Thursday, November 19, 2009

Norma Jean - O' God, The Aftermath (2005)

This album is ridiculous. Like its almost too good, borderline perfect. It kicked the shit out of me nonstop for 6 tracks, stopped for 10 minutes, brushed me off, asked me how I was feeling, then commenced beating me down even harder for 4 more tracks. All in the name of Jesus.

I've been saved.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Saosin - Translating the Name (2003) / Black EP (2005)

So once upon a time there was this band, they hadn't released a full length CD yet, but through the magic of the internet and an impressive debut EP had gained popularity throughout the United States. About a year later front man Anthony Green left the band. It was unknown at the time but Green was displeased with the direction his bandmates were taking the music and wanted to do something different . He was replaced by Cove..something..not important. And they released their second EP, titled Saosin [Ep], or as everyone called it, the Black Ep. This started one of those lame internet know...where kids call each other names online and threaten to beat the shit out of each other knowing full well they'll never actually meet in person. Well anyways...half of the fans were pissed about the lineup change and whined about how the band was nothing without Anthony Green...the new Ep sucks... etc. etc. Loyal fans called them Green fanboys and told them to shut the fuck up. Now at the time I agreed with the latter, the Black Ep was by no means bad, I did miss the mix of Greens clean and unclean vocals, and maybe the songs were a tad less creative, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt, you know, new singer, its just 3 songs yada yada yada. I figured when their full length comes out they'll shut everyone up.
Wow was I wrong.
They completely proved all their haters right with the release of their debut LP. Like I dont even know where to begin its so bad. Okay, first off, the songs are astonishingly uncreative, they sound like copy pasted versions of each other, from the drums to the Vocals not much changes song to song. Second, it just sounds sloppy, Translating the name had such a...for lack of a better term...crisp sound to it, like the whole thing was mixed and produced with a lot of effort and attention to detail, you know, like any professionally released CD should be. The full length sounds like a rough mix in comparison, like they just got fed up with the whole process and released a half finished product. THIRD, even the old songs that they redid like "I wanna hear another fast one" (cleverly retitled sleepers) sounds WORSE than the original recording on the Black Ep. The vocals are now like a half step higher pitched and it sounds awkward, whereas the original they fit the music much much better. Its like Cove just thinks the higher pitch he sings the better he'll sound, he doesn't have to worry about things like how he sounds in relation to the music itself. After listening to that album Greens comment about not liking the direction of the band sounds more like a prophecy. He leaves and everyone else just seems to have gotten lazier. Translating the name was fairly dynamic, they experiment around a little bit with tempo changes and they keep the drumming attention grabbing on every track. Now the band is quoted in an interview as saying "Well all of our songs have the same...formula, but we change the bells and whistles." Are you serious? did you just say that you use the same song structure for every song you write? What did Green just write the music for everyone when he was in the band or did you all just get a lot lazier?

The only thing improved on the second full length is these "Bells and Whistles", basically it was just produced better.
*Sigh* Download Below to hear what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Boysnightout - Trainwreck (2005)

Well I'm really agitated right now so i'll outlet by talking about some music... For whatever reason Boys Night Out seems to slip underneath a lot of peoples radar. It could be because their first cd was abysmal and thus no one ever bothered picking up Trainwreck, but this CD is everything you could want from an emo album. Now, I know a lot of people just shrug off the whole genre of emo music, because, well, most of it IS utter shit, but that doesn't mean that some bands didn't get it right. Trainwreck is a very dynamic album, it can go from morbid and dark to upbeat and catchy and make the transition seem perfectly natural. The cd is a concept album, following the story of a man who accidentally killed his wife. The rest of the cd charts the mans life as he slowly goes through all the phases of depression leading up to his suicide. Each song has a bit of story to it but its really about the leads emotional state, even the song titles are one word descriptions of what he's going through: Purging, Relapsing, Recovering....down to Dying. What makes this album so good is that they do this so naturally, it doesn't feel fake and it doesn't sound whiny the way the majority of emo bands sound. The reasoning for this is that musically each song backs up the lyrics, for example, theres a guitar solo at the end of 'Dying' thats so dripping with emotion it says more than any lyricist could describe.

So yeah, to the point, don't associate Boys Night Out with all those other cookie cutter emo bands. They do Emo the way it should be done, with...yaknow, actual emotion...that and the whole concept of creative song structure and making songs distinguishable from eachother by something other than just the words...

Oh right, they do have one more cd worth noting, the songs are just as good but it loses points for lack of emotion. After hearing these guys ooze feelings all over the floor its hard to get excited over songs with lyrics like "Let me be your swear word."
Link Below:

Monday, November 16, 2009

See You Next Tuesday - Parasite (2007)

See You Next Tuesday will knock you out of your chair if your not ready for it, and by the time you pick yourself up you'll be 3 songs into the album. Parasite, as with most grind albums, is really short, each song is about a minute and a half long, with the entire album clocking in at just under 19 minutes. Each of the 13 tracks on here are ridiculous in their own right. The majority of them barrage you with supersonic intensity straight on, leaving you just amazed that these guys can play that fast, and still sound as clean as they do. Like seriously, when songs are played THAT fast you don't expect each song to be so on point. Its apparent that although these songs are only a minute long, a whole lot of effort went into making each one the best it could possibly be. The attention to detail on this cd is phenomenal, it takes a few listens to even realize just how precise each song is because they go by so fast you don't even get a chance to appreciate it.

Its really a shame that for as amazing as 'Parasite' is, the follow up, 'Intervals', is such a letdown. The first 2 songs are slow slow slow. I mean its fine for a band to want to do an intro track, but it should lead into something extra special, instead here we get an intro leading into...another intro, and by the time you get to the first good song you're already 3 minutes into it....and 3 minutes can seem like an eternity in grindcore terms. Now finally you get to the first song on the album and best. For all the buildup leading up to it they had to go above and beyond for that one and it was just...average. The rest of 'Intervals' is a mess, you get one or two really intense songs, but then it gets stopped by a 10 second interlude track or a 3 minute "Progressive" track. Now I know they were trying to expand their horizons and do something different here, but if they wanted to change things up they should have gone all the way, not half assed. Fear Before did it, they jumped from ART DAMAGE, one of the most intense mathcore cds I’ve ever heard to "The Always Open Mouth" which was completely different sound entirely, but not bad by any means. Instead here we get 2 really intense grind songs, the momentums just starting to build up, and get stopped by a 3 minute "Experimental" track. It’s like the music equivalent of your girlfriend doing a striptease for you then when she gets into bed she tells you she has a headache. OK I GET IT, you weren't going to make another "Parasite", but then why'd you have to tease us so bad? It’s frustrating.

Anyways, you can listen for yourselves underneath.

Torrent Link (Discography)

The Jonbenet - The Plot Thickens (2005)

The Jonbenet is what happens when you get a group of guys who just don't agree about anything and put them in a band together. Its like one member was like "I want to play post-hardcore" and another member was like "No I hate that I want to play Indie Rock", and one other member was like "Hey I thought we were going to be playing good ol' southern rock" and then the last guy was like "Thats boring I want to do something more challenging lets do some intense mathcore riffs" And instead of compromising on any one thing they decided to just throw all of it together....and make it work perfectly. Like seriously listen to these guys and try to figure out what the hell they're doing, they're all over the place yet make it seem like its the most natural thing in the world. The Plot Thickens goes from toe tapping catchy to shredding your face off in seconds flat.

Now while it does incorporate all the things listed, it is a predominantly heavy album. So its really more of an Experimental Hardcore album, think if The Number 12 was from Texas and you've got yourself a ballpark figure.

Anyways you can figure it out for yourself By Clicking Below

iamerror - Trout Yogurt (2008)

Cybergrind, NintendoCore, 8-bit Grind, Nintengrind, many names can one genre of music have? Anyways, iamerror is what happens when someone takes old school videogame music and combines it with the speed and intensity of grind music. When I first heard about this I was skeptical. I figured it was just a stupid gimmick and there would just be like a Mario intro at the beginning before just starting typical grindcore songs with synth thrown in. Wow was I wrong. This album makes you think 'oh so this is what Pokemon would sound like with a full band'. Even the songs that aren't directly related to video games still sound like they would fit in perfectly as background music to your old school megaman games. If you like old school video games, and you like stupid fast drumming, I guarantee you'll love this. For those who've never played a videogame in their life, well the sound is so full and the synth so mind blowing that it really doesn't matter. You'll still love it.

I promise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PsyOpus - Ideas Of Reference (2004)

Well I've been sifting through all of my Last.Fm recomendations, and up came a band called PsyOpus.....and....uh....

Holyy Shit.

I've only listened to there debut album so far, but I mean, after listening to this cd theres really not much else you can say. Its mathcore (or avant-garde metal as wikipedia claims) at its finest. If you like guitars going way too fast and then suddenly changing the tempo about 8 times (basically If you're A fan of Dillinger Escape Plan) then you'll love these guys. Every song on this cd is a perfect balance of complete chaos and perfect harmony.