Must Own Albums

Must Own Albums: Interstelar- Resin

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Remember how I said that 2016 was a great year for music? Well I still can’t take certain albums from last year out of rotation. Among all the great albums released, there is one that I’ve really dug from first listen. I’m talking about the album RESIN by Interstelar. The band’s ability to write such great songs really keeps you engrossed in listening. The way they are able to mix the stoner/doom genres with bits of classic rock and sludge is pure art. I’ve heard so many “stoner” bands over the years but, not many can even come close to how good Interstelar is.

Every song from beginning to end on Resin not only rocks but emits a vibe that puts you in a bit of a trance and lets you escape through the music. From the moment the chunky riffs in “sILO” starts, you know feel the groove. “Resin” is one of those epic songs that could be on the first Down album. “High Horse” is an absolute gem. It’s ballad-esque feel really showcases the bands songwriting ability. “Hold It” is a sharp rocker that would be perfect for a road trip mix. “Opposite Daze” is a bit of an experimental song but doesn’t stray far from the sound of the band. There is a definite influence of The Cult on this song. “Armada” is damn near mind blowing. Listening to the song there is a bit of a Tool vibe that really helps to guide along the sludge. “Behold” brings the album back around to the “ROCK” and it’s done with such grace. It’s the perfect flow of songs. Closing out the album is “Sequoia,” a more solemn song that has bits of a psychedelic feel the way the guitars come in and out.

Singer Jason Kothmann has a voice for the times and harks back to an era that is based on feeling. The guitar work by Kothmann and Gary Gladson is on par with that of the classic bands of the genre but also, they add a bit of a modern twist with their tone. The rhythm section of  P. J. McMullan on drums and Joe Puccio on bass are so in the pocket it’s as though you are feeling each beat and pulse. Not only is Interstelar a great band of musicians but their album is one that needs to be in every music fans collection.

Orders for the album on vinyl are available HERE

Take A Listen Below:

Interstelar- Resin:

 

Interstelar- High Horse (Video):

Must Own Albums: Oathbreaker- Rheia

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2016 was a tremendous year for great albums. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts and I stick to my thought, I honestly think that in about 10 years 2016 is going to be a very highly regarded year for music just as, 1994 was (not as poignant obviously). There is one album that I really want to point out as amazing, inspiring, emotional, and most importantly a masterpiece. I’m talking about Oathbreaker‘s album RHEIA. Since I first heard this album I can’t turn it off. It’s on constant repeat. Everything from the music, its depth, production, tones,  depth, artwork, lyrics,  and performances, especially that of singer/lyricist Caro Tanghe are incredible. I love the whole thing keep finding new things about the album that make me love it even more.

Every song on the album leaves you breathless. Rheia is more than just a masterpiece, it’s a genre defining album, that will inspire a slew of new bands. Taking black metal and mixing it with shoegaze (on a side note, I’ve always hated that term), Oathbreaker takes it further by their added sense of post hardcore, ambience, and acoustic sensibilities. This band emits a sense of honesty and ferocious tenacity that I haven’t heard in many years. Each members every emotion is worn on their sleeves as they deliver performances that will send chills up your spine.

I would go song by song but, I really want you all to hear this album from start to finish, and then we can talk. You have to listen to it. Rheia is an album that has the depth musically and lyrically that makes you remember why music is so powerful. I believe that music saves lives, and this album is one of those. Not only that but, when you listen, you feel it all too. The lyrics are beautifully poetic, dark, and intense. They are also some of the most personal and heartfelt words I’ve heard in a very long time. Caro Tanghe is a revelation as a writer and vocalist. The music is stunningly charasmatic along with heavy and pummeling. The beats of drummer Wim Coppers (and Ivo Debrabandere) help to really accentuate your heartstrings as Caro sings and screams, all the while guitarists (and bassists) Lennart Bossu and Gilles Demolder come at you with an attack of devastation and new life, through the use of their instruments.

Rheia is the true ALBUM OF THE YEAR for 2016. Transcending genres as well as setting the bar for their peers is remarkable. While this may not be for everyone, give this an honest shot. Read the words, and wrap yourselves up in what a masterpiece this album is. I thank you for listening and taking the time to do something for the love of great music that needs to be heard.

I present to you, Oathbreaker’s Rheia:

 

 

Or streaming on YouTube:

 

 

The Videos:

10:56/Second Son of R:

 

Immortals:

 

The Audiotree Session:

 

TOUR DATES:

 

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Amazing Albums: Prodigy- The Fat Of The Land

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The year is 1997 and the landscape of music is moving in a strange direction. Anytime there is a cosmic change in music there are a handful of albums that come out that really point the direction of things to come. One of those albums in particular is the absolute great album The Fat Of The Land by Prodigy. When it was released it debuted at number one in the US on the billboard charts on the heels of breakout singles like “Firestarter,” “Breathe,” and the controversial “Smack My Bitch Up,” which to this day still has one of the coolest music videos ever. This album did a lot for music at the time. The Fat Of The Land has a more rock oriented sound, thus bringing the electronic and rock worlds together. Prodigy’s producer and main songwriter Liam Howlett was all about the group evolving their sound and creating something substantial. Here’s a fun fact Liam Howlett was only 24 years old when he made The Fat Of The Land.

The album contains 10 of the most fiery “dance” tracks ever, as each track has a real purpose and identity on the album. From the more rock tinged songs, to hip hop, and straight up electronic songs, it all works and flows perfectly. Besides the three main singles that everyone knows, other tracks on the record really stand out. The Beastie Boys sampled “Funky Shit” is one of the most danceable tracks on the record, providing the classic sound that The Prodigy is known for. “Serial Thrilla,” is still one of my favorite cuts off the album. It’s super heavy with a great riff to drive the beat. “Mindfields” is another that has some really intriguing electronics. There are a few trip hop moments in the song adding some psychedelia, which can also be heard in the epic “Climbatize.”

I remember hearing this album for the first time, and I was blown away by it. This album really mixes the “rock flair” with electronica so well. It’s often been copied and duplicated but it will never be matched. With a band like The Prodigy, once you release a game changing album like The Fat Of The Land, where do you go from there? After the release and touring cycle, the band took a five year break and returned with new music that was quite underwhelming as well as their subsequent albums. Their last album 2015’s The Day Is My Enemy, had some tracks on it that has some of the same passion as The Fat Of The Land, hopefully fueling some inspiration for the group to return with some great new music. 

 

The Fat Of The Land:

 

Smack My Bitch Up:


Breathe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must Own Albums: INXS- Kick

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I remember being 4 years old, watching MTV and seeing the video for “Need You Tonight.” My first thought was I have to have a jacket like the one Michael Hutchence had. Second was this song is great and I need to hear more. So like any good parent would do, mine took me to go get INXS Kick. I was hooked. The album and band was one of my favorites growing up. I can still remember all the videos that aired. Of course I was young and was very focused just on those songs, but as I got older and really listened to the album, I realized how good it truly was. Besides “Devil Inside,” “Need You Tonight,” “New Sensation,” “Never Tear Us Apart,” songs like “Mystify,” “Kick,” “Wild Life” and “Tiny Daggers” are exceptional songs that help to make this album a classic.  Michael Hutchence had a voice that was raspy and filled with sensuality that radiated all over the songs. He had a style all his own making him one of the most enigmatic frontmen of the time. Interestingly enough this album was almost not released. When the band turned it into their record company, they hated it. So much so that they offered the band a million dollars to go back and come up with something else. Another point of interest about Kick, is that it was produced by Chris Thomas. Thomas was the guy behind the boards for the Sex Pistols album Never Mind The Bullocks.

INXS’s Kick is one of those timeless albums that stretches beyond just the 80’s. The legacy of the band continues on long after Michael’s death in 1997. They even tried a resurgence in the 2000’s with the TV show contest Rock Star: INXS. Michael Hutchence is one of those frontmen that is just irreplaceable. The band themselves have a tremendous catalog that they can be proud of. Kick is the highlight sure, but there are some other greats out there from them that deserve the attention.

 

INXS- KICK:

Amazing Must Own Albums: With Our Arms To The Sun- A Far Away Wonder

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When I first heard With Our Arms To The Sun, I was completely taken aback. The way this band captivated me was astounding. The gents in this band have such passion and skill it bleeds all over this masterful piece of music. There is a true artistic approach to what With Our Arms To The Sun create. They make music for all the right reasons. i’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live and I can tell you their live shows are one hell of an experience. Their album A Far Away Wonder was released last year, and has not left my rotation of albums I listen to. From the start of the album the songs build and explode with great prowess and intensity. There are elements of prog rock, metal, psychedelia and lots of melody throughout the album. Interspersed through the mainly instrumental album are bits of vocals, that add another dimension to the already impressiveness of the record. Every song on this album is in the right order is meant to be there. There is not one ounce of filler on it. Recently, With Our Arms signed to Fade To Silence records and are gearing up to re-release the album as well as preparing for multiple shows including a halloween show with Tool. With Our Arms To The Sun are a transcendent bright spot in a world that is lacking honesty and realism. Do yourself a favor and listen to this and buy it. You won’t be disappointed!!!

With Our Arms To The Sun- A Far Away Wonder:

http://www.withourarmstothesun.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WithOurArmsToTheSun