“Shiver” wastes no time getting to the point, and is the debut single from Whitelight, a duo from Birmingham. Impressive that this track is made by only 2 people. “Shiver” begins with a dusty gritty distortion then turns the corner into a verse that commands the spotlight with the singers’ wonderful accent. For fans of Royal Blood, Blue Oyster Cult, and Radiohead, Whitelight is best defined as true Indie Rock N Roll. The middle section of the song does have a neat echoing bluesy guitar solo, which pulls the distortion off the bass guitar giving a loungy feel. In its simplicity “Shiver” is a really catchy tune. No explosions or an intense build up its a straightforward track that is easy to swallow.
As I walked away from it, I found the chorus line still reverberating in my head so much so I had to give it another listen. Whitelight is proof that you really don’t need to over produce a song to make it great, you just need to write it well. When searching there isn’t too much information about WhiteLight. The alluring mystery and the availability of only 1 song has me definitely wanting more and I will be waiting to see what these guys are all about. Can’t wait to hear a full release and hear all that they have to offer.
Well, maybe. “Donnie wants you dead” is a teaser single from Seattle based Powerbleeder from their new album GUSH that is slated for release on April 10th.
My first impression was “sounds like Seattle”, the standard grunge sound that has become a symbol representing an overcast sky and sloshing around in rain puddles. Then a bit of a change in weather as the verse begins and enters an alternate sky that is as sunny as the summer days in California. “You can fill the crossword without really even trying” grabbed my immediate focus dead center. Each verse is followed by a repeat in a camp-fire group style, and the overall sound becomes a little Beatle-esque. As much as this track makes you want to join hands, pick up a tambourine, and sing along, listen closely because it isn’t all Mento’s smiles. The actuality of the lyrics and the way Powerbleeder has a fun way of saying some things almost makes you miss the sarcasm of a bleak message. With the line,”You sent a bud bug to the White House overnight”, it sounds so upbeat, like it was a good thing, when in all honesty if that line was spoken normally my response would be, “What a dick, those things are hard to get rid of.” I can see the actions of someone wanting somebody dead becoming very clear.
The music at times becomes powerful and the guitar line is evocative of scales used in jazz. The transitions build up smoothly and reveal theoretic capacity in instrumentation and song structure making it hard to say, yeah they are a pop-ish rock band. Pop is so simple, and while “Donnie wants you dead” retains catchy pop hooks, what lays beneath the playful memorable song standard is anything but standard. If you’ve ever felt impure of mind or had some choice words you want to throw at someone, do it in style. Powerbleeder leads the way and makes it fun. You’ll see, once you check out “Donnie wants you dead” and you later find yourself walking with a spring in your step, singing it happily aloud while snapping your fingers with a smile across your face.
And if that is not enough joy in your life you can Pre-Order your copy of GUSH from the band’s Bandcamp page for only $4.
“Show me the magic” is the single release of an E.P. soon coming from AjaWarren. The epic theatrical intro sets the scene with a soft synth and graciously applied strings. As the mountain conquering intro leads the way into bass strings and strong vocals the goosebumps begin to swell and that hair on the back of my neck started to stick upright all I can say is, Wow.
“Show me the magic” slides from this soft power into a really driving impactful chorus in full symphonic surround sound. While the vocals could be the leader in this instance, it’s appealing that it’s perfectly mixed and that there is no leader, it’s all or nothing. “Show me the magic” instills that feeling right before you give up and ask one more time, give me what you got if there is really something there. It’s sad but with hope. Soft and powerful.
Aja has a voice. A really compelling voice that delivers emotion on a scale that reaches into your chest. I’m gonna say if you cant feel it, you likely have no soul. This is Tori Amos talent minus the obscure lyrics. “Show me the magic” has delivered a high that you actually have to come down from. It’s just so chilling how expressive Aja projects her voice.
This music belongs in a theater of the utmost elegance and backed by a gracious symphony. If listening at home, I recommend a calm candlelit environment, some flashy satin sheets, red and black would be ideal, and that perfect bottle of wine.
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.