Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reviewed - No Remission, Through Blackened Skies - Release Party June 18 The Studio At Webster Hall, May 11, HIGHLINE BALLROOM w/ DESTRUCTION

No Remission, Through Blackened Skies

No Remission really went all out on this one. Years of pent up talent have exploded into maturation on their third brutal album. Through Blackened Skies takes us on a journey through just that. This album is emotional without being wussy at all. By this I mean that the raw musical nuances, precise technical execution and high production values provide us with some unpredictably delicious rations for our trip with No Remission. Metal heads who enjoy variety and musicians who 'play outside of the box', buy his album. I'll tell you why:

First off, "Carbon Copy" kicks in with a thrashy feel, snarly vocals and in your face guitars alternate with clean vocals and upbeat rhythms. They break it down into a harmonic guitar solo before a brief revival of the clean vocals, only to let us off the hook snarling again. This is just a sample. The album is riddled with interesting song structures, rhythmic changes and guitar solos that give Slash a run for his money. "All Hell Breaks Loose" builds up slowly before, you guessed it, all hell breaks loose with driven yet melodic riffs. No Remission uses rhythm expertly with their underlying build ups, you catch yourself head banging unintentionally.

"Skeletal Messiah" has a different feel than the first two tracks by introducing 'horse trot' rhythms. The drums and strings are particularly tight and everyone's locked in for the time signature changes. There are some really powerful clean vocals with good meter in contrast to the rhythm guitar. Track four' "Nine", gets right into it, no pretense of an intro. Crunching guitar riffs with ascending chords add to the feeling of insanity portrayed in the vocals. No Remission even gets down right bluesy with it, the vocals are reminiscent of Alice in Chains at this point. The percussion pulls us out of the blues and back into some intense cymbal work and guitar crunching.

"Malevolence" is a pensive, slightly dissonant acoustic guitar solo finger picked with harp like care. As a listener I felt like this was the point of the journey where anger is present even in peace. It ends as if in the middle of a breath and your thrown back to brutal with tight time changes and complicated rhythms on "Rage Within". This track displays a bit of a clockwork feel, moving forwards while looking back. No Remission pulls this off really well even though the music is technically demanding, at no point does it sound like jamming in as many notes as possible for the sake off showing off.

"Three Years" is built up on a sinister guitar riff and precise drumming, the sound space grows from big, to Large, to HUGE during the guitar solo. This is another track where No Remission is experimenting with song structure by assaulting us with interesting time changes and patterned guitar trills. "The Hunter" is also technically mature. The impact of the blast beats tastefully convey a hunting feel without over using the snare. The verses, breakdown and guitar solo are nicely contrasted, we go from fast and upbeat to slow and gritty for the most sludgy guitar solo yet, precise chaos over a doomy foundation.

Easing us in with clean guitar, light drums and a gentle electric guitar solo, "This Plague Will Kill Us All" creates a pensive sound that grows into that dark, clockwork feeling, once again. Always driving us forward, the sound brightens up for a second and then the verses snarl their way in and it's back to dark with a rallying, warlike feel in the percussion. As well as filling the sound space, each member of No Remission knows when to let their musical counterparts breathe. The pauses in the main guitar riff act as their own notes and the call and answer break down between the drums and guitars demonstrates this. The percussion on "Redemption" is deftly executed as well. The fairly simple guitar lines - for No Remission that is, leave room for intricate build ups and fills on the drums. Each track on this album goes somewhere musically and is interesting in its own way. This particular track goes from a running feel to a controlled fleeing vibe before we hit the outro. This outro brings us to the eye of the storm with "Benevolence", a short, bittersweet guitar solo. We get the sense that Through Blackened Skies has hit the point of the journey where we are done running and are ready for something fresh, namely the twelfth track.

"New Dark Age" builds and builds on the initial eastern sounding intro riff. We start out acoustic, with the guitar mimicking a sitar, until the drums and electric guitar take over and blast you in the face with the riff incase you didn't get it the first time. Once again I was impressed by the refreshing approach to song structure. "New Dark Age" is very well balanced, the percussion accents the vocals perfectly, the acoustic and electric guitars join up during the verses to create an invigorating change in tonality overall. Our final track, "Signal Loss", is no acception to No Remission's attention to detail. It kicks in with a syncopated riff that starts acoustic and gets progressively heavier as the drums and guitars join in. A contrast pattern is established between heavy and light cymbal attention, gritty chord progressions and melodic ones, snarly, clean, and deep and guttural vocals, and predominantly upbeat riffs alternated with down beat dominant riffs. As we sift through all this contrast the tempo unexpectedly slows down to a spooky breakdown. The slight dissonance in the clean vocals and guitars lend power to the overall sound before a reprise of the blast beat used in the first verse. They even further break it down in the final outro. As the 'last chord' is fading away, what's this? A new drum beat? Within the first two or three drum hits we are transported into a hospital room where the listener is just waiting for the flat line. No Remission does not disappoint us. The album dies and leaves us waiting for whatever's on the other side through that darkened sky. Perhaps album four?

Laurcifer - April 2011

No Remission is: Will Checchi- Guitar/Vocals, Kurt Balogh- Guitar, Greg Perlman- Drums and Dan Paprocki- Bass.

No Remission on the internet:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Joan As Police Woman New Album, The Deep Field, Released Today! National Tour Kicks Off This Week, New NYC Date Just Added

Joan As Police Woman

The Deep Field

(PIAS America; April 12)
New Album, The Deep Field, Released Today!
National Tour Kicks Off This Week,
New NYC Date Just Added

"I'm in love with a police woman. Imaginative-funky- smoky- original and beautiful Joan has it all. She knows her way around a ballad in the most direct and heartfelt way and can then move into electric funk with the best of them. This is original and beautiful. I love J.A.P.W."
– Lou Reed
I love this record! With each recording JoanAsPolicewoman continues to top herself and I thought she made her masterpiece a few records back. This is a beautiful moving record exquisitely recorded with brilliant meaningful songs and Joan's razor sharp yet vulnerable voice that can scream if it wants to. If you don't know Joan's work - buy this record first then go backwards.”
– Hal Willner
“Listening to Joan has been a deep love affair. I trust her voice and her heart.“
– Antony (Antony and the Johnsons)
"Her voice cuts through layers, and taps into raw emotion."
– Blackbook
“The Magic is… a slinky, funky number that showcases the elegant, expressive vocals of frontwoman Joan Wasser.”
– Rolling Stone
"The album is thick with infectious beats and the glow of trademark Motown sounds..."
– Time Out New York
“ …a funky, soulful, languid vibe prevails."
NBC New York
Joan As Police Woman kicks off a national US tour in support of her latest record The Deep Field, released today on PIAS America. The dates kick off with an intimate sold out show in her home base NYC this week. For a taste of what you’ll hear live, check on the full album streaming on AOL Spinner today. The Deep Field is released today on CD and vinyl and the record is also available digitally via her website and Amazon through PIAS America.
Joan As Police Woman has been championed by as well as played and recorded with artists including Lou Reed, Scissor Sisters, Rufus Wainwright and Antony and the Johnsons.The Deep Field is Joan As Police Woman’s fourth studio album and most stirring work to date, full of her inimitable hybrid of soul and indie rock. Album opener “Nervous” is one of Joan’s most adventurous songs with a stomping rhythm and drones are underscored by her heart-breaking voice. The seductive horn and string arrangements of “Action Man” wrap themselves around her tale of someone’s desire to set things in motion. “Human Condition” is a testament to Joan’s fearless way of expressing love and hope without masking it with metaphor. “I Was Everyone” begins with a laid-back organ groove before Joan lets her voice go and the song ascends to its thundering climax.
Joan As Police Woman US Dates
04/14: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (SOLD OUT)
04/15: Philadelphia, PA @ The Tin Angel
04/19: Boston, MA @ The Middle East (Upstairs)
04/20: Buffalo, NY @ The Ninth Ward
04/21: Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel
04/22: Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room at The Crofoot
04/24: Chicago, IL @ Schuba's Tavern
04/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Street Cultural Center
04/27: Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
04/29: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
04/30: Austin, TX @ The Parish
05/02: Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
05/04: Vienna, VA @ Jammin' Java
05/20: Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theater
05/21: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
05/25: San Francisco, CA @ Café du Nord
05/27: Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
06/15: Brooklyn, NY @ The Bell House (JUST ADDED)

My Morning Jacket Share Title Track from New Album Circuital

My Morning Jacket Share Title Track

from New Album Circuital
Click HERE for “Circuital" and to Pre-Order the Album

Click HERE for the "Circuital" Widget
Nearly three years since their last release, My Morning Jacket are now on the cusp of releasing the eagerly awaited new album, Circuital (ATO Records, May 31st). The band has been gearing it all up by releasing songs from each of their five Terminal 5 shows this past October. Today, My Morning Jacket are giving us a taste of the new album by sharing the title track and revealing it's enigmatic cover art.
Click HERE to download the song "Circuital" from the band's website. The site is also now offering pre-orders for the album, and a beautiful limited edition deluxe package that includes an exclusive 30 minute documentary dvd, high quality lithograph portrait taken by Danny Clinch and many other goodies. Ten deluxe versions will come with a 'Golden Ticket" entitling the bearer to receive an original signed print by the band and Clinch.
Like the album as a whole, "Circuital" was laid down almost entirely live as the honest spirit and human spontaneity are felt throughout the listening experience. The song Circuital, while a seven minute epic, is but a taste of what to expect – the collection of songs is truly eclectic and entrancing from beginning to end.

My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:
04/17: Lexington, KY @ Memorial Coliseum
05/20: Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Festival
06/02-06/05: Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Festival
06/05: Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam
06/09-06/12: Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
06/17: Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
06/22: Los Angeles, CA @ Pantages Theatre
06/24: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
06/26: Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
06/28: Portland, OR @ Edgefield
06/29: Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum
06/30-07/03: Quincy, CA @ High Sierra Music Festival
07/11: Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
07/12: Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
07/16: Southwold @ Latitude Festival
07/17: London @ Somerset House
08/04: Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DREDG and THE DEAR HUNTER performing in NYC 5/19

The Dear Hunter.

dredg’s new album, CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY, will be released May 3 on Superball Music. It’s the highly anticipated follow-up to 2009’s critically acclaimed THE PARIAH, THE PARROT, THE DELUSION (Ohlone Recordings through Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group), which was inspired in part by Salman Rushdie’s essay “Imagine There's No Heaven: A Letter to the 6 Billionth Citizen.”

It took the band--Gavin Hayes (vocals, guitars), Drew Roulette (bass, samples), Mark Engles (guitars) and Dino Campanella (drums, keyboards)--almost eight months of exchanging song-material via e-mail to finish CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY--a process producer Dan The Automator (Gorillaz, Kasabian, etc.) was also involved in right from the early beginnings. His influence becomes most apparent in the songs “The Tent,” “Sun Goes Down” and “Before it Began” where he also took an active part in the songwriting. Even though there is a lot of variation in tones and tempo, singer Gavin Hayes sums up the general sound of CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY as “Dark Pop”: a dark undertone is giving the songs some kind of a contemplative self-analysis – but in the end the album is still characterized by its optimism. “There is a certain darkness to it,” Gavin agrees. “A lot of our music is ultimately positive but can be conceived as sad as well. It has these two sides that oppose each other, but manage to reconcile in the music.”

Singer/guitarist/lyricist Gavin Hayes is an adopted child that recently found his biological family. Last year, he did some research online and ended up finding his half-sister on Facebook. Since then he has met about 30 cousins and half-cousins. His half-sister is also in the music business, interestingly enough. She’s an opera singer who has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, as well as other orchestras across the country. A few songs on the new album were written about Gavin’s personal experiences….“Before It Began” is inspired by meeting his biological family, while “The Thought Of Losing You” and “Upon Returning” are about Gavin’s adopted sister being at war and dealing with severe shell shock.

The Dear Hunter will be touring in support of their forthcoming nine-EP collection, THE COLOR SPECTRUM, which is due out June 7 on Triple Crown Records in a variety of formats (Full Length CD, Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl Box Set, Full Length Vinyl and each song as an individual digital version). THE COLOR SPECTRUM consists of songs inspired by the colors of the spectrum, specifically RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO andVIOLET, with WHITE and BLACK being included as bookends. Casey Crescenzo, mastermind of The Dear Hunter, completed the EPs while traveling the U.S., documenting every step of the process. The collection will feature collaborations with several producers and musicians, including Manchester Orchestra, Brendan Brown from The Receiving End of Sirens, Mike Watts (who has worked with As Tall As Lions and he mixed The Dear Hunter’s 2009 album, ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH), and Steve Haigler (Brand New, As Tall As Lions, Quicksand).

Alternative Press had praised ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH: “Casey Crescenzo, the multi-talented fountainhead of The Dear Hunter, assembled a masterwork in ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH, ostensibly the midsection of his ongoing, six-act tale of a born-loser boy who falls for a whore. LIFE AND DEATH expands the Danny Elfman-does-gypsy-vaudeville sound pioneered on TDH’s two previous albums, dedicating more space to better explore the densely layered vocal swathes (‘Writing On A Wall’) and polyrhythmic grooves (‘In Cauda Venenum’) for which Crescenzo’s become known. He flexes some serious harmonic muscle on the lachrymose ‘Saved’ and the aching, album-closing trifecta ‘Son,’ ‘Father’ and ‘Life and Death.’ If you’d prefer to simply commence wetting your shorts, jump to the 4:15 mark of ‘Thief’ and listen through to the end of ‘Mustard Gas.’ F**king bravo, man. 4-1/2 out of 5 stars.”

For dredg and The Dear Hunter please check out and www.tdhcolors
photo credit Merkley???