Monday, October 21, 2013

Stand With Them

Brand new video from One Day Late. This band from Edmonton is kicking ass and taking names! Straight up commercial hard rock. So if you like beers, headbanging and partying with sexy ladies then this is YOUR video! Check them out on their Facebook HERE.

Justice Is Here

After hearing the first demos from Pleasure Dome, I've been dying to hear a full EP. My prayers were answered this October when they released a 5 track EP. All the songs have fantastic character to them. I really recommend downloading their album. You can get it HERE, please support this band by buying the album for even just a few dollars. Also check out some of their videos below! Go to their Facebook page HERE.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thunderous Goodbyes

When I think of The Oceanographers, I think of beautiful melodies over rich textures creating an image and feeling of warmth in your soul. Their debut album, "Thunderous Goodbyes," is a perfect collection of their sound in one album. I've heard them live on many different stages, but I've always wanted to hear their sound as they hear it. With this album, it's like looking through a window into their brains. Everything makes sense and is so colourful and rich that you can't help but fall in love with it.

This album is all about texture and dynamics. Huge thundering drums, then a split second later, the light strumming of a few notes and a beautiful vocal melody. There's a certain charm in the tone of the vocals. Such an honest, straight from the heart voice. No fancy bells or whistles over his voice, just straight as he sings it. His connection to the lyrics is quite masterful. A lot of catchy hooks that get stuck in your head in these tunes. Also, leaving lots of breathing room in these songs allows each phrase to sink in before the next one comes along. 

The instrumentation is quite spectacular. Ranging from overlapping melodic hooks with thick delay, to a quiet strumming of a chord. The lead guitar always supports the theme of each song with a set of notes that either becomes a hook or simply loops in the background adding texture. The rhythm guitar is the foundation for the whole band. If you stripped everything away, you could still play the whole set with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. I always enjoy albums like that. Giving the listener a chance to potentially play these songs without having a whole band. With the instrumentation, I actually hear tastes of Kings Of Leon and Explosions In The Sky. The bass holds everything together with simple lines that really lock into a groove. It's fairly hidden in the mix of this album, so, it takes a bit of a backseat. However, its importance is never diminished. The drums add more texture overtop of everything with great cymbal play and tom work. The drums also add all the depth to the dynamics with super tight hits and stops. The whole sound of the band seems like a wave of collective sound that washes over your ears. Each wave being slightly different, the give and take feel are very memorable.

This album features 9 songs with just over 30 minutes of music. Most of the sounds are radio length. My favourite track would be "Moves Like An Ocean," due to the aggressive drums and building guitar lines. This track really adds a lot of tension before it releases into some hauntingly beautiful notes. The whole album sounds fantastic. A great emotional journey, and a glimpse into the minds that make up "The Oceanographers."

Check out their Facebook page HERE.

Heart Of Oak

The Anciients have been a rising force in the Vancouver Metal scene for a while. So, when their new album "Heart Of Oak" came out, I had to grab it. Having seen this band live a couple of times now, and just about having eargasms each time, I had to see if it translated well onto record. This album sums up their sound in just over an hours worth of soul crushing metal. With 11 tracks on this album, it's worth every dollar.

One thing that I especially love about this album is the balance of clean and dirty vocals. The clean vocals have a "Mastodon" feel to them. It always seems like a heart wrenching cry. On the other end, the screams are just so dark and gritty that it brings a very different feel in those sections. However, the key ingredient is the fact that the band spaces their vocals out over the length of their songs. Which allows the instrumental riffs to have a key factor in the songs' structures. A lot of the time, there are no vocals for a long period of time, allowing you to sink into their instrumental world and hear the image they are sonically painting for you.

With so many fantastic original riffs, they tend not to dwell on them for long. A lot of times, not coming back to revisit any of them. Both guitars lay the fundamentals for the mood of each song. Whether it's a straight up thrash riff, or a swing powerchord riff, the guitars sit perfectly in the pocket. The harmonies in the guitar lines and separation of parts is perfect. The bass fills not only the lower end, but is the driving force pushing the tempo sightly ahead to allow the songs room to breathe. The drums compliment each tune, adding great texture and really cementing all the parts of the songs together. 

Looking at the album through a sound engineers eyes, I cannot find fault with it. Every instrument has it's own space carved out perfectly in each track. The guitars are heavy but not washed out at all. The bass carries a lot of the lower end, though also has it's moments to shine. The drums are nice and full and the snare sounds perfect. This album is radio and tv worthy by all means. Now, if only MTV still played music and the radio still played metal! Go out and buy this album either online or from checking the band out live on their upcoming North American tour!

Click HERE to check out their Facebook page.

Getting Official

We have finally launched our official website! Don't know exactly what we do? Find out here! Also find fun features like our "Weekly Featured Show" and "Artist Of The Month" which we keep updated. Go check it out! don't type the www. or you will be out of luck!

Black Widow

Pigeon Park are the epitome of hard working musicians. They sleep, eat and drink music. Constantly writing, playing shows and touring, they just keep pushing their brand of blues rock. All 5 members have old souls it seems because blues flows through them like blood. They have also released more abums/EPs than most bands in Vancouver! The reason? They keep creating more and more music! Pushing musical boundaries is what they do on a daily basis. They also cover great tunes from Elton John to Daft Punk. Their own songs range in both emotions and dynamics. Your feet will always be moving while listening to each one! Their newest album, "Black Widow," is great showcase of their talent. This album really captures their live sound and bottles it into a 4 track EP that will have you bobbing your head and grooving in no time!

The album starts out with "Come Down Slow"; a tale of a woman who's lost her way. She uses drugs every night to escape her reality, hoping that each night isn't her last. The guitar line as the beginning of this tune really sets the mood for the whole song. I envision some scene from "Fear And Loathing In Los Vegas;" a drug fuelled dream in the heat of a desert. The dirt effect on the vocals really gives the song character. The monstrous drums really push the song to the next level with their bombastic beats. They really help build the song's intensity towards the bridge guitar solo where everything seems to spin out of control. Leading up to the final chorus, finishing the song with a roaring scream, sinks your mind into the madness yet to come.

The title track, "Black Widow," follows next. Immediately, you are transported to a different world. Here there are crowded streets. The piano intro drives a sense of rhythm and order into your brain. I see business men walking down crowded streets on their way to work. Then in the distance, you see a woman in red parting hordes of men like moses and the red sea. This women is on a mission. The mission being to collect every cent from you and suck you dry. A thick 'Aerosmith' groove builds into a heavy swing blues riff chorus. It's all held together by this catchy whistling hook. Such a dark and twisted song fits the dark and twisted lyrics. This is definitely the radio single from this album. Then, out the darkness comes this bridge with such sorrow that your heart cries. This song truly rocks my speakers practically on a daily basis.

The third track is a working mans track. "Money Beats Soul" basically sums Vancouver up in a nice little box. Working every day, all day, at a job that does nothing to fuel your soul and the struggle between your brain and your heart. Don't you wish you could just quit your job and live your dreams? This crunchy tune drives the pain right into your heart and makes you want to revolt and quit your job! Right off the bat, there is a catchy guitar riff that gives way into a bass driven verse, which builds right back up to the groove driven chorus. A very jazzy blues bridge with some fantastic falsetto vocals. A great wah-guitar solo ensues, driving it back into the outro riff with more crazy vocal lines! 

The final track, entitled "Feel The Rain," is this EP's only slower track. Personally, I would have put this as track number 3 and ended off the album with the bang that is "Money Beats Soul". The track is almost a slow waltz. This is a man's sorrowful cry to his woman. This track really showcases the vocal's grit and cracks when singing his heart wrenching lines. You can also clearly hear the emotion in every guitar line. The bass and drums stay fairly minimal, giving lots of room for the vocals and guitar duelling lines. Both trade back and forth phrases of sadness. Ending with a great finishing vocal line. A slow dramatic ending to the album.

Overall, this album delivers great quality for a great price. Only $4 on bandcamp, and it goes directly to the band. Please support this hardworking band! They also won first place in the finals of the Fox Vancouver Seeds Competition. They seem to be always on tour, so go show them some love and put some gas in their gas tank!

Check out their Facebook page HERE and also check out their album HERE

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rising To The Top

Rednyne Productions is always lending helping hands to bands, hosting competitions like "The Cellar Launch Project." They are out-doing themselves this time though.  Their new competition, "The Best In Vancouver," is set up to find the cream of the crop, the pick of the litter, the top of Vancouver's indie scene! It will also provide the winner with some amazing swag. Including, photo shoots with Tyler Branston (one of the cities best photographers), a fully functional website by Artropolis Media and a song recorded with Tommy Mac (Hedley) at Beatlab Studios. There will also be a cash prize and a social media package with Rednyne Productions! Who doesn't want all of that? So, there are 5 nights set up to find three finalists for the final showdown on December 7th!

Click HERE to find out more details. Below is the list of nights and bands! Go support your favourites, and hopefully you'll find other bands that you enjoy as well!

November 2
Little India
Modern Limits
Lonely cave Kings
Burn Hollywood Burn

November 9th
Set to Stun
Bobby's Cane
Gentlemen prefer Blondes
Last Shelter

November 16th
Dear Adeline
Falling For Scarlett
The Deadset
The Dramatic Finish
Anything But

November 23rd
7 years Luck
The Greenroom
The Vidos
No Operator
Queen Cobra

November 30th
The Faceplants
Dream Seeking Missiles
The Stone Travelers
Within rust

Riding The Rails

Joyce Island reached out to Hammer Records and informed us of her upcoming tour! Normally, we hear of many bands hitting the road in mini vans or tour busses, but we have yet to hear of a band traveling by train!

Joyce Island has been playing music since 2007, though is only just releasing her debut album this 2013. In these 6 years she's had some whirlwind success. Playing Vancouver's International Fringe Festival and CITR's "Shindig" as well as being named 100.5  The Peak's "best new artist" are only a few things on her artist resume. She also has been getting lots of airplay on CBC Radio and other college stations with her new self titled album. Since its release, she has been featured on Breakfast Television, go! Vancouver, and in Youthlink Magazine.

She recently announced her upcoming tour entitled "Folkways and Railways." Starting in Vancouver and finishing off across the country, she will be spreading her music not only in venues but also performing her music in the trains to passengers! For all you Vancouverites, be sure to catch her at the Railway Club on Oct 25th with Hot Panda and Fast Romantics.

Check out her video below and go give her a "like" right HERE

Getting Down and Dirty!

Aviator Shades is ripping up the Cellar again! If you haven't seen these guys live then go check them out! Supporting them are Bobby's Cane, Clouds of Analog and Voodusa

What it will cost you? $12
When is it? Doors at 7pm!
Where? The Cellar!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Such A Kapital Night

Hammer Records is always finding new music and new people promoting music in Vancouver. We were thrilled to review a Kapital Entertainment showcase night at Joe's Apartment! Kate Dunn-Roy invited us down to review the headlining act Papertrails, but we caught the entire show and had a blast.

Opening the night was Miss Virginia Rose. The first thing that caught our attention was the amass of instruments on the stage. A keyboard, guitar, two microphones and only one stool. Upon further inspection it all made sense, a loop pedal. She was extremely talented at creating these intricate beats using beat boxing and sometimes only one instrument, or sometimes all of them. For a lot of loop artists, it normally just stops there. She not only sang overtop of her beats, she built her own harmonies and backing vocals as well. We know that it takes a lot of effort to create and perform those songs live, but it would have been nice for perhaps a song or two, she step away from the microphone and command the stage. Build the beat and then grab that microphone and rock the stage. Other than that, we could not find a flaw, she had a great voice and her charm was infectious. A great opening to the night.

Closing the night was Paper Trails. This band brought it. Blew my mind right from the first song. Covering Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll" is a bold move for even professional bands, but seeing this female fronted group of musicians bring the thunder, while adding their own twist and flavour, really showed us that this band meant business. Great thick and dirty guitar tones paired with thick low ended bass really delivered a creamy instrumental on which the vocals could flourish. Adding in the dynamic and powerful drums was icing on the cake. Everyone on stage looked like they were having the time of their lives, and rocked that stage hard! Their original songs were catchy and full of great hooks. This is a band we will keep our eyes on!

Chatting with Kate Dunn-Roy of Kapital Entertainment we loved hearing her passion about the local music scene. She is determined to work with budding talented artists to further their career. When asked to describe Kapital Entertainment she said:

"I just wanted to build opportunities for the up and coming talent in Vancouver that deserved it. The city has the opportunity to become a true musical hub for the high level of talent we produce and I just wanted to be apart of providing the platform for this to build. I have been blessed with the opportunities to chase my dreams, so I just want to pay it forward. Kapital works with new artists, singer/songwriters, that stay true to grass roots organic styles, built around playing instruments and collaborating with other musicians. I want to get back to real, full bands and off the floor type sounds on albums. This is what I love to listen to, and it comes from the heart and soul of the musician. Kapital plans and hosts Larger events in Vancouver's downtown core and works with smaller pubs to overhaul and rebuild their venues to turn them into proper live music venues. As of right now, we've worked with The Kings Head Pub, and we're in the process of sponsoring the changes happening at Kitsilano's Displace Hashery. I'm from Kits and I like to keep a lot of my business local just because the community has done so much for me and has the space to host really great musical acts."
We wish Kapital Entertainment the best because we know how hard it is to push forward in the Vancouver Music Scene. We look forward to covering more events from Kapital Entertainment and seeing their artists push new boundaries!

Thanks again to Kapital Entertainment and Clyde from Magnetized Productions for a great show. For the full album of photos please go to HERE