Category Archives: Reviews

The Lost EP Review

Hailing from the Aussie land of Melbourne, Victoria, alternative rock group The Lost are setting the stage for a very bright and successful future with their debut self-titled EP, which is set to be released May 30th. The band is also currently wrapping up a 9-date Australian tour supporting Jonny Craig, along with Kyle Lucas, This Wild Life, Redbeard, and We Disappear. Kicking off the 5-track EP is “Wake Up,” a melodic and rocky song filled with passionate vocals and lyrics. “Weightless” and “Beyond Reach” both exhibit the impressive musical talents of The Lost members with catchy lyrics, technical guitar riffs and drum chords, matched with the string defining vocals of Michael Redding. Slowing things down a bit is “I Won’t Let You Go,” the 3rd track off the EP, displays a tranquil and soothing tune that pairs perfectly with the sincere lyrical subject. Ending the EP is the track “Fate Is Not Enough,” which is the perfect combination of upbeat and calming both musically and lyrically. The Lost definitely have something unique and special brewing and I personally can’t wait to see where their talents will take them.

Be sure to check out and like their Facebook page for updates and don’t forget to check out their debut EP when it drops in 2 weeks. You can also check out the two singles “Wake Up” and “Weightless” on the bands YouTube channel (link below).

-Annette V.

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The Black Sox Scandal “Forward Progress” EP Review

New Jersey locals, The Black Sox Scandal, began their musical adventures back in December 2012 having released their debut acoustic EP three months later in March 2013 titled Nothing Seemed So Perfect, the boys have now recently released their Forward Progress EP this past April and are currently in the studio working on new material for their upcoming EP presumably to be released later this year. The first track off Forward Progress is “Realign,” a little acoustic guitar to start things off but quickly transitions into pop-rock beats accompanied by the powerful but gentle vocals of frontman Tom Smeaton. Continuing their alternative/pop-punk style is the second track entitled “Capsized.” The last track off the EP is “Anchor,” here the band dominates the meaning of being pop-punk. This track solidifies everything you’d expect to hear from a pop-punk band, even a catchy chorus; “you could be my rock, and I’d keep you anchored to the floor, at once I thought I missed you, now I couldn’t need you more.”

You can check out Forward Progress on the bands Bandcamp site (link below), which is available for FREE download, as well as the bands previous EP Nothing Seemed So Perfect. Also, be sure to check out their Facebook page to keep up with the band and the release of a new EP in the works!

-Annette V.

STATIONS “Found My Way” Single Review

Let’s be honest. It’s the tale that’s been told a thousand times before; the romanticized saga of the struggling musician yearning to make it big isn’t a new concept by any means. However, with the right mixture of lyrical craftsmanship, adept instrumentation, and maybe a pinch of luck and faith, a small number of these up and coming artists can be picked up by mainstream radar. STATIONS, a five piece power-pop group, are slowly emerging from the shadows to the center of NYC’s pop-rock music scene. The group has released their debut single, “Found My Way,” which will be featured on an upcoming EP, produced by Tommy Eichmann.

“Found My Way” could  be the sonic parable of the band’s sacrifices and arduous journey to achieve their recent successes. With heartfelt lyrics such as, “I was on the verge of letting go, before you came into my world and gave me hope to hold on to. Now I spend my days in disbelief, knowing you’re the better half of me,” STATIONS takes listeners on the emotion-laden voyage of the starving artist stereotype. The single opens with a light and ethereal intro, showcasing Allie Dobyns’ keyboard skills. It increases in energy and volume, gradually resulting in a crescendo of pop-rock passion, reminiscent of a softer version of the Foo Fighters circa 2005’s “Best of You.” The highlights of “Found My Way” comes through in Eric Sunray’s insanely catchy guitar hooks and Steven Baggs’ soaring vocals. At the height of the song’s anthemic chorus, Baggs’ rich and honest vocals, similar to the Foo’s Dave Grohl, are in full force as he calls out “I found my way through the pouring rain, with the feeling that you gave me. This feeling is what kept me alive, so don’t you let this go.” Carrying the rhythmic support of the group and a good-feeling beat throughout are the spot-on bass lines of Matt Leibowitz and steady drumming from Fabio Amato.

“Found My Way” is an impressive debut from STATIONS. It’s heartfelt and refreshingly honest and optimistic. “If you have a true love and passion for music, creation and performance, every single day you do it will be a good one, no matter the outcome at day’s end,” said Baggs. With such a striking and infectious single, audiences can expect STATIONS’ full EP to contain a bevy of well-written pop-rock arrangements, leaving listeners wanting more.

-Lauren L.

Facebook.com/wearestations

Axis Mundi “Sci-Curious” Review

In the 1970s the world witnessed the birth of hard rock, taking the sounds of 50s rock legends and 60s politically driven folk music and playing them faster, louder, and heavier than ever before. The mid 1980s, welcomed the acid house movement, influenced by the remnants of 70’s psychadelia and Goa trance. Incorporating elements of new beat, drum & bass, and other more aggressive electronic sounds, acid house DJ’s made their way into the warehouse rave scene of the early 1990s, attracting people to the euphoric bedlam of all night dance parties and laser light shows. The 2000s, however, may mark a new musical era of cross pollination and hybridity, fusing rock and electro into something wildly delectable and futuristic.

Leicester band Axis Mundi is delivering this mind-blowing “raverock hyperparty” fusion with their latest, dynamic album Sci-Curious, available June 22. The brainchild of vocalist Shaun Garner, guitarist Gary Frewin, and drummer Matt Frewin, form Axis Mundi and supply an imaginative brand of “nu-electro,” teeming with sizzling electronic hooks and rock melodies. By taking the high-octane rave energy and sounds to rock audiences, Axis Mundi amassed a large following across the UK. Their 2011 debut album Chapel Perilous garnered critical acclaim, with Kerrang! DJ Emily Scott hailing the album as “one of the best samples of new music we’ve heard in ages.”

Sci-Curious doesn’t leave fans disappointed. It’s a stunning 11 track kaleidoscope of science and music, reminiscent of The Chemical Brothers or The Crystal Method supported by the socio-conscious hard rock edge of Enter Shikari. “E-bomb” displays streamline transitions between high drum & bass vigor and honeyed alt-rock smoothness. Garner’s rock vocals and the song’s sci-fi lyrics mesh perfectly with the pulsing and often gloriously chaotic backbeat. Black Sun Empire meets Rage Against the Machine meets Carl Sagan takes sonic form in “Science Junkie.” Axis Mundi slows things down with “Shut Down the Rave,” which showcases Garner’s astounding vocal range and an almost vintage glam-rock vibe. Clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, “The Astounding Fact” is arguably one of the best tracks off the record. It’s evocative of a 12th grade chemistry textbook on steroids and shots of adrenaline, with a synth rock-infused soundtrack that is sure to be a mosh-pit catalyst. “Only Genes Can Judge Me” and “The Gospel According To Science” are auditory missiles of electronic intensity, seemingly bizarre Molotov cocktails of rhythm and passion that somehow converge into something both sonically beautiful and intellectually stimulating.

Sci-Curious manages to impeccably reinvent the sounds of the raging all-night, glow-stick adorned and bass-pounding acid house parties of yesteryear. Intelligent and aggressive, Axis Mundi’s high quality song-writing and instrumentation turned what could have been a failed concept record into something otherworldly and brilliant. For fans of electro-rock, and groups such as Pendulum, Rage Against The Machine, Enter Shikari, Black Sun Empire, or The Prodigy, be sure to check out Axis Mundi’s Sci-Curious, available June 22.

-Lauren L.

Facebook.com/likeaxismundi

With One Last Breath, Violet, Me In A Million Photos & Set Review

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With One Last Breath – London Barfly – May 8th, 2014

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that With One Last Breath recently embarked on an intimate UK tour to promote their debut album The Fearless Ones. The tour kicked off at Satan’s Hollow in Manchester, and visited places like Southampton, Leeds, and Nottingham, before arriving at The Barfly in London for the final date of their UK tour, supported by Me In A Million and Violet. With One Last Breath were originally supposed to be heading to mainland Europe with Hopes Die Last, as a co-headline tour, but due to lack of funds and Hopes Die Last having to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances, that unfortunately didn’t happen, meaning that the Camden Barfly show was the last of the tour, and it certainly went out with a bang.

Me In A Million started off the night, with vocalists Julian Coles and Luke Conrad encouraging the audience to get as close as they could to the stage. The six-piece band from Germany definitely got the crowd going, and set the stage for the rest of the night. Fans of Issues and Woe, Is Me should check out Me In A Million.

Violet were onstage next, formed in 2007, and signed to Small Town Records, this six piece band got the fans riled up and ready to go, even if you’d never heard of Violet, you’d find yourself getting into their music almost as much as someone who’d been a fan from the start. Fans of Miss May I and Shadows Chasing Ghosts would also probably like Violet.

Shortly following Violet, With One Last Breath took to the stage, with a set-list that tore through the Barfly like a bull in a china shop. They kicked off the set with “The Storm,” “Blessed” and “The Fearless Ones,” which had near enough every member of the crowd on their feet and jumping along. Playing a combination of songs from their Wake The Dead EP, and their debut album The Fearless Ones, With One Last Breath played with enough energy to wake the surrounding roads and towns, with Joe Lancaster flipping his bass over between his hands every now and then, and guitarist Al Scott head-banging so hard his face became a mass of hair for the most part, it’s no wonder the crowd were getting so into the entire show, songs such as “After The Suffering” and “Hell We Create” had the fans jumping so hard the floor beneath them literally shook. Towards the end of With One Last Breath’s set, members of the support bands jumped onstage with pints of beer for WOLB to chug, which resulted in an exciting and funny way to end the show, and the UK tour.

With One Last Breath are definitely a band worth checking out if you haven’t already, and certainly one you should go see live when they next play in your hometown. The Fearless Ones, their debut album, is everything fans expected it to be and more, and can be picked up from most good music shops, or online from the bands merch store.

-Isobel R.

Chuck E. Weiss – “Red Beans and Weiss” – Album Review

There aren’t many young people today that consider themselves avid blues fans, but it’s a genre whose deep-seated roots are rich in history. It’s the soulful sound that captured the plight of America’s working poor, influencing much of the popular music young people listen to today. To bring contemporary blues rock back to young audiences, the eminent Chuck E. Weiss just might be the man for the job. The singer, songwriter, best known as the man behind the 1979 Rickie Lee Jones hit “Chuck E.’s In Love,” has been a fixture in the LA music scene for nearly 30 years, playing Chicago-style blues, mixed with elements of jazz, folk, and rock. However, it all started with a fortuitous appearance on drums at a Denver nightclub, where Weiss was discovered by the late, great country blues singer Lightnin’ Hopkins. Hopkins and Weiss worked together for a short time, and by the late 1960’s, Weiss began touring and recording with many of the country’s greatest blues musicians. Sunnyland Slim, Roger Miller, Muddy Waters, and Willie Dixon were among the list of legendary names Weiss found himself performing alongside.

In 1975, after moving from Denver to LA’s infamous Tropicana Motel, Weiss became close friends with the vagrant, folk-blues singer Tom Waits. Surrounded by an abundance of cigarettes, bourbon, and Tropicana’s ghosts of rock legends past, the beatnik hipster and the Denver-bred blues troubadour became inseparable, writing, composing, and performing together. In 1981, Select Records released The Other Side of Town, a series of Weiss’ own demos and other unfinished selections, leading Weiss to put together his own band, the G-d Damn Liars. The group began playing weekly sets at LA’s famous Viper Room, where Weiss and Hollywood heavyweight Johnny Depp became friends and business partners. Since The Other Side of Town, Weiss has release two other albums, 1999’s Extremely Cool and 2006’s 23rd & Stout.

After nearly a decade in the making since 23rd & Stout, Weiss, teamed up with Depp and Waits (both signed-on as executive producers), will finally release his new album Red Beans and Weiss on April 15. The 13-track album is the quintessence of Weiss’ soul-filled poetic blues style, embracing the true spirit of the genre: a synergy of words and music. The album opens with “Tupelo Joe” who “went to the show.” It’s an energized R&B rock n’ roll stomp, sounding like the love child of Howlin’ Wolf and Stevie Ray Vaughn. “Shushie,” said to be inspired by a feral cat Weiss rescued, is all about the buttery smooth saxophone from CC Worall Rubin and Will McGregor’s trance-inducing bass lines. It’s Weiss’ quirky style of beatnik blues poetry, performed at its absolute best. Listeners will surely be snapping their fingers and tapping their toes along with the song’s sultry beat.

Already becoming a fan favorite is “Boston Blackie,” which Weiss and his band recently performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live with a guest appearance from old pal and producer Johnny Depp. The track is wonderfully catchy, and JJ Holiday is mind-blowing on guitar. A little later on comes “Bomb the Tracks,” which has a delightfully organic sound to it, almost like Weiss is improvising a piece of poetry. The song cleverly discusses World War II politics with several memorable lines, including “Churchill was in Brazil and burned his tuchus on a Voltz Wagon grill, drinking token wine with a girl named Bill,” and “Joe Stalin was on the ground drawing futuristic pictures of Huckleberry Hound, Roosevelt was up in Maine doing the bugaloo chicken, about to go insane.” My favorite track off the record, “Exile On Main Street Blues,” seems to sonically transport listeners straight to a rockin’ Chicago blues joint where the piano licks and riffs are utterly slick and flawless. “Hey Pendejo” is a nod to Chicano style blues, while “The Hink-A-Dink” infuses the sounds of the old west.  Red Beans and Weiss comes to an end with the comical “Willy’s in the Pee Pee House,” proving exactly why Chuck E. Weiss is a legendary lyricist in his own right.

While the blues may no longer command as much attention among young listeners as it once did, Chuck E. Weiss’ latest album release, Red Beans and Weiss, perfectly captures the genre’s rhythms and moans, demanding that listeners stop and savor his soulful melodies. The album is a lyrical journey through timeworn honky-tonks and juke joints, World War II railroad tracks, the hidden terrain of a feral cat, and several other vibrant landscapes. Arguably Chuck E. Weiss’ best record to date, Red Beans and Weiss comes out April 15, and it provides nothing short of outstanding R&B blues rock.

-Lauren L.

Emmure – Set Review

Emmure

Set Review- 3/28 @ The Glasshouse, Pomona, CA

A little more than half way through the Mosh Lives Tour was Emmure’s stop at The Glasshouse in Pomona, CA, where I had the opportunity to witness their set in full. If I had to describe their overall performance in one word, the only thing that comes to mind is energy. Emmure definitely brings the party when they hit the stage, as frontman Frankie Palmeri immediately took the stage the crowd erupted in screams and excitement. Throughout the entire set fans are seen jumping up and down screaming the lyrics to their favorites songs while others take it upon themselves to start up a mosh pit every now and then. This could probably be said about every show, but the amount of energy that radiates off the crowd and from the band is what makes a show so exhilarating and just really all around fun. Emmure is no exception to this! They kept the energy going from the moment they took the stage to the moment the last note was played.

For any fan of Emmure, seeing these guys live is a must! With that being said, check out their remaining tour dates on their Facebook page, the band will be touring across the UK and Europe this spring as well as coming back to the states to tour on Mayhem Festival. Also, don’t forget to check out their upcoming album “Eternal Enemies” due out April 15th on Victory Records. The band also just released a new music video for “Like LaMotta,” you can check that out below.

-Annette V.

Facebook.com/emmure

My Chemical Romance – “May Death Never Stop You” Greatest Hits – Album Review

Whether you saw it creeping up on the horizon, or it completely crept up out of nowhere, My Chemical Romances’ end was the shock of the decade.

The New Jersey Alternative rockers had been rocking in various cities and stages for nearly 12 years before the band met its demise in March 2013. Guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way, and frontman Gerard Way had called the bands end on a good note, claiming “like all great things, it has to come to an end,” in their strikingly abrupt blog post on their official site. After four astoundingly different and influential albums, and five two-song EP’s, the highly anticipated (or dreadfully awaited, depends on who you ask) Greatest Hits album rightfully titled May Death Never Stop You finally hit the stands after almost a year after the band’s denouement.

Their growth and development from the years of learning and growing as musicians are sculpted onto this album. Listening to it from beginning to end puts you on an emotional roller coaster that you simply cannot escape from. It starts off with their newest (and last) song, and ends with their legendary Attic Demos that soon went onto their first record. Despite whether you’re still upset over their conclusion a year later, or you have transitioned into the acceptance stage, listening to the Greatest Hits album in its entirety just makes you feel better.

Opening up with “Fake Your Death” right off the bat, it conveys to MCR fans what the band was going through during the duration of the end of their adventure. Gerard Way has claimed this song as a eulogy for the band, and I find that statement very fitting. The sad lyrics, brimmed with such blatant honesty and finality, hits home in any interpretation. The rest of the album entails a colorful look at the past 12 years, from their days of raw-punk in I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love to the synth-rock in Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. They really captured every era of the bands life, putting on hits like “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” “Helena,” “Welcome to the Black Parade,” and “SING.” The thought they put into the album is evident, as the songs that were chosen highlight each era with a stinging nostalgia.

My favorite part of this final chapter finale would have to be the two hours of never before seen DVD music video footage enlisted in the Digital Deluxe Album. Additionally, there is a literal plethora of other ways to celebrate the finale of MCR: a Standard Digital Album (audio), a standard CD (excluding DVD); a Physical Deluxe edition that includes the DVD; an 180-gram vinyl two-LP set with a gatefold sleeve, plus the DVD; and as a DTC package, which includes a “Thank You For The Venom” T-shirt.

-Erin M.

www.mychemicalromance.com

Light The Avenue – If You Really Want To Know – Album Review

Atlanta, GA natives Light The Avenue released their second album titled If You Really Want To Know this past October, full of pop-punk catchiness, rocking vocals, and multiple guest appearances, Light The Avenue continue to be headed in the right direction. Kicking off the album is an intro track titled “Letters” which offers up only a glimpse of the true musical abilities that Light The Avenue are capable of. The next couple of songs, “Tossing Bricks” & “I’m Sorry, Holden Caulfield,” hit the ground running with catchy lyrics while maintaining a signature pop-punk background. “Safe” taps into the heavier side of Light The Avenue by featuring guest vocals from Fronz (Attila) and Max Stringer (Over All). This next track, “I Still Function”, really showcases the musical talents of the band, it starts off slow and soothing but progressively gets louder, but never loses that soothing tone that makes one want to fall asleep (entirely in a good way of course).

Rounding out the album are the tracks “Sutherland (featuring Caleb Carter)” and “Please Forward.” These two tracks are perfect compliments of each other mixing slow passionate vocals with upbeat drumming and steady guitar riffs. To keep up with the band and tour dates head over to their Facebook page and don’t forget to pick up a copy of their album If You Really Want To Know on the bands Bandcamp page. Also, check out their video for “I’m Sorry, Holden Caulfield” below.

For fans of Brand New, Saves The Day, and anyone who has a passion for good music.

-Annette V.

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Comeback Kid – Set Review & Photos

Comeback Kid

Set Review- 3/20 @ Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA

For a small venue like Chain Reaction, one would think that there wouldn’t be much room to really move around, especially if it were a sold out show, as was the show that was about to go down this past Thursday night, but to my amazement, Comeback Kid fans have a way of making things happen. From the second the house lights went out I knew this show was going to be one to remember, as the band took the stage and the music started playing, a wave of enthusiasm and excitement swept over the crowd as frontman Andrew Neufeld screamed out the lyrics to their opening song. Before I knew it, a huge mosh pit had opened up and you could see fans flinging their arms and stomping on the floor, clearly they really dug the music. Throughout the entire set fans were crowd surfing their way to the front of the stage only to turn around and stage dive right back in the crowd.

Waves of passion and energy seemed to radiate off the band and instantly charge up the crowd as the band played song after song never having a dull moment. Playing a good mixture of old and new songs such as “Step Ahead” from their 2003 release Turn It Around to “Wasted Arrows” from their recent 2014 release Die Knowing. The highlight of the night though came as the set was coming to an end, closing out the show was “Wake the Dead” from their 2005 release Wake the Dead, the crowd erupted in screams and fist pumps, everyone took part in reciting the lyrics to this classic song that by the end Neufeld had lost his mic in the crowd but still continued to scream the rest of the song along with the crowd.

Comeback Kid has been around for a long time (since 2000), but they without a doubt still have an incredibly dedicated and loyal fan base. Next time they come through your city be sure to check them out, you won’t be disappointed. The band will be touring throughout the UK and Europe this spring, so those of you who live on that side of the pond be sure to check out their tour dates to see if they’re coming near you. Also, don’t forget to “like” their Facebook page to keep up with the band.

-Annette V.

Facebook.com/Comeback.Kid

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