Posts Tagged ‘Indie rock’

'The Eight Deaths of Delphinium Gardener' was released independently September 10th, 2013.

‘The Eight Deaths of Delphinium Gardener’ was released independently September 10th, 2013.

Elitists would probably agree that they just don’t make music like they used to, especially in the Progressive Rock arena. Some would say that today’s prog elite is more in to showing off their skill as opposed to using their skill to make good music. Long gone are the days when music possessed the intimacy, the humility, and the raw genuine passion for making music inspired by something else. Fret not; Sigmund Blue is here to fill in the void, no DeLorean required.

Sigmund began as a project between two members but took to full band status with the addition of another member in 1999. Each member recorded their parts separately as the three live in different regions of the United States. Un-phased by such unfortunate circumstances, the trio presented The Eight Deaths of Delphinium Gardener (Eight Deaths) in September of 2013. Eight Deaths is a 1970’s inspired concept album that chronicles the many trials and tribulations encountered by protagonist Delphinium Gardener.

The album opens in spectacular fashion with ‘Overture’, a piano friendly introduction with remarkably familiar melodic trappings. Immediately the goal of the album becomes clear with this “curtains up” instrumental. It is as much of a proclamation of arrival as it is a solid introduction. The melodies that dance throughout the latter stages of the track serve as a perfect lead-in to the track that succeeds it, Charcuterie of Babylon. From then on, Eight Deaths stays the course with a chill-out easy going vibe that serves to put the listener in a state where focusing on the story becomes a natural reflex.

Eight Deaths shakes things up with ‘Can’t Stay’, presenting the first deviation from what the album had previously established as a norm. This is by no means a bad mark on the report card, as the band does well transitioning be a more rock based feel to a song that contains more bounce and pop. After that diversion, the album returns to business as usual until ‘Go Now’. This track is by far the emotional powerhouse of the album. The vocals carry the weight of the songs part in the story with incredible ease and packs enough power to move the listener to tears.

From that point out the journey is much more rocky but the sonic cohesiveness heard earlier in the album remains consistent. The exiting tracks at this point of the album serve as a build up to a climax that sees a rather calm and soothing end melodically. ‘Pod’s Lament’ serves as evidence of this with gusto as there is a stark ramp up in energy. This track sees the band shed the prog rock element for an all out balls to the wall sprint to the finish. It makes the transition to the aptly named album closer ‘Epilogue’ all the more interesting.

The members of SIgmund Blue recorded their parts separately, relying 100% on technology to complete their projects.

The members of SIgmund Blue recorded their parts separately, relying 100% on technology to complete their projects.

The biggest hurdle for this album to overcome, aside from some slightly creepy dialogue in ‘The Meeting’, is the time investment. At 18 tracks and just over an hour and five minutes, there may not be enough meat for the average listener to chew on. Big moments tend to fall flat due to the context of the era that influences the production, but if appreciated properly within said context, it makes for an even bigger set of musical events. Eight Deaths is far out in a good way and all in all, the entire album achieved what it set out to do. Fans of Queen and the Beatles may have something to latch on to here.

Album Picks: Here It Is, Can’t Stay, Go Now, Carbon Copy
Album Skips: The Meeting

Rating: 4 out of 5

Franz Ferdinand's 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' was released August 26th, 2013 via Domino Records.

Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’ was released August 26th, 2013 via Domino Records.

Wasn’t 2013 about time for a visit from some friends across the pond? If you answered yes, then you’re right (pun intended)! It’s been about a decade since these guys asked us to take them out, but Franz Ferdinand is back in the swing of things with Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (RTRWRA). The quartet from Glasgow waited 4 years since their last offering taking a low profile approach for this release. A lot has changed from the last time we heard from them but despite that, they seem to have rolled right along un-phased.

Right off the bat (pun intended) Franz sets the tone with the title track ‘Right Action’…or do they? Franz is undoubtedly known for their easy going positive vibe and this album has plenty of the feel good stuff, but ‘Evil Eye’ is far from that. Well maybe not that far, these blokes don’t do ‘scary’ very well, even the video almost missed the mark. To be honest, it was just creepy, but let’s digress. The album from then on does not contain anything particularly note worthy in regards to substance. No one song really sticks as you move from track to track, but they do well when taken in context of album as a whole.

Style is what this album does right (pun intended). From top to bottom Franz carries the indie genre well sonically and stylistically. From start to finish the album feels organic and intimate. Album closer ‘Goodbye Lovers and Friends’ is the only track that has the potential to wow listeners (with a proclamation of hating pop music) however. Aside from that, the entire album seems as if the band made a conscious decision to play it safe. After waiting 4 years for a release an apparent lack of effort is what one can gleam from that.

Be that as it may, Franz enjoys a fanbase that possesses eclectic taste and forgiving musical appetites. A stylistically strong album will be enough to satiate current fans. The band is easy to listen to altogether so fans of indie rock in general will find ‘RTRWRA’ easy to flock to and rally around. If you’re looking for something to blow you away however, this isn’t the right place (pun intended) for you to begin.

Rating: 3.75/5
Album Picks: Evil Eye, Standing On The Horizon, Brief Encounters
Album Skips: None

Ryan says: The entire album is available on Spotify where they’ve released an exclusive live album from Avatar Studios!

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Pierce the Veil's 'Selfish Machines' was released January 10, 2012 via Equa Vision Records Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore

Pierce the Veil’s ‘Selfish Machines’ was released January 10, 2012 via Equa Vision Records
Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore

Sabaton's 'Carolus Rex' was released May 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Power Metal/ Folk Metal

Sabaton’s ‘Carolus Rex’ was released May 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Power Metal/ Folk Metal

The Glitch Mob's 'We Can Make The World Stop' EP was  self-released July 12th, 2011 Genre: EDM/ Dub-Step

The Glitch Mob’s ‘We Can Make The World Stop’ EP was self-released July 12th, 2011
Genre: EDM/ Dub-Step

Best Coast's 'The Only Place' was released June 24th, 2013 via Deckdisc Genre: Indie Rock

Best Coast’s ‘The Only Place’ was released June 24th, 2013 via Deckdisc
Genre: Indie Rock

I’m BACK!

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Amorphis's 'The Beginning of Time' was released January 11th, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Folk Metal

Amorphis’s ‘The Beginning of Time’ was released January 11th, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Folk Metal


Motorama's 'Alps' was released May 27th, 2013 via indie label Talitres Genre: Indie/New Wave

Motorama’s ‘Alps’ was released May 27th, 2013 via indie label Talitres
Genre: Indie/New Wave


1905's 'Voice' Was released in 2004 via Exotic Fever Records Genre: Acoustic

1905’s ‘Voice’ Was released in 2004 via Exotic Fever Records
Genre: Acoustic


The Best Pessimist's 'I Just Want To Be Your Everything' was self-released December 22nd, 2009 Genre: Post-Rock

The Best Pessimist’s ‘I Just Want To Be Your Everything’ was self-released December 22nd, 2009
Genre: Post-Rock



Moving Mountains' 'Waves' was released May 10th, 2011 via Triple Crown Records Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Hardcore

Moving Mountains’ ‘Waves’ was released May 10th, 2011 via Triple Crown Records
Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Hardcore