Month: May 2014

Band Of The Week: Barrows

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Instrumental bands are unique, in that they take you on a musical journey allowing you to make your own interpretation as to what the song is. Without lyrics to guide along, the listeners imagination is allowed to run wild. Which brings us to Barrows. Hailing from Los Angeles, this four piece band takes their brand of instrumental rock and throws in psychedelia, prog rock, and ambience to create a soundscape that is lush and full. The music is able to breathe and sways gently with the rhythms. The guitars are crisp and clear, even when the distortion is turned on. The bass simmers amongst the etherial sounds. The drums have a way of pulling you into each change with great emotion as certain parts are played harder than others. Barrows recently released their second album entitled Red Giant. The cover art is vibrant, just as the music that accompanies it. As the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. 

http://barrowstheband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BarrowsTheBand

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Live Review: Dekades at The Silverlake Lounge

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Some bands have the ability to completely conquer a venue and make you forget that you are at a dingy place. Dekades did that for me. Their powerful set was a buildup of ambience to all out rock, playing songs off their EP 1.1 and then some. Singer/guitarist Arden Fisher has a voice that is amazing live as it on on record. She believes every word that is being sung and does it all very convincingly. The band themselves are very sound in their playing especially the energy coming from the drummer during their set. His facial expressions encompass his passion for playing and being in the band. The other guitarist and bass player were right in the pocket despite the strange conditions from the sound. The keyboard effects add to the already bombastic sound.  Even with the venue being what it is, Dekades owned the night. One can only imagine the great things on the horizon for them.

http://www.dekadesofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Dekadesofficial

http://dekades.bandcamp.com/

 

By: Brian Lacy

Unsung Masterpieces: Year Of The Rabbit- Self Titled

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Year Of The Rabbit was assembled and fronted by Ken Andrews of Failure fame. Soon after Ken stopped writing and performing music as ON, Andrews and ON’s drummer Tim Dow (formerly of Shiner) reached out to Dow’s friend Jeff Garber , and Solomon Snyder joined shortly thereafter. ON’s material had been created mostly by Andrews as a solo project, the harder-rocking sound of Year of the Rabbit is much closer to that of his previous band, Failure.

Their first release, the 2003 EP Hunted, was made available online only from outlets such as CD Baby, itunes, and the band themselves. The buzz from sales of the EP was enough to attract the attention of Elektra Records, who released their debut album shortly thereafter. Sadly as thing in the music business were in constant flux, Warner Music Company, was sold to a group of private investors, and many of the labels’ acts, including Year of the Rabbit, were dropped from their rosters. Two months later, Andrews declared on his official website that due to the shakeup at their label, the band had been put on indefinite hiatus.

The album itself though is a gem. This was as close as anyone who was a Failure fan was going to get to that vibe. The entire album is full of melody, hooks, and that signature tone, that so many guitarists have tried to duplicate. Lyrically this album is very deep and personal. There is not one ounce of filler either. Tracks like “Lie Down,” “Last Defense,” “Hunted,” and “Say Goodbye” are beyond stand out tracks. The instrumentation on here is simple and raw but with the right amount of polish to make it all shine through.

Though they released only one album, 10 years later this album still holds up, and sound like it fits in today more than ever. Ken Andrews was always ahead of his time it seems.

By: Brian Lacy

Live Review: Sidewave and Hidden Amongst Us

A bands first show can go one of two ways, it’s either a huge success or it just doesn’t hit the mark. For Sidewave, it hit the mark in a grand way. Singer/guitarist Phil Golyshko and band kicked off their set with one of their newest songs from their upcoming split with Anakin (a previously featured band here on the site). The set featured mostly songs from their most recent release “Big Time” featuring the songs “Honest To God” and “Sundrop”. The last song of the evening was a wonderful cover of Air’s “Playground Love” off the Virgin Suicides soundtrack. Sidewave’s brand of heavy shoe gaze and space rock, is loud and clean without missing a beat. Vocally, this band is in sync and comes across with great clarity. This first show is a sign of great things to come for Sidewave.

Also playing this night was Los Angeles based hard rock band Hidden Amongst Us (also previously featured here on the site). Their blend of hard rock with melodic vocals stirred up a high energy performance. Their set which featured songs off their recently released album, was powerful and melodic. Singer Evan Michael Mentone is a deep raspy yet clear voice which guides the songs along.

It was a great night for live music despite the dinginess at the Silverlake Lounge. It had been years since I last attended a show there, and I remember why I never went back. Looks like someone needs to up their game. If the bands can bring their A game why can’t the venue!

By: Brian Lacy

 

Band Of The Week: Obliterations

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Heavy music has some of the most dedicated hard working people in the bands. The music is not necessarily accepted by the mainstream, but the fans of the genre are die hards. Mixing their love of Black Flag and Black Sabbath, Obliterations have an unrelenting sound of fury and destruction. They recently signed to Southern Lord Records and recorded their upcoming full length at Studio 606 (Dave Grohl’s studio). The band is made up of current/former members of Black Mountain, Saviors, Night Horse and Pink Mountaintops. Singer/Screamer Sam James Velde has a raspy yet take charge vocal style. Stephen McBean’s guitar playing is heavy and crunchy with a very clean style of playing. Austin Barber and Flo Schanze are an extremely tight rhythm section that can explode and play blisteringly fast or in the laid back pocket. Obliterations have released two EP’s so far. Both are in your face with their driving force. Their sound harkens back to the days of real hardcore punk and heavy rock. Obliterations is part of the solution to the junk that is mainstream!

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/Obliterations

http://obliterations.bandcamp.com/

By: Brian Lacy

Cover Thursday: Filter (The Turtles)- Happy Together

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Filter has always been an underrated band. Richard Patrick has one of the best voices in rock. You can feel every word he sings/screams. Their version of The Turtles song “Happy Together” was originally done in 2009 for a movie that I’m pretty sure no one saw. Then last year when the new version of The Great Gatsby was released, and Filter’s cover found new life.

 

By: Brian Lacy

Great Guest Vocalists: Phil Anselmo

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Phil Anselmo has one of the most distinct voices in the heavy music community. He has lent his talents to a few bands over the years. Here are some of those.

Vision Of Disorder- By The River (From The Album: Imprint)

Iommi- Time Is Mine (From The Album: Iommi)

Anthrax- Killing Box (From The Album: Volume 8 The Threat Is Real)

Jarboe- Overthrown (From The Album: Mahakali)

 

By: Brian Lacy