I had the pleasure of seeing The Broken Stems open for Abloom back in September. They stood out not just because they were a different genre, but because of the passion and intensity they played with. Today they released their newest song and video entitled “Take Me In.” It’s a soothing, laid back song yet heavy in it’s lyrical connotation. Check it out!
This is not part of the 1st annual Audioeclectica Awards. This is just a list of the top 10 concerts I’ve attended this year.
1. Nine Inch Nails @ Hollywood Bowl
2. Failure @ El Rey and Fonda
3. Abloom and With Our Arms To The Sun @ Velvet Jones
4. Corrections House and Author & Punisher @ Echoplex
5. Mastodon @ Club Nokia
6. Royal Blood and The Last Internationale @ Roxy
7. Chevelle and Black Map @ Wiltern
8. Palms @ Troubadour
9. Down @ Wiltern
10. Placebo @ Club Nokia
When a band reunites after a long time, especially 10 years later, the expectations are very skeptical. But there are some instances when its as though the band never left. That’s exactly how it went down for the shows Abloom played this past weekend. Starting in Santa Barbara at Velvet Jones and then again at the Sunset Strip Music Festival, Abloom picked up right where they left off. The bands energy on stage mixed with the perfect setlist of their songs was awe inspiring. The dueling guitars of Levon Sultanian and Sonny Mayo (filling in for Mikey Doling) were beyond in sync. Roy Mayorga pounded away on his drums with authority while Marcello Dias’ bass thumped perfectly and Jasan Radfords vocals were top notch. When the band started playing, all the lyrics came back in my head as though it were 10 years ago. Those that remember them from way back really went all out during both shows. More on Abloom in a moment.
Opening the show at Velvet Jones was The Broken Stems from San Diego. Their blend of indie rock, mixed with a laid back vibe fit perfectly against the back drop of Santa Barbara. Next up was the very fantastic With Our Arms To The Sun. Their sound encapsulates doom metal, sludge, and prog rock. These guys are beasts live. Think Tool meets Neurosis. The energy from their set radiated throughout the night. Their 35 minute set was smart and intriguing. They were the perfect band to be a part of the night. After them was Soma. They carried on with the energy of With Our Arms. All that momentum carried on to Abloom. The guys in Abloom came back with a vengeance. They don’t need much on stage since their repertoire of songs is unbeatable. Songs like “January 2nd,” “What You Came For,” “After That Quiet,” “So Softly,” Blood Sweat and Tears,” and “Alone We Sing” have all been personal favorites of mine for years and they sounded great. Their sets at both Velvet Jones and Sunset Music Fest were on fire
It’s a breath of fresh air now that Abloom has returned. Now they can finish what the started properly. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
1. January 2nd
2. What You Came For
3. Nothing Left To Do
4. After That Quiet
5. Burnt Offerings
6. So Softly
7. Blood, Sweat & Tears
8. Cover Up
9. Along We Sing
It’s always a refreshing moment in any bands life when inspiration strikes and the end result is something to really be proud of. And We Are Them’s inspiration bug seemed to have hit them hard again and have just unleashed their newest EP City Of Ghosts. Continuing where their most recent release Align left off, City Of Ghosts takes a heavier approach to the music and lyrical content. Kicking off the EP is “So It Goes” which right out of the gate opens with a vocal urgency, then explodes with a heavy yet melodic sensibility. Next up is the very socially aware “Socialite.” This song shows off the melodic tinges of the band. The guitars from Nick Bradford and Chris Matalone really shine on this song as does the drums from Brian Hollenbeck and the slick bass from Jeff Chasin. “Next To Nothing” is bombastic and heavy. The amount of heavy that come with this song is constant. Vocally you can feel the emotion in the screams from Chris Matalone. “While You Sleep” closes out City Of Ghosts. This song is a bit of a departure but in a good way. It shows the growth of songwriting of the guys in the band. City Of Ghosts is the perfect direction for And We Are Them to go in. It’s well balanced between their influences and ability to captivate the listener. These songs are going to be beasts live. Speaking of live, September 19th at Velvet Jones (in Santa Barbara) And We Are Them are special guests of the reunited Abloom.