Scatter The Ashes was a post-hardcore band. They were formed in the summer of 2001 and signed to Epitaph records. Devout/The Modern Hymn is the only album from them. Musically it is a very dark, with atmospheric rhythms with bone-jarring resonance that is not only haunting, but catchy, appealing. Imagine Joy Division meets the Refused. The band was rooted in punk rock and evolved beyond their years. In 2006, they officially broke up. They were artistic and believed in their music and it showed. Their debut album has been in constant rotation in my cd player. Take a listen and you’ll hear why.
City In The Sea:
In The Company Of Wolves:
By: Brian Lacy
The desert has a very interesting way of bringing out creativity from those that inhabit the area. There must be something in the air. With that in mind, I bring your attention to With Our Arms to the Sun, a rock band formed in the desert of Arizona. The music is full of epic moments mixed with modern electronics to create music that has substance and plays off the old “concept album” structure. You can hear influences of Tool, Isis and little bit of shoe gaze and space rock. On their most recent release “A Far Away Wonder,” the drums were engineered by Aaron Harris of the bands ISIS and Palms, and some songs feature a collaboration with film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes. The band describes their live shows as unique and emotional, bringing back the energy of the punk rock and grunge bands of the past who used to play to basements and art galleries. With Our Arms To The Sun are real in their approach to create music that creates an ebb and flow that play off your auditory senses and imagination. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these guys live and they do not disappoint. They are a transcendent bright spot in a world that is lacking honesty and realism.
By: Brian Lacy
When Jade Puget joined the band, he had a hand in shifting the band from the more hardcore punk they were doing and injecting a more goth vibe to the music. Over the years you can totally hear Davey Havok’s love for The Cure in his voice and lyrics. They’ve been covering “Just Like Heaven” for years, and it’s great. It’s not too far from The Cure’s version but it’s still good!
By: Brian Lacy
The early 90’s were a great time for bands. There seemed to be a huge creative explosion. Albums had substance, grit and provoked raw emotion. I could talk about certain bands all day like Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains who embodied such traits. One band that came out in this era and had all that in their debut album and that was Filter. The band was formed when Richard Patrick left Nine Inch Nails just before the recording of The Downward Spiral, and formed a new project with Brian Liesegang. Their debut album Short Bus combined industrial and hard rock. The live band was rounded out by Geno Lenardo, Frank Cavanagh, and Matt Walker. Short Bus has now gone on to sell over 1 million albums thanks to the success of “Hey Man Nice Shot.”
Kicking things off is “Hey Man Nice Shot.” This song is great, it has that quiet bass rumble start then explodes with force and Richard Patrick’s signature scream. “Dose” continues with the powerful riffs and heaviness and adds bits of melody. “Under” has a scratchy guitar intro that blends perfectly into a sort of industrial/dance beat. Lyrically and vocally it’s heavy without compromising the melody. “Spent” is another song that has the quiet to loud structure dialed in. “Take Another” uses the distorted bass line to really get the song going before getting to grit of Richard’s vocal delivery. “Stuck In Here” is a stripped down song that shows the true vulnerability of the group. It’s subtle in the way it pushes the albums direction as well. “It’s Over” follows the outro of “Stuck In Here” to a building verse then when the chorus comes, it opens up in a louder realm. “Gerbil” is solid heavy rock track. “White Like That” has a great intro leading into Richard’s voice then goes into subtle chorus. “Consider This” is another track that could almost foreshadow what would ultimately be their sound on the next album. Ending the album is “So Cool.” This song really slows things down and brings the album to an end with it’s string arrangement.
Short Bus is an album that often gets overlooked just like the band. The sheer creativity and artistic expression is vert prevalent on this album. Sadly, when their second album “Title Of Record” came out and “Take A Picture” exploded on the radio, it seemed that Filter had lost what they once were. Luckily as time went on, they brought back elements of Short Bus into their albums. Especially on The Inevitable Relapse and their newest album The Sun Comes Out Tonight. Filter is and has been a great live band and solid songwriters. Richard Patrick has one of the most unique voices in the rock genre. This band deserves their due. Take a listen back to Short Bus and you’ll see what I mean.
By: Brian Lacy
After countless years on the road and upping their game on every album, Every Time I Die seemed to have found the perfect balance of all that worked for them in the past. Teaming up with producer Kurt Ballou of Converge, From Parts Unknown is an unrelenting and cohesive album. All the things that make this band enjoyable is found throughout this album. The production is still raw but has a new approach to make certain instruments more prevalent in the songs and the vocals more coherent. Their previous album Ex Lives with producer Joe Barresi started the band on this track. Clocking in at 31 minutes, the 12 songs are full of introspective lyrics and memorable thrash/hardcore, some of the time adding a solid groove or a melodic tinge.
First track “The Great Secret” has all the above mentioned and then some. This song really kicks things off with a bang. “Decayin With The Boys” is classic Every Time I Die with bits of melody. “If There Is Room To Move, Things Move” is ferocious in its thrashy hardcore roots. “Thirst” is an aggressive heavy song with awesome breakdowns and a real attitude. “The Great Secret” has a Converge vibe to it along with a really heavy groove. “El Dorado” shifts gears a bit and is more of a melodic rock song with a 90’s guitar sound. “Overstayer” is the weakest track on the album. There really isn’t anything that is great about this song. “Moor” is a real departure for the band. Starting with a piano intro that melds very well with Keith Buckley’s clean vocals really showcases the band’s songwriting and ability to be diverse. This song is a real stand out. “Exomotorium” is a solid groove/hardcore song. “Pelican Of The Desert” is heavy and full of energy. It also features a guest vocal cameo from Sean Ingram of Coalesce. “All Structures Are Unstable” is a solidly good melodic hardcore song. Closing out the album is “Old Light” featuring Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem. This song has the cleanest vocals on any Every Time I Die song ever. Musically it goes from a rock song to classic ETID.
All in all From Parts Unknown is dynamic and full of greatness. With the exception of one song, it is a stellar album. Every Time I Die has a knack for putting out solid material and this is no different. I would even dare to say that this album is a statement to all those that try to do what they do but always fall short. On the scale of 1-10, I’d give this an 8.5.
By: Brian Lacy
Containing one original song from each band and a cover, this EP from Sidewave and Anakin is quite awesome. The new track from Sidewave “Out Of Phase” is heavy, catchy and filled with a really steady groove. Vocally the lush melody really shows a range in Phil Golyshko’s voice. Their cover of Air’s “Playground Love” is fantastic. They really were able to take it up a notch and make it their own. Anakin’s new song “Solstice” really plays on the “space rock” tag in a good way. The melody throughout the song is full of hooks and atmosphere. Musically the chunky riff allows the vocals to really show through. Their cover of Fountains Of Wayne’s “Sink To The Bottom” was a great choice for Anakin. They too take the song and make it their own.
Both Sidewave and Anakin are truly great bands that need to be on everyones radar. Do yourselves a favor and take a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
By: Brian Lacy
The use of electronics has become a focal point of many bands today. The problem is that most of those bands don’t use it properly. One band that really does is 3 Teeth. They have brought back the harder industrial/electronic sound that has gone missing. Their music has that old Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult influence to it. Based in Los Angeles their music has everything that industrial should present, extreme aggression, heavy guitars and plenty of thumping bass. The guys in 3 Teeth have managed to add little bits of modern electronic music. Their debut album is 14 tracks of unrelenting heaviness. Songs like “Pearls 2 Swine,” “Dust,” “Dissolve,” and “Too Far Gone” are all stand outs. 3 Teeth are gearing up to take their music to the stage, I can only envision the amount of volume and energy these guys will put out.
By: Brian Lacy