Favorite Tracks: You & Me Forever, Weak Days, I Don’t Miss You
Elder Brother have released their latest record, titled “Stay Inside.” I enjoyed the band’s previous record so I was curious about what they would bring to the table this time around. The album opens up beautifully with “Greatest Hit,” led by striking pianos and other subtle instrumentation. The composition on the track only gets better and better and, while the song seems pretty simplistic, it’s also dramatic and complex at the same time. The two tracks that follow, “No Reason” and “You & Me Forever,” both have even more interesting composition in the guitar parts and provide some pretty catchy melodies. “Sway” and “Unnatural History” both have some incredible vocal performances, accompanied by some softer and more ambient instrumentation.
“Weak Days” is one of the more emotional songs on the record, especially with lyrics like “I’ve promised not to miss you but what can I say? I think you’re gonna need somebody with time you can waste on your weak days,” as well as a soulful guitar solo and powerful choruses with fantastic vocals. The next few tracks are probably the biggest standouts on the entire album. “Nothing Means Nothing” adds some acoustic guitar into the mix and has some darker instrumentation and overall composition, “Wish You Were Here” has some different guitar tones and one of the best vocal performances on the record, and “I Don’t Miss You” is a lot more energetic and happy sounding, with one of my favorite choruses on here. “Battle” is one of the softer tracks on the record, with darker acoustic guitar parts, echoing vocals, and some piano added in as well, which was a nice touch. “Earthbound” was a track that, in all honesty, just didn’t grab my attention right away like some of these other tracks did. The song relies a lot more on the instrumentation, but the production and effects used on the track kind of take over that. “I Don’t Think It Stops” is another track that’s on the slower and softer side, but it’s also one that stood out to me quite a bit. The chorus is huge and the guitar solo absolutely blew me away. All in all, the song makes a beautiful closing track. Overall, I enjoyed this record. I feel like this shows the band experimenting a little bit with their sound and trying new things, and it worked out pretty well.
Sevsons have released a new track, titled “Evolution.” I’ve been a big fan of this band’s music since I first heard about them in early 2017, and I was very impressed with their debut album, as well as the single they released to follow that up. Needless to say, I was excited to hear what they had done with this new track. It just seems like the band created something a lot more positive, from the brighter guitar tones to the happy-sounding composition to the uplifting lyrics (“We are the chosen, a voice for the beaten and broken” and “We will conquer fear”). The chorus is, without a doubt, one of the major highlights of the track, providing a fantastic vocal performance, and the background vocals echoing “woah” after each line add more emphasis to that section of the song. The vocals all throughout this track are emotional, but in the chorus, that emotion really shines through and shows the band have created something truly special. Overall, I really liked this track. I enjoyed it more with every listen and, mainly from a lyrical standpoint, this may be one of my favorite tracks from this band so far.
Earlier this year, The Colour You have released their debut single, titled “Set Me Free.” One thing I will say about this track right away is that it absolutely blew me away and impressed me more than I thought it would. Synths open the track before the hard hitting instrumentals come in, and also drive the pre chorus, leading up to a massive, anthemic chorus. The vocal performance on here blew me away and the melodies on here are unique, while also being catchy and memorable. Overall, I absolutely loved this track. It’s a great debut from this band and probably one of my favorite songs at the moment.
Devin Kennedy has released a new single called “Waste Of Time.” I’ve heard of this musician before and had been meaning to check out his music, so I was excited to hear this song, and I was pretty impressed with it. As far as songwriting, I think the song is great. It’s well-written, has a great structure, and the melodies that were composed for this track, especially during the chorus, are really good as well. This singer has a great voice and the subtle instrumentation allows that vocal performance to shine even more than it already does. Overall, I enjoyed this track. It’s something that I have continuously come back to and I’m curious to hear more songs by this musician to see what else he has in store.
American Standards have released a new single, titled “Weep.” I’ve heard good things about this track and was curious to listen to it myself. You can tell from the dark intro that this song is going to be aggressive, shown later on by the fast paced drums, furious guitars and harsh vocals. While the song does have those aggressive moments, and plenty of them, there are some moments where things slow down and become a bit more melodic. There’s also a spoken word section, with the screams in the baxkgroup adding more emotion than what is already there. There are many lyrics on here, such as ”Reborn, revive, I fight for a new life” and “happiness; a feeling of purpose I pray I can grasp,” that show just as much emotion, with the vocal performance getting that across perfectly. Overall, I enjoyed the track. As mentioned many times in this review, I think it shows plenty of emotion and the performances show that very well.
Favorite Track: Run Away With Me
KRANTZ have released their latest record, titled “The Pennock Tapes.” I had never heard of or listened to the band in the past, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I honestly enjoyed quite a bit of the release. The opening track has interesting guitar parts, especially during the intro. The chorus on here has some great melodies and the overall composition of the song is really good. “All Outta Love” has some softer instrumentation, allowing the vocals to show off very well, and I absolutely love the vocal performance and vocal style on this track. The following track, “Can’t Forget,” shows off the vocals as well. The lead guitar parts on here were pretty impressive and the song has quite a lot of memorable melodies, especially during the chorus. “Run Away With Me” is a really catchy track that’s upbeat and just fun to listen to, and it’s easily one of the best songs on here. “Until We Meet Again” is a softer and more laid-back track, but that shows off the good vocal performance once again, and the song as a whole is a pretty good one to close out the EP with. Overall, I thought this EP was pretty good. There are a lot of great moments on the record, especially the performances in these tracks.
Favorite Track: Bitter Half
18th & Addison have returned with their latest EP, titled “Vultures.” A follow-up to their successful full-length, “Makeshift Monster,” I was curious to see what this band had in store this time around with a new handful of songs. “Not My Home” starts off the EP pretty well. The duo (consisting of Kait DiBenedetto and Tom Kunzman) go back and forth on vocal duties during the verses, but pair up to create some incredible harmonies during the chorus, with the song as a whole really showing off the talent that they both have as vocalists. Next up is the excellent lead single “Time Bomb,” a fun and catchy pop punk track with plenty of memorable melodies and guitar parts. (The opening riff is bound to get stuck in your head after a couple of repeated listens to the track). “Waves” picks up the pace a bit more, led by fast and energetic instrumentation. Between that and the more unique melodies, I’d say that this track really captures the true punk rock sound that this band is going for. “Bitter Half” is the final track on here, and it may be the biggest standout. The guitar parts driving the intro instantly grabbed my attention, and the track as a whole is a bit of a darker one, both melodically and lyrically (“I can’t keep falling apart, now we’re back to the start, where we lost ourselves”), as well as a fantastic choice for the closing track. Overall, I really liked this EP. One thing I love about this band is that I never really know what to expect whenever I hear some new music from them, and that’s the case for this new EP as well. Each song is slightly different from the others, showing the various different influences in their music, while all of them still fall under the “rock” umbrella. There’s something for pretty much every alternative fan to find enjoyable, and that’s one of many reasons why this release should be on your radar if it isn’t already.
Favorite Track: SandCastleHeart
Dylan Oliver, who is currently making music under the stage name Little Brother, has released his debut EP for this project. I was curious about what style of music he made and performed, and was pretty impressed once I heard it. The introductory track has a haunting, yet beautiful piano part driving it. The moody tone of the song sets the scene for the rest of the EP, especially the following track, "EvenTry." On here, mysterious synth-led instrumentation backs up a captivating vocal performance with well-written melodies. "No More" is a bit more upbeat than the first two tracks are, throwing in some subtle guitars in the beginning and a great bass part towards the end. The EP finishes strong with the fantastic closer "SandCastleHeart." The vocals on here show plenty of emotion, while the instrumentation builds up with the fierce drums and striking pianos, preparing for a huge ending. This song also has some of my favorite lyrics on the whole EP: "I built sand castles around me so you can smash the walls and try to stay. You suddenly have subtleties that make you feel so close, but yet, so far from me." Overall, I liked this EP. I definitely think that this guy has a lot of talent and this release shows just how much promise and potential he has as a musician.
Favorite Tracks: Amethyst, Floodgates, Mirrors
Canadian metalcore band The Afterimage are back with their newest effort, titled "Eve." I've heard good things about this album since its release, so I decided to check it out for myself, and let me tell you, I was very impressed.
Haunting introductory track “Aquamarine” easily sets the tone for the rest of the record, followed by the one-two punch of “Cerulean” and “Deadlines,” full of aggressive instrumentation and huge choruses. The opening lines of “Amethyst” paired with its interesting rhythms immediately draw the listener in, preparing them for what could easily be one of the most emotional tracks, especially as far as the vocals and lyrics go. “Floodgates” brings some very impressive guitar parts, while “Secrets” provides a perfect blend of harsh screams and mind-blowing melodies. The title track may be one of the biggest standouts on the entire record, being a much softer number compared to the others. “Mirrors” brings the energy back up a bit, with some fantastic melodies sung over lyrics written just as well (“This darkness reminds me of myself, and I’m afraid of what my spirit brings.”) “Sapphire” kicks things up a notch, with “Wrath” following suit and being one of the most energetic (and most aggressive) tracks out of this bunch. There’s not too much I feel like I can pinpoint about “Violator,” but I will say that it makes a pretty good closing track. Overall, I really liked this album. I was very surprised by it and impressed by the band’s unique songwriting style and talent that makes this album one of the biggest standouts in this genre today.
Favorite Track: Celestial Dance
Tiavara have dropped their latest release, titled “Delusional Tales of Grand Intentions. The opening track, “The Empty Sky,” brings in some impressive instrumentation, especially the guitars and drums, and a great breakdown. “Faces” has a lot of aggression in the instrumentation and the vocals, which I love. The cleaner vocals bring some pretty good melodies to the table as well, and I can honestly say that this is probably the most well-written song on the entire EP. “Serenade of a Leech” has some softer instrumentation at first, which I liked, but it quickly gets more energetic and aggressive. The EP meets its midway point when the lead single “When Silence Reigns” comes in, and it’s honestly another really good song. The vocals on here are good, the guitars, especially towards the end, are great, and it’s overall another well-written song and a good lead single. “Among The Stars” has another intro that starts out softer but eventually hits harder. The vocals on here are pretty good, and the subtle synths in the background add more emphasis to the already dramatic instrumentation. “Celestial Dance” has some great lyrics like “you are free, don’t let them clip your wings.” I also love how during the bridge, the instrumentation builds up and gets louder and more aggressive. The EP closes out with the track, “Not A Hero.” It starts out slower and softer at first compared to the other tracks, but eventually brings lots of energy. The melodies on here are great and the instrumentation is very impressive, especially the lead guitar solo. Overall, I thought this record was pretty good. There were some pretty impressive moments, especially as far as the composition and songwriting goes.