It’s been a few days since I finally saw the great Helms Alee, and I can’t stop listening to them. They are one of the best and underrated bands I’ve heard in a long time. Formed in Seattle in 2007, Ben Verellen (guitar/vocals), Dana James (bass/vocals), and Hozoji Matheson-Margullis (drums/vocals), have created music that borders on doom, post hardcore, a dash a sludge and a pinch of alternative rock. In my live review of them I mentioned that they sound a bit like if Siamese Dream era Pumpkins and Self titled era Alice In Chains had a kid and that kid met up with a kid from Doom and post-hardcore parents, you’d get Helms Alee. Among the remarkable things about Helms Alee is their ability to create such powerful music. Thanks to Ben Verellen’s, Verellen Amplifiers, the sound that permeates from the speakers on your stereo and at the venue, transcends the normal. Since 2007, Helms Alee has released 4 full length albums along with 5 EP’s/Splits. Each album has built upon their previous work to create something remarkable and everlasting. Helms Alee are a band not just for today but, for generations to come.
There are so many new bands out there that I’m extremely stoked on. A couple years back, a band called Coma Prevail came up on my radar. They released a couple “demo” recordings and it sounded very promising. Sadly though, their singer passed away. Just when I thought they were going to call it a day, they regrouped and began a new chapter under a different name, Cons. Their upcoming debut EP, Slowhealer (produced by Beau Burchell of Saosin) is going to be a rip roaring, riff-tastic slab of heavy and post hardcore. The first single “The Burden Of Knowing Why” is a great representation of what Cons has to offer. There are moments in the song that have some similarities to Saosin and The Bled (guitarist Jeremy Talley was a member of The Bled.) This stunning five-piece outfit from Tucson, AZ consisting of Josh Fererra (vocals), Jeremy Talley (guitar), Matt Barios (guitar, vocals), Steven Hathaway (bass), and Stephen Majalca (drums), is set to take the music scene by storm and unleash their fury upon us all.
What do you get when you mix bits and pieces of the best parts of the 80’s a la Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica, a dash of early 2000’s rock and a touch of glam? Well the answer is Edge of Paradise. This Los Angeles based band has been steadily making a name for themselves with their electric live shows and throwback sounding tunes. Edge Of Paradise’s melodic heavy rock is the right sound at the right time. Fronted by singer Margarita Monet and her sultry vocals, she guides the rock to where it needs to be. The band consisting of Dave Bates, John Chominsky, Nick Ericson and David Ruiz, pack a blistering punch with their rock assault. The addition of guitarist David Ruiz, who I’ve seen and heard in other bands, really adds another layer of heavy to the band. Their new album ALIVE, is full of dark and epic songs that will leave you swaying and grooving along.
Edge Of Paradise- Alive:
Upcoming Tour Dates:
06/28 Lucky Strike Live Hollywood, CA
07/28 Funhouse Seattle WA
07/29 Rock Hard PDX Portland, OR
08/08 Dipiazzas Long Beach, CA
08/09 Brick By Brick San Diego, CA
08/25 Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor Reno, NV
Over the last 10 years or so electronic music has really injected itself into music. Years ago it was just new wave and industrial bands. Now with the EDM explosion more and more bands are embracing that genre and injecting bits and pieces of it into their music. Some bands can do it really well and others, well, not so much. There is one band I’d like to share with you all though that seems to really understand how to incorporate the electronic element into their rock, and that band is 9 Electric.
9 Electric is an electronic hard rock band from Los Angeles. Their intricate blend of electronics to rock is similar to that of Stabbing Westward, The Prodigy and a dash of Nine Inch Nails. The thing about 9 Electric is that they have really created something intriguing not just with their music but, they have made their shows into something special. Rather than just get up and play, they’ve turned their shows into an “event” of sorts. By making sure their shows are “special,” 9 Electric has put themselves in a position to leave a lasting mark.
9 Electric‘s debut album The Damaged Ones, is chock full of heavy rock and electronics, along with soaring melodies and pristine vocals. With songs like “The Damaged Ones,” “New God,” “Beautiful,” “Take It Away,” and “I Die,” you can tell there is pure belief in what they are writing and performing.
Check out one of Los Angeles’ best bands. And prepare to get up and move!
Over the last decade or so, there has been a really interesting thing happening in the heavy music genre. Rather than just play the same Metallica or Slayer- esque type of thrash, bands have been incorporating other styles to separate themselves from the pack. One such band that I’ve grown fond of over the past few months is Widower. Hailing from Austin, Texas, these gents have taken thrash to another level of heavy by incorporating a black metal vibe and a dash of doom to their music. Widower is a band for today. Their ability to craft chunky and thrashy riffs and rhythms, makes them stand out. Widower’s most recent release The Unholy Oath E.P. is 5 songs of pure heaviness, that will leave you head banging. I personally am looking forward to new music from Widower. Check them out!!
We live in a very interesting time for music. Electronic music is more prevalent than ever. There is an element to electronic music that if used properly, can make for some really intriguing music. Which brings me to Antiwave. Formed by singer-guitarist-keyboardists Heather Baker and Rachel Sinfield, Antiwave is bringing something special to the table. Mixing bits of Portishead, The Cure, Garbage and the very underrated Air, Antiwave is a band that brings an element of light to the darkness of the goth-synth genre. Their first single “Holiday Heart” is a great way to introduce the band. The song is quite a reflection of influences and of life. You can tell by listening that Heather and Rachel are making music they really connect with. Antiwave is definitely a band to watch out for.
Since Less Art was announced, I’ve been looking forward to hearing music from them. Made up of Riley and Ed Breckinridge of Thrice (on drums and guitar) along with Kowloon Walled City’s Jon Howell and Ian Miller (on guitar and bass) and Curl Up and Die’s Mike Minnick (on vocals), you knew that the music these gents would release would be something substantial. Their debut album Strangled Light is shaping up to be a righteous slab of post hardcore with a bit of a shoe-gaze vibe. The first song released “Pessimism As Denial.” is everything you want it to be and more. Obviously with Thrice, back and going full steam, this is a side project for Riley and Ed but, I can tell that they are really dedicated to this. Check out Less Art, you’ll thank me later!
Less Art- Pessimism As Denial: