Monthly Archives: August 2012

Introducing…The Barrens

The Barrens is a five piece psychedelic rock band made up of Colin Fitzgerald (vocals, guitar, bass), Debbie Chou (vocals, keyboard), Mike Koene (guitar, vocals), Chris Gersbeck (drums, vocals) and Jay Sharp (bass) formed in upstate New York. They released their debut album last year and have been causing a stir in the underground music scene with their raw and powerful sound since.

Having been compared to bands such as The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Jefferson Airplane, they have quite clearly made a good impression on most people and after just the first listen of the record it’s not hard to see why.

The Barrens have an older, more familiar sound to their music than most new bands around today. It’s a nostalgic sound for that of the 60s or 70s. Songs like Felt are reminiscent of bands like Led Zeppelin due to the guitar riffs which is why it is such a great second track after Claw Remains. However other tracks like Sagaminopteron Psychedelicum have a newer feel to them sounding at times like something The Foo Fighters would have produced. There are also tracks on there that are similar in sound and style to Feeder such as Yellow Cigarette.

The Barrens

Psych rock band, The Barrens

This record is a complete mixture of old and new which is fantastic. Their psychedelic influences can be heard in tracks like Claw Remains, Never Knew and Face the Eighth. The Barrens have placed the 60s and 70s into a modern world and given it just enough of a twist to make it work for them.

By having more than one singer being the main singer on different tracks it stops any of the songs from becoming plain and boring. With each song, you hear something new, something you hadn’t noticed in the previous track. There isn’t a song on here that sounds like anything out there at the moment or like anything else on the record. Each song is like a breath of fresh air.

The Barrens have produced a solid album that somehow manages to combine the best of the 60s and 70s folk, punk, rock and psychedelic scenes into a bundle of eleven outstanding tracks. Songs like Felt are rock, Bottom of the Well is more pop while tracks like Out of the Rain combine a Pink Floyd psych rock feel. It’s a truly magnificent album that will keep you nothing but entranced.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News, Reviews

Monks of Mellonwah – Neurogenesis EP

Monks of Mellonwah is a four piece alternative rock band from Sydney made up of Will Maher (vocals), Joe de la Hoyde (backing vocals/guitar), John de la Hoyde (bass) and Josh Baissari (drums).

They have won the “Best Indie Rock Act” award at the 2012 Artists in Music Awards in Hollywood and worked with Nirvana’s “Nevermind” engineer Howie Weinberg for their new EP titled Neurogenesis.

Monks of Mellonwah

Monks of Mellonwah

This EP was released in May this year and is an explosion of four tracks. Each member brings their own influences to every song making for a diverse listen in just four songs which is an achievement in itself.

With Richard Ashcroft-esque vocals and a unique rock sound, Monks of Mellonwah have produced a solid, interesting and original EP that will leave you wanting more. First track titled Neurogenesis kick starts everything off with a great melodic guitar riff and soft vocals before transforming into a fantastic alternative rock track. The drum beat is particularly appealing in this song when combined with the relaxing guitar riffs.

Second track Neverending Spirit is another track where no fault can be found as are third and fourth tracks, Kyoto and You Shine. In fact, Kyoto is the most punchy song in terms of it being the most melodic and rhythmic for a rock song. Kyoto will get you singing and dancing whereas the other tracks are interesting because they are different. Kyoto is a track most people will instantly like. The other songs may attract more of a niche audience.

Monks of Mellonwah are a fantastic alternative rock band and have produced an EP that will set their fans alight. Neurogenesis EP is available to buy/download now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News, Reviews

Digital Antique – II

Digital Antique are an indie rock band from Austin, Texas but they are unlike any other indie rock band you will have heard. Progressive in style and tempo, Digital Antique produce cinematic arrangements and wonderful compositions of the most extraordinary kind, completely instrumental.

Digitial Antique are Travis Kennedy (guitar), James Parker Randolph (bass), Payton Holekamp (drums), Dixie Yoder (viola), Joseph Shuffield (violin 1) and Annette Franzen (violin 2, cello).

Digital Antique CD Cover

Digital Antique’s artwork design for II

Their album, II, is due for release on August 24 and is a must hear. With ten outstanding tracks on it, II is one of the best prog rock albums that’s been heard in a long time.

The record starts with a track titled Doomed Hero which is fantastic. It’s a great introductory number with some dialogue expressing opinions about our twisted society and Western culture before it breaks into a patriotic marching drum beat mixed with excellent dramatic violins.

After such a dramatic beginning track, The Heist comes in nice and softly with almost meditation music at the start before it goes back to its rock roots. Other superb tracks are NG, Cali and Nevemind. NG is great from the second it bursts through the speakers. The melody played by the violins is lovely. It has a traditional element in that respect before the rest of the instruments kick start bringing something new and original to it.

Cali is a favourite purely because of the melody again. It’s repetitive and soothing. This is one of the melodies that will be going round and round in your head leaving you wanting more. It’s a fantastic and mind-blowing track.

Nevermind is the most acoustic track on the album which is a welcomed break after all the prog rock. The violin playing is amazingly soft and peaceful. It has very traditional elements in it. These are a group of extremely talented musicians, not only being confident and capable on their instruments but also in the composition of each and every track on II. There isn’t a bad track on there.

II was independently recorded mixed and produced by Travis Kennedy (guitar). Kennedy is currently working under world famous mixing engineer Tim Palmer who mixed such records as Pearl Jam “Ten”. The album was also recorded at several of the top studios in Austin including Churchhouse Studios, Yellow Dog Studios, Studio 1916 and AM Stereophonic. It was mixed at Tim Palmer’s private studio (’62 Studio). All of these credits are probably what make the production of this record also outstanding.

Digital Antique

Digital Antique live

II and Digital Antique themselves are not something to be pushed aside. They are doing something that many other bands wouldn’t even be brave enough to attempt. This group of talented musicians have produced something musically superb in each and every way. II is available from August 24.

1 Comment

Filed under Music, News, Reviews

EndAnd – Adventures Of Fi In Space

Three piece rock band EndAnd have released their new CD Adventures Of Fi In Space. Coming from the heart of Brooklyn, this trio sure know how to produce grunge garage rock in style.

Starting in early 2011, EndAnd began as a rock duo with Daniel Fern (guitars/vocals) and Mike Morales (drums). After a show at Williamsburg’s Public Assembly, Dan and Mike asked bassist Bill Fitzgerald if he’d sit in at their next practice and that is how the story goes. Fitzgerald helped turn the project into a band.

EndAnd

EndAnd performing live

Adventures Of Fi In Space is a combination of Adventures Of Hi Fi and Adventures Of Lo Fi In Space which are the band’s two EPs consisting of pristine studio recordings and a collection of DIY recordings.

EndAnd have been compared to the likes of Cloud Nothings but this is a loose comparison. While Cloud Nothings disappoint vocally, EndAnd don’t. Ferns has a powerful rock voice that seeps control as well as impulse. On each and every song his voice exposes something unheard of in the previous track.

Far In Between is the first track on the album. Lyrically, this band isn’t anything outstanding but musically they piece together songs which are instantly pleasing and memorable. Far In Between is a perfect example of this talent.

EndAnd have a strong grunge guitar sound which seems to be a little absent in the music scene at the moment. With all the electronic music dominating the charts as well as the more alternative scene, it’s great to hear a band basically making tuneful, melodic noise. EndAnd are slightly reminiscent of Nirvana in respect of their grunge sound.

EndAnd CD cover

EndAnd artwork design for Adventures Of Fi In Space

Commando, Legend and Sweet are the other interesting stand alone tracks on the record. Commando has a kick-ass guitar riff at the beginning that will set your pulse alight. Legend is a welcomed acoustic break from all the heavy rock which dominates the beginning half of the album. Ferns’ vocals on Legend are also intriguing, showing a softer and gentler side to him and his abilities as a singer. Legend is probably the best track on the record. Sweet is again a more acoustic rock number which feels refreshing towards the end of the album.

The only fault which springs to mind has to be the fact that some of the songs do sound repetitive and extremely similar to each other on a basic level. If you looked deeper musically it would show their differences but to those who tune in quickly, the songs will sound similar which is a slight disappointment.

EndAnd have produced a fantastic and interesting grunge rock CD but in some respects it doesn’t showcase anything new. It’s a well rounded record with loads of good tracks but it doesn’t blow you away. If you like rock and attitude this is the CD for you. If you’re expecting something utterly original, you may want to give it a miss.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News, Reviews

Scissor Sisters – Let’s Have A Kiki Instructional Video and The 2 Bears Remix

Scissor Sisters have released an instructional video to accompany fan favourite, Let’s Have A Kiki hot on the heels of single release Baby Come Home. The video is self-directed and filmed at the ‘Kiki Institute of Mental Instability’ and was originally debuted on LetsHaveaKiki.com, the band’s Tumblr page dedicated to the Kiki phenomenon.

Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters having a Kiki

Since the release of their album Magic Hour, Let’s Have A Kiki has become somewhat an anthem among Scissor Sisters. The band’s choreographed live performance of the track has spurred dance tributes from around the world. To encourage participation, the group decided to produce their own instructional video with sing-a-long lyrics for fans to enjoy.

Not only has a brand new video been produced but the 2 bears have also produced a remix of the anthemic track. The British dance duo made up of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell have taken the song to new extremes and turned it into a purely electronic version perfect for those Kiki’s you may want to hold.

Listen to the remix here.

Scissor Sisters will be on tour in the UK in October:

1st Dublin Olympia

2nd Belfast Waterfront

15th Portsmouth Guildhall

16th Leeds O2 Academy

19th Glasgow Barrowlands

20th Manchester Apollo

22nd Bristol Colston Hall

23rd London Roundhouse

24th London Roundhouse

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, News