Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Tides Of Man - Young and Courageous

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Once upon a time, Tides Of Man were a progressive rock band. Then, they went through some changes, eventually switching gears to become an instrumental post-rock band. With this change comes their third full-length album, Young and Courageous. It’s without surprise that some fans of their old music will be turned away by this. But, let me assure you, Tides Of Man have created a most magnificent piece of work.

On the band’s Bandcamp page, they claim they are “in the middle of an identity crisis, but we’re loving it”. This definitely shows on the album. Their love of their new direction is evident in every song on Young and Courageous. Each one is quite different, be it in the style or how it is layered. And, there is a clear attention to detail in the flow and composition that makes one forget that Tides Of Man were ever not a post-rock band.

The album opens with a slow burn, as if someone is carefully feeling through the dark until they triumphantly find their destination. Immediately following is “Mountain House”, one of the early songs released from the album. It’s an accessible and upbeat song, and very much reminded me of songs on Align In Time’s Me & My Arrow. What follows is an array of gorgeous songs, some of which showing hints of influence from post-rock staples like Mogwai (albeit not as brooding) and Caspian. Really, it’s impossible to find that one favorite track on the album. You have the deeply layered soundscapes like the title track (which also boasts a tight riff in the bass line) and “Eyes Like Strange Sins”, while “Hold Still” has a second half that is an absolute stunner. We also get some cool syncopated beats in the short, but sweet, “All The Years”. The closer “Measure Your Breath” slides back to a dissonant roll, which eventually leads to a full crescendo into an aural melody to finish the album on a definite high note.

Tides Of Man have successfully transitioned into the post-rock genre. One can hear clear influences from other veteran bands. But, Tides Of Man manage to infuse their own rock-and-roll style, setting themselves apart from the rest. Young and Courageous proves that the band is just that. They set out to try something new, and in that process, they ended up making some of the best music of their career.

This is one you should not miss. I cannot recommend it enough.

Head on over to the Tides Of Man Bandcamp page to pre-order the album and listen to a couple of tracks.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Check Out Belle Noire's New Song "Sleep"

I just recently found out about Belle Noire via AbsolutePunk.net.  They've released a new song entitled "Sleep", which you can listen to below.  I really like the song.  Definitely has a In:Aviate + Kaddisfly vibe.  Be on the lookout for a new album from the band this year.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stream Tides Of Man's New Song "Hold Still"

AbsolutePunk have released an exclusive track from Tides Of Man, entitled "Hold Still".  The song comes from their new album Young & Courageous, which drops on February 4th.  The song is absolutely fantastic, just like the other songs that have been released.  I really loved the second-half of the song.  My anticipation for this album is boiling over.

Head on over to Absolutepunk to check out "Hold Still"!

Manchester Orchestra Are "Top Notch"

Manchester Orchestra have posted a new song "Top Notch" which you can listen to below.  The song comes from their new album Cope, which releases on April 1st.  I really like the song.  Some pretty cool riffs.  Definitely have a listen!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Instrumental Album From Tides Of Man

Prog-rockers, check that...post-rockers, Tides of Man will soon be releasing a new album, Young And Courageous, on February 4th.  The catch is that it will be minus a singer.  Personally, I can't be more excited.  This album has just jumped to the top of my most anticipated list.  The two songs I've already heard sound fantastic! Their sound fits very nicely as an instrumental post rock band in the vein of Align In Time and Caspian.  Have a listen to two songs from the album below.  If you like what you hear, head over to their Bandcamp page to pre-order the album.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jody Wisternoff's Mix of Favorites in 2013

This is one reason I love DJs.  Jody Wisternoff has posted a new DJ set in which he mixes his favorite tracks from 2013.  Really awesome way to post your top of 2013.  Definitely check it out below.  It's a really nice mix!  Also, if you still haven't heard his Anjunadeep 05 mix, you need to get on that…

Friday, January 3, 2014

Best Of 2013

It's that time of year again. Although I haven't made many posts on this blog this year, that doesn't mean I haven't been listening to tons of music. It was an interesting year as usual, with some welcomed surprises late in the year.  This year was also a strong year for trip-hop and electronica, a lot of really solid releases. Anyway, without any further adieu, here are my favorites for 2013.

Best Albums of 2013:

  1. The Republic of Wolves - No Matter How Narrow
    row
    This album came late in the year, but I've been listening to it nonstop since its release. The Republic of Wolves have really refined their sound, creating an amazing and beautiful album full of sweeping sounds and their signature acoustic touches. The song “Vinedresser” especially stood out for me. If you like this album you should also go buy their acoustic Empty Vessels EP on Bandcamp. It's a nice companion to No Matter How Narrow.
  2. Tricky - False Idols
    trick
    Tricky's album immediately won me over. It's full of his signature trip-hop sounds, plus some new sounds. However, what sets this one above some of his previous albums is the coherency and flow of False Idols. It really is the best album he's made in quite some time.
  3. Native - Orthodox
    nat
    To be honest, this album caught me completely by surprise. Having heard a couple of tracks before it's release, I didn't expect to like it so much. But, Orthodox is full of pure, raw energy. Now, whenever I start to play the album, I can't help but to finish it all the way through. It's such a solid piece of work. Plus, my two year old daughter loves dancing to this. Who would've thought? I need to post a video of that at some point.
  4. 65daysofstatic - Wild Light
    dstat
    Wild Light has one of the best openers for and instrumental rock album. It immediately set the mood for the album nicely. What follows is the electro-rock sounds one has come to expect from 65daysofstatic. However, this album felt like they were finally setting themselves apart from other leaders in the genre. This album was definitely the perfect backdrop to many of my workouts and days at work this year.
  5. Bonobo - The North Borders
    bon
    Bonobo is the master of organic trip-hop. He has created so many smooth sounds and riffs, in his albums, and The North Borders is no different. Although, this album has less experimentation than previous albums, Bonobo still provides a lush atmosphere of down-tempo jives.
  6. The Company We Keep - Sound / No Sound
    cwk
    When a former band member of The Receiving End Of Sirens starts a new band, I immediately get interested. So, it was no wonder that I had to check this band out. Sound / No Sound is an amazing rock album at heart. I also really love the fantastic production quality (to be expected). This was the perfect album for a hard run.
    You can stream the album here.
  7. Balance And Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing
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    Balance and Composure's new album was yet another surprise. I liked their first album, but it didn't have a lasting value for me. However, The Things We Think We're Missing really hit the right tone. The lyrics and moody rock really felt genuine. And, when the album is produced by Will Yip, you really can't go wrong.
  8. Touché Amoré - Is Survived By
    tad
    This year was the year of rawness for me. I can say that the genre in which Touché Amoré sit is not my favorite. I often can't get beyond the screaming. But, I couldn't ignore how much I enjoyed the music and lyrics in Is Survived By. I love it when an album that I wouldn't normally like just completely jives with me.
  9. Hans Zimmer - Man Of Steel Soundtrack
    hzm
    Ok, so the movie may not have been the best ever. I was still entertained, and the special effects were pretty cool. But, no matter what you may have thought of the movie, one thing going very right for it was Hans Zimmer's soundtrack. Zimmer creates epic themes, which in my opinion, could rival that of John William's original fanfare.
  10. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
    dfr
    Daft Punk returned with a ridiculously fun album. I especially like it for the fact that I wouldn't normally listen to the type of music presented on this album. But, Daft Punk managed to make it accessible with their signature production quality and electro-dance grooves. Really, I can't listen to this album without moving to the groove.
Honorable Mentions (alphabetical):
  • A Loss For Words - Before It Caves
  • Anthony Green - Young Legs
  • August Burn Red - Rescue & Restore
  • Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal
  • Captain We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled
  • Caspian - Hymn For The Greatest Generation EP
  • Citizen - Youth
  • Crash Of Rhinos - Knots
  • Daughter - If You Leave
  • Daylight - Jar
  • Emancipator - Dusk To Dawn
  • Enemies - Embark, Embrace
  • Funeral For A Friend - Conduit
  • Hans Zimmer - Rush Soundtrack
  • Kevin Devine - Bubblegum
  • M83 - Oblivion Soundtrack
  • NGHBRS - Twenty One Rooms
  • Paramore - Paramore
  • Reverse The Curse - Existent
  • Sainthood Reps - Headswell
  • The Almost - Fear Inside Our Bones
  • The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation
  • Turnover - Magnolia
  • Young Statues - Age Isn't Ours EP

Awesome DJ Mixes of 2013:

  1. Jody Wisternoff & James Grant - Anjunadeep 05
  2. Bonobo - Late Night Tales
  3. Sasha - Involv3r
  4. Nick Warren - Renaissance: The Masters Series 18

Awesome Songs of 2013 (alphabetical):

NOTE: This is just a list of songs I listened to quite a bit this year.
  • “Cover Girl” - The Ongoing Concept (Saloon)
  • “Creative Captivity” - August Burns Red (Rescue & Restore)
  • “Elements” - Funeral For A Friend (Conduit)
  • “How Long” - How To Destroy Angels (Welcome Oblivion)
  • “Hymn For The Greatest Generation” - Caspian (Hymn For The Greatest Generation EP)
  • “Impasses” - Clash Of Rhinos (Knots)
  • “Is That Your Life” - Tricky (False Idols)
  • “Let it Go” - Idina Menzel (Frozen Soundtrack)
  • “Lose Yourself To Dance” - Daft Punk (Random Access Memories)
  • “Lost but Won” - Hans Zimmer (Rush Soundtrack)
  • “Monday Night” - Native (Orthodox)
  • “Part II” - Paramore (Paramore)
  • “Prisms” - 65daysofstatic (Wild Light)
  • “Remurdered” - Mogwai (Remurdered Single)
  • “Sick and Impatient” - Citizen (Youth)
  • “The Last of Us” - Gustavo Santaolalla (The Last Of Us Soundtrack)
  • “Towers” - Bonobo (The North Borders)
  • “Vinedresser” - The Republic of Wolves (No Matter How Narrow)
  • “What Are You Going To Do When You're Not Saving The World?” - Hans Zimmer (Man Of SteelvSoundtrack)

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