Thursday, June 30, 2011

For Fans of The Gaslight Anthem and/or Bruce Springsteen

 The Horrible Crowes, the side project of Gaslight Anthem's front man Brian Fallon and guitar tech Ian Perkins, are set to release their debut LP, Elsie, on September 6th.  Fallon has described their sound as an "experiment with the darker side of soul music".  This should be an excellent album.  I thoroughly enjoyed Gaslight Anthem's album from last year.  Check out a sample of the song "Black Betty & the Moon", from Elsie below.

Some Free Tracks

For those who don't like to pay for their music, Amazon mp3 and iTunes have some really good free tracks available this week.  See the links below.

Free on Amazon:
Work in Progress by The Dangerous Summer (from their upcoming album, War Paint) -- I highly recommend this one!
Culture of Fear by Thievery Corporation (from their latest, Culture of Fear)
Hunt Hunt Hunt by There for Tomorrow (from their latest, The Verge)
Forever My Father by Go Radio (from their latest, Lucky Street)

Free on iTunes:
Beneath the Fire by Evaline (from their latest, Woven Material, which is also on sale for only $5.99)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Amazon MP3 $2 Promo Code

For those of you in the US, Amazon mp3 is offering a $2 promo code for a limited time only.  You must redeem the code by June 30, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.

1. Go to link to redeem coupon code
2. Type in code: CLOUDMP3
3. $2.00 Credit will be applied to your account for future use.

I suggest you use it to buy (at a reduced price) any of the following albums if you don't have them already:
Thursday - No Devolucion
Moving Mountains - Waves
Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
Evaline - Woven Material
...or any album in my favorites for the year.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Few First Impressions

It's funny how you can be excited for two albums.  Then, you suddenly find out another album you weren't even expecting -- an album you have been anticipating for years -- is released as well.  Rock. On.

I'll start with the two albums I was actually expecting.  The first is the 2nd LP, called The Verge by There for Tomorrow.  There for Tomorrow have been labeled as "pop punk", but I feel this is a bit misleading.  I wouldn't put them in the same category as Pacific coast pop-punk bands, such as Mayday Parade, New Found Glory, or Yellowcard.  I think they get this label since many of their songs have big hooks and melodies.  Their new album, The Verge, shows a bit of growth in their sound, with the addition of more intricate writing.  There's some good stuff in here, but don't expect anything ground-breaking since this band is still growing.  I really like the direction they are taking.  However, I'm still a bit worried that I might forget this album in a couple of months.  I think this one will take a few more listens before I can make that judgement.

The second album is Culture of Fear by the D.C. electronica group, the Thievery Corporation.  These guys have been around for quite a long time, and I've loved everything that they put out.  This album is no different.  This album boasts many chill electronica songs with some minimalistic-rap.  They appear to have gone with more synthesizers this time around, however, instead of using many different types of instruments as they did in previous albums.

Click here to hear snippets of the album. (Or listen to the two songs taken from the Patterned EP in "For Your Ears")

Now, to the surprise of the day.  Evaline is a six-piece band from California that I somehow discovered about 5 years ago when I was deep in my "search for new bands" frenzy.  I was immediately impressed by their EP, Postpartum Modesty. A Portrait of Skin.  After hearing this EP, I couldn't wait for more from these guys.  Well, the wait took basically 5 years.  They released a "preview" EP late last year called Patterned (Vol. 1). A funny name since there are no other volumes.  I was, however, really happy with the direction they were steering towards, and was hopeful that the entire album would be just as good.

Today, I was just looking through iTunes and stumbled upon their new album.  Imagine my surprise.  I have been checking their site often, ever since Patterned, and they never hinted on exactly when the LP would be released.  All I can say, Woven Material marks the first anticipated album of this year that met all of my expectations.  I'll admit, as of this post, I've only listened to the album once in its entirety, but every song seems to be full of so many great sounds and intricate song writing.  The opener, "Beneath the Fire" (taken from Patterned), really sets the mood for the album, immersing you into building ambience.  The songs that follow hold much of the same ambience, but also contain a great deal of variety.  I am certain Woven Material will end up in my top ten of the year.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Psychic Babble

Colin Frangicetto, a member of the band Circa Survive (who I feel had the best release last year with Blue Sky Noise), has released a new track, "Five Fold Kiss (Don't Sleep)",  from his side project, Psychic Babble.  I have added it to the "For Your Ears" section.  It's a very chill song with many cool sounds going on in the background.  I also suggest listening to this with headphones -- some cool surround sound.  Definitely anticipating the full album now!

Andain - Remixes Galore

Andain is a dance/electronica/pop group that I have liked for some time.  They used to consist of three people: Mavie Marcos, Josh Gabriel, and Dave Dresden.  Now, the group's sole members are Josh and Mavie.  One could say that their music is in the vein of Imogen Heap, but that's mostly because of the female lead singer.  Andain boasts much more of a dance/trance/house vibe.

The most interesting aspect of this group is that they have never released a full album.  They have had only two major singles released within the past 10 years, "Beautiful Things" and "Summer Calling", which have seen so many remixes that I won't even begin to count them.  Come this Fall/Winter, however, we will finally get our hands on a full album. 

In anticipation of their album they released a new single, Promises, with several EPs of remixes.  Typically I'm not a huge fan of remixes.  Sure, some can be good, but I eventually fall back to the original mix wondering why anyone would want to remix it.  It seems my tastes may be changing.  It turns out I really like many of the remixes of Promises.  I especially like the Gabriel & Dresden Unplugged, Myon & Shane 54 Summer of Love, and KOAN Sound (currently playing in the For Your Ears section of this blog) remixes.  They all add very interesting elements and dynamics to the song, which would otherwise never be heard in the original.

I'm sure I'll end up going back to the original mix at some point, especially when the full album is released.  But, I'm having a blast listening to a song on repeat, but sounding different each time it plays.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

August Burns Red - Leveler

I'm not known to be a huge fan of the metal/hardcore genre of music.  For some reason, it's difficult to get past all of the yelling and screaming, especially if there is no singing at all in the album.  I tend to like what is known as "melodic/pop" metal.  You know, metal that has a catchy chorus amidst all the rage.  I am willing, however, to branch out if the band is good enough.  

In steps August Burns Red with their latest album, Leveler, released this week.  Initially, one could be quite overwhelmed by the "singer's" yelling.  But, after a few listens, I realized that these guys have amazing talent, musically.  Of course, many songs have the usual metal sounds: driving guitars, the double base drums blowing a hole in your head, etc.  Then there are songs like "Internal Cannon", which suddenly have a departure from the norm in the middle of the song with a sudden salsa-like guitar strumming.  It's these subtle layers and changes that make this album absolutely fantastic.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who absolutely cannot stand screaming/yelling in an album, but I also urge those that would initially write these guys off as a typical metal band to give them, and this album, a chance.  It's well worth the listen.

The Beginning

Hey all,

I've decided that since I'm so passionate about music, I'd start a blog posting my thoughts on music, tracks, albums, etc that come out as well as cool news.  I hope y'all enjoy.

- Greg

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