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!
Music has a way of bringing people together from all regions. When you take certain elements of a band and mix them with other people and their styles, often times the end result is something that sounds exciting and intriguing. Which brings me to the band of the week, Faint On Call. This band was born during the pandemic with an emphasis of combining all the things each member loves about music. Their sound has elements of 90’s alternative rock mixed with bits of shoegaze, melodic hard rock and hooks that will stay with you. The founding members, Tobias Hawkins (ex Counting Crows/Laundry), Cristian Hernandez (ex Onesidezero) and Arthur McConnell challenged each other’s songwriting abilities in a daily trudge through music apps and emails during 12 months over 2020 and 2021. Not only did they share their ideas through sharing files they did this while in different countries particuarly the US and Mexico. When the time came to put it all together, the band recruited producer Sylvia Massey (Tool, System Of A Down) to helm their debut album. The end result is a sonic excursion that exudes passion and optimism. Faint On Call is a band that is on the right path to awaken listeners to the world around them.
The art of the album has been lost in recent years. Everyone seems so focused on the “single” that the lost art of making an actual album has sort of gone by the wayside. That’s not the case for the band and album I’m about to talk about. You’ve heard me talk a lot about Centershift in the past year and rightfully so. This band is making strides to not only become one of your favorites but, also took the time to really make an album that from start to finish you feel it all. Every ounce of emotion poured into one fantastical ride through the trials and tribulations of life and this is only their first full length album. Centershift’s debut album, A Different Shade Of Color marks a triumphant return of making great albums.
The release of A Different Shade Of Color was put out in parts/EP’s in order to get parts of the story a little at a time and make you wonder where the next part will take you. The first seven songs present a very raw and emotional context to where the story takes you. Starting with “9” the story begins with a revelation of one’s self and the search for a new discovery but, before that can fully happen, the whole story must be told. As “My Own World” starts to take shape, you the listener start to get immersed into what is happening. As the album continues and flows, more of the story comes out as songs like “Dry Well, “Tell Me,” “Couldn’t Tell,” and “Kingdoms” all fit a balance that have a fury to them that while still melodic, brings out a heaviness both lyrically and musically that grabs you and sinks it’s claws in. With those claws sharply dug in, the journey continues with a bit of an epiphany with the song “And So.” This track leads you down another interesting road as the story unwinds a bit and goes through all the phases one might go through when dealing with a volitile situation or grief. The stages you go through during those times come out quite present on songs like “From Where We Are,” “Falling Into,” “Arise,” and the very deep and dark “Everything And Nothing,” The latter being quite the mini epic that will give you chills in a way that you can only feel by listening. Rounding out this chapter is “What If” a song that leaves you with a question while at the same time sets up the final chapter. “After All” kicks off the third act and signals the change and the light starts to shine a bit brighter. While “1014” delivers a bit of a kick to the head of positivity that reminds you to let the past go and enjoy the life and light that has begun. “Here Like Always” is one of those songs that gives you hope but also has a sensitivity to it that shines like the sun finally coming out after a cloudy day. The ending song of the album “Fade Away” brings it all together, recapping the whole journey but instead of falling backwards and back into the dark, the fading away into the light brings that new joy and life that “9” brought about to start the whole album off.
A Different Shade Of Color is an album not just for 2022 it’s one of those albums that is much needed in today’s musical world. The way this album flows and hits you is spine tingling and eye opening. The album provides hope and choices without the sense of giving up. Singer/Guitarist Jasan Radford’s voice is still top notch and the way he delivers the lyrics are astounding. The clarity and enunciation of the words make them stand out when it matters most. Guitarist Ryan Shane Stuber adds so much texture and balance to the songs with his style of playing. And the rhythm section of bassist Ted Wenri and drummer(s) Stefan Storace (and Michael Tarabotto who plays on certain songs) is thunderous and shattering without being too overtaking of the delicate melodies that ring throughout the songs. Also, having Jim Wirt (Incubus, Onesidezero, Fiona Apple) behind the boards and producing this album definitely helped to keep it as real and raw as possible.
I highly recommend this album to anyone and everyone. There are so many different moments and songs on the album that you will love instantly and others that will sneak up on you and hit you like a ton of bricks. One thing is for certain, Centershift made one of the most honest and pure albums of 2022. Over the past weekend as well, Centershift celebrated the release of the album with a Live Stream event. The concert was full of energy and excitement. The way the 4 of them connect on stage and throughout the songs shows that the chemistry between them is in full effect. I personally love the way that you can listen to the songs on the album and feel one way about them, then when you hear these songs live, they take on a new life. If you haven’t seen Centershift yet, that’s something else I strongly suggest you do! Cheers to Centershift on one hell of an album. One that not only they can stand tall and be proud of but, for those of us that long for an actual album that start to finish connects!
A few new tunes have come out this week that deserve your attention. No need to worry, I got you covered with all the goods. Let me know what you are digging and not. On tap we’ve got new jams from Faint On Call, Powder Pink & Sweet, L.S. Dunes (members of Coheed, My Chemical Romance, Saosin, & Thursday), Gojira, Black Map, and GWAR featuring Lzzy Hale.
Centershift is on a roll since they came on to the scene. Their first EP, A Different Shade, was the perfect introduction of the band. Now on their second EP, they are showing that the evolution of a band doesn’t have to wait that long as their new EP, Of…, takes everything to a whole new level. Their style and sound truly does stand out amongst all the things you would normally hear these days. It harks back to a time when songwriting, musicianship, and being real meant something.
The EP kicks off where the first one left off, continuing the story. The soaring melodies, driving rhythms and introspective lyrics on Of… will hit the listener like a tidal wave. Opening the EP with “And So” which features Tallulah of the band Grumpy Plum, gives a bit more insight into the thematic elements found throughout the songs. “From Where We Are” is a stellar track that features some truly deep/profound lyrical moments that will get in your head and have you singing along. “Falling Into” has this melodic charm to it that brings a bit of a groove element to the bands style. “Arise” is my favorite song on this EP. This one packs quite the punch both lyrically and musically. Not because it’s a “heavy” song, it is a “heavy” song in the content but, more so in the way there is a bit of tension in this one that pulls towards both the light and the dark. “Everything and Nothing” is a mini epic al on its own. You have to listen to it to fully get why I say that. Ending this EP with “What If”definitely leaves the listener with a question to hold on to until the final chapter unfold.
Centershift has released an EP that not only stands out, it also shows that in this day and age that rock music is alive and well. One thing I really have to compliment is the way the record sounds. They went out of their way to work with someone (Jim Wirt) who could not only bring the best out of each member performance wise but also someone who understands how to capture the right sounds and put it all together to make a sonically rocking piece of art. And rock it does! This is only part 2 of 3 for Centershift and I hope you are along for the ride.
There comes a time in every bands career where they find their stride and sound. Thankfully with Centershift, we didn’t have to wait too long for that moment to come. Their first EP, A Different Shade was an introduction to the band and their first offering to the musical world to get things started. This new single “From Where We Are” from their upcoming second EP, is the sound of a band that has grown by leaps and bounds in a short time but, has also dialed in on something that resonates not only on a listener level but on a different musical level all together. The soaring melodies, driving rhythms and deep/profound lyrics on “From Where We Are” make this beyond a stand out track. The way the imagery of the words hits as the guitars, bass and drums create this swell, makes you feel as though you are in the middle of the wave as it goes over you. Centershift is on to something with their melodic heavy rock and it stands out among all the generic and tackiness that is on the airwaves most of the time. This song and upcoming EP is next level for Centershift. I hope you are along for the ride.
If you are like me and grew up in Southern California, there is a good chance you might have stopped by the legendary Cobalt Cafe at some point to see a show. For those of you that don’t know, The Cobalt Cafe was a little club in the San Fernando Valley and was around for over 20 years. It was an all ages venue and it was a staple in the area not just for bands to get a placeto play but many of your favorites over the years got their start on that stage like Incubus, Hoobastank, Jimmy Eat World, A.F.I., Linkin Park and Avenged Sevenfold to name a few. The Cobalt is back in a whole new way and bringing the fun vibes from back in the day to today!
The 31st Anniversary was a two day event that featured bands from The Cobalt’s past as well as up and coming new bands as well as a couple new bands featuring members that have played at The Cobalt in its heyday. Night one took place at Corbin Bowl and featured the bands Speed Of Light, The Moon Rocks, The Scuba Kids, and Angelo Moore aka Dr. Madd Vibe of Fishbone. Kicking off the night was up and comers Speed Of Light. This three piece band made up of siblings are ferocious and killer. Not only did they get the energy and crowd going, their set reminded me of being back at The Cobalt and discovering a great new band for the first time. Their hard charging punk rock energy definitely set the tone and made everyone in the venue look up and pay attention. Be on the look out for this band! Next up was Dr. Madd Vibe and his saxophone and introspective poetry. Listening to Angelo speak was very interesting. When you consider where the world is at today and you hear the words he was saying, you could definitely take something away from what was said and apply it to society today. Following that was The Scuba Kids. Their infectous ska/punk set was an absolute blast to watch. This was also the bands first show in over 6 years and it’s like they never lost a beat. I will admit I’m not much of a ska guy but, I do love a good ska show as fun as their set was. The Scuba Kids were one of the bands from back in the old school Cobalt days and they really made it a fun step back in time. Closing out the night was The Moon Rocks. Just like Speed Of Light, be on the look out for this band when they are playing shows. Not only do they rock but they absolutely kill! There’s a real sense of urgency and passion in the songs and performances of the three members of The Moon Rocks. They are one of the best bands in the Los Angeles area and it shows! What a great first night to kick things off!
Night two was just as fun if not more than night one. Just like on night one, this night was filled with bands from the past and present of The Cobalt featuring the reunion of Lava Diva, Centershift, Seven 40 Seven, Madam Bombs and Powder Pink and Sweet. The Federal in North Hollywood was on fire as every band that played brought the goods and slayed! First up for the night was dream pop/shoegaze band Powder Pink and Sweet. Their charming set got the night started off tremendously. Their songs have a very awesome 90’s alternative vibe mixed with a bit of an 80’s goth tinge a la Siouxie and The Banshees or The Cure. Next up was the explosive and electric Madam Bombs. These girls absolutely kick ass. Playing as a three piece this evening they took no prisoners and left the audience in awe. Their set was mixed with originals (which are killer) and covers that they have made their own including a cover of The Rolling Stone’s “Paint It Black,” which is now the only way I can listen to that song now. As I mentioned above about Speed Of Light and The Moon Rocks, Madam Bombs need to be on your radar as well!! Following the Madam Bombs is no easy task but, fellow Cobalt alumni Seven 40 Seven brought their rock to the stage and did just that rocked it! If you are looking for a really fun and good time rock band to see, Seven 40 Seven is that band for you. It was a pleasure to watch these guys love what they do on stage and it shows. Next up was a quick set by Dr. Madd Vibe and he delivered an inquisitive set as he set the table for Centershift to take the stage. My homies in Centershift just released their new single and video for their song “My Own World.” Check it out when you get a moment! It’s worth noting that Centershift singer/guitarist Jasan Radford (formerly of Onesidezero/Abloom) is also a Cobalt alum as he was instrumental in starting one of the first open mic nights at The Cobalt. Playing songs from their upcoming debut album, Centershift’s brand of melodic rock mixed with a bit of a post hardcore vibe makes for one hell of a fun set. Closing out the night was Lava Diva. If you don’t know, Lava Diva was a trio from about 1992 to 2002. The band is/was made up of Dawn Frinta on guitar/vocals, Johnny-G (Gianna Sabella) on bass and on drums/percussion was Greg Bernath. It’s been a minute since the three of them have been on stage together and it’s like they never left. Without missing a beat they tore threw their set as though it was back in the bands heyday, complete with the crowd not leaving and demanding one more song at the end.
What a great celebration for The Cobalt Cafe and its legacy. As I mentioned, The Cobalt is back in a whole new way. Instead of having a set venue, Cobalt nights are coming to venues all across Southern California. Every person that attended these shows left with a smile on their face and some new Cobalt memories. Bringing together the new and older generations at shows like this is truly awesome. It’s a bit like passing the torch to the new school in a total good way. Do yourself a favor and check out all the bands that played and make a point to come out to the next Cobalt show (Friday February 4th at Corbin Bowl)!!!
This is very exciting. My homies in Centershift have released their new single “My Own World” and one hell of a great music video to accompany it. In case you don’t know Centershift is made up of Jasan Radford (formerly of Onesidezero/Abloom) on vocals/guitar, Ryan Shane Stuber (formerly of Shuvel) on guitar, Ted Wenri (formerly of Bemus) on bass and Michael Tarabotto (formerly of Onesidezero) on drums. This new single hits you in all the feels. Pulling from their influences and life inspiration, “My Own World” definitely stands out. Speaking about the song singer Jasan Radford said “My Own World is about keeping everything inside not to hurt others, hoping that soon they forgive and soon they will forget.” Now on to the video. What a beautiful and stunning piece of art. The choreography is on another level. The passion put into the aerial performance mixed with the song creates a tension that captivates you more and more as the song continues. Centershift‘s debut album will be out later this year.
It’s always interesting to go see a band you haven’t seen in many many years. The other night I found myself at The Whisky A Go Go to see my good friends in Centershift play on the same night as Hoobastank. I’ll get to all the good stuff in a moment but, before I get too deep into the night, let me just say that this was one hell of a fun night. There was a familiar sense to what was going on this evening. Seeing Hoobastank for the first time in over 20 years was a trip all on its own and then you add the awesome Centershift and the up and coming Kiss The Scientist and you’ve got a recipe for a stellar night.
First up was Centershift. If you haven’t checked them out yet, get on it! Led by former Onesidezero/Abloom frontman Jasan Radford, Centershift not only set the tone for the night but the bar for how each band would have to perform. Playing songs from their upcoming debut album, Centershift hit a nerve with the sold out and packed crowd. Looking around the room you are watching people enthralled by the emotion and magnitude of the songs. The couple songs they’ve released so far “9” and “My Own World” sounded so damn good with the latter being a huge standout. Centershift is one hell of a band and they are super tight too. The combination of Jasan Radford’s vocals along with Ryan Stuber on guitar, Ted Wenri on bass and Michael Tarabotto on drums is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait for more from this band!
Following Centershift wasn’t an easy task but thankfully up and comers Kiss The Scientist were up for the challenge. These youngsters tapped into the energy that Centershift left the crowd with and delivered the goods. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these guys before and they absolutely rock. They’ve got a sound that harks back to the mid 90’s mixed with a bit of indie rock. Not only do they have the charisma but the talent and ability to make people take notice. Take notice of these kids too!
Now the headliner, Hoobastank. This was a special night as they were celebrating 20 years of their debut album and playing said album in full along with some other fan favorites. I’ll admit, it’s been a while like I mentioned above, that I’ve listened to them but, the moment “Crawling In The Dark” started I was transported back 20 years. It was quite fun to hear these songs and see how excited the SOLD OUT crowd was. Watching the band on stage having a blast made the whole thing so much fun. The sing alongs the crowd had going were infectious and you could tell that the band was feeding off it as they played harder and a bit more loose. Ending their set with their song “The Reason” they had almost the entire venue singing along and just when you thought it was over, BOOM… one of the largest amounts of confetti I’ve ever seen in a small venue exploded and made it all festive. Hoobastank recently wrapped up a tour with Everclear and Living Colour and those shows made them quite prepared for this show as they were on fire all night long.
All three bands made this night something special. It mixed the old school with the new and the perfect place for this all to happen. Shows like this one especially in the times we are living in are much needed. Kiss The Scientist is going to go places. Centershift is without a doubt going to resonate with fans and will be a name you’ll know quite soon. Hoobastank for over 20 years now have been going strong and based on this performance, they seem to have the fire reignited! Do yourself a favor and check out these bands. You’ll thank me later!
If you aren’t familiar with Centershift yet, you should really get on that! They’ve already released their first song “9” a couple months ago and now they have sort of leaked another song. This new track “My Own World” is one of my favorite Centershift songs. Having been to the first couple Centershift shows, this song is fast becoming a fan favorite. Every time I hear this song, I feel compelled to want to hear it again. It’s a rocking song with soaring melodies and a chorus that is sure to ignite many sing alongs.