album review

adult-jazz-gist-is

REVIEW: Adult Jazz – ‘Gist Is’

Artist: Adult Jazz
Title: Gist Is
Genre: Indie
Label: Spare Thought

To Adult Jazz, their debut album is one part philosophical debate, one part literary exploration, and one part experimentation. To me, it would make an ideal soundtrack to an indie film (in the woods with lots of handheld camera shots). And I do mean that as a compliment.

Adult Jazz may not be on your radar yet, but they’ve been building momentum in Leeds for some time. Formed at Leeds University, the band (made up of Harry Burgess, Tom Howe, Tim Slater and Steven Wells) has been chipping …

mgid-uma-image-mtv

REVIEW: Wiz Khalifa – ‘Blacc Hollywood’

Artist: Wiz Khalifa
Album: Blacc Hollywood
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

On his third studio album, Wiz Khalifa has recorded a collection of potential radio singles that offer little cohesion, but plenty of reasons to have a good time.

Wiz Khalifa is to music what Doug Benson is to comedy; and by that I mean they’re both a variation of Cheech and Chong for a new generation. They’ve all managed to make careers out of embracing their love of marijuana. As long as they continue to carry the torch of weed, and all the things it can do to improve life for those …

aug

REVIEW: AUG – ‘Be Careful What You Wish For…’

Artist: AUG
Album: Be Careful What You Wish For…
Genre: Hard Rock, Metal

Are you looking to party like it’s the ’80s again? Do you miss the heydays of bands like Ratt and Scorpions?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or both of these questions, then chances are you’ll dig New Jersey’s AUG and their newest album, Be Careful What You Wish For… Chock full of prime hair metal riffage, big vocal deliveries, and plenty of material that’ll force you to make a choice between chugging your beer or banging your head (or you can try to do both simultaneously …

heylel

REVIEW: Heylel – ‘Nebulae’

Artist: Heylel
Album: Nebulae
Genre: Progressive, Gothic Rock

Before being introduced to Heylel, I knew very few bands based out of Portugal, let alone any progressive metal ones. Now, after experiencing all 48 minutes of the band’s 11-track debut, I can safely say that progressive, Gothic rock is alive and well on the Iberian Peninsula.

Following an ethereal, Pink Floyd-ish intro, Heylel start to shred in “The Prophet,” the first full-band track on Nebulae, ultimately urging you to bang your head a tad here and there and/or get slightly hypnotized by the ambient tones in the mix.…

5 seconds of summer 5sos

REVIEW: 5 Seconds Of Summer – ’5 Seconds Of Summer’

Artist: 5 Seconds of Summer
Album: 5 Seconds Of Summer
Genre: Pop rock

Every few years a band comes along with a sound that caters to both the mainstream and alternative underground, but due to how they choose to market themselves certain ‘scene gatekeepers’ refuse to acknowledge the group’s work as anything other than radio fluff. In 2014, that band is known as 5 Seconds Of Summer, but try as some might to claim otherwise I am convinced there is no stopping their eventual rise to the top of the pop rock hierarchy.

Hailing from Australia with a sound inspired …

alive in standby

REVIEW: Alive In Standby – ‘Never Ending’

Artist: Alive in Standby
Album: Never Ending
Genre: Progressive Pop-Punk

Alive in Standby have long been known for being wise beyond their years, displaying complexity and technicality rarely seen from teenage musicians. In 2011, the group released an impressive EP entitled Dream Status, which captured the attention of listeners around the world and flung the band into a whirlwind of tours and well-deserved exposure. Now, almost three full years later, the band has emerged from their cocoon to present their first full-length, Never Ending.

Unlike their previous release, which consisted of a mix of brutal post-hardcore breakdowns and …

rx bandits

REVIEW: RX Bandits – ‘Gemini, Her Majesty’

Artist: RX Bandits
Album: Gemini, Her Majesty
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Mash Down Babylon Records

When it comes to bands similar to (and comprised of members from) The Sound Of Animals Fighting, I find myself amidst the conclusion that progressive-sounding genres are either automatically bewildering or strangely fascinating. The latter can fortunately be said about Gemini, Her Majesty, RX Bandits‘ seventh full-length album, out now via the band’s own MDB Records. Five long years after the release of their last record, Mandala, these California natives are finally back with new material that they’re currently supporting on tour …

joyce manor

REVIEW: Joyce Manor – ‘Never Hungover Again’

Artist: Joyce Manor
Album: Never Hungover Again
Genre: Pop punk, alternative
Label: Epitaph Records

A lot can change in 20 minutes. Clients could fire you. You could find true love. You could lose it. People can die. 20 minutes of reading can teach you something you’ll always remember. Your first kiss, touch, and love can fully bloom within 20 minutes. Liam Lynch famously wrote “United States of Whatever” in less than 20 minutes. You can finish any Joyce Manor album in under 20 minutes.

And that’s how I want to spend my 20 minutes.…

real friends

REVIEW: Real Friends – ‘Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing’

Artist: Real Friends
Album: Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing
Genre: Pop-Punk
Label: Fearless Records

“Easy on the eyes, heavy on the heart.”

Real Friends‘ lead singer, Dan Lambton, perfectly describes their new record with their own lyrics. Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing channels so much of their previous material, so much so that I wouldn’t have been surprised if they threw in a line or two about sleepy eyes and boney knees. This did not happen, thankfully, although I must admit it almost felt fragmentary.

Going into this record …

Rise Of The Runaways

REVIEW: Crown The Empire – ‘Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways’

Artist: Crown The Empire
Albu: Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways
Genre: Post hardcore
Label: Rise Records

Crown The Empire were basically unheard of until after they released their debut EP, Limitless. The EP drew the attention of thousands of fans, including some of us on staff, as well as Rise Records. Less than six months after its debut the band was quickly signed by the label. A short time after that, they dropped their first full-length album, The Fallout. Between those two releases the band has amassed a large, passionate fan base. They deserve it, and they have …

driver friendly

REVIEW: Driver Friendly – ‘Unimagined Bridges’

ArtistDriver Friendly
AlbumUnimagined Bridges
Label: Hopeless Records
Genre: Pop-Punk / Pop-Rock

When I saw that Driver Friendly’s new album was titled Unimagined Bridges, I let out a chuckle that hid a lingering feeling of disappointment; the band used the metaphorical bridge extensively on their Hopeless Records debut EP Peaks + Valleys, and seeing the word in the new record’s title immediately set off a fear trigger that they hadn’t progressed as much as I would have hoped in the year since their last effort. While my fears immediately subsided upon initial listens, it’s …

keith alan mitchell

REVIEW: Keith Alan Mitchell – ‘This Clumsy World’

Artist: Keith Alan Mitchell
Album: This Clumsy World
Genre: Indie Folk, Acoustic

Classic rock was a constant in my home as a child, and folk variations of the beloved genre were a staple as well. Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Neil Young, and Dylan; these were artists that were seldom left off the turntable in my younger years. My inherent affinity for classic rock has always stuck with me, and over the years I’ve grown a strong liking for modern folk music in the vein of Bowerbirds, Megafaun, Fleet Foxes, and Port Isla, so when I come across artists …