Over the last few years, there has been a surge of instrumental bands that have changed the landscape of what you can do without vocals. Certain bands have come to the forefront of that and have released seminal albums that have a lasting impact. Caspian, is one of those bands. Through their career, they’ve released a wide spectrum of albums that have reached the heights of cinematic and grandiose rock with an accompaniment of thunderous rhythms and riffs galore that would can shatter glass. It’s been 5 years since their last album, the very highly regarded, Dust and Disquiet. Now, Caspian have unleashed one hell of an epic album with On Circles that, is one of the most captivating of their career. There’s an intimacy on this album that comes out more and more as you listen, while at the same time, there’s an immediacy to it that drives you to tune in closer and closer. On Circles, is Caspian at a creative height and pushing themselves to step out of their comfort zone even more, for example, on closing song “Circles On Circles,” guitarist Phillip Jamieson adds vocals to this very introspective song.
Hands down, Caspian have released the first great album of 2020. This album is definitely going to be talked about through the whole year, as it should be. It covers a wide range of elements the band has become known for and touches on new ground that doesn’t feel out of reach for their capabilities. Caspian are back and ready to set sail on one hell of a journey with this album.
Caspian- On Circles:
Ever since I heard Wiretap Scars by Sparta, I’ve been hooked. As much as I dug on At The Drive-In, I loved Sparta more. Well, now Sparta is back and getting ready to release a new album, Trust The River (to be released April 10). The first song released, “Believe” is quite an uplifting and promising song. It sort of has a vibe that harks back to their second album Porcelain. Either way, I’m stoked on having a new Sparta album and tour dates as well! 2020 is sure shaping up to be a pretty damn good year for new albums already.
Sparta Tour Dates:
04/23 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
04/24 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
04/25 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
04/29 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
04/30 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
05/01 Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
05/02 Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
05/03 Somerville, MA – ONCE Ballroom
Pearl Jam will release their long awaited new album, Gigaton, on March 27 2020. The first song released from said album is “Dance Of The Clairvoyants.” It’s quite a departure from the Pearl Jam you are used to. This song is quite experimental for the band. It’s got a cool Talking Heads vibe to it along with a tinge of ambience a la Brian Eno. I have a feeling that this song live will be a pretty stellar track.
Pearl Jam- Dance Of The Clairvoyants:
It’s been over 20 years now since the release of Fight Club. Interestingly enough, that film and the book, are even more relevant now that ever. If you really examine the themes of it, you’d be pretty astonished by what the overall message is. Granted that’s if you’ve never really delved into both of them. One of my favorite things about the film has always been the music though. What The Dust Brothers created not only was perfect for it but, it also set a tone for a lot of other composers to follow as a template. Throughout the film, The Dust Brothers were able to tap into many different sounds to really encapsulate the vibe of the scene. The intensity of the performances mixed with the music created a very amazing tension that played off each other so well that, when you listen to the score on its own, you start to feel like you might have tapped into Jack’s inner dialogue. Interestingly, director David Fincher originally wanted Radiohead to create the music for the film but, Thom Yorke declined, as he was worn out from all the promotion of OK Computer.
The Dust Brothers Fight Club Score:
The many sub-genres of rock and heavy music have given us some pretty awesome bands over the years. When a band begins to draw from different areas of influence and inspiration, the end results can often be refreshing. A couple weeks ago, my attention was drawn to a band that has combined bits and pieces of bands like Neurosis and Swans along with a bit of a Type O Negative vibe and that band is called Ether Coven. The bands new album, Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering, is one hell of a way to start off 2020. It’s got all the elements of the bands I mentioned above along with some other surprises thrown in making it quite a very interesting and thought provoking listening experience. Ether Coven is the type of band that can make those “epic” style songs, along with some straight up heavy and doom laden material, which helps to create a sonic diversity in what they do. Plus having their album being produced by Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and so many more) has really packed quite a punch to make sure the end result is pristine. So, break out of your norm, and check out Ether Coven!
Ether Coven- Everything Is Temporart Except Suffering:
The Fort Lauderdale natives recently signed to Century Media Records after A&R vet, Michael Alago (signed Metallica and White Zombie) notified Century Media of the band. Born from the ashes of vocalist/guitarist Peter Kowlasky’s (vocals and guitar) former (and occasionally still active) band, Remembering Never, Ether Coven marry the dissonant sounds of Neurosis and Swans, the sumptuous gloom of Type O Negative and the riffing of their home state’s death metal heritage. Helmed by a creative core of Kowalsky and Devin Estep (vocals, guitar), the band has spent the past three years touring clubs and DIY venues across the Eastern seaboard and Canada, performing alongside the likes of The Body, Eyehategod, Cro-Mags and Torche. Now the band is ready to release their new album Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering, which was recorded, mixed and produced by Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Goatwhore) with additional mastering done by Alan Douches (Cradle of Filth, Motorhead) at West West Side.
I’m not really a fan of “pop” music but, I can recognize a good song when I hear it. The song “Wrecking Ball” is one of those songs that are so well written and put together. Every now and then when I hear it, I can’t help but stop and listen. While on a recent deep dive into The Smashing Pumpkins and all things related to William Patrick Corgan, I came across a few live performances of him covering “Wrecking Ball” and I couldn’t help but listen to them all. His voice and arrangements really fit perfectly with this song. When you listen, you could almost get the sense that this is something he could have written in the early to mid 2000’s, around the time of Zwan. So, here it is for you to enjoy.
William Patrick Corgan- Wrecking Ball:
From The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:
Since today it was announced that Nine Inch Nails is being inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, I thought I’d share one of my all time favorite songs by NIN. This one goes back to 1999 and the absolute masterpiece that is The Fragile. The song I chose to share is, “Somewhat Damaged” and I still, to this very day, anytime I play this album, I get chills when it comes on. It’s also one of the best songs to ever start an album. Not to mention that live, this song is absolutely a beast. Oh and, I’d also like to note that this song was co-written by Danny Lohner, who just so happens to be one of my all time favorite members of Trent’s live band. So with all that in mind, enjoy one of my top 5 favorite Nine Inch Nails songs EVER!
Nine Inch Nails- Somewhat Damaged: