Video View: Nervous Nellie, “Skeletons”

51rf7LFhUUL._SL500_AA280_

“I got a heartbeat/I got some sense of self/I’ve got a closet/Skeletons on the shelf”

Thus begins “Skeletons”, the first track from Where The Nightmare Gets In-Theta: Chapter One by Sweden’s Nervous Nellie. It’s the lead track off the first in a series of mini-albums/EP’s that will eventually be released together as their fourth full-length in December.

But how does it sound?

Amidst a driving low end, layered synths and vocals reminiscent of Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears and New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander, Nervous Nellie explodes onto the scene with a sound that can be best described as indie post-punk Pop. Got it? Good.

And the video?

It’s cool! If you like fire, a sense of tribalism, and dig the song already then this is the perfect visual accompaniment.

Theta: Chapter One is available now on Amazon and Itunes. You can also stream it on Spotify, Rdio, and Deezer.

Where The Nightmare Gets In will be released in December. I , for one, am excited to hear what’s to come. To find out more about Nervous Nellie, head on over to their Facebook page here.

Lo-Pan channel a 96-foot tall statue on latest album Colossus

PromoImage (44)

If Torche and Roadsaw had a baby, the resulting bouncing baby boy would be Ohio’s Lo-Pan. Take those sludgy riffs and clean vox that bring to mind Roadsaw’s Craig Riggs and you have the recipe for something great. On Colossus, their fourth, Lo-Pan continually defy expectations to craft a monumentally monolithic masterpiece from start to finish.

“Regulus” instantly sets the tone for an album that’s filled with melody undercut by bone crushingly heavy riffs making for an interesting dichotomy throughout. “Black Top Revelation” shares some DNA with Small Stone labelmates Gozu while “Marathon Man” is a riffercise and a half.

The title track sounds exactly as you’d expect: either like the 96-foot tall statue for which the album was named or for a certain X-Man covered in organic steel. Yep, it’s that heavy. Meanwhile, “Vox” is a sonic eargasm and features Colossus cover artist Jason Alexander Byers (He, of Disengage and Black Black Black also) pitching in on the mic.

“Eastern Seas”shows off drummer J. Bartz as he crashes and churns like the waves of a mighty ocean while Jeff Martin’s vocals soar above swooping in to save listeners from the murky depths. Colossus finishes up with the rollicking “Relo” and “The Duke” which gives listeners a few more chances to appreciate the majesty of Skot Thompson’s bass and Brian Fristoe’s guitar wizardry.

Is this an album you need to own in 2014? Definitely! Colossus is out on October 7th through Small Stone Records. Yours can be pre-ordered right here. You can also catch Lo-Pan on tour now with Black Cobra. For dates and more, head on over here.

Jimmy Glitschy brings the desert rawk to Germany on selftitled!

cover

Jena rawk strikes again as another Bostonregina find makes their way to the RNRF office stereo. This time we’re checking out Jimmy Gltschy der einarmige Karussellbremser (Or just “Jimmy Glitschy” for short). If you’re a fan of Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions, Eagles Of Death Metal or the fuzzed out sounds that come from the fabled “generator parties” in Palm Springs then you might want to pay attention.

Great music is the kind that moves you somehow. Whether it’s physically or emotionally, great music needs to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, pull on your heartstrings or compel you to jump, bang your head, dance….whatever. It’s just gotta move you, okay! The beauty of Jimmy Glitschy’s selftitled is that it does all that and more.

From the opening laid back riffage of “Motorpsycho”, it’s apparent that Jimmy Glitschy isn’t your typical desert/stoner rock band. That’s even more apparent when “Dance! Or! Die!” kicks into high gear next and causes your booty to move involuntarily.  Later on, “Long Gone Dead” injects some country-fied twang into the musical repertoire while “Ma Baby” is, quite simply, a guitar party.

The songs that really stand out on selftitled are also the ones that’ll be stuck with you for days/weeks/years so buyer/downloader beware: if you don’t want the overwhelming power of Jimmy Glitschy to take hold of your body and soul, turn back now! I’m of course talking about “Fuzzmatazz” which leads the charge of the final wave of Glitschy greats on selftitled. If ever a song was deserving to stand in the upper echelon of desert rock anthems for the 21st Century, it’s “Fuzzmatazz” with a monolithic wall of guitars, some gruff vox, and a drum beat that’ll keep your head bobbing until the end. “We need more disko (do we?)” keeps the dancing alive and ups the riff factor, complete with an outro vocal refrain that’s sure to get you in trouble if you blast it in the office. Elsewhere, the lords of Kyuss shine down on “Killswitch” while bluesy closer “Slowrider” ends the album like the morning after a raucous night out on the town.

I’m not one to tell you what to do, I’m just here to provide an opinion with which you can make your own decisions. However, if you like any of the above mentioned bands, are a fan of desert rock, and have a pulse, then you should probably pick this one up.

selftitled is available now. You can get yours here and find out more about Jummy Glitschy here.

Rhys Fulber: A Rock And Roll Fables Conversation

“I just do what I do”

That’s what Rhys Fulber has to say when pressed about whether or not being on a specific label (Armada at the moment for his main musical outlet, Conjure One) influences his musical output. Who is Rhys Fulber, you ask? If you’re a fan of industrial music, metal, ambient electronica and even Pop then chances are you might’ve heard some of producer/mixer/programmer extraordinaire Rhys Fulber’s work over the last 20 or so years.

He’s worked with everyone from Fear Factory to Josh Groban and been a part of outfits ranging from the industrial noiseniks of Front Line Assembly to the ethereal dream makers of Delerium (Also featuring FLA’s Bill Leeb) and previously mentioned Conjure One. But how does a person a person go from “Pisschrist” to “Silence” with Sarah Mclachlan?

“It’s almost always a case of someone approaching you, so it’s really just deciding if you can listen to that music non-stop for a few months. I like to try things outside my comfort zone too, so sometimes the more different, the more exciting.  I did a jazz record in Canada a few years back for instance and that was a great experience.”

As for dream projects, Fulber continues: “I don’t really dream of working with anyone in particular because who is to say the feeling would be mutual!  So other than my childhood hero Pete Shelley,  I will stick to the more tangible, and say Devin Townsend, because we’ve dabbled with some stuff before and it seemed like we were onto something.”

He goes on to describe what the differences are in collaborating with different artists from Bill Leeb to Armin Van Buuren: “Working with those guys is again similar to my role as producer, but being more involved in the songwriting, and helping them get their ideas across. If I was to choose a collaborator myself, I’d go for someone who does something I don’t.  Like a great singer or a good player, guitarist or whatever other instrument.”

“As for producing, it’s really dependent on each artist or band and what they are trying to achieve.  With the heavy stuff it’s usually providing textural keyboards and programming but I’ve also done singer/songwriter type music where the programming gets all stripped away in favor of live players.  I find that when producing you spend most of the record working on vocals and finding the best arrangements for the songs.  So though I’m known for being a programmer, I’d say most of my time goes into the vocal production.”

And just because the man has surrounded himself with a number of prolific industrial artists, don’t expect his Ipod to be filled with tunes of the genre: “Other than the underrated Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect), not really.  I kind of checked out after the ‘glory years’ and already by 1992 I was following what became IDM and dance music, then more rock and metal.  Once in a while I will check some stuff out but mostly its either 1999 trance with distorted bro or Depeche vibes or its using the Ministry of 242 puppy-ebbs recipe, none of which interest me.  I think the spirit of what was once industrial music (like the original early ’80’s stuff) lives on more with proto dubstep artists like Burial or artists like Squarepusher.”

Through the producing, mixing, programming, and performing there have obviously been a number of career highs up until now and Fulber was gracious enough to share some of them: “I’m lucky enough to have had several, but if I have to pick two it would be having an actual global hit single with Delerium and Sarah McLachlan, which was both exciting, and surreal (and elusive!), then working with David Foster on Josh Groban because it seems about as far from my industrial beginnings as humanly possible.”

But Fulber’s career is far from over with a number of new projects on the horizon, some hitting sooner than others: “I’m almost finished mixing The Dreaming’s new record.  It’s a logical extension of what they did as Stabbing Westward, albeit more modernized, with lots of hooks and very strong vocal performances. It’s been fun to work on, and I got to add some analog synths as well.  After that its some of the usual suspects: new Delerium, Fear Factory’s next album and I’m almost wrapped the next Conjure One album, which is my main personal outlet now.  As if that’s not enough, there’s some other things running in the background that I don’t want to speak of until they solidify more.”

 

Welcome to Slab City, courtesy of Steak.

PromoImage

“I do like Steak. They’re the real deal. They’re mean. They’re lifers.”

If that quote from Mr. John Fucking Garcia doesn’t pique your interest in the UK’s Steak then I don’t know what will. On their first full-length following up some impressive EP’s (We reviewed the latest, Corned Beef Colossus, earlier this year), Steak  deliver in spades.

From the opening fuzzed out twangs of “Coma” through to the final pings of chaotic closer “Old Timer D.W.” (A modern day Southern-fried “Mondo Generator”, if you will), Slab City is a veritable stoner rock tour-de-force. To ease old fans into the new material there’s even an updated version of “Liquid Gold” with a different mix but still just as meaningful as the day it was birthed on the Corned Beef Colossus EP.

Elsewhere, the Kyuss references are bound to pop up again when the title track really gets into the groove with a riff that would make a 19-year old Josh Homme jealous. But if you’re looking to further those comparisons then try out “Pisser” when the man himself, John Garcia, pops up and drops some lines of knowledge during a massive riff-laden breakdown.

“Quaaludes and Interludes” provides a short and sweet, ahem, interlude for SC until “Roadhead” explodes from your speakers to turn it up once again. Then “Machine” and “Hanoid” provide a one-two punch that’s pure rawk ecstasy. If Kippa’s smooth delivery or Reece’s blistering solos and riffs don’t sway you, especially on that latter track, then you might want to check your pulse.

From the desert wasteland of England: it’s Steak! I know, right? They make sounds not of their country and not of this Earth because great music transcends area codes.

Slab City is out in North America on September 9th through Napalm Records. You can order yours here.

Grandfather’s latest offering, The Wolf, has fangs!

a0880372091_2 (1)

Bostonregina’s job sometimes causes her to travel the world which is a great thing for me sometimes because it exposes our little site to even more great bands that the interwebs doesn’t necessarily provide right away. One such band is Jena, Germany’s Grandfather. Who absolutely rock.

Ever wonder what it would sound like if Neil Fallon handled all vocal duties for Mastodon? That’s “The Wolf”, the opening track off Grandfather’s latest release of the same name. Crushing grooves, bestial drums, and a singer whose got both the gravitas and the growls to front this quartet? Sign me up!

“Crisis” begins with a solemn bass line and some spacey riffs to shake up the intensity of “The Wolf” but soon builds to en epic finale complete with vocal chants. The aptly titled “Instrumental” brings to mind West Virginian vocal-less greats Karma To Burn while “Borders” combines elements of “Freedom Run” and “Supa Scoopa & Mighty Scoop”, the latter especially during the start-stop finale. Closing with “Superloader”, which  ends the mini-album with a  balls out rocker that shares more heritage with AC/DC than with Kyuss, Grandfather provide enough diversity on The Wolf that will surely keep new fans interested in what’s to come.

The Wolf is available now. Right here. You should buy it and then go here for more on Grandfather. Because they rawk.

Hank & Cupcakes set to conquer the world on sophomore album, CA$H 4 GOLD!

hank-cupcakes-cash-4-gold

Trust me when I say that if you thought you knew what was coming after Hank & Cupcakes fabulous debut, NAKED!, then you have absolutely no idea what’s actually in store for you. On their sophomore release, CA$H 4 GOLD, the duo you love to love have not necessarily reinvented themselves insomuch as they’ve completely expanded their sound.

“Bat Your Eyelids” is a futuristic funk-filled phenomenon fused with enough fuzzy bass lines and warm feelings to instantly put a smile on your face. It’s the perfect opener for this opus and instantly indicative of what’s to come. Previous tease “Relax” follows up and enhances the vibe with a powerful electro stomp that really shows off Cupcakes massive vocal range which goes from a spoken word sing-song to a screech in a second. It’s also sure to be a huge crowd pleaser when presented in a live setting.  And while we’re on the topic, you can head here for the latest tour dates for Hank & Cupcakes upcoming fall tour!

“Romeo” lets Hank’s grooves shine with Cupcakes’ sonic percussion adding more depth while “Cocaina” is a gospel-fueled Southern blues romp that’s probably about the most unpredictable and fierce song H&C have ever laid down. If NAKED! gave you impressions of Duran Duran mixed with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s (Like it did for me) then CA$H 4 GOLD is Berlin, The Vapors, and Wang Chung in a modern setting.

Hank & Cupcakes is truly one of those groups that I can’t praise enough. They do their own thing and they do it really well defying modern Pop expectations with each and every release. Whether it’s the swirling synth bounce on “I Don’t Want To See”, Cupcakes soulful croon on “Spin”, Hank’s bass bravado on the epic “Go Slow” or the lush strings on “Money Is King”, CA$H 4 GOLD has something for every music fan. And if you were already a fan of H&C prior to this release, prepare to be pleasantly blown away.

CA$H 4 GOLD will be available for mass consumption on September 5th. For the latest on Hank & Cupcakes you can head on over here or here. But more importantly, head on over to Itunes or Amazon to get your copy of CA$H 4 GOLD!

What’s In A Name? Mr. Kitty releases the latest “Self-Destructive Synthpop” masterpiece.

a1987613914_2

Don’t let the name throw you, Mr. Kitty is not the cute and cuddly Pop you might’ve expected when you tuned in. Far from it, Mr. Kitty is, quite simply, the saviors of dance-pop synthetic goth what have you. It’s great dance music. It’s great music if you’re a vampire or great if you’re a fan of mood films like To Live And Die In L.A. or Manhunter. Modern noir, if you will.

In regards to Time, Mr. Kitty’s fourth (!) album, let’s put it this way: Have you ever wanted an album that perfectly encapsulates a night in the club, filled with those mindless throbbing beats and mid-tempo numbers that sporadically break up the dance floor sweatiness? That’s Time.

“XIII” storms the gates of Time with subtle, droning beats building into an indescribable crescendo of screams and electronics that will move you to no end. “Rats” breaks up the intensity with some nice Pop-infused mid-tempo awesome and “Glow” continues that trend with some beats destined for the Fright Night soundtrack. Circa 1985, obviously.

Like I said, if you’re itching to dance then a Mr. Kitty track to suit your needs is never too far away as “Hollow” follows to beef up the foot stomping quotient. “Devour” delivers even more so as does “Laceration” which brings back “XIII”‘s urgency. “Pathogen” keeps the pace alive  while “Shadow Dancer” is that song you heard in every moody ’80’s flick, being equal parts New Order and Depeche Mode.

Not only one of the greatest synth albums of 2014 but one of the best albums, period. Like me, you’ll be wondering how Mr. Kitty passed you by for so long (Seriously, this is the FOURTH album!!!!!). Now I just need to insure I get all of Time played at my next local goth night.

Time, the latest and greatest, from Mr. Kitty is out now. Head over to bandcamp to stream and buy.

Life On Planet 9 return with The Theory Of Everything

41UYcP5d5hL._SL500_AA280_

I randomly discovered Ultraspank when they were featured on Ozzfest back in 1998 and instantly fell in love with Pete Murray’s voice. The range, the emotion, the intensity….just everything about it was such a step above what the other bands on the bill offered. This was a bill that gave some great exposure to the Serj Tankian’s and Brandon Boyd’s mind you! But Pete Murray stood out. Yeah, he had that snarl but there was something else. One listen to “Wrapped” off their self-titled debut and it was obvious that this guy had “the voice”. Those sweeping choruses that echoed Maynard James Keenan that went to vicious Phil Anselmo-style attacks in no time were incomparable.

Over time, that voice has only grown as has the musicianship with the riff-machine Neil Godfrey who accompanied Murray from Ultraspank into Lo-Pro and the band of the hour, Life On Planet 9.

Bittersweet, the 2011 debut from Life On Planet 9, may have spawned from a desire to create a studio version of “Lo-Pro unplugged” but on The Theory Of Everything the band go for new extremes and finally find themselves. The minute the programmed beats of “Carry On” hit along with Godfrey’s gorgeous riffs and Murray’s uncanny voice it’s as if “Line Stepper” off Bittersweet never ended. “So we’re picking up where we left off” adds Murray around the 3-minute mark but it’s so much more than that.

The Theory Of Everything as a whole is bigger, better, and badder. “Everything” is just massive as is “Here We Are” which follows next, abruptly stopping for Godfrey’s lush acoustics and Murray’s echoed cries until opening up again into a gargantuan chorus. And that’s just the first three songs, people! “Home” is even greater than that and more epic, “Now” follows and ups the tempo slightly with Murray hitting those soprano notes just right while “Ordinary” picks up the pace with Godfrey’s guitars screaming along with Murray’s voice. And I haven’t even gotten to single “Rainy Days” or the the game-changing seven minute monstrosity “Stay” that hits in the middle!

Jeebus, I don’t want to say that this is the best album of the Murray/Godfrey collaboration era but hot damn if it isn’t close. “The Sky” adds to that argument along with the piano-driven “What Would You Say” and its’ record scratch beats. As an outsider, I don’t pretend to know what Murray and Godfrey’s musical vision might be but I imagine that this record is the closest accomplishment towards that.

If you love that voice and that guitar and have followed these gentlemen from Ultraspank to Lo-Pro to this then this is an essential part of your collection. If you’re a fan of music in general then it’d be highly illogical if you don’t pick this up.

The Theory Of Everything is out on August 26th. We really think you should buy it here.

 

Video View: Life On Planet 9, “Rainy Days”

41UYcP5d5hL._AA110_

And for our 101st post, we go to a singer that inspired the next half of our musical journey. I’m talking about that other legend, Pete Murray, of course! Haunting, yet exhilarating, the first track off the upcoming sophomore release from Life On Planet 9 is everything fans have come to expect from Murray and more.

While Murray exercises his soprano vocal muscles, guitarist Neil Godfrey goes for the subtle approach which makes for a rousing arrangement and a welcome return from one of the most underrated duos in modern rock.

As for the video: Do you really need anything more than the  two fine gentlemen of  Life On Planet 9 rocking out while looking dapper? No, I suspect you do not.

The Theory Of Everything is out on August 26th. Stay tuned to Life On Planet 9’s Twitter and Facebook pages for information on where you can get your copy.