Monday, April 30, 2012

Dead Beat

Today is the day marking when I have officially given up on trying to keep my four suggestion "categories" even, as finding quality music videos has proven harder than I thought. And, short of suggesting the same band's music videos ad nauseam, or trying to make something out of nothing, I've reached that point where it makes more sense to suggest whatever comes up, regardless of its "type." So, with that being said, here's today's suggestion.

Album: Dead Beat
Artist: Rufus Rex

This sound of this band bears an incredible similarity to that of the band Creature Feature, whom I've discussed previously on here. Spoiler alert, that similarity is because Rufus Rex is the side project of the Creature Feature singer/guitarist Curtis Rx. He is accompanied by drummer Victor Fuentes, but it's really a guitar-heavy solo project.

Of course, the similarities don't just stop at the sound: some of the macabre themes carry over as well. Basically, "the album is a concept about one man's quest for immorality and the strange world he discovers after awakening a terrible evil older than time itself" according to their official website.

However, the drastic difference between this music and that of Creature Feature is that Creature Feature is much more literal. To demonstrate what I mean, take Rufus Rex's song "Personal Demons," which is about the disruption of one's sanity. Were Creature Feature to have a song by the same name, it would probably be about actual little demon critters following someone around. That variance pretty much holds true for the entirety of the album, although there are some grisly aspects here and there.

Some standout tracks include;
• Rise Lazarus Rise
• Personal Demons
• From the Dust Returned a Titan
• Worlds In-Between
• Body In Revolt
• You'll Never Guess

If you go to this website, you can actually legally listen to all of the songs for free, and there are even lyrics put up for them as well. Trust me, it's much easier than scouring Youtube. Also, if what I've heard is correct, you can get the singles from the album through that site with a "name your price" scenario provided, meaning you can download them for free if you so desire or make a general donation-type payment.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Street Spirit (Fade Out)

There are many songs out there that can provoke their fair share of emotional despair, but not many that can do so without any emphasis being on a lyrical story being told.

Song: Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Artist: Radiohead

To quote vocalist and principal songwriter Thom Yorke; "Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition.... That's why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning. I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working together."

The power behind this track lies in its sound, from its instrumentation to the style of the vocals. It gives off an almost muted, minimalistic, stripped down vibe that can really do a number on your emotions. Honestly it's beautiful is what it is. Hauntingly beautiful.

I've listened to this song upwards of a couple dozen times now, without actually knowing the lyrics, which should be testament enough that it's not a sorrowful lyrical tale that gives this song its desolate feel. In a way, it's almost the lack thereof that lends itself to creating something so emotionally taxing. The individual tales Yorke weaves without any explanation or connection leave the listener without any sense of resolve and thus a heavier heart because of it.

I don't mean it to come across as though you will mire in depression for listening to this, or that you'll break down in tears of sorrow at the melancholy chorus. It's a somber, comfortless song unlike any other I've heard, but it's not distressing in a particularly lasting way.

Really, it's very hard to describe the unique impact of this track with words, so I suggest you go give it a listen and find out for yourself what it can evoke.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Back in February I highlighted a single from this album, and mentioned how eagerly I was awaiting the drop of the album in its entirety. Whatever excitement I felt then was definitely no where near as excited as I really should've been.

Album: Vulnerable
Artist: The Used

Have you ever enjoyed how catchy a pop song can be, but loathed the actual song itself due to its stylistic pop-genre elements? Here, The Used has taken the catchy, desirable traits from pop and combined them seamlessly with their well-known "sludge-rock" type style, to use a term coined by their singer. It's honestly rather remarkable, and pretty dang hard to stop listening to.

Bert McCracken's vocals are driving and distinct as always, and as per usual the instrumentation backing him up is flawless and complements the vocal tracking so well. They aren't just drum and guitar tracks laid down to simply backup the frontward melody; They are individual parts each with their own power that all combine to form something quite extraordinary.

Some standout tracks include;
• I Come Alive
• Together Burning Bright
• Hands and Faces
• Hurt No One
• Kiss It Goodbye
• Put Me Out
• Now That You're Dead
• Machine

There are even acoustic versions of a few songs that further highlight McCracken's vocal abilities, and are also surprisingly catchy in their own right. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that no matter what portion of this album you listen to, be it a handful of tracks or the whole thing, you'll come away impressed and with a new tune in your cranium. Unless I've seriously misjudged my audience here, I can absolutely guarantee this won't be a waste of your time in any way whatsoever.