You never know what you’re going to get from a Prog Rock band. On Ithenfal’s wing certainly delivered the unexpected with their latest track Key to Then which takes you through a journey of time and leaves you questioning the year. The track is a 7-minute marathon curtesy of a nostalgically talented collective of artists from the US influenced by artists such as Opeth, Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. They must be the first band in history to infuse all of those sounds together to create a cocktail of archaic madness.
It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Game of Thrones soundtrack even though the vocals did remind me of Robert Smith from The Cure, well, if Robert Smith did Pantomime. Typical of any Prog Rock band, there’s heavy emphasis on the instrumentals which flow with ease, yet I can’t quite help but think the track is disjointed by the slightly sub-par vocals which just don’t match the veracity of the sound that the band puts out.
The bands conceptual album Key to Then was brought out earlier this December, so jump on the hype and check out Key to Then via Soundcloud using the link below:
Based in Manhattan Beach, CA, The HiGrounds are a band with a very particular sound that is essentially rock and roll with an evident contemporary flair. These guys share a passion for this type of music in particular, and this is shown in their music which clearly has a vintage character with a modern touch that only true dedicated musicians are able to create. With funky guitar progressions, punctuated by percussive piano and Hammond organ sounds backed by a solid rhythm section, their music is just one of a kind.
“it’s Music,” which is taken right off of their latest album “Wouldn’t Hurt To Show,” is a true reflection of what sounds and stylistic choices these guys are passionate about. The instrumental arrangement and texture do indeed provide that special vintage feel, particularly through the use of the organ, but this is not all the song has to offer. It has no shortage of catchy choruses and it also presents a feel-good sound suitable for pubs and bars, providing an authentic warm atmosphere. “It’s Music” is not only a song which is enjoyable to listen to. It is well crafted and performed. So if you like what you hear, make sure to check out the rest of the album too, and you will not be disappointed !
The Hoy Polloy are a Miami based quartet of twee audio revellers who use an inexplicable variation of elements to create the perfect cacophony of melodic sound with a relentlessly upbeat sound that’s intoxicatingly fresh.
They’ve created the perfect storm in their track ‘Hats Off’ with their raucous arrangements spinning chaotically around them as they infuse a plethora of sound into their mix; using elements of Psychedelic, Progressive, Alternative and Indie sounds with a Pop Rock & Roll twist! They tether the sound together to create sound waves that are succinct & stylish.
Hats Off is just one of the enigmatic tracks featured in The Hoy Polloy’s 5th studio album ‘Bye Bye Bogata’, all of the tracks on the album were created in the aftermath of the tour with their first album ‘On the Way to Rome’.
The stand out track on the album oozes soulful old school beats with puritanical vocals on top. The vocalist has undeniable talent which his show cased through his ability to inject euphoria into the listener in the same style as some of my favourite vocalists. The band is the collective work of all of the talented musicians, they each bring their own unique style to create a sound that could be compared to Fidlar, Mercury Rev & Modest Mouse.
Check out their spectacular track using the SoundCloud link below:
Crisis King is an artist with a fondness for hard-hitting metal, post-hardcore and industrial tones. His recent studio work, Tonight, is an EP that features 6 original songs. The artist’s music explores genres as diverse as hardcore, industrial, new-metal and more, going for an eclectic, yet direct sound. Opening number, “Die Easy”, is an extremely powerful wall of sound that feels like a stampede of vikings, crushing and burning everything in their path. The song has powerful drums and loud guitar riffs that are down-tuned and aggressive, perfectly matching the vocals.
The dark lyrical themes on the songs of the EP are also a great match with the album’s production aesthetics, but there is also room for melodies here and there.
“The Tides” highlights the group’s most melodic side, yet it still features hard-hitting drums, loud guitar walls and serendipitous changes. Throughout the span of these 6 tracks, Crisis King really stand out for the diverse approach they are able to bring to the table, exploring different sides of their musicianship and offering up an EP that feels eclectic, yet extremely direct, just as you would expect from a band such as Crisis King!
What you really think Accidental Allies are all about depends upon which thread you pick at first. Start one end and they are a synth-pop act doing a spot of avant gardening, start somewhere else and they are an acoustic act building electronic platforms underneath deft, classical guitar lines. Others might think of them more as a dance band heading off into more progressive territory, or a soul band having embraced a futuristic vision of what the genre might become.
The reality is that they are all of those things or none of them, they might be a wide-ranging eclectic mix or a very singular roadmap towards their own musical destination. Not that it really matters, it is only when you try to write things down, to turn music into words that you come up against the limitations of language. Until they invent the right words to properly describe what is going on here you will just have to access their world via your ears and imagination. It is a world of interesting musical choices, mercurial stylistic blends, genre hopping and genre splicing, why would you try to capture that in word form?
It comes as no surprise to find that The Cubby Creatures hail from San Francisco, the city that was the focal point of the beatnik, hippy and psychedelic movements in the past. They seem to have somehow tapped into the ghosts of those broadminded musical experiments and used them as the basis for their own strange sonic adventures.
Jesus Christ You’re Crazy is a wonderful collection of trippy and sonorous vibes, soaring violins and chilled beats, sitting like a wonderful bridge between the psychedelic scene still happening in the back street clubs and underground venues of the city and the whale noises to be found just off of its coast. Their references are often literary, their scope unbounded and their music is like a stoned celestial choir. In my head this is exactly what San Francisco would sound like if its bricks and mortar could make music.
Vandenborre is an independent band with a truly unique approach to their music. Their sound blurs the lines between trip hop, alternative rock and experimental music in a truly special way. Their recent song, “The Unstoppable View”, is a masterfully produced track that has some fascinating atmospheres and hypnotic sonic fabrics.
The clever and unusual melodies of this song make me think of artists as diverse as Bjork or The XX, but Vandenborre also have a slightly old school feel, which echoes back to the sound of great 70s rock music (including bands such as Pink Floyd or Tangerine Dream, just to mention but a few).
The most striking thing about this production is definitely the oneiric feel of the composition, and the way the understated and elegant recordings managed to capture the group’s stunning artistic vision in full. The artwork also deserves a special mention, as it truly speaks volumes about the tone and feel of the music itself.
Vandenborre managed in the hard task of combining different musical influences into a formula that can unquestionably be identified as their own.
“The Unstoppable View” is a song that feels dreamy and ethereal, with cascading melodies and stunning vocal harmonies that add depth and presence to the whole arrangement.
Mystic Tears makes music that is as enigmatic as the project’s name. Their single, “Shine” is haunting and beautiful – a melancholic ballad that makes me think of the quieter moments of artists such as Soundgarden or Nine Inch Nails, just to mention a few. The drums have a floating groove that really fits with the sparse, gentle guitars and with the sultry vocal performances. The track has a nice, sustained feel throughout its duration, but it definitely opens up to a stunning climax towards its end. The playing gets more intense, and new layers of tone seamlessly bring something new to the mix. The beautiful lead guitar work and stunning vocal solos make me think of timeless acts such as Pink Floyd, but re-imagined in a refreshing modern way.
In conclusion, this track feels like a musical journey: its arrangement its deceptively simple and direct, but the song’s emotional impact is huge. This is one of those tracks that really compel you to focus and listen, stopping whatever else you were doing at the moment and solely concentrate on the music!