Groove Armada – Black Light

Thursday, April 8th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

Released in early March, the newest album from Groove Armada entitled Black Light reveals a darker side of the electronic duo.  This time around, the group collaborated with vocalists featuring Nick Littlemore and SaintSaviour.  What makes this album unique is that there are no purely instrumental tracks, and there seems to be a theme that flows through each song.  This theme radiates a feeling of love lost in tracks like “Cards to Your Heart” and “Not Forgotten,” both featuring vocals by Nick Littlemore. (more…)

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First Quarter Report

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 by Eric Loose

2010 seemed to start out a bit slowly, but sure did it pick up impressively. The heavyweight matches don’t take place until later in the year between Radiohead, Minus the Bear, The Gaslight Anthem, Jonsi, and a slew returning big names. The main trend, it seems, among the first quarter of 2010’s best comes from the refinement or subtle changes in a band’s sound. Rather than recreating the promising albums of the past, Titus Andronicus, Beach House, and Frightened Rabbit refused to regurgitate the same album that first garnered them a fair amount of credibility. Instead, the commencement of the decade has opened with evolving bands – sometimes for better, other times, not so much – and I find it heartening. On that note of evolution, risk-taking, and utter surprise, I give you the best of the best in the first quarter of 2010… (more…)

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Queens Club – Young Giant

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

Besides a really cool design on their album cover, Queens Club rocks out with some great tunes.  The band assembled in 2008 and is composed of the ex-members of the metal band The Chariot.  Their new CD, Young Giant, was recently released on Tooth and Nail Records, which has signed similar popular bands like Anberlin.  As I listened to the album, I was struck by the catchy guitar riffs and the energy that this group generates.  This CD is packed with a number of great songs that are all worth listening to.


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Brand New – Daisy

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

It’s hard not to have a strong opinion on Brand New”s brand new release, Daisy. The colossal wave of hype surrounding this album wasn”t replicated by any other band this year. Jesse Lacey and the rest had their destiny decided for them. Because of the expectations, Daisy was going to be a massive hit or a disappointment. Please excuse me for thinking that it doesn”t live up to either of these labels. Daisy, first and foremost, is what Brand New does best- progression. From the pop-punk of Your Favourite Weapon, to the emo-tinged Deja Entendu, to the masterpiece The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, Brand New have managed to adapt and improve their sound while still remaining appealing and interesting.

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Touche Amore – …To The Beat of a Dead Horse

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

Touche Amore”s … To The Beat Of A Dead Horse, is a record to take seriously. One look at the ominous cover can tell you that. A harrowing black and white cover complete with trite symbolism in the form of a foreboding rain cloud certainly displays a feeling of danger, ominousness, and even foreboding doom. Touche Amore are just one of the many recent bands to integrate emo and hardcore music. The most striking aspect is that no song hurdles the 3 minute mark. Short and pithy, … To The Beat is a screamo-influenced modern hardcore record with a melodic twist. Too much genre?… my apologies, but … To The Beat Of A Dead Horse really is a superb blend of genre-bending qualities. (more…)

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The Disco Biscuits – Planet Anthem

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Planet AnthemA Philly jam-band with an energetic live show, The Disco Biscuits transcend the live setting surprisingly well on Planet Anthem. The album is an interesting fusion of electronic and rock music overflowing with effects and a two-sided atmosphere. Rather than centering Planet Anthem around single material, Disco Biscuits choose an interesting concept for their sound- an album that works together as a whole. Ultimately, it’s this decision that makes Planet Anthem worth a listen and perhaps a little more likable than it should be. While listen one and listen two might have you expressing some surprise over how enjoyable you find Planet Anthem, it’s not until multiple listens that the Disco Biscuits’ latest really reveals itself. As Shrek would say, Disco Biscuits are “like an onion.” They have layers. They may be a little stinky at some points, but Planet Anthem is a surprising success if only for the fact that it’s better than your first judgements may indicate. (more…)

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Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

After a five-year period following the release of “Demon Days” in 2005, let me say: “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.” The Gorillaz, everyone’s favorite virtual band, has finally created a new album that has been highly anticipated. The album is packed with sixteen tracks that incorporate the usual range of genres from Hip Hop to Electronica and Alternative/Pop Rock. One aspect of the Gorillaz that catches listeners’ attention is the various artists featured on each song. For instance, the song “White Flag” features two rappers and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music, all on top of a simple electronic piano loop. What is interesting to me is that somehow all of those parts fit together to make a very unique song. Meanwhile, the song “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” features Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble presenting this new realm that the Gorillaz have created. The album art effectively brings the listener into another world, especially with the cover. (more…)

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La Verite – Elephant

Monday, March 8th, 2010 by Eric Loose

No matter how extensively I listen to purely instrumental music, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being surprised at how resonating an effect wordless music has on me. I’ve always been a sucker for lyrics. They often make matters simple, providing a context for me to spill my reactions and feelings. To say that instrumental music provides a little more freedom would be an understatement. Elephant is the proof. Upon constructing a musical soundscape both devoid of and teeming with life and energy at disparate points, La Verite have proven themselves to be surprising masters of their domain, providing the first not-so-subtle post-rock behemoth of 2010. (more…)

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Suis La Lune – Heir EP (2008)

Monday, March 1st, 2010 by Eric Loose

As much as it pains me to admit it, my music of choice lately, as a whole, has its restrictions. Based on chaotic energy, dynamic guitars, overwhelming emotions and the like, “screamo” tends to be a bit off-putting because of the sheer tenacity and overwhelming nature of the music. It’s a large generalization, of course, but it’s fairly accurate when judging the music known for its ravenous screams. Enter Suis La Lune’s Heir EP. A mere quartet of songs, the Heir EP claws and digs its way into the ranks of the lofty, holy classics of the genre. (more…)

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Crime In Stereo – I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone

Monday, March 1st, 2010 by Eric Loose

It’s one thing to discover a band through their recorded material and consequently see them live, but it’s a whole ‘nother deal to be introduced to a band live and accordingly hear their album. Well, this is the case for me, at least. The whole system of expectations is just a bit out of whack. Sometimes sound and energy translate, many times it doesn’t… well, there’re just many more variables and uncertainties that leave me a little uneasy with the experience. This was the case with Crime In Stereo. Opening for Thrice and Brand New is no easy task, the frontman made himself memorable with his shrill screams amidst the post-hardcore-esque flurry of guitars. Anyway, going into the Long Island natives’ 2010 LP, I tried to keep an open mind, but I have to admit I was a little excited. And what happens when I get excited about something again?… oh, that’s right! I get let down. (more…)

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