Monday, November 29, 2010

Ataris 7"

Check out two tracks from the Ataris 7" streaming on To quickly sum it up: both tracks are awesome, and are a huge departure from their last album (which I didn't find very good). As for the era, I'd put it somewhere between End is Forever and So Long, Astoria. "All Soul's Day" is...awesome. This album has definitely moved into my most anticipated of next year. I hope the rest doesn't disappoint, but from the word on the street, Kris Roe and Co. are taking it back to their punkier roots.

In other news, expect the top-10 list of 2010 to come out soon-ish. Hope everyone that celebrates it had a great Thanksgiving. I spent mine in Hong any HK fans, your city is a healthy mix of class and debauchery. Both HK and the new Ataris get the sickalbums Seal of Approval.

The Ataris link:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coleman Hawkins - Body & Soul

While I have my favorite genres of music, I will admit (and maybe you can tell) that I am a fan of ALL music. Well, most all music. This album is a break from the norm, but brilliant nonetheless. I'll be straight with you up-front: It's a jazz album. But it's classic jazz from a brilliant saxophonist, Coleman Hawkins. There's an old-school, airy feel to the entire album; an upbeat tempo with a horns section that fills in for lyrics. If you're in the mood to expand your musical horizons with some class, please go get this album on vinyl. It truly is easy listening, and because I don't know too much about jazz, there's not much I can say other than, "I've listened to jazz before, and this is definitely awesome stuff." It's great as background music, but to be really appreciated, you have to sit and actually listen to it, because the instruments do the singing, vice a...singer...Coleman Hawkins is one of the great musicians that the more well-known "greats" learned from (he influenced Louis Armstrong among others). He's brilliant, and although jazz (to me at least) seems oftentimes random and disorganized, the Hawk brings it all together with his sax. One of the few musicians that I've heard that speaks through his instrument (Clapton is another, but even he relies on lyrics). Get it.

1. Meet Doctor Foo
2. Fine Dinner
3. She's Funny That Way
4. Body and Soul
5. When Day Is Done
6. The Sheik of Araby
7. My Blue Heaven
8. Bouncing with Bean
9. Say It Isn't So
10. Spotlite
11. April in Paris
12. How Strange
13. Half Step Down, Please
14. Angel Face
15. There Will Never Be Another You
16. The Bean Stalks Again
17. Body and Soul
18. I Love Paris
19. Under Paris Skies


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

This album comes courtesy of my good friend Jordan, who knew I enjoyed a good folk-rock ensemble. Before I got the album, one reviewer had said the quartet was "gutsy," and I couldn't agree more. Think of the Avett Brothers, but with a Brit accent and more layered instrumentation. Muted acoustics play back and forth with the mandolins and banjos, alternating between verse and chorus. Those that are regular readers of my blog know that I'm not a huge fan of multiple layers on a track, but this is the exception, because I've seen their live performances (online), and they're good. Lyrically, the usual topics are encompassed throughout the album: love, relationships, etc. But what really sets this band apart is their use of the instrumental off-set between the chorus and the verse. Listen and you'll hear it...the verses set up the rest of the band so sweetly for loud, crashing choruses. "White Blank Page" probably describes this the best. All-around, just a great, great folk-rock album. Variation is heavy throughout, which will keep your attention and leave you wanting more. FYI, "Little Lion Man" is a fantastic song, and if you really want to see their talent, listen to the song, and then watch them live. Barely a difference between the two...

1. Sigh No More
2. The Cave
3. Winter Winds
4. Roll Away Your Stone
5. White Blank Page
6. I Gave You All
7. Little Lion Man
8. Timshel
9. Thistle and Weeds
10. Awake My Soul
11. Dustbowl Dance
12. After the Storm


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am the Avalanche - S/T

My best friend JJK pointed out that he couldn't find I am the Avalanche on the blog, which I thought was complete BS: How could I not post one of my favorite albums? Well, I hadn't. So here it is, I am the Avalanche's self-titled debut. If you're a fan of the Movielife, you'll like this even more (same lead singer, slower, more melodic pace). Bold claim, I know, but every song on this album is choking on energy, lyrics and guitars. Post-hardcore is a genre I've always appreciated, the balance between the harmony and brutalization of punk. At this, I would put IATA as one of the best in the genre, and this record one of the best in that category as well. I'm usually pretty good at picking what tracks I think should be singles from an album, but with this one it's too difficult. "Wasted" is definitely one, but then again, any of the others could make it as well. Try "New Disaster" as well. It has a chorus that is both energetic and melodic, all set over loud guitars.

1. Dead And
2. New Disaster
3. Murderous
4. Green Eyes
5. I Took A Beating
6. Wasted
7. Always
8. This Is Dungeon Music
9. Symphony
10. Emergency
11. Clean Up
12. My Second Restraining Order


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Funeral Party - S/T

Be prepared for a barrage of energy from the sound of this record. Funeral Party, an LA-based trio/quad, has made headlines around the world based on their EP, and reception has been outstanding within the ever-expanding "indie-scene." Their music can definitely be categorized as post-punk revival (Killers, Frans Ferd, Rapture), with scratchy vocals, harmonic interludes and electronics support by clockwork drumbeats. But the energy is really what sets this band apart as a premier dance-punk group. Never missing a beat or slowing down, this record is more at home in a small dance hall than a U2-sized stadium. The music is definitely in your face, up close and personal. I highly recommend it for a nice kick to your ears when you're feeling lethargic.

1. NYC Moves to the Sound of LA
2. Car Wars
3. Finale
4. Where Did it go Wrong?
5. Just Because
7. Giant Song**
8. City in Silhouettes
9. Youth and Poverty
10. Relics to Ruins
11. Golden Age of Knowhere

**This record's numbering is off and I'm not sure if I'm missing a track, but I also think it's more of a compilation. No worries, it's still awesome.


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Movielife - Forty Hour Train Back to Penn

The Movielife definitely has that edge that I've been missing lately. Hands down, one of my favorite bands is I am the Avalanche, and this band was the precursor. By that fact alone, they're up there with the best of them; underground, rough and honest melodic hardcore for the selective masses. These guys were already established on Long Island before TBS and Brand New started duking it out for LI supremacy. The lyrics are a first-person analysis of a variety of relationships, mostly ending terribly, jumping between hate and sorrow. Of course, for those non-emo kids out there, it's wrapped in a tightly produced post-hardcore package, boxed in snares and hammering power chords. The beat is relentless, and any breaks almost seem naturally placed for the listener to take a second to re-group before being audibly assaulted. The only time the backing instruments fade is to allow the snarling lyrics of vocalist Vinnie Caruana to break through. The energy in Caruana's voice does a great job of keeping the music going forward, without lulls which often punctuate some post-hardcore albums. Great record, and "Hey" is fairly accurate. I'll warn you, the quality isn't 192 VBS or anything, but it does the trick, because it's post-hardcore, and I'm a proponent of less-is-more when it comes to anything related to hardcore.

1. Face and Kneecaps
2. Jamestown
3. Spanaway
4. Kelly Song
5. Takin' It Out & Choppin' It Up
6. Scary
7. Hey
8. Jamaica Next
9. It's Something
10. Keep Never Changing
11. Ship to Shore


Sunday, September 5, 2010

One more thing...

I added the easy "Share" console below each post (next to the Comment pencil), so please spread the good word however you want. Thanks!

Frank Turner - Love Ire & Song

Now, there's a few Frank Turner albums I could have picked from, but this one (especially now) has a little more meaning to me. Frank Tuner, across the board, is an emotional songwriter, but not 'emo.' If you've never heard of him, he's an English singer/songwriter, and while he has a full band, the music is acoustic guitar-driven. Song topics hop between politics, love and relationships, but Turner spends a little bit more time on the relationships aspect on this album. Upon first listen, you'll be able to hear the conviction in his voice, both in verse and chorus, especially in the anthems. This is the common theme found throughout all his albums, but this one is particularly catchy, mixing straight acoustic ballads infused with an edge of English-folk. His lyrics on this album are full of hope with relationships, which I think hits a lot of the returning readers of this blog, and why I'm posting this specific one. And for the record, "Substitute" is my favorite Frank Turner song.

1. I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
2. Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
3. Photosynthesis
4. Substitute
5. Better Half
6. Love Ire And Song
7. Imperfect Tense
8. To Take You Home
9. Long Live The Queen
10. Love Worth Keeping
11. St Christopher Is Coming Home
12. Jet Lag

His record label didn't like this.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tigers on Trains - Grandfather

If you haven't heard this album, you need to. It's acoustic indie-folk, and definitely one of the best I've heard (and I've heard quite a bit). Tigers on Trains are now part of the larger Republic of Wolves, but the Long Island duo have really hit their mark with Grandfather. The layered vocals of Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs provide variation that solo acoustic artists sometimes lack in indie-folk records, yet don't push the instrumentation out of the way. It's a delicate juggling act, and the band does it very, very well. I guess Cassino is the closest I can compare them to with a band I've reviewed. Go to their myspace page, check it out. It's awesome. Mature lyrics dash in and out of acoustic chords and harmony, to create a smooth, quiet album that never breaks the steady cadence that is intertwined throughout the album. Listen to it and you'll know what I mean. It just "flows."

I'll be honest up-front: the link below takes you to Simple Stereo to buy the album (instant digital download). It's $6.50, which for an album nowadays is legit. I don't have any monetary stake in Simple Stereo, it's one of my best friend's site, and if you haven't checked it out, please do so; lots of stuff related to the music you all listen to (based on you reading this), plus art and more.

There's no corporate record company standing behind any of this, just two guys making music, and my friend's appreciation of their work. Do them a solid, help them out.

1. The Grammarian
2. Sea Weed
3. Ship Shape
4. Muhammad
5. False Teeth
6. Silk Road
7. Reverend William Buckland
8. Painted Face
9. Just Be Glad That No One Saw You
10. A Year In The Garden Shed


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Matt & Kim - Grand

The duo of Matt & Kim were bequeathed onto me by a co-worker of mine who realized after a year that I'm into the same music she is. It's actually sort of embarrassing that I haven't heard of them before now, as they are somewhat big. Full of energy, this particular flavor of electric-infused dance-punk pulls from both new wave and punk, but combines it into one tight little package. More punk than LCD Soundsystem, the duo really pushes the electricity through the album, sometimes overwhelming the vocals and chorus which tend to ride on the beat of the percussion. The vocals are perhaps my favorite part as I have a special place in my musical heart for guy-girl vocal duos. Kim beautifully provides a harmonious background track while Matt's punk sneer punctuates the air, on beat, on-cue. The synergy between their two voices is almost enough to carry the album, and the ridiculously addictive beat is merely a cherry on-top. Definitely a toe-tapping album, and if you're not, you might want to check if you're alive.

1. Daylight
2. Cutdown
3. Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare
4. Spare Change
5. I wanna
6. Lessons Learned
7. Don't Slow Down
8. Turn this Boat Around
9. Ginders
10. I'll Take us Home
11. Daylight Outro Remix


Saturday, July 17, 2010

More music...

Hey everyone, sorry for the hiatus, I could make up excuses due to travelling, work, etc...but really, I just fell behind the scene. I haven't found anything completely mind-blowing, but fear not, I am looking. Thanks to all who have made recommendations and requests to the right. As soon as I go through all of them, I'll start uploading again.

If some downloads are down, I apologize...the blog is continuing to grow, and I'm spending roughly $120/year on Mediafire for the traffic I feel like I can afford. I'm not complaining, but I don't get a cent from this blog, nor do I ask for donations. Income from ads isn't worth cluttering the damn thing, so I try and do the best I can with the funds I have, and of course, your support for the music and the blog.

Keep up the suggestions for music, and thanks for continuing to explore even when there wasn't anything new.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

B.o.B. - The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Just to mix it up, and since I haven't posted anything in quite some time, here's an awesome hip-hop album that's fun and features everyone from Lupe Fiasco to Hayley Williams (Paramore). Hailing from Atlanta, B.o.B takes his love of all music, and blends it together into one great album. It's almost interesting that the track with Rivers Cuomo sounds like it could be on the next Weezer album, or that Hayley Williams is sandwiched between T.I. and Lupe Fiasco. The beats and lyrics are smashed against a great rock overtone, blending rhythm and blues, often mutually exclusive of each other. The featured artists are arranged throughout the album to provide a variation and creative approach to the conventional hip-hop album. A great album, well-mixed, well-produced.

1. Don’t Let Me Fall
2. Nothin’ On You (featuring Bruno Mars)
3. Past My Shades (featuring Lupe Fiasco)
4. Airplanes (featuring Hayley Williams)
5. Bet I (featuring T.I. and Playboy Tre)
6. Satellite
7. Ghost in the Machine
8. The Kids (featuring Janelle Monae)
9. Magic (featuring Rivers Cuemo)
10. Fame
11. Lovelier Than You
12. 5th Dimension (featuring T.I. & Ricco Barrino)
13. Airplanes (Part II) (featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

This is one of my most anticipated albums of the year, only because I thought '59 Sound was brilliant, and my favorite album of last year. Brian Fallon's voice is remarkable, and with time, I believe could be influential in the genre. The band's unique blend of blues and country creates a brand of rock 'n' roll that hasn't been heard in quite some time. Luckily, Fallon merely improved on what worked from their last album, and fine-tuned some of the production. The guitars are still set for the '50s growl, with the rest of the band following suit. The Americana feel of the album resonates through the lyrics as well; hell the title track is a saturated home-spun American rock story, with a unique punk edge a la a "less-edgy" Against Me!. Fallon uses an echo chorus backing many tracks, and it works to create a fuller sound that carries from track to track. The ONLY complaint is that the album ends way too quickly, as each track moves effortlessly into the next, and before you know it, DONE. My favorite tracks include the intro on "The Diamond Church Street Choir," which really shows the rhythm/blues ability of the band; plus the guitar riffs are straight addicting, and only reinforces Fallon's story. It's a great album, and definitely one of my favorites of the year, so far. Let's see how long the link lasts...

1. American Slang
2. Stay Lucky
3. Bring it On
4. The Diamond Church Street Choir
5. The Queen of Lower Chelsea
6. Orphans
7. Boxer
8. Old Haunts
9. The Spirit of Jazz
10. We Did it When We Were Young

RIAA Nazis...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind

Mono's 5th album is nothing short of a masterpiece. It's an epic post-rock experience. While also a lengthy album, I think you really need to listen to the entire thing without skipping around to get the whole experience. Completely brilliant. Short of that, there's not much to say.

1. Ashes in the Snow
2. Burial at Sea
3. Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn
4. Pure as Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm)
5. Follow the Map
6. The Battle to Heaven
7. Everlasting Light


Friday, April 2, 2010

Rocky Votolato - True Devotion

I completely missed the release of this album, partly because I'm a horrible Rocky fan, and partly because I've been in and out of the scene for the past few months. This album is just about is slower and quiet than Bragg and Cuss, and with less production value, but it's still solid. That's the beauty of Rocky, and the genre: it's minimalist. Acoustic guitars, a whiskey battered voice and throw in a harmonica every now and then...bam, you have an album. Since everything is so basic, the lyrics are what make the difference, and at this, Rocky excels. The lyrics are by no means hopeful, in fact, these are some of his more depressing lyrics, especially "Sparklers." This is a great album, and my only qualm is that it's too short (33 minutes or so). Great for studying for finals, or just lounging with some whiskey.

1. Lucky Clover Coin
2. Fragments
3. Red River
4. Eyes Like Static
5. Sparklers
6. Instruments
7. What Waited For Me
8. Sun Devil
9. Don't Be Angry
10. Where We Started


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Joey Cape & Jon Snodgrass - Liverbirds

Although I have yet to see Joey Cape live, I count myself among the lucky few that have seen Drag the River live, and have met Jon Snodgrass after a show in West Virginia (I also met Rocky Votolato at the same show). Both musicians are skilled in the acoustic guitar, and Snodgrass brings a certain element of twang from his roots with Drag the River, and his voice is carried over from Armchair Martian. The tracks are familiar classics from Bad Astronaut, Lagwagon and Drag the River, but stripped to acoustics and light precussion. Perhaps the strongest part of the record are the voices: Cape and Snodgrass are veterans of the genre, and their voices are unmistakable and really fill in the gaps in each song where instruments would have carried the melody. Plus, Joey Cape is just awesome.

1. Joey Cape - To All My Friends
2. Joey Cape - Whipping Boy
3. Joey Cape - Making Friends
4. Joey Cape - Angry Days
5. Joey Cape - Alien 8
6. Jon Snodgrass - Break Your Frame
7. Jon Snodgrass - Jessica's Suicide
8. Jon Snodgrass - Losing Everyone
9. Jon Snodgrass - Spiderman, Wolfman
10. Jon Snodgrass - Mexican Song

Request to take link down. Go to for more info and the album!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Angels & Airwaves - LOVE

Maybe it was because I was on the road and kind of fell of the music scene, but I completely missed the talk about this album. I was also expecting more from the Blink-182 side of the band (Tom). Musically, the album is a continuation of the previous two, with a easy blend of electronic, space sounds parlayed with the conventional guitars, drums and bass to create that louder-than-life, celestial sound that Tom was going for by starting A&A. Deeper lyrics about love and life abound throughout the album, including the track "Letters to God, Part II" which is a follow-on to the first part written during Tom's Boxcar Racer stint. Overall, there isn't too much of a departure from their previous two albums, so if you enjoyed them, chances are you'll enjoy this one. Oh, and it was released for free on Modlife. But you can get it here for free, too. My favorite track: Shove.

1. Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce
2. The Flight of Apollo
3. Young London
4. Shove
5. Epic Holiday
6. Hallucinations
7. The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments and Fictions)
8. Clever Love
9. Soul Survivor (...2012)
10. Letters to God, Part II
11. Some Origins of Fire


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Matt Pond PA - The Dark Leaves

I know it's been a long, long be honest I've been swamped with work and kinda fell off the music scene, as unfortunate as it is. BUT, I do occasionally follow the music blog scene and on one random, lucky day, the new Matt Pond PA album was posted. And thus far, it's my favorite album of the year. It encompasses smooth and catchy, like a something that just clicks. It flows together, both internally in each song (from verse to chorus, percussion and guitar), and track to track. "Starting" almost seems to balance melancholy, angsty (for Matt at least) with "Brooklyn Fawn" that quietly dances along between vocal harmonies and slide guitars. Brilliant, and definitely will keep it in mind towards the end of the year for the year-end wrap-up.

1. Starting
2. Running Wild
3. Specks
4. Remains
5. Sparrows
6. Brooklyn Fawn
7. Ruins
8. Winter Fawn
9. The Dark Leaves Theme
10. First Song

***Link Fixed..First track should be fine***


Thursday, January 21, 2010

r.i.a.a. Part II

So the RIAA and the stranglehold they have on everything have decided to aboslutely brutalize the blog. I don't mind artists posting comments asking for work to be taken down (which I always do, and has happened a few times), but most of the reviews I think could be left up.

So that's why it seems like my posts are disappearing. I'll take out the links when I have time, and re-up. Send requests this way as well, the new Alk3 is on the 'net, so look for that in a bit.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

(Edited) MCS - My Dinosaur Life

FINALLY. I've been a huge fan of MCS since they played a small rinky-dinky club in my hometown during my high school years and completely blew the place away. Ever since then, every chance I get to see them play is a show well-worth-it. This album feels less-polished than Even if it Kills Me, but more so than their earlier efforts. Justin Pierre's voice has subtly evolved since their last album into something that adds more dynamic to the rough sound. I've always been blown away by his ability to go from highs to lows within the same line (listen for it, it's pretty remarkable), as if he were a classically trained pop-punk vocalist. Of course, I couldn't end this without making a note about the production and harmony (which IS the backbone of pop-punk): whether or not this is the case, it sounds like Justin and Co. have not layered each track as heavily as their previous records, which may lend to their return of the older sound. And the harmony exists, but not in the sugary overkill that I felt brought some of their other records down. Ironically (due to space considerations), I posted the only ballad on the record as the teaser, but it only gets better from there.

1. Worker Bee
2. A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help)
3. Her Words Destroyed My Planet
4. Disappear
5. Delirium
6. History Lesson
Stand Too Close
8. Pulp Fiction
9. @!#?@!
10. Hysteria
11. Skin And Bones
12. The Weakends

Link: See Comments

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Avett Brothers - I and Love and You

First, sorry for the lack of updates, I've been traveling a lot during the holiday season. Happy holidays, hopefully they were filled with drunken nights with friends, loud music and time with family. Belated Happy Holidays from myself to all of you. Thanks for the support, even though I haven't been posting for the past month.

I usually post a "Best of" list, but really got a late start to the year as far as music. Lately, since about October, I can tell you that I've been listening to Chuch Ragan's new album and Jay-Z's Blueprint 3. Eclectic, yes, but that's how I roll.

The album itself is...much larger than their previous album, although the pace remains the same. Pianos dance throughout many of the tracks, backing the folk-crooning of Seth and Scott (Avett). The quicker songs really do feel like they belong in a saloon, and my favorite, "Kick Drum Heart" almost has a Billy Joel-esque touch to it: familiar and extremely catchy. If you liked their previous album's lyrics, you'll enjoy this as well. Lyrically, not much has changed, which doesn't bother me at all, because their last album was fantastic. This album, on the whole, will probably suck a larger fan base in versus Emotionalism, spreading folk-rock bliss to the masses (well, maybe not that large)...oh, and it was #16 on US charts.

1. I and Love and You
2. January Wedding
3. Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
4. And it Spread
5. The Perfect Space
6. Ten Thousand Words
7. Kick Drum Heart
8. Laundry Room
9. Ill with Want
10. Tin Man
11. Slight Figure of Speech
12. It Goes On and On
13. Incomplete and Insecure