Starting out in 2014 from Chicago Illinois is the recently signed road warriors and psychedelic rockers Post Animal. No joke while checking out their Facebook page, I was scrolling and scrolling through posts that were all tour stops throughout the U.S. dating back more than a year.
Hitting the road and pounding the pavement with their signature brand of music you swore you’ve heard before dominating radio waves in the 80’s, this 5 piece has been gaining attention, entertaining the masses, and will be hitting the road yet again in support of their debut full length album, When I Think Of You In A Castle appropriately available on 4/20 through Polyvinyl Records.
“Ralphie”, the band’s first single from the album, begins with an 80’s commercial pop synth line that becomes layered with a scale familiarly reminiscent of 70’s classic rock guitar riffs. Even with its commercial appeal, the first 21 seconds are a very technical and dynamic attention-grabber.
Originally a 6 piece group, Post Animal released an EP in 2015 and a collection of singles in 2016. Given the success and demands of Stranger Things, drummer Joe Keery, “being a member since the bands’ inception”, his role is stated as being “and inactive touring member”. He does still contribute and you can hear his vocal talents on “Ralphie”.
Post Animal has indie pop rock-ish hooks in their chorus lines, specific and clear-cut bass guitar and drum contributions, meticulously classic rock constructed guitar riffs that utilize delay to ad that psychedelic significance and verb usage that should land Post Animal into the Reverb Hall of Fame.
To sum it up, get out your blender and grab an 8-track of The Byrds’, a summarized memory from Woodstock, a record from Kansas, a cassette from Gary Numan, a VHS copy of an 80’s Revlon commercial and a Police CD. Post Animal have the ingredients that make aqua net girls bop their heads and smack their gum in unison, and make the high school douchebags lift the Firebird’s T-Top, roll down the windows, crank it up and squeal tires pulling out of the parking lot.
Los Angeles based band The GreatSadness – consisting of members Stephen McNeely (drums) and Cathy Cooper (guitar/vocals) – say they are “upset all the time and they put it in their music.”
When looking into The GreatSadness I started by getting acquainted with the video for “Underground” from their album Weep that was released in April of 2017. Maybe I just have a sick sense of humor, but I found nothing sad about this song while watching as the pair rode bicycles through a cemetery, stopped at the ice cream truck, the laundry mat, and hit up the massage chairs. As I was mid-laugh at the comical occasional middle finger, things got creepy and in their skull masks it felt as if death was out for a walk.
With lyrics boasting, “In this place, underground, there is no God,” one could embrace the sadness behind that realization. The further I descend into this album, the tonal quality and the words themselves do capture all that is wrong in the world. It is a sad place that we have created and The GreatSadness doesn’t sugar coat a bit of it. Cathy has an un-dusted gritty rasp to her voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin, Stevie Knicks, and early Melissa Etheridge. The music has a murky humidity that generates a grass rooted southern swamp rock feel as well as that D-tuned sludge grunge feel (don’t think Nirvana’s Nevermind album, think Nirvana’s Bleach album).
Being a D.I.Y. band and paying for your recording, production, pressing, touring can leave you financially depleted. The GreatSadness truly has a love for creating music no matter the cost and their hard work has paid off as they reached out to all of you to help release Weep on vinyl. Given the style of music, you want this on vinyl.
The shining moment for me was the song “Tonight.” A droning sometimes psychadelic darkness seems so fitting as she sings loudly, borderline a scream while maintaining great vocal control, “this dance through hell has done us in, hold me love, my breath is thin.” The GreatSadness is best described by this scenerio, if only Linda Blair (the original Exorsist movie, the possessed girl) had a band.
Green Druid is set to release their album Ashen Blood via Earache records on March 16th. When checking out the song “Pale Blood Sky”, brace yourself for some serious doom metal that is polished off with a hypnotic psychedelic, “just roll with it” vibe as the track comes to a close at the 9 minute and 25-second mark. (Wait, can you do that in metal?) I mean a lot of progressive metal has songs around the 10-minute mark, so does Opeth, but Green Druid isn’t some technically overpowering cram a million different directions in one track kinda band.
Maybe it’s the snow and being cooped up, maybe its the video games, or maybe they have found that perfect groove and successfully managed to draw it out. Typically doom or stoner metal just drones over and over until it all seems like a blurry mess. With Green Druid, the music alone surrounds you in the journey of your own mind that is like the imagination, limitless. While they definitely fit the roster of Earache with classics like Godflesh, Napalm Death, and Carcass, Green Druid is hands down a breed all their own and I’m sure the future will see them noted as pioneering a new frontier for metal.
If you are in the Denver metro area be sure to check them out at their CD Release March 23rd at Hi-Dive and pick up Ashen Blood on Vinyl or CD. If ya can’t wait you can pre-order the hard copy via the band’s Bandcamp page and you get 1 track now and a digital copy the second it is released March 16th.
Whether you’re all for Valentine’s Day, or you think it’s just a worthless holiday the greeting card companies made up to absorb your daily income, we’ve got the music for you here at Imperfect Fifth. But we’ve got a bonus… Staff Writer Kayla Hutton has provided us her very own playlists dedicated to everyone during this insane and short month. Admits Kayla of the curations, “Music for any mood, any reason, any season. I dug up the coolest of the obscure.” Check out the tracks below, a playlist dedicated to all the lovers, and one to the skeptics.
“Enter Oblivion” is the latest video from the melodic death metal band Darkest Hour. Singer John Henry directed the video that was shot in the Mojave Desert at a national natural landmark, Rainbow Basin. Known for being dry and desolate, the basin has awesome rock formations and fossil beds. The video shows the band playing and periodically shows a mysterious white cloaked man wondering around as if to be searching for something.
“Enter Oblivion” comes from the band’s 11th album, Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora, that was released in 2017 and was produced by Kurt Ballou (Converge). This D.C. based 5 piece has come a long way from where they started in 1995. Through multiple line up and record label changes Darkest Hour has really matured and while “Enter Oblivion” is not as heavy as what you’d expect it shows great diversity and still carries their melodic signature tone, double bass, and blast beats.
Over the past 20 years, Darkest Hour has risen up from the underground and just like Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, Darkest Hour has put their flag into the metal scene and marked their place as one of the driving forces behind what defines the true melodic brutality of metal.
Hitting the road Feb 16th Darkest Hour will be touring the east coast first and in April heading overseas with Cephalic Carnage. Check out the video for “Into Oblivion” and if you are serious about your metal and lucky enough that Darkest Hour comes through your town be there front and center and prepare for a lesson in brutality.
DARKESTHOUR w/ Whores, Extinction A.D.
2/16/2018 The Canal Club – Richmond, VA
2/17/2018 Arura Fest – Savanah, GA
2/18/2018 The Basement East – Nashville, TN
2/19/2018 Trixies – Louisville, KY
2/20/2018 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH
2/21/2018 Emerson Theater – Indianapolis, IN
2/22/2018 Reggies – Chicago, IL
2/23/2018 The Loft – Lansing, MI
2/24/2018 Photo City – Rochester, NY
2/25/2018 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
w/ Havok, Cephalic Carnage, Harlott:
4/05/2018 Kulttempel – Oberhausen, DE 4/06/2018 Musik & Frieden – Berlin, DE 4/07/2018 Hellraiser – Leipzig, DE 4/08/2018 Café Central – Weinheim, DE 4/09/2018 Nova Chmelnice – Prague, CZ 4/10/2018 Durer Kert – Budapest, HU 4/12/2018 Z-Bau – Nürnberg, DE 4/13/2018 Kiff – Aarau, CH 4/14/2018 CCO Villeurbanne – Lyon, FR 4/15/2018 Bóveda – Barcelona, ES 4/16/2018 Caracol – Madrid, ES 4/17/2018 Custom – Sevilla, ES 4/18/2018 Lisboa Ao Vivo – Lisbon, PT 4/20/2018 Totem – Pamplona, ES 4/21/2018 Secret Place – Montpellier, FR 4/22/2018 Petit Bain – Paris, FR 4/23/2018 Underworld – London, UK 4/24/2018 Voodoo Lounge – Dublin, IE 4/25/2018 Cathouse – Glasgow, UK 4/26/2018 Asylum – Birmingham, UK 4/27/2018 Zappa – Antwerp, BE 4/28/2018 Faust – Hannover, DE 4/29/2018 Backstage – München, DE
“Formation”, the latest release from Sollunar, shows the same song in 3 different versions. Don’t be confused, this is not a “remix” of the same song. It literally captures how the moment of inspiration from one base element can go so many different directions and produce a totally different outcome and feel.
Sollunar, defined as being influenced by both the sun and moon, has also given a great example of considering both sides of the coin when applying alternate techniques during production.
Josiah Bibb is the mastermind behind this instrumental masterpiece. Considering his Colorado Springs surroundings he has no lack of inspiration. “Formation”, in all its versions, will appeal to fans of Days of the New/Travis Meeks. Similar to Travis, Josiah knows his way around an acoustic guitar. Working the harmonics, demonstrating picking and plucking skills that are similar to the delicate approach of playing the harp. Given the slow to medium pace of “Formation”, this isn’t a sad song by any means, it is the perfect setting for a meditative, introspective journey.
There is a theme with Sollunar that goes beyond the name. “Formation” joins Josiah’s prior releases “The Observatory” and “Collisions”. Notice the trend there?
While there is a theme, Sollunar doesn’t provide an exact direction.”Formation” sets the stage for your individual perception to designate its path.
As an awesome incentive you can pick up “Formation” and it’s 3 alternate outcomes for just $1 via BandCamp.
Formerly known as The Reign of Kindo, Kindo has resurfaced after 4 years with a new single “Return to me” from their latest album “Happy However After” set to be released in April of 2018.
This 6 piece from New York has shown that you don’t need a major label and their money to gain an audience.
Giving the fans a new spin of alternative jazz that is fused with R & B, pop and soul shows that just like topping off your drink, combining old and new, can create something truly refreshing. Not only have they innovated a successful sound, Kindo has also proudly been at the helm of all their recordings.
“Return to me” begins with a rainy day stay in bed piano line. The vocals give a strange appeal to the jazz-ish backing music. Imagine Lenny Kravitz being backed by a piano at a dim lit jazz club applying his pop-rock vocal style and later adding a high gain guitar riff. I am amazed at how Kindoimplements all these musical elements and how they compliment each other. “Return to me” at first listen is calming. Once it sinks in what the lyrics are about it is hard to believe this song is depicting heartbreak. Especially when some of the rhythmic grooves wake you up and influence your body to take the hand of the beat and swing. The atmosphere of musical freedom and exploration is definitely a spark lighting a flame rich with creativity.
Kindo will be touring the Eastern U.S. in March and is surely not a band you want to miss. If they aren’t hitting up your hometown be sure to head over and check out their prior albums which should tide you over until “Happy However After” is released in April.
While the band appears to be straight out of a 1970’s psychedelic acid flashback, Krantz comes from the unlikely place of Nashville, TN. Best known for country, honkey tonk, and the grand ole opry, Krantz has cranked out a college alternative rock song “Run away with me”.
With a musical structure similar to that of the Killers yet an experimental flavor of The Muse, you will find Krantz has added fun to the mix with “Run away with me.” It has a sweeping back and forth medium paced beat that is fused with group vocals during the chorus and a guitar lead that provides good traveling music that will make the vast nothing of the road seem more like a runway for liftoff.
While the song itself sounds as if clean-cut and serious college kids created it, you will understand the “fun” description once you see the branded panties for sale in their “Merch” or the furry pink jacket worn by their singer in promo pics. Yes, even seasoned adult musicians can captivate a listener without taking themselves too seriously and draw a crowd by making people wonder,”whats going on over there with them?”
Like a potato chip, one song just isn’t enough to get the real feel for Krantz. “Run away with me” will spark a curiosity that will lead you straight through their SoundCloud playlist of music.
“Run away with me” is a catchy pop-ish alternative rock song, with softly sung parts that lead the way to an impressive strong note being held out while the guitar line answers back like a conversation between friends. The lyrical content begs to leave the cold weather behind and head out to a warmer location. I can’t blame them. I am here in Arizona and it’s 80 degrees of wonderful in January while the weather in Nashville shows a high in the upper 40’s. For all of you suffering in the bitter cold, time to pack it up with this hit the road anthem “Run away with me.”
Out of Rochester, NY is the best thing you’ve never heard of, Ovtlier. (Though, you may have. These guys have a pretty solid and steadily growing fan base, so excuse us if we’re behind on the times here!) For fans of Shinedown, Sevendust, and Beartooth comes this break through, rock radio-friendly tune “Break” off of their E.P. What doesn’t kill you. The music is rhythmically focused, tight, and leaves no gaps.The lyrical content is a shining moment for those who have reached that breaking point and refuse to be held down by anyone or anything. A very universal and relatable topic, the message is delivered as if it were the advice you take away from hearing the story of someone who lived it.
Just because “Break” is the pastiche of a genre they fit well into, don’t think they lack originality. Ovtlier has a very real and sincere vibe rather than the typical add-on by a major labels producer inserting commercial hooks. The chorus is powerful with a slight increase in tempo and a great unity between a punchy metal riff and applied harmony. The mixing and production quality is top notch and radio-ready. These guys aren’t missing a thing. They came prepared with a skilled arrangement, real life lyrical content, a good balance of originality and commercial appeal. They even look the part with a semi-harsh but freshly showered image. It’s not about “if” these guys will be signed and be the next big thing, it’s when. They have every right to be the ones who choose their deal and guys, don’t let any label take away that true honesty that sets you apart.
So, listeners, if you want bragging rights, “I heard them before they were huge”, here it is, it’s Ovtlier‘s “Break”.