One of the albums I’m anticipating for 2019 is the debut by the band Fact Pattern. They have already released the single/video for the song “My Guard Down.” Now they have unleashed another gem called “A Form To Be” from their upcoming album. This three piece band led by singer/guitarist Ian Flux along with drummer Rannen Bozzio and bassist Jack Lowd have really done the industrial sound justice and gave it an interesting electronic twist. This new song reminds me a bit of Orgy’s Candyass album and Deadsy’s debut album. Check out the track and video, you’ll quite enjoy it!
Fact Pattern- A Form To Be:
Ever since Failure announced their return in late 2013, it’s been a wonderful welcoming sight to have them back. Their first show back was one for the books. It was one of those nights where the stars aligned and everything that was meant to be, happened. Then, they announced The Heart Is A Monster, the long awaited follow up to the highly influential and perfect album Fantastic Plant. The tour that followed that up was something special as well. Now, fast forward a bit and Failure are back yet again with a new album, In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind. This 16 song collection, follows in the footsteps of the two albums before and comes across as inspired and chock full of everything you’ve ever loved about Failure.
The release of the album began with a series of E.P.’s, slowly wetting the appetite of their fans. Each release would give you just a taste of what’s to come. Failure has never been a band that repeats itself and it shows on each album. They have honed and perfected a style that is truly theirs. This album is a perfect example of how maturity and life intersect to create true art. In a recent interview, Ken Andrews said that this album is probably the most personal album they’ve ever written and it shows. That’s not to say their previous works weren’t personal, this one really does seem to have an extra bit of pouring out of the soul. Musically this album is stunning. The styles vary from space rock, shoe gaze, and very alternative to some of the heaviest riffs and rhythms they have ever put together. Songs like “Dark Speed,” “Paralytic Flow,” “No One Left,” “Found A Way,” “Distorted Fields,” “Heavy and Blind,” “Apocalypse Blooms,” and “Force Fed Rainbows” are among the songs that really stood out to me. The entire album including the segues (what’s a Failure album without segues), is masterful. It’s an true album through and through. The sequence of the songs and how the ebb and flow goes really creates a visceral experience while listening.
Failure are the type of band that other bands want to be. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion of who Failure reminds me of and that band is The Velvet Underground. Both bands were ahead of their time, often misunderstood and they both released an album that changed the landscape of music for years and bands to come. Failure’s Fantastic Planet is the 90’s equivalent of The Velvet Underground’s debut album. These two records are beyond responsible for so many bands forming and creating. There is something else about this new Failure album that really stands out to me and that is how truly in sync Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kellii Scott are. The amount of power that rips through these songs is astounding. There’s a sense of urgency about the material and the performances without losing sight of what’s best for the song. It’s remarkable that Failure can continuously put out new music that is this good. Most bands would just choose the safe thing at this point in their career but, Failure takes chances and pushes the envelope. In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind is an album not just for today but one that will be talked about for many years to come. If Fantastic Planet cemented the bands legacy, this album is definitely one that will further compliment that legacy.
Overall Rating- 9/10
Failure- In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind:
The Smashing Pumpkins came back in 2018 with a vengeance. Their “reunion” tour was outstanding. The 3 hour set of nothing but songs from the beginning of their career till Machina was something special. Everything about it was spectacular. William Patrick Corgan sounded marvelous and having Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha back with him along with long time cohort, Jeff Schroeder and new comers Jack Bates and Katie Cole added to the truly great experience. When it was announced that the Pumpkins were coming back, WPC, mentioned that there would be new music, and that day is upon us. Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I is here and it’s a delight. It’s everything you’ve ever loved about The Smashing Pumpkins and more.
Starting the album off with “Knights Of Malta” was a superb choice. The song not only sets a tone but it features a groove and melody that will have you swaying and singing along in no time. I have a feeling that this song will fast become a fan favorite and a live staple for years to come. “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)” is a pure classic Pumpkins song. Parts of it hark back to the Siamese Dream era but, it’s modern and current without relying so much on nostalgia. WPC sounds dreamy on this song, and Jimmy Chamberlain’s playing is subtle yet commanding. The riff and melody to this song is something that will stay in your head for years to come. “Travels” is a sweet mid tempo song with introspective lyrics. The guitar melodies on this song have a warming and calm tone which gives this song more depth. “Solara” is another classic Pumpkins song. This track is a beast and live it kicks even more ass. “Alienation” is one of those “deep cut” songs that will have audiences wanting for it live. It’s a beautiful song through and through. “Marchin’ On” kicks the moment it comes in. It’s got an anger and urgency to it just as “Zero” did when that song was first released. This is another that is sure to be a fan favorite. “With Sympathy” has a delicate nature to it. The guitars glisten along with WPC’s vibrant vocals and words. Closing out this volume is “Seek and You Shall Destroy.” This track has a very cool mid 90’s Pumpkins vibe to it but, again isn’t retreating to the nostalgia of it all. Seek sounds like the band in today’s world without losing the roots of what the band is about.
All in all Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I is a terrific collection of songs. I wouldn’t say it’s an “album” per say but, it was sequenced in a way that does flow in a way as an album. Having Jimmy and James back in the band is a welcome return. The songs sound like Pumpkins songs because of how they play and treat the songs. Over the years Jeff Schroeder has been able to tap into that “style” and on this album, he’s right there along with James and WPC to make the songs even bigger. This is a welcome return to form for WPC and company. Shiny and Oh So Bright is full of songs that as I mentioned will become fan favorites and live staples for years to come. The Smashing Pumpkins have never been a band that has needed to resort to rehashing the past and this album solidifies that. I can’t wait for the next tour they do so I can hear these songs live. If you ever gave up on The Smashing Pumpkins, Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I, will bring you back into the fold and you’ll fall in love with the band all over again.
Ever since I saw Cult Leader live, I’ve been impressed. The night I saw them, they were on tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan on their final US tour. The moment they took the stage, you could tell that there was more to this band than just being a heavy band. As they tore through their set that night, I was hypnotized by their magnitude of volume, precision, and pure passion for what they created. Needless to say, I was at their merch table right after their set to buy their album Lightless Walk. That album has been in constant rotation since I procured it over two years ago.
Cult Leader have returned with a new album entitled A Patient Man, and if you are a fan, you’ve been waiting patiently for the next chapter of the band. The wait for this album was immensely worth it. A Patient Man is not for the faint or weak of heart. This album is dark but there is an element of optimism to it. From the moment “I Am Healed” kicks off the album, you best buckle up because this album is going to take you on a ride. “Curse Of Satisfaction” keeps up with the pummeling nature of the album. “Isolation in the Land of Milk and Honey” is one of the most brutal and honest songs on the record. It’s a very introspective song with lyrics and parts that really strike a chord within. “To Achlys” might just be one of the most epic songs of 2018. It’s a welcome departure for the band. Though if you’ve been listening to Cult Leader for some time, you could tell that they were expanding and evolving into a differing style like this. “A World Of Joy” continues on the epic path and could quite possibly be one of if not the best song on the album. “Craft of Mourning” brings the album back to the heavy with a crushing attack. “Share My Pain” is one of those songs that shows the band incorporating a “groove” element to their repertoire. This song stands out not just because of the groove but because of the personal approach. “Aurum Reclusa” is as Cult Leader as it gets. This song harks back a bit to the Gaza days. The title track “A Patient Man” is another epic. This one, like “To Achlys” is deep and introspective only on this track there is a bit more “hope.” Closing out the album is “The Broken Right Hand of God.” This track is a great summation of what A Patient Man is. It’s brooding with heaviness, epic moments and full of heart.
Cult Leader have carved out a niche amongst their peers. They have evolved past the norm of just being a heavy band. Each member of the band has made significant contributions to make A Patient Man something special. Musically, Casey Hansen, Sam Richards and Mike Mason have created a sonic style that (as I’ve mentioned before) is hypnotic and heavy at the same time. Vocalist Anthony Lucero, really grew not only as a lyricist but as a vocalist. His sort of crooning on some of these songs really, gives off a personal touch. And Kurt Ballou’s production work is outstanding. He really helped to deliver the sound this album needed. The jump from Lightless Walk to A Patient Man is quite astounding. To be able to still maintain your roots and come away with a piece of work like this is something to really be proud of. I can just imagine the live set in a club being something I will and others in attendance will remember emphatically. Thank you Cult Leader for understanding and not being afraid to go after what moves you. Music is art and it’s a wonderful thing. When you can find the right members to balance the vision, great things like A Patient Man happen.
A while back I posted about how the band Memento was back and well, they officially are. The have released their first new song in many years and it’s fan-fucking-tastic. This new track entitled “Legacy” is one hell of a rocker. The vocals and lyrics of singer Justin Stewart Cotta are top notch. He hasn’t lost a step at all. The riffs and leads of guitarist Jason “Space” Smith are killer. He’s always had a knack for writing catchy yet riff-tastic jams. If this is just the beginning for what’s to come for Memento, then the future looks pretty bright. Welcome back gents!!!
The Smashing Pumpkins are a few weeks away from releasing their new album, Shiny and Oh So Bright Volume I (out November 16). This first collection of songs is the first in over 19 years with William Patrick Corgan (he has stopped going by Billy), Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha. The first two songs released so far, “Solara” and “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)” are fantastic songs that sound modern but still hark back to the bands heyday. There is a planned Volume II that is supposed to be released later on next year along with a full length tour.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Solara:
The Smashing Pumpkins- Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts):