Saturday, May 2, 2009

Macula - Return of the unexpected.

If I were to put this band into a category, it would fall under "Not what I expected". As I watched these guys prepare for their set, I was in turn preparing for some recycled thrash metal style performance with some catchy tunes and lyrics thrown in. Luckily for me, what I got was definitely along the lines of something amazing.

They started out strong with funky rhythms, consistent tempo changes, shocking vocals and best of all powerful outbursts of music made performance. With an ethereal feeling flowing through the music, Macula started a whole new category in my vault of music, I call it Sexy Metal.

Lead singer Tom is absolutely captivating at times, seemingly possessed by the music he embodied the term 'feeling the beat'. His quick tongued, punkish and almost nonsensical lyrics are incomprehensible at times, but lucky for Tom, you don't care that you can't understand him because it sounds so freakin good. This guy practically oozes talent and performs his music so enticingly that you can't take your eyes off of him, which makes it really unfortunate that his eyes are mostly on the lyrics set up on the stage floor. Confidence is key, and to project this you need to have eye contact, so learn your songs prior to the show and give your audience the attention it deserves. In spite of this lack of visual connection Macula fans continued to lovingly welcome their hero into drunken arms. It was quite a sight to see as the crowd quickly developed into a mosh pit, I only wish that Tom would have kept his eyes up and open long enough to appreciate it.

Watching bassist Jordan finger his six string was definitely a pleasing vision. Jordan held precision movement in his hands as he practically threw his body across the stage, this is the performance quality that I would expect from a tour ready band, and I was definitely impressed. I think that the shotgun bass moment was a little over the top, but the crowd loved it and really, that's all that matters.

I think that some of my favourite moments in the music were supplied by Greg on the guitar. He pumped out original rhythms that seemed to take influence from numerous musical genres. I heard blues rifts, funk rhythms, and even tribal tones that complimented the bongo beats pounded out by Clay. One thing I really enjoyed were the melodic bridges in place of fast picked solos. Now don't get me wrong, I love a great metal guitar solo, but I have heard so many poorly performed ones lately that it was a nice break for my over stimulated ears. It was really refreshing to hear a creative sound flow from the lead guitar, rather than the overly exuberant heavy handed unoriginal metal rifts that I have been bombarded with lately. Not to say that there weren't moment where Greg didn't manhandled that guitar like a dirty hooker, but he threw in something that most music is missing these days, an edgy original concept.

Now I come to the unfortunate moment of this show, the Tool cover. Okay, so if your going to right songs obviously inspired by these progressive metal Gods then don't do a cover. Also, discontinue the use of any song that could be confused as a Tool cover, like the last one played in this set. It takes away from your music, and creates the illusion that you are only a carbon copy of something better. Tool is a great musical influence and inspires a lot of bands, but just make sure that you don't repeat their sound. If you want to copy their music, form a cover band.

Moving on from my rant and back to the music, Macula is a band that I feel is packaged and ready to sell. With original rhythms, song that hold emphasis on the bass, a drummer who beats on his kit like it just slapped his mom, and singer who holds all the potential and charisma of an amazing front man these guys are the full deal. They create music that is easy to love with simple, uncomplicated pieces that are exceptionally composed and put together. With musical influences taken from every end of the spectrum, from punk and metal to blues and and hip hop these guys create a sound that rises above todays overplayed and overproduced crap. Their stage show never has a dull moment and starts off as energetic and enthusiastic as it finishes. Macula is like the energizer bunny of progressive metal. This band will kick your ass while making love to your girlfriend, that is the essence of sexy metal.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tenant - Beieve the hype!

If I had to describe Tenant with a sentence it would be this, their music is sadly forgettable but their performance is forever memorable.
Now, this is not to say that the music was bad, because it wasn't. It simply lacked originality and creativity. There were sweetly sensitive melodic guitar harmonies, great vocal transitions with perfectly pitched harmonies, and tempo changes that created a feeling of suspense and built up a real intensity. The music was simple yet powerful, sweet yet aggressive, and yet still nothing I haven't heard a thousand times from a thousand other progressive rock bands. What these guys do have that many others don't, and the reason that I would go out to another show, is the stage presence and performance quality of a stadium ready band.
With a frontman that truly knows what it means to "rock out" and an amazing energy coming from every end of the stage, these guys gave it their all and were gratefully rewarded by an enthusiastic reception of loyal fans. If you look up entertaining and eccentric in the dictionary, the only description would be "Tenant". This is a band that appears to write songs from a love of music, not just an empty desire to be in a rock band and please the pre-teen masses. When they're on stage you believe every chord that is struck and every word that is sung, you can feel the melodies streaming from the guitar. Having a connection to the crowd is so important because if they don't relate to you, you may as well give up and move on, and as I watched their adoring fans move in perfect unison I knew that this band had it and could hold onto it for as long as they choose to create music. I will admit that their were times when I found myself taken aback by their nerdy charm and endless energy, where I had to rise to my feet put down my notes and rock out. You can't help but get swept up in the party nature of their show, and even though Tenants frontman may not be the most attractive guy in the world, he draws you in and holds you there with his powerful voice and emotional performance. Their style of show is definitely an experience, they have fun on stage, put it all out there and even keep the party going between songs with comedic banter. I really enjoy a heavy band that doesn't try to be somethings it's not, that doesn't pretend to be "hardcore", it's very refreshing. I don't know if I'd call it a spectacle of musical greatness, but it was definitely an amazing spectacle of something fantastically entertaining.
Now, musically, if you piece apart the band the individuals are really nothing special, and there were a few moments of lost clarity and sloppiness, but in there defence they did quickly recover and I don't think anyone other than myself really noticed. I really enjoyed watching these guys and I can definitely see their music being played at raging parties everywhere. Personally, I would like to see a little more growth in the musical creativity department.
Overall, I would say that these guys perform a must see show, and although simple, their music is well played and well written to be able to relate to the legions of progressive hard rock fans out there.
Check out tenant at

The Whiteboard Project - A progression in progress.

Kicking off their first Western Canada Tour, The Whiteboard Project, in my opinion, gives new meaning to unrealized potential. I say this because two thirds of this hard rock/light metal trio are amazingly talented while the third member is more of a novice that seems to bring down the band rather than help to hold it up. It's really an unfortunate scenario. Now don't get me wrong, they are a talented band, but they would probably do better to add more creativity and talent to the front line. Their lead singer/lead guitar player appears to not be at the same level as the rest of the band, and really leaves something to be desired. Seemingly playing simple chords, and singing in a pitchless scream, I have to wonder if friendship is more important than the life of the band. I will admit that Paul did have some shining moment on the guitar, but they were far and few between, sadly surrounded by lackluster solo's and basic heavy handed rifts. Although, as a frontman, he does have great charisma and connects well with the crowd....when he's not focused solely on his slight finger movement of course.
Moving on to the better half, percussion and bass.
When it comes to bassist Mark O'Halloran all I can say is "Wow"! With an apparent jazz background he add's originality and complexity to an otherwise repetitive sound. The jazzed up undertones flowing from the bass take this band from basic to progressive. Mark creates a sound that pushes through the music and becomes more like a low pitched melodic guitar than a bass line. He definitely stole the spotlight with cool toned solos, and came together with Paul to create excellent full sounding harmonies. I think Mark's only fault was his attempt at singing, I mean the boy can scream, but should really leave the singing to the pro's.
Now, in the back on drums we have Jeff Laird. In a three piece band you either have to have an amazing lead guitar or a creative and powerfully talented drummer to create a full sound, The Whiteboard Project has Jeff. His precision drumming, and fantastic energy drew me in and held my attention for most of the set. While the intensity and my interest were lost for the more amateur sounding down tempo songs, Jeff makes sure to bring it all back with heart pounding drum fills and creatively strong party style beats. The only issue I have is that there were a lot of similarities between songs and I would have preferred more noticeable differences rather than subtle changes. At the end of the day, I was impressed and intrigued, I wasn't expecting that much raw talent...especially from Nanaimo. Kudos.
Overall, The Whiteboard Project produces good music, not great, but with time and more experience they very well could be. With simple and relateable lyrics, original bass lines plus hard hitting, fast paced precision drumming, these guys have all the makings of an up and coming band. Throw in some vocal lessons for Paul Jacobs and possibly a new lead guitar player with more creative fingering and you've got a contender. These guys have an eclectic sound with amazing moments of originality. I am definitely interested and excited to watch their progression. So with that, I will say to check these guys out and continue to support local music.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stampede Queen - The Live experience!

I am going to keep this review short and sweet, as I I don't really have any criticism for this band.
Finally, a band that knows how to put on a show! Stampede Queen may look and sound like an 80's hair band, complete with head bands, tight jeans, and eye make-up, but they know how to perform on a 21st century stage. I loved it.
The music itself is not radically impressive, but it was tight and very well written. With amazing melodies streaming from the guitars and musical queues taken from 80's greats like Kiss and Motley Crue all put together with a 21st century twist these guys are definitely stage worthy.
Stampede Queen, is what I would call a real Rock & Roll band. They produce fun, up-tempo music that had me moving, and the crowd dancing the whole time.
With amazing talent pouring from every point of this band there is no wonder that the crowd seemed to immediately fall in love. Even as the whole band chimed in the vocals stayed in tune, this is a very rare occurrence and definitely noticed and appreciated. For me, it was the vintage guitar fills, amazingly executed solo's and perfect timing that got me hooked. Stampede Queen creates full music, there were absolutely no holes and I can't think of a single thing that was missing.
Considering how today's rock music has been taking a slightly more 80's twist lately, these guys have picked the perfect time to emerge and make their mark on the music industry. With 21st century bass lines, they keep it fresh and not simply a throwback to the aging Rock Gods.

Watching these guys perform was definitely a treat, considering that every member of the band gave it their all and actually knew how to give a great performance. With the bassist giving a whole new meaning to gettin low, as he practically dragged his bass on the stage floor bending at the knees in ways I though would be impossible, I was locked in and ready for more. When the lead singer takes a break from his vocal demonstration and shreds out some sweetness on the guitar, the crowd went nuts and I must admit, so did I. These guys gave an old school stadium concert feel where I half expected to look around the room and see boobs being flashed, panties thrown on stage, and groupies in leopard print waiting for their backstage romancin. They may have said that it felt like a simple band practice due to the smaller crowd, but this was definitely a full blown musical spectacle. Although when our "Reverend" front man came out with the bible emblazoned with the band logo, that was a little overkill, but still entertaining.
The only thing I found a little disappointing was the constant talk of gettin loaded and high and so on. Now, this could be because I am two months sober, but I found that it just sort of degrades the band and the crowd when you resort to those types of methods of hyping up a crowd.
Once again, it's time for my final opinion. If you see that Stampede Queen is playing anywhere, make the effort to get your butt out there and see them. They put on an amazing, must-watch, show and the music is perfect. These guys are, tight, talented, and know how to rock a crowd. With seamless drumming, vintage guitar melodies, new school bass lines, and 80's style lyrics, these guys have my vote for a must-see band.
Check them out at

Contra Band - Banned from calling their noise Music.

So, normally I enjoy the heavy fast paced sound of a hardcore punk rock band, but what these guys put out there is simply garbage. All it is, is loud messy noise.
They started their set off with a song perfectly titled "We the Weak". It had a great intro, with the drummer digging deep into the toms, but the excitement came to dead stop after that. The music itself didn't make sense, it sounded like each individual player was doing a different song. Timing, which is so important in music, especially the heavier, faster stuff, was non-existant. I honestly felt like I was watching and listening to a few 15 year olds at their first garage band practice. Their was a moment of quick picking display from what I assume was the lead guitar, but other than that and the half decent intro, this song was just weak crap.
After yet another horrible attempt at hardcore punk rock, that actually sounded more like a ten car pile up on stage, the crowd demanded a cover tune. Probably in hopes that it would be better than the mash up of instuments and failed vocals that they were being exposed to. Unfortunately a cover of "Infected with aids" as an attempt to shock us into ignoring their lack of talent, just wouldn't work on me. It did ammuse a few select members of the crowd, but honestly, I could probably ammuse them just as easily by playing peek-a-boo.
I normally don't enjoy being so harsh, but these guys were so messy that I hope this spanking of a review will beat them back to reality. You can't just play intruments fast and loud and call it music, I swear these guys listened to a Misfits album and said "hey, lets grab some guitars and drums and do this, we don't need talent!" So very dissapointing, considering I actually like the Misfits.
Here is a little bit of a shining light for these guys, well the musicians at least. If you take out the overbearing untalented front man, and peice a part the band, their is some actual talent there. These guys can play their instruments, you have to strain your ears to listen, but it is there. Perhaps the problem is too many men fighting for their ideas to be heard, when that happens you end up with Contra Band. For a band to create music, you have to come together and create harmonies, melodies, backbone drum beats, and subtly intense bass lines. Plus you can't have a front man that uses ridiculous displays and a rebel personality to distract from the fact the is completely talentless. It does take talent to scream in music, and not everyone can do it, as I was so rudely forced to realize last night. You can't just have everyone write their own song and throw it together with a loud abnoxoious lead singer in the hopes that no one will notice, because trust me, I will be there, I will notice, and I will make sure that everyone else knows.
In their last song, there were a few short moments of musical clarity, I must admit. The timing finally seemed to kick in, and the music flowed from the stage without incident. But then the lead singer got back on stage and that moment was over.
So here's my final opinion on Contra Band, and as you may have guessed, it's not a good one. Do not waste your time and money on these guys. They need a serious reality check, and to go back and hit up the ole drawing board and actually work together as a band. Definitely ditch the front man, and actually make music. I feel cheated after watching these guys make a mockery of something I love, and that is music.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Burning Borders - Burning up you radio

Okay, so we all know that our radios have recently been flooded by typical radio friendly pop rock bands lately. Bands that I have to give props to for realizing that music is a supply and demand business, where fans create the demand and bands produce the supply. Well, Burning Borders is supplying a great hard rock radio friendly sound with a surprising original twist. Bringing the percussion to the forefront of their music and letting the guitars take on the role of background melodies, they have created a heavier sound that you not only hear but feel. Their music is the type that you can't listen to sitting still, Levi Catroppa pumps out beats that force your body to move.

So we start off with "Sleep" a song that I feel would be the perfect first single for these guys. With the amazing vocal talents of Brian Reed pushing through the music, and lyrics that I can imagine every pre-teen rocker singing along to. This song is a perfect example of feeling the music. With well written melodies, and a heavy guitar intro which carries into the chorus, I can see this song blowing up the charts easily.

Levi starts off "Again" with a simple intro, and keeps his percussion the focus throughout the rest of this song. Unfortunately, that's really the only thing I liked about this song. It's your typical emo-friendly single, with sappy lyrics, simple guitar rifts, and basically just an overall feeling of unoriginality. There is a nice guitar solo break about 2.5 minutes into the song, but it only lasts a few seconds until going back into sad slow rhythm of this teen angst ballad.

"So Divine" takes a minute or so to get going, honestly when it first came on I completely lost interest, but then the chorus takes over. With quick tonged lyrics, hard hitting drum beats and the perfect accompaniment of subtle hard rock guitar melodies, my attention is aggressively man handled back to focus and held for the rest of the song. This song shows excellent timing, I just wish that it had started out as well as it finished.

Okay, so I love the intro for "Bottom of a bottle". This is a song that grabs your attention from the first note and holds on tight. After the last song I was getting a little worried. In this song the guitars actually become noticeable, and you realize that there is some major talent coming from the string department. I love the vocals for this song, Brian Reed stretches his voice and does an amazing job of showcasing his immense vocal talent. I definitely appreciate a singer who isn't simply a carbon copy of Eddie Vedder.

The Burning Borders pattern is slightly broken for "Enemy". With guitar players Justin and Mike taking their place on centre stage and bringing the harmonies and old school guitar rifts to the forefront, while Levi takes the usual drummers spot in the background. Although he does come back out front for the chorus, which also holds a great vocal harmony. Plus we finally have a guitar solo! And it was excellent display of shredding prowess. I also quite enjoyed Korn style vocals at the end of the song.

Alright, lastly we have "Lose Control". This song starts out with a metal feel but unfortunately instead of losing control, I lost interest after the first falsetto note. I found the song to be very basic and kind of rock by numbers. There a few short displays of quick fingered talent coming from the guitar line, but that's about the only thing that keeps this song from being a total flop. I did appreciate the punk style vocals rounding out the end of this song.

So, here's my final opinion. Go out and see these guys live, buy their albums, and get autographs because they are going to blow up on the music scene sooner than later. With an amazing rhythm section stealing centre stage, talented guitar players pumping out hard rock harmonies, and the intense vocal abilities of lead singer Brian Reed, these guys are classic hard pop rock, and todays music fans can't seem to get enough of that. Just don't confuse Burning Borders with your average radio friendly rock band, because they can actually produce well written songs, unlike the fluff I keep hearing DJ's like Todd Hancock raving about. These guys are an amazing local talent, check em out at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ninjaspy - A cult classic in the making!

So, it looks like I have a new favourite band. They have a truly original edgy sound with hard hitting fast paced drumming and an island beat backing. They are Ninjaspy. This hardcore funk rock band has done the impossible and truly impressed me. Unafraid to be different in an industry packed full of unoriginal pop rock these guys developed a sound comparable to 90's great Sublime and added a new age punk rock twist. I highly doubt that they will become radio rock stars, but I believe that they will be the next cult classic of underground alternative punk.
Now, on to the music.
"Evolution of the skid" or as I like to call it, "The evolution of punk", is an amazing song. It's original lyrics and catchy tune set it up to be one of the greats. With a funky back beat, new style vocals, and even a trumpet thrown in the mix, this song takes the punk rock cake.
Okay, so the next song is hard to understand but the sound is so amazing that you can't help but keep listening. "Defecating on what's left of our child" keeps the originality coming. The first couple of bars sound like a typical punk song, but then in comes the island style guitar and you don't know whether to dance or break shit, I love it.
Next, we have "Hit by a cement mixer", which starts out sounding like an unoriginal take on a Staind song, but quickly goes into that funky hardcore mix between Sublime and System of a Down. Parts of this song even showcase the fact that the singer can actually sing in between all of the screaming. I take this song as being their version of the classic power ballad but with hardcore twist. Another amazingly well written song, that takes the unmistakable talent of the entire band and forces you to pay attention.
"Circle Pity" would be the radio friendly song if they had one. With more melodic and understandable singing, and just a taste of the traditional punk screaming thrown in. If this song was found on the radio, I may actually start tuning in. The drummers timing in this song is incredible as he goes from the quick footed double kick and fast paced beats on the toms transitioning down into the slower rhythms of the song.
The last song I am going to talk about is "Out of tampons". If you can get past the disturbing lyrics and primitive chanting this is a great song. With reference to the shameful rape of our earth/mother nature this song is definitely more along the lines of an eye-opening political statement. If this song was written for mother earth than it certainly does her justice, the music is so well written and executed. It's not very often that find a band that knows how to put it all together, how to take an eclectic sound and make it flow so perfectly. The song starts with a sweet guitar intro which falls into the background as the drums take the forefront for most of the song. The guitarist continues to play more subtly holding the music together as a drummer normally would. I love this position switch and it works perfectly for the song.
Now for my overall opinion. I freakin love this band! They are original, talented, and actually know how to write music! If you are looking for a break from today's normalcy and over rated "hard rock" bands, then check these guys out and prepare to have your mind blown.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yeah Whatever - A force to be reckoned with.

So, I've had the extreme pleasure of knowing these guys for the about the last six months. Their music is simple, yet inspirational just like their story. Their friends and I know them as, Evan, Mike, Rob and Tony, but legions of fans worldwide know them as Yeah Whatever.

Formed over five years ago they have fought tooth and nail up through the ranks of an idealistic garage band to the underground sensation they are known as today.

This powerful alternative hard rock quartet has seen their fair share of ups and downs, through in-fighting, sparsely attended performances and bogus recording contracts they have managed to do the impossible and stick together. Kudos, my friends.

The freshman album "Dispensing Disaster" quickly became a cult hit among existing fans and eventually was able to grab the attention of hard rock groupies world wide. With songs like "Downfall" and "And she knows" paving the way for a radio blow out and hard hitting songs like "Dispensing Disaster and "Down Mother" ready to explode into underground clubs you would assume that these guys would be preparing for fame in and outside of the media playground. Unfortunately, bad promoting, lack of proper management and an all around feel of inexperience lead to the crash and burn of this first attempt. Now don't get me wrong, they had success of this first album, just not nearly as much as they could have had. You can find some of these songs on movie soundtracks, television shows and even catch quick flashes of the band on "The Lost Boys 2" and "Blood Ties".

Dispensing Disaster holds a collage of songs that seem to fit into a few different genres of music including, hard rock, alternative rock, pop rock and so on. The songs seem to be aimed at today's simple minded youth with an intense focus, especially considering the A.D.D. epidemic that has been consuming young listeners lately. They keep it hard and simple, leaving out all the confusion of complex metal style guitar rifts and thoughtful lyrics. It's the type of music that anyone can relate to, and anyone can get lost in. I, personally, quite enjoy the song "Play God" it has an old school feeling and showcases the incredible raw talent of singer Evan Allen. His controlled and rough around the edges vocals draw listeners in and the smooth bass lines and early 90's style guitar rifts keep you focused. And just when you thought that this song was just another sappy ballad, Mike Witherington breaks into the bridge with a guitar solo fit for the stadium stage, I only wish that he would have stretched it out for a couple more bars. I would even compare this to that of Joe Perry, and for those of you who know my love of Aerosmith, know that's a pretty big compliment.

Over all, this album was excellent first attempt and leaves the listener waiting with baited breath for the next release.

Next out, we have the much more polished "Hell is Full". This album definitely shows growth both musically and professionally. "Aww, their all growed up."

Once again, we have repetitive lyrics and simplistic harmonies, but now we have a tighter sound, harder hitting drumming, and more focus on the bass line.

We start our listening pleasure off with "Control" a fast paced radio friendly hard rock song, built for the fans that like it hard but have yet to divulge into the power that is underground metal.

Up next we have "Hell is Full" a more kind of angsty teen ballad. The song is very drawn out and I find that it never really gets going. It does pick up for the chorus, but the intensity doesn't stick around long. Mike once again comes through with a short and to the point guitar solo, that only leaves you wanting more. It's a good song but you have to do better to hold my focus.

Next we have a few basic rock songs, obviously constructed for radio play. There's not a lot to them but they have a good beat that you can't help but move or bang your head to.

"Fight" which was recently released in Canada, starts out with a catchy guitar line that seems to stay sweet and simple throughout. The only really unfortunate thing about this single is the drumming by numbers, come on Tony, let's try stepping out of the box for a minute. The song has some great melodies and anthem style chanting, I can picture kids with their fists in the air all over the world rockin out to this song. You have to give it to Yeah Whatever, they know how to write a song that the people wanna hear.

Okay, so next on the docket we have "This all ends tonight", which starts out with an awesome display of screaming prowess. I am more impressed with this song, as it has harder hitting drumming, rougher vocals, a faster tempo, and at moments even mimics the unmistakable sound of a metal band. Definitely i-Pod worthy.

"I.D.F.T.S" opens with a deep jungle beat care of Tony, then goes into more punk style drumming, which gives the song a definite party feel. And then wait for it, FINALLY, a guitar solo that lasts more than 5 seconds! The high pitch scream and quick fingering make this solo one for the books.

Alright, lastly we have "Machine". Personally I wouldn't have ended an album with a song containing such a lackluster drum solo, but hey, it ain't my band. This song takes me back to the sheer simplicity of the first album. There are some melodies, some metal deep throated vocals, and a couple of primitive chants at the end to finish it off. Honestly I could forgive all of this, if there was a double kick thrown into the mix. The song feels like it's missing something, and I think that may be it.

So overall, I think this band has enough potential to break onto the charts and stay in the top five for as long as they produce albums. They just have to put their individual issues aside, focus on the music, and keep fighting till they get there. Close to every song on these two albums could be a radio hit and the fans agree that Yeah Whatever is a force to be reckoned with in the underground music scene.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Music Review - Krome (Vancouver B.C.)

So, I checked out a pretty wicked band tonight. If you like 80's rock that'll get your head bangin and your fists pumpin I would highly reccomend checkin out Krome. This high energy band had the crowd moving within seconds of the first chord being struck. They started the night out with a song that mimicked the catchy fast paced tune of a classic 80's rock anthem. "Turn it up" was definitely an excellent choice to catch the crowds attention and hold their eardrums hostage. Unfortunately, the only thing memorable about the next song "Out of my way" was the flamboyant onstage antics of the lead singer. Although being the metal fan that I am I did appreciate the excellent scream at the end. During "Roll with me" I finally started to get stolked as what I assumed would be an earth shattering guitar solo began. I assumed this because of the 80's sound and style of the band, unfortunately we all know what you get when you assume things. The guitar solo was not bad, don't get me wrong, but it seemed to end before it began. For a band that could easily be mistaken for KISS or Motley Crue I would expect a lengthier display of shredding prowess. Lucky for me the next song "Bring the house down" completely redeamed the lackluster performance it followed. It starts out with an amazing jungle beat from the quick footed drummer Scott Aquinos and then goes into a shocking punk style rythm that definitely blew me away. I was absolutely amazed to hear an original sound come out of these guys. It was a mix of dirty punk and old school undertones that I have honestly never heard before, and it was wicked! The double kick on the drums drew me in and the originality held my interest, I would put this song on my i-Pod in a second!
I have to say, the drummer Scott seems to carry this band to new heights. In listening to their music prior to his maniacal drumming skills I have to admit that I was less than impressed. But add in the insane talent of this prodigal drummer and this band becomes a force to be wreckoned with. I mean, come on, how many drummer do you know that can a break a stick mid-song and not miss a beat?
Okay, enough ego stroking, back to the set list.
Once the song "Let's go all the way" started up I felt a familiar feeling come over me. Then it struck me, the half dressed barely legal girls shakin their "stuff" on the dance floor, this song has all the dirty feel of a slutty theme song. I'd put it int he same category with "Save a horse Ride a cowboy" and "Pour some sugar on me". Now, just to set the record straight, I don't see this as a bad thing, the world needs more songs that entice young girls and cougars to come together for a common purpose; to entice young men to pour more alcohal down their already well lubricated throats.
Alright, so next up we have "Misunderstood", the classic 80's hair band ballad. This would be your typical radio friendly single, probably to be released after the first couple of slightly "harder" tunes have run the gauntlet. I actually enjoyed this song and was tempted to pull out my lighter and sway with the slow rythm of the crowd. The first half of the song builds an incredible feeling of suspense then, in the second half, exploads into a chorus line of hard drum beats and melodic guitar rifts.
Over the next few songs we hear some contradicting lyrics, like disliking the songs on the radio, strange coming from a radio friendly rock band.....hmmm...oh right, I almost forgot, it's cool to hate the radio.... We also hear more of the not so subtle punk undertones that I love so much and a couple more impressively short guitar solos.
My favourite moment of this show was the ear shattering, mind altering drum solo. I consider it my extreme good fortune to have been able to witness such an awesome display of impossible talent. Good job Scott, I am thouroughly impressed and satisfied.
Overall this is a really talented band with some good songs and a pretty amazing stage show. It's not very often that you find a lead singer like Shaun Meehan who has the vocal chops of an 80's hair band front man. I would definitely make a point to see them again. Because even though there were some things that made me want to give my head a shake, they had my body moving through the entire set, and to me, that is what is important. I have never before seen such a diverse crowd so completely engaged by a local band, these guys gave it all and received the undivided attention of a crowd ripe with alcohal induced A.D.D. That is a powerfull thing my friends.
Make sure to check out Krome at !!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Music, or something like it.

First off, I would like to state that I am well aware of the flack that I will get for writing this....but it must be said.
Music today is no longer about the creation of an impossible feeling through sound. Today, music consists of an industry template, or a fight against it. If you look at the many genres of music, you will see that there is one that insists upon fighting "the mold" only to create it's own. That genre is rock. Encompassed in that I will include all variations, metal, thrash, punk, alternative, etc. This genre has worked so hard to be "different" that all it's done is create legions of music snobs who will shun a band at the first sign of mainstream popularity. Basically, if you become a success, you become a sell-out. It's actually a humorous process to watch. Band plays small local venue, band gains fans, band plays larger local venue, band gains more fans, band records album, band gains more fans, band gets acknowledged by local radio media, band loses original fans, but gains a hell of a lot more. Like I said, humorous. It has become "cool" in rock to hate the radio friendly musician. But more often than not, the same people who publicly display their disgust for these bands, privately buy the albums and sing the songs. I will admit that I have been guilty of doing the same. Spouting out my hate of the "Theory of a Nickel Fault" bands. They may not be my favourite style of music, but when I stop to think of why I actually dislike them, I come up with nothing other than the fact that they are a radio friendly rock band. Seems a little ridiculous, don't you think.
If you consider rock music to be a rebellion against the classic mold of normality, wouldn't a rock band playing on the radio be the ultimate rebellion. To rebel against the rebellion....hmmm...I'll have to ponder that one more.
But really, when did we start turning our backs on the successful musician? The ones who did what it took to make their music heard by millions. I have to salute anyone who can put their personal issues aside and create a sound that will ensure success. Since when did we stop admiring people for accomplishing their goals? When did it become wrong to find a something that works and run with it?
I keep hearing that all these bands sound the same, that their all cheap knockoffs of Eddie Vedders famous sound. You don't hate tire companies who have improved on the primitive wheel, why hate a band who has improved on a primitive sound?
All creation is an imitation, inspired by a past event.
All bands create a sound inspired by someone before them, someone they admire. There is no longer a true original sound, only a Frankenstein creation of what has already been done. So who are we to judge where someone takes their inspiration from?
I have seen bands exclaim endlessly their dislike of what they are hearing in the radio, all the while working tirelessly to achieve the same goal. Shamelessly assuming that when they make it, they will be different from all the rest, I hate to tell you this, but you're not different. You too will succumb the demands of this "business". After all, that is what music is, a business. Supply and demand dictates who becomes heard and who is left unknown with only their ideals and opinions to keep them company.
Every band out there, no matter how hardcore or apparently original can be placed into a category of hundreds of other bands that all sound the same. The only reason that these musicians don't get any of the same negative attention is that they are not pushed in front of us on a regular basis. If you took the most original metal band you can think of, put them in the spotlight of radio media, I can guarantee you that within a month they would become a victim of the music snob too. This all happens because as soon as something different gains popularity it stops being different. Every other band with a similar sound will emerge and we will be bombarded endlessly by this "new" and "original" thing. Who knows, perhaps the next unoriginal, pop-rock band will be the one you admire today.
If you genuinely dislike the music that you hear, than stop listening. But stop spouting your disgust for someone who did what you couldn't. You know as well as I do, that given the opportunity, you too would break out the cookie cutter to create a sound that would be heard by millions, I know I would.