Month: January 2014

Cover Thursday: Metallica (Bob Seger) Turn The Page

I heard the original Bob Seger version on my way to work today and it just felt like there was something missing about the song. The way James Hetfield sings the lyrics gives me chills every time. Not to take anything away from the original, Metallica just does it better.

Enjoy!

By: Brian Lacy

New Release: And We Are Them- Align

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Last weeks band of the week And We Are Them released their new EP “Align” today. It’s a short yet sweet collection of songs. The 4 songs encapsulate their eruption of sound and urgency of the lyrics. Below you will find the link to listen/buy their EP. It is definitely worth the $4 they are selling it for.

http://andwearethem.bandcamp.com/album/align

https://www.facebook.com/AndWeAreThem

By: Brian Lacy

Two For Tuesday: Nine Inch Nails

The first video/song is The Perfect Drug. Never released on a studio album it was however released on the soundtrack for the film Lost Highway and as a single. The video is one of the best Nine Inch Nails videos ever and the song is wonderful. Trent has never played the song live. There is something haunting and beautiful about the words and how Mark Romanek used them to create such a vivid intricate story in the video.

Into The Void is the second pick in the 2 for Tuesday. Directed by Walter Stern and Jeff Richter, the clip gets literally beneath the surface of Trent Reznor and shows how imperfect he is. The song itself tells the listener that no matter what he does to bring himself back up it all slips away. Into The Void was featured on the masterpiece The Fragile (I will write about this wonderful album soon).

Enjoy 2 For Tuesday!

By: Brian Lacy

Why Alice In Chains 2.0 deserves your attention

Since the reformation of Alice In Chains, there have been many debates. The most common is that since Layne Staley is no longer with us they shouldn’t call it Alice In Chains. Another one is that William DuVall is no where near close to Layne. Granted I never got to see Alice In Chains with Layne, I have seen the new Alice In Chains 4 times. And let me tell you it is something special. Rather than try to be Layne, William pays tribute in a very meticulous way. His voice bellows over the music in a beautiful way. He is also the only one that has come close to complimenting Layne’s voice. There are moments during the show if you close your eyes and just focus on the music you can hear Layne. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s very true. In particular when Nutshell is played. William DuVall really gives it his all during every song. While the subject matter might not rully resonate with William, there are always different ways the songs meanings can be taken.

Their new music is something that also needs to be given a second chance. Many people won’t give it a listen. I know of a few people that are complete naysayers. Though after playing certain songs they’ve started to come around. The return album Black Gives Way To Blue was a wonderful sentimental album containing tributes to Layne and the content we’ve all come to expect from an Alice In Chains album. Songs like  A Looking In View, Private Hell, Your Decision and the title track Black Gives Way To Blue really shine and capture the essence of the band, without compromise. The live performances during that time were quite special. The set lists were chock full of the great songs of the past with large sing alongs, and the new songs really striking the audience’s ears.

Alice In Chains most recent release The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is almost a pick up where they left off musically from way back when their self titled album (or as some call it tripod) was released back in 1996. There are moments where the real classic Alice is summoned. Songs like Hollow, Stone, Scalpel, and Choke all have that feel to them. One of the most standout tracks is Phantom Limb, which was written primarily by William Duvall. The music on the song is pure Alice In Chains , and the lyrics have the emotional, raw take on life that Jerry and Layne were able to capture.

There is a reason that Alice In Chains came back. I honestly don’t think it was a cash grab. I really believe it’s because they still have something to say. They came back without compromising their artistic integrity or ability to write great songs. They have the written some of the best songs in the last 25 years and put out albums that are epic and real. Layne is undoubtably one of the best ever and will forever be recognized as so. The new Alice In Chains does every bit of justice as the old. Give it another chance and see what you’ve been missing.

By: Brian Lacy

Band Of The Week: …And We Are Them

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And We Are Them is a 4 piece rock/post-hardcore band from Los Angeles. They have taken their influences of Far, At The Drive In, Failure, Quicksand, amongst others to create an infectious sounds. Their vocals are crisp and clear really articulating the words. Musically their tight rhythm section holds down the driving emotion of the songs while the guitar has a chance to stand out in a way that doesn’t take away from any of the other members of the band. They are currently gearing up to release a new EP entitled Align. You can tell from listening to this band that they are in tune with each other and believe in what they are doing.

https://www.facebook.com/AndWeAreThem

http://andwearethem.bandcamp.com/

By: Brian Lacy

Cover Thursday: Nirvana (David Bowie) The Man Who Sold The World

There is always a big debate when it comes to cover songs. Did the band do it justice or does it fall flat? Did they make it their own or do it verbatim? One thing for sure is that when a band covers a song and they find the right one, it becomes undoubtably theirs.

There are quite a few that stand out in my mind and Nirvana’s version of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World is one of my all time favorites and perhaps one of the best covers ever. Their performance of this song at their MTV Unplugged is such a stand out track. The words fit perfectly with Kurt Cobain’s persona. The arrangement also treats the original in a special way not to completely deviate but to fit in with the sound of Nirvana.

By: Brian Lacy

Underrated and Influential Part 1: CAVE IN

For years now Cave In has been one of my favorite bands not only for my listening pleasure, but as something that has inspired me in the direction I’ve wanted to go in musically.While I’ve only seen them live once, it still stands out in my mind as a one of the great shows I’ve been to in my life. This is the first installment of many featuring bands that have become very influential and are considered by many to be underrated.

Cave In was formed in 1995, in Massachusetts. The have released 5 full length albums and multiple EP’s and splits. Their 1998 release Until Your Heart Stops is now considered one of the top metal/hardcore albums of all time. Soon after this release, the band started experimenting with other genres and released the critically acclaimed album Jupiter. Jupiter featured many introspective soundscapes and offered a different approach to the bands sound into the more psychedelic and space rock genres. In 2003 Cave in moved from the independent label Hydra Head to RCA Records for the release of Antenna. Antenna was more of a departure from their now experimental heaviness and into the realm of a more mainstream sound. Despite tours with Foo Fighters and Muse, RCA didn’t put much into the band and they were soon left without a label. Taking what they had gone through with being on a major label and all the turmoil that is caused, the band regrouped to release Perfect Pitch Black, an album filled with raw emotion, anger and despair but a real sense of who they truly are as a band and not a major label puppet act. The group went on a break in 2006. During the break the members of Cave In formed other projects such as Zozobra, Clouds, and Old Man Gloom. 2009 saw the band get back together and release a new EP, Planets of Old. Their subsequent tour would be some of the most energetic live shows the’ve played in years. In 2011, White Silence was released  Both of these post-breakup releases saw a return to Cave In’s earlier and heavier sound.

The members of Cave In, Stephen Brodsky (vocals/guitar), Adam McGrath (guitar), Caleb Scofield (bass/vocals) and John-Robert Conners (drums) have crafted a signature sound together that many bands nowadays try to replicate and make their own. They have released 2 of the best albums in the last 20 years (Until Your Hear Stops and Jupiter) with each of them becoming quintessential albums to be in record collections and for bands to become influenced by. One can only hope they continue and keep inspiring more musicians out there.

https://www.facebook.com/CaveIn.Official

By: Brian Lacy

Corrections House at the Echoplex

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It’s very rare now a days for bands to take a real chance, do something different and out of their normal realm. With that being said, Corrections House is one of the most intense, thought provoking live bands. Sanford Parker’s (Minsk) brooding beats, layers and effects, along with the signature tone from Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Bruce Lamont’s (Yakuza) dark and ominous saxophone and Mike IX Williams (EyeHateGod) carefully crafted words captivate the audience with such force it’s near impossible to run away. The sheer magnitude of volume and creativity that goes into each song is shown through live. The words Blood Sweat and Tears come to mind when describing the art and realism about this band. The lyrical themes are inspired by Mike William’s book “Cancer As A Social Activity.” When Mike screams/speaks (yes there are moments of spoken word), it makes the live show even that much more intriguing. Nothing is trivial at the show. The song “Serve or Survive” stood out the most and shows the destruction and chaos of each member live, all the while delivering one hell of an unrelenting beating of the soul. Their debut album Last City Zero was produced by Parker at Electrical Audio, Soma Studios, 60 Psycho Hum and Nodferatu’s Lair, and delivers a tour de force of dark destructive soundscapes full of lush verses that convey messages of the turmoils of life, peril, and decay of society.

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Opening the show was Author & Punisher aka Tristan Shone. Armed with his homemade machines, which are tapped into his actual self, the music that is created is literally an extension of himself. The music can be described as “industrial doom.” It is one thing to listen to the records for Author & Punisher, but it’s an entirely amazing beast to see it live. Setup behind his creation and in front of a screen displaying vivid images and different points of view of the contraptions, “this one-man project utilizes primarily custom designed and fabricated machines and speakers, devices that draw heavily on industrial automation and robotics. The machines are designed to require significant participation and force from Tristan.” Thus making Tristan look like a caged animal just trying to pry his way out. It’s not easy to describe in words what you are seeing. It really is quite a spectacle to see.

Both bands are something not to miss live. Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, it’s is surely something you won’t forget and will talk about. This is almost art imitating life, in it’s most real sense.

https://www.facebook.com/CorrectionsHouse

http://correctionshouse.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Punisher/193205745964

http://www.tristanshone.com/

http://authorandpunisher.bandcamp.com/

Review by: Brian Lacy

Photos by: LEVAN TK http://instagram.com/levan_t_k

Band Of The Week: ÆGES

ÆGES is a Los Angeles based rock band that delves into the whirlwind sound of melodic rock and post hardcore. The bands dynamic songwriting and depth really shine through on their debut album “The Bridge.” Stand out tracks like “My Medicine” and “Southern Comfort” show their influences of Quicksand and Failure (two other bands that everyone should know about). This band is poised to breakout of the Los Angeles music scene and on to bigger and better things.

https://www.facebook.com/aegesband

Review by: Brian Lacy

Anticipated Albums of 2014

Crosses (featuring Chino Moreno and Shaun Lopez) are gearing up to release their full length debut on February 11, 2014 through Sumerian Records. The first single and accompanying video (featured above) “Bitches Brew” is an intoxicating sexual beast. It features a very sultry groove and beat, that invokes some R&B love making soul then switches gears to an awesome rock track. Be on the look out for when they hit your city on tour. Their live show is very intimate and makes you want to dance.

 

By: Brian Lacy