Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Folks, Brazil's got talent!

Now, Brazil exactly isn’t a place from where you’d expect good quality rock music(there are a lot of unheard, talented bands there though), maybe decent metal music ( thanks to Sepultura and its insane success at the international stage). But Fleeting Circus is changing that perspective. Fleeting Circus is an alternative band from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who have been making waves in the music scene with their brand of music! The band comprises of Tayn√£ Frota - Vocals/Guitar, Rod Seven - Guitar, Danny Seven - Drums and Felipe Vianna – Bass, and have recently released their EP titled 'Dream World of Magic'.

This alternative/rock quartet which counts Led Zeppelin , Jeff Buckley , Muse , Sunny Real Day Estate etc. as it’s influences, has successfully managed to gel all of these different sounds into a single one, best represented by them in their own style, importantly. On the tracks , you can hear Jeff Buckley inspired vocals seamlessly blending with a Led Zeppelin-esque type riffing, with a cool Muse and Deftone-ish mid section. The band, which made waves in the inaugural edition of Yamaha Brazilian Beat Festival, display maturity in their tracks, which you won’t find in a band so young .

The EP begins with a 2 minute intro called ‘Life Between Two Paper Sheets’. It has an ‘anticipation of something big’ feel to it. And, rightly so indeed. The band breaks into a Zeppelin-esque section to end the song. ‘Fake Station’ is the next tune of this EP. It has a dissonant intro, reminding me highly of Deftones . The chorus of this track is my favourite from this release. The song ends with the quartet jamming on the intro after a psychedelic break.

‘Underground’ is a mellow tune , with the guitars using a palm muted grunge tone for the most part of the song. The next track ‘Come On’ is the most energetic track of the EP. Frota’s vocals must deserve special mention for reaching those high pitch notes ala Jeff Buckley. All in all, the song is a good demonstration of the the band’s signature sound, even consisting of psychedelic parts and a tiny guitar solo. ‘Not the End’ is a so-so track, in my opinion ofcourse, not one of the stronger tunes in this EP. Its good, though it falls a bit short to reach the bar set by the other tracks of their own album. The EP ends with ‘Hurricane’, a song which progresses from a mellow intro to a crescendo finish. Rod’s guitar playing must receive special mention for the guitar work in this song. Tasty note choices with good phrasing, this tune is a treat.

Special mention to the art work – the maze of words ‘hiding’ the EP title. Nice work out there. All in all, Fleeting Circus, at their young age, have huge potential in them to get noticed prominently in the international scene, and as a matter of fact, I am eagerly looking forward to more albums from them too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Committing a 'Computer Crime', the Grenouer way!

Well , there are 2 ways a reviewer can listen to this album : One, from a past point of view & two, from a present point of view. I chose to review the album with an ear for music, giving not a damn to any preconceived notions.

For dummies, Grenouer is a 4-piece post grunge/hard rock band from St. Petersburg, comprising of Ind – Vocals , Motor – Guitars/Bass , Arbue – Guitars and Coroner – Drums . They were actually an underground death metal band, way back in late 90’s to early 2000’s. They released 4 CDs within that period , receiving positive reviews from both fans and critics alike. But the most defining moment for the band came in 2006, when they released their highly acclaimed album ‘Try‘. With ‘Try’ , they changed their sound from death metal to technical/progressive/industrial metal , drawing comparisons with heavyweights Meshuggah and Fear Factory .

After ‘Try’ , they released ‘Lifelong Days’ , which led them to tour with famous metal bands like Neuorosis , Anathema , Soilwork , Cradle Of Filth and lots more . They were also the supporting act for progressive giants , TesseracT and Textures , as well as thrash metal gods, Testament . But after their record label , Locomotive Records , shut down. It kind of triggered a very surprising response from the band . Half of the band wanted to change the direction towards a more grunge oriented sound whereas the other half preferred to play progressive metal . The band soon got divided into 2 parts. Slavij, bass and Grave, drums , decided to part ways with the band due to creative differences.

But Ind, lead vocals and Motor, guitar , decided to continue the band’s new direction by hiring Arbue on guitars and Coroner on drums , to finish the recording of their latest ‘Computer Crime’ EP . This EP showcases how the former death metalheads transformed into a more commercially acceptable rock oriented group . There’s nothing wrong with that. Infact , it is a good thing that the guys have musically diverse interests .

The EP has a very different sound from what you would normally except from Greneour . The poly rhythms and industrial guitar riffs are missing , but that’s not a bad thing either. This EP stands out on it’s own due to the stellar post grunge sound they have managed to nail very well . ‘Computer Crime’ is a marvel for hard rock/post grunge enthusiasts . So I can say, even metalheads are going to enjoy the heavier sections of this EP . ‘Computer Crime’ begins with a heavy riff and a groovy bassline in the track ‘Last Stop’ . The chorus and the post chorus sections are the best sections of this song . Probably one of the reasons why this tune is my favorite from the EP . It has a good ambient middle section . All in all , a gem of a tune .

Next up is ‘Rejected’ . This tune is hard-rock lover’s cocaine . A belter of a tune , especially those nu-metal influenced guitar riffs is a headbanger’s paradise . ‘See No Sun’ is their single from this EP . A mellow track , with a couple of heavy muted riffs thrown in between , it’s no surprise that this song was released as a single . ‘Fix Your Life’ is a post grunge tune, in the vein of Alice In Chains . Thoughtful lyrics and a wah-pedal based guitar solo are the highlights of this tune . The EP ends with ‘Golden Years’ . A beautiful track using acoustic guitars and very effective backing vocals. This track sticks in your head . A bonus track in the form of a radio edit of ‘See No Sun’ is also present in the EP . The radio edit is basically the EP version minus the heavy riffs in the mid section .

Overall, I was pretty much satisfied with the EP, considering the criticism they faced when they decided to switch genres . Open your ears , people! Music should be devoid of any stereotypes . Good music should always be non-subjective. Go get this EP folks, you won’t be disappointed!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Post: Five Insane Wild Rock Performances!

Howdy rockers! This post, bringing out some of the most insane wild performances in rock music, has been contributed to us by one of our very own esteemed readers. Check out what she thinks:

Rock and Roll is brimming with unforgettably wild performances from artists whose sanity might, indeed, be questionable. However, the on-stage antics of these five bands/ performers have become the stuff of legend. The following must-see performances will demonstrate that wild insanity and great music can go hand in hand.

  • The Who:  Who can say, decades later, what Pete Townshend’s guitar did to deserve to be smashed up, but the legendary crack up and the rock insanity that fueled it is one of live Rock’s greatest moments. Credited as the first guitar-smashing rocker, Townshend and his mid-1960s guitar smash helped gain the band notoriety and not to be outdone—the drummer, Keith Moon—began destroying his drum kits, too. All in all, when fans first glimpsed that performance of Townshend’s destructive force, Rock music became celebrated for the joy of sheer mayhem. 

  •  Pink Floyd:  Regarded as one of the highlights in Rock’s history, Pink Floyd’s 1980 theatrical show that brought their double album The Wall to life on stage is still considered one of the most incredible and wild rides of live performance. Dismayed by the growing isolation from his fans Roger Waters felt during stadium performances, he conceived of building a real wall on stage. Fans watched the concert performance as a 6-man crew built a wall in front of the band. At intermission, Waters placed the final brick. Then, an explosive crash witnessed the crumbling of the wall as the band launched into “Outside the Wall.” Concert productions have never been the same since. 

  •  Alice Cooper: Shock rocker Alice Cooper wowed audiences back in 1973 when he faked his death during the climax of his live show by placing his neck in a guillotine. The trick guillotine was built to stun audiences who were treated to the mad performer’s beheading. Many groups tried to ban Cooper from repeating this prank at other shows, but Cooper prevailed and his famous guillotine act continues to be one of Rock and Roll’s craziest moments. 

  •  Kiss: The 1970s, a wild time in Rock and Roll history, also witnessed the live performances of Kiss who combined Heavy Metal with elements of Glam Rock. At the height of their wild performances, Kiss wowed audiences with laser-firing guitars, blood-spitting, fog, explosions, and unforgettable fire-breathing pyrotechnics. The Kiss Army rejoiced at the painted faces of their mad generals who took rock concerts to a crazy new level. 

  •  Jimi Hendrix: On a late March evening in 1967, Hendrix lit his guitar on fire as the culminating event of a performance while touring in the UK and parts of Europe. Hendrix was cementing his reputation as an innovative and highly influential guitar player when he set his guitar in flames. Wild and crazy though it was, the act is one of Rock and Roll’s greatest moments and the viewed performance continues to generate fans and astound viewers. Not surprising, Jimi’s burning guitar is forever associated with Rock and Roll madness. 

Author Bio: Mahal Kapoor is a member of a network of bloggers who write about premium travel on behalf of companies such as American Express. The Platinum Card from American Express offers a host of lifestyle and travel benefits to Cardholders.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kevlar Bikini's hardcore debut with 'Explodisiac'!

Kevlar Bikini, who call themselves a 'Punk/Rock n Roll/Hardcore quartet, were next on my list today, and I went on to listen to their debut album titled 'EXPLODISIAC'. This four-headed beast is made up of Auker on the vocals, Arlavi on the bass, Berta on the guitar and Kicho on the drums.

The album began with 'Devil's Jukebox', which had a heavy metal tone, and gets you in the groove with the guitar rhythm and the drumbeats. I've personally found most metal bands to be lacking variety in their songs or albums, but the basslines did a good job in the interlude to keep me addicted. 'Yikes Mama', I loved the intro totally. This track was very creatively done by the band. It had elements of Rock n Roll and heavy metal rolled into one. The vocals and the bass were commendable.

'Supersized Buttcake' had an unusual intro, dominant vocals and beats, while the next track 'Suped Up Machine' had a cool head-banging riff and rhythm throughout. Gets your adrenaline rushing up so fast, just the track you'd love when in rage.

As sweet as the name sounds, 'Sweet ride' began with a clean intro on the guitar and the bass from behind. Though I was expecting something more in this track, especially towards the end, but the guitar-bass duo did add some variety to this album. I was delighted when I reached the next track titled 'Jab', which actually began with the same tone that the previous instrumental ended with! Amazing start, and an amazing idea. The drums, the guitar, the vocals, all did a fabulous job in this one. The bass was consistent throughout. One of my favorites from the album.

'Pretzelspine' flagged off with an improvisation on the drums and a cool dominating guitar riff. I liked the chorus much. The drumrolls were noteworthy. Good job! Moving on, I found what I was looking for in 'Urinea', which had a pleasant intro on clean guitar chords and bass, and light drums in the background. A soft number, with a beautiful ending, though the vocals could have been much better. Reminded somewhat of 'Serenity' by Godsmack for a while too, considering the feel induced in this track.

The last track called 'Kiss it like its skinny Liv Tyler' had a nice change on the tempo and dominant bass-lines complimented well by those punching guitar riffs and exuberant vocals throughout. I quite liked the interlude patterns in most of the songs.

The band's genre as quoted on their website states 'punk', though I found this album to have metal infleunces in most of the songs, if not all. Their music is definitely original and well structured, and the album has variety too. The album is quite successful in keeping you hooked to your iPod till the end, though another unplugged truck would have been great. For a debut album, they sure do make a mark out there.
You can check out the band right here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ellis Ashbrook: Redefining creativity with their music!

I stumbled upon an American band called 'Ellis Ashbrook', who call their genre as 'Exploratory Rock', and well, that was quite interesting to me at first sight. The band comprises of John Barber on the vocals and guitar, Natalie Lowe on the vocals and keys, Jonathan Granoff on the Bass, and Alex Major on the Drums. I got hold of their latest album called 'Meridia' and honestly, I am extremely lucky to have heard it. Here's why:

The album begins with 'Accelerator', and oh boy! Its really as if they stepped up on the accelerator! Amazing intro. I quickly put on my headphones on full volume. This song straight-away touched my heart at one go. The bass, rhythm and percussions were so strong throughout, and the duet vocals were so much synchronised. It reminded me of some tracks from Rush with the amazing keyboard solo towards the end. In one word, 'PERFECT' !

I was too much excited to move on to the next track called 'Slide', which started off with a cool improvisation on the drums, followed by a hard rock riff on the guitar. What I liked the most was the chorus vocals, exquisite! This song has a lot of variations in the rhythm patterns, tempo, and even the vocals. All the members are extremely good at their parts, and listening to them together as a band is even better.

Moving on, after two power-packed songs, I was expecting a somewhat softer one, and that's what exactly I got in the 'Cat Song'. A wah-wah intro to start with, this one had cool basslines, and some nice drum rolls in the chorus. The guitar solo was what I was looking for now, but it had a drum solo in store too. Way to go.

Ellis Ashbrook somehow knows what should come next, and they sure know it right indeed. After a guitar intro, you get a bass intro by Jonathan Granoff, and peppy, exquisite vocals by Natalie Lowe in 'We laughin'. The chorus effect in the verse was noteworthy. The guitar solo again took me back to the 70s, reminding me of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, 'Since I've been loving you' to be specific. John Barber, hats off!

Setting up such high expectactions with just the initial tracks, I didn't know what could come next. But yet again, a nice arpeggio by Barber, and beautiful vocals throughout in 'Peripheral Declination'. Alex Major has been consistent throughout the album, with his perfect timings and beats. The drums have been exemplary at all times.

Then comes the 'Climax', literally too. A pleasant track, transporting you to an altogether different feel, a synth-induced background, complementing Natalie's awesome vocals throughout. The violin solo towards the end was a big surprise!

The self-titled track, 'Meridia', was just around a 2 min track, with a variety of experimental sounds fitted together. It seemed as a trailer for this album on second thoughts. 'Unbreakable' flags off with an open snare roll by Alex, followed by Natalie again on the vocals. The improvisation at the end reminded of the epic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by none other than, Queen!

The last track called 'Bottomfeeder', had John Barber begin on the vocals with the keyboard in the background, and reminded me vaguely of The Who too for a moment. The track progresses with an entry by Alex on the drums, followed by Jonathan on the bass. I loved the 5 second fusion between the guitar, drums and the bass towards the end.

Summing up, I'd fall short of words to describe this album. In terms of the sounds, the originality, the creativity, the mixing, and the synchronisation, Meridia is a FLAWLESS album by Ellis Ashbrook. It was like a fusion of classic old-school with modern rock, done perfectly in their own, freaking way! The amount of work, and the passion is completely evident in each single track, and well, I'd even rate them amongst the best modern rock bands today.
I'm a fan, a big one at that! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Future Limited: Jascha Hoffman

It was a day , when the sun refused to rise up n lighten up the world . Instead it chose to hide behind the gloomy , dark clouds . I , while drinking coffee , was searching for an album that could match the mood portrayed by the weather . While browsing the internet in my quest for the ‘right’ album, I happened to stumble upon Jascha’s new album ‘The Future Limited’ . 

As I started listening to it from the very 1st track of the album, and 30 seconds into it , I felt as if time had been captured into a limitless period of suspended animation. ‘Limited’ has a very cool , synth induced background which lends the song a geeky-feel. The lyrics seemed weird at first, but as the song progresses, it makes perfect sense. The music blends perfectly with the seemingly odd lyrics .

 For those who don’t know, who Jascha is, He is a gifted singer-songwriter , who composes left-of-centre pop with a hint of rock and loads of catchy and cerebral lyrics that focus on time, space, death, science fiction etc., which does seem weird at first but once you hear it , you see the big picture. Jascha appeals to those people who are tired of listening to the lame pop artists existing in today’s radios and televisions . Intelligent and laid back are the key words here to describe Jascha’s sound . The album is a laid back journey to some of the most impressive soundscapes I’ve come across in recent times .

 The album’s 2nd track ‘The Future’ is a mellow track which uses vocal sampling to create a progressive aura around it . ‘Copter’ has an orchestral section thrown in between for good measure . By this time, the clouds were crying their heart out , the song perfectly capturing the mood I was in. ‘Intuition’ is in a similar feel zone. Musically , it’s simple but the emotions generated after listening to it calms the time around you . ‘Lamb Sandwich’ is just Jascha and his piano crooning about, well ….. a lamb sandwich . ‘Get Up’ is a pop rock tune which talks about getting well when being sick, confined to the bed. ’Love’ is the shortest tune of the album , clocking in at an astonishing 15 seconds! ‘I Need You Tiny’ is a surprising end to this album , considering the mellow nature of the album . The song is uptempo , happy and almost goes against the flow dictated by the earlier tracks . It has a cool guitar solo in the end, showing that Jascha is comfortable with punk as well as pop.

 This album is NOT meant to be heard when you are busy with your chaotic life . It’s meant to be heard when you’re in an introspective mood or when you are in suspended animation. Both ways it’s gonna sound awesome ! Kudos to Jascha for playing left-of-centre pop , which appeals to people who like to introspect and don’t feel too good while listening to the usual ‘normal’ pop stuff. You have to give this a listen, and believe me, you're gonna love it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So, how about 'listening' to the 'Moonlight' for a change?

'A hard working guitar based rock band' as they like to call themselves, Lilygun is a London-based band comprising of Anna-Christina as the Songwriter/Guitars/Vocals, Belle on the Drums and James Ford on the Guitar.

Having released their second single called 'Moonlight', the band is working on releasing their debut EP later this year itself! Listening to the song, it begins with a soothing plucking intro backed by some really pleasant vocals that sets your mood right in the 'midnight' mode where you put on your headphones and raise the volume by a leap to get immersed in the track completely. The song then progresses to a hard, heavy-distorted tone that somewhere reminded me of Lacuna Coil too for a while.

Anna's vocals in the chorus are fabulous and well synchronised with the rhythm and percussions, though I'm a bit not used to a very heavy distortion, but James did a good job with it. The last part of the track got the perfect ending with some nice, enchanting guitar harmonics that I was expecting as well.

 Summing up, the track is sure true to its title, 'Moonlight', with commendable vocals, and a good, consistent rhythm, and the atmosphere they are able to create via their music, which was the best part for me indeed! Just wait until they get their album out later this year guys, I'm personally curious enough to see what more Lilygun has in store for us!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

'Father of Loud' Jim Marshall dies aged 88

The world-famous Marshall amplifiers founder Jim Marshall has died aged 88.

Jim Marshall will be remembered alongside the likes of Leo Fender and Les Paul as one of the founding fathers of the modern electric guitar sound, and the most widely noticed brand name that you see on stage in almost any LIVE rock performance.

A tribute has been posted on their official website too.
R.I.P. Jim.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vanaprasta is back with the Effie House Sessions!

Vanaprasta is back !! After the critically acclaimed debut album ‘Healthy Geometry’ won many fans with its eclectic mix of indie with psychedelics, post grunge, ambient electronica , they are back with an EP which promises to up the ante in the next album . With this EP, they go on to show how very versatile they are . Though it contains alternate/acoustic versions of the tunes from their previous release (plus one new track), it doesn’t become monotonous and it very much stands out on its own due to the fabulous arrangement and production of the acoustic sets, courtesy of producer Dave Schiffman’s expertise (of The Mars Volta, Red Hot Chili Peppers fame).

This 5 track EP basically showcases their versatility as a band and it sounds more personal due to its acoustic approach. The EP begins with an acoustic version of the track ‘Supernumerary’ which perfectly sets the mood up with a mellow piano riff along with an acoustic guitar. Steven is impressive with his amazing range . Next up is their track called ‘Color of Sin’. The track fits in amazingly in this EP . This tune was intended to be an acoustic tune in the first place , so the quintet pretty much nails this .

‘Healthy Geometry’, the song which shares the same name as their debut album,  has a laid back acoustic version in this EP. The band manages to catch the feel of its chaotic electric version in an acoustic set-up . The acoustic version of ‘Come on’ is my favorite track from this EP . The track has a crescendo-like middle section which absolutely blows you off . The EP closes with an alternate version of ‘Nineequalsnine’ . The track has a smooth transition from its original effects-laden version to a very powerful acoustic version of it.

So, final verdict: The tracks don’t lose their meaning, even when the band is literally stripped off its gear! It’s not entirely an acoustic EP , neither is it entirely electric … but it is in its right mix which stands out. I say, give it a listen folks! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Win a cool Fan Tshirt of Indian Superstar Ranbir Kapoor!

Greetings guys, we bring forth an opportunity for all our Indian readers and fans to WIN a cool Ranbir Kapoor official fan Tshirt, by just answering a simple question. We have 5 Tshirts to give away to 5 lucky readers! You won't wanna miss this chance just for the sake of filling a form up in 5 seconds, wouldn't you?

Please note:
*Contest ends on 10th March 2012.
*5 lucky winners will receive an email from us regarding their postal details for receiving the award.
*Multiple entries won't be counted.
*Contest is open for Indian citizens only.

So, hurry up! Do check out his latest short film, the first one to be auditioned on facebook, right here:  http://youtu.be/KGU45aNm-C4

To take part in the contest, All you have to do is

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A film auditioned on Facebook? Check out Nissan 'New Star of India'

Well, this is for all people in India! The biggest buzz around is that of an upcoming Bollywood film starring leading actor Ranbir Kapoor, produced by Nissan, which conducted its auditions completely on Facebook!

Now this in itself is an entirely innovative concept, entitled 'New Star of India'. Winners were decided entirely on the basis of public votes, and finally expert opinions by renowned choreographer Ahmed Khan, and Ranbir Kapoor himself. The film is now set for a release very soon, also giving away a brand new Nissan Micra to one lucky fan!

Check out the trailer of the film folks, you sure are gonna love it! If you reside in India, don't miss it as well. Stay tuned, we are launching a contest too, giving out 5 cool official Ranbir Fan Tshirts very soon asap! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Indie just got a new, rising star: Jesse Thomas

Its quite hard to believe a debut full-length record opening at  #8 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. Not only that, it's also featured there in the Indie Spotlight as a New and Noteworthy release!

That's Jesse Thomas for you folks, with her new record called 'War Dancer', featuring brilliant tracks like 'Fire', 'You I want' and 9 others. Just give it a single play, and you get immersed in the song completely. I bet you'd be re-playing it all again! With an enchanting, soulful voice and some exquisite tunes, her music is sure gonna be amongst your favourites from the Indie genre.

Here's a video to get a glimpse of what she's all about:

Check out the full album here.