One of my favorite albums of 2022 was Centershift’s A Different Shade Of Color. It’s one of those albums (notice how I said ALBUM) that takes you on quite the journey musically, lyrically and tells a pretty potent story. The way the album flows, gets into the nitty gritty of life and all its trials and tribulations. I have a few favorites off the album but, there is one song in particular that I’ve had a deep affinity for and that is the closing track, “Fade Away.” Through the darkness of this song and the lyrics, you find a sense of hope and light within that connects on a deeper level. “Fade Away” is one of those songs that will sit with you and make you contemplate life and how you can get through the moments that can tend to keep you down. The visualizer for this song is absolutely stunning and it takes the song to another dimension as you are captivated by the way the music, lyrics, melody and visuals encompass everything. Enjoy this!
There is something to be said about finding beauty in darkness. In this case it’s found within the band Iress. The moment I heard this band, I knew there was something more to it than just a “dark/moody vibe.” What I found was a band that sonically devastates while at the same time draws you in seductively. Iress derives their name from two concepts that when put together perfectly describes what this band is all about; Ire, as in fury, indignation, rage, and wrath and -ess as a noun suffix meaning “female”. Now that combination has been recorded and now gearing up to be unleashed upon us all. Dubbed the “Adele of Doom” by her local LA music peers, frontwoman Michelle Malley’s vocals are subtle yet powerful as she sings of love, loss, pain, and anguish but, with such restraint that it’s almost hypnotic how the melodies seep into your pores and make your skin crawl in a fantastic way. The band itself brings all this to life with their willingness to serve the songs and provide the right amounts of atmosphere, heaviness and an unrelenting passion that really makes this all come together. Iress’s sound stretches across different sub-genres but the way it all comes together is tremendous. By mixing, doom, shoegaze, metal, dream pop and ambient/psychedelic sounds, Iress has the recipe for one of the best releases of 2023. The first single “Ricochet” from their upcoming EP, Solace is absolutely stunning. Once you listen to this song you’ll feel compelled to play it again and again. One more thing I have to talk about is the production on this single and EP. It’s truly stunning. Being able to capture the rawness and real emotion of these songs is astounding. Producer/Engineer/Mixer Alex Estrada did a phenomenal job on this record. I’m personally really stoked on this band and can’t wait to hear more and see this all come together live. Do yourself a favor and on May 12 via Dune Altar Records (one of my favorite Indie Labels by the way), pick up a copy of this EP!
This past week I’ve been listening to a lot of different bands and what better place to share some of my favorite songs and or albums I’ve been blasting all week! Some you might have heard before and some might be brand new but, the best thing about this is that there is something for everyone here! As always, I’m interested in what you dig out of these, so let me know!
01) Botch: Ever since it was announced that Botch had reunited for a secret show as well as a few Seattle area shows and now a tour, you bet your ass I’ve been on a Botch tear. So here you have both of their studio albums, American Nervoso and We Are The Romans plus their new song, One Twenty Two, that is undeniably BOTCH! So Stoked that Botch are back! They are seriously one of the pioneers of this genre and are coming back at one hell of a much needed time! Welcome back gents!!
03) Depeche Mode- Ghosts Again: I love Depeche Mode! And this new song off their upcoming album Memento Mori, is very classic sounding (Black Celebration vibes I’m getting). This is the bands last album to feature the late Andy Fletcher. The video for the song was directed by long time collaborator Anton Corbijn and it definitely strikes a chord with the song. Looking forward to their upcoming tour as well!!
04) Common Wounds- Phantom Limb: I was recently introduced to the band Common Wounds and the moment I heard this track, I knew it was right up my alley. This band is part post-hardcore, part noise-rock and full on crushing. Their self titled EP comes out March 10th and it’s awesome (I might have already heard it and have blasted the ever living shit out of it… I DID)! Shout out to the drummer for the Ghost Idols shirt too! Really digging on this band and if you are into this genre of music, you will be too!
05) The Smile- A Light For Attracting Attention: This band is made up of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead as well as drummer Tom Skinner. As much as I want a new Radiohead album, this will keep me occupied for some time. This album is really quite cool. It’s jazzy with interesting synth parts and a really cool mix of all the 90’s alternative rock that I love. It’s also one of those albums that is great for a relaxing evening or just hanging out with people. It’s not a “rock record” instead it’s more of a “vibe album” that the more you listen to it, the more you find different nuances and things to enjoy. Looking up live performances of The Smile is a treat too as they definitely take the songs to another level live! Hope they make the rounds again soon, as I am really wanting to see them live!
06) Thrice- The Artist In The Ambulance (REVISITED): I still remember when this album first came out and how much I was into it. It was one of those albums that I didn’t put away for a long long time. Now, 20 years later, Thrice took a chance and revisited this gem of an album and the end result is pretty damn fantastic. The album sounds a little more mature in a good way and feels like it revitalized the band a bit too. With minimal structure changes and a few special guests, this album sounds bigger and at times depending on the song, more impactful. Personally, I’d love to see more bands take on a challenge like this as I suggested in a recent article about Incubus revisiting SCIENCE. Way to go Thrice! This is superb!
07) Quicksand- Slip: The landmark and highly influential album just turned 30 years old! And to this day it still sounds fresh and amazing. Not only is this a classic and has given birth to so many bands but, Quicksand is still out there killing it. Their most recent album, Distant Populations is one of the best album in the last few years. Slip is one of those albums though that when you put it on, you don’t want it to end. It’s full of banger song after banger song! If you’ve never heard this album, now is your chance! And when you do, make sure you play it LOUD!
08) How To Destroy Angels- Welcome Oblivion: My daughter is in love with this album and I couldn’t be more happy about it. She also loves Nine Inch Nails (which she had no choice but to love- if you know me, you know this would be inevitable). When I first heard How To Destroy Angels it took me a minute to get used to not hearing Trent Reznor singing but, I had seen West Indian Girl live before and was familiar with Mariqueen’s voice and it didn’t take me long to love it too. The more I listen to this album with my kid now, the more I love what it is and about. There’s a bit of a dynamic shift to the structure of songs and I’d even say there’s a bit of a psychedelic vibe to some of it which gives the eerie and haunting sounds more attitude. The live shows for How To Destroy Angels were on a whole other visual and sonic level. I highly recommend taking some time to watch some of those!
09) Full Of Hell & Primitive Man- Tunnels To God: One of my favorite things that I’ve mentioned a zillion times before is when I get emails about new music and I click on it and it absolutely kicks ass. The other day, I clicked on this song at the sight of who it was and when it kicked in, HOLY SHIT! It’s brutal yet ambient and will get under your skin and crawl giving you chills. It’s also epic in length which makes those chills last even longer!
10) The Cult- Under The Midnight Sun: The Cult need no introduction. They have been gems in the rock world for well over 40 years. Their catalog speaks for itself and the fact that they keep putting out quality albums makes it even better. Their most recent album, Under The Midnight Sun is one hell of an album. It’s got parts of all eras of the band to give it a different kind of light. At one moment you are listening to a part that you might have heard during Love and then the next you are listening to something that could have been off Choice Of Weapon. The album is diverse and a great listen. I love putting this album on at the end of a long day/night or a drive home and just let it take me places. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy are two of the most underrated songwriters out there! This is another example of how great they are together!