NEGATIVEHATE: Solipsis

Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart (keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).

The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock, alternative, and post-metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled, almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that stand out more for you like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.

Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in, but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time. A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NEGATIVEHATE

https://negativehate.bandcamp.com/

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AURGANIC: Distant Echoes & Close Encounters

Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative studio project of two long-time friends Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq. Originally high school classmates, they were members in a number of local punk rock bands until life and distance separated them for a number of years. They reconnected musically in 2010 finding a lot of common ground. This time it was electronica, art rock, and jazz that dominated the ideas. The reunited duo recorded instrumental sessions in New York and worked on their completion via internet resulting in a self-titled EP. Rooted in friendship, the project proved its longevity with four independent releases to date. Hailing from the Toronto/New York area, Aurganic’s sound revolves around experimental electronic elements blended with rock, post-rock, progressive rock and indie rock ingredients.

“Signs” has multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics, and some crunchy guitar drives and starts off the album on a definite high. “Empires” has a Muse feel to it, but without sounding like a copycat with the electronics and guitars creating a great mix that makes the track stand out. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” has strong harmonies and continues the high quality of the previous songs. “Levitate” is a fantastic electro-pop song and is one of the best tracks on the album filled with great tracks. “Distant Echoes” has a slow melodic vibe that gives a nice change to the album, and also has great guitar playing. “Shaman” is a ballad with vocals electronically treated, acoustic guitar and very able drumming. The closer “Close Encounters” is an all-instrumental track that shows off the progressive leanings of the band and makes for a great ending to a fun album.

With various styles and textures, this album really gives the listener something to sink their teeth into and an exciting listen that makes you want to hit the play button again. Go out and give your ears a treat and pick this one up.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/aurganic-distant-echoes-close-encounters.html

https://www.aurganic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aurganic/

GROUPOEM: Dirt Church

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The band began as Mr.Science in 1983 before transforming into Groupoem in 1986. The band first released a six song 12″ EP before embarking on a North American tour in 1987. They later returned to the studio where they recorded 10 songs in the summer of 1987 that are being released now for the first time, along with some new songs. The band then went on hiatus for 25 years and has now regrouped with all the original members that ironically, all four members of the band separately had migrated from Toronto to the Vancouver, BC area. The first nine tracks on this album represent the newest music, while tracks ten through eighteen are from 1987, and are a mix of punk rock and alternative.

If you are a fan of talking/singing, kind of how Lou Reed did it, this is for you. “Slimfast” is the kickoff track of this album, and one of their newer songs and has that vocal style mixed with some angular playing that really gives the song a nice edge to it. The vocals also give me a Stan Ridgway vibe with the shaky sound to them. The band has a great vibe going on with sharp guitar playing, and terrific drumming and the vocals that kind of are a step out of sync, but yet match up perfectly with the music. All of the new songs have a great sound and are exceptional, and then we get to the old ones…wow! The band sounds so different, you know, youth and different experiences can make a difference over time, but I wish that I had heard this band back in high school, I would have loved them, and I do now! The band just blows through these old songs at a breakneck pace and you really feel the power and enthusiasm that is present on these songs. One rager after another that will get your heart rate going and get your tired old ass up out of your chair and slamming in the front room.

I am so glad to hear their new songs and how they have moved on, but kept the great songs that they showed on the older tunes, but damn, they could really tear it up back then. A great collection of songs that shows a progression and a promise for more in the future from this talented group. Welcome back boys!

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/groupoem-dirt-church.html

https://www.facebook.com/groupoemband/

http://www.groupoem-band.com/

A mini documentary of the band’s reformation at YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccyYtHm7cc8

Spotify: https://goo.gl/UBWxUs

THE MOCK TURTLES: Turtle Soup (Expanded Edition)

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The Mock Turtles are an English indie rock band, formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1985, who enjoyed some success in the early 1990s. Their song “Can You Dig It?” which was released in 1991, charted in the UK top 20 in 1991 and again in 2003. Led by former Judge Happiness singer Martin Coogan, older brother of actor/comedian Steve Coogan, the band began to pick up attention around 1990, with tracks such as “Lay Me Down” and “And Then She Smiles” on the Imaginary label. It was “Can You Dig It?,” however, which gained them wider attention. Originally a b-side to “Lay Me Down,” the band’s new record label, Siren, re-issued it with additional guitar work, and “Can You Dig It?” breached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart.

This is a digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition, which represents their complete Imaginary catalogue, all of the Mock Turtles’ non-album singles and B-sides are included, together with the many cover versions they recorded for Imaginary’s popular tribute albums (covering The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and The Kinks). In addition, Martin Coogan has unearthed no less than fourteen previously unissued Mock Turtles demos from his personal archive. Sleevenotes are by Mark Hodkinson (The Guardian, etc.), who was the first-ever journalist to review the band back in the mid-1980s. This collection features a massive forty-one tracks and with the great remastered sound, is a real treat for fans.

Being a DJ, and huge music fan, I was always on the hunt for something new to play in my set, I was downtown shopping and saw their original release as a cut-out in a store for $3 and having heard of them from reading the British music rags, I grabbed this CD and took it home. I played it as soon as I got there and loved what I heard and added it into my rotation and got good responses. Does this still hold up after all of these years? Hell yeah it does! Yes the singles are still as good as before, and the rest of the album still is great, but the bonus songs are what really makes this a winner. The end of disc one is filled out with tracks from the Pomona EP, singles and live tracks. Disc two has tracks that the band recorded for a comeback album in 2003 some of which made it on to the band’s Can You Dig It Greatest Hits CD, the great demos that give you an idea of where the band was both coming from and going, and some great covers of Syd Barrett’s “No Good Trying,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?,” The Byrds’ “Time Between and Why” into one killer tune, and, two Kinks songs, “Shangri-la” and “The Big Sky.”

With so many songs and the great sound and booklet, this is definitely a collection that goes beyond most reissues and is worth every penny. Get this album and relive one of the lost albums of the early ’90s and treat your ears to a listening experience that you won’t soon forget.

https://www.facebook.com/TheMockTurtles/

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

TRINE: Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Trine, a trio from Austin, TX consisting of Deuce Waner (drums), Jon Yodan Jr. (guitar), and Ryan Hegefeld (vocals/bass), has released their debut album and what a whopper it is……..sixteen tracks! This alternative metal band has gone beyond what most groups do and given the fans something to think about as well as rock out to.

“Once In A Lullaby,” is an instrumental introduction to the sound of the album. This is a nice strong beginning, dark, edgy, disturbing, with a sinister laugh and dark forbidding sound. “Takedown” has a similar sound, but the guitar just punches you out as soon as it comes in, and the guitar and bass are the glue that keeps everything together. It’s multi layered with the guitar and bass. It’s not messy or sounding like multiple songs going on, it’s all coherent. The vocals are low at first, and smooth as silk and then it kicks it up to be full-bodied, in your face, not angry but imploring, strong, it pulls off the different tones, and the different pitches flawlessly. In “Heroes Of Tomorrow,” the vocals are the focal point; the vocals stand out as powerful, in your face, not angry but forceful. This song just engulfs the listener like the last one. Still very heavy guitar and bass, but the guitar and bass add that sense of depth and texture that pulls everything together it’s the backbone of Trine’s sound. “Anti Gravity” starts off with the guitar bouncy, and then the drums come in to back up the sound. Dark tones to this track give it an 80’s/90’s feel, but it’s been updated and modernized. Strong vocals are still the focal point of their songs. It’s loud, forceful, surrounds the listener, not so much in your face, but just engulfs you. The guitar did this Spanish style solo and was interesting, unique, unexpected and was beautifully done, it works really well as a bridge from the start to the finish. “A Dream Of You” has a different tone, it’s quieter guitar, is more solemn, with a different feel altogether. There aren’t any vocals on this track, it’s all instrumental. “Elysium” changes, to a more drum based sound, the vocals are slightly drowned out, but not by much. The vocals are giving off a desperate feel which works with the sound. There’s a streamlined sound to the vocals that’s multi pitched, and it works. “The Noose Or The Knife” is a dark, semi industrial, grungey style sounding song. The vocals aren’t as pronounced like before, but not hidden, more like a storyline with a talking style to the vocals. Overall it has an angry feel, but not really angry, it’s more rough around the edges, not gritty, but it has a slight edge and rawness to it. “Enemy” has a more desperate feel, in your face, edgier, heavy-set/tone at the beginning, then the vocals turn smooth, but the sound still reeks of power, with a gives no fucks feel to this track. More of a revenge song/sound. It works, with its dark, deep, textured sound that provokes many emotions. Overall a great song. “Royalty” has vocals that are more hidden, like it’s painful to bare one’s soul but full of hope and a bitter-sweet sound. It’s quiet but guitar based, with vocals that are soft and then become loud to make a point. A nice story of hope. It has a 90’s tv/movie drama feel to it and it evokes so many emotions. A great song. “Fake” gets things back to being disturbing. It’s dark, calm/angry, and it’s like a storm that is brewing. The vocals aren’t hidden, slightly flat, not as powerful, raw or in your face that the music and the tone demands. It’s too soft for the overall feel, but it’s a nice starting point though. It’s another storyline song but the texture is wrong, it’s too smooth and flat for an angry, hate filled vibe song. It’s an angry song, but I’m not getting that feel like from the other tracks. “Futures” is a more fast paced, multi layered, textured song, with vocals that are a little hidden and quiet and smooth, but the energy is high, not the in your face feel, but you know it’s there. “Hercules” has a disturbing sound at first then the vocals hit you in the face. Much better vocals and tone, it has high energy, it’s powerful, multi layered, textured, and it’s a don’t give a fuck song. It’s empowering, and it pulls you into the sound and power. “Terraform” is an unusual track with the different styles. It’s about being lost and finding one’s place, as in transforming something dead into something alive. It has really heavy bass and guitar, the vocals switch from being crystal clear to a muffled gargle. It has a major sci-fi feel to it and it’s very hard to describe, but I liked it.
“Fire” has a very hardcore guitar, fast paced sound with vocals overlapping each other creating an echo effect. The vocals are clear, strong, and full-bodied. The song has different layers all mixed into one; it has power and rawness, not in your face, but you can’t help but pay attention to it. It’s hardcore rock. “Full Circle” is drum heavy and then the guitar backs it up nicely. The vocals are slightly in the background and a little flat for such a powerful song. The music is powerful, rough around the edges, in your face, but the vocals don’t exactly match up, they’re too nice and smooth. “Somewhere Under The Rainbow” is mostly instrumental and slightly dark, with the inclusion of bells and ends off the album.

A very long album that has far more successes than miss-steps and shows so much potential and talent that these guys have. With a bit of editing, and time, this band will be a powerhouse that will be headlining larger and larger venues. A really great first album that will keep your attention and will sound great cranked up loud.

Review by: Amy East

https://www.facebook.com/trineatx/

https://www.trineatx.com/

HINDER: Harker Heights – All Bottoms Up Bar Concert With Kings Of The Air, Tame Fury, Trine, and Within Reason

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The concert in Harker Heights was at a bar however it was an outside venue and was brutally hot and humid that day. The concert had starting times for either 6 or 6:30 pm depending on the websites you were looking at, so I got there around 6:30 pm. With the uncertainty of the start time, I was hungry and stopped to eat some Mexican food and 99 cent margaritas and missed the first band. It was the down time between the first band The Kings Of The Air which I missed and Tame Fury when I arrived. While waiting for Tame fury to come onto the stage, I walked around to see how the crowd was, it was a small crowd with most of the people there to see Within Reason and main attraction Hinder.

I made my way to the back near the bar so I could have a full view of the crowd and the stage. When it was time for Tame Fury to come onto the stage the crowd was unimpressed by them since they were there for Hinder and Within Reason. Tame Fury came on like being on stage was normal for them. I had only heard their music the day before and I was surprisingly impressed by what I heard online. When the music started to play, I was completely blown away, they had a superb sound that’s like another world between hearing them online and seeing them live. It was high energy, bold, loud, with clear vocals, and a tight sound overall, such amazing talent from a band that just started in 2014. The guys from Tame Fury aren’t flashy, showy, and they don’t need to be, oh no, they had the sound and the lyrics to make up big time for the lack of movement onstage from the heat. While Michael Mcvey was on vocals doing a great job of singing crystal clear and powerfully; drummer Phred Williams was in the background doing his own little show of throwing and spinning his sticks in time with the beats. The sound is rich, full, and engulfs you into a trance of pure bliss. The melody and beats weren’t all over the place or messy and they kept great time and hitting their marks. Erick Villareals, Brandon Williams, Mark Bankston did a wonderful job backing up Michael. The guys did a bunch of tracks, “Leave It All Behind,” “Brainwashed,” “Masquerade,” “Red Carpet,” “Fallen,” “Gift Of Life,” and “Black As The Fire.” Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t really giving them love so Michael was trying to convince the crowd to give them some love. I did but I was in the back and they couldn’t hear me. Tame Fury is making a name for themselves by bringing a unique sound, image and attitude and presence to a versed crowd, from the older generation to the younger crowd. I cannot make this review solely about them, but they have a new album coming out and I will be able to review that.

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The next band after Tame Fury is another recent band, Trine. Trine is a trio from Austin, Texas. The band members are Deuce Wanier, Ryan Hegefeld, and Jon Yadon Jr. Trine is a very new band so I don’t know too much about them. They had a whole different act than Tame Fury, the energy is different, the sound, everything, perhaps age is a factor. Trine is more alt rock sounding and it’s in your face, bold, bad boy attitude, and slightly raw power comes from it. The sound is rich and full and just engulfs the listener. It was still daylight when Trine hit the stage but the sun was slowly setting so the lights and the smoke from the stage were more visible. The way the lights were flashing just emphases the beat and the overall sound, and unfortunately the mics and the instruments weren’t doing so well in the Texas heat and humidity so I didn’t truly appreciate their sound as much as I could have, but I did notice they had a sound all their own. Their sound is fresh, new, and all ages and generations could easily appreciate their sound and energy.
After Trine had left the stage the sun was setting and shortly after the stage was all lit up and the smoke was really going when Within Reason hit the stage.

Within Reason consists of Chris Dow, David Koone, and Griffin Zarbourgh. The guys did a few songs from their long list of tracks. Unfortunately, the heat was messing with the sound as well for the guys. However, I did get a decent idea of their sound. They did perform some new tracks from their new album, and the vocals were good, smooth, and not as rough around the edges as I had thought since their sound was smooth, not as rough and edgy as their looks, but all in all it’s not bad at all, just a little unexpected. The band has been around since 2005, their style is leaning on the alternative side of rock which works very well for them. The lights and sounds from the stage were very enticing. They were the perfect choice to lead up to Hinder.

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When Hinder hit the stage, the night truly engulfed us all, the stage was fully alive, and the crowd was ready for them. Hinder had a few technical issues due to the heat but that didn’t hold them back from going full force. The band rocked the stage with a mix of old and new songs and the excited crowd ate it up. The relatively new singer Marshal Dutton has grown on me and he did an amazing job of covering the songs from the first and second albums, and he gave the old songs new life and a surreal sound to them. He has a smooth voice that still has plenty of edge and roughness, but it’s not harsh. Marshall covered the tracks that Austin Winkler had originally done nicely. The guys did a few tracks from their As The Smoke Clears album and it was a seamless transition going from the old tracks to the new and back again. Marshall played a duo guitar solo and it was intense hardcore guitar action. All of the guys on the band performed perfectly and with energy and emotion. Marshall even did an acoustic song from their acoustic album. Some of the songs they played were “Intoxicated,” “Up All Night,” “All American Nightmare,” “Lips Of An Angel,” “Better Than Me,” “Two Sides Of Me,” “Hit The Ground,” “Rather Hate Than Hurt,” “Wasted Life,” “See You In Hell,” “Use Me, and “Get Stoned.” They also did a few songs from their new album The Reign. The guys put on a show to remember and all of the bands, not just Hinder were awesome. The strobe lights matched up to each and every song perfectly and seamlessly. It was one hell of a concert and to those who left early and to the ones who didn’t come out, you just don’t know what you missed out on.

Review by Amy East

 

 

 

 

GHOST COLOR: American Book of the Dead

This Sacramento, CA trio has released a new four song E.P. of heavy, but melodic alternative rock that has a thick shoegaze drone to it. They have released a previous E.P. and know that all bands come to an end, but they really want to get their sound and vision out before that day happens.

With soaring vocals and some distortion as the predominate sounds, this band adds so much into the mix that you get drawn in and they lift you up and then bring you back down to earth again with the slower, shoegaze effects. The songs are catchy, short enough to not overstay their presence, but long enough to give you everything that you want. The band has power, energy and more than enough talent to get into your ears and make you smile while listening to this EP over and over again. The vocals are strong and have so much emotion emanating that it grabs your attention right away, this is not some wimpy vocalist, it’s a guy that can wail and then smooth it out again. The band plays with so much power and yet adds subtle sounds into the mix effortlessly.

This was a definite treat with four tight and thrilling songs that will keep garnering them more fans and hopefully a career that will last for a long time. They say that they know that all bands come to an end, let’s hope that they stay together and keep putting out great music.

http://ghostcolormusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GhostColor

https://ghostcolor.bandcamp.com/album/american-book-of-the-dead

Also posted on:

http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/06/ghost-color-american-book-of-dead.html