Saturday, March 29, 2008

Biomechanical - "Cannibalised" CD Review (Earache Records)

Biomechanical - Cannibalised CD ReviewUntil I read the band's press release, I wouldn't have known that this disc is the conclusion of a conceptual trilogy that began with Eight Moons. John K says that "This story is told from somebody who realized there is no way out of this reality. Cannibalised is the acceptance of the death of his spirit. Every song is a different take of his emotions. The songs don't run like a story, but describe different thoughts as he plunges into darkness."

Cannibalised is the hardest and most musically dense release of the trilogy. As with the past two releases, John K mixes cinematic themes and layers of sound with blistering power-metal. John's voice ranges from an operatic falsetto (like Halford or Dickenson) to a Cookie Monster death metal growl. Aside for John K, the band completely changed over from The Empires of the Words and the songs on this disc highlight some killer guitar work from newcomers Chris Van Hayden and Gus Drax. Chris Tsangarides continues on from Empire as producer and his crystal clear production emphasizes the band's dense musical soundscapes. Right when the intensity of the band's attack starts to get overwhelming, the band changes pace. "Breathing Silence" and "Consumed" are two of the more interesting and diverse tracks on this release.

There is so much going on within this disc that it requires multiple listenings to take everything in. Multiple listenings though are well worth the effort as Biomechanical is far from your average metal band.

Biomechanical's MySpace Page
Biomechanical's Website

Cassettes Won't Listen Continue Tour of Brooklyn Industries Stores Tomorrow (March 30th)

Cassettes Won't Listen Play 4 Shows at Brooklyn Industries Tomorrow (March 30th)Cassettes Won't Listen caught my attention with their free download "One Alternative" (a takeoff on the 90's 'No Alternative' compliation). I was intrigued that CWL is playing 6 shows at local Brooklyn Industries stores this weekend in support of a new shirt that main man Jason Drake designed so I stopped by the first show @ Brooklyn Industries' Smith Street location.

CWL played a 20-25 minute set in the front window of the store. After watching the performance, I'd like to see a full set ( I guess that says it all). Here are some of my pictures from the show.

Here is the schedule for tomorrow's four Brooklyn Industries shows:
12:00: Williamsburg - (162 Bedford at N. 8th St)
2:00: SoHo - (286 Lafayette bet. Prince and Houston)
3:30: W. Village - (500 Hudson St. at Christopher St.)
5:00: Chelsea - (161 8th Ave. at the 18th St.)

Cassettes Won't Listen is also playing Limewire's party at Crash Mansion on April 4th (another free show).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

State Bird: Interview with Coby & Jared + Live Footage from The Annex, NYC

State Bird's second CD, Mostly Ghostly, came out at the end of February and the band kicked off a 5 week tour last night at The Annex. I posted a review of Mostly Ghostly last month and this disc is still one of my favorite releases of 2008.

I caught up with Coby and Jared before they went onstage at The Annex and filmed a brief interview along with "I Saw The Light" which the band opened their set with.

State Bird is playing Friday night at Fat Baby along with Jaques Chirac and tickets are only $10.

State Bird's Website
State Bird's MySpace Page

Gorilla Biscuits and CIV Added to Black N Blue Bowl @ Studio B, April 5th

Gorilla Biscuits and CIV added to Black N Blue Bowl, Studio BI have been procrastinating getting tickets for this show but this recent announcement will get me moving. Black N Blue Productions have comfirmed that both Gorilla Biscuits and CIV will be playing the show next Saturday. I don't think Gorilla Biscuits have played in NYC since their 2006 shows at CBGB and BB Kings and CIV broke up in 2000. The lineup includes Agnostic Front, Madball, Terror, Breakdown (reunion), and Fahrenheit 451.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another Big Machine - Interview with Justin McCoy

Interview with Justin McCoy from Another Big MachineLast week, I caught up with Justin McCoy, lead singer of Baton Rouge-based band Another Big Machine. A.B.M. formed a couple of years ago and have a pop/rock sound that is somewhat similar to bands like Matchbox 20 and Better Than Ezra. The band just finished recording their self-titled debut CD which is due out in early summer on the Rising Storm/Universal label.

The band is hitting the road shortly on a radio station tour in support of the new CD and hopefully a full-band tour will follow.

Here is a direct link to the interview with Justin McCoy and here is the RSS feed.View RSS XML

Another Big Machine's MySpace page

Echoes and Shadows - Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY 3-20-08

Echoes & Shadows went on right before New Model Army last Thursday night at Southpaw. Echoes & Shadows was formed from the remains of the goth/industrial band Still Life Decay and play down-tempo, dark ambient instrumentals. The band made their NYC debut in late 2006 opening for NMA and they are opening all of the local dates on New Model Army's current tour.

Echoes & Shadows have a self-released debut LP/CD, "An Emissary of Mine", which is available through the band's MySpace page. Guitarist Edu Mussi is also a member of Ascension of the Watchers with Burton C. Bell and Bell has joined Echoes & Shadows as a guest vocalist at past shows.

The band's next show is April 18th at the Mercury Lounge with New Model Army.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lair of the Minotaur Releases New Disc, Plays Knitting Factory on May 26th

Lair of the Minotaur release new disc on Southern Lord; NYC show on May 26thChicago's Lair of the Minotaur is releasing their third disc this Tuesday on Southern Lord. The new disc has a heavy sound and the band's press release describes it as "a concept album about solving conflicts with a big f*cking axe!" The band has made available an MP3 of the lead-off track, "Horde of Undead Vengeance".

Like most Southern Lord releases, this disc has beautiful packaging which features art by Jeremy Mohler and layout by Seldon Hunt. CD also contains a 20 page booklet with graphic illustrations for each song. There is also a limited edition version that contains a dropcard with a password activated web link to download exclusive live tracks recorded at a show in Chicago in October 2007.

LotM are touring with Kylesa (check out their cover of Interstellar Overdrive, which is a free download on Kylesa's MySpace page) and The Ocean.

Lair of the Minotaur's Website
Lair of the Minotaur's MySpace page

Anti-Flag Play MySpace (Not So) Secret Show at Knitting Factory on Wednesday, March 26th

Anti-Flag Play MySpace Secret Show at Knitting Factory on March 26thPolitical punkers Anti-Flag have a new CD, "Bright Lights of America" coming out on April 1st, and are playing a FREE MySpace "Secret Show" at the Knitting Factory on Wednesday, March 26th. This is likely to be a pretty crazy show as it is first-come, first-serve with doors @ 8PM so I would expect the line to start early. Anti-Flag is playing venues 2x - 3x the size of the Knitting Factory on their current tour so there is no way everyone who shows up is going to get in.

Now, if you can get in...Brooklyn's Outernational are opening and are worth getting in early for. Outernational had a Knitting Factory showcase canceled earlier this month when the club was closed by the fire mashal because of a broken water pipe. Outnational has a "Rage Against the Machine crossed with World Music" sound and was just in California recording their debut CD with Rage's Tom Morello.

Anti-Flag's MySpace Page
Knitting Factory

Pennywise - New CD Available for Free on MySpace

New Pennywise CD Available for Free Through MySpaceThis is an interesting promo - if you 'friend' Textango on MySpace before March 25th, you will receive high quality DRM-free high-quality MP3s of the new Pennywise CD for free.

This is the band's ninth CD and will be released on MySpace Records in the US (I didn't know MySpace had a label) and Epitaph in Europe and Asia. The European vinyl version (limited edition) will contain two bonus tracks unique to this release.

Click on the CD cover to go to Textango's Myspace page.

Pennywise's MySpace page

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bell Hollow - Live @ Southpaw, Brooklyn March 20, 2008

Bell Hollow opened for New Model Army Thursday night at Southpaw. Bell Hollow has been around for a few years but Thursday's show was the first time that I saw the band play live. Simply put - the band is impressive...Bell Hollow perfectly captures the shoegazer sounds of the early 80's Brit-pop bands. Points of comparison are The Chameleons and The Smiths.

Bell Hollow released their first full-length release, Foxgloves, last year on the five03 Records label. Three of the CD's 10 tracks are streaming on Bell Hollow's MySpace page. Standout tracks are "Copper Crayon" and "Eyes Like Planets".

The band's next show is at Annex on April 10th with Thrushes, Soundpool and The Art of Shooting.

Christian Death/CD1334 Call It A Day - Final Show Later This Month

Christian Death/CD1334 Call It A DayThe original ("Only Theatre of Pain") Christian Death line-up (minus Rozz Williams) reunited just over a year and, after some initial shows in Los Angeles, have been touring Europe. I was hoping the band would come to the East Coast but, according to Rikk Agnew's MySpace page, the band's show in Mexico City on March 29th will be the band's last.

It sounded like a good idea when the band got back together and a new album was supposed to follow. Unfortunately, the band seemed to be plagued by problems from the get-go. First George Belanger (drums) dropped out of the band and then the lawsuit from Valor followed. It appears that bassist James McGearty has also left the band, replaced by someone named Corwin.

A live DVD from the band's first official show last April at the Henry Fonda Theatre was supposed to have been released in December on Horror Rock Records but it doesn't look like the site has been updated in a while. Hopefully this disc doesn't end up getting tied up in litigation...

There are a bunch of clips from the band's reunion tour on YouTube. Here is Spiritual Cramp from the band's show in Madrid.

Christian Death 1334 - Spiritual Cramp

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tantric - An Interview with Hugo Ferreira

Tantric - Interview with Hugo FerreiraYesterday, I spent some time catching up with Hugo Ferreira, lead singer from Tantric. Hugo reformed Tantric with a new lineup and the band has a new disc, "The End Begins", due out on April 22nd on the Silent Majority Group label. The first single from the new disc, Down and Out, is available on iTunes and is getting some good airplay. (The track is also streaming on the band's MySpace page)

Hugo was kind enough to let me record the interview so here is a link to the mp3 and also a link to the RSS feed.

The band is playing a few shows in the Northeast and will be touring the US in April with Vayden.

Tantric's MySpace Page

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Simone Celebrates Nina Simone's 75th Birthday @ the Canal Room, NYC 2-21-08

Last month, Nina Simone's daughter Simone celebrated what would have been her mother's 75th birthday with a tribute concert at the Canal Room. The Canal Room show was to celebrate songs from Simone's upcoming CD Simone on Simone, which is a big band tribute to her mother. Simone on Simone is scheduled for release on May 13th (on Koch/High Priestess). The new CD features some of Nina Simone's little known gems such as "I Hold No Grudge" and "Don't Pay Him No Mind" along with well-known songs such as "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair" and "Love Me or Leave Me".

Simone's next concert in the area is at Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, PA on March 29th.

Simone's Website

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Acorn - Glory Hope Mountain CD Review

The Acorn - Glory Hope Mountain CD ReviewThe Acorn's sophomore CD, "Glory Hope Road", has been generating considerable buzz in the blogs. The band played their first US show last month here in NYC to a sold-out crowd at Union Hall. CMJ was at the show and here is a link to their photos and a brief review.

The Acorn's press bio describes "Glory Hope Mountain" as "a touching homage to the life story of Gloria Montoya Esperanza(loosely translated as Glory "Montoya" Hope), as told by her son, Rolf Klausener...Glory Hope Mountain is part historical narrative and part surreal fairy tale." Rolf Klausener recently did an interview with My Old Kentucky Blog and he describes the background for Glory Hope Mountain as "[t]he themes and some of the stories were culled from about 9 hours of interviews I conducted with my mother in the Spring of 2006. Originally, I set out to record her stories so that I could add them to the Klausener family history that my Great Uncle George compiled in Switzerland in the 1950's. The book documents our family's history going back to early 1500's." (Here is a link to the complete interview)

Musically, The Acorn falls somewhere between world beat (as they incorporate Honduran instruments and rythms) and Appalachian folk. For the most part, this music is a soundscape that accompanies and complements Klausener's vocals but rarely overshadows the vocal narratives. The is also a brief vocal interlude from Gloria Montoya Esperanza on the track "Sister Margaret". Lyrically, the songs don't form an end-to-end story per-se but provide the basis for the re-telling of stories and events from Gloria's life.

This is an intimate and inviting record that should hold up well to repeated listenings.

The Acorn's MySpace page

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Toilet Boys - "Sex Music" CD Review

Toilet Boys - Sex Music CD ReviewThe Toilet Boys have returned for one last hurrah. A new CD of previously unreleased tracks, "Sex Music", was released in December on Dead City Records.

This isn't a Toilet Boys reunion though as the majority of tracks were written and demo'd by the band prior to their breakup in 2003. There is one newly written song on this disc, "Drug of Choice", along with a remix of this song by each of the three band members.

This disc is a fun return to the not-so-long-ago days when the East Village was both sleazy and dangerous. Anyone who caught the band's live show in the late 90's will know exactly what I mean. This disc captures the high-energy glam/gutter punk sounds of the first few Toilet Boys releases and the leadoff track, "Sex Music", sets the tone for the rest of the disc. "Sex Music" starts with a spoken word intro from Theo and Debbie Harry and song has the repeated chorus "This is the sound of flesh". To repurpose a quote that Sean Pierce gave to Rolling Stone 10 years ago...Sex Music is the sound of an "already an up-and-running rock & roll machine going for broke and kicking ass".

Aside for the remixes, which are fun but unessential, there isn't a bad track on this disc. The Toilet Boys even tip their hat to former tour mates The Ramones with a glammed-up cover of "Carbona Not Glue".

The band held a CD release party at the Marquee a few weeks ago but, sadly, have no active plans to record or tour. It looks like each of the Boys will keep on with their current solo projects - Sean is playing in Theo's band, Eddie is in Psychic TV and Miss Guy is finishing up a solo CD.

Protest The Hero - Photos from the Nokia Theatre, NYC 2-22-08

Here are some of my pictures from Protest The Hero's show last month at Nokia Theatre. The band has dropped off the Silverstien tour but they are heading out on the Warped Tour in June.

The Warped Tour has two stops in the NY/NJ area:
Jul 25 2008 12:00P WARPED TOUR-Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ
Jul 26 2008 12:00P WARPED TOUR-Venue T.B.A Uniondale, NY

Protest The Hero - Live @ Nokia Theatre, NYC 2-28-08

Previous Post: Live footage from Protest The Hero's show at Nokia + backstage interview with Rody Walker

Protest The Hero's MySpace page

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Teenage Prayers - An Interview with Tim Adams

BrooklynRocks Interview with Tim Adams from The Teenage PrayersYesterday I had a chance to catch up with Tim Adams, singer from The Teenage Prayers. The band started a tour earlier this month in support of their second CD, "Everyone Thinks You're The Best", which comes out Tuesday, March 18th. The band is currently in Austin, TX and are playing a showcase tonight at SxSW with Cassettes Won't Listen and Care Bears on Fire.

The Teenage Prayers are back in town on April 5th for a record release party at SoundFix (in Williamsburg).

Here is a direct link to the mp3 of the interview with Tim and here is a link to the RSS feed.

The Teenage Prayers' MySpace page

Hulda - "Always Haunted" CD Review

Hulda - Always Haunted CD ReviewThis is very little information about Hulda's history on the band's MySpace page so I wasn't able to find much background material. According to, "Always Haunted" is the band's second release and 'they have added keyboards to their sound with the inclusion of George on the keys'. The band has been around for about five years - I haven't kept up with their gig history but do remember the band opening for Mudhoney at the Knitting Factory in 2006.

The sticker on this CD says "Dark Edge Rock with female vocals. For fans of Lacuna Coil, Evanescence and Flyleaf". I'm not familiar with Flyleaf but I am not hearing the comparisons to Lacuna Coil or Evanescence. Hulda's music is closer to that of Concrete Blonde and the predominant keyboards leads to a comparison to 45 Grave. In a nutshell, this is 80's style dark-wave music.

Across "Always Haunted", the band doesn't deviate musically from their goth/dark-wave format but this isn't a bad thing. This disc has continued to hold my attention after a couple listens. Two tracks from this disc ("Blame the Devil" and "Always Haunted") are streaming on the band's MySpace page and that should give the listener a good feel for what the rest of this disc sounds like.

Stand-out tracks: "Everything's Back", "Blame The Devil" and "Green River"

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Canon Logic Play Sullivan Hall in the West Village tonight (March 7th)

The Canon Logic Play Sullivan Hall Tonight, March 7thPhiladelphia transplants, The Canon Logic, are playing Sullivan Hall tonight. Sullivan Hall is the old Lions Den (214 Sullivan Street). The band is playing with "A BIG YES...and a small no" (who goes on at 9:30PM) and tickets are only $10.

According to the The Canon Logic's MySpace page, the band relocated to Brooklyn and have their second release, "White Balloon", due out on May 20th. The Canon Logic earned some great press for their first EP with its blend of Beach Boys' style vocal harmonies mixed with Cheap Trick style power-pop. One of the stand-out tracks on the EP is Delia.

The band has such an incredibly tight sound, both musical and vocally, so I have been wondering how well this translates to the band's live shows. I just ran across an audience clip of the band performing acoustic version of Delia on World Cafe and they sounds great. (You can't fake it acoustically)

The Canon Logic are off to SxSW for a couple shows and the next local show is at The Tank on April 10th.

The Canon Logic's MySpace Page
The Canon Logic's Blog

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lost Tricks Headline Mercury Lounge on March 13th

Lost Tricks Headline Mercury Lounge on March 13thLost Tricks played Mercury Lounge this past January for a CD release show and the band is returning to the Mercury on March 13th for a headlining show with support from M-Lab. Lost Tricks is now a four piece band and this show is the biggest that they have played (yet) in support of the new album "Keep It Together".

In a previous post, I described Lost Tricks as "piano-based rock in the style of Keane and Ben Folds". For anyone who hasn't heard the band, there are a lot of tunes streaming on the band's MySpace page and there are some demos and rough mixes on the 'music' page of the band's website.

Tickets are only $10 and Lost Tricks take the stage at 10:30PM.

"Rock Over London" Showcase Returns to NYC on March 11

Rock Over London Takes Over the Lower East Side Clubs on March 11thBritian's traveling new music showcase, Rock Over London, is playing three cities in the US this month. This showcase takes over Piano's, Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom on March 11th before heading out for shows at SxSW and Los Angeles.

The big show is at Bowery Ballroom which hosts a "buzz" lineup of agit-pop bands The Pigeon Detectives and Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jongs, along with folkie Emmy the Great. Tickets are only $10.

Mercury Lounge hosts a night of British rap/hip-hop artists. The lineup includes Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Sway and Riz MC. Tickets are only $14.

Piano's is hosting an eclectic mix of singer/songwriters. The lineup includes Liz Green, Declan Bennett and Son of Dave. This show starts at 10PM and tickets are only $10.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Baltimore's Kix to Play New York and New Jersey in June

Kix Reunites and Plays Shows in New York and New Jersey in JuneHere is where I show my age...I must have seen Kix play over a dozen times while growing up in Baltimore.

Kix and Crack The Sky were the "local" bands that everyone thought would make it big. Kix called it a day in the mid-90's but the band started playing reunion shows around the Baltimore area a few years ago. Kix is finally playing a few shows outside of the Mid-Atlantic and has scheduled shows in New York and New Jersey in June.

Here are the dates:
June 06 – Dexter's Entertainment Complex - Riverdale, NJ
June 07 - Mulcahy’s Concert Hall - Wantagh, NY

It has probably been 15 years since Kix was last in NY so GET OUT AND SEE THE BAND as this is a rare area show. Kix always puts on a great live show and I have read that the Baltimore reunion shows have been great.