Category Archives: Reviews

Bad Girl’s World: Halestorm’s Unequivocally Hard Rock

Our music reviews seek to trace the narratives that weave between songs and albums. Check out our Rhythmic Fiction tag for other stories told through music.

Halestorm’s May 2 show at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore was cancelled due to the anticipated protests, and the state of emergency then still in effect in the city. I was supposed to go, but I was relieved when the show was postponed to September 26. The rioting and the presence of the National Guard was weighing too heavily on the city and my mind to see myself truly enjoying what would have been a positively energetic concert.

I have seen Halestorm live twice already, and I knew I wanted to see them again. Their on-stage energy and enthusiasm is genuine and infectious. Continue reading Bad Girl’s World: Halestorm’s Unequivocally Hard Rock

Quick Rip: Is This What Country Rock is Supposed to Sound Like?

My frame of reference for country music includes classic artists like Ray Charles (who took gospel and country, added a little soul to it, and essentially invented R&B) and Johnny Cash (duh.); modern singers/songwriters like Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift (before she officially moved to pop with RED); and whatever the hell this is supposed to be. I don’t listen to a lot of modern  or pop country music, and based on what I’ve heard, the genre doesn’t appeal to me all that much. Continue reading Quick Rip: Is This What Country Rock is Supposed to Sound Like?

Quick Rip: An Unidentifiable Muse

Muse fascinates me. They are the most intriguing, most enigmatic band of the 21st century. This band has made their name by playing a style of many names: electronic rock, progressive, fusion-something, glam rock, experimental rock, and my personal favorite… space rock. Continue reading Quick Rip: An Unidentifiable Muse

Pervasive Longing: Of Monsters and Men’s First Album, and Long-Overdue Return

Our music reviews seek to trace the narratives that weave between songs and albums. Check out our Rhythmic Fiction tag for other stories told through music.

Have you heard the new Of Monsters and Men album? Well… it’s not exactly new. Actually it’s not new at all. My Head is an Animal, their debut album, was released on September 20, 2011. I saw Of Monsters and Men perform live in June of 2013, and they were fantastic. I have been eagerly awaiting news of their second album for nearly two years now, and last week, I finally heard the announcement of their second studio album on the radio: June 9.

Do you know what this means? I began writing this review for kicks last November, and it’s finally relevant! I no longer have to justify reviewing an almost 4-year-old album on the basis of my pining for the sweet melodies of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s voice. Continue reading Pervasive Longing: Of Monsters and Men’s First Album, and Long-Overdue Return

Summertime Wishes: June Cat Review

Our music reviews seek to trace the narratives that weave between songs and albums. Check out our Rhythmic Fiction tag for other stories told through music.

Stumbling upon new music is probably the greatest aspect of online accessibility. I stumbled upon Walk Off the Earth (along with a few million other people) when they posted their now-famous cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. And I stumbled upon Gotye when that song played in a bar in Devon, England, spurring a conversation between myself and a friend over whether the vocalist merely sounded like Sting, or if it was, in fact, Sting.

Anyway, I have once again stumbled upon more promising music, courtesy of June Cat. Continue reading Summertime Wishes: June Cat Review

The Fever Dreams of Hozier

Our music reviews seek to trace the narratives that weave between songs and albums. Check out our Rhythmic Fiction tag for other stories told through music.

It’s a pleasant surprise to see a true blues artist on pop radio in 2014. The Black Keys are the perfect example of a blues rock (more rock than blues) group who burst onto the mainstream scene with a sound that was revolutionary not in how much it changed music, but in how it reaffirmed the staying power of staple rhythms behind heavy distortion riffs and lyrics of struggle and loss. Their seventh studio album El Camino took home the 2013 Grammy’s for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance (both for the single “Lonely Boy”).

Now, just in time for serious Grammy’s 2015 chatter, we have another artist bursting into mainstream pop consciousness with a sound that both reminisces and transcends the Blues. Continue reading The Fever Dreams of Hozier

Linkin Park Hunts for a More Expansive Sound

Our music reviews seek to trace the narratives that weave between songs and albums. Check out our Rhythmic Fiction tag for other stories told through music.

Upon hearing the first single from Linkin Park’s sixth studio album, I was intrigued by the heavier sound. “Guilty All the Same” teased an album full of heartbeat rhythms, pounding distortion riffs, and the familiar wailing of lead vocalist Chester Bennington that were the early earmarks of the group.

However, this is not the Nu-Metal sound that Linkin Park became known for with 2000’s Hybrid Theory and 2003’s Meteora. The Hunting Party brings to us a heavier, alternative rock sound lacking  some of the hip-hop inspired sound effects and backdrops some LP fans may have expected. Continue reading Linkin Park Hunts for a More Expansive Sound

In Hindsight: A Delayed Review of X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the perfect bridge story between the early-2000’s X-Men movies of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Hugh Jackman, and the younger core of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence first introduced in 2011’s X-Men: First Class.

Unfortunately, it serves as little more than a bridge. Entertaining as it is, I found the movie’s plot highly predictable, a plodding build-up to an action-packed, but ultimately foreseen conclusion. Continue reading In Hindsight: A Delayed Review of X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past Revitalizes the Franchise

In 2014, it’s admittedly hard to get psyched for superhero movies the way I did in the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or even the early 2000’s when the X-Men franchise first hit theaters. When the last shot of X-Men 2 teased Jean Grey’s Phoenix or when Nick Fury surprised Tony Stark after the credits rolled on 2008’s Iron Man, the giddiness was palpable. Continue reading X-Men: Days of Future Past Revitalizes the Franchise