Category Archives: Reviews

Quick Rip: I have found my musical home, and it is called Folk Metal

Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/By_the_Light_of_the_Northern_Star
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/By_the_Light_of_the_Northern_Star

I’ve been on a metal kick recently. I have never been terribly familiar with metal as a musical genre. The only metal band I could reasonably describe myself as a fan of is System of a Down. A while ago, I had been interested in finding other music like System of a Down, but I quickly learned that S.O.A.D. is entirely unique in their own right. Continue reading Quick Rip: I have found my musical home, and it is called Folk Metal

Lingering on Hop Along’s Ragged Precision

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.

I stumbled upon a small rock band from Philly by total accident. One of Hop Along’s newest songs came up on auto-play in a video I had been listening to. The streaming service started playing a Hop Along song right I was about to close the window. Upon hearing a distorted guitar effect, I decided to give this unknown song a listen. A few hours later, I had ordered two copies of Hop Along’s newest album, Painted Shut, for myself and a friend. (The friend had asked me to burn the CD for him, but I prefer to give my money to smaller bands than rip their music. They’ve earned it.)

This is not the first time I have found new music by happy accident, and damn, with the streak I’m on, I hope it’s not the last.

Continue reading Lingering on Hop Along’s Ragged Precision

Quick Rip: Dead Sara Rocks Me to Goosebumps

I have “discovered” yet another band who has been rocking out for years without my knowledge. It’s like a piece of my soul has been wandering aimlessly, and has just now been returned to its proper place in the ever-growing anthology of musical moments-in-time of my life. Why does this keep happening to me?! Continue reading Quick Rip: Dead Sara Rocks Me to Goosebumps

Weathering the Storm: Of Monsters and Men’s Second Album and Musical Growth

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.

A few months ago, I retrospectively plotted the narrative of Of Monsters and Men’s first album, My Head is an Animal, in the hopes that binging on their music would sate my appetite for more until their second album was released.

Thankfully, their second album has arrived, and I now have tickets to see Of Monsters and Men live (again) in September.

Continue reading Weathering the Storm: Of Monsters and Men’s Second Album and Musical Growth

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