Psyguy: Psycho Heroes…

This work was apparently done by Texas-based Bryon Beaubien, host of Fireball20xl and the podcast Whachow.

I’ve been a follower of his material since 2007, and this wasn’t what I expected at all. But then again, gaming aspects (in this case, music), as always been the thriving, most definite theme of Beaubien’s work:

Just hearing this “album”, I must say: this is much better than his illustrations. Beaubien has composed works barely audible uncanniness to classic NES sounds with more modern instrumental sets. I enjoyed the grunge-filled piece Bandcast, fused with an electronic beat and soft piano medley. The more NES sounding tracks GG-Guys, the 8-Bit Whachow theme, and Sam Cross are ingenious pieces of work. Other songs have an authentic natural feel made hybrid with special effects, such as I Wanna be your Jazz and the The Dave Cave. I also enjoyed the “Rock N’ Roll combination” in Shades.
I’ve always had an admiration for work comprised of the blending of numerous (often polarized) musical styles and making it sound as lively and unique as possible. Not even Herman Li of DragonForce has gone to this extent with the Mario sounds he makes on his guitar. This album also shows the extensive work one can do even with the most novice (demand-wise) programs are capable with the correct application. By far, it’s on Psy’s best works in the audio field.

One area of improvement are the track lengths, which would be hard to input into actual game settings unless (of course), this work was strictly designed for audio purposes. Regardless, this is a true master work of generated skill and makes you chase after the other albums like a fatal drug.

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The Chase: Slings & Arrows

Here’s The Line-up:

Michael Turvey – Guitar, Vocals
Harry Street – Rhythm Guitar
Luke Jerome – Bass
Ralph Humby – Drums
Ben Riley – Saxophone, Backing Vocals, Keyboards

 

 

 

Now regarding Slings and Arrows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The single “You”:

This album sounds amazing from start to finish. This album is one of the catchiest melodies I think I’ve heard in a long time. It almost sounded like Oasis and The Beatles did some kind of crossover. Turvey has a softer voice in comparison with the bands I’ve heard before, but his voice is still just as sharp as his melodic ear as lead guitarist. Street is a perfect duel composition, but to be honest, his performance is overshadowed (audio-wise) by the craftsmanship of the bands V.I.P Ben Riley. If his arsenal of playing instruments is accurate, then he’s a regular Jon Paul Jones… I really like how he slapped some tracks with his signature piano scores… his backing vocals are also in perfect sync with Turvey, sounding almost like a flawless voice over. Jerome’s bass playing falls into the low range in this album, but I still like his Steve Harris type approach. He manages to truly stand out as a player and not simply “sustain the rhythm” like common bassists. Humby is the REAL rhythm holder; one could use this album as a drumming course. Touchpaper is the strongest song in terms of drumming aptitude in my opinion.

The band sites a selection of English bands as their influence, and so far, I’ve can hear where they were able to grab the positive elements of each and personalize it into their own unique delivery. Even softer ballads like Home & Tea are beautiful tranquilizing pieces that prove that these guys aren’t one-trick (or one-style) ponies.
They like English bands; The songwriting is on the level of the Stones. The rhyming patterns and melodic structure stayed on relative course with an expressive wittiness. This album was more brilliant than it was talented, but more talented than today’s modern chart toppers by a long shot. I’m really anxious to hear more work from these young men and wish them all the best in the near future.

View in Itunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/slings-arrows/id487340544

RavenCroft…

Here’s the lineup:

David Roberts – Vocals,
Emilio Basaldua – Lead Guitar,
Chris Greene – Guitar/Vocals,
Alan Kirk – Bass
Shane Reynolds – Drums

Since they don’t have that many available songs, I will say this:

For an up and coming band, these guys have a generic, powerful sound. It’s very admirable to listen to guys with such an incredible sound. Roberts is an amazing singer: at first he had that Iron Maiden type sound (something I’ve said all too often)… Yet his vocal range is both high and solid… a real ear opener.
I do enjoy the riff work of Basaldua and Greene. The rhythm is both strong; Kirk sounds like Cliff Burton on the Ride The lightning album. As for Reynolds; he’s in his own class…

Look what the Ravencroft dragged in:

For music that’s officially, studio work, it has an amazing sound to it that really deserves commendation for a band on the club circuit. The songwriting is very structured to compliment the technical sound to their music. I did however, enjoy listening to it; all the music so far. It’s worth buying for those who enjoy power ballads, and proves the point I made in my review of Texas Hippie Coalition. Want good rock music, then take your ass to Texas. They’re so amazing with their raw sound; it’s like they missed the New Wave by twenty years and came strong. Plus, there’s no sign in their music that shows them conforming to more modern, accepted styles and approaches, another reason I find them commendable.

I hope I love them when they get signed.

As for the music that I just heard, albeit four tracks:

Revive And Revolt


Here’s the lineup:

Erica – Lead Vocals
Cap – Rap Artist
Bryan – Drummer
Anthony – Lead Guitar
Aaron – Rhythm Guitar
Tiny – Bass


*Looks Like a Hush Pass promotion photo*

Okay, so basically these guys call themselves a “Rock Hop” group. Never heard of Rock Hop; I think they mean Rap Rock, but they can be original if they want. First and foremost, I hate hip hop. Hip Hop to me is the scum of all music. The only hip hop act I can tolerate is Rage Against The Machine, since Tom Morello is incredibly talented and they actually stand for something as a band. So, having heard these guys, I must say:

I still hate hip hop. Nonetheless, I’ll expunge my biases and try to analyze their music.

The heavy metal riffs were intriguing, but the recording was rather low. Erica is a good singer, but most of the songs sound like she’s talking when she’s supposed to be singing, particularly Relentless Will. Seriously, the chorus of that song was more annoying than Soulja Boy.

Cap? What kind of name is Cap? Rappers and their stage names… No wonder they always get pulled over. Polygamy was a bit better, but Jesus Christ… Cap has poser written all over him with the synthetic “rapper” accent. The lyrics (auditory-wise) was confusing and near senseless (at least from a first listen).

“The Anthem” and “Runnin'” are just sad. Hey Cap, good job sounding dangerous… EEK! Seriously… this sounds like the typical rapper. I young black man trying to sound as thuggish and brilliantly (a.k.a redundantly) ignorant as possible, reinforcing the same stupid stereotypes that cause blacks to be heavily stigmatized. Great job Cap! You’ve given racists more fuel than NASCAR to encourage profiling. I love the lyrical genius Embracing stereotypes of a bad-boy image… YAY!

I guess this is just another band of hip hop posers in front of the mic like the bad guy in 8 Mile, complete with a Jane Fonda wannabe with terminal jungle fever:

How sad. How is this any different from ANY rapper? Seriously? I’d love to know. “Revive and Revolt”? Ignorant lyrics is gonna bring about change? My my… this is quintessential to the point that it leaks. With thousands of rappers sounding like this, I’m sure they’ll go VERY far… Not even an intricate guitar solo.

Their best song is “Only Time”, but Erica’s parts sound more dedicated. Aron and Anthony are amazing guitar players, with strong versatility. Tiny and Brian form a strong rhythm section, but listening to these songs, I’ve decided that these songs were probably badly mixed. I mean, even if they aren’t instrument oriented, Tiny is barely audible in some tracks or sections of the songs.

Overall, if they do get critique, I’m sure it’s only a waste of time in the long wrong to even bother. Rappers are stereotypically egotistical to the point that they actually think they are the epitome of lyrical and musical potential, generating the ultimate defense that critiques are simply “HATERS”. In other words, “I’m too good to take correction.” So in the end, it’s not them I’m sorry for. I’m not sorry for the two brilliant guitarists or the amazing rhythm section. I’m not sorry for the singer, or even the rapper. I’m sorry for myself: I actually listened to this…

Sorry… I told you I hate hip-hop…

Good luck in the future. My advice is to loose the rapper and the typical stale imagery rappers represent. Oh well.

The Rapids – Debut

Here’s the Line-up:

Joshua Elkington – Vocals/Guitar
Phil Crawford – Guitar/Vocals
David Bicheno-Samways – Drums

I recovered this from their Facebook page, so I’m not sure if this is a recent change or what not…

Tuff Swami – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Respected Desperado – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Insane Ninja – Guitar
Tuff Professional – Drums
Tuff Commander – Bass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, having heard this music:

This is the second band from Portsmouth that I’m reviewing to date (the first I believe was Forest Floors). The bands songs seem very pop oriented, and I enjoyed listening to them very much. Elkington and Crawford have a good ear, Like Bono/Edge. The lyricism in this music was commendable, showing I wasn’t listening to amateurs. Samways also has a good rhythm, but very technical (the reason I say that their band is pop-structured). Samways follows a very specific drumming pattern, but his strongest song appears to be “Maybe It’s You”.

The whole album is a set of hard rock hits… with milder tracks like “Waves” giving a breath of fresh air. Eight steady tracks with VERY well written, down to earth lyricism. Elkington sounds different in each song, usually the element of vocally (mood-setting). However, I will say this:

The songs ARE goof. The lyrics ARE brilliant. But the melody is very “poppy”, particularly when in sync with Elkington’s vocal style (I.E, T.R.B). Correct me if I’m wrong; perhaps that’s the sound the band wants… but same goes for the Disney channel. I advise they be cautious with the melodic strategy they’ve taken on as their signature sound (or learn the same lesson Journey did pre-Steve Perry). A lot of child friendly bands have adopted this sound, and following in such a pattern could result in being taken less seriously. Fortunately, having a stronger ear for lyrical content and instrumental experience, it would be safe to say that this band is on the right track, and at least the sound isn’t conforming to mainstream/popular demand.
Mind that the band does have a sense of hollow sound to them. I noticed in the actual Bandcamp page, no Bass player is identified (though one is on the Facebook page). The lack of a bass player (assuming the lack of credit means there was none), means that the songs might come across as being a bit flat sounding, even with a steady guitar rhythm.

Quotes from unspecified reviews, regarding the band’s first release (taken from their Facebook page, no source verified):

‘Honestly the most exciting up and coming band I’ve heard in a long time’
‘A much bigger future awaits them.’
‘More hooks than a school cloakroom’
‘The birth of a band that have more potential to burst through and wreak havoc than a lion at a fun fair!’
‘First impressions – wow’
‘Simply thumping rock n roll at its best’
‘Slice of irresistible rock n roll’
‘Certainties for big things’

In the long run, these young guys seem to have what it takes. They’re different (if you think along the lines of mainstream-induced expectations), and they have drive. I was a huge fan of a pop-styled hard rock band, and I see that potential in these guys.

As for this piece of work, I would love to sit back and watch these guys grow and embrace a unique sound with their original music. They sound like they put effort into writing this music (unlike today’s musicians), and I really would love to look forward to a new release.

Heart Impaled: Review on 14 Track LP…

Why aren’t these guys multi-platinum? They should move to Japan. The industry’s faster there…

About a month ago, I was blown away by a track listing for the January Complex. Literally- I was blown away! I fell off my chair headbanging. That master work was more electronic oriented, fused with Industrial workmanship and heavy metal riffs. But if you get me hooked on one album, I better OD on the next. Now, I think I’ll write this review in a trauma-unit, so I can resuscitate dead people with this EPIC GOD-MODE music!

Hearing this, I thought the opening sentence above. This is truly a work of art. The ultimate blend of electronic music and the ultimate hardcore metal styles. It’s like when Bruce Lee married different fighting styles in the seventies, but with music! It’s as if two polar styles can coexist with the merging of music and technology!

The vocals sound like a cross of Jeff Becerra, Spider One, Jonathan Davis and Mustaine all in one! It’s truly amazing that someone could carry this on through a long play. The drumming style is never the same on any track, lending methods of power and speed drumming. The lyrics sound like a crossover of Doom and Trash and Death; a polygamous intertwine. The track Avil sounds like the voice of American Hardcore Chris Van Dahl. I swear to God, I could assault this album with the pro sound they’ve achieved. The guitars are just as brilliant; like Judas Priest meets Spineshank. The solo work of the fourth and fifth track (Pinions and Locust) are mesmerizing for the average metal head, igniting a racing pulse (no wonder they call it heart impaled).
Here’s what’s interesting; the music is so heavy and guitar/electro oriented, and yet you hear the bassist clearly. Through track 4 to 7, he sounds like a ravaging Steve Harris, and then John Entwistle all the way through. I love the keyboard work on Mantichords (The Awakening)… That was unexpected but proved that these guys don’t just shred like maniacs (not that they’re anything wrong with that).

This album is going straight to my listening devices!!! I’d pay for three houses worth to have this!

However, being as unbiased as a jury member, I can’t give this a full five. The output is incredible, but electronic fusion must always be confronted with the winning question: Can it sound good live. It’s sounds contrary, but hey; we learned our lesson with DragonForce, and EVERY modern pop star from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry. If I can see clear quality live footage, then they’ll be top quality for sure!

This is still amazing work! Well polished! Very intriguing, and satiable for people of every walk of musical taste! Poetic! Complex!

I Am I: Event Horizon


So, after several years with DragonForce, ZP has left and started up with a new band called “I Am I”. So now their debut album “Event Horizon” is out, and being such a huge fan of ZP, I’ve decided to write a review.
Of course, the hard part is not comparing this piece of work with DragonForce’s sound or playing style. In fact, I’ll do my best to not even mention them. Still, many fans are probably looking at ZP the same way they probably looked at Vince Neil when he left Motley Crue… or maybe Brian Had Welch wen he left KoRn, since he shows no signs of coming back. But I’ve heard all the tracks and I must say; it’s a formidable masterpiece, kind of like Steve Perry’s Street Talk when compared to Journey.


Here’s The Line-Up:
ZP Theart – Vocals
Jacob Ziemba – Guitar
Neil Salmon – Bass
Phil Martini – Drums
Jake Thorsen – Guitar

Hearing this albun is an interesting experience. You’ll almost forget that ZP switched bands until you realize that the guitar riffs are slower. A majority of the tracks like “In The Air Tonight” (Not a Phil Colins cover) seem to have familiar lyrical approaches, but the absence of Li and Totman make them sound like Axel Rudi Pell songs. “Stay A While” and “Chill In The Air” are almost on the verge of romantic lyrics. “King in Ruins” (comprised of a beautiful guitar-piano unison), being the only tender ballad on the album, a true change of direction for one like ZP.
Jacob Ziemba and Jake Thorsen share dual guitar duties – and I’m going to break my vow of comparison – they were very much in sync. Some riffs that Li and Totman did were very messy, not in unison at all until the arrival of Hudson. These two on the other hand (Ziemba and Thorsen) seem to have a very melodic approach that would make Frontiers Records put dibs on them for a life long contract. Phil Martini is a master drummer, and the most steady member of the group, and most versatile it seems. He’s really the only moderately speed-oriented player of the band, and only on specific tracks. As for Neil Salmon (bass); the principle of being drowned out remains the same. His playing is almost to ensure that the band doesn’t sound flat, but fails to really stand out other than “king In Ruins”.

Overall, I would call this album a real “Blizzard of Ozz” (even though Ozzy was technically fired from his previous band). You think the singer is totally screwed and than… it’s like instant death from above with pure awesomeness. Like “Street Talk” vs. Journey’s Frontiers. I loved hearing it, and it showed that ZP never lost his fire. I recommend this to anyone who craves good music. Hopefully, unlike “Street Talk”, it will be followed up with EVEN more success and a solid line-up.

Buy on Itunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/event-horizon/id549898923