VA rock outfit Audiostrobelight will be releasing their newest album, “What You’re Running From,” May 14. The 7-track album will feature their latest single, “California Gold Rush.”
Audiostrobelight is helping us usher in the summer season with their hot new album, “What You’re Running From.” The VA Beach group shreds the stereotypical idea of a rock album and instead creates an amalgam of sounds in their seamless EP. With the help of producer WIll Pugh (Cartel), Audiostrobelight seamlessly combines genres and shoots out an album for the masses.
Unlike their previous album, “The Whole Shebang,” this album has a more cohesive theme. The album opens with 1-and-a-half minute intro track, “Last Summer.” Complete with wave sounds and a laidback melody, the song proves to be the calm before the storm that is to break right after the vocalist sings the eerie album title. The intro smoothly leads into the title track, in which Audiostrobelight returns to their amped selves. We’re reminded of why we fell in love with the band as the cheery gang vocals, heavy guitars, and quirky violin (yes, a violin) fill our ears. The chorus is the first of many catchy lines the album has to offer.
“California Gold Rush” was already released as a single, as it should have been. While it fits in perfectly with the flow of the album, it also has this Beyoncé quality (Beyoncé was great in Destiny’s Child; Beyoncé is also even better on her own). The song showcases the band’s stadium-worthy talent: from Kris’s and Gabe’s powerful vocals, to Scott’s pounding drums, and Edwin’s guitar-thrashing. And while Adam and his fiddle are not as prominent on the track, they do take center stage in the (for lack of a better word) boomtastic “It’s About To Get Real.” The song is a major rush, from beginning to end, save for a couple dramatic moments in the bridge.
“Divisions” gives us a semi-break from the whirlwind of an album. The guitars, bass, and drums remain relatively constant, leaving the energy levels up to the vocals. The song itself is geniusly written, but only Audiostrobelight could pull off the sassy lyrics.
She doesn’t want the “boy” in boyfriend
Just the “man” in romance
I start to think that I’ll never grow up
And miss another chance
The quirky “breakup” song is tame enough for people who can’t handle the band’s normal raucousness, but it has enough ASL craziness to reassure current fans that this band will not change for anyone.
“What You’re Running From” concludes with two insane tracks, “Never Say Never” and “We’ll Never Make It Out Alive.” “Never Say Never” is catchy, but not in a Justin Bieber way. It purposefully spits out the word “never” throughout the chorus, making it fun to sing, and easy to remember. “We’ll Never Make It Out Alive” isn’t as single-worthy as “California Gold Rush” or “Divisions,” but its theatrical instrumentals and dark undertones are breathtaking. It’s a far cry from the peaceful “Last Summer,” but the smooth transitions between the tracks lead you to the Armageddon-like track without you noticing. And if you aren’t paying attention, you also may not notice previous song titles hidden in the lyrics (whether intentional or not).
“What You’re Running From” is genius. The guys have created their own obscure niche in music that only they can pull off. The album was clearly well-planned and well-thought-out. Every little detail makes sense, and it’s impossible to not listen from beginning to end.
Make sure you grab your summer soundtrack here: “What You’re Running From”
Maine rapper Spose will be dropping his album, “The Peter Sparker Mixtape” this June. The album will be released for free through Spose’s own label, Proposterously Dank Entertainment.
“The Peter Sparker Mixtape” is the first of two free mixtapes Spose will be releasing this year.
“The Peter Sparker Mixtape is a proud moment for me because there are no pop songs on it. There are no desperate attempts to get radio play. I don’t think my fans are dumb and I don’t think I have to dumb my music down to get them to appreciate it. So, I didn’t.
“The album is packed with very lyrical verses, wordplay, and honestly, sounds a lot like the proper follow up to my first album (2008′s “Preposterously Dank“) that I would’ve made if I hadn’t ever signed with Universal.”
Unless you have been living under a rock (or living under rock music), you have heard, or heard of, Spose. While not necessarily a household name like Mac Miller or Sammy Adams, Spose is definitely getting there. Not that he’s trying though. The Maine resident is hardly the typical rap artist. The white-as-Wonder-bread 27-year-old rapper uses his album to introduce us the paradox that he is. In track 2, “The King of Maine,” Spose eloquently spits about his 2003 Nissan Altima (the same car that I, a 21-year-old college student with a mall job, drives). He relates to his middle-class fanbase by talking about doing dishes, and not being able to ‘throw money’ at strip clubs. Rather than boasting about rolling in dough, the rapper claims his only motive is paying off debt. The song itself is far from radio-friendly, and purposefully so. Instead of appealing to the mindless masses, Spose reaches out to appeal to the everyday music listener with his honest and relatable lyrics.
Spose pokes fun at his Maine residence with “All Rs,” a song composed of words all starting with R. It’s a fun(ny) track that isn’t trying to break new ground or revolutionize the rap scene. It’s just a song that consists of R words.
Chris Webby joins Spose in “In Your Dreams,” a song slated to be a fan favorite. From the catchy beat to the fun chorus, “In Your Dreams” is definitely going to be stuck in your head. Plus, as fast as Spose raps in the track, you can still understand exactly what he’s saying.
“The People’s Douche” is ironically the least douche-y rap song ever. Spose AKA Peter Sparker spills what his dreams are for the world, including: making sure the poor become the rich, giving employees benefits, and having hipsters shop at Wal-Mart.
The album concludes with previously released “I’m Done.” Spose spills his lyrical genius in the clever chorus that is more than just a bunch of cheap rhymes thrown together:
Yeah, I’m done holding on to the past, tryin’ to make a million dollars and then go and take a nap.
Until then no sleep, ’cause sleep is the cousin of the two horned creep from the deep
I’m done (I’m done) holding on to the past tryin’ to make a billion dollars and then go and take a nap.
Spose successfully flips from the dark and heavy topics from his last mixtape, “The Audacity!” and instead focuses on making music that makes him, and his fans, smile. Paying tribute to his homestate, his car, and Bob Johnson, Spose creates a lighthearted and fun album that will sound good on your iTunes playlist, and not on “Now That’s What You Call Music 57.”
02. The King of Maine
03. All Rs
04. 03 Altima
05. I’m Starving
06. In Your Dreams (ft. Chris Webby)
07. The People’s Douche
09. Cows Come Home
10. Fresh Raps
11. Still Bimpin
12. Bob Johnson
13. I’m Done
5/05 – NORTH ADAMS, MA @ MCLA FESTIVAL
6/09 – PORTLAND, ME @ OLD PORT FESTIVAL
6/19 – STOCKBRIDGE, VT @ ZIONTIFIC FESTIVAL
7/12 – PORTLAND, ME @ THE STATE THEATRE
7/19 – ROXBURY, NY @ THE COME UP FESTIVAL
8/08 – BANGOR, ME @ KAH BANG FESTIVAL
Wisconsin singer-songwriter Austin Nivarel has released his debut full-length, “What We Don’t Say Out Loud.” The album can be purchased by clicking here.
Austin Nivarel may not be a household name yet, but he may soon be. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter just dropped his debut album and it’s nothing short of amazing.
For fans of Joel Piper, Taylor Thrash, and A Rocket To The Moon comes the refreshing record, “What We Don’t Say Out Loud.” Opening with “On Our Own,” Nivarel’s upbeat pop-rock album shows promise. Nivarel shows off his wide range of musical skills, from his angelic pipes, to his impressive guitar, piano, bass, programming, and percussion skills. “On Our Own” is made to be catchy without sacrificing the importance of well-thought-out lyrics.
The trend of clever lyrics and infectious melodies flows through the record. Songs like “Fortunes” and “Under My Breath” have a fun, edgy vibe, and Austin’s confident delivery make them stand out. Both feature Nivarel’s effortless vocal range, as his voice dances into falsetto.
Nivarel doesn’t just pump out poppy tracks. The album is actually heavy with acoustic ballads. “Fall In Love” proves to be a fan favorite, and for good reason. His pure voice and his earnest take on love is engrossing. While the majority of the song is slow, Nivarel holds your attention with his genius lyrics and pleasant voice.
The album concludes with the acoustic ballad, “When You Leave.” Nivarel pours out his heart in the slow track, practically weeping the lyrics. The emotion in his voice, combined with the drawn out guitar solos, plus the subject matter make this song the star that it is. Reminiscent of The Maine or A Rocket To The Moon, the song has just the right amount of sadness without getting depressing. Nivarel makes it easy for you to sympathize with him, and most likely relate to his situation.
“What We Don’t Say Out Loud” is a great first album from Austin Nivarel. Fitting right in with other acts in his genre, Nivarel can only expect to gain a loyal following that relates to his songs. Without defaulting to cheesy pop songs, Nivarel manages to create catchy songs that will stick in your head, while making you feel a genuine emotion.
Look out for Austin Nivarel:
Los Angeles band Varna has released their debut EP, “This Time, It’s Personal.”
Varna may have just released their debut EP, but they clearly already know what they’re doing. With strong female vocals, thrashing guitars and pounding drums, Varna introduces themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
The band’s first single, “Down,” was released as a free download, but it’s definitely worth the 99 cents on iTunes. Reminiscent of Evanescence or We Are The Fallen, “Down” serves as a powerful glimpse into the depths of Varna’s talent. The grim lyrics read as poetry, and vocalist Tiana Woods delivers them with such moxie that you can’t ignore her. Rossen Pinkas (guitar) and Rob Shin (drums) also stand out with their dynamic energy; Pinkas’s gritty guitar combined with Shin’s angry drums form to create a dark hole of of a melody that you can’t get out of your head.
Varna continues to crank out the hits with “My Heart,” an emotional power ballad (minus the frilly piano). he lyrics reflect a failed relationship, and they could possibly relate to many of the band’s growing fanbase.
The EP concludes with “Running Away,” a brash rock tune with lyrics that are cutting, yet encouraging:
Stop running away
Why don’t you just face the courage I know you have inside
Get out of this place
Step out of this darkness and back into the light
Varna sounds amazing, and that’s an understatement. In three songs, rock fans can fall head over heels in love with this edgy three-piece.
San Francisco’s Beta State have announced the release of their full-length album, “#FRIENDSHIP.” The album, to be released May 21, will feature ten original tracks, one cover, and nine remixes. The deluxe album includes ten original tracks, one cover and nine remixes
Fans can pick up the album, produced by Erik Ron (Panic! At The Disco, Hit The Lights, Saosin), here: http://www.betastatemusic.com/
“We are so excited to share this album with our fans! We spent countless hours in our home studio, as well as working with Erik Ron, to achieve something that sticks out from all the same-old-same-old that you hear on the radio these days.
“We think the remixes will be quite the treat for our fans. As someone who is really into EDM, I am so stoked that we got to work with these DJs. It really brings Beta State into a new light and is a great compliment to the album. I’m looking forward to hearing one of those remixes in the club soon!”–Adrian Robison, drummer
When Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) gives you props on his blog, you know you’re doing something right. That’s what Beta State has going on, since the release of their debut EP, when they gave Mike a copy of their demo. Now the band has set the bar even higher with their upcoming full-length, “#FRIENDSHIP.” With 3 new songs, a new cover, and nine remixes added to the band’s resume, fans get a fuller sense of the depth of the band’s talent. The ambient rock group follows in the footsteps of world-renowned bands like Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin, with their crisp, yet musically textured sound.
Kicking off the album with the explosive “Weightless,” Beta State forces you to fall in love with them. Wasting no time, the band thrusts the best of their best in your face; from Matt McDonald’s monster voice, to Ryan Hernandez’s hypnotic ambient guitar lines, to Justin Kastner’s brooding bass lines, to Adrian Robison’s mammoth drum beats. The energy spills into track 2, “Start A Clean Slate.” It’s slightly grittier, with Matt’s booming vox belting out the chorus, yet it maintains a clear and crisp sound, thanks to Erik Ron’s master production.
“Wait For You” serves as the band’s power ballad. The tear-jerking track tugs on the heartstrings, not only because the lyrics are an emotional roller coaster, but also because the band takes their edgy energy and transposes it into a sentimental pop ballad. It could easily be Beta State’s ticket to go from indie radio spots to being featured on Top 40 countdowns. The love song doubles as a passionate love poem:
“The clocks tick by
Without you by my side
Let’s turn back time
I’ll make you laugh
We’ll start over as friends
Hold you close
I will wait for you
I will wait for you
I’ll set you free to see the world as you need
I will wait for you”
The first half of the album concludes with a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel.” Obviously, the band isn’t expected to sound much like the eccentric solo artist. But in this case, they make the song sound like a whole new track. Beta State injects their ambient rock vibe into the single. Matt is to be commended for extending his vocal range to unimaginable heights, complemented by a hauntingly beautiful choral group. Adrian, Justin, and Ryan up the punx on the song, making it almost unrecognizable (in a good way). The band’s breathtaking cover may actually help introduce younger fans to Bjork’s genius, because her lyrics remain just as powerful no matter who performs them.
The album concludes with fun remixes from some of the best up-and-coming DJ’s in the local San Francisco and Los Angeles electronic scene.
Beta State’s album is sure to leave you breathless. It’s honestly shocking that the band hasn’t “made it” yet, but in due time, this band is sure to make waves.
Help Beta State in the world domination by pre-ordering “#FRIENDSHIP!”
Newcastle indie rock band Alexander has released their debut album, “Say Hello,” through I Am Mighty Records. The album is also available on iTunes.
Everything about Alexander and their new album is just so proper and flawless. The boys properly introduce themselves with “Say Hello,” a hip blend of indie rock and old-school swag. Opening with title track, “Say Hello,” Alexander sets the tone for their instrumentally rich album. Right off the bat, Alexander proves to be musically mature, with a song seasoned with classic undertones. Sounding like a mellowed mix of The Kinks and Pink Floyd, Alexander marks their album as a future classic.
Alexander released their single, “You Lost Yourself,” earlier this year to rave reviews. With clean guitar lines surrounding by gritty drum beats and animated vocals, the song was a perfect choice of a single and music video:
This simple video, filmed by James Sieradzki, features the four-piece group jamming out in a room, each vibing off of each other. The chemistry and (literal) sparks are clearly seen, and even more clearly heard in the rest the album.
“Say Hello” manages to be a perfect balance of pop and indie rock. Upbeat songs like ” You Lost Yourself” seem to have deep pop influences, while songs like “Maybe I Was Wrong” and “Find My Way Out” get grittier and edgier. “Without a Parachute” is not as poppy as “You Lost Yourself,” nor is it as edgy as “Find My Way Out.” What makes the track stand out is its effortlessly catchy chorus and high-energy melodies.
Alexander also sprinkles some slow jams into the mix. The acoustic “A Sweet Song” will melt hearts with the raw and very personal lyrics. Fans of Ed Sheeran would probably gravitate to the song in which the sultry vocalist, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, proclaims an everlasting love. The band makes you love them even harder with concluding track, “Old Fashioned Romance.” The vocalist sexily (yet respectfully) whispers the lyrics as the tinny piano and mellow guitars/bass and drums fill in the empty spaces.
“Say Hello” makes you never want to say goodbye to this band. If the gorgeous lads of Alexander keep this up, one could only assume that Alexander will be around for years to come.
Richmond’s Battleghost will be releasing their latest Ep, “Don’t Be a Hero” this May. The melodic, easycore band has shown a major commitment to touring, and yu can catch them as they promote their new EP this summer.
Battleghost has built a modest following in and around RVA but they step their game up with “Don’t Be a Hero.” The EP opens with a burst of energy that is “Habitats.” Complete with the longest guitar solo ever (it’s actually only 25 seconds long) and a high energy chorus, the song gets the album started on the right foot. The abundance of energy flows into “Grown,” which is notable for its pop-punk melodies and fun harmonies.
“Boundary” gives us a brief cool-down, opening with calm vocals and the light strum of an electric guitar. But as soon as the intro finishes, the song goes into beast mode, with punchy drums and a catchy chorus. “Boundary” might just be the band’s ticket to fame; from the lively melody and memorable lines, the song has the potential to garner fans worldwide.
Drummer Nick Craven gets to show off in the intro to “I’m Gone” and bassist/vocalist Lloyd McDonald reaches unbelievable high notes in the chorus.
The EP closes with an easycore dream track, “You Words.” The pop-punk anthem showcases the band’s best skills; from Cooke and McDonald’s bold vocals to Ciucci’s and Cooke’s guitar lines and Craven’s monster drumming. It’s a solid ending to a solid EP, and it only goes to prove that 2013 will be their year.
“Don’t Be a Hero” will be a must-have when it drops May 11. In the meantime, you can keep up with the band with the links below:
Gratuitous video of Battleghost covering a Katy Perry song:
St. Louis four-piece band Home & Away is prepping to release their brand new EP, “Still Breathing.” The pop-punk album will be released April 27.
Fans can pick up the lead single, “Come At Me, Bro!” below:
Bryan Casselman- vocals
Evan Murray- guitar/vocals/drums
Nick Vandas- guitar/vocals
David Fernandez- bass
This spring has been pretty great for Suppy Nation. Man Overboard, Transit, and The Story So Far have released new albums, there are tour dates for days, and there are fresh faces popping up on the punk circuit. One of those fresh faces is Home & Away.
Home & Away is releasing their follow-up EP to their 2012 self-titled full-length. The band steps their game up in a major way with their new EP, “Still Breathing.” Not that their full-length sucked (yes, it did), but “Still Breathing” is infinitely better.
Though unsigned, the band has the talent and cajones to chill with the big dogs. The EP opens with a seemingly stereotypical pop-punk track, “Corneria.” With never-ending gang vocals, chunky guitar lines, and a title that references a video game, it’s almost begging you to roll your eyes and go back to your 2012 Transit vinyl. But once you get over yourself, you hear more than just potential. You hear a band that should be headlining Vans Warped Tour 2014. You hear a band that should be selling 100,000 copies in the first week. You hear your new favorite band, Home & Away (corny, but true).
Home & Away seems to understand that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Rather than try to reinvent pop-punk, the band just makes it their own. With a sense of humor, passion, and genuineness, Home & Away makes you fall in love with them. Songs like “Our Scars Sing Lullabies” and “#F***MONEYTOURFOREVER” are filled with undeniable passion and meaning. “Our Scars Sing Lullabies” particularly summons all the band’s angst and pours it out in the song. Vocalist Bryan Casselman delivers the feisty lyrics with fire: “I NEVER NEEDED YOU.” Bryan is accompanied by the appropriately used gang vocals, and the fiery instrumentals. Evan’s subdued drumming builds in intensity as the lyrics build with passion,. And the bass and guitars flood the speakers with mesmerizing guitar lines.
“Nut Up or Shut Up” is probably the most commercial out of the 7 tracks, even with its borderline inappropriate title. With unashamedly catchy clapping, a fun chorus, and unintelligible gang vocals, the song offers itself up to be easy to listen/headbang/twerk/mosh to. That said, the band’s actual single, “Come At Me Bro!” is pretty impressive. With intellectual lyrics, the song is a great representation of who they are:
Go wrap your apologies
I’ve choked enough down for us both
Call it thin
But at least I gave a [ish]
So here we are collecting dust
Just memories confined to rust
Call it thin
But at least I gave a [ish]
I’m sorry you can’t let go…
The band also gives the most unapologetic apology towards the end, spitting the words: “So here’s your f–ing three chords/I’m sorry/they’re all I’m good for.” While hopelessly untrue, the sarcastic line helps dispel the whole pop-punk stereotype that all bands sound the same.
The video game nerds include another gamer reference in their heaviest song, “Riders of Rohan.” The single proves to be as action-packed as the video game itself. The song stands out with its metal-influenced guitars and drums and survivor-themed lyrics: “I’m not ready to die!”
The album ends on a totally different note with their surprisingly beautiful ballad, “Whisper To Me,” featuring a duet between Bryan and a female vocalist. If this song doesn’t make you fall in love with Home & Away, you might want to file a missing person’s report on your heart because the song should definitely mess with your “feels.”
Home & Away has clearly done an impressive job with “Still Breathing” (though I’m not still breathing after “Whisper To Me” omg). The guys threw their hearts and souls into the record and deserve at least a listen.
Female-fronted rocktronica group Lost In Atlantis has released their latest EP, “Lover Freak.” This is the band’s second release. The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Erich Talaba.
You can catch the band this June on Vans Warped Tour 2013 (6/20-6/28).
Lost In Atlantis takes this generation’s “hipster” craze one step further by making the 80s relevant again. The band’s electronica sound is reminiscent of the style prevalent in the time period (Madonna’s “Holiday,” B-52s’ “Love Shack,” etc.). But Lost In Atlantis shines in that their new EP also fits in today.
Appropriately, the EP opens with “Hypnotic,” a captivating and dance-inducing rocktronica single. The band slowly introduces themselves; the song slowly builds in energy, soon bursting in hypnotic vigor. The chorus is the perfect blend of modern pop and old-school electronica, allowing for a wider fan base to appreciate the band’s effort. And despite its heavy electronica influence, it’s obvious that the band is adept at pure rock. The thumping drums and driving guitars add a level of pop punk flavor.
The band doesn’t slow down for a second, pumping out dance hit after dance hit. Even with semi-ballad, ”Soaring,” the band manages to maintain a level of energy that can keep you moving.
“Freak Out,” from which the album title comes from, probably more on the rock than “tronica” side. With passionate vocals, heart-pounding drums and flawless guitar melodies, “Freak Out” is a musically ambiguous single that would appeal to almost anyone.
The album is jam-packed with 7 original pop/rock./electronica hits. Songs like “Crazy” and “Gonna Make It Hot” capture a nostalgic feeling that remind us why the 80s were so important to the music scene. With vocalist Lizzie Rosnowski’s fiery vocals, Eric Pinedo, Ryan Streeter’s and Tim Pinedo’s dynamic guitar and bass lines, and David Allen’s dance-y drumming programming, the band is set to take over the music scene, regardless of the decade.
Valaska has released his debut full-length record, “Natural Habitat.” The album includes the previously released “Golden Age.”
The album is available on Valaska’s bandcamp page.
It is truly an art for someone to make captivating music with just their voice and an acoustic guitar. Valaska’s Dave Valdez seems to have mastered the art with his debut full-length. “Natural Habitat” is a charming Copeland-esque effort from Valaska (the album actually was produced by Aaron Marsh of Copeland). With 9 original songs, Valaska proves that this scene can use a little chill sesh.
The album opens with the acoustic “On The Surface,” which features an enchanting guitar melody and Dave’s calming vocals. The song also is chock full of thought-provoking and heavy lyrics.
This trend of subdued vocals and intellectual lyrics flows throughout te album, even in the more upbeat tracks, like “Spanish Needles.” “Spanish Needles” actually serves as a fun alternative to the slower songs, without losing the value in the lyrics. One eye-opener that Valaska croons particularly strikes listeners:
How many gods does it take
To keep that moral check in place
God-fearing or not, that’s a genius and time-sensitive topic that few artists can effectively cover. Valaska manages to take such a controversial line and make it into a thing of beauty, by calmly singing it over a dreamy guitar line.
Songs like “War and Peace” add color to the album with their quirky lyrics, positive vocals, and chunky bass lines. The title track, standing at 5 and a half minutes long, may not exactly be single material, but it definitely deserves a listen. The long track flaunts Valaska’s effortless range in vocals, as well as his surprisingly catchy instrumentals. The symphony of sounds in the song make the five-minute track fly by, forcing you to go back to listen to what he actually is saying.
The album concludes with the very raw “Bijou.” Accompanied by only a guitar, Valaska further proves that he doesn’t need distracting effects to make meaningful music.
“Natural Habitat” is 9 songs of mellow melodies. With Dave Valdez spearheading this ambient/indie solo project, the album successfully allows us into the inner machinations of Valaska’s mind. And it’s nothing short of a thing of beauty.