Punk in every sense of the word, the Zig Zags’ new album They’ll Never Take Us Alive rings out loud and proud with electric guitars and metal riffs. From its lead off track “Punk Fucking Metal”, the Zig Zags let it be known that they are not messing around with their fourth album.
You can physically feel the metal influences in every single note and lyric sung. This listener appreciates the constant appearance of the galloping electric guitar, accompanied by fast kick pedals. Like something straight out of a Guitar Hero video game, the ever present guitar solo will have you wanting to do anything requiring physical energy, let’s just say, I don’t know, run head first into a roaring mosh pit. With all this speed metal talk, it is hard to look pastZig Zag’s ability to also slow it down, in a very punk rock way. Their track “Fallout” brings the tempo down just a hair, almost reminiscent of Dio’s “Holy Diver”. But, the consistent theme across the board is the methodical gallop of the electric guitar that will be ringing in your ears for days to come after listening to this album.
Zig Zags have been an ever evolving force in the punk rock landscape for years now, and their fourth album really puts on display their growth, in the most punk way possible. They’ll Never Take Us Alive is available now, and make sure to keep up with ZigZags here.
Acclaimed artist Allman Brown captures intimate love and all its facets in his sophomore album Darling, It’ll Be Alright. Brown has created an album that is so smooth and captivating in both vocals and lyrics that you find yourself easily slipping into a constant loop of his music for hours.
The album opens up with the effortless soft pop of “Home,” a heartfelt track that is as catchy as it is uplifting. The title track, along with “Dust & Heat” and “Bury My Heart” have a similar positivity to them that feels genuine and sounds like summertime. On the flip side, songs like “Crazy Love” and “Shapes in the Sun” delve deeper into the sultrier aspects of Brown’s music. It is reminiscent of fellow British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s many hits in the unique vocal melodies and edgy, sharp guitar riffs.
Brown also delves into more somber ballads with “Hurting,” “Waiting for Something to Believe In,” and “Lonely Hearts, Los Angeles.” In particular, “Lonely Hearts, Los Angeles” stands out as a track that discusses the solitude of being in a big city, but still manages to be romantic in its depiction of something as gloomy as being alone – a difficult feat. Another standout was the final track, “Natasha,” which is a perfect example of Brown’s ability to emphasize the details of a loving relationship as well as highlight the beautiful simplicity of the song itself:
I bought you a Neil Young CD,
You made me try different food,
Showed me that being angry is not the same as being strong,
My darling, my darling one,
This is you love song.
Much like how Brown comes across in his music, Darling, It’ll Be Alright wears its heart on its sleeve. It is deeply romantic, heartbreaking, optimistic, and incredibly honest. To put it simply, this is what passionate music sounds like.
Be sure to check out the album, and keep up with Allman Brown here.
Goosebumps. The immediate sensation one gets when listening to the intro to Judah and the Lion‘s new album Pep Talks. The aptly named Pep Talks gives the listener a metaphorical punch in the mouth with numerous vocal buildups, booming horns, and a steady building guitar. This is the band’s third album, and it does not disappoint from start to finish.
Big band feels with heartfelt lyrics is how this listener likes to describe Pep Talks. 17 tracks long, Pep Talks boasts features from Kacey Musgraves and Jon Bellion, but the majority of the focus is on Judah and the Lion’s ability to captivate audiences with their pop-alternative style. The constant presence of the variety of strings, and the pounding of drums, just make you want to move. Even as I write this at my desk, my head is consistently bobbing, and my feet are thumping with every single beat. Emotionally stirring, Pep Talks is raw in every sense of the word, putting on display every single talent that Judah and the Lion possesses.
The release of Pep Talks signals the announcement of a worldwide tour from Judah and the Lion. With festival stomps throughout, the band will be touring from May until November. Without a doubt, the songs on this album will be triumphs live, all of them have a live feel even when you are streaming them through a computer. I for one cannot wait to witness Pep Talks live, and I can only hope that Judah and the Lion incorporate the intro track “Pep Talk” into the performance. It gets me amped just thinking about it.
You can keep up with Judah and the Lion on their socials and their website judahandthelion.com.
On Friday, May 3rd, The Japanese House entertained a wall-to-wall sold out crowd at Riot Room. Opening for them – Art School Girlfriend – came before them calm, cool, and collected, and really set a gorgeous tone for the performance. Check out some of our favorites from the show below!
Keep up with The Japanese House here.
On Wednesday, May 1st, we celebrated May Day with Jai Wolf at the Truman in Kansas City, MO. The room was decked out with humans from wall to wall dressed in their EDM best. We have a few photos to share the kaleidoscope of a night with you!
Keep up with Jai Wolf here.
On Thursday, May 2nd, Interpol and FOALS lit up the stage at Arvest Bank Theater at The Midland. Photographer Ashleigh Lee captured some highlights for us.
Keep up with Interpol here.