The music world these days is full of interesting combinations. There are endless possibilities as to where you can take things as well as the countless different bands and styles you can take inspiration and influence from. In the rock world, electronic music has really become a prevalent force in where things are headed. So many bands have jumped on the bandwagon of using electronic elements but, so many of them really don’t know how to properly incorporate it into their sound the right way. Which brings me to the band of the week. Contranistas, a two piece band from Bakersfield, CA, have been developing a pretty fun and unique way to incorporate the electronic element along with some other cool styles like Post-Punk, Indie, and just straight up rock. By using a plethora of pedals and effects along with their collective influences, Contranistas have taken their inspired sound to new heights of loud, gloomy, psychedelic and a bit dancey. Dax Dominguez (bass/guitar/synth/loops) and Robert Morgan (drums/percussion) are packing quite a punch together and have made something that stands out among the generic and tired old electronic sounds you’d find in rock music today.
On April 24, Trivium will be releasing their new album (and 9th all together), What The Dead Men Say. Today though, the band has released the first single from the record, Catastrophist. This song is definitely a Trivium song through and through, with the riffs, blasts and a good amount of melody. Personally, I’m interested to see where this new album goes. I quite enjoyed their last album, The Sin and Sentence, so this one should continue to build on that.
This topic is quite fun to do. Going back and listening to these songs, especially the solos, has been pretty cool. When you really take the time to listen to the structure of the solo and how it’s played, it’s no wonder these are considered the best of all time. Obviously, this topic can’t go on without acknowledging “Eruption” by Van Halen. So here it is.
Van Halen- Eruption:
Back in 2004, when The Dillinger Escape Plan released their second album, Miss Machine, it saw the band move in a more experimental direction. Due to the band previously collaborating with Mike Patton and welcoming in new singer Greg Puciato, the influences from both began to rub off on the band. While Calculating Infinity was a straight up assault, Miss Machine had something more to offer like slower tempos, more dynamics, clean vocals, as well as an electronic/industrial tinge and jazz fusion elements. One such song that has always caught my attention on the album is the track “Phone Home.” This song has a very Nine Inch Nails feel to it. Which is perhaps why I’ve always been drawn to it. Take a couple mins and enjoy this deep cut from one of the most creative bands of the last 20 years.
The Dillinger Escape Plan- Phone Home:
I’ve always enjoyed when a member of a band you really dig, steps away from the comforts of their group and spreads their wings with different projects. After some time away from his previous group, former Memento singer, Justin Stewart Cotta has returned with another stellar collection of songs. The 5 songs that make up this new self titled EP are full of the emotional prowess that Justin was known for in Memento as well a bit of a dramatic tinge from his time on stage in his native Australia. These songs are introspective and full of charm. My favorite song as of this writing is “Stranger.” There is something truly hauntingly beautiful about this song. The lyrics and melody along with the piano, dissident guitar, and subtle drums (all of which are played by the esteemed Kellii Scott of Failure) really make this come alive. I personally am looking forward to hearing more from Justin. And it would be pretty awesome if there was some new Memento in the near future too.
Justin Stewart Cotta:
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of Down’s first album, NOLA. It’s one of those albums that is remarkable and special. Not only has it held up over the years, it’s been hailed as a classic these days, and to be honest, I can see why. Give it a listen and you’ll hear and see why. And now here we are, and the members of Down are gearing up to celebrate that album with some scattered live shows. So, of course, I got to thinking, what would I really want to hear live, if I could choose. Well, here you go. Pulling songs from all their albums, I’ve created my Ultimate Set List for Down.
Guideline 1: What line up of the band would it be
Guideline 2: Where would you want to see the show
Guideline 3: maximum 25 songs (In order of how the set should go)
Lineup: Philip H. Anselmo, Pepper Keenan, Kirk Windstein, Jimmy Bower, Rex Brown
Venue: Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles
01) Lysergik Funeral Procession
02) Ghosts Along The Mississippi
03) Hail The Leaf
06) The Curse
07) Beautifully Depressed
08) Temptation’s Wings
09) New Orleans Is A Dying Whore
10) Pillars Of Eternity
13) Learn From This Mistake
14) Eyes Of The South
15) Losing All
16) In The Thrall Of It All
17) Beneath The Tides
18) Nothing In Return (Walk Away)
20) Stone The Crow
21) Bury Me In Smoke
Back in late 2006, Brand New released the masterpiece that is The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. This album has gone on to not only be acclaimed by fans and press alike but, had also influenced and inspired countless bands. As the press tour began for the album, Brand New was booked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2007. They performed “Jesus Christ” (which was released as the second single from the album). This performance was subtle and understated but, really does pack quite a gut punch when you really listen to the words and let the music take you away. I’d also like to mention that The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me is one of my all time favorite albums and if you haven’t heard it, you are surely missing out.
Brand New- Jesus Christ (on Conan O’Brien 2007):