Posts Tagged ‘Last.fm’

Surprise, a list! Who doesn’t love to list things they love and present them to the public? I’m sure the good people on Facebook land and beyond have seen the “10 Best Stuffs to Stuff” list, the “Top 5 Best Stuffs” and so on. So allow me introduce you to my pretentious little exhibition. Below are 4 albums I enjoy listening to from jump to splat. Yes you read that right, only 4…because fuck lists in which the total number of items are divisible by 5 and/or 10. Also, don’t try to look for a pattern here. This list is in no particular order, and has very little rhyme or reason attached to it.

Ihsahn's 'After' was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records Genre: Progressive Black Metal

Ihsahn’s ‘After” was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Progressive Black Metal

First off is After by Ihsahn. If you’re a Black Metal enthusiast, you know this name and the gr1m fr0stbitten cache of epicness that accompanies it and you can skip the next sentence. Ihsahn, as the front man for Black Metal band Emperor, helped pioneer the genre and shape it throughout its satanic birth and infancy. This album was the thematic end to a conceptual trilogy that began with ‘Adversary’ and ‘angL’. After is big sonically, and what I mean by that is that there is a lot of space that you can just feel at times. Sure, Jens Bogren (Mix/Mastering Engineer) added weight where previous album ‘angl’ lacked it, but combined with Ihsahn’s superb riffing and “guitar orchestration”, combined with his knack for always writing the quintessential ‘complete song’, no track on this album is a skipper. As far as I’m concerned it can go down as one as the best metal albums of all time, and can easily top multiple albums across a multitude of extreme metal sub-genres.

Enya's 'A Day Without Rain' was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise. Genre: New Age

Enya’s ‘A Day Without Rain’ was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise.
Genre: New Age

Next up is A Day Without Rain by Enya. No, let me stop you here, Sail Away, Sail Away is not on this album, and it isn’t even the actual name of the song. This album is magnificent as that song was. If you are not into New Age music, you may not know what I’m babbling on about…pfft, there aren’t even any guitars on this record, or breakdowns for that matter. Good point, believe me, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Enya had put together an almost flawless body of work again. In the United States along ADWR went 7x platinum, that’s 7,000,000 copies! It helps that ‘Only Time’ was played repeatedly in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Enya effortlessly navigates chord progressions that were arranged seemingly with a patented technique that dates back to the 1980’s. Enya’s works have garnered international praise and accolades, to which I say…no shit.

Daylight Dies' 'Dismantling Devotion' was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records Genre: Doom Metal

Daylight Dies’ ‘Dismantling Devotion’ was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Doom Metal

Replace the stringed instruments with guitars, 80% of the singing with guttural death growls, make the lyrical themes darker and you get Daylight Dies’ 2006 effort ‘Dismantling Devotion. No, I did not mean Killswitch Engage, I mean the North Carolina Doom Metal group Daylight Dies. From top to bottom, there is enough meat here to feed every starving organism on the planet. Hyperbole aside, for a sophomore effort DD took no prisoners with these songs. There is emotion, intensity, and aggression within each song. The melodic content from song to song is rich and ripe with purpose behind the brutal death metal vocals of front man Nathan Ellis. I first ran into this band listening to a My Dying Bride station on Last FM. This band’s strength lays in their composition. Once you get past the slower pace inherent in the Doom Metal genre, you will be able to appreciate this record.

Doomtree independently  released this self titled album July 29th, 2008 Genre: Hip Hop

Doomtree independently released this self titled album July 29th, 2008
Genre: Hip Hop

Last, but surely not least, Doomtree’s self titled effort from 2008, Doomtree. I know what you were thinking, but this is not a metal band…sorry. Doomtree is a hip-hop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before you go and dismiss these guys, give this album a listen…and I mean really listen. From top to bottom this album, features thought provoking, and introspective lyrics that come across as genuine as all hell. The instrumentals are raw, and gritty but create a 90’s feel that suites Doomtree’s aura. The rappers that make up this group pride themselves on their individuality, and this group of songs captures that thought process completely.

Sorry for the delay! I had promised this a couple weeks back but due to illness and adding a second job I haven’t had enough time for my true love, MUSIC!!

 

 

Spiritual Rez is back to bring us some more of their own brand of progressive reggae-rock. Their last two studio albums, Vex and Rising in the East, were works of art in their own right. They pulled influences across time and genre that really made them stand out in the expanding american dub and reggae community.

After some drastic lineup changes they’ve come back with Apocalypse Whenever which is arguably more diverse than the first two releases but something is seems to be lacking in the originality sector.

“We wanted to create an album that flows as one piece of art sonically and conceptually. Apocalypse Whenever is an album for the times. We want to encourage the people not to fear the future but to embrace it”
Toft Willingham

While this concept of “embracing” the future can be argued for with a few tracks that preach acceptance and optimism; like their powerful anthem “Don’t be afraid”. If you listen to the album more than a couple times you can hear themes that completely undermine their concepts. The political undertones alone shed light on paranoia.

So conceptually the album isn’t quite what he claims. Musicically… I’m not sure what the attempt was here. They used to mash every genre of Reggae and Dub into one smooth candy bar package.

Spiritual chocolate Rez bars… Get on that.

Now instead of their soft dubby center with the salted rock crunchies they seem to have gone for a more consistent sound. The ska and punk mix is a good one but not something we haven’t seen before. Nobody wants to hear another pseudo-sublime album. There are too many bands trying to do that. Hell, even SUBLIME is trying to be Sublime.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great tunes on this record. Just not their usual caliber.

They went for more of a punk/ska feel for most things and the reggae is more inspired by 311 than the Wailers. There are even tunes like “Worker Bee” which is straight political-punk. I commend their diversity and expression but this song in particular just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album.

The album itself is filled with political and social references and promotes some libertarian values.

“Until our savior comes,
Man’s got his hands to rely on…

Somebody’s got to build your homes
Somebody’s got to grow your food
While the men, making up the rules
Sitting in offices planning our apocalypse”

“I’ve got my second amendment stockpiled in my basement
I ain’t scared, I am prepared…

Go ahead and occupy Wallstreet and the banks
at least you’re asking questions
positive reflections…

They keep raisin’ taxes
Everybody’s askin’
Whatcha gonna do now”

Luckily, I don’t see these guys attending any Tea Parties any time soon. Maybe just lighting joints and shooting some guns off. Y’know. Good ol’ American things.

These tracks sound more like sing-a-longs with easy to remember and representative lyrics with uninspired melodies. They’re catchy but theres not much else substantial along the lines of creativity.

An unfortunate aspect and contributing to the downfall of this album is that Willingham’s voice has really gone downhill. I loved his grinding vocal cords and smooth delivery but on this album he sounds like he attempted to gargle some gravel.

You too can have the voice of an angel!

 

Possibly taking advantage of the release date right after Valentine’s day this year Willingham makes references to his wife on two of the songs. In “Don’t be Afraid” they address being on the road and wondering when they will see each other again.

The second tune revolving around Mrs. Rez is “Agapoula Mou”, their hit single.

 

Go vote “Agapoula Mou” as best music video of the year at ThePier.org!

 

“Decisions” is a song I’m really split on. Musically it’s one of my favorites on the album.

 

The progression keeps you listening and they bounce genre’s a couple times but it really solidifies the song.

My issue with it is the content. It’s an attempted attack on the rave/”molly” (mdma) culture. They were so close to coming off as poignant but only showed their musical blinders. I am in no way defending the rave and dubstep scenes, but their approach was sub-par. It had real promise by shining light on sexual and drug abuse but fell short on delivery. Maybe a better fit for another song, or another band!

Melodically I have to hand it to them, they have some great ones on this. Definitely some daily hummers. The instrumental tracks really shine on here, just showing they’ve still got chops. “March of the Reptoids” and “The Rapture” are fantastic songs that span jazz, rock, dub, and even some Cajun jam…. That sounds good. Note to self. Eat before writing reviews…

But alas… no real winners that make me want to put this album on in the future. It was a great listen through for the times I needed to write this review. I wanted to love it but it’s missing that wow factor from their earlier releases.

 

The Good: “Man’s Hands“, “Bring It On“, “March of the Reptoids“, “Agapoula Mouparts 1 & 2, “Rapture

The Meh: “Don’t Be Afraid“, “Decisions

The Ugly (Skip)Anunnuki Invasion” – Interlude track, not a song, “One Big Song“, “Who’s Gonna Come“, “Let’s Go Out With a Bang“, “Worker Bee“, “What’s it All About

 

 

Despite my less-than rave review that album has received tons of acclaim. It’s a decent reggae rock album. Was it wrong of us to expect more?

Their live shows had revealed they were in a slight downward slope; especially with the recent line-up shake down. The expectations of another Nexus was maybe a bit too optimistic that they could redeem themselves. I’d expect this for a first album, but if was indeed their first I’d pass on their sequel without much second thought.

 

At the end of the day they’re still a bunch of dudes from Boston who know how to rock a house. I’d go see them any day of the week. Go check em out, pick up this album, grab their earlier ones, and plan on having a good time.

This album and others are available on their Store, BandCamp, Spotify, Last.fm, and iTunes!

 

 

 

 

 

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

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!

Dear Euphoria's 'Heal My VIolence' was released January 1st, 2009 via Given Productions. Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Dear Euphoria’s ‘Heal My VIolence’ was released January 1st, 2009 via Given Productions.
Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Hungry Lucy's 'Pulse of the Earth' was self-released 2010 Genre: Trip Hop

Hungry Lucy’s ‘Pulse of the Earth’ was self-released 2010
Genre: Trip Hop

Earlyrise's 'What If' was self-released August 16, 2011. Genre: Rock

Earlyrise’s ‘What If’ was self-released August 16, 2011.
Genre: Rock

Hannah Fury's 'The Thing That Feels' was released in 2000 via MellowTraumantic Recordings. Genre: Dark Cabaret

Hannah Fury’s ‘The Thing That Feels’ was released in 2000 via MellowTraumantic Recordings.
Genre: Dark Cabaret

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!

Jolly's 'The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1' was released on February  28th, 2011 via EMI Germany. Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

Jolly’s ‘The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1’ was released on February 28th, 2011 via EMI Germany.
Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

Abigail WIlliams's 'In The Absence Of Light' was released September 28th, 2010 via Caroline Distribution. Genre: Black Metal

Abigail WIlliams’s ‘In The Absence Of Light’ was released September 28th, 2010 via Caroline Distribution.
Genre: Black Metal

The Bloody Irish Boys' 'Drunk Rock' was self-released in 2005. Genre: Folk Rock/ Punk Rock

The Bloody Irish Boys’ ‘Drunk Rock’ was self-released in 2005.
Genre: Folk Rock/ Punk Rock

The Antlers's 'Uprooted' was self-released in 2006. Genre: Indie

The Antlers’s ‘Uprooted’ was self-released in 2006.
Genre: Indie

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!

Meshuggah's Koloss was released March 27th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Technical Death Metal

Meshuggah’s Koloss was released March 27th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Technical Death Metal


Textures's 'Silhouetts' was released October 31st, 2010 via Listenable Records Genre: Metalcore/Math Metal

Textures’s ‘Silhouetts’ was released October 31st, 2010 via Listenable Records
Genre: Metalcore/Math Metal


Alai Oli's 'Satta Massagana' was self-released December 1st, 2011  Genre: Reggae/Rock

Alai Oli’s ‘Satta Massagana’ was self-released December 1st, 2011
Genre: Reggae/Rock


Kraft Klub's 'Mit K' was released January 20th, 2012. Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Rock

Kraft Klub’s ‘Mit K’ was released January 20th, 2012.
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Rock



Lauren Zettler's 'On Your Back Porch' was self-released Janurary 1st, 2009. Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Lauren Zettler’s ‘On Your Back Porch’ was self-released Janurary 1st, 2009.
Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to remember all the great musicians that have influenced us from beyond the grave.

This is the first installment of Whay back Whensday and what better way than to start it off with a love song I love. No, the band Love, silly.

Love is regarded as one of the most underrated but most influential rock bands of all time. In 2003 Rolling Stone Love’s “Forever Changes” #40 on their list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Released in 1967 on Elektra the mastermind Arthur Lee was going through grim times that while recording the album saying “I thought I was going to die at that particular time, so those were my last words.” What fine words to leave this world on but he continue to live and perform until 2006, after being taken by acute myeloid leukemia. The album itself had been recorded in just 64 hours. Their success was met more in the UK reaching #24 on the billboard charts. In the US they only reached #154.

Lee had worked with several bands prior to forming Love. Once recording the song “My Diary” by Rosa Lee Brooks, featuring Jimi Hendrix. Arthur Lee had been influenced by The Byrds blues and folk rock sound and eventually met guitarist Bryan MacLean while working as a roadie for the band. MacLean had an early start in music after being deemed “a melodic genius” by his neighbor, Frederick Loewe (of the famous composing duo Lerner & Loewe). MacLean would later die while having dinner with a fan doing an interview regarding the band Love.

Forever Changes was a departure from their earlier blues rock sound and incorporated more of a psychedelic feel including many exotic horns, strings, and off beat choruses. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant listed it as one of his favorite albums ever. Jim Morrison in an interview in 1967 (the year the album dropped) listed Love as his favorite band.

Love “Forever Changes”
Released 1967 on Elektra

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Thank you scientist cover

No. Thank you, Thank You Scientist. Thank you for doing what no other rock band seems to be doing right now. Be still, my beating heart… They have horns and strings. Lots of it. And they’re damn good at it.

For fans of The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria, Closure in Moscow, and Trioscapes.

Ellis Jasenovic on Saxophones
Andrew Digrius on Trumpet, Flugelhorn, and trombone
Russell Lynch on Violin, Viola, and Mandolin
Tom Monda on Guitars, Shamisen, and Cello
Greg Colacino on Bass
Odin Alvarez on drums, percussion, and fathering gods
Salvatore Marrano on vocals

Out of Rochelle Park, New Jersey, Thank You Scientist is incredibly interesting for many, many reasons. Their sound is entirely their own but takes on influences and sounds that are familiar to even the most sheltered of music listeners.

I have fallen in love with their second album “Maps of Non-Existent Places” which was recorded by Jesse Cannon at Cannon Found Soundation in Union City, New Jersey. Many great bands have recorded there like Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch, Everytime I Die…
Mastered at West West Side Music and Released in April 2012. The album is very well done on all ends.

The Prelude to the album opens as an a cappella ‘tip of the hat’ to John Denver’s 1966 tune Leaving on a Jet Plane but these guys are a little more retro and decide to take the train, pfft… hipsters… It’s airy and a nice introduction to the first track A Salesman’s Guide to Nonexistence.

This track makes several seamless changes that is all just a part of their ultimate design as a band. The riff sounds remnant of early pop-punk but when the horns come in you’re suddenly listening to a Ska band, or so you think. The song continues as a really epic rock tune that hits several big sections. Odin Alvarez stays in the punk rock realm on drums most of the time but really only for this song.

The use of their instruments is far from overdone and they have tasteful lines to really emphasize the song structure. The dynamics of their songwriting allows for a lot of space which is really hard to come by for bands with such a large lineup.

Their most popular track is Feed the Horses (based on Spotify and Last.fm plays). It’s a sexually charged progressive rock rant, instantly getting goosebumps from that first run of 30 seconds. Rhythmically complex and has a sound similar to that of Trioscapes, the mind-blowing jazz-metal side project of Between the Buried and Me’s Dan Briggs.

At 10 seconds it goes into a headbang worthy breakdown with horns blaring with dramatic flare. The song then transitions into a funky section almost unexpectedly from how the song begins. I’m especially impressed with the Salvatore Marrano’s distinction on this track.

It seems Marrano was channeling the late Michael Jackson when recording Feed the Horses. His voice goes really well with their funk parts and it suits their diverse sound. Overall he works well for the group but he tends to remind me of Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria – who I’m not particularly a fan of. At least he doesn’t have that damned beaver dam on his head… He really shines in their less “rock” sounding sections and actually has a great timbre when he’s not reminding me of a pop-rock singer. I try not to let a single instrument disrupt my enjoyment of music so it shouldn’t affect yours! I know for a fact many people will fall in love with the band because of the sound of his voice.

My favorite track on the album has to be the instrumental Suspicious Waveforms (love the name too). Not for the fact that there isn’t singing on it either, mind you. It’s a really fun jazz fusion song with many lines that make you want to get out your chair and shake dat ass.

The main line gets in your head so fast you’ll think you’ve heard it a thousand times but still want to hear it a thousand more. Every one of them has moments where they really stand up but they use periods of quiet transitions to prepare you for the brilliant solos. Russell Lynch’s violin solo in particular is astounding. The song goes through modern jazz, soul, funk, even a few brief moments of eastern folk. I can’t help but listen to it everytime I put on their album.



Support local music while getting full quality!
Buy from the band via their store on www.thankyouscientist.netBandcamp, Amazon, or iTunes!
But they are infact available for streaming on Spotify as well as on Bandcamp.

Why not check out their first release “The Perils of Time Travel”. A great album and shows some fantastic growth between the two records.

Catch these guys on tour right now with the Tea Club, another proggy outfit sounding more along the lines of a darker Dredg or Muse.

The shows are all listed on Thank you Scientist’s website on their tour page.

Here’s a clip of them playing their song My Famed Disappearing Act live at Mexicali in Teaneck NJ. The songs starts in classic Prog fashion with a nice technical guitar tapping riff. Enjoy and be sure to get this album!!!

Sorry internet! It has been a while since I have posted anything, I’ve been distracted with life and writing a full feature article on Spotify, it should be done in about a week or so.

This woman came into my ears a few months ago and seriously shook things up. Not only is she a gorgeous Belgian white girl who can sing soul and reggae like the greats but she is also an extremely talented songwriter. Her self-titled debut album features all music that she has written herself as a teenager. At just sixteen she produced a demo and was offered a recording deal with Universal Records but declined citing that she only wanted to record her own music, giving up immense fame for her passion of expression. Luckily she didn’t have to give it up for too long thanks to the wonders of the internet! Selah, or Sanne Putsey, had always uploaded her music to her Myspace account and with the help of some devoted fans created a huge amount of buzz which attracted the attention of Euro R&B artists Patrice and Nneka on the independent Because Music label.

During the recording process Cee-Lo Green was asked to do a duet with her on the song “Please” and also featured it on his own album (but then later removed). She got the chance to perform in front of thousands when Prince (or whatever he refers to himself these days) asked Selah to be a supporting act for his tour in Belgium. In just a few years she went from being a quiet bedroom singer to an international phenomenon.

“This World” is my favorite track on the album. That smooth bass line matched with her airy singing… whew… I’m getting hot and heavy just thinking about it! But, I’m obviously not the only one because the single went platinum this year. Her song “Ragamuffin” is her earliest work, writing it in high school, was her first single and has been viewed over 12  million times on Youtube. Selah explains that the song symbolizes her and all of her sides. “It shows my soulful and singing side, but also my hard side, between rap and ragga”. You can hear her doing some “toasting” (dancehall/reggae style of singing) which most people -mainly… white people- would never attempt, let alone record it, and she’s damn good at it I must say. Much better than Jamaican Eek-a-mouse…..

Looking like the more petite and curvier Amy Winehouse (no doubt healthier and more sober as well) and having a similarly impressive vocal prowess she shatters the rigid pop barriers like no one has done before. She’s even performed with punk rock band Triggerfinger and rocked the house with her unique voice. She’s proven many times over that she shines no matter what stage, genre, or band she is in.

You can listen to her entire album on Spotify but she also has her music available on Soundcloud and Last.fm

Welcome back!

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because blow you’ll find 5 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!

The Gathering's Disclosure was released November 12th, 2012 via Psychonaut Records Genre: Alternative Rock/New Wave

The Gathering’s Disclosure was released November 12th, 2012 via Psychonaut Records
Genre: Alternative Rock/New Wave

Nine Inch Nails' 24.24.2.2527 Deceased was released April 12th, 2010 via Sefiros Genre: Industrial/Electronic

Nine Inch Nails’ 24.24.2.2527 Deceased was released April 12th, 2010 via Sefiros
Genre: Industrial/Electronic

Symphony X's Iconoclast was released June 21st 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Power Metal

Symphony X’s Iconoclast was released June 21st 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Power Metal

Astronautalis's This Is Our Science was released September 13th 2011 via Fake Four Inc.  Genre: Hip Hop

Astronautalis’s This Is Our Science was released September 13th 2011 via Fake Four Inc.
Genre: Hip Hop

Escape The Day's Ghostless was an unreleased album Genre: Post-Rock

Escape The Day’s Ghostless was an unreleased album
Genre: Post-Rock

 

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