February 22, 2017

Less Than Jake – Sound The Alarm


Less Than Jake doesn’t have to do this. As they enter their 25th year as a band, (almost my entire lifetime) they don’t have to continue touring night after night; playing terrific sets. They certainly don’t have to keep making music; adding to their already massive catalog. They don’t have to do any of it anymore. They’ve earned the right to take a break and no one would think any less of them for it. So rather than following up their 2013 full-length album See The Light with another LP, they decided to gift their fans with a 7-song EP that is fantastic front to back.

Sound the Alarm is a brief, yet nearly perfect window into what a complete Less Than Jake package might be. The singing duties are nearly evenly split between guitarist Chris Demakes and bassist Roger Lima and as usual, they complement each other so well. (more…)

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February 20, 2017

Cardinals – Aftertaste


Cardinals is a two-piece acoustic rock outfit from Boston, MA formerly known as Tighticus Finch. Their newest EP, Aftertaste, features acoustic renditions of their earlier work with some new blood as well.

I’ve always been a fan of hearing the native accents of vocalists standing out in their work. This is incredibly apparent in the opener, “When I’m Gone” when vocalist Emily Ronna sings the second verse: “And thanks for all the funny jokes, but you should know I never laughed that hard.” It adds a dose of authenticity and allows Ronna to proudly show off her Bostonian roots. The vocals are the key element in making Cardinals work. They are at the forefront of every track and drive the rhythm and tone of each track. (more…)

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February 9, 2017

As It Is – Okay

use this one

As It Is is the latest pop-punk band being pushed as the next “big thing” in the scene. Their sophomore release Okay is their second album under Fearless Records.

The title track “Okay” is the epitome of the band in a nutshell: hooks you from the start with a catchy lead guitar riff, a slow buildup in the verse, and a booming chorus. It’s a solid and proven formula that has served them well. Adding a dash of variety, “Hey Rachel” boosts some impressive lyrics as vocalist Patty Walters reflects on his sisters depression growing up. Even in a more personal song, Patty has a knack for writing hooks and this track is no different. “No Way Out” offers a bit of experimentation with the spoken-word bridge. (more…)

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