Archive for September, 2011

Blink-182 / Neighborhoods

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000009UTC 12 by marky7235

Neighborhoods

Blink-182 is an American rock band consisting of vocalist and bass guitarist Mark Hoppus, vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Travis Barker. They have sold over 27 million albums worldwide since forming in Poway, California in 1992. With original drummer Scott Raynor they released their debut album Cheshire Cat in 1994 and achieved moderate success with its follow-up, 1997’s Dude Ranch, which went on to sell over one million copies. Raynor was replaced by Barker midway through a 1998 tour.

The band achieved greater success with 1999’s multi-platinum selling Enema of the State, which reached number 9 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the singles “What’s My Age Again” and “All the Small Things“, the latter of which became the highest-charting song of their career by reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blink-182 gained popularity for their irreverent sense of humor, and the follow-up album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) reached number 1 in the United States, Canada, and Germany. The eponymously-titled Blink-182 followed in 2003 and was a stylistic shift for the group, infusing experimental elements into their usual pop punk formula which resulted in a more mature sound.

DeLonge left Blink-182 in early 2005, sending the band into indefinite hiatus. He went on to form Angels & Airwaves while Hoppus and Barker formed +44. Hoppus also pursued a career as a television host while Barker continued working in music as a producer and solo artist. Blink-182 reunited in February 2009 and their sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, was released on September 27, 2011.

The Analysis:

Ghosts On The Dance Floor—-With an intro that reminds you of early Blink, the tide turns suddenly and becomes a much more AWA flavored romp through post-punk fun. The sound of the band has changed…but to my delight, but much to the disdain of die-hard fans. This reminds me so much of AWA but the added backdrop vocals and the frantic drums from Barker keep it all legit. The chorus on this track is huge and addictive…this is just magical for me.

Natives—-With a much more upbeat tempo that hearkens back to the mid 90’s, this is really nice. Trading vocal duties, it is amazing how much different the band sounds and the energy it produces when Hoppus in charge of the vocal. The drums are incredible….as always and the noise generated by the band is sublime, all the while still holding on to the direction Hoppus took when he left the band.

Up All Night—-Churning out incredible energy from the very first chord, the song suddenly takes a more mellow turn, but manages to keep a focus on energy and mayhem also. This is perhaps a favorite of mine….I love when you get that huge overblown AWA sound with Barker pounding the hell out of the drums in the backdrop. The sound has huge effects and the atmosphere is thick as hell….I fucking love this CD…many will hate it!!!

After Midnight—-This is another of those tracks that magically and successfully mixes the old with the new. The saving grace for this entire release as far as old fans go is Travis. If you love Angels the way I do, this will be in your ear for many months to come…iof you are looking for old school Blink…you will be sad and confused.

Snake Charmer—-From the onset, this is flooded with great atmosphere and a Cure inspired bass line that lets me know this is right where I want it to be. the static and energy is fully intact….all the while, Barker is lost in his own groove. The vocal enters and this is straight AWA…but the energy is all Blink….the best of both worlds come together to put a smile on my face that will last for an eternity. This is remarkable!!!!

Hearts All Gone Interlude—-This 2 minute interlude is moody and circumspect. A nice piece of music, it makes you wonder where the whole thing is going as it slowly merges into…..

Hearts All Gone—-Full of high throttle energetic music, this is what all of the die hards have been waiting for. This is so high-powered and energetic, you wonder how the hell these people have come back together to form this very different record. This is frantic and hight powered old school energy. I love this…the magical thing is how well it all works against and with each other.

Wishing Well—-This is another of those songs that reminds you of the early days but later in the band’s career. this would have fit perfectly on the last proper release from this band before the split. This is very much in the same vein….and can I ever say enough about the wonders of Barker and his pummeling….no, probably not!!!

Kaleidoscope—-OMG…..this is fantastic……Imagine AWA with Hoppus as the lead singer and in comes DeLonge to add his whine…..this is almost brilliant. the lyrics are poignant and meaningful and the tempo is led by the cymbal crashes and cow bells from Barker. Jeez……I am so in love with this CD!!!!

This Is Home—-This is another of those phenomenal tracks that seems to meld the best of the two separate bands into one huge sound. This track has a nice energy, but the vocal is pure AWA. All the while Barker reminds anyone listening who is in charge…despite the added keyboards and atmosphere. This is just incredible…as my dude Sean says….jizztastic!!!!

MH 4.18.2011—-Plain out-and-out high energy post-punk rock!!! This is a lot of fun and nice to hear….this is remarkably placed…breaking up the record rather nicely. This is energetic and full of that almost surf sound…how nice to know the old grown up boys can still find a common place to play together and produce a rather eclectic record. Fantastic!!!!

Love Is Dangerous—-Delivering a bit of a deeper sound, this is still classic. The amazing double vocals and harmonies makes this almost addictive from the very first listen. i could not ask more for a return release. this is def in the AWA vein, but still manages to hold on to a bit of cred at the same time…I love this CD….now one of my favorite Blink releases!!!!

Fighting The Gravity—-Probably one of the most surprising tracks on this release, the entire band seems to try to fall into the AWA vibe and it ends up rather than stellar. If there is a least favorite track on this CD, this would be it. The bass is incredible, but the muted sound and the quasi-pychedelia is really odd for me…..not really a winner…but I’m not ruling out that it will grow on me…..

Even If She Falls—-Ending this release in high energy mode, the song seems to level off just to allow for the AWA vocal……thanks you!!!! I love this CD….this is an amazing adventure that i will have the privilege of re-living a million times more for the next forever!!!! Thanks boys…even if there is nothing else…this is just incredible!!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

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Wolves In The Throne Room / Celestial Lineage

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 140000009UTC 12 by marky7235

Celestial Lineage

Wolves in the Throne Room is a black metal band based in Olympia, Washington.

Their sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal, doom metal, dark ambient, crust punk, and folk music. WITTR has often cited American post-metal band Neurosis as a key inspiration because their music “operates on a deep and intense mythic level.”[1] They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.[2] According to the band, one of the founding concepts of WITTR is to channel the “energies” of the Pacific Northwest’s landscape into musical form.[3]

The band’s lyrics focus on themes of Apocalypse, transformation and modern society’s lost connection with the natural world.

The Analysis:

Thuja Magus Imperion—-Opening the release with an epic 12 minute track, the band sets the tone and leaves you anxious for the onslaught that you know is about to occur. by using ambient sounds and gentle female chanting, the anticipation level only becomes more anxiety producing. This is wonderfully beautiful at the onset…causing me a momentary panic that i had been presented with the wrong CD!!!! Come the 3 minute mark, the sound of the band begins to slowly emerge and you know that you are in the right place. the deep tone and the intense delivery continues to grow and grow as the seconds pass and you are once again firmly planted in what is possibly one of the best Scandinavian sounding American bands to ever emerge. This reminds me of classic Emperor so much….but all the while still maintaing a magic melodic sound that was missing from much of the music from the afore-mentioned band. This is brutal, melodic, orchestrated…dark as hell and just plain masterful!!!

Permanent Changes In Consciousness—-This short interlude only serves to keep you off-balance and allow you respite from the heavy darkness of this bands music…the chants are magnificent…the slight crackle and pop in the backdrop is like listening to an old favorite record. This is brilliant…the mood changes are just enough to cause you a pleasant nausea!

Subterranean Initiation—-With no introduction, the onslaught occurs from the very first note of this song…leaving you breathing heavily by the end of the first minute of this 7 minute track. The vocal is incredible…full of puke and regurgitation, anger and vehemence. this is noisy, heavily layered and delivered with a slight underproduced sound that makes me smile. this is just as the dr. ordered….go and have some fun…this is a freakin’ vacation!!!!

Rainbow Illness—-Another slight interlude designed to keep you off-balance and give you a moment to breath, this only builds up your stamina for the next three epic tracks that will leave you breathless and orgasmic. This is largely composed of ambient sounds and layered textures…but still brilliant!

Woodland Cathedral—-Beginning rather sedate, you can feel the underlying edge to the track despite it though. This is magical stuff…..I find it almost impossible to believe that this band is born and bred in the US of A……Wow!!! The gentle effects that run through the backdrop of the song only sets the tone for the rest of the release. The female enchantress returns and allows you to relax….almost settling yourself in to a gentle Enya style track…but have no fear…the true mayhem is not far from what we have come to expect…this is just designed to whet your buds….you thirsty yet?

Astral Blood—-Returning to the more familiar dark aggression, the surprising thing for me on this track is how much more in front of the mix the drums are…nice! This still sounds so Scandinavian….almost like the production is MEANT to sound subpar…to remind us of the glory days of the past Black Metal giants. The vocal is demonic and angry….driven and full of vitriol. This is just brilliant. The track…at almost 11 minutes is full of various movements, moods and effects…but comes together like a masterful Mashed Potato and Gravy dish. This is filling…but still leaves you wanting more…fantastic!!!!

Prayer Of Transformation—-Rounding out the release with yet another epic track……zeroing in at 11 minutes long, this band has no problem with jamming and presenting many diffeent moods all in one song. theffedback and reverb on this song are incredible…giving the entire thing an even darker feeling than anything else thus far heard on this particular release. This is huge, epic and full of a Sabbath like doom that takes you from where you are and lands you in the cold and dark areas of Europe you wish you could be….all of this from a Washington State based band. This is just incredible….I love the darkness, the aggression that comes out of nowhere and the vocal that sounds like it was ripped from the throat of others. Can’t wait to hear more from this band!!!!

**** out of 5

Red Hot Chili Peppers / I’m With You

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 110000009UTC 12 by marky7235

I'm With You

I’m with You is the tenth studio album by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The album was released by Warner Bros. Records on August 26, 2011 in several countries[1] and on August 29 in the US, a day earlier than originally planned.[2][3][4] The album made its debut at number one in seventeen different countries including the United Kingdom while reaching number two in the United States and Canada.

Produced by Rick Rubin, it is the band’s first studio album to feature guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, following the departure of John Frusciante in 2009, and is their first since Stadium Arcadium in 2006, marking the longest gap, to date, between Red Hot Chili Peppers’ studio albums. The album’s first single, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” was released to radio on July 15, 2011, three days earlier than expected due to the single leaking.[5]

Regarding the album, vocalist Anthony Kiedis noted, “there is no question – this is a beginning,” with drummer Chad Smith stating, “this is a new band. Same name, but it’s a new band.”[6]

The band’s official site held a global listening party on August 22, 2011 where they streamed the entire album. Various radio stations throughout the world began playing tracks on the same date leading up to the album’s release.[7] The full album was also made available to stream for free on the iTunes Store.

The Analysis:

Monarchy Of Roses—-When this first track begins with a bit of feedback and noise, you settle yourself for yet another typical Chili Peppers release. Once the vocal hits, you are at once noting that this sounds different…fresh and updated…modern and new…with the trademark basslines in tact, even the vocal from Anthony…..generally predictable seems to be a bit subdued and filled with remarkable emotion….this is one of my favorite tracks on this release and a FANTASTIC way to start out the CD!!!!

Factory Of Faith—-Beginning with that remarkable Flea bass line, this has that rather familiar Peppers funk groove…..but it never takes you back in time…rather instead propels you forward into the future. Keidis delivers line after line that is comprehensible and offers up even a bit of rather pleasant singing rather than the shouting he has become known for as of late. This has some nice sonic leads, the drums are phenomenal and Flea has never sounded better. This is…the best the Peppers have managed in over 10 years!

Brendan’s Death Song—-Heartfelt and somber, yet remarkable poignant and touching. This is perhaps the best ‘ballad’ the Peppers have ever managed in their very long career. The guitar is gentle and pushed to the back, while Anthony has a vocal pushed to the front but delivered with an incredible emotion and realness. this is another favorite for me….when this band states a ‘new beginning’, they are not joking. This is perhaps one of the best tracks this band has ever produced!!!!

Ethiopia—-Again, the intro to the track offers up the magic of flea and his bass line that in undeniable. Anthony enters with a vocal that hearkens back to the older days of the band, yet somehow sounds remarkably fresh and new.  There are nice overlays or added vocals that make the song sound so much larger than it already does. Keidis actually sings more on this record than I have heard in a long time….and underneath all of the sounds on this track is a remarkable throwback to the 80’s that makes me smile!

Annie Wants A Baby—-This is so laid back and relaxed from the onset that you actually feel yourself falling in the groove that Flea produces. This is magic….Anthony again delivers a vocal that instead of being over the top is more subdued and acceptable…making it easier and easier to listen to this CD 10 or 12 times in a row. This is a remarkable step in evolution for the band…..I love this CD!!!!

Look Around—-Returning to full on Metal/Funk that the Peppers are known for, Anthony enters with his rap styled vocal that is almost welcome at this point in the release. This is ELECTRIFYING!!!! This is not generic stuff, but this is instead classic Peppers funk…..the guitars are magnificent…the percussion is so important and the lines come at you rapid fast……I love this…another really favorite track of mine…..even Anthony seems to feel comfortable with the subdued but genuine nature the song is delivered in.

The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie—-Funny how the lead off single to the release is the only track I can’t stand…..they should have taken a chance and released something else. I don’t care for this at all!!!!

Did I Let You Know—-Really nice that this track starts with drums rather than a familiar and predictable bass line…..the sound is remarkable. there is a nice layered sound to this song…the instruments run underneath the vocal but are still incredible important. Anthony sounds in such good voice and the addition of some back drop female singers gives the song an even more soulful sound…..congrats Rick Rubin…you are a master. And the Trumpet…..WOW!!!!

Goodbye Hooray—-From the onset, this is an all out assault of funk and noise. Remarkable for this band because they magically keep everything organized and intact during the delivery. The backdrop vocals add so much to the song…making it sound so large and more filled out. I absolute love this CD…for me there is only one bad track on the entire damn thing….a HUGE accomplishment as far as I’m concerned….and at this point in the release, Anthony has not gotten on my nerves…WOW!!!!

Happiness Loves Company—-Introduced by piano!!!! Well….it only gets better from there. Even the rapid fire vocal from Anthony can’t deter the fun that this song manages to produce as it evolves. this is just pure fun…there is a huge bass line…galloping drums and a laid back sunny feel to the song that belies the title. This is extraordinary….I love this!

Police Station—-Coming out at you slowly and evolving like a classic Maiden track or something, the song seems to grow and grow as it progresses. Anthony enters with his vocal and it is so laid back and lazy that I smile without even wanting to. This is bright, dark, breezy and stale all at the same time. I am in love with this band like I was 20 years ago…it is nice to know my heroes still exist and are alive and well!!!!

Even You Brutus?—-Taking a bit to get started, this is well worth the wait. Keidis delivers lines that are almost impersonating Eminem…..this is lively, funky and filled with the hopping fun that fits well with the back catalog of many of the bands past songs. this is fueled by a keyboard that is right in the front of the mix…and lots of sounds that are added into the mix…this is fantastic!!! I love this CD…..oh, did I say that already?

Meet Me At The Corner—-Returning to the trademark bass intro from Flea, the vocal is almost immediate and is a bit subdued and real as fuck!. The backdrop vocals are still here and add so much to the mix of the song…the percission with the trademark cowbell is really nice as is the lead guitar fixation on squeaky interludes. This is just a classic Peppers track…..I could never ask for more from this band…except to ask for more…hoping we don’t have to wait 5 years for another dose!

Dance, Dance, Dance—-Ending this STELLAR FREAKIN’ RELEASE, this track is a bit more subdued than I expected, but none the less leaves me with a huge thirst in my throat for something even more from this new life band that has surprised me after all of these years…..looking forward to the future of the Peppers…..this is a whole new beginning.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

FleshGod Apocalypse / Agony

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 90000009UTC 12 by marky7235

Agony

Fleshgod Apocalypse was formed during 2007 and recorded their first demo the same year. The demo was re-released the following year on a split CD with fellow Italian bands Septycal Gorge, Modus Delicti, and Onirik. Fleshgod Apocalypse then signed to Neurotic Records. In early 2008 the band toured Europe, supporting bands like Behemoth, Origin, Dying Fetus, Hate Eternal, Suffocation, Napalm Death and many more.

In May 2008, the band recorded its first full-length album, Oracles. In December of that year the band decided to part ways with Neurotic Records and signed with Willowtip Records, who released Oracles in 2009.

Shortly after the release of Oracles in 2009, the band had a lineup change, with a new member, Tommasso Ricardi taking over vocals and rhythm guitar, which were previously handled by Francesco Paoli, as Paoli took over the drums at this time.

In 2010, Fleshgod Apocalypse released a new EP entitled Mafia. It includes four new tracks and a cover of the track “Blinded by Fear” by At the Gates.

Until 2010, current Fleshgod Apocalypse drummer Francesco Paoli was simultaneously in his former band Hour of Penance doing vocals, as well as drumming in Fleshgod Apocalypse. Also in 2010, another new member, Francesco Ferrini, was added to the band to play keyboards. Ferrini had previously played session keyboards on Oracles and Mafia.

In May 2011, the band signed a worldwide deal with German record label Nuclear Blast Records.[1] The band has set the release date for their forthcoming second album, entitled Agony, as August 9, 2011.[2] The iTunes version of Agony also includes a cover of the track Heartwork by Carcass.

Fleshgod Apocalypse is part of the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour in North America alongside co-headliners Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder. The band is set to go on tour in the US with Polish band Decapitated in late 2011.

The Analysis:

Temptation—-With typical ‘technical’ flair, the band opens this release with a mysterious and dark musical intro that seems to set the tone for the onslaught that will occur over the next nine songs…..the intro…a bit drawn out, is intense and full of build-up none the less……leading into……

The Hypocrisy—-Once the said onslaught occurs, there is no stopping the barrage of sound that comes through your headphones. the drums are as good as anything that Borgir has ever produced! The sound of the band is huge…with my only complaint being the inability of the vocal…but the intent is clear. there are some fantastic clean vocals mixed through the song and a few female or really high male vocals that makes this one of my new very favorite bands….go Italy!!!!

The Imposition—-The musical delivery on this release is so intense and grand…..the high spikes from the keyboards are magnificent!!! The vocal is as dark as it can possibly get and the drums are absolute in layered noise and speed. this is like a walk in mayhem that somehow leaves my eardrums full of blood and a joker like smile on my face…..BRILLIANT!!!!

The Deceit—-Relentless in delivery, the drum assault on this CD never lets up for a single moment….impressivly enough, nor does the underlying melody of the whole damn thing. I really love this…calling it my newest favorite band in this genre at the moment. This has such promise…the overlays on the vocals are incredible…the higher pitched voice makes this record complete. This is practised and delivered with integrity…I am truly in love…again…..

The Violation—-From the onset, this track again has a huge sense of melody despite the chaos that runs underneath the entire damn thing. The vocal enters and you are transported to a cold and desolate place…ummmm…..not Italy!!!! The drums are just incredible and remain the star of the band…with the keys being second in command. this is stellar…the clean vocal gives me a massive erection….placed perfectly in the placement of the song and seemingly higher with the intensity of each song….this is incredible!!!!

The Egoism—-Another of those massive 6+ minute tracks, this is layered in both noise and huge orchestration. The chord changes are so practised, it is almost hard to believe that this band has not been around for 10 years. I wish the vocal was a little less intense, but none the less, the clean vocals save every song from becoming just like everyone else. this is a huge almost operatic piece of music…the drums seem cleaner and clearer and the keys provide a backdrop that set the mood for the entire composition. this is stellar stuff…don’t miss this band if you can help it!

The Betrayal—-Maniacal from the onset, this is layered with huge sounds upon huge sounds! The keyboards are an intricate part of this song and this band…right next to the drums which are almost superhuman. The vocal is again, a bit to deep and barked…almost impossible to understand…but the energy is contagious and will keep me charged for days. This is incredible….when all of the instruments are in synch and playing at once, the band literally produces that ‘wall of sound’ that you hear so much about. the bass guitar is ignored but noticed by me…it would not be the same band without it. I love this shit…..a pure barrage of garbage that sits in my living room with no smell at all……I am in love!!!!

The Forsaking—-Built on riffs from the previous track, it is almost impossible to tell when one song becomes the other…until the break occurs. The vocal that happens at the beginning of the song is much more to my lkiking…..less deep and more menancing…somewhat distorted and delivered in the back of the mix rather than in your forehead. this is a much more technical track…the music is the star of the show and allows the band to really shine…..this is stellar!!!!

The Oppression—-Returning to full on throttle Death, this is a track that i keep playing over and over and over. the energy is incredible…the chord changes happen on the turn of a dime. the drums are pounding my cerebellum like a hammer and the blood courses through my temples at an alarming rate. this is fantastic. The clean vocals ride in the back of the song and takes it from incredible to magnificent. This is just beyond words for me!!!!

Agony—-Ending the release in a ver surprising way, the beginning of this track is stark and almost borders on beautiful…leaving me even more impressed than I was to begin with. the piano that introduces this song is of orchestrated magnificence…they have a hell of a keyboard player with this one…you guys better keep this guy!!! This is just incredible…showing talent, diversity and a bit of indulgence…..but a great cornerpiece to introduce the band with. This is pure magic…….

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

The Decemberists / The King Is Dead

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 90000009UTC 12 by marky7235

The King Is Dead

The Decemberists are an indie folk rock band from Portland, Oregon, United States, fronted by singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. The other members of the band are Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (hammond organ, accordion, melodica, piano, keyboards, harmonica), Nate Query (bass guitar, string bass), and John Moen (drums, backing vocals, melodica, guitar).

The band’s debut EP, 5 Songs, was self-released in 2001. Their sixth full-length album, The King Is Dead, was released on 14 January 2011, by Capitol Records. It was the band’s third record with the label.

In addition to their lyrics, which often focus on historical incidents and/or folklore, The Decemberists are also well known for their eclectic live shows. Audience participation is often a part of each performance, typically during encores. The band stages whimsical reenactments of sea battles and other centuries-old events, typically of regional interest, or acts out songs with members of the crowd. During their European tour in the winter of 2010, the band performed “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” at the conclusion of each date. The audience was encouraged to scream as if they were being consumed by a whale mentioned in the track’s narrative while the band pretended to die on stage.

The Analysis:

Don’t Carry It All—-If you have followed this band at all, the first thing you notice upon first listen is the remarkable difference between this release and The Crane Wife. The entire release has a remarkable Alt-Country sound that makes my heart warm and puts a smile on my face. The harmonica and the slight drawl on this track makes it damn near perfect…underneath there is an urgency to the music that assures you to whom you are listening to….fantastic!!!

Calamity Song—-Bringing to mind a perfect blend of REM and Springsteen all at the same time, the vocal enters and once again I smile like a fool. This has a nice underlying sadness that never overwhelms…settling lightly on the quick tempo of the drums and the back up bass sounds. The vocal is just fantastic…the two vocals come together to create a virtual landscape of beauty…I really love this CD!!!

Rise To Me—-More Country heavy guitar opens this track and allows a dust to settle on your shoulders. The vocal is high and lonely….removed from the song…as it is pushed to the very front. the two voices again come together to harmonize better than Petty and Nicks and the slide guitar leaves you a bit weepy. Wow…what a difference over the previous release….I really like this new direction!

Rox In The Box—-A bit more bombastic in sound, this track still leans heavily on the Alt-Country sound that has made this release a masterpiece. This is a grand old story song…that is full of fiddle and harmonica and steel guitar…where this inspiration came from is a mystery, but the end result is fantastic. How this will all congeal with the back catalog is another thing…but it should make for a pretty interesting show!!!

January Hymn—-Stark and beautiful from the first few notes, the vocal is very upfront in the mix, while the quiet acoustic guitar never becomes to much more than a whisper. Reminding me of a perfect Paul Simon song, the lyrics are heavy with vivid words that are like a huge beautiful piece of artwork. Perhaps my favorite track on this release…haunting and beautiful!!!

Down By The Water—-Loud drums and a raucous harmonica open this track……the ‘noise’ settles a bit to allow for the joined vocal that again carries a heavy down home appeal. This is fantastic…the only thing missing from this track is that familiar Nashville drawl….this is great!!!

All Arise—-Wow….enter the traditional fiddle and the foot stomping country sound that has made many a band huge!!! This is so different that you can’t help but love this. I admire the willingness of the band to do something so vastly different after the really heavy feel of the last release. This is simply fantastic…a stab in the dark that magically found a bullseye!!!!

June Hymn—-Again, opening with harmonica and a gentle Simon & Garfunkel style folk guitar sound, the song is stark yet amazingly beautiful. When the male and female vocals entwine, the sound that is produced is almost a thing of heaven. This is damn near perfect…another of those songs that for the moment…..I can’t possibly live without.

This Is Why We Fight—-Louder and more raucous than almost anything else on this release, the drums are in the very front of the mix…but magically never overpowers the remarkably clear vocal. This is heavy, lyrical wise, but rather catchy musically. The vocal at times almost makes me think of Placebo!!!! The tone is pretty much perfect….this is classic stuff…a nice throwback to 90’s Alternative with a nod to the new century!

Dear Avery—-Ending the release much as it started, the entire thing has left an exquisite taste in my mouth. This is stark, beautiful and heavy with words that you always wished you could say but were never able to formulate in your own brain. The beauty and the sincerity is everywhere…leavin me with a tear on my cheek…wishing i had this release a long time ago….experession is expression…yours or others!!!!

****3/4 out of 5