Friday, March 1, 2013

New Releases: Atoms for Peace's album "Amok"

Eclectic percussion and echoing vocals with added in synth/electronic waves--Atoms for Peace's album "Amok" is a dreamy, minimalist world in music.

With Radiohead's Thom Yorke as lead singer, his unmistakable, soaring voice makes for a recognizable tone floating at the surface of each song. Other members, like Red Hot Chili Pepper's bassist Flea, Nigel Godrich on keyboards, and Beck's Joey Waronker help to make this a winning combo of master musicians. The Los Angeles electronic/experimental group was created in 2009 with initially no actual name, going instead by "??????". Having reached a point of distinct style and sound, the band has taken on the name Atoms for Peace and have shown to hold up a unified quality to their songs.

Interesting, ingenious rhythms and ghostly backgrounds create an unexpected juxtaposition that gives this album a complexity that requires a couple listens to really get it. A few run-throughs and you start to really appreciate each of the segments that comprise each song like the sticks of a popsicle tower. Amok is definitely the kind of album you want you take the time to get to know. Buy it now off iTunes and take it out for coffee, soak it in, and reflect upon the many things it has to say.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Now do this: Drexel's Flux presents Tigers Jaw, Modern Baseball, and Suns

The very anticipated concert of this week has got to be Tigers Jaw, Modern Baseball, and Suns playing this Friday at Flux.

Hailing from Scranton, PA, Tigers Jaw is alt. rock/punk/hard to describe with anything but feelings. Their band is the kind of music that tears you apart, that reaches into your insides, and pulls down the veils that hid mirrors. Tigers Jaw is a reflection--of you, of them, of the earthly emotions that tie us all together.

If you don't remember, I previously wrote about Modern Baseball back in November (check out the article here). Perfect counterpart to Tigers Jaw, Modern Baseball is a local Philadelphia band that's getting big. Once, they were playing house shows in the basements of college kids; now, they're the rough diamonds getting national attention. If you haven't heard of them yet, you definitely will in the next few days. Daily events become meaningful lyrics--Modern Baseball transforms facebook and twitter into artful phrases to catch.

The setlist wouldn't be complete without Suns. Overcast punk rock, this band has the sinewy strength to outrace anything. Despite the bright name, Suns doesn't take on the qualities of illumination--it takes on the strength and ability to burn. It's darkened, it's soul ripping, and it's just the kind of band that brings this intense concert into a unified whole.

Admission to this show is five dollars. Unfortunately, this concert is for Drexel students and their guests only, so kidnap one of us and get going this Friday. Jack Sparrow knows how to book it like crazy--you should, too if you wanna make it in time March first before this show gets sold out.

Best of Bandcamp: Walter Cabal

Walter Cabal is more than just an outrageously well-kept mustache--he's an outrageously good singer/songwriter.

Certain, purposeful finger picking and a clear voice combine in the beautiful song, "Between Lines". "I wish that my heart was not divided. I straddle a crack between my feet" --ardent lyrics sung through Cabal's earnest soul are so  genuine that they swing the doors of your heart open; you can't help but be receptive to his meaningful words, so simple but so heavy with feeling.

His first single, "Shadow of a Doubt", continues to carry the thread of heartfelt vocals combined with honest guitar playing. The instrumental use of percussion in the background give movement to the song and carry it on horseback, galloping through the night.

Feel the strength of Walter Cabal's music by checking out his bandcamp and website

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baltimore Bands: Roomrunner

When Double Dagger broke up in 2011, I was heartbroken, but with the creation of new bands, I felt hope for the Baltimore music scene. I could see it being evolving and changing, and with bands like Roomrunner, formed by the ex-Double Dagger member Denny Brown, I'm excited to see the results.

A noise rock band, these guys don't mess around. The vocals are on the low-fi side, the drums are not at all shy, and the guitars are dizzying bolts and swarms of sound; this is mosh-worthy music. It's a mess of noise, and it makes you want to lose control in a crowd of sweaty, slightly inebriated 20-somethings. It's a visceral sound, but it's still open. Comparable to Wavves but a little darker, Roomrunner is a return to early 90's feedback screeches but has an energy that makes it new. 

Get their LP, "Super Vague" or get a taste of their next album by checking out their bandcamp

Monday, February 25, 2013


It's been a while since I made one of these, so I put together a playlist to start off your week on an upbeat, kick-their-teeth-in mood (because I finished my exam 30 minutes early!!!! YEAH)

Finishing off with a mellower lobsterdust mashup, I hope you'll enjoy this playlist as much as I enjoyed putting it together. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Release: Tegan and Sarah's new album, "Heartthrob"

Released January 29th, "Heartthrob" makes a turn away from the alternative indie sound and takes a dip into the pop side of musicality. With newly introduced soft synth sounds mixed with punchy beats, this album is made up of catchy songs laced with emotion ridden lyrics.

"I can't stand it, all of these things I've let go"--lyrics from the song "Goodbye, Goodbye" hit home for anyone who's ever felt heartbreak. They're as relatable as they've always been. Tegan and Sara just know how to share their lives while breathing their musical lungs.

Their first song on the album, "Closer", has a softer synth feel that moves into bouncy melodies with layered vocals that give it that pop taste. Their official music video can be seen above. Give their album, "Heartthrob", a listen and hear Tegan and Sara's new musical transformation.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Now Do This: Sea Patterns, Arab Spring, The Under Sixteens, and Ryan Phillip

This Saturday at the Kung Fu Necktie are some of the best bands Baltimore and Lehigh Valley have to offer; please welcome to the stage Sea Patterns, The Under Sixteens, Arab Spring, and Ryan Phillips. Sea Patterns and Arab Spring both hail from Baltimore, and have played multiple shows there previously in places like the Charm City Art Space. The Under Sixteens and Ryan Phillips are bands from Lehigh Valley, and prove to be fantastic additions to this lineup.

Perhaps you remember a past article I wrote up on Sea Patterns. Let me refresh your memory: a power-indie group of rock with a beachy sound and echoing vocals, Sea Patterns is a gritty but fresh icy wave of ocean into your face, so remember to hold your breath when you dive in. This band has what it takes to tear out your insides with its bare teeth; it's raw youth at its finest, and it's exactly what you need this weekend.

Arab Spring is Mac McCormick's solo project, made up of distorted power chords, synth tunes, and a drum machine. It's got that Adam and His Package kind of feel in its one-man-band kind of deal, but it's definitely its own creature. Arab Spring is loud and in your face; it takes you prisoner in its noise-rock and pulls you down a tunnel in black and white vision. 

Kind of weird surf rock with slanted vocals make up most of the songs by The Under Sixteens. Songs like "Simplify" roll along like a sailboat from shore. Their newer songs like "Stale News" have more of a rough fuzzy quality to them where sounds overlap just enough to create a sense of blended noise. The Under Sixteens are collision course rock with a dash of swingin' drums.

Ryan Phillips is synth wave with bouncing drum beats; his music is that feeling you get after you wake up and you try to put together the bits and pieces of your dream from that night. The synth shines through softly in this blur of memories kept tied together with steady drums. This is the kind of music that counterbalances the rest of the bands on this setlist, the kind of music that pulls everything back into equilibrium.

Just a heads up: this is a 21+ event. Definitely head out Saturday to Kung Fu Necktie--you don't want to miss this. Get ready, get pumped, and go NUTS.