Kid Cadaver – Kid Cadaver album review

Kid Cadaver are a three piece from Los Angeles. They have been active for the last couple of years, and this is their second release.

I am personally not a fan of the bands name, to the point where I had to force myself to listen to the songs contained in the download link. While the name might make one think that this is going to be some kind of campy horror-punk band, the band is actually some kind of danceable electro-rock music, at least in my opinion. Right out the gate, ‘Let Your Youth Show’ bursts out with a stadium-sized helping of singeableness. This song probably kills in a live setting.

These guys excel at writing melodic hooks and singable choruses that grab your attention and make you want to sing along. There is an almost wistful melancholy at work; check out the backing chorus on ‘Stable’. To see how they are able to reinvent a technique, notice how the background chorus makes a reappearance in the next track, ‘Hesitating’. Same technique, but the emotional impact is very different. ‘Hesitating’ also features some of their most catchy melodic phrasing.

If you’re looking for musical brutality and heaviness, you will not like these guys, but if you’re looking for solidly written material that is danceable and fun while being musical and intelligently constructed, definitely give these guys a whirl. This album could be the soundtrack for a really happening party, a testament to the beauty of youth.

The Get Togethers – Home As In Houston album review

Great music can help us through some truly trying times. Even in some of our bleakest moments, having such a pure emotional outlet to hold onto can act as a sort of beacon, illuminating a strength in ourselves we never knew existed. This acts inversely as well. As musicians create, they pull from within themselves to overcome immense existential trials.

Such is the case for Nashville, Tennessee-based The Get Togethers’ debut record, Home As In Houston. Released on September 24th, the group marries indie rock and pop with a finely tuned ear. On top of tight musicianship and infectious melodies, Bethany Gray Frazier’s tumult of an adolescence is the basis of the entire LP.

The listener is taken back to the year 2007. Then seventeen, Bethany Gray becomes romantically involved with one of her teachers. The police investigations and court hearings that would follow alienated her from her peers, an almost impossibly real turn of events that led to a devastating high-speed car collision, marking the end of this chapter of her life. Each track on Home As In Houston is named for one month of the year, describing the events that transpired in each month. Acting almost as a diary, the album trudges through heartbreak, loss and desolation, narrated by Gray Frazier herself. The lyrics are dense, with an overwhelming capacity for lovelorn catharsis, but are delivered plainly. It is devastatingly easy to feel exactly what she feels, becoming involved in the story.

Even aside from the loose narrative and obvious thematic elements, Home As In Houston stands strong musically. The standard rock outfit matches the tone of the lyrics almost effortlessly, with practically unforgettable hooks and driving choruses, both complimenting Bethany Gray Frazier’s vocal work and carving out its own path just beneath her dreamy croon.

With the release of the Home As In Houston LP now under their belts, The Get Togethers are planning a full US tour for the fall of 2013. The single, “June,” can be streamed on the band’s SoundCloud page while the record hits digital and select brick-and-mortar stores. The Get Togethers have truly set a high bar for themselves and their brand of indie pop.

Crystal Shipsss – Dirty Dancer album review

Berlin based musical mastermind Jacob Faurholt is back with his newest creation under the moniker of Crystal Shipsss. This is a fairly lengthy affair, spanning 13 tracks in length, and will be available September 23rd.

Crystal Shipsss seems to revel in schizophrenic isolation. The displaced quality of the vocal track in the overall mix would seem to bear testament to this fact. There are times when the vocals are swimming in a sea of aural chaos; lyrics such as the oft-repeated ‘I’m not crazy’ further reinforce this understanding. As with all other instances, the insistence on the sanity of the protagonist would appear to underpin the notion that sanity is in fact not within his grasp.

Musically, the aural aesthetic is an extension of the last album. There is a lot of reverb and distortion, but whereas a metal band would use the distortion and reverb to elicit a type of bludgeoning force, the use of distortion is much closer to the concept embedded in the name, while the reverb supports that sense of dislocation and questionable mental fitness.

The use of distortion as an effect results in a type of aural obscuratanism, a blurring of instrumentation and definition, something almost psychedelic and deconstructed. This might explain the overarching emphasis on sanity at different points, because this is in fact the musical rendition of a mind on lysergic, the soundtrack to a mind-blowing peak.

The thing that ties this bit of neo-psychedelia together is the sense of melody that was in evidence on the last album. In a very oblique way, the melodic element in Crystal Shippps’ music is similar to the melodic devices employed by Albert Ayler- simple, diatonic, catchy and singable, a perfect foil to the sheer trippiness of the rest of the proceedings.

Leif Vollebekk – The Media Club, Vancouver. October 6th, 2013

Leif Vollebekk has quickly become on of my favourite new musicians. This process occurred immediately upon exposure with great ease.

Vollbekk, is a young man who currently resides in Montreal. He recently released his second album “North Americana” after his 2010 debut “Inland” . North Americana is a heart wrenching, soul stirring and mind modifying storm. It is a marvellous piece of work that does mysterious things to me.

I was eager to sit down with Vollebekk and pick his brain about the process of creating an opus.

He explained the album taking more time than anticipated due to the refusal for mediocrity and a sound he didn’t feel comfortable with. He recorded with his perfectly suited band, traveled throughout the seasons and worked with the incredible Howard Bilerma (Godspeed, Arcade Fire) and Tom Gloady (Sigor Ros, Ryan Adams) and collaborated with Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire). Each song was recorded live to tape and no compromises were made.

The musicianship, audacity and emotive responsibility is evident in every moment of North Americana.

It is naked, rare and un-apologetic. Vollebekk shared that it is an autobiographical piece of work with room for interpretation. Vollbebekk is also shockingly approachable, hilarious and warm.

The concert itself was at the cozy Media Club. Michael Feuerstack (Snailhouse) opened and shattered everyone’s hearts; properly seasoning us for the emotional and interplanetary evening.

Vollbekk’s show was an experience unlike any other. His band- Hans Bernhard (bass), Phillippe Melanson(drums), Joe Grass (pedal steel) and Adam kinner (tenor sax) are excellent musicians who work together like one person with several limbs.
There was a absolute sense of presence in everything, the songs performed have never sounded that way before and never will again. This is evident of Vollebekk allowing to play without borders and invite his music as a burrow directly into him self. There was no sense of stress, fatigue or deceit. . The music just happened and it happened stunningly.