Friday, September 23, 2011

Thrice - "Major/Minor" review

Well I am going to try writing my first album review, I thought about doing it for any of the three great albums that came out last week which I might post some quick thoughts on later still. But before I get sidetracked, what I am really here to ramble on about for this post is the seventh studio album by Orange County rockers Thrice called 'Major/Minor'. Now if you didn't know Thrice has been in the ring as my favorite band since their fourth experimental post-hardcore rock record 'Vheissu'. While I enjoyed their early efforts as an OC hardcore band it wasn't until they left that familiar sound of shredding and screaming and experimented into a more atmospheric genre defying rock band that my fandom really took hold. And they really proved that with their next release 'The Alchemy Index' which is four separate EP's that just blew my mind with how great their were. They followed that up with an album that was a much more straightforward album, 'Beggars' that could fit in with any indie-rockers record collection. That brings us to the current record which has keeps the vibe of the last record but also feels much bigger and rocks way harder then their last few efforts from start to finish. As I listen to it for already probably the 20th odd time since coming out last Tuesday I think I have enough of a handle on this album to talk about it.

It opens up with 'Yellow Belly' that brought back the baritone guitar from the Fire EP with a dirtier sound then used on those songs, really just a hard, dirty, grimy tune all around that setups up the harder tone of this record well. I don't want to talk about every song so I am going to move on to 'Blur' just because it kicks off with such a blast from the past with such a high tempo if not the all-out shredding of their first three albums that it is great to hear them kick it up a notch like that again. Lastly on a single song basis I have to talk about 'Anthology' by far my favorite track on the album. It is a great representation of what Thrice's sound is. Their is a great beautiful melody to the track all the while having a heavy vibe to it. And the riffs by Teppei Teranishi on guitar are a soaring and beautiful star of the track.

So Riley Breckenridge on the drums puts in a superb effort that really stuck out to me while listening. He really is a driving force to this album on drums and it is his best work behind the kit on any of their albums in my opinion. As always Dustin Kensrue as a singer and lyricist continue to shine. I love how his voice have matured over the years in this band and he really gets after it in this album. Their is a real passionate weight and grittyness to his singing and he really howls with rage throughout the album. Couple that with his wonderful lyrics like this from the opening track.
You were built for blessing but you only make them bleed, but you don’t care, you don’t care.
And bruises are but shadows of the blackness that you breathe but you don’t care, you don’t care.
The light that's left inside their eyes is darkened day by day but you don’t care, you don’t care.
The presence pulls the color from the world til all is grey
but you don’t care, you don’t, you don’t, you don’t.
Those along with the rest of the lyrics throughout the record give for a much darker tone in their sound on this effort. Another element that drives home the darker feel is the overall strong songwriting and instrumentation throughout 'Major/Minor. Their songs have a great atmosphere to them that really know how to let a song breathe when needed or at other times have a dense hard rocking sound that never feels cluttered. Their really isn't an element of this band that I do not enjoy, which brought about another stellar effort with this release. The three tracks that are highlights in particular for me are 'Yellow Belly', 'Call It In The Air', and 'Anthology'. The third of which I have embedded from soundcloud. Let me know what you think...

Thrice - Anthology by Vagrant Records

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wed. 9/14/11 - Jeremiah Red & The Silent Comedy

Went to a show within 15 minutes of where I live, what a novel concept. Though I still couldn't make it to the Continental Room on time to be able to see Kopecky Family Band which I heard some friends say were quite good. And I feel bad because they came all the way from Nashville so not like I will easily get the chance to easily see them again. Well onto what I did see. So the first band I was there to see perform was Jeremiah Red and they unleashed an explosive set of southern style rock that I could really get behind. This was some serious no bullshit rock n roll that was exactly what I wanted and actually had the majority of the Orange County bar scene engaged in the show. The lead guitarist had some very impressive guitar parts that really drove the songs. I also loved the passion and soul that came through the band while they were singing. I am definitely looking forward to checking them out again and again.

The other band I saw that night was The Silent Comedy who are a band from San Diego and also are in the Southern Rock genre or style or whatever. A little less rock and a little more melody then Jeremiah Red but still a damn good show was put on. And when they needed to rock out they did it full out and really ended on a high note with the lead singer/bass guitarist out in the crowd that really pushed their set over the top and you couldn't help but want to stomp or clap or do whatever along with the song, just be a part of the this special moment that they created while playing the hell out of a great a song. Along with the lead in the crowd they had their banjo(who was also on the mandolin or guitar for certain songs) player standing on the divide that separated the crowd from the stage towering over us and making it seem larger than life and just adding to the overall atmosphere of rocking balls to the wall out. Though I can't believe I got this far and haven't mentioned the keyboardist, who was excellent, and whose parts were the main driving force of most of the songs and gave them a really fun vibe that made you want to move your feet. I am a little mad at myself that I walked out of their without grabbing one of their records but my friends that I was with were ready to head home so off we went. I highly recommend if you see The Silent Comedy playing somewhere you should check them out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saturday, September 3rd 2011

A little late getting this post up about the first showcase by the blog Feed Your Head at Lot 1 Cafe and for once I wasn't late for the first performer of the night. Which was Omar Velasco and he really blew me away with the great melody of his singing. On top of that the songwriting was very interesting and impressive being that he was alone on stage with just his guitar sometimes acoustic sometimes electric but always splendid. More people should made it out early because you missed a real treat and I look forward to hear more from Omar Velasco in the future.

The second band was Dirt Bird and while the two girls in the band are very impressive singers and had a an interesting minimalist gothic sound to them just wasn't for me. Though I seemed to be in the minority in this opinion for those attending so I am just going to move forward to the reason I made the trip to Lot 1 tonight.

And that reason was to see Rob Danson and his band Death to Anders play and they did not disappoint. Lead singer/guitarist Rob Danson has such a great and unique sound to his voice and the way he plays guitar that I can listen to him play all the time and not get bored. They debuted a few new songs and are just as solid if not better than any of their older stuff that I am really excited to hear the finished product from their time in the studio.

And to finish the night was the wonderful Judson McKinney. Who has the great 60's folk quality to his songwriting that harkens back to great songwriting of a time passed. Though with more rock and roll influence in the final product than just straight folk music, but he is just as good when he played a song without any backing band so it had just him and his guitar. My favorite part of Judson McKinney's music was the use of a violin as the lead instrument for most of the songs and what a great unique stamp it gave to the bands sound. This was my first time seeing them play and I know it won't be my last as I greatly enjoyed their music.

I want to say for Brad's first show he put together he got a lot of great music and was a good time had by all that made it. I know I plan on making it to his show next month cause word on the street is George Glass is playing and that is something you don't want to miss....

Friday, September 2, 2011

George Glass Music Video

My friend's in the band George Glass just put out their first music video and it is a lot of fun, so check it out and tell them how awesome it is and how great the song Welcome Home is as well....

oh that is the lovely Sarah Negahdari from the Happy Hollows playing an old-timey flapper girl so how can you not love this video....