It's hard to believe that it's already been nearly twelve years since a then-unknown band called CHIMAIRA rocked the stage on the short-lived Farmclub on the USA Network. I was watching the show as it aired for the first time - when the band performed Dead Inside, a song that I later acquired through Napster in demo form and would later appear on their Roadrunner debut PASS OUT OF EXISTENCE in 2001. Now the Cleveland band finds themselves re-birthed with a new lineup, a new label, and a new album that just may be their best since 2003's THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF REASON.
There's something slightly evil brewing just beneath the surface of CHARLATAN, the Victory Records debut from Chicago's VICTORIAN HALLS. Stealthily working it's way underneath the danceable pop-rock hooks is a twisted new-wave groove of electronic adrenaline that fuels the album to unexpected heights. In fact, not since THE FAINT released DANSE MACABRE in 2001 has a band in this sonic corner gotten the mix this right.
As I noted when I first posted news of IMAGINARY MONSTERS, the new EP from THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE - their 2010 full-length PINS & NEEDLES has not left my playlist since it's release almost a year ago. Rated a 4 in my official review, I should've given in a flat 5 - as it's staying power has been immense. As more artists revisit the EP format to bridge gaps between albums, the prospect of new music from TBM quickly became an object of anticipation.
I was pretty sure that I was approaching a boss in some long-lost SNES game upon pressing the play button to start virtual rotation of RUINING IT FOR EVERYBODY, the second full-length album from genre-bending audio hooligans IWRESTLEDABEARONCE. True to IWABO form, that vibe was destroyed a mere six seconds into Next Visible Delicious and the sonic spectrum was bent completely.
Indeed, true believers - IWABO is back, and if you hated 'em before, get ready... there's a lot more to hate this time around.
For the past few months, I've been getting Los Angeles rockers RIVAL SONS tossed in front of me constantly. It seems every few years we get someone that's going to usher in a new era of 60's/70's rock stylings (WOLFMOTHER, anyone?) and it just never seems to happen. There's some bands that are great at what they do, but the movement just isn't there. While I still don't see a massive revival coming any time soon, RIVAL SONS have created a hell of an album with the release of PRESSURE & TIME.
On the eve of the 20th Anniversary of NIRVANA's landmark NEVERMIND, the folks over at SPIN have put together NEWERMIND: A TRIBUTE TO NIRVANA. Offered as a FREE DOWNLOAD to visitors to the SPIN website and Facebook page, this collection re-imagines the 1991 classic to results that are beautiful, bizaare, and blasphemous.
No story about THE RUNAWAYS would be complete without a little (or a lot) of behind-the-scenes drama, and TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT - A TRIBUTE TO THE QUEENS OF NOISE: THE RUNAWAYS (out today on Main Man Records) is no exception. The expansive, two-disc collection of cover songs recently made headlines when two of THE RUNAWAYS - Joan Jett and Cherie Currie - allegedly plotted an attempt to stop the release of the album; a plan that failed as pre-orders for the album have shipped and it's made it's way onto iTunes.
It only happens a couple of times a year (if that), but I absolutely love it when an album like this comes along. You see, if you don't count albums by musically schizophrenic artists such as MR. BUNGLE, DOG FASHION DISCO, TUB RING, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE, DR. ACULA, or MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE among the cherished titles within your collection of recorded audio, there's a good chance that you'll absolutely despise IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, the Victory Records debut from Buffalo, NY's THE BUNNY THE BEAR.
Until last week, I'd never heard of TURBID NORTH. If not for a well-placed press release that landed in my email with just enough info to grab my attention, I may still be saying 'Turbid who?' Instead, I requested a copy of the Texas-based Alaskan metallers debut album.
It came as a shock to everyone last week when LESS THAN JAKE turned off their cloaking device to reveal a brand-new EP, completed and released to the unsuspecting masses. Like a postcard from thin air, GREETINGS FROM... is said to be the Gainesville ska-punkers 287th release, and hardly sounds like something from a band with a full 286 records before it.