Monthly Archives: June 2006

Variac

“I’m going to figure it out – I’ve got to figure it out just to stay sane.”

You’re going to know Atlanta like the back of your hand once I’m finished with you. I’ve said it a million times before and I won’t hesitate to say it again – this scene blows my mind. I’ve been crushing on Variac big time as of late. Straight up rock ‘n’ roll, man. Focused, flawless, and downright swanky. Seriously, these boys play with a swagger that I can’t help but be keen on. It looks like they’ve found somewhat of a local hit in their song “Fitted Phrase”, maybe some of you down in the area have heard it. Besides some previous promo releases, the band has yet to really unleash what they’ve got in the arsenal. According to the band, a new EP is set to be released in August. The guys have sent me a track (though an unmastered version – keep that in mind) from that upcoming release – “Blacklung”. It’s absolutely killer. Check it out and fall in love with them.

Variac – Blacklung (unmastered)
Variac – Fitted Phrase

Check out the band’s video for their track “Wasted Ones”
*this was too rad not to post*

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The Gates of Berlin

“We’ll dig a grave and then we’ll plant the seed.”

In honor of their new EP, Whispers From The Balcony, which is set to be released next week, we bring to you the music of the Gates of Berlin. Though garishly crafted rock ‘n’ roll seems to be their forte, the band undoubtedly draws upon that classic southern rock sound on their new EP. The 5 track EP starts with the ever so exuberant “Hangin’ Tree”, and continues on in much of the same fashion with tracks like “Change” and “Faceless”. The band takes a break from their high-spirited shenanigans, and I mean this in the best sense of the word, to close the disc with the understated elegance of their piano ballad “Slow Me Down.” What can I say? Atlanta should be proud, because they’ve done it again. The first track is from the featured EP, and the following from one of the band’s previous releases.

The Gates of Berlin – Hangin’ Tree
The Gates of Berlin – Dim The Lights

more info…
Official Site
Myspace

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Tyler James

“Of course I’m going to fall for you, what did you expect me to do?”

Nashville has found some genuine, knock-you-off-your-feet talent in Tyler James. Sitting at a mere 23 years old, James has crafted a collection of songs well beyond his years in An EP. Even Paste Magazine, where Tyler was recently an artist of the week, has jumped on board. Though the piano is his weapon of choice, he also diligently employs some really elegant string arrangments and his sweet southern voice to pull on the heart strings. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but this music is absolutely gorgeous. Labels in Nashvegas (and everywhere), jump on him – now.

Tyler James – Stay Humble
Tyler James – Don’t Leave

more info…
Official Site
Myspace
Purchase available through official site.

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Sleeping At Last II

“The landscapes of being are endlessly competing…”

Keep No Score may be a new album, but I’m no stranger to Chicago’s Sleeping At Last. In fact, its been a few years now. When I first started the site, they were one of my first features (I kid you not, friends). For a young band, they’re incredibly impressive – so much so that Interscope Records jumped on board to release their first album, Ghosts. In my first post, I said, “As far as the music goes, just think of them as a user friendly Radiohead. Really. They mix just the right amount of experimentation with fairly standard rock/pop instrumentation to create a really mature, yet accessible, sound.” Perhaps the Radiohead comparison is a bit over the top, but some commonalities are pretty plain to see. The new album holds pretty true to that commentary, and I couldn’t be more happy with it. It’s beautiful, ethereal, textured…it’s wonderful, and right up my alley. The first two tracks are from the newest release, and the last track, “Say” was the respective single on the band’s debut major label disc.

Sleeping At Last – Envelopes
Sleeping At Last – Careful Hands
Sleeping At Last – Say

more info…
Official Site
Myspace
Purchase

(NOTE: the 2nd track is hosted by emotionalpunk.com. I’m a staff writer, and it’s a great site. Don’t let the name fool you, we’re a lot cool than it might put out. Anyways, check it out, I’ve written quite a few reviews over there. Head over and dig some up!)

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In-Flight Safety

“Oh, it’s such a shame – this game of hearts and placing blame.”

That’s it, I’m moving to Canada. They can do no wrong. I’ve been following In-Flight Safety, from Halifax, probably for over two years now. I’m only suprised that they’ve remained relatively unnoticed here in the states – I’m not quite informed as to what their situation up in Canada is. Regardless, I’ve got plenty of great things to say about them. They mix, very well, experimental/ambient undertakings with timeless, no fail, melodic pop music that calls to mind the world’s biggest band (and the object of my affection…ha), U2. The first two tracks come from the band’s first full length The Coast Is Clear, and the last is taken from the debut EP Vacation Land. Dig it.

In-Flight Safety – Coast Is Clear
In-Flight Safety – A Lot To Learn
In-Flight Safety – Somebody’s Watching You

more info…
Official Site
Myspace
Purchase

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Tokyo Police Club

“Get the story right, get the story down.”

These kids caught my attention when they were first mentioned in a post on My Old Kentucky Blog and then later on Rock Insider (a personal favorite of mine, check it). Toronto’s Tokyo Police Club are audacious, noisy and incredibly unpolished. Sounds like a turn off, right? Not in the slightest. In fact, it’s what makes the band so incredibly charming. Although I can’t quite put my finger on why I dig this band so much, I can be sure to say that the heavy bassline followed by shouts of “Go!” in the intro of “Nature Of The Experiment” are what got me hooked in the first place. Paper Bag Records was kind enough to send me the tracks from the band’s currently sold out disc, A Lesson In Crime, to share with you all.

Tokyo Police Club – Be Good
Tokyo Police Club – Nature Of The Experiment

more info…
Official Site
Myspace
Paper Bag Records

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Data.Select.Party

“The curtain calls, and you get no applause at all.”

I’m head over heels in love with London’s Data.Select.Party! Call me crazy, but I’m a sucker for thick accents and super slick guitar licks. Lighthearted British pop songs are my weakness, and these guys play on that perfectly. According to the band, they came together through “introspective assimilation of the inner aspiration to reach the pinnacle of musical nirvana.” Got to love that sense of humor. Love them, because I sure do. Big thanks to the boys for making these two tracks available to me.

Data.Select.Party – All The Real Girls (this intro is rad)
Data.Select.Party – Can They Tell We’re Having Fun?

more info…
Myspace

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