Front Line Assembly rules all, releases remix album ECHOES!

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Let it be known that I do not like remix albums. At all. Of my favorite artists to do so, there’s only a handful that I find tolerable (Nine Inch Nails’ Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D, Death From Above 1979’s Romance Bloody Romance: Remixes & B-Sides immediately come to mind). I guess I just tend to like the originals more and I’m usually just impatient waiting for another studio album. That said, with a remix artist roster like the one Front Line Assembly has but together for ECHOES, the remix companion to last year’s ECHOGENETIC, my skepticism has been quelled because this is a remix album that’s actually worth a damn.

It doesn’t get much better than this line up: Former FLA-er Rhys Fulber, upstarts Youth Code, Cyanotic, tweaker, and the indomitable force that is Primitive Race are just a few of the artists reinterpreting songs from Bill Leeb, Jeremy Inkel, and Jared Slingerland’s latest opus.

Doing a track-by-track would be a disservice to ECHOES as the the album needs to be experienced as a whole but I will say that it really hits the sweet spot and kicks into high gear when Blush Response’s (Joey Blush of Scar The Martyr) version of “Echogenetic” strikes. Then you get Henrik Blackstrom’s “Exhale”, HECQ’s “Prototyp”, Slighter’s “Leveled”…what I’m saying is, listen to it! It’s epic and undeniably Front Line Assembly at the core.

Did I mention that ECHOES also features two BRAND NEW SONGS? Well, it does! Co-written by Sneaker Pimps’ (Gone, but not forgotten!) Ian Pickering, “Contagion” which opens the album is the result if Delerium and FLA were to make an album together (And yes, I know what the connection is there) while “Next War” is a heavy dance track more in tone with last year’s ECHOGENETIC without the dubstep.

You can get all this and more if you shell out for the digital version of ECHOES on Itunes which features 4 bonus tracks or go with the standard edition which is also available now through Metropolis Records.

 

Tomboy slows down on “Hang Out”, further teasing upcoming EP.

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“Hang Out” might be a slow burn compared to last single “Roll Out” but shows the range of things to come on Tomboy’s upcoming EP, due this summer.

William Shore’s brilliant beats and beautiful synths create a spacious sonic landscape that serves as the backdrop for Sarah Aument’s breathy, enticing vocals. Aument hints at even greater things previewing a smooth cadence early on in “Hang Out” that gives a slight Beyonce vibe (Hey, Beyonce is a great singer!).

If “Roll Out” got you excited for Tomboy then “Hang Out” will only further your obsession with Tomboy.

Listen to “Hang Out” below and stay tuned for more details on Tomboy’s upcoming EP.

 

Emma Ruth Rundle unveils Some Heavy Ocean, the music world explodes!

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Listening to any of the outfits that Emma Ruth Rundle is affiliated with (Red Sparowes, Marriages, The Nocturnes) is a religious experience so it should come as no surprise that if you choose to listen to her latest offering, Some Heavy Ocean, you’ll be a convert for life.

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Emma Ruth Rundle goes it alone this time and bares all for an album that’s equal parts brilliant, beautiful, and undeniably earnest. Some Heavy Ocean brings a different kind of “heavy” then what you might expect from Rundle but it’s no less potent. Stripped down but all encompassing nonetheless (This is definitely a “must listen with headphones” kind of album), SHO opens up with the slow crescendo of its title track featuring Rundle in backwards-speak mode and setting the tone immediately: expect the unexpected!

If you follow Marriages social media at all (Check em out here and here!), you might remember they premiered a version of next track “Shadows Of My Name” early in 2013. Here, you get the complete version and it’s a little more subdued than the Marriages version but no less amazing.

Throughout the album, Rundle continually astonishes showcasing a vocal range that is unparallelled when compared making her one of the best female vocalists, no, make that vocalists out there today. And that’s not even touching the exquisite song structure and lush arrangements that she brings to Some Heavy Ocean!

Moving forward, “Oh Sarah” really focuses on Rundle’s angelic side while “Haunted Houses” features a gorgeous string orchestration that brings a certain air making the song truly “haunted”. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention “Run Forever” which is easily one of the best tracks of 2014 off one of the best releases of the year.

Some Heavy Ocean is out now. Get a digital copy instantly through the almighty bandcamp or if you like to hold your music in your hands (I’ve already got my vinyl), then head over here.

 

Powerman 5000 successfully crowdfunds new album, releases new single!

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It’s funny how there was once this middle ground between the Cummings boys of Haverhill, MA when White Zombie was achieving mainstream appeal and Powerman 5000 was just starting out and now, the respective bands have almost entirely traded sounds with each other. While Rob Zombie has embraced more of a rock sound since going solo (But without the funk/groove aspects that were found in early PM5K recordings), Spider One has evolved into a futuristic cyber rocker making music that would’ve been the next step after Astro Creep 2000.

But I digress. Too much.

Powerman 5000 is back with Builders of the Future (due on May 27th) and their latest single from the upcoming album, “Invade, Destroy, Repeat”, is a rollicking slab of electro-metal that’ll have fans banging their heads and singing along instantly.

You can pre-order your copy of Builders of the Future now over on AmazonItunes or at their Pledgemusic page.

To hear “Invade, Destroy, Repeat” now head on over to Loudwire.com for an exclusive stream.

 

 

Video View: Tomboy “Roll Out”

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Think Martina Topley Bird (Or Sarah from The Good Natured) fronting a hyper Massive Attack filled with vast instrumentation and sporting a beat to keep your toe tapping ’til the end. Oh, and there’s hand claps. In other words, everything one needs in a perfect single. Comparisons aside, Tomboy makes some pretty fantastical catchy music. The just released “Roll Out” single and video will be appearing on their debut EP due out this summer. But for now you check out the video below and head on over to their Facebook page for up-to-the-date info!

 

Video View: Tom Vek “Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)”

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It’s no secret that Tom Vek is one of our favorite artists over at RNRF so when news came that his third album was almost upon us, we kinda freaked. We also freaked when a release date for Luck was locked down (June 9th) and then freaked some more when “Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)” was released a short time again.

Now comes the video and guess what we did again? Yeah, we kinda freaked, and once you hear the tune you will too.

The track is a great post-punk little ditty with a fuzzed out bass and some great wailing guitar lines that seem to take inspiration from the track Vek recorded with DJ Shadow some time ago (“Warning Call”). The video is equally exciting when Vek’s uncanny voice cuts through the swath of sound as he shimmies and shakes wearing a self designed shirt no less!

Make sure to follow Tom Vek on Facebook for more info and check out pre-orders for Luck here and here. And if you like what you see here, check us out on FB here.

 

 

“Destroy My Love” will not ‘destroy’ your love of Those Mockingbirds!

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Didja get a chance to check out Those Mockingbirds when they hit New England last month? No? Then you missed one helluva show AND maybe a chance to catch this little number live.

The song is “Destroy My Love” and if it’s even the slightest indicator of what the upcoming full-length from Those Mockingbirds is going to sound like then we, the music lovers, are in for a treat this year. Striking the perfect balance between the raucous “How To Rob A Bank” and the somber “A Ballad From Hell”, “Destroy My Love” goes deeper adding some Middle Eastern mysticism before a blistering finale.

Check it out below and stay tuned for more from your new favorite band, Those Mockingbirds!

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 2 (3.29.14)

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At seven albums in, Lacuna Coil continue to grow so it should comes as no surprise that Broken Crown Halo pushes the band even further. Just when fans think they know who their beloved band is and what they’re capable of, a ferocious song like “Victims” comes along which sees co-vocalist Cristina Scabbia delivering a vicious spoken word diatribe. Later, there’s the industrial power ballad “Cybersleep” where Scabbia opens up with an autotuned intro (which rears it’s mechanical head during the outro as well) and continues breaking new ground for the band.

I don’t quite remember Lacuna Coil being so Korn-ish which is not necessarily a bad thing just surprising as the downtuned guitars explode on defiant  opener “Nothing Stands In Our Way” and continue throughout the rest of Broken Crown Halo. BCH also sees LC at their creepiest with an eerie synth permeating throughout the opening onslaught sounding like some leftover score cues from Nightmare On Elm Street (The original, obviously). “Zombie” showcases co-vocalist Andrea Ferro, who really sinks his teeth in on this brutal banger. Next up the dreamy “Hostage To The Light” lets Scabbia strut her stuff in what is one of the most anthemic and beautiful Lacuna Coil offerings yet.

Of course, if you’re a purist and need your Lacuna Coil to just do what they do then pay close attention to tracks like “Infection” . However, if you’re like me and want the bands you champion to go one step beyond with each outing check out “In The End I Feel Alive” which brings back the Korn grooves as bassist Marco Coti Zelati does his best Fieldy impression (Hopefully not with the cross tattoo on his face) or closer “One Cold Day” which is the stuff of Tim Burton inspired nightmares.

Broken Crown Halo is out on April 1st through Century Media. Pre-order packages are available here.

 

 

 

Doom Abuse: The ultimate The Faint record?

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Doom Abuse, The Faint’s sixth album, took way too long to come out. Considering that The Faint ceased to be somewhere in the six years since their last album (2008’s Fasciination) was released it’s a miracle that fans are even holding a copy of Doom Abuse in their hands. But speaking of the album you should almost be holding in your hands by now (Vinyl copies are out now, available on CD and digitally April 8th), it is by and large well worth the wait. The sound of a band reinvigorated  and taking stock of what made them great in the first place but branching out into unknown territory at the same time, Doom Abuse grabs hold of everything that made The Faint unique in the past and fuses it with something even more futuristic and awesome. Worth the wait? Eff yes!

Mildly teased at the end of 2012 with the 10th anniversary Danse Macabre tour that heralded the “Evil Voices” 12″ (The sinister “Unseen Hand” has been slightly retooled to fit in here while “Evil Voices” remains mostly intact), Doom Abuse is finally here and it is easily the best, most fun, and most cohesive album The Faint has concocted thus far.

This is an album that was made to be danced to from the opening dischordant squeal of “Help In The Head” through to the synth fade out on “Damage Control”. The Faint live is this infectious moving beast that compels the audience to follow suit and dance like maniacs. Doom Abuse is a great soundtrack to that through and through. There’s the punk rock rabble rousings from Fasciination (“Salt My Doom”, “Scapegoat”), Danse Macabre throwbacks (“Lessons From The Darkness”) and some things that are completely new (“Mental Radio” is a Gary Numan meets The Cure amalgamation while “Dress Code” goes for Freedom Of Choice-era Devo).

In other words, Doom Abuse has *ahem* something for everybody.

At the end of the day, this was the album The Faint needed to make after their hiatus. Todd Fink is at the top of his game on every track (Especially on the quintessential “Loss Of Head”), Dapose is a sonic maelstrom throughout as well while Jacob Thiele creates these epic synthetic soundscapes (“Animal Needs”) and Clark Baechle just keeps the beat alive incessantly.

Doom Abuse is out now as a Deluxe Double Vinyl Edition and out on April 8th in CD and digital formats.

 

 

Queen Kwong, “The Strange Fruit”: A ‘Ten Dimes’ Review

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There’s a handful of powerful female voices popping up across the airwaves over the past couple years.  From the dark, gothic rumblings of Chelsea Wolfe, to the folk songstress Laura Marling, or perhaps the guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern or emerging pop artists Sky Ferriera or Lana Del Rey?  All of them have something to say and are making no bones about getting their message across.  In some ways closer to the Marnie Stern vibe comes Carre Callaway – a young woman whose actually been in and out of the scene since 2009, when discovered in New Orleans by none other than NIN’s Trent Reznor.

She’s the solo artist behind the moniker Queen Kwong and she recently collaborated with Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit, Black Light Burns) on her new single, “The Strangest Fruit.”  This was my first exposure to her as an artist.  I then tackled the smattering of EP’s and singles over on Spotify.  It’s interesting to see her growth as an artist in just three short years.  She’s equal parts Iggy Pop & The Stooges (“Eddie the Kid” single (2011)), post-punk a la Kim Deal (‘Bitter Lips” single (2011)), alterna-grunge a la Hole, or even Black Light Burns-like frenetic guitar work (2012’s “Long Gone” single).

“The Strange Fruit,” is another animal entirely.  Sparse keyboard notes, a shuffling percussion, and cinematic guitars take this track into shoegazer territory yet it holds a pop sensibility.  It’s rather brilliant stuff.  But Levar Burton really said it best.  Check out the video for the track below (sorry, no Wes cameo…)