as Italian instrumental music goes, Alessio Mecozzi is a pretty big name. Not only the founding member and guitarist for band Mokadelic, but he is the sole member and writer for Puffin On My Side, a primarily ambient post-rock project. The overall feeling of this album fluctuates between the mellow ambiance of something like Circadian Eyes or even something like The Album Leaf, to dark and brooding, similar to something like Seven Mile Journey, or Tides from Nebula. There are some really cool sounds that come out of this album, though, even if one thinks the demeanor consistency leaves something to be desired. For example, on "Hard city Heart", the synth drums and guitar blend fantastically well, to form a backdrop for the main, mellow piano melody, creating an absolutely and flawlessly amazing soundscape in that moment. That portion of the song makes the album for me, creating chords so powerfully moving that it really gives some sort of permanent feeling about the release. There are quite a few more really well-orchestrated moments as well, tying each song together in little delicate streams, creating some fluidity and connection between the varying feels between each song. Post-rockers and fans alike should check this one out, for a little dabble in expe itrimentation, raw emotion, and brilliant orchestration.

You can get pick up the release on the band's Bandcamp page here.
If you feel so inclined, you can contribute to the effort by picking up the hard-copy of the CD, and checking out their other releases, at their online store here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Album Review: Moving Mountains - Waves

The key to the success that led the two founders of Moving Mountains, Gregory Dunn and Nick Pizzolato, and their first creation, Pneuma, to the eventual doorsteps of Triple Crown Records wasn’t innovative musicianship or clever lyrical work; it was synthesis of many different genres that worked collectively to make a product whose success totaled the sum of its parts. Pneuma not only embodied the elements of many post-rock influences with its instrumental ambiance, but it wore Dunn’s lyrical heart on its sleeve in a fashion similar to bands such as The Appleseed Cast and Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate); it had atmosphere, passion, and the necessary aural missteps to keep its production flawed, earnest, and in line with the aforementioned artists. In the four years since Pneuma’s release, Moving Mountains' base formula hasn’t changed substantially, as the synthesis of different ideas and genres are there in theory, but the band replaces their past focus on instrumental bands and dancing around sensitive lyrical topics with a more brash approach that displays a whole new breadth of influences that have shifted Moving Mountains’ focus. Not only is Waves Moving Mountains’ first approach at a full length as a complete band (Dunn and Pizzolato wrote Pneuma together), it is a culmination of the band’s newfound aggressive, sonically faster sound mixed with Dunn’s more blatantly honest lyrical search for answers for life, death and other musings that make the record a successful break from most, if not all of his and Pizzolato’s past influences.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lonely Island Wants To Have Sex With Your Mother

Citizens of Muzik Dizcovery with a sense of class be warned: Turtleneck & Chain is not for those who refuse to giggle at ridiculous self-deprecation, intercourse with your friend's mother, and people who refuse to be fans of "Garfield Sex Music." The Lonely Island, consisting of Saturday Night Live member Andy Samberg and SNL writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, imploded with their first musically mediocre but somewhat amusing album Incredibad. Not every joke connected (or was even worth listening to), but the album rode its singles to a relatively surprising amount of success and there eventually came a time where the internet population couldn't go without twenty minutes of reciting lines of "I'm On A Boat," or posting a GIF from the group's "Jizz In My Pants" music video. It was crude humor at best, and Turtleneck & Chain continues the trend of aggressively terrible musicianship with a focus on bigger, better, arguably more ridiculous and even more juvenile jokes.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Album Retrospective: Say Anything - Baseball

Starting a new little feature today, and I'll see how the reactions to it are. I'm going to go over an older album, talk about how it is, how it has affected the band's future, and how it has influenced music in general. If you have any requests for an album retro, please post it in the comments.

Most casual fans of Say Anything think that ...Is A Real Boy is the band's debut record. Actually, Baseball was released all the way back in 2001, and was an extremely limited release, with only about 200 physical copies sold. There still is no other way to buy it other than those first physicals. Max Bemis also pushed this record to the side, never playing any songs off of it live until the band's latest headlining tour, in which they played "Colorblind". However, the record is definitely a great listen. Though it isn't even close to as strong as the band's three major label releases, it shows the listener how far the band has developed since the beginning.

The Wealthy West

The Wealthy West is the side project of Brandon Kinder (lead singer of The Rocketboys), and belongs to the wave of neo-folk “hickster” bands that have popularized the country/indie fusion.  The melodies are charming and melancholy, the instrumentation simplistic and polished, and the lyrics sensitive.  “Home” shows off Kinder’s ability to write a killer melody and present it in an accessible package, while “Love is Not Enough” is a dark, cautionary song.  In many ways, The Wealthy West sounds like that one guy who sits on that one corner in your town with a guitar and a harmonica, but Kinder’s debut EP is polished an packaged in such a way that guarantees that these quiet little songs won’t leave you alone.  Listen to The Wealthy West on Facebook here.

Balance and Composure - Separation

Fans of Balance & Composure have been eagerly awaiting a full length release for quite some time now. After releasing two mature EPs and arguably the better side of a split with Tigers Jaw over the last three years, Balance and Composure finally appeased fans with news of Separation, comprised of twelve tracks.

Upon first listen, however, it's quite possible avid followers of Balance & Composure will be disappointed. Moving towards a more streamlined sound definitely contributed to a loss of "oomph" and raw emotion from the band's music. However, this more concentrated approach does give Separation a sense of cohesiveness and focus, attributes vital to a successful album.

Record Reflections: Inspirative - Memories Come Rushing Up To Meet Me Now

I'd downloaded this album a couple of months ago, and somehow forgot to listen to it. Getting back to it, though, was fantastic, and quickly made me regret not looking at this earlier. Bangkok-based band Inspirative released this record pretty quietly, but despite that, it's risen up to match up against some hard-hitting names in post-rock. Unfortunately, even after delving, not a lot of information is available about the band, but the sheer influence the record has speaks for itself. Tracks like "Flame Trees" and "He's Gazing At You From The Black Mirror" definitely reflect the Sigur Ros and Mogwai influences, with long, drawn-out yet moving buildups in the songs. Meanwhile, "Military Parachutes" takes on a much softer, more delicate sound, consisting mostly of piano and soft guitar.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Album Review: Tides From Nebula - Earthshine

Every now and again, a new and very memorable name in post-rock surfaces, and really sticks as a sound and name to be remembered. In this, Warsaw is lucky to have Tides of Nebula, because this band is golden. I'd never heard anything of them before this record, but after listening to it, I don't know if I want to hear anything else. The artistic, emotional feel of this album is so fantastic throughout that it's hard to draw away from it.

Haunting, puzzling, aesthetic throughout, the feel of the album stems from the first song, "These Days, Glory Days". Ethereal melodies float through a discordant ambiance, steadily growing and stretching, eventually forming into a buildup and a cathartic chorus of awe-filled, cloudy harmonies. A calm, pensive bridge leads up to a reprise of the chorus, and then an egression of that powerful, moving melody begins to dissipate into slower and slower moving, separate tunes of their own, eventually fading away.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This Is My Suitcase

Combine Say Anything, Panic! At The Disco, Foxy Shazam, and Jack's Mannequin. Add a few scoops of classic rock guitar solos. Blend together. Congratulations, you have now described This Is My Suitcase. Their newest free EP Four, The Birds, shows influences from every single one of those bands, and pulls it off very successfully. The songs are all piano led, but don't confuse this band for being a straightforward pop-rock band. There's a quirkiness contained within the band, as moments of mellow, poppy Jack's Mannequin turn into insane Foxy Shazam like shouts and guitars, such as in "At Least The Geese Survived". The lo-fi feel and the band's willingness to add some experimentation to the tracks may keep the band from being accessible to mainstream audiences, but This Is My Suitcase created a unique sound for themselves that should easily win over people looking for something new. You can stream and download the EP right here on the band's Bandcamp page.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Album Review: I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business - Gold Rush

With his latest album, Gold Rush, Ace Enders of I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business embraces his younger side again.  After his previous album The World We Know, which was an episodic, ambient conceptual album, Gold Rush feels informal, energized, and even a little silly. Ace Enders has been in the scene news quite a bit lately over concern surrounding statements about the doubtful continuation of his musical career, but with the support of fans and a Kickstarter account, Gold Rush is both something of a miracle and a community effort.  Whether for this reason, or accidently, but fitting nonetheless, the album feels very intimate.  Acoustic guitars, egg shakers, and bongo drums give the feel of a jam session, or a show in your living room, rather than an electrified studio piece. But if this is a jam session, then it’s the best jam session you’ve ever heard. 

You, Me, And Everyone We Know - Things Are Really Weird Right Now

Things Are Really Weird Right Now is such a suiting title for the situation going on for the band right now. What was expected to be a little EP to tide us over has turned into You, Me, And Everyone We Know's possible final release. But I'm not here to talk about this beaten to death situation, instead I'm here to talk about the band's final four songs that they may ever release. These songs definitely are different than the majority of Some Things Don't Wash Out, but the songs definitely fit as classic You, Me, And Everyone We Know. The production is a lot less slick than the full length, but fans of the older Party For The Grown and Sexy sound will enjoy the rawer feel of the new tracks.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I found this band and I was immediately impressed. Unfortunately I pushed them aside and they've sat unnoticed in my music library until today. If you were ever a fan of Emery's In Shallow Seas We Sail, then Johnnyrook should be the next band you check out. Johnnyrook seem to have more of a heavy influence but hold back a bit by keeping the vocals clean and producing a sound that is a blend of rock and indie. Their lyrics are packed with emotion and fortunately, never come off as overly depressing. James Kuzma's vocals are almost flawless and are clearly a high point for the band. Check out their song "Computer" to see (hear) exactly what I mean. The band has three releases under their belt. Each release is a progression in the band's career and this can only mean good things for Johnnyrook's future. All of their music is available on their Bandcamp page.

Monday, May 2, 2011


It's unfortunate that the internet, while a gateway to diversities in all forms of art, has managed to cultivate a crowd that will look at Merrill Garbus, the woman behind tUnE-yArDs, mistake her eccentricity for convoluted madness, and make her work out to be unworthy of recognition because of its queer sensibilities. While it's true that Garbus' latest work, w h o k i l l, is by no means an easily accessible piece, it is arguably one of this year's finest examples of combining a thoroughly entertaining pop sound with an eclectic spin.

Artist Spotlight: Desert of Hiatus

The small, ambient project of Kevin Gwozdz, Portland, Oregon-based Desert of Hiatus released an album about a week ago that I downloaded and started listening to today, having a pretty long day and needing something to relax to. By the end of the listen, I was amazed that the album was over - it was a fantastic, calming experience that I've rarely had with music today, and one that will definitely allow this album to stick with me for a long time.

Gwozdz has a way of shaping his ambient music that makes it unbearably beautiful: he structures his album to that each song has it's own little flair and feeling, but those piecewise emotions, when all synced together, create an event that takes computation in order to really understand what's happened. The Meaning isn't Gwozdz's first crack at this either - his self-titled EP, consisting of a three-part song "New Rose, A Dead Flower" is equal in depth and hypnotic melody. I hope it keeps coming, they were both wonderful listens.

You can pick up both of his releases at his Bandcamp here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jordan Gable

Forget about Christofer Drew and listen to Jordan Gable. Gable steps up the acoustic/pop sound we're used to hearing from Drew and makes much more tolerable songs. Don't get me wrong, Nevershoutnever! is great but I feel like he appeals more to preteens and kids in their early teens. Gable's sound is more mature and his voice reaches heights that are controlled and rarely drift into an ear pitching whine. On older songs all the instrumental arrangements are done by Gable himself. Now that Gable has joined forces with drummer and percussionist Ryan Winnen, we might hear songs similar to his latest single "Crashing" on his next release. You can watch Gable's latest video for his new song, "Crashing", here. You can keep yourself updated with his Facebook page.