Posts Tagged With: rock

Ought – Sun Coming Down

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Canadian alternative-rockers Ought seem eager to jump back into the world of physical releases with their sophomore album effort of ‘Sun Coming Down’. Following on from last years release of the bands’ debut album ‘More Than Any Other Day’, and the vinyl-only EP release of ‘Once More With Feeling…’, Ought have busied themselves with extensive touring, immersing themselves in the world and establishing themselves as an indie-rock band who one should really keep an eye on. There’s a wonderful chemistry and charisma to Ought’s music, all of which helps to push forward a persona of eagerness to really get out there and become something great.

‘Sun Coming Down’ continues the band’s path of indie-rock music, featuring wonderful instrumentation ranging from the manic and hurried paces of the bands’ debut effort, to the slowly unfurling instrumental spaces, adding character and personality to the band’s music. Everything stands well on the bands’ previous outputs, with the new album even sounding a little more experimental in certain sections, really showing off some of the bands’ true capabilities. Everything feels incredibly well envisioned, with Ought recognizing what they want to take forward and what they want to leave behind in the creation of their band persona.

Ought have taken many great steps in crafting their personality in their music. The incredible efforts of Ought in terms of the work they do and the music itself, have pushed forward this band as an incredibly hard working and exciting one, who are really trying to do something with themselves. Whilst ‘Sun Coming Down’ comes forward as another incredible effort, it should be noted that there’s an almost more manic and mad pace to most of the tracks, sounding almost looser and less intricate as the bands’ debut effort. Whilst this may disappoint some, it also comes across as Ought taken further steps to craft themselves, showing off everything they’re capable of with every release.

Since their debut, Ought have come across as an incredibly exciting band, one who are taking incredible steps in their reach. It seems with every bit of news about the band, Ought are just getting better and better, really presenting themselves as one of the strongest musical acts working in their genre. Ought just exude this incredible energy and charisma with their music, with ‘Sun Coming Down’ coming across as another incredibly strong album from this incredibly strong band. With more music like this coming from the band, one will definitely want to keep a closer eye on them, anticipating whatever is going to come next.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Passionate Turn
  • Sun’s Coming Down
  • Beautiful Blue Sky
  • Never Better

Ought’s second studio album ‘Sun Coming Down’ is out now on Constellation Records.

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Svin – Svin

Svin pave the way for their experimental music notions with the release of their self-titled third album. The new album ‘Svin’ sees the band offering up a phenomenal and unrelenting barrage of psychedelic experimental music, bordering the lines of post-rock and experimental jazz. There’s an incredible energy to ‘Svin’, one that showcases great talent, as well as a real creative streak in producing something just that little bit different. At times, ‘Svin’ might come across as a little aggressive, but it is one that justifies its aggressive elements through brilliant showmanship and creative elements.

On their latest album effort, Svin demonstrate incredible artistic promise. ‘Svin’ offers an Odyssey of musical movements and techniques, showcasing a great range of different styles, all comprised together into one coherent structure.  ‘Svin’ offers up a varied style of instrumental tracks, and whilst from an outsider’s perspective they might seem to be clashing techniques, Svin manage to work everything together into one album experience, where everything seems to warrant its place on the album, whilst keeping everything interesting and exciting. It’s an exciting and exhilarating musical journey, and one that shows the best techniques in experimental notions. There’s a nice variety of heavy tracks partnered with more slower and downbeat ones, keeping the whole album experience refreshing and interesting.

Svin’s option to fuse together different genres works incredibly well, though combined with its rather experimental techniques, it makes the album experience one that is somewhat inaccessible, and perhaps off-putting to die-hard fans of the varying individual genres. Fans of post-rock or math-rock might find the more jazz-orientated tracks on the album somewhat unappealing, or even vice-versa. Some might be put off by Svin’s juggling of various genres, though for the most part it works incredibly well on their self-titled release, showing some incredible creative talent. The only real problem with ‘Svin’ is that it’s an incredibly short album, and one that seems to end just as it gathers up enough momentum.

Svin demonstrate wonderful musical technique on their latest effort, one that excites and sometimes confounds in oddly enjoyable ways. The record is perhaps a little too short at times, though it does result in an album experience where there’s absolutely no dead weight, and each track contributes wonderfully to the album itself. It’s a strong effort that really showcases Svin’s talents as a band, showing their ability to both conform to genre’s, and shape and bend their conventions at will, bringing out new and exciting ideas that haven’t really been explored before by other bands.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Maharaja
  • Alt
  • Fuck John
  • Fede Piger

Svin’s latest album ‘Svin’ is out now.

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Born In Sin – Electric Blue

Israeli-Blues-Rock band Electric Blue offer up their debut-album experience titled ‘Born In Sin’. The new album showcases the bands’ phenomenal and pumped up blues rock style, offering what comes across as a highly enjoyable and easily accessible album experience. Electric Blue seem to have turned up everything for their debut album effort, in an attempt to show off everything they are capable of when it comes to their own branch of music within the blues rock genre. Whilst the music on the album itself derives from the rather formulaic format of blues music, everything still comes across as enjoyable and fun, giving the album a little bit of an edge.

Electric Blue certainly sound like they know what they’re doing when it comes to their music, with ‘Born In Sin’ coming across as a very enjoyable album effort. Many traditional blues influences can be seen here and there, but Electric Blue seem to have injected a fair amount of their own personality into the mix, giving the music itself its own charm. There’s a lot to be enjoyed here, especially in the performance by the band, who never seem to let up at any given moment, and instead just inject very single ounce of energy they have available. It’s pure and simple blues rock at the end of the day, that has managed to do a lot right.

What is a shame though is how Electric Blue don’t seem to really branch themselves out much in terms of the sound they’re offering on ‘Born In Sin’. After a while is spent listening to the album, it becomes somewhat apparent that there isn’t really going to be much of a change in the dynamics or sound on the album. Everything is loud and crunchy and whilst it is good in its own right, it is a little bit disappointing when it is the only thing being offered on the album itself. It’d be nice if ‘Born In Sin’ offered some different dynamics whilst still retaining its blues roots. It’s possible, but sadly not present on Electric Blues’ debut album.

Whilst Electric Blue might have missed a few of the marks when it comes to offering their debut album experience, what they have done right has been done so well that is does present ‘Born In Sin’ as a highly enjoyable album experience. Electric Blue have set out with the intention of delivering a full-on blues rock experience, which they have managed to achieve in fine style. ‘Born In Sin’ might not have every single element available that would make it a phenomenal album experience, but it does feature enough to showcase Electric Blue as a very strong and capable blues-rock band.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Born In Sin
  • Coffee Shop
  • Bruised & Broken
  • Color Blue

Electric Blues’ debut album ‘Born In Sin’ is out now.

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Dream In Tongues – Arms Of Tripoli

Post-Rock band Arms Of Tripoli offer their first full-length debut album effort titled ‘Dream In Tongues’. The oddly titled album effort brings Arms Of Tripoli onto the post-rock stage in fine fashion, showcasing their creativity and ideas across the length of 9 tracks. Much of ‘Dream In Tongues’ is made up of typical yet enjoyable post-rock aesthetics, though Arms Of Tripoli seem to offer a more subtle approach to the genre, giving their album an enjoyable feeling that seems to give Arms Of Tripoli their own voice within the genre. There seems to be a fair amount to enjoy here, especially to those who are fans of the post-rock genre, though at times it seems Arms Of Tripoli seem to fall short of their own mark,

‘Dream In Tongues’ offers up in many ways a fairly typical post-rock experience. Each track is dominated by guitar lines, backed up by drums, bass, more guitars and the odd sample here and there to keep it moving along and interesting. For the most part it all works well, and certainly comes across as stronger than a few other post-rock bands. Arms Of Tripoli demonstrate that they certainly have a lot of talent when it comes to their musical abilities, and they seem to push for everything they’ve got on many of the songs. There’s a few nice ideas here and there which makes ‘Dream In Tongues’ an enjoyable album for the most part.

It seems though that for all the efforts Arms Of Tripoli have done for their latest album, there’s simply not enough that is really happening to make the album a great debut effort. Whilst Arms Of Tripoli’s more subtle approach to the post-rock genre is enjoyable in a few tracks, it does end up coming across as a little dull when used in every single track. The whole album comes across as a little lackluster in the end, as it never seems to truly take off and become its own album in its own right. It seems Arms Of Tripoli simply haven’t done enough to make ‘Dream In Tongues’ the great album that it could be.

There are a few enjoyable tracks on ‘Dream In Tongues’, which certainly do showcase their talent and style, suggesting they are capable of great music, but the whole album effort as a whole seems a little bit to thin on the ground for it to be truly great. There’s simply not enough happening in the album, as though Arms Of Tripoli have been so reserved that they’ve lost what makes the music truly their own. At times, ‘Dream In Tongues’ contains little hints that Arms Of Tripoli are capable of creating truly great music, and perhaps we’ll see that at some point in the future, once Arms Of Tripoli iron out their music.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Miniature Habits
  • Escalator Jazz
  • Canna
  • Ahs A Vahs A Vae

Arms Of Tripoli’s latest album ‘Dream In Tongues’ is out now and can be purchased at: 

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Stolen Fire – Civil Protection

The debut album by post-rock band Civil Protection offers up a full force of incredibly pleasing post-rock aesthetics. The bands’ debut album ‘Stolen Fire’ features many of the conventional techniques of post-rock music, all of which has been executed with flawless precision, making it an album worthy of recognition. There’s an incredible amount to enjoy on ‘Stolen Fire’ which displays an incredible amount of talent and creative force behind the music. It’s a brilliant debut effort from a band who clearly has what it takes to make it in the post-rock scene.

Much of ‘Stolen Fire’ sounds somewhat similar to the odd one or two bands within the post-rock genre, though at the core of each track is Civil Protection themselves, pushing out their own creative ideas and efforts to make the music truly their own. A few of the tracks feature carefully composed and delicate sounding moments that build up slowly into the tracks’ larger moments, whilst others dive headfirst into the noisy and sometimes thrashy elements of Civil Protection’s music. The whole effort works brilliantly, offering up an album where not every single song sounds the same, and where each track offers up something new and interesting from the band.

It’s arguable that ‘Stolen Fire’ is an album split into two parts, with both sections being introduced by short 1-minute tracks that introduce the two halves of the album. Both sides seem to contain different elements of post-rock, with the first being more subtle, and the second being much more abrasiveness. Although the diversity and inclusion of varying elements of post-rock is admirable and works well for Civil Protection, it is arguable that the bands’ strengths lie in the album’s first half, which to an extent makes the albums’ second half pale in comparison.

Civil Protection have managed to produce one brilliantly strong debut album effort though, where an incredible amount is offered. Civil Protection have certainly managed to push in a lot of their talents and capabilities, whilst at the same time making an album where everything flows comfortably and effectively. There doesn’t seem to be much on ‘Stolen Fire’ that is there just for the sake of it, but rather everything has been carefully composed and crafted for the betterment of the record itself. ‘Stolen Fire’ features everything a fan of post-rock would enjoy, and have certainly managed to create a lot of buzz for themselves in the post-rock scene.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • My Memories Will Be Part Of The Sky
  • Alaska
  • Many Moons Ago
  • Redrawn

Civil Protections’ debut album ‘Stolen Fire’ is out now and can be purchased at:

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Rave Tapes – Mogwai

The beginning of 2014 brings with it the latest upcoming album by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. The bands eighth studio album titled ‘Rave Tapes’ sees the band progressing once again in terms of their sound, offering up a new and interesting album experience, different from the rest of the bands already enjoyable and exciting discography. ‘Rave Tapes’ sees Mogwai entering a (somewhat) more subtle area of their music, delicately crafting each track with precision and key. The whole effort comes across as one of Mogwai’s more interesting albums in their current discography, and although it might do away with some of the more trashy elements of post-rock, it brings with it a much more creative and versatile style of music.

There’s a lot happening on ‘Rave Tapes’ that makes it a very interesting album, and one of Mogwai’s more enjoyable efforts. Everything seems to be much more subtle and quiet, with specific instruments coming in and out at key moments to help bring out the best of the individual songs themselves. There’s a nice versatile range on the album as well, with a good number of instruments being incorporated and utilized for the betterment of the songs. Many ideas present on the album seem to just work, whether it’s Mogwai relishing in quieter and gentle moments of instrumentation, or whether they go full force with everything. It’s a very diverse and enjoyable album that arguably surpasses some of Mogwai’s previous album efforts.

‘Rave Tapes’ is certainly an enjoyable album, though it seems to be an album that could very easily polarize fans of Mogwai. The album itself, whilst being enjoyable, does take a long while to build up and get going, and even when it does, it might not be to the liking of the listener. Unless one enjoys more slower brooding moments of Mogwai’s music, they’ll find very little to enjoy on ‘Rave Tapes’. It should be said that ‘Rave Tapes’ is by no means a slow album that progresses like a glacier. It’s simply an album that on most of the songs, it takes more time to build up to its bigger moments of grandeur.

It might polarize fans of Mogwai, and perhaps fans of the post-rock genre, but ‘Rave Tapes’ is a wonderful example of a band progressing in the right way, utilizing their already existing talents, and turning them into new creative ideas that are interesting and exciting. ‘Rave Tapes’ offers us a new chapter in Mogwai’s music, showing us that they are capable of even more than what they’ve already achieved. ‘Rave Tapes’ is perhaps one of Mogwai’s more brooding album efforts, though it is every bit as interesting as some of their best and most revered albums. At the very least it’ll be incredibly interesting to see where Mogwai go from here.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Heard About You Last Night
  • Remurdered
  • Blues Hour
  • The Lord Is Out Of Control

Mogwai’s eighth studio album ‘Rave Tapes’ is set for release on 20th January 2014.

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Liminal – Exivious

The second album by self-described instrumental prog/fusion metal band Exivious features (as they so rightly describe) a brilliant medley of incredibly charged up progressive instrumental music. On ‘Liminal’, many elements, styles and genres all come together to create an incredibly hectic and utterly mad listening experience, that is yet accessible and enjoyable to those who enjoy music of the instrumental rock genres. For the most part, it’s incredibly enjoyable, with there being some form of well-thought out method to the ever increasing madness of the album’s individual tracks.

‘Liminal’ features a terrific medley of mad hectic styles and ideas which are all presented in a bizarrely coherent way. It seems Exivious have found their own niche within the instrumental rock genre by fusing it together with a great number of ideas and styles and presenting it as their own form of fusion music. For the most part, it’s incredibly mad, with there being some similarities to how certain jazz performances are presented. It’s here that we find the main appeal of Exivious’ music though, with there being a great amount of substance beneath the layers of mad rushing instrumentals. For the most part, it is all rather heavy and manic, but it is certainly creative and arguably easily enjoyable by fans of the post-rock genre.

Many of Exivious’ efforts come off brilliantly on ‘Liminal’, with their style and presentation being one of their main strengths. It seems though that whilst there is a good number of strengths to Exivious’ style, it does come with a few limitations that is present on their latest album. It seems that Exivious’ main problem is that a lot of the tracks on ‘Liminal’ follow the same structure of having manic instrumentals that don’t quite follow the rhythm of the music in any real way. A lot of the songs on ‘Liminal’ also sound simply too similar to each other for the album to have enough strength to be classified as an incredibly strong album. It seems that a lot of techniques and ideas are repeated and re-used, giving the album an almost stale quality as it progresses along each track, giving it also a somewhat disappointing element.

A lot of the efforts on ‘Liminal’ do come across in a strong light, and it is certainly presented as an album with a lot of character. Exivious have a lot of talent under their belt, and the crazy elements injected into each song presents the whole album as an interesting and enjoyable release. ‘Liminal’ is certainly flawed in places, with certain ideas and techniques not coming across as strong as Exivious might want them too, but as a whole there is most likely enough here to at least please some fans of post-rock and instrumental rock genres.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • One’s Glow
  • Alphaform
  • Triguna
  • Immanent

Exivious’ latest album ‘Liminal’ is out now and can be purchased at:

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Morgan – Mayland

On ‘Morgan’, post-rock/shoe-gaze outfit Mayland go full-force with their branch of post-rock music, featuring fuzzy guitar chords and lead guitar lines to really push the music along at is slightly intense yet enjoyable pace. At times, Mayland go down a more shoe-gaze route of music, giving their music a little edge on their latest album effort. There’s many enjoyable elements on ‘Morgan’ which in some ways, isn’t a prime example of truly phenomenal instrumental rock music, but at the same time is inoffensive and enjoyable in its own rights.

There’s a lot of elements that work nicely on ‘Morgan’, making it an album/EP effort that is worth checking out. The tracks are mainly dominated by incredibly fuzzy guitar chords that crash through the backing instrumentals and really push it along, before being accompanied by the customary lead guitar that often makes up instrumental rock music. For the most part, it’s all very enjoyable, with there being a constant intense feeling that really keeps everything interesting and drawn in. What doesn’t work on ‘Morgan’ is how Mayland don’t seem to have enough ideas in terms of having a diverse range of songs. Most tracks seem to follow a formulaic route of Mayland’s fuzzy guitar chords, which after a while can become a little boring as there’s nothing else on show here. At times, there’s some nice suggestions that there’s some really great creative ideas by Mayland, but it doesn’t seem to have been translated into all of their songs.

It seems though that there’s enough ideas and talent from Mayland to make them a post-rock band that are worthy of listening to. Their most appealing element seems to be their technique of employing more shoe-gazing elements into their music, which for the most part works very well on ‘Morgan’, and at least sets it apart as being different from most post-rock albums. It just seems at times  that Mayland need to really attempt to diversify their sounds to really make their music great. There’s enough on ‘Morgan’ to make it an album/EP that is worth checking out, though we can only hope that it’s not the only trick Mayland have up their sleeve.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Enchilada
  • Dreamland
  • The Nineteen Nineties
  • Jane Lane

Mayland’s new EP ‘Morgan’ is out now and can be purchased at:

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Ansiktet – Torquem

Torquem’s first album in their upcoming trilogy, titled ‘Ansiktet’, is perhaps one of the few albums that takes the post-rock genre and really pushes it for everything it is worth, incorporating a wide range of ideas and concepts and mixing it all into one highly intense and enjoyable listening experience. On their first album, Torquem manage to demonstrate a style that has the intensity of God Is An Astronaut, the musical range of Do Make Say Think and the creativity of Mogwai, all of which combines together to make a sound that is ultimately Torquem’s own sound. It is post-rock that is at times so subverted to such an extent that it doesn’t even feel like post-rock.

On ‘Ansiktet’, Torquem open the album up with phenomenal dynamics and a wonderful range of sounds that really demand the attention of the listener. Alongside the typical post-rock elements of drums, guitars and bass, Torquem shake it up a little, not just by simply adding more instruments (which of course they do), but actually playing these instruments in different ways. Torquem offer a side of post-rock which hasn’t really been utilized by a great many bands, but is actually incredibly enjoyable and intense. A few techniques on ‘Ansiktet’ are ideas we often see in post-rock, though Torquem deal with them in such fine style that is benefits the album in an enormous way. It’s an album that certainly paves the way for the accompanying sequels, as well as demonstrating in fine form what Torquem have to offer the post-rock genre.

There’s very little that’s actually wrong with ‘Ansiktet’, with each track on the album contributing a wonderful amount to really push the album forward as being one of the most enjoyable post-rock experiences out there at the moment. Perhaps the album’s length though is something to consider, as an album that is roughly half an hour in length feels a little short, considering what is on offer by Torquem as well. Considering though that ‘Ansiktet’ is one of three albums, it is likely that everything will make more sense once the accompanying sequels are released, whenever they arrive. It seems also that although there’s a lot of creative ideas being demonstrated on ‘Ansiktet’, there isn’t much in the ways of varying dynamics. Maybe styles that are more reserved and held-back aren’t really what Torquem are going for, but it seems like something they’d be good at.

‘Ansiktet’ is a wonderful example that there are those who not just understand the capabilities of a particular music genre, but also have enough creativity and talent to really draw some of their own ideas out, and produce an album with an incredible amount of depth and energy. Everything comes across in fine form on the album, including the somewhat gimmicky techniques often used by post-rock bands of incorporating speeches. Torquem utilize this particular technique in a brilliant style that doesn’t come across as gimmicky at all, but instead as effective and enjoyable. (One particular speech is lifted straight from Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love The Bomb). Everything is fun, exciting and incredibly energetic, making Torquem one of the better post-rock bands out there right now.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Floehm
  • Lilla Istiden
  • Hemligheter
  • Elveleiet

Torquem’s new album ‘Ansiktet’ is out now and can be purchased at:

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Memorial – Russian Circles

On the band’s fifth studio album titled ‘Memorial’, post-rock outfit Russian Circles delve deep into the pleasing aesthetics of post-rock music, producing what is one of the band’s most delicately crafted albums in their current repertoire. On ‘Memorial’ we see Russian Circles offer up some of their most rewarding tracks in their career so far, with the individual songs ranging from the intensely charged instrumentals we’ve come to know of Russian Circles, to more reserved and delicate tracks that showcase some new creative ideas from Russian Circles. Individually, each track offers a great post-rock experience, but collectively, they all contribute brilliantly towards the whole album itself, presenting it as simply another strong post-rock album of 2013.

On ‘Memorial’ we see Russian Circles broadening their scope as a post-rock band, presenting one of their strongest albums in their whole discography. Offering a much broader scope of sound on ‘Memorial’, Russian Circles have managed to showcase themselves as a band willing to try new things, or at least, new to themselves as a band. Musically, ‘Memorial’ comes across as nothing short of brilliant, with it featuring a brilliant range of dynamics and instrumental styles. There’s wonderful creative ideas present on the album, with there being a sense of an underlying essence running throughout the very core of the album itself. The range of loud crashing and almost metal moments contrast yet compliment the more delicate moments, all of which shapes the album brilliantly.

Where Russian Circles has faults in ‘Memorial’ is in how a few tracks on the album seem to demonstrate ideas that aren’t as creative as some of of the album’s biggest highlights. Most of the best tracks on the album seem to either demonstrate delicate moments, or really loud moments. It seems the tracks on the album that feature the more pumped up, loud and noisy moments seem to all follow similar formats and ideas, and don’t differ that greatly in comparison to each other. Considering the range demonstrated on the other songs present on the album, it feels that Russian Circles have managed to really push themselves, but have just ever so slightly missed the mark on one or two songs.

Overall, ‘Memorial’ comes across as one of Russian Circles better crafted and more enjoyable albums so far. It seems to just feature every single element that makes up an enjoyable post-rock experience, as well as a few creative ideas and surprises to keep it fresh and vibrant. There’s a number of tracks present on ‘Memorial’ that can easily go alongside some of Russian Circles’ most favored songs, and can easily become fan favorites at live shows. It can easily be said that ‘Memorial’ can go alongside the many brilliant post-rock albums of 2013, which seems to certainly be a brilliant year for the genre, so far.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • 1777
  • Cheyenne
  • Ethel
  • Memorial

Russian Circles’ upcoming album ‘Memorial’ is set for release on 29th October 2013.


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