Sunday, March 25, 2012

Creature Feature

I stumbled across this band last night in a once-in-a-lifetime kind of way, and was honestly surprised that my wayward searching overturned something this eclectic and enjoyable.

Artist: Creature Feature

Choosing to talk about this group now couldn't have come at a more perfect time (except maybe on October 31st), because the best way I can describe their sound is a combination of all of the creepiness and theatrics of Tim Burton/Danny Elfman with the synthesizing of Pendulum, the band I just highlighted a video from. The result is something sounding new wave horror rock-esque, combined with horror movie-like lyrics, to create the perfect creepy (and catchy) sound.

Some of their standout tracks include;
• The House Of Myth
• A Gorey Demise (a sort of parody of Edward Gorey's "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" alphabet)
• The Greatest Show Unearthed
• Such Horrible Things
• Mommy's Little Monsters
• Grave Robber At Large
• It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...

Warning: The lyrics are rather dark and somewhat disturbing, but really to that point where it's in a typical, corny/silly Halloween-type style. However, you have honestly been warned. There's some... interesting morbid imagery described in every song that truly might not be for everyone. And if stuff like that doesn't sit well with you, regardless of how over-the-top cheezy it may come off, I strongly recommend passing this one over, or at least proceeding with caution.

One last note: If you find yourself liking this group, make sure to spread the word, because from what I've read, it seems like these guys could use all the extra support (monetary and otherwise) they can get!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Propane Nightmares

Stretching the definition of "alternative," today's suggestion comes from the genre of "drum and bass," with a little bit of a rock vibe to it.

Song: Propane Nightmares
Artist: Pendulum

The video is thematically based around a religious cult that apparently closely resembles Heaven's Gate (an American UFO religion). While the band performs at the front of the shack where the cult is meeting, two individuals are more spotlighted than others, and they wind up escaping from the shack during the cult suicide. This begs the question, "Why would you book a band for a mass suicide?"

But although the video is odd to say the least, the song itself is ridiculously catchy. I've never really listened to much electronic rock, but to start I feel this was a great sampling. Complete with a grooving instrument backing, the vocals complement the track as even they've been autotuned to the point of sounding synthesized. However, this is far cry from standard dubstep or techno. There's also a very poignant melody to go with the beat-heavy rhythm.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We Don't Need to Whisper

In the mood for a quick detour out of the land of hard rock, I took to Google and after a few searches I found myself at this alternative gem.

Album: We Don't Need to Whisper
Artist: Angels and Airwaves

When I first started into this record, I had no idea I was stumbling upon such a great number of connections to other bands I know and love. Namely, the vocalist is Tom DeLonge of Blink-182, the drummer is Ilan Rubin formerly of Nine Inch Nails and Lostprophets, and the bassist is Matt Wachter formerly of 30 Seconds to Mars (although he was not in the band at the time this album was recorded - he joined about a year later). Not to mention, their guitarist David Kennedy is from a number of different bands himself, they're just ones that I hadn't heard of before. But needless to say, I'm more than a little disappointed in myself that it took me as long as it did to give Angels and Airwaves a listen.

To paint you a quick picture of their sound on this album, imagine if you will combining the electronic sound of Nine Inch Nails, the punk drumming of Blink-182 and the overall upbeat rock vibe of Lostprophets with the ambient synthesizing of 30 Seconds to Mars. Although those stylistic influences aren't consistent by any means, the idea is that there are a lot of interesting elements that have been combined here to varying degrees for a unique alternative sound that has callbacks to some of the bands that the individual members hail from.

Some standout tracks include;
• The War
• The Adventure
• It Hurts
• Start the Machine
• Distraction

Although the presence of Delonge's distinct voice gives off a strong Blink-182 vibe throughout, this album is truly a standalone masterpiece. All the small things were done in great detail and the work put into every aspect shows through absolutely brilliantly. The songs are catchy, but not overbearingly so, which lends itself to a record you might want to come back to time and time again.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mad Caddies

As if the brilliance that is Pandora® hadn't been highlighted on here enough already, today's suggestion comes straight from the heart of some exploring my friend and I did on there recently.

Artist: Mad Caddies

These guys are about as ska-punk as you can get, combining the best elements of each genre with flair. Their unique sound also has callbacks to such genres as swing, reggae, jazz, Spanish, polka, cowpunk and sea shanties. Needless to say, they're a very eclectic group, and it truly shows in their music.

Some of their standout tracks include;
• Coyote
• Just One More
• Last Breath
• Lay Your Head Down
• Reflections
• Save Us
• Souls for Sale
• Tired Bones

Even if you're not as inclined to give ska in general a fair chance, you might not want to ignore this one. Between all of the interesting genre directions they've taken, their ska-roots have consistently been laced with punk. And hand-in-hand with punk naturally comes a little bit of a rock taste.

If none of that convinces you, how could you possibly justify ignoring a band whose live album is entitled "Live from Toronto: Songs in the Key of Eh!"? That's what I thought.