less than the least

The Devil Wears Prada, With Roots Above and Branches Below Review
May 12, 2009, 1:38 am
Filed under: Blog

The Devil Wears Prada returns with their third full-length album With Roots Above and Branches Below, which was released on May 5, on Ferret Music, their new label. There is something very mature sounding about this album. Whether it’s the band’s skills, the recording or both, the band has put forth a solid third album.

With Roots Above and Branches Below has a heavier sound than their previous albums. Technically, the band has grown into the metal band they always had the potential of becoming, but before had not reached this potential. Even with the heavier sound, the band’s music incorporates better melodic moments than ever before, with stronger singing that have you scrambling to learn the words to sing along.

The album’s first track, “Sassafras,” had me completely stunned. It was heavy, really heavy. I didn’t know they had it in them. The album almost feels like the band has completely changed, but has stayed completely the same. The album has that same metal/hardcore/synth feel, but now that feel is a perfected sound.

The use of synth, which has always set this band apart from others, was not just used prominently in certain moments emphasizing breakdowns or what have you like in previous recordings, but entangled meticulously throughout the album in tracks such as “Big Wiggly Style,” “Danger: Wildman” and “Lord Xenu.”

Heavier tracks that took be by surprise, which are also some of my favorites, are “Assistant To The Regional Manager,” “Danger: Wildman” and “Ben Has A Kid.”

The album ends with “Lord Xenu,” a fast-paced, heavy song that ends suddenly and leaves the listener wanting more. What do I say to that ending? Back to track one.

Below is “Danger: Wildman” off the new album.


The Chariot, Wars and Rumors of Wars Review

I have always had one word for The Chariot, chaos. Chaotic in sound and chaotic in performance, The Chariot has never strayed away from chaos, and this album is no different.

Their new album, Wars and Rumors of Wars, was released on May 5, on Solid State Records.

Though they are not one of my favorite bands, I have always had special place in my heart for this band that prides itself on being as unexpected as possible. Technically, the songs are better on this album. Each song is more distinguishable from the rest, and unlike their previous album Fiance, which seemed to fuse together into extreme noise and chaos after a few tracks, each track off Wars mixes different elements and better guitar parts to deliver a more solid record.

Favorite tracks off the new album are “Evolve,” “Never I” and “Giveth.” These track show that when The Chariot isn’t just trying to give their listeners seizures or beat them up musically they can make some pretty solid songs.

Below is “Never I.”  Check it out. Also, I posted the music video of “Evolve” in a previous post.

The Almost to Release New Album
May 5, 2009, 2:00 am
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The Almost has announced that they are recording a new album that is expected to be released late this summer.

The Almost, which is fronted by Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie, released Southern Weather, the band’s debut album, in April 2007. No Gift to Bring, a 5-song EP, was released in November of last year. The band is on Tooth and Nail Records.

Below is a video of Gillespie covering the song Your Love is Extravagant. The Almost covered this song on their EP, No Gift to Bring.

Three Things You Need to Pack For Cornerstone
May 4, 2009, 10:56 pm
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I know it’s too early to start packing for this summer’s Cornerstone Festival, but its never too early to get excited. This will be the first of many posts about gearing up for Cornerstone. Many of the topics may be random, but the posts will be things I think are important to know.

Here are three things to pack. Please let me know your tips or things you think are important to take to the festival.

Me, bottom left, and some of my friends at the festival.

Me, bottom left, and some of my friends at the festival.

1) Hand sanitizer.

With a week of porta-potty use, I was very glad I packed a bottle last year.

2) Extra flip flops.

Comfy flip flops are a necessity for the hot Illinois summer, a ton of walking, the shower trailers and long days of standing (two-stepping, circle pitting, windmilling, picking up change or however else you enjoy the music). One of my pairs fell apart last year, and I was glad to have a back-up pair.

3) Money and self-control.

There is a ton of great band merchandise, organizations’ merchandise, handcrafted items such as jewelry and clothing, clothing designers’ items and much more to purchase, but if you don’t have self-control you can end up spending every bit of your money the first day.

It can be overwhelming, so my advice is to think about each purchase carefully and hold off until later in the week when you have seen everything. One problem with this is some things may sell out, so consider this as well when pondering over purchases. Though the money supports great bands, organizations, and individuals expressing their creativity, you also have to eat the rest of the week and get home.

There are 56 more days until the festival!

The Chariot Released “Daggers” Video
May 4, 2009, 9:55 pm
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The Chariot released a video for their song “Daggers,” off their new album Wars and Rumors of Wars, which will be released tomorrow, May 5. Check out the video below.

Cornerstone Festival Schedules
April 21, 2009, 9:37 pm
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Schedules for Cornerstone Festival are now posted online . Schedules of the weeks events that are up now include schedule of bands, Breakaway Programs for teens, kid’s programs and schedule of games.

Check them out, and get excited!

Photo taken from Cornerstone Festival website.

Photo taken from Cornerstone Festival website.

The House and The Human
April 21, 2009, 9:25 pm
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Sixty-nine more days until Cornerstone Festival, and the race for the New Band Showcase is heating up.

The House and The Human, photo taken from his MySpace

The House and The Human, photo taken from his MySpace

The House and The Human, which consists of acoustic/folk musician David Jahns from Roselle, Ill., is hoping to earn enough votes to become a finalist.

Jahns’ songs are simplistic in the way that it’s just him and his guitar, but there is something very beautiful and endearing about his music and lyrics that tell stories of life and love.

I got to ask Jahns, from The House and The Human, a couple of questions, which are below.

What is different, or what are you trying to do differently, that sets you apart from other musicians?

Well, first off I don’t write my songs for the purpose of just being another catchy song. I write them because they mean something to me or they have a message that I would like to get across to my listeners. Second, I think my voice sets me apart from other bands and artists because I can’t really sing that well, and it’s not the typical high pitched, poppy, pretty voice like you hear from most artists.

What could being a New Band Showcase finalist at Cornerstone Festival possibly mean for you and your music?

It would just mean a lot of great exposure. If someone in the crowd could hear my songs and relate or be touched by them, that’s all I could really ask for.

Is there anything new with The House and The Human that people should know about?

I will be releasing a 6-song EP titled It began with a chorus… this summer. It will be available through iTunes and Amazon.