Review: Circa Survive – Juturna

Circa Survive - Juturna

Circa Survive’s debut record hits stores with an undeniable amount of hype behind it. Vocalist Anthony Green is one of the most respected and idolized singers in the scene today. He is of course known for his work in such bands as Saosin, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, etc. His latest endeavor comes courtesy of Equal Vision’s Circa Survive, a technical indie rock band with interesting time signatures and melodies. The music itself can be compared to Further Seems Forever, but with a bit more quirk to it. Anthony’s vocals vary from straight forward blasting of melodies (“Act Appalled”) to bizarre rhythms matched with slightly odd musicianship. The album’s opener, “Holding Someone’s Hair Back” is an example of Circa’s weird side. Still, the intentional clash between vocals and offbeats melds together nicely for a solid head-nodding tune. The second track, “Act Appalled,” is easily my favorite on the album. Saosin fans will love this song, as Anthony hits the peaks of his range and strains his voice on the higher notes. Listeners who are unfamiliar with Anthony’s style of singing will be pleasantly surprised at his ability to max out his range and turn each note into a second of raw emotion. The music is basic enough to let the song be driven by Anthony’s voice, which I see as a smart decision. 

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Review: Minus the Bear – Menos El Oso

Minus the Bear - Menos El Oso

Minus the Bear has returned with their highly anticipated sophomore full-length. The appropriately titled Menos El Oso (meaning Minus the Bear in Spanish) is different from the band’s previous works, but still distinctly Minus the Bear. MTB is known for electro-rock songs full of finger tapping work on the guitar, with lyrics about girls, booze, women, alcohol, and more drinking. While Menos El Oso is a bit toned down from their previous releases, the lyrics are still dark and witty, and the music is as unique as ever. Minus the Bear is so very different from other bands out there in the sense that they are extremely talented song writers. Instead of settling for cheap hooks and choruses, Minus the Bear writes songs that get better with ever listen. Menos El Oso is an album that I was grossly unimpressed with upon first listen. The overall tempo is slower than the band’s earlier releases, the music seems to be less technical at first glance (not really the case), and the whole album just seemed to drag. Then, after weeks and weeks of constant listening, Menos El Oso has grown to be one of my favorite albums this year. As it gets better with each listen, I realized that Minus the Bear has created a brilliant album, full of mid-tempo songs that contain melodies in all kinds of places. In almost every track, you’ll find yourself singing along to the guitar line or the bouncing bass line instead of the vocal melody. The songwriting displayed on Menos El Oso is outstanding.

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Review: Every Time I Die – Gutter Phenomenon

Every Time I Die - Gutter Phenomenon

”Gutter Phenomenon” was a term coined in the 1950’s to describe rock and roll and its “sinfulness”. 50 years later, Every Time I Die is a band from that gutter that stands out among the rest. With two chaotic-filled albums under their belt already, ETID has become the hottest thing out of Buffalo since those world-famous wings. With Gutter Phenomenon, ETID brings a different sound. This time around ETID brings less chaos, more structure, and refined singing from vocalist Keith Buckley. Still evident are the biting, intelligent lyrics and overall passion and intensity from the band. This isn’t the ETID you’re used to; rather this is an ETID that proves that overall they are great musicians. Produced by Machine (Lamb Of God, Armor For Sleep, Boys Night Out), “Gutter Phenomenon” is an 11-track rock and roll beat down. Along with Buckley, ETID is rounded out by guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andrew Williams, with Mike “Ratboy” Novak on drums. The bass was done by Kevin Faulk for the record, but he was dropped by the band afterward. While this may be a more mature ETID, they still have the same bite as before.

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Review: Allister – Before the Blackout

Allister - Before the Blackout

Before The Blackout, Allister’s third full-length album, refers to the many drinking binges lead man Tim Rogner went through before completing this album. It’s been three years since the Drive-Thru Record veterans released Last Stop Suburbia, and, after lineup changes, frustrations, and painful breakups, they are ready to give us a new offering of their pop-punk. Rogner, along with guitarist Kyle Lewis, bassist Scott Murphy, and drummer Mike Leveranz, wanted to add a more rock and roll style to this batch of songs this time around. What we get is a solid album that incorporates sing-along choruses, fist-pumping riffs, and persevering vocals. 

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Review: Nightmare of You – Nightmare of You

Nightmare of You - Nightmare of You

What do At The Drive-In, Taking Back Sunday, and The Movielife all have in common? Other than releasing genre-defying albums, they’ve also have broken up and each have produced two new bands. At The Drive-In gave us The Mars Volta and Sparta, Taking Back Sunday gave us a new TBS and the John Nolan-led Straylight Run, and the Movielife spawned I Am The Avalanche and Nightmare Of You. While TBS and Sparta have tried to recreate their older sound, TMV and SLR have drifted away from their previous band’s sound and have gave us something more original and fresh. When The Movielife broke up, Vinnie Caruana formed I Am The Avalanche and guitarist Brandon Reilly formed Nightmare Of You. While IATA began where The Movielife left off, Nightmare Of You follows in the vein of Straylight Run; a mellow indie band that features more accomplished and mature songwriting than before. Reilly is the lyricist, vocalist, and guitarist for NOY, while the rest of the band is rounded out by guitarist Joe McCaffrey, bassist Ryan Heil (although he joined NOY after the album was recorded, Lader played bass on most of the album) and drummer Sammy Siegler. Produced by Jason Lader, Nightmare Of You offers 11 dark pop songs that burst with memorable melodies, sarcastic lyrics, and great emotion. 

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Review: Chiodos – All’s Well That Ends Well

Chiodos - All's Well That Ends Well

To be honest, when I got “All’s Well That Ends Well” in the mail, I didn’t know what to expect. First known as the Chiodos Bros., they had a variety of styles show up in their earlier work, but with their Equal Vision debut, they tried to categorize their sound a bit more with duel-guitar riffs and better lyrics. While there is still a melting pot of styles on this release, it’s more defined. Chiodos is a sextet featuring vocalist Craig Owens, Radley Bell on keyboards and backing vocals, guitarists Pat McManaman and Jason Hale, and Matt Goddard on bass. Chiodos has a nice-sized fan base and has toured with the likes of Coheed and Cambria and Yellowcard. With musical influences from Saves The Day to Queen to At The Drive-In, Chiodos covers a lot of genres in their music. Filled with electronic beats, piano, metal riffs, screaming, and vocals that rival Anthony Green, this is one fun album. At times melodic and at times in your face, this is one album that will definitely intrigue you.

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Interview: Ryan Ross of Panic! at the Disco

Panic! at the Disco

How exactly did the band come about and what made you want to start one in the first place?

Well I have known Spencer, our drummer for most of my life, and I met Brent in high school, he transferred schools in his junior year, and met Brendon in their senior year. We had him come to a band practice to try out for guitar, I actually started out as the singer, and in one of those early practices we had him sing for some reason and found out he had a much better voice than I did.

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JamisonParker Are No More


JamisonParker has officially disbanded:

over and done with…. 
the band is officially broken up. i apologize for not posting this sooner but in all honesty this is the first chance that i’ve had. as far as reasoning goes, i felt that it was time to move on. there will be new music, new bands, and more touring in the near future… just not together and not as jamisonparker. i want to thank everyone who bought the album, stole the album, wore the shirts, came to shows, sent us emails, spread the word, and just allowed the music to become a part of your life. i can’t put into words how much i appreciate every day that you all helped this band stay alive. i can only hope to have that same support in the future.thanks again…. see you soon…. 

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Review: Thrice – Vheissu

Thrice - Vheissu

Have you ever finished watching a particularly moving film or completed a strikingly emotional book, only to sit in your plush-leather seat — dumbfounded? There is that split second of realization that nothing you ever accomplish in your life will come close to the intellectual and emotional genius you just experienced. I have had such a feeling on only a few rare occasions; however, after each listen of Thrice’s Vheissu, this numbness pummels the skin around my chest.

It is perfect.

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Interview: Mike Green

Mike Green

Thanks to Mike Green for taking the time out of his day(s) to answer these questions for me. I highly suggest reading all of the text below because it’s extremely informing, especially to those who are interested in pursuing careers in the music business. 

How long did it take you to build up your name to the point where you were able to make production your full time job? In other words, when did you realize, “This is my career and this is what I will be doing to pay my bills and survive”?

I always loved recording and have played guitar for 13 years, but never really had any formal training. My formal education was in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) class of 2002. I was designing computer chips for a living when I went to a show and saw a then-unsigned band called The Matches play. I loved the band the first time I saw them and told them that I would record them for $100.00. So we ended up working together for nine months for $100.00!! And those sessions are the ones that are on the Epitaph release of their album!

I was very fortunate that The Matches album on which I worked received a lot of recognition. I’m also very appreciative of The Matches because they also took me to a lot of their A&R meetings where I made some of my best contacts. I had so much fun working on the Matches record that I decided to tell my dork boss to “shove it” and I decided to be a producer/engineer/songwriter full-time. It’s like this: if you have no wife, no kids, no mortgage, and no responsibilities, why not do something you love for the rest of your life?

In response to “how long did it take to make a name”, my first real album came out mid 2004 (The Matches), but I’m too shy to say whether or not I’ve “made a name” for myself, so once I’ve made a good enough name you’ll do the math.

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Review: Cartel – Chroma

Cartel - Chroma

Ever since this debut full-length was first played in my car stereo on the drive home from The Militia Group’s home office, I’ve had one goal in mind: review this before Rohan does.

Okay, I’m only half kidding.

I’m reviewing this CD for one reason: I believe in this band. I think my faith in Cartel is evidenced through my desire, and utmost excitement, to ‘leak’ the band’s album on this very website. I’d never do such a huge promotion with a band I wasn’t 100% behind. There’s a variety of aspects to the band’s music that touch me in a way few bands are able. I hope to convey these feelings as best I can through the following words; however, there are things that you will only discover through sitting down for a good hour with this album, alone, in your room, and with the volume turned up very loudly. My conviction and sharp pose on this band are apparent from any visitor’s every day visit to this website, and this is exactly the review you expected me to write.

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Interview: Kaylan Cloyd of Acceptance


So Phantoms came out a few months ago.

About five months ago. Well, April 26th.

Ok, yeah, that’s five months. So how has life been since then? How has life changed?

How has it changed? I don’t know necessarily that it’s changed. For us, I think, we’ve all been anticipating finally having a full length record out and having it, since we had the EP out and we toured on it for so long. That was like a collection of songs, I mean, some of those were really, really old songs, even at that time we recorded them. For us, the change is just being able to get out there and play stuff that we feel, that we wrote together as a band. With that record, everybody in the band now was there when we made it. Our other songs before, people came into the band after the fact and stuff. We’re just excited that we get to play something that we created. As far as life, I’m not sure how much life has changed. We’re still living in the RV, living in here and on tour all the time. It’s kind of similar, we just get to play different songs now.

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Interview: Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin

Andrew McMahon

So, you are in a few bands (Something Corporate/Jack’s Mannequin). How did you first start getting involved in music?

Since I was little I was always fascinated by music. Whether I could play or not, I would grab every musical instrument I could get my hands on. Eventually around the age of nine on the heels of my uncle passing away, I found myself at the family piano, writing my first song. From there I never stopped and spend most of my time thinking about music and those rare perfect songs.

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