Jersey’s Best Prancers is one of the most catchy albums you will ever hear. it also proves numerous times that the verse-chorus-verse formula is all but necessary to make catchy music. the different parts of the tracks don’t have to repeat themselves two or three times each if the parts are all equally awesome, and as long as they fit well together. this is proven again and again on this album. and in addition to being catchy, The Ergs! showcase brilliant guitar solos and a keen sense of harmonies. the album title is an obvious tribute to Lifetime’s Jersey’s Best Dancers. but where that album sounded like east coast emo (Falling Forward, Elliott and so on), this album sounds more like Hüsker Dü’s latter days combined with The Get Up Kids (both their punky efforts and their more alt-country-ish sound). intelligent yet joky. you will have to download this! and if you like it, buy it at http://www.myspace.com/theergs
archive for March, 2009
The Ergs! are a very rare band. playing with Hüsker Dü tattooed in their foreheads, and an obvious Descendents and Queers influence, they rock harder than most. and DorkRockCorkRod definitely proves this! with funky riffs, upbeat drumming and the extremely distinguishable vocals, this band has got a good thing going. punk songs about love, relationships and other personal issues. not exactly emo, but there’s probably no one who will kill you if you call it emo anyway. but whether you call it emo, punk, hardcore, rock, alternative, pop-”punk” or whatever – it’s awesome nevertheless. call it what you will, as long as you listen to it. if The Beatles was a 2000s band, they would sound like this. and everybody loves The Beatles. so get this! you can buy their albums and support the band at http://www.myspace.com/theergs
sleepmakeswaves are punking it up. while the demo (see post #90) is mostly slowly creating this soft atmospheric music, or droning the shit out of the listener with distorted guitars and cymbal-heavy drumming, this release starts of with a mostly very upbeat piece with rocking harmonic guitars. of course the band can’t help but fill the mid-part with some progressive goodiness that builds up with a faster and faster hitten snare, melodic guitars and mellow bass – all of which eventually climaxes in an explosion of powerful melody alike to Mogwai on their finest. this really sounds like City of Caterpillar sans the screaming, only more patient and with more instruments. kind of like Envy. it’s big and it’s good. and everybody should download it.
Dominic has always struck me as on of the most unique hardcore/emo bands out there. they are so distinct in their sound that it’s not hard to recognise how different and great they are. a simply awesome band. and the two tracks they contribute to this split is nothing short of awesome either. the dramatic approach to screamo present in their style is spectacular. it’s progressive, noisy and beautiful. and not to be missed out on. while most intense screamo bands (this rules out the math rock twiddle/noodle bands) are either very brutal or equally brutal but with the occasional melodic approach for ten seconds or less. Dominic manages to get the best of both worlds at all times. truly impressive. especially given how progressive their music is. it takes great song writing to achieve music as good as this. The Third Memory are a vastly different band. yes they have semi-similar guitars at times, and are definitely melodic and progressive as Dominic – but this band are noticeably less noisy. while incorporating intensively screamed vocals, the music is essentially very soft. the guitars are kind of twinkly like Dominic’s, but not even half as distorted. and while the drummer beats the shit out of the snare from time to time, it’s generally not very heavy. it’s a bit weird listening to this band, because they are so fast, progressive and technical – but they never get carried away and just climax into a big bunch of noise. and that is admirable, the way they contain themselves. but it’s by no means reserved or anything like that – it’s passionate alright. it’s just diciplined as well. and it’s awesome. get this split!
sleepmakesnowaves have no vocals, but that doesn’t mean they have no voice. they are in fact highly vocal, despite lacking a vocalist. they are an instrumental rock band that play a great deal on ambience. it sounds like they are trying to capture Mogwai’s magic ambient twinkling, and then completely destroy it with distorted drone guitars in the vein of Isis every now and then. they succeed at this. very much. this demo sounds very dark and meek, yet there is this optimism and power inherent in the music. especially the parts with distorted guitars and an overall loudness. the twinkly ambient bits come off as sort of passages into these great climaxes of honest, humble and very *awesome* music.
Manhattan Skyline are one of the best band I’ve ever seen live. their extremely aggressive music and intense performance is marvellous. this band plays Orchid-style hardcore/screamo, and mixes it up a bit with mathcore influences. it reminds me very much of The Crinn, which again sounds like a more insane version of Dillinger Escape Plan with cooler vocals. Manhattan Skyline can probably also be compared to DEP. though not as obviously as The Crinn, because this band isn’t as jazzy. it’s more in your face screamo with obvious metalcore and plain hardcore influences. more The Spectacle than DEP. on the other hand, if you’ve ever heard Kaospilot or Dominic and digged them, you will probably welcome Manhattan Skyline as a different, but equally awesome band. equally awesome, but definitely unique in their sound. they thrash around like no one else, both live and on record. the lyrics are perhaps not all that intelligible at the first listen due to the mad screaming and loud music, but once you pay attention they are every bit as great as the music. they are definitely a vital organ in the Manhattan Skyline body, and I recommend paying attention to them, once you get over the whole stroke-thing you’ll get after listening through this for the first time with the stereo cranked up at 95db. this is loud shit. enjoy.
I suppose the world’s biggest band or so at the moment does not need any introduction, but still – let me pretend it still is 2004 or whenever I downloaded these off of SoulSeek. the band was admittedly not as famous back then, but they were definitely as good as they are now. these demos shows a new band in town, eager to show off their newly discovered skills at composing and performing music. the music is in fact extremely eager. they play fast, intense and energetic punk tracks, with several tracks clocking in well under three minutes – some even under two. the waililng guitars are loud as can be. the whole sound picture is generally fast and loud. crashing drums, distorted and crisp guitars, shouted vocals and fast bass. but what perhaps makes Arctic Monkeys stand out the most are their intelligent and observant lyrics, penned by guitarist/vocalist Alex Turner. some have even compared him to Jarvis Cocker (that might be a bit over the top though), due to how he manages to put down what’s going on in his world to paper. there’s no “bigger picture” here, it’s just Turner and the way he sees the world. what’s going on in his head. whether it’s clever observations on the youth cliques, patronizing words on a scumbag, or simple straightforward tunes about love – Turner knows his shit when it comes to writing. and so does he when it comes to killing his guitar, like Jamie Cook also does his fair share of. so if you’re into crisp and deadly guitars, loud and fast drumming, melodic and hasty bass and shouted vocals that tells stories – this is for you. download it!
Engerica released one of the best metal-influenced screamo/punk affairs of 2006. this is not it. this is a demo session sometime before that. and it’s golden! while it has not yet fully developed the screamo anxiety, and the quirky/serious/insane balance isn’t yet perfected, this is four sleazy rock tracks with humorous lyrics and desperate melodies. definitely worth getting your hands on.
two frantic experimental emo tracks filled with despair and chaos. shouting, heavy drums with plenty of cymbal rape, guitars that reminds me of Paper Moshay by Antioch Arrow, weird synth effects and so on. all of this comes together… well to say “nicely” would be a bit of a lie, because this is simply chaotic artsy and angsty punk rock that probably would fit in on Gravity records in the early ninetees or even late eightees. it’s hypnotic, claustrophobic and nervous, with a dark edge to it. also this band is slightly obscure as far as I know, because they kind of disappeared after I got this demo from them. they don’t even log into their MySpace, let alone answer messages from it – so yeah. score eliteness points today! download this gem. :)
1099 are a band that plays very atmospheric music. the guitars are twinkling nicely, whilst the strings are ensuring the music is constantly flowing like a waterfall. the drummer makes use of the entire kit, at the right times. cymbals galore to create intense moments, snare to create suspension and a nice utilization of toms to make sure the music doesn’t run away. where Yndi Halda’s songs are so different that they could just as well been split up into several tracks, 1099′s tracks are definitely single pieces that are so sewn together, you wouldn’t dream of replacing – let alone removing – a single bit of them. where Explosions in the Sky generally tend to have long intros that lead into this one climax – 1099 are a constant flow of climaxes, making the tracks less tiring than Explosions in the Sky’s. the songs go from downbeat moments with toms and the infamous Indian Summer guitars, onto the same Indian Summer guitars only with snare instead of toms. then the strings come. then the cymbals come, increasingly louder and louder and louder. the snare is hit faster and louder as well. the guitars go higher and higher. the strings are constrasting slower and slower. everything breaks. the twinkly Indian Summer guitars are alone. then comes the upbeat drumming, the distorted guitars, the everything. there’s climaxes all over the place. everything is alive with beauty, power and passion. this ep is awesome, and you should get it. I’m not generally into bands without vocals, but this is simply awesome.