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Author Archives: Mike

Johnny’s Blues – A Tribute to Johnny Cash

With the unfortunate loss of one of the most influential musicians in the world you’re bound to see tribute albums pour out in the next few years. Some of those tributes will be artists who simply want to pay homage to an amazing man, friend, and musician; while others will simply seek to cash in on a monumental loss. Johnny’s ... Read More »

Figure Four – Suffering the Loss

I remember Ric Flair perfectly executing the figure four leg-lock as a kid. He was flawless; crippling his opponents with every implementation. It was painful. It was devastating. It was beautiful. While Figure Four (the band) strives to attempt the same effect (more or less), sometimes their follow through leaves gaping holes (remember, strong grip on the toes and heel ... Read More »

Asterisk – Dogma

Oh, hell yes! Asterisk is a Swedish grind-core band that will shred you to pieces, mop you up, and piss all over your remains. With an astonishing 40 songs on the new album Dogma, they pretty much chronicle every song that they have ever recorded. Highlights include Green Eyed Angel in my Dream, The Spatio-Temporal Aspect, Iron-Head: Palestine, Syntax of ... Read More »

Kids Near Water – ¡Hey Zeus!

Kids Near Water offer up a sound of post-punk/hardcore that is both addictive and forgettable. How can that be you ask? Well, it’s simple. They have nice hooks, a very strong lyrical driving force, and yet it’s somewhat forgettable. The vocals seem almost impotent at times… there’s not enough of a driving force to get beneath your skin and tear ... Read More »

Embrace Today – Soldiers

While many hardcore bands have changed their original tough-guy chugga chugga hardcore style to a more metal-core style, Embrace Today is still releasing aggressive and straightforward hardcore. Coming from the vein of No Innocent Victim and Shai Hulud, Embrace Today present their strongest release to date. Throughout the album there are strong guitar parts, brain-pounding drum beats, and devastatingly ferocious ... Read More »

Murder Weapon – Nervous Wreck

Some records slam you on your face the first time you hear them. Others tend to grow on you the more you listen to them. Murder Weapon definitely fits into the latter category. Your first impression might leave you thinking there aren’t enough songs (and some are entirely too short), and the production quality leaves much to be desired. Keeping ... Read More »

The Chiodos Bros. – The Heartless Control Everything

Since 2000, when At The Drive In started making a big splash, there have been countless bands that have been trying to replicate the sound that made ATDI such a huge success. Most have failed miserably. The Chiodos Bros. approach their version of post-hardcore with a focused beam on the sounds of ATDI, but with a fair dosage of keyboards. ... Read More »

The Real McKenzies – Oot & Aboot

Well, here’s another band for The Warped Tour… The Real McKenzies are a pop-punk band in the vein of Lagwagon and NOFX. Diatribes about drinking, Scotland, and well… drinking abound in Oot & Aboot. While pop-punk could quite possibly be one of the worst ideas in history, I am forced to admit that all the songs are well written with ... Read More »

Starflyer 59 – Old

BOOM! Right from the first track Starflyer 59 hits you with Underneath – one of the strongest straightforward-rock song to date. When LHAS hit the shelves fans started noticing a metamorphosis in SF59. The Shoegazer pop sound was still there, but it was becoming more approachable. Now with the release of Old we see another change. It would seem that ... Read More »

Gatsbys American Dream – Ribbons and Sugar

Punk rock and math, what a gorgeous combination! Add on top of that the fact that the lead singer has a voice that all the little emo-kids down the street would give up all their greasy neglected hair for (he credits his vocal coach in the liner notes; and so he should). What puts Gatsbys American Dream leaps and bounds ... Read More »