Of all the bands that came to prominence in the 1990s, not many were as cantankerous or wilfully stubborn as Northern Ireland three-piece Therapy? Their extant determination and refusal to bend to the various vagaries and winds of fashion was part of the reason why fans took them to their hearts so passionately and may also explain why, nearly three decades later, they have endured. Continue reading
Rock n’ roll has been around for over sixty years, yet has evolved so much in this decade alone that the sub-genres are hard to keep track of. Sure, computers have made it easier for musicians to explore new techniques but not all have been successful at mastering it. Thrice burst out in the scene in the early 2000s when the OC metalcore scene was at its prime. A lot of those bands are still around today sounding the same as no time has ever gone by with different members. Dustin Kensrue, Teppei Teranishi and brother’s Riley and Eddie Breckenridge are celebrating twenty years and their tenth album overall with their first for Epitaph, Palms. The Orange County, Calif. natives have progressed and evolved to an impressive quartet, keeping fans satisfied. Continue reading
Throat’s Bareback (Svart) is the type of album you used to notice getting high marks in magazines like Pitchfork or NME. You know, the types of magazines that you got into for a brief while in college right around the time you started drinking lagers and attempting to smoke cigarettes. You didn’t particularly care for most of the articles, but reading these musical journals sure raised the right flags. You are cultured. You are no longer the rube with the cheap shoes. Continue reading
Nearly twenty years into this twenty first century of ours, and retro is once again the chicest tone in town. Fuzzed, bluesy guitars, seventies licks and threads, and an aching earnestness for a sound of yesteryear is where the coolest of cats are chilling. And down such alleyways we find Belgian quartet Black Mirrors and their impressive full length debut Look Into The Black Mirror (Napalm). Continue reading
Black Orchid Empire’s Yugen (Long Branch/SVT) is a slick new spin on the sounds Heavy Metal people love. The opening song, ‘My Favorite Stranger’ is a headbanging gem, evokes shades of NIN, Tool, and Primal Rock Rebellion. The guitars have a heavy soulful tone to them one moment and a classic rock sound to them the next, all of this is accentuated by clean vocals. The trio is Paul Visser on vocals and guitars, Dave Ferguson on bass and vocals, and Billy Freedom on drums, bringing the thunder.
The Word Alive is no stranger to a changing lineup. In 2016, drummer Luke Holland left the band to pursue other creative projects and last August veteran, Daniel Shapiro left for the same reason. But that didn’t stop the Arizona natives from carrying on. The now threesome has created Violent Noise (Fearless): a 12-track album that proves they are not close to calling it quits.
It has been ten years since The Sound of Madness well and truly smashed Shinedown through the glass ceiling into the higher echelons of mainstream, modern Rock. A perfect storm of energetic heavy, alternative Rock riffing with a distinctive edge and a series of absolutely huge songs, all headed up by a top tier vocalist, Brent Smith, whose earnest lyrics and distinctive delivery helped set the band apart. Amaryllis kept things ticking over, adding more anthems to the live set, as the band headed into Threat To Survival (all Atlantic) on a high, and ready to diversify.
When anyone thinks about Three Days Grace, instantly one thinks of 2003’s ‘I Hate Everything About You’. The song came out in emo’s prime and it fit so well. Ever since releasing their debut self-titled album, the Canadian quartet has stayed true to their three-year interval on releases. Continue reading
Get in your way-back machine and set the dials for 1997. People back then had big 1990s optimism and even bigger pants (JNCOs). James Cameron’s Titanic was dominating the box office, and sadly two iconic women, Mother Teresa and Princess Diana died. Scotland cloned a sheep named Dolly, and the first of the Harry Potter novels was published. And a band from Sacramento, CA put out their second album. Of course, we mean Deftones and Around The Fur (Maverick). Not just any sophomore effort, the album would be a stylistic left turn for the band that was on the forefront of Nu Metal just a few years earlier. A classification the band would come to shun and remove themselves from over future releases. Continue reading
While a career in music, in general, seems to be predicated on a fickle game of risk and reward, for my money no genre has it worse than Hard Rock (Metal, Punk or otherwise). You push too far into a musical extreme and you’re considered a niche product at best. Streamline the sound and introduce a melody, and pockets of fans are deriding you as sellouts before the first check is cleared. Dubai’s Jay Wud attempts to control the chaos down the middle with their new release, Transitions (self-released). Continue reading