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!


“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,, and iTunes!






Do you like the feeling of electronic music but don’t like its repetative movements intended for drug fueled dancing? Do you like rock but wish it focused less on being loud and more on soundscapes? Then push play on these bands. You won’t be disappointed.

Žagar This Hungarian Psychedelic/Jazz/Atmospheric/Rock/Awesome band is one to keep an eye on. They always have something going on. Their style is the perfect hybrid of the electronic feel and drive with the beauty of rock and jazz melodies and analog production. The band has a long list of filmography credits and you can really hear it. Wait until the horns come in at around 2 mins. Forget goosebumps. It’s all about the nipple hardening.

Indigo Sun They are my most recent find and my most favorite at the moment. They’re a jazz fusion band disguised behind electronic productions. Definitely worth checking out.

Stateless Such a wonderfully emotional song. Builds up just enough to lock you in. This London based band started out as your generic rock band but they embraced the idea of adding more electronic elements after meeting DJ Kidkanevil at a hip hop show in Leeds. They have two albums out right now on Spotify.

The best part of this Swedish four-piece group, Wintergatan, is that they aren’t electronic at all. There are no samples. Instead they play a range of homemade and unorthodox instruments along with some more conventional ones to create a foreign yet familiarized sound. The lead here is the accordion and oh boy has one never sounded better.
Their popular track Sommarfågel was featured as our Song of the Day back in July.

Jaga Jazzist has been around since the 90’s but have been the forefront of the new age of jazz. These Norwegians take jazz whole heartedly and incorporate every genre and instrument they can come up with. Every song is a new experience. They’re not for everyone but if you enjoy driving beats and head spinning melodies they might be for you.

Incubus okay so they’ve been around for a while and for all intents and purposes, they suck now. Since the line-up changes and their increasingly mainstream standings they haven’t been the same.
If you’re looking for a rocking band that throws in ample amounts of electronic sections they’re a good band to start with. Their earlier work; eg. their first album: Fungus Among Us, is my favorite which resembled the beginning of funk metal but they’ve toned down and tuned out since that work of perfection.

You can check out these bands and some of their other songs on this nifty little playlist I created for all you. I know, I’m awesome, but keep it in your pants you perverts.

Here at Tonedeth we hold Mr. Devin Townsend at quite a high esteem. He’s an incredibly talented singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer/performer/comedian. What can’t you like about this guy? But before he was the unequivocal leader of progressive metal and before he was the weird bald guy from Strapping Young Lad, did you know he used to sing for Steve Vai? Well here is their appearance on the classic Headbanger’s Ball on MTV circa 1993.

Skip to the 3:30 mark to witness the oddity.

Behold! The Mighty Masturbator!

Behold! The Mighty Masturbator!

I’ve found country music that I not only tolerate but even like? What is this madness?

At best, when dabbling in country and bluegrass I found things I didn’t hate. I thought it would be impossible to find something in the genre worth listening to without clawing at my ears.

I found the compromise, it would seem. The punch brothers are not just plain country. Tonedeth doesn’t mention anything “plain”. This song is a fantastic example of this. It’s got a funk/R&B groove that’s both forward and sexy. The lack of a percussion section, or drummer to be specific, makes them stand out from any genre they seem to dabble in.

The album is a brilliant mixture of bluegrass, rock, indie, and classical; all while being beautifully executed. Go listen to these guys. I know I will be for the next few weeks. This track is off of the album of the same name released in 2012 on Nonesuch Records and produced by veteran Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Of Monsters and Men, Kings of Leon…)


If you know of any other artists similar to these guys or want to lead me in the right direction to more country worth digging into I would sure appreciate your comments.

Stateless is great genre hybrid of electronic/rock/and hip-hop. Similar to our our boy Childish Gambino  in this respect but with a bigger focus on melody in the alternative rock landscape.

This song starts off quiet with a warm accordion to bring you to their trip-hop hook with a great vocal harmony that makes the song increasingly huge. It fades off as a transition to the remainder of the album, leaving you wanting more.

It’s sort of dark, thought provoking, but warm and inviting. Go check out the rest of the tracks on Matilda. It’s a fitting meditative or workout album. Both energetic and pensive.

The four piece hails from foggy London town and are for fans of Dredg, Portishead, and Awolnation.

Yes!! Tonedeth is back up and SPRINTING for the new year.

Okay.. maybe warming up with a slow jog. I’m a bit out of shape here.

Let’s start this off with a review of Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet, one of the several albums that dropped last year to make me scratch my head and listen to over and over again. To be honest this is one hell of a release, not simply for the musical content but because it was tagged along with a 73 page screenplay and a 20 minute short film. The three are only vaguely related, so you could count them as three separate works.

Donald Glover is slowly but effectively becoming a household name. The triple threat artist already has acting and directing firmly under his belt with significant work credits from NBC. In interviews he claims that this album, Because the Internet, was his most “honest work to date”.

If it is honest then either this guy is either very depressed or desperately attempting to divorce from his “funny guy” image. Which is never a bad thing but it seems that he has instead created a doppelganger, his antinomic twin. Donald Glover is the comedian and the clown. Childish – ironically –  appears to be the mature one, creatively distraught with where his life choices have brought him.

“I mean where’s the line between Donnie G and Gambino” – “III. Life: The Biggest Troll”

One of the more interesting aspect of the album is that you can witness the dichotomy of the two characters in the word play. In between the lines of self deprivation and the cliché bragging about his cash flow (all too common in this genre) there is a divided man unsure of his identity.  His modesty can come off authentically but it is piled under a thick bite of unabashed confidence.

Because the Internet is certainly a leaping departure from his last album Camp which had more of the generic production and content of a mainstream rap album with the incessantly catchy hooks and ridiculous lyrical work with the occasional reference to life as a 90’s kid. This guy sure knows his market..

“Camp was an album for 13-year-olds, kind of written by a 13-year-old — it was very angsty and silly, but this album I think is just about my time at NYU more. It’s more grown-up, but a lot of things on the album happened to me this past year. I don’t know if I’m more mature on this album but I definitely know more about music.”

I can see that but I don’t necessarily agree. He makes many more references to his time at NYU in Camp. Because the Internet sounds like it takes place way beyond that. More referring to his celebrity status and growing as an adult, now 30 years old.

As far as musically, he has matured and incorporates original sounding and ear grabbing melodies to this album making it stand out from his previous releases.

This newest work was recorded at NBA star Chris Bosh’s mansion which Glover dubbed “The temple” and enforced a strict no shoes rule. Definitely wouldn’t want to do anything to damage that guy’s house.

“Who tracked mud in MY kitchen!?”

The tyranny continued banning “tweeting and instagramming” and a implementing a harsh work day starting at 10am.

Ahh.. the weary life of a recording artist…

 Because the Internet is Gambino’s second album on Glassnote Records, and Camp was the label’s first hip-hop release ever. Unfortunately the label doesn’t quite consider him a “major” artist. It’s hard out there for any rapper whose name doesn’t end with “West” or “Z”… The label told him he would have to wait to release the album in 2014 despite its completion in early October. He had other plans.

“If it wasn’t gonna be released then, I was gonna release it myself. What’s the point of waiting? I feel like that’s the only time people would be able to listen to it. December is the perfect time. Albums made a really big impact on me when I was alone and everything was quiet, and I know that’s when students go home, that’s when everything is closed, so it’s a good time to just listen to something and be yourself.”

Glover got the idea for the cryptic but brilliant album name from conversations he had with friend and alternative indie artist, Beck.

“Everyone keeps saying by this or that year, Mandarin or Spanish will be the most dominant language, but the internet is already a language we are all connected to… But the thing is, there are no rules, which is also the awesome thing.”

Internet as a language is not as inane of an idea as it may sound. In the screenplay he constantly uses Emojis to describe an action, expression, or emotion as if it were common place. An editor wouldn’t allow it but the majority of the market who will buy his album will not only understand it completely, but embrace it.

It seems he’s eyeing the role to be the voice of the viral generation, the globalized media junkies. He relates to them with his poignant media references to “Rugrats”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, and “Double Dare”, all mega-popular shows that millennials have grown up with. But with so many references and metaphors a purpose gets lost. He jumps between the gangster and the clever less than seamlessly.

Maybe it’s me but the lyrics on this album rarely make sense. They jump topics and go in an out of focus so quickly it just seems he’s making observations on events happening in his brain. Maybe it’s intentional and he wants to appear obscure but it comes off as random.

The content ranges from the gangster rap dribble:

“Instagram my stack load
Hashtag my day wear and your girl drank my day care.
I’m born rich, life ain’t fair.
Ain’t nobody sicker and my Fisker ‘vroom vroom’, ho”

To esoteric thoughts and pop culture references:

“Year off, got no rules, tripping off of them toadstools.
More green than my Whole Foods
and I’m too fly, Jeff Goldblum.
Got a glass house in the Palisades, that a.k.a.
White hood, white hood, Oh K K K”

both are from the track, “IV. Sweatpants”

Sometimes they flow musically and even poetically but many just sound like extemporaneous rants. Either he’s ran out of things to say or his life is so foreign and weird that we have nothing else to believe?

The first single “V. 3005” released back in October of 2013 is currently #44 on the top 100 Billboard chart. The music video is certainly a strange one and is meant to give the impression of intense loneliness. The entire thing is him sitting stone faced on a ferris wheel with a large stuffed bear. Complete departure from his silly character, Troy from “Community” or his work with his old comedy troupe Derrick Comedy.

This track is the least interesting on the album. The instrumental is painfully simple and his flow seems forced. The intention was clearly to be the single track, the one that you assume the rest of the album will sound the same to get you to listen to it. It’s similar to his song “Heartbeat” off of Camp. Catchy sung hook with a thick electro-pop background. “3005” also appears to be about love gone wrong but he claims it’s about being alone, not necessarily from a loved one.

What struck me instantly about this album and made me want to write a lengthy review on it is that it reminds me of a metal production rather than a new hip-hop record. It’s very dark, not so much in content, but musically.

The first song, “I. Crawl”, starts with samples of a screaming and a heavy industrial sounding background. I could easily imagine a guttural growl come in with the drop at about the 30 second mark. “Bet you crawl. All alone”.

New rap-metal album?

donald glover screaming

The bassline for the verse of “II. No Exit” sounds like something straight out of a Lamb of God. There are several more parts of the album that could easily be implanted into a metal song because of their dark anxious tone like the end of “II. Shadows”.

He’s kind of proving his point with Because the Internet. The world is getting smaller, there are less visible boundaries and Childish Gambino intends to blur the lines between rap, pop, and rock.

Here at Tonedeth we focus on the unique and commend the strange. You think we’d review any ol’ album?

Most of the tracks start off unassuming enough but many end with left turns or simply switch genres. On “I. The Worst Guys” featuring Chance the Rapper has a Santana-esque guitar solo thrown in to keep the flow of the song going. And “II. Worldstar” winds down with a laid-back electronic jazz ensemble complete with a baritone sax solo.

If the instrumental tracks he raps over weren’t interesting enough the fact that he has four mostly instrumental and transitional tracks with little to no rapping shows he has intentions of making an album not a mix-tape.

Because the Internet is exceptional in many respects. He breaks boundaries musically and addresses the social media revolution and how it has affected him professionally and personally. Childish Gambino is a very emotionally divided man. Not only must he cope with this new persona he’s created that he wishes to shed but he’s clearly unhappy with this life and mocks it at every turn. This channeled into the creative can leave people with a strong taste in their mouth that may or may not be bearable.

I give this album:

3 / 5

It’s intriguing enough that fans of rap, pop, or rock can find something to latch on to. It’s musically dynamic and intense but his lyrical structure is a little predictable and needlessly verbose for the sake of flow. I liked Camp and enjoyed pulling back the layers on this piece but it’s lacking some substance. Give it a listen, chew it over, and take a look-see. In that order. It’s worth it.

Can’t get enough of the multi-talented Donald Glover?
Go check out the show Community. It’s running on it’s 5th season but it seems Glover’s character Troy Barnes becomes a part-time role only appearing in five out of the thirteen episodes planned for the season. This will be the second main character to leave the show after Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne.

In a series of personal and revealing photos uploaded to instagram Donald Glover sheds light on his career choices as of late.

“I didn’t leave Community to rap. I don’t wanna rap. I wanted to be on my own.”

Will this be Gambino’s last album and Glover’s kick-start to a more serious acting career?

At the moment he is also gearing up for his musically themed show to be aired on FX sometime this year that he will write and direct. He claims his move to the station was for their willingness to work around his tight touring schedule.

Yes, it has been a long time, my musical minions.

Now, being a metal head I found it would be too easy to post some scary and demonic music on here. I’m going to be taking the high road with some comedy. But it might as well be metal, considering the song is about torturing children. Hey, at least it’s funny?

If Cannibal Corpse can do it, shouldn’t everyone?

Stephen Lynch is a genius. His music is well written, well rehearsed, witty, crass, and overtly sexual. Not to mention he sings like an angel… who has seen some shit.

His albums as of late have gotten less humorous over the years but his career is more focused on teaching and doing Broadway. His debut was showing up Adam Sandler and improving on the Wedding Singer.

Hopefully your Halloween doesn’t involve any of the things Lynch mentions. But enjoy it thoroughly, none-the-less. Get scared, get bent, and get all sorts of intoxicated.. on candy.

I was introduced to these guys earlier this year. Watching the music video and listening to the intro it’s easy to throw them in a category and forget about them. Starting off with weird images of the guys getting covered in highly viscous paints with a simple yet eerie guitar line, you almost expect Marilyn Manson coming on screen. Luckily for us, he doesn’t.

After the ultra heavy wobbly bass comes in the song takes a bit of a left turn and get’s pretty funky. Closer to how the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s were funky but definitely funky none-the-less. His voice is shrill, more of a punk or hard-rock singer but it fits well with that funk-metal sound. For fans of earlier Incubus, Alien Ant Farm, Primus, and And the Traveler.

The Austrian band has been around since about 2008 and got significant recognition when they participated in the international Live Awards. They didn’t come in first but they were top three in their region of Vienna and the three piece received awards for best singer, bassist, and drummer.

Their entire album Creation’s Finest, released in 2012, is available for streaming on Spotify.

A fine example of superb song writing. Neil Young is a two time Rock and Roll hall of fame inductee, once as a solo artist in 1995 and a second time for his role in his band Buffalo Springfield in ’97. His work with Crazy Horse is probably his most memorable, this track in particular is off of the release, Zuma in 1975.

He’s a living legend and a rock icon that still sells out stadiums.

Not all of us can age like Sting.

Okay Okay. So this isn’t an actual original Doo-wop song from the 50’s. But it is a very well done version of the popular Miley Cyrus tune “We Can’t Stop”.

The two versions are almost indistinguishable. Accompanying the smokey voiced Robyn Anderson is the Brooklyn based accapella group, The Tee Tones. Robyn’s band, Postmodern Jukebox, does incredible renditions of popular songs and takes them backwards a few decades or as they call it “classing” them up. Robyn’s voice definitely has a similar sound similar to that of Lana Del Rey, and pulls off the pin-up style with much more ease. Which begs to ask the question “Why the HELL isn’t Lana Del Rey singing Doo Wop!?”

Postmodern Jukebox’s music is very well done with use of modern tools to recreate old imitations of new songs. Miley Cyrus definitely needed to be put in a better light. Good thing this performance had nothing to do with her. There is no twerking, giant life-sized sex teddies, or absurd hair-styles. Just good ol’ Doo-wop and some classy singing.

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Teach your new dog to act like the old one. Obviously the only logical route.