So I had the interview with Nubody's on Friday and now I have a "technical" interview with them in a couple of days. I have to design and take the manager through a workout. I guess they want to really see if I have to goods to be a personal trainer. I'm not really sure if I want to be, but I needs the moneys right now, so I don't really have a choice. Anyway, off to watch the OC, cheers.
One part INXS + two parts Blink-182 + a quarter of Fall Out Boy = Red Jumpsuit Aparatus. Lonley Road, RJAs second studio album, blends solid guitars, distinguishable vocals, and catchy melodies into a enjoyable pop-punk mochachino, with just a hint of high-school targeted lyrics.
While RJA may have lyrics that are definitely to be taken at face value, Lonely Road as a whole is quite enjoyable. However, it does suffice to say that, in a world where bands like Good Charlotte or Simple Plan become immensely successful, RJA might just get thrown 2 for $10 bin alongside Blink.
G7 Welcoming Committee/Smallman Records
By: Brandon Goulding
Before you go any further reading this review know this, I am not an expert it this partical genre of anarcho-punk. I reviewed this album with an open mind and focused on musicianship and the feel of the album. Now, into the meat and potatoes.
Supporting Caste, Propagandhi’s fifth studio album, is a heavy sounding, upbeat, no-holds-bar album. Charged by politics, religion, and various touchy subjects, Propagandhi stays true to former works by being out-spoken. However, I found reading the lyrics more enjoyable than listening to them. The songs had a very disjunctive feel to them, which made following them difficult.
The album as a whole has a very heavy driving tone to it that, frankly, I did not enjoy. Right off the bat you are hit with a guitar hero reject song, “Night Letters,” which pretty much defines the sound of the rest of the album – loud guitars, aggressive drumming, a screaming vocals. Staying true to being heavy, loud, and aggressive, “This is Your Life” scared the piss out of me when it started playing. However, an album like this is not entirely a bad thing. You know what you’re getting from the get-go, and if you can get past the lack of diversity you might actually enjoy it. It’s like that episode of “How I meet your mother” where Barney makes a mixed CD that is all up, no downs.
Now I don’t want to come off sounding like I despised this album. In fact, there were a couple of gems that my old soul could handle. “The Banger’s Embrace” had good vocals, decent guitar licks and solid lyrics. “Last Will & Testament” provided something different than every other song on the album, good dynamics. A lengthy 3 minute into was perhaps the shining point of Supporting Caste for me. After those three minutes the song reverts to the driving beat and heavy guitars that defined the rest of the album.
While it may not have been my cup of tea, I can see Supporting Caste catering to the taste of many. It does have meaningful lyrics, intense drumming, and a consistent sound. Long time fans will not be disappointed, but those of you that are not heavy guitars and getting scream at might want to stay away.
By Brandon Goulding
What do you get when you mix three guys, a log cabin, and two days in late December? No, not some lame Jackass rip-off. You get a debut album of local band Sonny Tripp, comprised of Ryan Taylor, Dicky Stricklando, and Chris Donnelly. Personally, I had not heard of Sonny Tripp until I was browsing around CD Plus when an employee/friend recommended I'd give this album a listen. Since it was only six bucks I thought, "why not?"
I ended up being pleasantly surprised. With songs largely driven by drummer Dicky Stricklando, along with searing guitar riffs, and a groovy bass, this album is a great find. songs like "I can't imagine and "so long" are reminiscent of old school Collective Soul (back in the days "Shine").
"Police Car" showcases some of the band's best qualities - great drumming, a catch vocal hook, and fine guitar and bass performances that all compliment each other very well. "Low Key Flow" changes things up a little with a slow Deathcab-like song that is immensely mellow.
One downside of the album is the lack of diversity. All the tracks, with the exception of "Low Key Flow" sound very similar. After about five songs, Sonny Tripps sound gets a little monotonous and leaves you looking for a little something different. However, this does not take away from the bands musicianship. Some guitar licks are nothing less than brilliance, the vocals are solid, and the drumming is stellar.
Keep an eye out for these guys. Since forming in 2007, Sonny Tripp has developed a great sound and has great potential for local success. The next time you guys are in CDPlus or Fred's Records why not pick up "Sonny Tripp" and give it a listen for yourself. At only six dollars this is definitely a gem.
Room in the City
By: Brandon Goulding
Ian Fosters second album Room in the City is a breathe of fresh air with creative lyrics, interested use of a variety of instruments, and a guest appearance by the legendary Ron Hynes. Teeming with folk, rock, and blues flavors, this album is brilliantly produced; no wonder it was nominated for a 2008 ECMA.
The songs, and the album as a whole, have great dynamics with Foster’s soft-raspy capturing the listeners attention and his lyrics bringing you through stories of long drives, dark nights, love, and love lost. Beginning with “A Lesson in Geography,” Foster introduces us to his folky side with a playful Jack Johnson like air and a bitchin’ xylophone solo.
Melanie O’Brien adds some sultry vocals to “Sodium” and “Berlin.” -- The former with a great rock feel and the latter having more emotion and great layering of the vocals with the slow guitar and string section.
“Without a Mark” is wonderfully dark with a carnival type sound give me the same feeling I get when listening to Euphoria by Sarah Slean. You’ll have to listen to both to get exactly what I mean, but it’ll be well worth it.
The last three songs of Room in the City return to the folky type sounds that started the album, leaving the electric guitar on it’s stand and adding a strings section to mellow things out a little. Ending the album with “Decisions,” Foster has reverted all the way back to the bare necessities – an acoustic guitar and a phenomenal voice. Co-writer by Ron Hynes, who also lends his voice to the track, “Decisions” is brilliant and thoughtful.
Room in the City is by far one of the best albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. Creative, dark, rocky, and altogether brilliant this record has a little of everything.
By Brandon Goulding
Yeah, they were super cool in the ‘90s, but so were jean jackets and mullets.
Luckily, unlike some other relics of the decade, the Verve is as good today as they were 11 years ago.
Back together after a long hiatus due to “creative struggles” between band members, the Verve has blended solid drumming, funky bass, ghostly guitar licks, and warm vocals into a bittersweet collection of songs in their fourth album, cleverly named Forth.
The album's first single, “Sit And Wonder,” draws you in like a moth to a flame with funky drum beats, great guitar interplay, and the Bono-esque vocals of lead singer Richard Ashcroft.
However, at almost seven minutes long, you may be left sitting and wondering when exactly the song will be over.
“I See Houses,” with its eerie piano and creepy-ass lyrics, is hauntingly captivating and makes you want to put the song on repeat so you can just lie down and listen for hours.
For you blues junkies out there, listen to “Numbness” to hear some stellar guitar playing overlaid with simple vocals and driven by drummer Pete Salisbury’s uphill rhythm.
Dysfunctional as they were and are, the band has strung together a solid senior album. Forth is an eclectic balance of noise and musicianship revolving around a medium tempo that will keep your head bobbing.
Now, let’s just wait for them to break up and get back together again in about three years so we can enjoy yet another decent ‘90s throwback.