Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cartel Premiere New Song "Uninspired"

The folks over at Absolutepunk.net have released an exclusive stream of a new song from Cartel, entitled "Uninspired".  The song comes from their upcoming album, Collider, which drops on March 26th.  The song sounds great.  The album is being touted as the best of their career.  Really looking forward to it.  Definitely check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Funeral For A Friend - Conduit

The Welsh post-hardcore rockers, Funeral for a Friend, have had an interesting career.  In 2003, the band immediately became popular with Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation.  More often than not, every one of their subsequent albums have been compared to this titular work.  Perhaps a disappointing trend to the majority (this reviewer excluded), FFAF slowly steered away from this heavy atmosphere and screams, and steadily took a more "conventional rock" approach with Hours, Tales Don't Tell Themselves, and Memory and Humanity.  To be honest, I enjoyed all of these albums, especially the concept in TDTT.  I can appreciate the decision to experiment with different sounds to grow as a band.  

In 2011, after a bit of line-up change (something the band has dealt with through the years), FFAF re-established itself as a hard-hitting powerhouse with Welcome Home Armageddon.  One could possibly call it a "return to form".   I would say that it was just a warm-up for Conduit, one of the band's heaviest and finest work since Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation.  Dare I say, the finest?  I think so.  

Conduit is the ultimate blend of all past albums. It's full of energy and slaying riffs infused with catchy choruses, most noticeable in songs like the first single from the album, "Best Friends and Hospital Beds", as well as "Nails".  Some have claimed this renewed energy was sparked by the arrival of the band's newest member, drummer Pat Lundy.  Perhaps, but it also feels like the rest of the band literally broke all their shackles holding them down and needed somewhere to release all that pent up energy.  Matt Davies' vocals sound amazing throughout the album, rough and full of aggressive urgency.  But, it's the melodies subtly interwoven in the aggression that really bring Conduit together. 

It's hard to choose a favorite amongst the songs on Conduit.  I did find myself really enjoying "Elements", which bassist Richard Boucher described as the hardest song to write on Conduit (see article on Alt Press).  Well gents, you definitely nailed it!  Note also that most songs don't reach beyond the three minute mark, which keeps each song from getting stale.  If anything, I just wanted more.  

Anyway, if you haven't listened to Conduit yet, you better get on that.  It's one of the best, if not, the best album FFAF has written, to date.  I've had the album on repeat all day and I'm looking forward to adding this album to my sprint-interval running playlist.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stream New Song From The Dear Hunter

The Dear Hunter have released a new single, entitled "Whisper", which can be streamed here.  The song comes from their upcoming album Migrant that drops on April 2nd.  I've also embedded a trailer for the album below.  Definitely check it out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bonobo Announces "The North Borders", Download "Cirrus" For Free

As promised, I said I would update everyone on the countdown on Bonobo's website.  It has ended with an announcement of his new album, The North Borders, which will drop on April 1st.  It has a link to pre-order the album, a stream of the first single "Cirrus" (I've embedded below), which you can also enter your email address to receive a free download, and also has new tour dates listed.  I highly recommend downloading "Cirrus".  It's a fabulous track.  Definitely looking forward to April!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soilwork Stream New Single "This Momentary Bliss"

Soilwork have released their second single, entitled "This Momentary Bliss", from their upcoming double album The Living Infinte that drops of March 5th.  You can find the stream below.  The song definitely rocks, full of catchy melodies and fast-paced metal.  Really good.  This album is going to kick ass.

Ólafur Arnalds Announces New Album, Streams New Song

Ólafur Arnalds will be releasing his new album, For Now I Am Winter, on April 2nd.  You can stream the beautiful new single from this album, entitled "This Place Was A Shelter", over on Drowned In Sound.  I have also included an embed below.  The song is gorgeous.  Definitely looking forward to the album in April.  Check it out!

Bonobo's New Single and a Tease...

Down-tempo, trip-hop, electronica artist Bonobo is teasing a count down on his home page that will reveal something in the next day.  Hopefully it's a new album reveal.  He released his new single, "Cirrus" on Spotify.  The song is absolutely fantastic.  I highly recommend checking it out if you can.  I'll post a stream of it as soon as one surfaces.  But, in the meantime, here is a link to it on Spotify.

With a new album from Emancipator coming next week and now this from Bonobo, this is turning into an amazing year for my ears!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Paramore Release "Now"

Check out below the new single, "Now", off of Paramore's upcoming self-titled album that drops on April 9th.  I actually really like the new direction.  They are a changed band, so it shouldn't sound exactly like their old stuff.  Definitely looking forward to hearing the rest of the album in April.  Check it out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Funeral For A Friend Release "Conduit" Album Sampler

Funeral For A Friend have released an album sampler for Conduit, which drops on Jan 28th.  The songs sound great.  Really looking forward to listening to the new album.  Check it out!

Stream and Download New Soilwork Song

Metal band, Soilwork, is offering a free download of their brand new single, "Spectrum of Eternity", which comes from their upcoming album The Living Infinite that drops on March 5th.  The song is definitely kick-ass. Check it out below!

Studio Clip of M83's "Oblivion" Score Drum Battle

Check out the video below of an "in studio" drum battle between Ilan Rubin and Loic Maurin which will be featured in an action sequence in the score of the movie Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy).  The score is being composed by electronica artist M83.  Note that Kosinski enlisted Daft Punk for the score of Tron: Legacy.  The vid is pretty cool, and also seems to feature some music from the movie behind the battle.  Definitely looking forward to both the movie and the soundtrack!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Emancipator Releases "Minor Cause"

Doug Appling, otherwise known as Emancipator, has released a new track entitled "Minor Cause".  You can stream below and also download for free over at Bandcamp.  The song comes from his new album Dusk to Dawn via his very own Loci Records on Jan. 29th.  "Minor Cause" encompasses all the trip-hop, down-beat rhythms and smooth melodies that I've come to expect from Emancipator.  Really looking forward to the release later this month!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Funeral For a Friend Release "The Distance"

Check out the video for "The Distance", which comes from Funeral For a Friends' upcoming release Conduit that drops on Feb 5th.

New Song from The Republic of Wolves

The Republic of Wolves have released a new song from their upcoming album that's slated to drop later this year.  The song is great.  Really looking forward to this album. Check it out below!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Best of 2012

Well, I'm a bit late as usual, but I've finally come up with my end of the year lists.  Honestly, this year was really difficult.  I had a real hard time putting an order to all of the albums.  For example, From Indian Lakes dropped their album late in the year, but it totally blew me away.  Had that album on repeat all the time.  I suppose I tried to order the albums according to how much I listened to each one.  In any case, all albums in this list are fantastic!  So, without further adieu...

Top 30 Albums of the 2012:

1) From Indian Lakes - Able Bodies
2) Anberlin - Vital
3) Coasta - Sunzal EP
4) Caspian - Waking Season
5) Circa Survive - Violent Waves
6) Hans Zimmer - The Dark Knight Rises
7) Yellowcard - Southern Air
8) Breton - Other People's Problems
9) Make Do and Mend - Everything You Ever Loved
10) Daytrader - Twelve Years
11) I the Mighty - Karma Never Sleeps EP
12) Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
13) Howard Shore - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
14) If These Trees Could Talk - Red Forest
15) Athletics - Who You Are Is Not Enough
16) Future Ghosts - Oh, Great City EP
17) Prawn - Ships EP
18) P.O.S. - We Don't Even Live Here
19) Now, Now - Threads
20) Troubled Coast - I've Been Thinking About Leaving You EP
21) The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
22) The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past
23) Anchor & Braille - The Quiet Life
24) American Gospel - Tall Tales, Vol. 1
25) As I Lay Dying - Awakened
26) Japandroids - Celebration Rock
27) Pentimento - Pentimento
28) NGHBRS - Hellomind EP
29) The Swellers - Running Out Of Places To Go EP
30) Collapse Under the Empire - Fragments of a Prayer

Special Mention:

A couple albums came out this year that would definitely fit into my top 20, but I feel they don't quite fit the category.  One is a remix album of one of the best trip-hop artists, while the other is a Christmas album from a solid metal band.  You should definitely check both out!

Bonobo - Black Sands Remixed
August Burns Red - Sleddin' Hill, A Holiday Album

Best Songs (in alphabetical order):

Always Summer - Yellowcard
Continuous Thunder - Japandroids
Firebreather - Daytrader
Foam - Breton
Gone In Bloom and Bough - Caspian
I'll Find a Way - Circa Survive
I'll Never Let You Go - American Gospel
Imagine the Fire - Hans Zimmer
In Currents - The Early November
In With the New - Anchor & Braille
Paintings - From Indian Lakes
Patient Hands - Troubled Coast
Self-Starter - Anberlin
The Slide - Coasta
Spotless - Future Ghosts

So, there you go.  What do you think?  What are your top albums for 2012?

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