It always sucks when a band you dig breaks up. In this case the band I’m referring to is Fight Amp. They were one hell of a rad band, and I had hoped that when they announced their end they would be back soon with something new. Well my hoping has been answered in the form of Low Dose. Hailing from Philadelphia, the members of Fight Amp have teamed up with Itarya Rosenberg to bring about some crushing heavy rock tunes. So far only one song has been released, “For Sure,” but it sure is badass. It’s got that “grungy” 90’s vibe to it and some really great punk attitude. While the band has an album done and ready to go, they are looking for the right home to release it. So that might be a minute till we hear more from Low Dose. In the meantime though, I’ll be jamming “For Sure” a lot!
Low Dose-S/T (well just For Sure):
A couple weeks back I introduced you all to Del Judas and showcased a couple songs from his debut album Deity. Over the course of a few weeks I’ve had the chance to really delve into this album and I have to say it’s magnificent. The gothic vibe along with post-punk nature, and classic country style of Johnny Cash really makes this album a standout of the year. As a music fan, this is one album that not only deserves to be in your collections but also played on repeat for a great deal of time.
There is something magical about this record. For all the darkness that surrounds the songs, there truly seems to be a sense of optimism brewing underneath the songs. Each song has a way of pulling you in and allows you to get lost in the music and lyrics. The general vibe from the album itself is layered with dark and dreary tones but, is soothing and at the same time a bit mysterious. Those moments also help to really bring the material to life. When you have songs like “Dancing With The Dead,” “Touching Fire,” “Through The Glass,” “Of Love and Death,” and “Deity,” to name a few, it’s not hard to see and hear just how mesmerizing this album truly is. Every song on this record plays a vital role in creating not just a soundscape but a dark romantic sensibility.
Deity is an album that will and should be on top ten lists at the end of the year. This is one of my absolute favorite albums I’ve heard this year. I can’t stop listening to it. Even while driving I tend to get lost in the songs and wish the album didn’t have to end. Do yourself a favor and really take some time and get into this album. Not only will you thank me later but, you’ll fall in love with just how good this album is. I really hope there is more to come from Del Judas, because this is only just the beginning of something great.
Overall Rating: A
Del Judas- Deity:
I’ve said it many times before and I stand by it, heavy music and melody go together like peanut butter and jelly. They both come from different places but when they are combined the end result is perfect. There is a band out right now that does melodic heavy music perfectly, and that band is Light The Torch. You might recognize them originally as Devil You Know but, due to a former band member causing some issues, the remaining members opted to change the name and continue on albeit on a slightly different path. The first two Devil You Know albums were more in that “djent” style but now with Light The Torch, they have gone more melodic without losing the “heavy.” Singer Howard Jones (formerly of Killswitch Engage) sounds great and just as good as he did on the Killswitch album The End Of Heartache. The riffs courtesy of guitarist Francisco Artusato aren’t over complicated, instead they have a really subtle ebb and flow of clean and distorted tones.
Their album Revival is exactly the type of melodic heavy record that you’d want to hear from this band and Howard. When you have songs like “Die Alone,” “Calm Before The Storm,” “Raise The Dead,” and “The Safety Of Disbelief,” it really shows a different side of each member and allows Howard to showcase his pure singing voice. Then you have a song like “The Sound Of Violence,” which sounds a bit like Howards pre-Killswitch band Blood Has Been Shed. Closing the album is “Judas Convention” which is a great summation of what the album has to offer.
Revival isn’t reinventing melodic heavy music but it sure gives it a shot in the arm. Having Howard Jones in this sort of shape both vocally and lyrically gives Light The Torch the guidance needed to really leave their mark on the scene. I’m just putting this out in the aether but, a Killswitch Engage/Light The Torch tour sure would make a lot of sense and would be HUGE!!
Light The Torch- Revival:
There are bands in every genre of music that take a left turn thus creating something that stands out and is extremely impactful. Within the hardcore or post hardcore genre, there are countless bands but the ones that I’ve always been drawn to are the ones that take a chance and create something that is full of vigor and vision. Birds In Row are one of those bands for me. One their new album, We Already Lost The World, Birds In Row take a darker, slower and moodier turn without losing the fierce and ferociousness that they have become known for over the years. Musically they have really evolved into a band that understands the importance of what is best for the song. Vocally and lyrically, they are sending a message through the words and performances.
I’ve had the time to sit with this album and it has really become one of my favorite albums of the year. There is something truly moving about the way this album flows and sounds. It has a vibe that is similar to that of the Refused’s The Shape Of Punk To Come, in that it’s impactful and leaves you wanting to start the album over as soon as it’s done. Starting the album off with “We Count So We Don’t Have To Listen” is one hell of a statement. As the songs continue with tracks like “Love Is Political,” the very emotional “We Vs Us,” and “Remember Us Better Than We Are,” the deep and dark “I Don’t Dance,” as well as the very mature “15-38,” and the moody yet explosive “Fossils,” it just goes to show that Birds In Row have something that needs to be said and the way they went about it is devastatingly beautiful.
We Already Lost The World is one of those albums that will leave a mark on you. The sheer intensity that comes out of each song and performance is astounding. Birds In Row are a band that not only have captured a real essence of “post-hardcore,” they have created a new blueprint for the genre.
Overall Rating: A
Birds In Row- We Already Lost The World:
Birds In Row- I Don’t Dance (Video):
Oh 1994, you were such a great year for music. So many legendary albums and songs came out at this time. And the live shows and performances are some of the most remembered as well. This topic of memorable TV performances has countless numbers of great bands performing great songs on late night shows. One of my all time favorites is when the Beastie Boys performed “Sabotage” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman had always been a big supporter of rock bands and heavier bands, and this performance from Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA was legendary.
Check It Out!
Beastie Boys- Sabotage (on David Letterman 1994):
There are certain bands that when they come through town you have to go see live. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen them or if it’s your first time, it’s imperative that you be there. Especially when you have a tour line up as special as Neurosis, Converge and Amenra. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Neurosis and Converge many times before, and now I finally got the chance to see Amen Ra. Tour packages like this are not only astonishing but they leave those in attendance in a state of awe and some inspired to create. There is a reason why all three of these bands have reached the “legendary” status. Their live shows, songs/albums, and general approach to their fans makes it all worth while.
When you are part of a genre such as post hardcore, it can be at times hard to stand out from the pack. Luckily, Visitors have carved out their own little path. This Salt Lake City based band have an album called Crest, that is deep and full of substance. Crest is also a album that acts as a continuation of a concept and storyline they introduced in the previous release, 2017’s EP Vortices, A Foreword. Visitors have the post hardcore sound on lock but they also incorporate bits of prog and ambience, thus creating a grandiose sound that is full of energy. The 9 songs that appear on Crest, flow the way an album should. Songs like “Pollyanna,” “Sea Of Limbs (A Diminsher),” “Apoplexia,” “Monachopsis,” and “In Whole (Encased)” are among the stand out tracks. The best way to describe Visitors is, imagine if Circa Survive/Saosin and Glassjaw were put in a blender and then topped off with bits of Deftones and At The Drive In (In Casino Out era).