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Album Review: “ReEvolve” by 9 Mile Roots

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The Baltimore-based group 9 Mile Roots describes their music as “hard rock riffs, hip-hop flow, and thick syncopated horn lines.” This is all on display brilliantly in their upcoming album ReEvolve (releasing May 19). There is plenty of laid-back rock/reggae fusion that hearkens back to groups like 311 and Sublime, and that is the greatest strength of ReEvolve. You can tell that the band is there to have a great time and make catchy songs along the way. 9 Mile Roots play a tight sound, with every instrument never seeming out of place. Especially with Summer fast approaching, this may be a record you want in your collection.

Album Review: “First the Town, Then the World” by Bare Teeth

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I like my punk rock aggressive, fast, and melodic. A lot of this has to do with where I grew up. In Southern California, a lot of the punk bands played music much like what I described. There was aggression and speed, but there was also a strong focus on melody. Pennywise, Bad Religion, and The Descendants were great examples of this.

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I mention all of this because France’s Bare Teeth reminds me of these groups with their newest release First the Town, Then the World. Throughout the record you have pounding drums and bass, strong melodic lines with multi-part harmonies, and fantastic guitar lines. The album from start to finish is heavy, with some screaming that reminds me of early Thrice back in their post-punk days (especially their record Identity Crisis).

For a band from France to bring me back to the golden era of SoCal punk, whether or not that was their intention, is truly something special. I loved every second of listening to First the Town, Then the World, and when it drops on May 19, I think you will too.

Album Review: “Æsthēsis” by tilde~

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Ambient and glitch music comes in all forms. Most think of large sweeping arrangements that push you into a proverbial cosmos of sound. The other side to this is where Australia’s tilde (real name Rhys Channing) comes in. With his record Æsthēsis, the composer creates a smaller scale of sound that is almost like traveling through an endless hallway. The hallway is filled with complex rhythmic and melodic overlapping, as well as countless multi-dimensional sound effects. If you jumped into a wormhole, somehow I imagine it would feel much like how Æsthēsis sounds.

Get your copy of Æsthēsis at https://tonelist.bandcamp.com/album/sth-sis

Album Review: “New Day” by Flyjack

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The Austin, Texas band Flyjack considers their record New Day to be “a love letter to late 60’s and early 70’s rare groove, soul and deep funk.” There certainly is a throw-back to these eras, especially with the opening track, on this record. There is also, however, a modern approach that show Flyjack’s own musical sensibilities that is full of unbridled love for music and social justice. The record is a groove-fest (especially with the drums and bass) that also touches on issues of racial and gender inequality here in the United States that our society often ignores.

The psychedelic angle of New Day is a welcome return to an era where music was legit, but the band also gives their own approach. New Day is a fun ride.

Get New Day on iTunes and other music distribution outlets

Album Review: “A New Approach” by Luis Gabriel Aguilera

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Calm. Introspective. These are the words I would use to describe the music of electronic composer Luis Gabriel Aguilera’s newest album A New Approach. Intending to evoke “the audio expression of the composer (and really the individual) spiritually and emotionally” becoming awake; A New Approach is a minimalist and ambient journey that accomplishes its goal. Every synth effect, piano line, orchestral instrumentation and so on, brings the listener through the composer’s mind. It’s a worthwhile journey.

Get A New Approach at https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/luisgabrielaguilera2

Album Review: “Monster Vision” by Round Eye

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Anybody that stupidly declares “PUNK IS DEAD” is clearly ignorant of Round Eye. This rag-tag band of misfits who are currently ex-pats living in Shanghai make some of the most avant-garde, subversive, aggressive, and incendiary punk out there. Making history or making enemies (both of which they have done in spades), Round Eye is a fearless example of pure artistic expression.

Their newest release Monster Vision is a psychedelic freak-out punk fest that drips with political commentary and just an overall satire of just how insane our society is. Some of the last recordings of legendary Stooges saxophonist Steve Mackay can be found on this record. His sax is a massive force that drives the band’s unique punk sound into the stratosphere.

Whether the band is making the first ever punk music video in the DPRK or pissing all over the concept of Trump’s America, Round Eye’s Monster Vision is punkest shit I’ve heard in a while.

Get Monster Vision at https://roundeyeband.bandcamp.com

Album Review: “Departures Vol. 1” by North Atlantic Drift

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The Toronto-based electronic duo North Atlantic Drift describes their musical goal for Departures Vol. 1 as “trying to get at a certain sound we adore- a simplified ambient drone garnished with static and texture, stretched and given tension with string-like timbres.”

In this hauntingly beautiful and minimalist record, that goal is absolutely accomplished. Throughout Departures Vol. 1 you are given a small set of melodic lines, instruments, and effects to create an audio landscape of sorts. In many ways this landscape is hard to put into words, but one of the videos (found below) for this album give a good visual representation.

There is beauty and darkness. These two intersecting aesthetics are without a doubt the most intriguing components to this record. Without a doubt it is what makes it worth listening to.

Get Departures Vol. 1 at https://polarseasrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/departures-vol-1