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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Josh Buche - "Retroflux" Album Review


Retroflux cover art



Singer and songwriter, Josh Buche from Illinois, Chicago, has a very eclectic taste in music, which helps him to create his own signature sound, and in his first full length album, "Retroflux" he takes us on a weirdly wonderful musical journey...

First song, "Ballad Of Juan Guerrero" is a lively ambient acoustic number, which has a dream like vibe to it, whilst having a raw organic feel, which is all helped by the delightful guitars and atmospheric chilled out vocals. This acts a good introduction and first impression, where Josh represents his creative flair admirably..

"Hold My Breath" is very smooth and soothing, where he gets to show of his brilliant guitar skills, and varied soulful emotive vocals further, with precision and fluidity. As we near the end, it takes on a different mood with a crescendo, which makes for a highly memorable number!

To keep things fresh and dynamic, "I've Been Waiting" shows his diversity yet again, in this country rock 'n' roll short venture, with well thought out backing noises to create the desired atmosphere and depth.."On My Way" yet again highlights his mix of influences big time, with a massive change in sound, jumping into a pop party inspired number, with ultra positive upbeat beats, melodies and sounds, all helping it on it's 'way' to a feel good hit!

"I Wish I Were Mute" slows things down a bit in this thought provoking and rather sombre sounding track, which stills hits hard.."Sliding" is a strange yet intriguing instrumental, heavily aided by the use of effects and far out sounds to escape in..

"Monster Steps" is a definite highlight, and makes a strong impact! This is a brilliantly constructed catchy fun, electronic driven instrumental, which sounds like a malfunctioning game tune or alternative dance track, in the greatest way!

"Note To Self" highlights mundane reality well, as well as being rather pessimistic, especially in the chorus, yet in contrast is motivational at times. This is all delivered in a very effective way, like an actual recording to yourself as a reminder not to waste your life and have regrets..it takes a dark turn towards the end, in a spiralling manic progression, to play up how harsh life can be at times..but eventually ends of a positive inspirational 'note'! This is a powerful eye-opening and stand out song!

Final song, "This Illusion" has a lot going on, giving it lots of depth and also a surreal sense with beautiful ambient vocals, and outbursts of loud instruments, giving it an harder edge, which although seems misplaced, it actually works well in a bizarre way!

Josh is an extremely talented individual, who has a lot to offer, and manages to fit a hell of a lot in this album, and every song adds an extra layer to his ever expanding musical exploration! He delivers an exciting, and innovative creation, which he should be very proud of! As it is so diverse it should appeal to a wide audience and get him the exposure he deserves..just imagine what he can go on to achieve following this inspiring release!

http://joshbuche.bandcamp.com/
http://joshbuche.com/blog/

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

SmartBlackKid - "The Best Of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1" Album Review






SmartBlackKid is a multi-talented one man band, all performed by Hakhi Alakhun. He has impressively produced and released ten albums spanning many genres, and with his eleventh release, he has complied the ultimate collection of his songs over his career, in this 'Best Of' album, making for a great opportunity for existing fans to catch up on, and of course for new fans to discover...

To get things started we have, "Stand Up" which is ultra smooth with it's beats and rhythms, along with melodic memorable guitar work, with refreshing and charming vocals, all delivered with style!

Single "Free Thought" has great catchy hooks and an classic rock vibe, but with a upbeat modern twist, making it a perfect choice for a single and his creative sound offers something a bit different, which is always nice to see..

"Powerful" immediately highlights Hakhi's guitar skills yet again, with ambient and bouncy riffs throughout, with equally powerful compelling vocals to accompany..

"Labyrinths Within" helps to show off the sheer diversity offered further..with this being a more pop funk inspired number, that is very soulful and strong, again exhibiting some brilliant ambient solo guitar with bluesy rhythms..like a 'maze' this is complex, and one where you could easily lose yourself in the music..

Following on finely, to strip things back a bit and offer a slower pace, "Shadow's Way" uses softer guitars and sweltering vocals, with have hints of blues, and soulful rock. This is a stand out track, which is one to let wash over you and get engulfed in! Everything is effectively placed, in terms of structure and the use of backing vocals for more emphasis and depth.

"Are You Alive" is highly resonant, with the use of effects on the vocals and guitars, and again demonstrates his exceptional guitar skills, along with brilliant harmonies, as well as his remarkable musicianship and ability to deliver sublime lyrics, that are executed with such passionate and heart; something there is no shortage of on the entirety of the album!

"Live Again" is well positioned following the previous song. This is one of my favourites, having a high energy rock alternative sound, which grabs you instantly! Hakhi explores more-so with his varied flawless vocals to match the mood and vibe of the track - which he does in an optimistic fast fun manner!

"Sell, Sell, Sell" opens on a somewhat sinister guitar hook, and in the chorus we see Hakhi use lower vocal pitches for impact, in what is a very repetitive chorus, which is perhaps a nod to punk, in terms of musical structure and delivery, that along with the killer sombre guitars, makes this the most dark song featured.

"Gimme Love" again is in keeping with the previous tone, this has a almost gloomy rock 'n' roll vibe which hits hard in a short amount of time!

Final song, "Persevere" sets the scene with an informative intro that tells us about the human mind, making it thought provoking...with more talking featured, over beautiful soft vocals and quiet guitars, which is all very stripped down, before the instruments start to pick up in this real, and motivational number! It progresses well instrumentally and helps with the context of the song, and to end things in style, we are treated to the best solo guitar work yet, where Hakhi let's loose with insane results, ending things on a hard hitting and powerful note!

SmarkBlackKid is an truly innovative and skilled musician who puts his heart and soul into all of his songs, and explores numerous genres in a slick and almost effortless way! There is something for everyone on this album, and there is no doubt that SmartBlackKid can conquer all genres! The whole collection of songs is vibrant, refreshing, creative and overall enjoyable! What a musical gem to discover, that genuinely shines through with passion, craftsmanship and professionalism, and explores a plethora of genres, all the while maintaining his own signature sound!


http://thesmartblackkid.bandcamp.com/

Saturday, 19 September 2015

OTEP Signs To Napalm Records!‏


Los Angeles California’s OTEP has announced that she has signed with Austrian based Napalm Records.  Famed producer Howard Benson will be handling the productions duties on the band’s new album that is due out in 2016.

OTEP commented on joining the Napalm Records Roster:
“Signing with Napalm Records is one of the most exciting alliances I’ve ever made. I haven’t felt this excited to write a new album since SEVAS TRA. There’s a lot of work to do, a lot of music to write, a lot of things to say, a lot of injustices to confront and a lot of madness to summon and capture.  To be able to forge this sacred alchemy with the dark brilliance of producer Howard Benson is a dream come true.” 

Napalm Records A&R Demetri Benoist said about the signing of OTEP:
"Beyond excited to be working with such a polarizing artist who stands for something and is not afraid to speak their mind.  This is a new beginning in OTEP’s history and Napalm Records is committed to making it the most successful!  Let the OTEP Revolution begin.” 






For More Info Visit:
https://www.facebook.com/otepofficial
https://twitter.com/otepofficial
https://instagram.com/otepofficial
https://instagram.com/otepstore/
http://otepsaves.me/
SnapChat: otepofficial

Bag Of Nickels - "Amen" Album Review




Bag Of Nickels from Wilmington, Delaware have been through some hard times, and have just come back after a hiatus with their third independent release, "Amen" which impressively was produced by Dennis Prado and co-produced/mixed with Philadelphia-based, grammy-award winning engineer, Mike Tarsia.

To open the album, "Hold Your Form" has smooth, groovy and slick rock 'n' roll tones, with resonant effective vocals, all delivered in style, and takes us back to more old school sounds with notable guitar work..it sounds like they are back and on top 'form'!

Next with have, "Impurities" which has some brilliant rhythms and melodies..it's really quite hard to find any faults here! "Trapper Keeper" has a guest appearance from, Danny Carmona, which gives it a different feel and dynamic, whilst in-keeping with the rest of the songs so far..

Again we see Danny Carmona appear in, "The Set Up", which has a great lively, yet chilled out vibe, created through the well placed, fluent and free spirited instruments, evoking tonnes of class which work wonderfully with the vocal pitches.

The greatly titled, "Liquidation Sale" adds some more diversity and has some positive sounding instruments, with a bizarre yet brilliant sound aided by far out vocals and effects.."Speedball" shows interesting and effective vocals, which helps it stand out, along with a odd  ambience, and to round it all off, we are treated to some skilled instrumentation and guitar-work, as seen throughout the album..

Title track, "Amen" opens on a soft note and highlights some smooth bass. It possesses an interesting atmosphere, and sees the use of other instruments, which also make it one of the most varied and therefore must hear tracks, as it embodies the core of their sound!

You can't have rock 'n' roll without "Sex", which closes the album! It sounds pleasant, optimistic and somewhat spaced-out, even though lyrically it contrasts this at times, in what is the longest, most divergent song, with its almost grunge feel and changeable structure and transitions, whilst remaining coherent! A brilliantly odd one to end on, which highlights all their best characteristics!

As they take influence from old style rock 'n' roll which is quite evident in their sound, they have also managed to add in their own stamp to create a solid, refreshing and highly enjoyable album! It has a good mix of songs, ranging from soulful and smooth to tough and unusual, and all delivered in well crafted musicianship and flair! I'm sure others would say 'Amen' to that!




www.bagofnickelsband.com




https://www.reverbnation.com/soulchange

Friday, 11 September 2015

Luna Rise - Dark Days & Bright Nights Album Review!



Austrian Band, Luna Rise return following their successful and thrilling signature EP, "Smoking Kills, But Love Can Break A Heart" with new album, "Dark Days & Bright Nights", where they get to show off their unique melodic rock more-so plus with some extra surprises thrown in the mix..

Open song, "Demons Inside" is highly melodic, aided especially by the electronic sounds..it is fuzzy and delightfully dark all at once, helped by the fierce screams at the end! This is also one of the most diverse offerings, and for those not familiar with the bands sound, this will lure you in wonderfully!..

"Valentine" which has a great accompanying fiery emotive video too, has hard hitting memorable riffs and characteristic charming emotive vocals. This is a beautiful rock offering with a glorious layered sound, this is a must hear, which you are bound to 'adore'!






"Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" immediately grabs your attention with a very dramatic and gloomy intro, however it goes on to have a quite positive sound, which is delivered in style, through bouncy fun melodies, rhythms and effects!

"The Secret In You" changes the tone, sounding more sombre, in this powerful ballad that hones in on Chris's luscious flawless vocals, who uses largely low pitches here, which match the mood perfectly. Half way through we are graced with strong impressive instrumentation to add more impact and depth, which it achieves!

"Until The Stars Have Come" opens on a very atmospheric and 'spacey' vibe which is rather appropriate! It also adds a new dynamic, by featuring beautiful and strong female guest vocals, which compliment Chris brilliantly! 

Closing song, the greatly titled, "The Anthem Of The Night" is slower paced and alluring, especially with subtle glimpses of a dark presence. There is a lot of depth and richness engulfed in this soothing final contribution, which embodies all the 'dark' and 'bright' elements featured throughout the album, tying it all together in a nice grand luxurious package!

The album title fits perfectly with their sound and context..bursting with texture, finesse, and exceptional rhythms that will get you moving, and lift your spirits, even amongst the darkness, with their gothic gloom seeping marvellously into their sweetened infectiously melodic 'heart rock'! This album captures their distinctive style, but also shows of their more diverse evolved sound following their previous releases..they never disappoint, so let's wait in anticipation for the next release!



Luna Rise - Official Website : http://www.lunarisemusic.com
Listen To Luna Rise @ Spotify : https://play.spotify.com/artist/2gOyUqu0HAnxk3neoxqXud
Listen To Luna Rise @ Deezer : http://www.deezer.com/artist/4649884
Luna Rise @ Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/lunarise
Luna Rise @ Bandcamp : http://luna-rise.bandcamp.com
Luna Rise @ ITunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/luna-rise/id482267037
Luna Rise @ Google Play : https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/Luna_Rise?id=Autah5gh7tbygcweyu7xfawim4u
Luna Rise @ NRT-Records : http://www.nrt-records.com/luna_rise_eng.html


BBC Introducing: The South Selects Act To Open Breakout Festival! Just 2 Weeks To Go!






Many applied through BBC Introducing: The South to be in with a chance of performing at Breakout Festival and the winners have been chosen! Selected by a panel from The BBC and Breakout Festival, We Deny have been awarded the opening slot at this year’s Breakout Festival.


In just 2 weeks Breakout Festival will be unleashed. After an epic festival season, rock and metal fans will play out the end of the summer 2015 with at Breakout’s rock fueled blow-out. It’s not just about the music this year though, Breakout Festival promises to be the best way to mark the season close with a wealth of other attractions and entertainment. Keep your eyes peeled for the rides and inflatables!

Deaf Havana – SikTh – The Qemists
We Are The Ocean - Martyr Defiled – Black Tongue
Heck – TRC - By Definition
Zoax – Seething Akira
The Gospel Youth – Skint Circus – We Deny

Breakout is Brighton’s first and only outdoor heavy rock festival. It returns to Brighton racecourse on 26th September 2015 with a high profile line-up which includes Deaf Havana, SikTh, We Are The Ocean, The Qemists, Martyr Defiled and Heck. Last year’s bill included Skindred, Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout, Silent Screams and Betraying The Martyrs. The festival attracted over 2,200 fans in its first year last year!



Official website: www.breakoutfestival.co.uk

Official ticketing partners: Ticketmaster (http://bit.ly/1P5uJSS) and Gigantic (http://bit.ly/1HZQ680)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breakoutfestival
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BreakoutFestUK 
Instagram: http://instagram.com/breakoutfestival

SKINDRED: New single, "Under Attack" released!



Reggae metal kings in SKINDRED have just released their brand new single for "Under Attack" from their upcoming album "Volume", set to be released October 30th on Napalm Records. Watch their new video here:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkJuB656AVc






VOLUME - Turn it up to 12!

Since 1998 SKINDRED has been responsible for developing their own unique sound blending elements of Metal, Rock, Reggae, Dancehall & Electronica to forge the SKINDRED sound as we know it today. Add to this one of the most charismatic front men in Rock music in Benji Webbe, a man that always knows how to get the party started whether it’s getting Millions of people across the globe to do the now infamous Newport Helicopter or just making them rock harder than they have ever rocked before at any show previously.

Volume, the band’s sixth studio album encapsulates everything that is great about SKINDRED. Drawing inspiration from their previous albums such as Babylon and Union Black, Volume showcases THE SKINDRED SOUND better than ever before while not at any point trying to emulate anything or anyone that has ever come before. If you like big heavy Riffs then this is the album for you. This is SKINDRED at their loudest and their best. Songs like “Under Attack” and “Volume”, the album’s title track and “Hit The Ground” resonate louder than ever before as they continue to hit hammer and anvil together mercilessly to bring you a slab of quality SKINDRED that will have SKINDRED fans across the globe going mental. As the title track says, Keep Turning it up, KEEP TURNING IT UP, KEEP TURNING IT UP, This is Volume! Turn it up to 12 - as THIS is SKINDRED!










Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Diary Of My Misanthropy - Threatre Of The Absurd






This music project from the multi-talented, Vladyslav Tsarenko from Prague shows instrumental music at it's pinnacle and truly embraces the elements needed to inject emotions and portray his inspiration, solely through his use and interpretation of the music. The main inspirations being events taking place in the world during our time, and the classic novel by George Orwell, '1984'..

The first song to grace our ears is, "War Is Peace", which opens on a very ambient melancholic note, before really coming to life with far reaching guitar work, and leads us wonderfully on to the intense new single for, "Freedom Is Slavery", which also has a very powerful video to accompany it. It manages to encompass the context superbly through the emotive use of the instruments and effects; especially the way it progresses throughout..this is a mighty track which needs to be heard!

"Ignorance Is Strength" has a sombre yet hopeful vibe to it, which is elegantly captured. Towards the end it gets darker and more complex, making for a very thought provoking number.."Kindness Is Weakness", appropriately perhaps has an intricate and fragile air to it, showing a 'softer' side to the largely serious broody music  - it still possesses a tragic feel to it,which the instrumental bit towards the end emphasises.

The deep and meaningful, "Naked Body, Hidden Soul", keeps things on a par with the current standard, being very intelligible and evoking emotion, something which should be commended, without the need or use of lyrics - yet it sounds so fluent and effortless!

So we reach the end of this enlightening musical journey with the fitting, "The Curtain Is Closing", (Prologue) which is somewhat light hearted, and offers the listener time to reflect and admire this show or 'Threatre' we have been invited to enjoy!..

From the start I was intrigued and from thereon out, listened intently to every note! It is quite something when you can find instrumental music that moves you so much, and gets it's desired effect through so prominently, which is what 
Vladyslav has done wonderfully! The end result is an intense intelligible and far reaching meaningful must hear EP!




Check out the said 'powerful' new video for, "Freedom Is Slavery":



https://diaryofmymisanthropy.bandcamp.com/