July 5, 2016

West Means Home – Something From Nothing

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There’s a lot of charm to be found in Alabama’s West Means Home debut EP, Something From Nothing.

“Gypsy” injects a palpable amount of energy into our eyes for an opener. The track moves at a breakneck pace with an extended chorus to really let the music sink in. “Never Again’s” intro features one of the best lead guitar licks I’ve heard in 2016. There’s an aura of hopelessness and acceptance in Austin Brent’s lyrics that is perfectly paired with an inspiring guitar riff to close out the track. (more…)

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May 2, 2016

Dreamer & Son – Written Off, Moving On

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Dreamer & Son’s Written Off, Moving On marks the bands debut to the scene. With 5 brisk tracks, they are set to make their mark in the rising ambient-rock scene.

Right away, it’s easy to see the influences of well-established ambient-rock band’s such as Tides of Man, Gates, and Moving Mountains. Following in the footsteps of their counterparts, the EP starts off with a brisk 96-second instrumental filled with enough inspiring riffs and background chants to get listeners excited. (more…)

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April 15, 2016

Summer Wars – Acoustic EP

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Stepping away from their raw, energy-infused pop-punk sensibility, Summer Wars starts 2016 with Acoustic EP, an acoustic version of their debut EP, Better Days. Full disclosure: I listened to the acoustic EP before the debut EP, however, I feel confident in knowing both of them quite well now.

Acoustic pop-punk is always a mixed bag. It can come off brilliantly and add more depth to their original counterparts or be a piss-poor rendition that feels phoned in. Thankfully Summer Wars falls into the former category. (more…)

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April 5, 2016

The Other Stars – We Were Kids

a2046092919_10One of the latest signings to pop-punk/indie label Take This To Heart Records is The Other Stars from Worcester, MA. Their debut EP, We Were Kids is set to be released on April 29, 2016.

Right off the bat it’s easy to get hooked into the opener, “You Looked Better At the Party.” Sprinkled with clever lyrics and husky vocals, comparisons will be drawn with Modern Baseball’s earlier work and it’s easy to see why. Don’t get too invested in this comparison though, The Other Stars distinguish themselves thoroughly throughout the EP. (more…)

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March 11, 2016

Calling All Captains – Disconnect

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Canada is a wonderful frozen tundra that has produced some of the best pop-punk acts of the last decade. Calling All Captains is one of the first bands I’ve seen emerge from the Northwest territory of Alberta (I hear they have great golf courses too).

“Jamie” blasts off with the re-emerging double bass of the easy-core genre and begs you to belt out those high notes about The Wonder Years. “Northwest” tackles the hardships of long-distance relationships and the life of a musician. (more…)

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March 10, 2016

Maple Hill – Headspace

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New York rockers Maple Hill have released their debut LP, Headspace.

Headspace has a lot working for it. It’s fun, fast-paced, and re-playable. There’s not a track to skip, but, only a few standouts. The musicianship is tight, yet sporadic. “Space To Grow” is a bit of a roller coaster. The guitar solo is superb, but dragged down by a breakdown that doesn’t know where it wants to go. (more…)

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