I visited Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson’s Facebook page today, like I do almost every day. their latest post was a recommendation of the Swedish band Tim, Face Berlin. “and the rest is history”. this is the band’s first release, from May 2009. they proudly present themselves as fans of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky on their MySpace, but they didn’t really have to write that. yes, it’s that obvious. like most bands in the progressive rock genre that omit vocals from their sound, they simply can’t avoid being compared to the two mammoths that are Mogwai and EitS. they borrow quite a bit of their backbone from them. they probably owe their entire existence to them, to be quite honest. but it’s okay. it doesn’t matter. it’s not a negative thing at all. it’s in fact completely irrelevant! because what matters is how Tim, Face Berlin pulls off their sound, not where they got it from. sure, their sound is essentially created by someone else, and they do come off as slightly generic on this, their début release – but that’s not the core of the matter. the core of the matter is how this music reaches out and touches the listener, and how they successfully create a sentimental and simply gorgeous atmosphere. We Could Wait Forever’s biggest flaw is undoubtedly the lack of innovation presented in the compositions, when put in a jar with all of the compositions of Tim, Face Berlin’s peers. there are a lot of bands with this sound that fail to stand out appropriately in the composition department. but Tim, Face Berlin stands out in a totally different, but incredibly more important department. and this is after all their first release – so maybe the innovation and originality will follow on their newer attempts? who knows. I really don’t care as much about it as I know others will. as long as they still manage to convey the huge amount of emotion with their music, as the achievement that is We Could Wait Forever does – I’m okay.
archive for April, 2010
you guys remember that incredible emo band Vulture Culture, right? well, apparently they recorded their record in the basement of Dustin Dopsa. and apparently, he’s in the Toronto-based pop band Final Thought… and apparently they are strong believers in free music! what do you know, heh. so anyway, this is Final Thought. a Canadian pop band that’s somewhere between Angels & Airwaves, Fall Out Boy, 3OH!3 and Taking Back Sunday. now I only really like two of those bands (guess which ones!), but this mix works pretty great. it ends up being catchy vocal hooks over gentle guitar riffs, pleasant synth blip blops, soft bass lines, and upbeat drumming; a fairly generic and stereotypical pop rock sound. but Final Thought have some magic up their sleeves, and aren’t afraid to occasionally flash it, in order to stand out in a crowd – something they actually accomplish quite well. in such an otherwise stagnant and boring genre, it’s important to contribute with something fresh and genuine, and I feel like Final Thought do just that. with a little tongue in cheek lyrics and that good old trick of making really good tunes, this is a pop band that’s worth listening to. pay attention to these guys, because they might just be “the next big thing”. (and remember where you heard them first! ;) they will do everything they can to wrap you around their finger, so give them a chance! and tell all your friends to give them a chance as well. (did u c whut i did thur??? you’ll see once you get the track titles. it’s really “clever” and whatsitcalled “funny”.) download this!
this is a band who knows how to make a first impression. the first two tracks of this unreleased compilation were rerecorded for the Salute Utopia 10″ (download available further down the blog), their only release. but what a release! that 10″ is one of the most ferocious records I have ever heard. and this compilation of unreleased tracks is no less furious. this album is just a confirmation that Beyond the Fences is without a doubt one of the very finest punk rock bands in all of history. this band is just insanely good, and I want to strongly encourage everyone to check them out. this is some of the most ardent music ever made. Beyond the Fences blazes through these five tracks in the most intense way at all possible. this band is criminally overlooked, and worth its weight in gold – nay, in antimatter. you need to hear this band. download this!
Vulture Culture are a band that I know absolutely nothing about. there exist pretty much no information on them anywhere. but their album is a) for free download and b) good. no scratch b – this is *perfect*. the composition style favours haunting atmospheres that build up to beautiful and completely breath-taking climaxes. with some rather lengthy songs (particularly the opening track), this band aims for something grand. and they achieve something very much grand by exploring different musical territories in a progressive and searching manner. these tracks display high composing skill, in the dynamic way they crawl up on you. with highly distinct vocals, soft and pretty melodies and well crafted highs and lows, Vulture Culture are a band that manages to sound vastly different from any other band out there, with their pleasant softness and prominent mood. this is highly ambitious and even more successful. if I were to describe this record with one word, it would be “slumber”. Cassette feels like an eerie slumber; a state of constant euphoria. this album cannot be overrated. download this.
so you guys remember I talked about Killing Years, right? well here they are. and they used to be called Nations, but after many line-up changes, they decided to change their name as well. but one thing that hasn’t changed, are their ethics. strongly rooted in the DIY movement, these guys do everything themselves. and they’ve uploaded this album themselves, stating that while they did in fact «spen[d] money to have it recorded/mixed/mastered, and will spend the money to press and get it out there with physical copies», «this has never been about profit». but hopefully, their admirable ethics won’t be the only thing that leaves an impression on you. this is a ten minute record that is somewhat reminiscent of the Nations demo, but still really different. I’d say that Nations is significantly heavier, and more influenced by bands like Unbroken. this band doesn’t focus as much on breakdowns, but they are a lot more dynamic. ranging from the slow and controlled (but far from calm) to the raging fast, this band masters both end of the pace spectrum, and everything in between – including the transitions. another thing that separates them from Nations for me is that this band appears much more melodic, despite finding the time to experiment with pace transitions. Killing Years definitely have a very accomplished sound, solid compositions and highly skilled performers. but what makes them really worth listening to – and I say this about nearly every band ever, sorry – is their passion. the burning passion that fills each and every song on this record is what makes it so good. so download this, and support this band.
another band that Will – the vocalist from Some Mistakes used to be in is Nations. Nations have undergone a bunch of changes, and are now known as the Christian hardcore band Killing Years. but before Killing Years (we’ll get back to them some posts later, hopefully), there was Nations. this demo shows a promising young band in love with ’90s hardcore and with an affection for melody. they are a little comparable to Word Travels Fast, but there aren’t any clean vocals, and the production is a bit more gritty. this is a heavy hardcore band with tough break downs, but very intricate and at times highly melodic guitar licks underneath the raspy vocals, that serves as a counterpoint to the usually implicit melodic music. in a very skilled manner, the breakdowns are the perfect heavy and brooding contrasts to the fast and melodic, though just as powerful upbeat parts. this is somewhat in between Unbroken and Word Travels Fast, and a good band for you hardcore fans to give a try. check them out.
in 1989 what would later become one of the quintessential emo bands of the ’90s formed in Long Island, NY. by 1991 they had “settled down” (i.e. began touring regularly and sporting a stable line-up) with the band name 1.6 Band. this is a band name that means a lot to a lot of people. if the name doesn’t ring any bells for you, you need to download this as soon as possible. existing from 1991 to 1993, they put out three 7″s and an LP. the songs appearing on said records are available on a discography CD, Broke Up, released in 1995. but here we are – in 2010, and 1.6 Band are probably more popular than ever. a lot of the emo giants of the ’90s have enjoyed a resurrection via the Internet, and 1.6 Band are not an exception. it certainly didn’t hurt that they reunited last year. yes – this is actually an entirely new 7″! well, not “new” new… but 21st century new, at least. The Checkered Pasts of All Kings Present is a 12:12 long 7″ with much of the same tongue in cheek not-really-crooning over jazzy and spastic ’90s emo. playful experimenting with scales and rapid changes in tempo and style altogether, somewhat comparable to Daniel Striped Tiger. these guys are highly skilled – but what makes this worth listening to is the first and foremost the intensity! so whether you’ve slept on this band, never heard of it, love it but didn’t know about the reunion, – you need to download this. N.B. word of advise: stay away from the FLACs! they crash both my tag editor and my media player. I don’t know what’s up with them. but the 320kbps MP3s sound very good, so get those. then order the 7″, if you like the songs. it’s really cheap ($5 ppd in USA). buy link is in the download link.