all of the below were in issue #2
Joshua Fit for Battle - demo (self released)
Hell Yeah!!! These guys are not only great people but their demo rules. It's screamo in the traditional sense. They have great quiet parts that lull you to a place where you're all warm and fuzzy then......chaos breaks out! The two singers go crazy but in a good way. Your warm fuzzy-ness has changed into an intense emotional storm, but its rockin so you love it.
Blue Ash Solution/Tennyson split 7" (3 Toed Records)
I got an advanced tape from Andrew but I think this is out now. Blue Ash Solution rocked my world. Definite Braid influence but they are a bit crazier with a more raw vocal style. Sounds like some Cap'n Jazz influence also. Really upbeat trebly guitar sound. Tennyson is growing on me. It's a bit more rock sounding but not really generic. I'm starting to enjoy it now that I know the songs. I probably wouldn't buy a Tennyson album but its decent listening. Get this if only for the Blue Ash Solution side.
Arise - 7" (infidel)
Uhhhhhhhhhh. I guess I have to say something. Atomic starts off with a nice guitar and violin melody. Then this is masked by this horrible screaching voice. It jumps all over the place. First it's high then low then back. The guitar players are good at repetition. Maybe it's supposed to be funny. I don't know.
Orchid - 7" (hand held heart)
Yessssss!!! I can't explain it. But I like it. It's a 7" with 5 songs so most are short, but not one dimensional at all. Each goes through a few changes. I guess this is emo/metal/core or whatever you want to call it. It's fast heavy screamy and the lyrics go from pissed off to songs about missing an old girlfriend. An added bonus is the packaging. I love nice packaging on 7"s and this one rules then add in the fact that my copy is on translucent blue. I love this.
My Hero Died Today/man vs. humanity - Light My Fire and Burn Down Baby 7" (scorched earth policy)
Both of these bands are from Germany. My Hero Died Today seem to mix old with new for a really good mix. I can hear influences from '80s NYC hardcore but it's very different. After you write a million reviews it's hard to distinguish stuff but they have a distinct style. I like it. Man vs. Humanity play a more grind type hardcore. The music is usually fast but they mix things up with chugga breakdowns. The vocals are more screamed and a bit incoherent but that's what they make lyric sheets for. Both bands lyrics are politically based and the common ideas seem to make it a more cohesive split. Germany does it again.
Rainer Maria/Hal Al Shedad - Post Marked Stamps #9 (tree)
This is the first of the post marked series I've gotten. I like the packaging. It was a good idea that's probably worn out by now but I like it. Rainer Maria play a lo-fi emo-pop sound. The recording seems pretty bad on this song. Other than that it's a good distorted pop song. It starts off quiet and then builds to a trebly distorted guitar sound with dual girl/guy vocals. If you're not familiar with Hal Al Shedad by now you've missed out. This song sounds more like their first full length. I guess it can be titled math rock but it really rocks. It's heavier than what I consider math rock though. I'll never be able to describe them but they're amazing on recording or live.
Dawn of Orion - on broken wings (undecided)
Let the gods of metal smile down upon you and salute with double devil horns. These guys play straight up metal with low growly vocals. Somehow they've found a niche in the Atl hardcore scene, which is good for me since I get to see them every now and then. Since the addition of a second guitar player the sound has become really full. Great metal with all the elements: fast single note attacks, slow grinding parts, double bass, and an ever changing array of riffs.
The Rye Coalition/The VSS - double split 7" (super)
The first Rye Coalition song is off of their full length "Hee Saw Dhuh Kaet." So I already had this song and was a bit disappointed. Never fear here comes the second song: a remix of the first one. They took the basic rhythm slowed it down and made a rap song. It's great. I love bands that aren't afraid to explore or let themselves be explored by other musicians. The VSS play a surreal keyboard rock sound. It's really spacey and slow. The re-mix takes a song I've never heard before and makes it into a techno song. Kinda cool. I like this album a lot. The diversification of sounds and broadening of horizons. This is what music is all about.
Thoughts of Ionesco/Cromwell - split 7" (long bow masterworks)
I'd never heard either of these bands so I was curious when I saw this. One song by each band and it's on 33rpm. That tells you how long they are. But they're not boring. TOI have a slow heavy sound but the song starts off with an acoustic guitar playing a sweet melody. Explanations get harder the later it gets but I can't wait to hear more from this band. Cromwell sounds like somebody crossed stoner rock with hardcore. It's kinda cool. Then they start with the faster riffs and light guitar with a dissonant effect. This is what Kyuss would've sounded like had they been hardcore.
Cable Car Theory - 7" (immigrant sun)
Creative packaging. I'd read a review in HeartAttaCk and had to get this. I was sorely disappointed. The first songs sound like HWM with this screamo kid singing. The vocals are too harsh and up front. It just doesn't fit the songs. But the last song, "a song for Alexis," oh my lord!! This song is so awesome and heartfelt. It's worth it to buy this for that song alone. Skip the first side and go to the second.
Race Bannon/To Dream of Autumn - split 7" (witching hour)
I got this at New Bedford and it didn't come with any insert. Race Bannon never cease to amaze me. Their songs are so incredible. The second song incorporates a human beat box noise with a crazy hardcore song. They're soooo good. To Dream of Autumn play a similar style without the nifty sound tricks of RB. It's more straight ahead but they do it well.
Race Bannon - Master Control Program 7"(the Great Vitamin Mystery)
I can't say enough about this band. I've waited a year for this 7". When is there gonna be a full length!? They combine indie, screamo, hardcore, and millions of other influences to make damn good music. I especially like the fact that they're not afraid to put ambient sound samples and other things on their albums. They make great intros and outros. I love these guys!
You and I - 7" (Sage)
I don't think there are any more of these around. I lucked into one at New Bedford. Apparently the guys found some extra ones laying around. It's not as metal as some of their newer releases. I think it's some of their best stuff. Just get it if you can find it. If not mail me and I'll try to hook you up with a copy of mine.
Hal Al Shedad - Running and Falling 7" (buddy system/troubleman unlimited)
These two songs won't be on a new CD so get them while you can. "Human Again" just upholds the standard set by these guys. "Eloquent Loser" is an amazing epic of a song. Their songs are getting longer and more abstract. They know the power of silence and it's amazing. It's late and they rule, that's my review.
Dawnbreed - Luxus (stickfigure)
Okay Gavin talked me into buying this. He was right, it rules! I think Jon Spencer turned hardcore with some girl vocals. Interesting sound. Reminescent of Drive Like Jehu and others. It has influences from everywhere. Guess where it's from? Germany!
Hunter-Gatherer - my house is on fire 7" (run the driver project)
It's finally out!! If you don' know who these guys are, read the interview. Okay so that doesn't tell you much. They'll kill me but they sound sorta like HWM. Dual vocals, really solid drumming, and an awesome bass player. They are a bit crazier than HWM though. HG use a bit rawer vocal sound (well not on the 7" but live) and the guitars sometimes just erupt into chaotic noise. It all works in the grand scheme of things. Plus they have the sing along quality.
Flux Capacitor - demo
I got this a long time ago and promised these guys that I'd put it in the zine. If you're reading this...sorry. Good thing I like this because now I can give them a good review. So the quality on this demo is the only drawback. But, hey, it's a demo. They describe the sound as a mix between Hum and Weezer. I'd have to agree but it doesn't end there. They're super tight live. I'd have to say they have more of the emo/rock influence than the two aforementioned. It's heavy and driving but has some poppy-ness to it also. Is that a word? Either way it's good rock out and bob your head music. See them live, it's better.
. See them live, it's better.