Breton like you even if you’re a Tourist on new single “Envy”!

Steel drums come alive tonight on Breton’s latest single off the forthcoming War Room Stories. There’s not much to say about “Envy” after you hear it once. It’s incredible and expands greatly on the sound the UK based filmmakers-turned-music wizards created on a series of EP’s and on their debut full-length, 2012’s Other People’s Problems.

“Envy” takes it all to the next level. It’s bouncier and is wholly more organic than some of Breton’s earlier works adding a Caribbean flair but still retaining their core sound.

The sure to be brilliant new album is due on February 3rd. Pre-order yours today right here and, of course, check out “Envy” over on Breton’s Soundcloud page!

 

Reverend & the Makers is back with “Your Girl”, new album!

Easily my most favorite single of 2012, Reverend & the Makers’ Youth-produced “Bassline” was a throbbing good time of electrified dance floor goodness. Following up that single and the album that followed (@Reverend_Makers) would surely be no easy feat but here we stand in 2013 on the cusp of another Reverend classic in the making as the group, no collective, release “Your Girl” off the upcoming album  Thirty Two due in February of 2014.

Does it hold a candle to their other material? Oh yes! It’s like “Bassline” went off and mated with Liam Howlett and produced this beautiful bastard of club thumping awesome. You can decide for yourself by listening to “Your Girl” below and then head over to their Pledgemusic campaign page to support the new record and get some exclusive perks in the process (Including a house gig if you live in the UK).

Thirty Two is out on February 24th.

 

 

Lady Gaga is the shit! A Rock And Roll Fables review of ARTPOP

I like Lady Gaga. I do. I was a fan when she first popped up on the scene during NKOTB’s comeback The Block  way, way back in 2008 and loved her debut and was even more taken back by the follow-up EP/mini-album The Fame Monster. Am I a fan of the theatrics, the fanfare, the persona? Nope. I grew up in a Marilyn Manson/Slipknot era of shock rock/metal so maybe I’m just desensitized to it all but the extra flair does nothing for me. However, it’s incredible that just listening to a Gaga track instantly evokes images of what the dance routine will be like on stage.

That said, I do believe that Stefani is a phenomenal performer. She captures that perfect mix of Britney and Christina but just does it better and on ARTPOP she immediately brings to mind a musical icon when she at times channels Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor.

Born This Way was not the album that needed to follow the breakout success of “Bad Romance”. For all you monsters out there that felt slighted by her second studio album (I don’t consider myself a “monster” by the way), her third full-length will instantly quell your fears.

“Aura” is this gorgeous opener that draws listeners in with a subtle flamenco line and Gaga’s effects-laden vocals before giving way to a larger than life dance pop party as the pop star belts out  “Aura-a-a-ah!” circling back to the “Ra ra…” chorus of “Bad Romance”.

From there on out, ARTPOP gets bigger and bolder. “Venus” is a raucous space jam, “G.U.Y.” is a divine electro romp, and “Sexxx Dreams” is a funky yet filthy little ditty about, um, you can use your imagination. It also features a nifty little bass line that one could picture John Taylor popping up for (Speaking of, why has there been no Simon LeBon/Lady Gaga duet yet?).

T.I. turns up along with Too Short and Twista for “Jewels n’ Drugs” which could be compared to Miley Cyrus’ recent foray into hip hop but unlike Hannah Montana, Gaga just executes everything better.

Midway through is when ARTPOP gets really interesting as the album traverses the stratosphere on the atmospheric “Do What U Want” featuring R. Kelly and the title track which takes listeners to a whole different realm of awesome.

The lack of ballads is a plus in my book as well and luckily (For me, at least) when they do pop up they’re back to back and towards the end and followed by the massive “Applause” to close out a triumphant third album.

ARTPOP is out on November 11th. Order it here and here.
Grade: A

Nachtmystium head into oblivion on new single “Voyager”

Blake Judd is heading towards the abyss. Drug problems. Band turmoil. You name it, he’s got it. One thing’s for sure, though, his musical integrity is still firmly intact. Despite his recent arrest, Judd is determined to power through and give fans one last hurrah and final albums from both his black metal supergroup Twilight and his main band Nachtmystium. Both are due out next year on Century Media and the first taste of the former is “Voyager”: a tumultuous 7 minute slab of sonic excess that once again reinvents Judd’s primary outfit.

At times hearkening back to 2008’s  Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1, “Vpyager” is a promising introduction to the already titled The World We Left Behind as Judd cries “No one can ever take away this lust!” repeatedly.

The World We Left Behind  is due in 2014 through Century Media. You can check out a stream of “Voyager” over on Stereogum.

 

 

 

Eminem is shit! A Rock And Roll Fables review of The Marshall Mathers LP 2

While checking out the latest from Eminem I realized that I am a subscriber to your token “white backwards hat wearing frat guy dude” in terms of my hip hop likes. Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Childish Gambino and yes, Eminem are all staples in my collection (Although I will say I really only listen to the former three on a regular basis. Sorry Slim!)

In terms of hip hop, I’m not an expert. I just know what I like. Black Sheep’s A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing is probably one of my all time favorites but then I go straight to Ice Cube’s Raw Footage or the CB4 soundtrack. In conclusion, I’m all over the place. But enough about me, we’re here for Marshall!

In short, the Rick Rubin/Dr. Dre-produced  album sounds forced and contrived. Remember when Korn reunited with Ross Robinson and released III: Remember Who You Are? Of course you don’t because it was awful. Same thing here. You can never go home again and as an artist, why would you want to?

“Bad Guy” starts off The Marshall Mathers LP 2 promising enough and brings to mind the dense opening track from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy but like most of the bloated tracks you’ll come to experience here it soon devolves into a juvenile rant that would’ve been fine on Eminem’s debut but here in 2013 it just sounds silly (Ooooh! Stan’s younger brother has come back to seek revenge!).

There’s moments of course like on “Rhyme Or Reason” featuring a familiar sample of The Zombies’ “Time Of The Season” or, actually no, those “moments” are few and far between. It’s a lyric here or a beat there but mostly TMMLP2 is a been there, done that record of forgettable nonsense that doesn’t hold a candle to Em’s peers. I won’t even begin on the the laughable and already panned “Bezerk”! I mean, c’mon, your first single is getting sold to a video game off the bat?!?! Or “So Much Better” because we needed another song about how awful your life life is and how another blonde betrayed you. You’re 41 for chissakes! Get over it or at least start making better choices.

I had this epiphany about halfway through the album which was maybe I’m just getting too old to appreciate a new record from Eminem but at the end of the day it’s like I said: I know what I like and I know I don’t like this!

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is out now for those that are interested.
Grade: F

Middle Class Rut release “Dead Eye” performance clip!

I had the honor of interviewing Middle Class Rut drummer/vocalist Sean Stockham soon after MCR’s second album Pick Up Your Head was released and he mentioned how “Dead Eye” was a last minute addition to the record. Last minute or not, it’s undoubtedly one of the strongest songs on the album (And my favorite). While fans await the premiere of the “official” clip of “Dead Eye” (Filmed in Anchorage, Alaska), MCR have released a performance clip of the song filmed during their recent tour as a part of the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival.

Pick Up Your Head is out now. Watch the video for “Dead Eye” below:

Trevor de Brauw of Pelican: A Rock And Roll Fables Interview!

The monolithic Pelican is back with a brand spanking new full-length entitled Forever Becoming (Released in October through Southern Lord recordings) and a new tour to accompany it. Recently, guitarist Trevor de Brauw spoke with Rock And Roll Fables about the challenges that awaited the band on album number five, how new guitarist Dallas Thomas is working out, and why it took so damn long to put out the album. Read on for more below:

 

It’s been over four years since your last full-length with only one EP in the interim. What caused such a gap between full-lengths?

When our last album was released in 2009 we were doing the band full time, touring constantly, and just generally following a constant cycle of writing and recording between tours. But at the end of that album’s tour cycle we were getting the feeling that that lifestyle and career path was not sustainable- we were on the road five months a year and scrounging for part time work when we’d get home to just barely scrape by. It was obvious that things had to shift; so we stopped touring and put the band on hold for a bit while we figured out how to make it work writing, recording, and touring-wise in a less time consumptive manner. The process of recording the EP was instrumental in that, actually, it kind of acted as an impetus to get moving again as well as laying a blueprint for how to make it work.

This is the first album without Laurent Schroeder-Lebec in the fold. What does Dallas Thomas bring to Pelican?

We’re all self-taught and have almost no music vocabulary at our disposal. Dallas is an actual musician who knows music theory. He has a distinct sense of when things work and when they don’t and knows how to communicate it effectively. I can tend to be a bit imprecise and non-committal about how I play specific parts, but Dallas is very into regimentation, so he reigns in some of those bad habits of mine.

Besides the new line-up, what sets Forever Becoming apart from other Pelican releases?

It’s the first album where Bryan and I acted as song writing collaborators. We’ve always tended to start the songwriting process as duos within the band, but over all these years Bryan and I never worked together at that stage of the process. It gave us occasion to really challenge each other and develop a different kind of musical rapport. I think it lent the material a reinvigorated sense of urgency.

You released “Deny The Absolute” early as a single/7″ on The Mylene Sheath with a different version ultimately appearing on Forever Becoming. This is the third album in a row using that approach (“Ephemeral” and “March To The Sea” come to mind as other examples). Do you tend to pick songs beforehand that will have two versions?

This is something we’ve always done. In part I think it stems from an impatience with the songwriting process- writing an album takes a long time and we get anxious and want to hear some of the stuff recorded earlier than later. Every time the song or songs we do early are more a matter if which song was fleshed out earlier than others. I think it also taps into our relationship to music as fans and collectors. Some of my favorite records of all time are EPs- the best ones are succinct and leave you wanting more, which is a really nice feeling in a way.

Pelican has been on a variety of labels over the years (The Mylene Sheath, Hydra Head, Southern Lord). What’s the appeal of mixing up labels and do you think there will ever be a permanent home for Pelican?

We’ve had the fortune of working with friends, for the most part. What’s been so tremendous and great about Hydra Head and Southern Lord is that both are musician-run labels, so they have full sympathy and trust in the vision we’re trying to achieve. Generally it’s nice to work with a few different people here and there just to get a sense about how people do things differently and maybe catch the attention of different people that might be following one label more closely than another, but the priority is always to work with people who want to help us fulfill our vision.

What is your proudest moment since starting with Pelican?

I think the first time our local daily paper Chicago Tribune wrote a feature about us was a big standout because our parents all took real notice. And they compared our music to yoga, which was sort of odd, but it made my dad really stoked since he’s very into yoga.

 

Welcome to the Fold!

If you’re reading this then it means that I’ve made it. I’m here all by my lonesome in the blogosphere to regale you with stories, musings, music news, reviews, and whatever nonsensical stuff comes out of my head. Am I sure about what I’m doing most of the time? Hells no! But I do know what I like and hopefully what interests me interests you from time to time.

I’ve been writing “seriously” for a little over five years now. I used to have a weekly comic column with Boston NOW (Remember them?), I was a frequent collaborator on popblerd.com (143 “Metal Monday” columns!), and I sometimes freelance for Boston Event Guide (Didja see my stellar review of The Avengers last year???). What I’m saying is, I have some experience. Cred? That’s still up in the air.

A couple of facts and figures for y’all:

-My tastes range from metal to pop to comic book geek out’s. I’m not into sports (Nascar is a lifestyle) and I hate Hilary Swank (Who breaks Steve Sanders heart???? Really!)

-I used to consider myself Megadeth over Metallica and then I turned to Metallica and then I saw Through The Never and now I am 100% Testament forevah!

-Desert island disc’s? I’ve got those! Kyuss Blues For The Red Sun, “Weird Al” Yankovic’ ST, Wall Of Voodoo Call Of The West, Quicksand Slip…and the fifth one changes constantly.

-Favorite movies? Got those, too! Jaws, Blues Brothers, Halloween, and Streets Of Fire (Have you seen the Facebook profile pic?) are the easiest to rattle off.

-I love The Hulk. Love. I’ve sat through some shitty runs in his comic book series, some shitty TV movies, and some shitty not-TV movies but he’s still my favorite of all time.

And that’s me, more or less, in a nutshell. If you want the serious 411 you’ll have to wait for the inevitable tell-all (Due in 2036). I have some fun things planned for this site and I hope you’ll join me me for the ride cuz it’s gonna be a fun one.

Welcome.