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Sweet & Vicious – The Story of Arc & Stones

11 Jul

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In the transformative world of modern music it is always refreshing to hear a band that knows who it is and plays music that represents this group-actualization. Arc & Stones, a 4-piece classic Hard Rock/Blues outfit based out of Nashville, Tennessee, has been honing its craft since 2012, and while I am a little late to the game, I have been meaning to right about this powerful quartet for a while now.

Considering how long it usually takes bands to start seeing success, it took Arc & Stones time equivalent to an undergraduates college career to start the band, release several EPs, tour the U.S., open for Kansas on a year-long tour … you catch the drift; the band doesn’t believe in the terms “off day” or “rest.” Described on the band’s website as “an almost insane drive to expand their sonic reach,” Arc & Stones, like the music the band pumps out, is heavy-hitting, passionate, and eager to rock the ears off eager listeners. I can now hopefully count you as one of those listeners. Check out “Control” off the band’s 2014 EP As You Were. 

“Control” immediately glistens with a deep guitar distortion, almost like a nice blend of Black Keys and Kaleo, and a unique hi-hat heavy percussion rhythm that provides a nice pair to the guitar. The chorus features instruments crashing, heavy vocals from Dan Pellarin, a true wall of sound. The song is a call-back to heavy rock influences from the early 70s and more modern hard blues. There is a lot to like.

“Sweet and Vicious” is led by another bluesy Face the Promise Seger-like guitar riff that neatly follows into another crushing drum riff by Joey Doino that follows the riff effortlessly. A lingering lead by Dan Berry falls behind Pellarin’s southern rock croon, while the percussion holds strong with Doino and bassist Seth Webster at the helm. The strongest part of the song is the end, and I don’t mean that in a cheeky way; the predominant riff combines with Pellarin’s vocal and combines this head-bopping finale that crescendos like every tremendous hard rock song should.

Arc & Stones is a band you should be listening to. Check out the band’s website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Hot Rumours Fuels The Soul With Run To Me

9 Mar

 

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Hot Rumours presents their sound with unlimited effortlessness. Fueling the song’s soundRun to Me, it carries the undertones of rock and roll, angst, and the spirit of authentic feelings. Hailing from Frankie Siragusa, most known for working with members of acclaimed groups such as The Decemberists, Reggie Watts, and REM, Hot Rumours brings the vocalist Aaron Ficchi’s sound into a genre of sophistication and the epitome of brilliant music making. Within the track, Run To Me, it carries deep metaphors as well with lyrics such as “everytime you wake up to someone else, you drive yourself alone”. While Run To Me gives us a glimpse into their debut EP, listeners will be thrilled to know that a West Coast exclusive tour will be in the works for summer, simply spreading the sound of Hot Rumours to ears filled with anticipation.

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Music Palace – Rival Sons, Adam Sullivan and the Trees

28 Feb

I must proclaim that I am a little late to the game with both Rival Sons and Adam Sullivan and the Trees. I first heard about both bands back in 2014, and, well, there they sat on my list of bands to write about for around two years. Since then, though, both bands have continued their drive to the top of their respective genres, creating excellent music that, if you have not heard of yet, you should have (and you will now).

 

Rival Sons

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Hard Rock is tough to come by these days. And, no, I’m not talking about the loud, “hard rock” proto-punk sound that occasionally serves as a substitute to traditional hard rock. I’m talking about Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer 1960s/1970s hard rock that took blues music and shaped it into a driving sound that rocked the socks off of my parent’s generation. Lucky for listeners today, Rival Sons is doing just that. Much in the vein of modern bands like The Sheepdogs and Gary Clark Jr., Rival Sons is creating old-style rock n’ roll music with a keen blues sound, driving percussion, and raspy vocals. This is not going unnoticed. The Californian band, which formed back in 2009,  was handpicked to be the main support for the entire Black Sabbath farewell world tour. That’s a high compliment from one of the originators of the genre.

Released in 2014, on the 4th studio album from the band – Great Western Valkyrie – “Open My Eyes” was a large reason why the album reached #1 on the US Heat charts as well as charting in several European countries. Hit play on that track and tell me it does not sound like you just lightly placed the needle down on an LP. The crashing percussion and satiating riff – purveyed by Mike Miley and Scott Holiday respectively – are jaw-dropping. Lead vocalist Jay Buchanan belts the vocals from the first note, calling forth comparisons to Paul Rodgers and Lou Gramm. Dave Beste provides a solid bass guitar to round out the quartet. The song even features a Bad Compary-esque acoustic interlude. This is a tremendous release from an up-and-coming band, and I cannot wait to hear more from them.

Adam Sullivan and the Trees

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After years as a solo artist, Adam Sullivan needed some more roots to shape his music career, so he recruited some NYC trees and started making music with them. The result? Adam Sullivan and the Trees, a four-piece Indie/Folk/Pop outfit whose music relies on catchy melodies, dulcet rhythms, and, according to the Facebook page, halal food and whiskey. The band, which consists of Adam Sullivan (keys, vocals), Mason Ingram (drums), Rob Ritchie (guitars), and Zack Lober (bass), formed in 2013 and since then released a self-titled LP (2014) and Live and Acoustic album (2015).

“Cool Kids” – the live version – is off of the band’s most recent 2015 release. It is a ditty in every traditional sense. The band describes its genre as happy/sad music, and this song encompasses that genre perfectly. Ostensibly, it is a melodic acoustic track with pleasant vocals and cheery instrumentation; the lyrics, though, are about trying to fit in with the cool kids and are, well, sad; however, the lyrics fit perfectly with the track and in that are successful.

Flaunt Brings An Atmosphere of Sound In Their Newest Track, Restraint

25 Feb

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Flaunt puts their mysterious and noir sound on the map within their newest single Restraint. The light addition of drumming within the track and subtle, but powerful guitar riffs set the tone for Restraint as an intentional and focused one. With their musical aesthetic being on the same wavelength as artists such as Bloc Party, The Killers, and even Spooky Black, Flaunt makes their music completely unique and addicting to the auditory sense. Even within their track, the word phrases of “after you knocked me over and “you turned to the quickest escape” convey the track not only as a strong anthem, but also one that’s filled with emotion, despair, and dashes of melancholia. Previously earning an Independent Music Award in 2014 for New Discovery Artist, it should not be a surprise to listeners how authentic and raw Flaunt truly is.

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Spines of The Heart Sets Standout Sound For Bryan Diester

22 Feb

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Completely setting the dark and mysterious tone for the album Spines of The Heart, Bryan Diester mixes his classical piano training with heavy vocals. Drawing influence from the dark and grungey sounds of 90s grunge, Spines of the Heart sets the tone for deep and reflective listening for listeners. Diester’s musical background shows the variety of music he is capable of performing. He has previously trained in the genres of classical, jazz, blues, and progressive rock.  With spotlighted tracks such as All That I Have and Into The Sky, Diester delivers an overall steady grunge anthem of his own in his album. Citing the great Kurt Cobain as a significant influence, listeners should take note Diester is definitely full of ambition alongside his musical talent, as he currently is studying Writing & Composition at Berklee College of Music.

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