Saturday, October 11, 2008

TEMPER TEMPER - Temper Temper

Temper Temper
Revelation Records

Temper Temper aims to annihilate the scene with a blend of punked up rock meshed with pop metal axework and at times, GN’R style guitar riffs infused with an electro sensibility. This is really an album for those who the more punk side of things but maintains a certain amount of crossover appeal. “Delicate Limp” is an example of the bands mellower side. The track features a disco type of beat and things really don’t build up to where they are heavy until later on in the song.

Opening cut “Trust Me” is pure electro with a grungy bluesy riff that gives the tune a manic feeling that is very catchy and listenable. “Bleed For Me Comrade” contains a bluesy riff again, while “Heart Like A Fist” is driving and unstable. The Hammond sounding organ sound at times overpowers the crunchy guitars and could stand to be further down in the mix here, but that’s the only real complaint.

“Terror Tongue In Cheek” has a heavy chorus that again is drowned out by organ. This seems to be a trend with many bands doing this kind of music these days. Unfortunately, it detracts from the power of the music.

Willing to crossover into something a bit more pop punk? Then you would want to check this out, but for fans of straight up metal there’s not too much here of interest unless you are very, very adventurous in terms of musical taste.


Friday, October 10, 2008

THE BLACK MARIA - Lead Us To Reason

Lead Us To Reason
Victory Records

The Black Maria brings the listener a whirlwind of souped-up post hardcore that is as infectious as it is stylistically brilliant. Eleven tracks elevated by the superb singing of vocalist Chris Gray. Standout tunes include the urgent opener ‘The Memento’, the raved up ‘Our Commitment’s A Sickness’ and the balladesque ‘To Have Loved’.

A first-class production embellishes the record’s well penned music. The Black Maria is a band that has everything going their way.

Fans of everything from Chevelle to Lost Prophets will enjoy this compelling, emotion laden record.



Nitro Records – 2005

With A Wilhelm Scream, you get a lot of variety in songwriting, an upfront, honest approach and a realness that is evident throughout the band’s songwriting resulting in a textured record that’s pretty damn entertaining.

“Runier” finds the band experimenting with straight-up hardcore, rough-edged modern rock, tumultuous post-punk and sounds that push the boarders of genres. “God Loves A Liar” is punkish and progressive, while “The King Is Dead” enters with a mellow passage that’s similar to System Of A Down before launching full-force into some Comeback Kid-style hardcore that will take your head off.

When listening to “The Pool”, you may think that NOFX has gotten into a head-on collision with Rush and Alex Lifeson’s hands were sewn back onto Fat Mike. There’s a lot of tunefulness to be found here and one doesn’t even need to look for it. It is right there in your face, whether the band is plowing through a hardcore breakdown or speedy, double-kick fueled chorus. “Congratulations” is reminiscent of Pennywise being mashed with Iron Maiden. The end result is markedly successful.

“The Kids Can Eat A Bag Of Dicks” is a fist-pumping anthem that’s sure to draw a bit of attention and not just for its overtly politically incorrect title. Listening to the track, a fan of this sort of thing can’t help but ponder an out-of-control, skanking fit.

Give the boys their due, “Ruiner” is a bold artistic statement which is both riveting and well-deserving of repeated plays on your iPod. Snatch it up.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

FAULTER – Darling Buds Of May

Darling Buds Of May

Artsy and melodic, it’s hard to fault Darling Buds Of May, the latest from Faulter, for poor songwriting. You’ll find well-crafted hooks, sweeping melodies and colorful dramatics in bunches here. But these poppy-sounding semi-anthems lack impact. There’s no force behind the majority of these eleven cuts, everything is just sort of dreamy and shimmering and floating atop icy clouds. That’s what Faulter is all about - cold relationships, bittersweet introspection and pungent shoegazing.

Love the record’s sullen, cartoonish digipack, it fits the mood of the music of Faulter just fine. When Faulter kick in a bit of post-hardcore oomph during Holding On, they’re most successful. While they’re at their more thoughtful, the boys in Faulter sound like a smoother-sounding version of The Verve Pipe. That should scare off all of the Mayhem fans right away. For some reason, the frat boy crowd can scare off most everyone but themselves just as well as your average corpsepainted forkpitcher.

So what’s the deal here? This is a really good record from a quite capable and talented outfit if you put it in its proper context, but Darling Buds Of May is too damn jingly, jangly and soft-spoken to attract too many fans of underground music. Urge these darling buds to grow a pair and you just may have a formidable force.


Righteous Jams - Business As Usual

Righteous Jams
Business As Usual
Abacus Recordings

As “Thought Vacation” desperately careens out of control with a gritty flair, it’s obvious that Bostonians Righteous Jams have their finger on the pulse of something that’s altogether different.

The hardcore mutation of “Business As Usual” blends Black Flag and the raunch of Guns N’ Roses “It’s So Easy,” straight-up rocking the hell out with knife-gargling vigor and establishing this outfit as one of the most unique of their kind. Love that wahed-out solo that amps up the sleazy vibe of “23” and the extended chugging of “Nothing Happens” is fuel for a veritable mop-tossing fire.

Vocalist Joey Contrada is majorly responsible for the highly original sound of this unit, his gnarled delivery betraying a reckless rebellion against all that’s status quo in this industry.

That reason is reason enough to say that “Business As Usual” is a safe bet from a deliberately unsafe bastion of releases from straight-edge, cored-out rockers.