Pop, Punk Rock, Ska, and… Hip-Hop?! Alright, I’m in! Gilford, New Hampshire was host to what is probably the most fun-loving tour of the summer, the co-headlining tour of California’s The Dirty Heads and Nebraska’s own 311, along with The Interrupters, Bikini Trill, and Dreamers. Continue reading
Evolution is inevitable, resisting it is futile. I have witnessed oodles of bands that have resisted letting their music evolve, getting themselves trapped in a murky impenetrable bubble of monotony and dismal record sales. (Hed) P.E. is not one of those bands. If anything, (Hed) P.E. could be the official spokesmodel for bands who embrace the natural evolution of their music. The latest studio album from (Hed) P.E., Stampede (Pavement Entertainment) is a dynamic testament that the band is categorically fearless in their songwriting and continue to transcend any and all musical pre-conceived notions. Continue reading
Not even a whole year after the release of their debut self-titled album, the extreme metal mob, Bitch Hawk are back at it again with their latest full release Joy (Adrian Recordings). The short time span has no effect on the quality of the music whatsoever. With a diverse range of musical backgrounds in the band, from Ska bands to writing for Charli XCX, this mixed bag of influences and sounds come together to create this unforgettable album. Continue reading
As we move into the Post-Warped Tour era (don’t write letters, we know it’s coming back as a festival in a year or two), it’s a comfort to know that there are still classic 1990s pop-punk bands you can count on. The mid-to-later half of that decade was full of great punk bands with a lot of fire, and some killer melodies. One of those bands was Chicago’s Alkaline Trio, led by founding vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba, also doing time in Warped mainstay Blink-182. Their ninth and most recent release, Is This Thing Cursed? put out on their longtime label Epitaph, feels like a win early on. In spite of a five-year gap between albums, the enthusiasm of the band can be felt in the songs and was intended to recapture the feel of their earliest work. Continue reading
Goldfinger has returned with their first new material for nine years. Titled The Knife, (Rise Records), their newest opus is an interesting listen for old fans and casual listeners alike. It’s a bit of a mash-up of pop-punk, Ska, and Rock n’ Roll. It’s a lighthearted fun album to listen to; a very California sounding record that evokes beach and waves and even a hint of Sharknado! Goldfinger’s The Knife is poppish; meaning, it’s very easy to listen to. Continue reading
Ex Eye’s self-titled album (Relapse) is something extraordinarily different, so hold on to your hats and brace yourself! The soon-to-be-legendary group consists of renowned, experimental saxophonist Colin Stetson, Greg Fox on drums, Shahzad Ismaily on synths and Toby Summerfield on guitar and these dudes will literally blow your mind! Continue reading
The emphasis on metal music emanating from outside of the Western world has become an increased focus in recent years, and is rightfully celebrated as highlighting our music world’s inclusiveness to all forms of society and regions. Israel as one such example has shown in the last few years a plethora of prog-minded metal acts, from homegrown titans Orphaned Land to lesser known but equally special acts like Distorted Harmony.
Having actually been existent since 1997, Subterranean Masquerade are hardly a new band to add to the list, but their not so prolific back catalogue means they will be an unearthed gem for many; a notion which will hopefully change with their latest album.
The Great Bazaar (Taklit) is the band’s first full length release in 10 years (their second in total) and sees a new singer in Kjetil Nordhus, and a new feeling of energy, being described by guitarist Tomer Pink as finally feeling like a band and not a project; and it is noticeable.
Their sense of diversity on record is still present but it all feels all the more cohesive than before, like they have really found their feet. At its core this takes influence from the 70’s greats of Prog, intertwined with Eastern instrumental elements and modern death metal; with a major Opeth vibe present in style and how it flows, vocally and sonically through cleaner melodies to visceral heaviness without warning. Look a little deeper and there are even more traits slightly hidden away, for example opening track “Early Morning Mantra” has an underlying Ska current, but without sounding daunting or out of place; whilst instrumental piece “Nigen” sees the flute taking the spotlight.
It is very easy to pick out their influences throughout, and at times it does sit very closely to other band’s formulas so is far from being completely revolutionary; but Subterranean Masquerade certainly execute it all very well, and with tremendous fluidity which makes it all seem wholesome. It may have been a long time coming but The Great Bazaar is a strong effort which further highlights the progressive mindset is present further afield.