Posts tagged ‘RobotsMadeMan’

December 8, 2011

Video Raid: Only Son, ‘It’s A Boy’

Growing up I knew I could always count on my younger sister, Camille, for some great music. Her ear is amazing; she plays piano, guitar, dabbled on the flute and viola. Still, to this day, we email each other videos, links to bands and can talk about music for hours. For my 34th, she sent me a couple of great mixtapes (with a hand drawn b-day card and all). :) So, when she emails me something, I drop what I’m doing and I check it out.

All jokes aside, she called me one day and asked if I had heard of a band called Only Son. Her description was, “It’s like Bob Dylan and Adam Sandler genetically cloned a child from their DNA and created this guy.” I was intrigued! I said no, I have not heard of him, but email me a link and I will watch it.

Watch it I did … over and over again. I saw my sister’s joke in the man’s looks, but the joke was lost after hearing the song, watching the video and realizing the meaning of the song. It was deep, it was poignant, it was eerie and touched on the materialistic side of America. Not just with people’s possessions, but their children, also. I firmly believe we are a nation of robots, constantly being spit out of the “machine” that is America. I think this song sums up a small fraction with what is wrong with us as a people.

November 30, 2011

Into The Ethers, with He Whose Ox Is Gored

I’m a dark individual with a heart of gold and I need to tell you about a band that is out there killing it and doing it their own way. A band that stands out from the rest of the pack would be: He Whose Ox Is Gored. Don’t let the name scare you away; this band has been on the Seattle music scene for three years now. Dare I say a staple of what Seattle continues to provide for people who love music. A dark, brooding band that crosses a few genres, but you could ultimately chalk up as an instrumental/doom metal hybrid fueled by beer! If you have ever listened to Isis, M83 or Torche, you will no doubt like HWOIG.

HWOIG caught my eye one drunken night and I’m ashamed to say I don’t know where I was, or how I got there. But the name, of all things to remember, was there early in the afternoon in my subconsciousness when I finally woke up. So I found them on MySpace (yes, this was over three years ago!) and gave them a listen.

Memories flooded back to me of the show and I was hooked. I read up on them, found them on YouTube, and watched them market themselves through a viral campaign dubbed  OXscan 2.0, were one can walk the streets of Capitol Hill and find their 2D barcodes for free music, or for a price of your choosing to support touring, recording costs, and of course beer money! Before I knew of such great places like Bandcamp, I was stuck going to my MySpace page and listening to them.

It would take a move to Houston, the overwhelming sense of homesickness and a what-the-fuck-have-I-done for me to really start plugging myself back into the Seattle music scene. Luckily there are great guys like Nik Christofferson “theseattlerockguy,” who writes, reviews, promotes and takes splendid lo-fi video of some amazing bands. (I may plug Nik a lot … Because he kicks so much ass in the department “Of Kicking Ass.”)

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November 16, 2011

The Attack And Decay Of: Russian Circles’ ‘Empros’

How amazing is it to listen to one of your favorite band’s new album and get to review it? It’s awesome.  Add being in the first city on the beginning of their US tour and having Brian Cook walk into the bar, smile, stick out his hand and say, “Hi, you’re Scott right? You’re RobotsMadeMan.” I held my composure, shook his hand and hopefully told him how excited I was for the show.

I knew, right then and there, my evening couldn’t get any better. I will not hide the fact Brian Cook is at the top of my list of bass gods. The show was, simply put, AMAZING! Russian Circles puts on a great show, just by the music they are playing. There are no fancy video screens, the lighting is minimal and they let the music speak for itself.  With the ample hearing loss I get standing right in front of Brian, I couldn’t think of a better place to be in that moment.

Let me also state, that Mike, Brian and Dave are three of the most down-to-earth guys you’ll ever meet. They shake hands, answer questions, sign autographs and even remember meeting you the year before. With all my expectations and preconceived notions on what these guys need to do as musicians to captivate me and keep me interested, they nail it with every record. Each album has evolved and shows a greater picture of what these three guys are capable of. So let us take a journey with Russian Circles.

Russian Circles is a Chicago-based three-piece that hit the instrumental metal scene back in 2006 with their debut album Enter. Their fourth studio album, Empros, was released October 25, 2011, on Sargent House and fueled my desire to write up a review on the album, to email their publicist and score an interview. (Stay tuned in at Hearingade for the interview.) My involvement just kept evolving. Like a Russian Circles song, life should always be evolving and moving forward.  There is a level of attack and decay that intrigues the listener and compels them to carry on through an emotional roller coaster. This is why I love these guys.

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November 6, 2011

Four Songs In: ICHML, “A City Submerged”

I Can Hear Myself Levitate —  Just the name alone makes one curious, intrigues your senses and sends you in multiple directions. Listening to their new EP, “A City Submerged,” I was brought in many ways, to associate bands such as Coheed and Cambria, for their tasty guitar tone; Taking Back Sunday, for their bopping bass and drum section; and fellow Midwesterners Renae.

The Midwest music scene has produced some great musical acts, some that have made it big with radio airtime and some that fly under the radar of  what you may hear outside of the general region. That all being said, I have to say, I had to listen and listen and listen again to really hear all that was going on in this album. From the opening song “Saints,” the first 45 seconds open up your perception of how these guys see music. Then you prepare for the basis of the rest of the 3 1/2 minutes remaining, pure musical greatness in the most simplest of forms. It rocks and screams out to you to captivate your ear holes: “We are all sinners and fake converts, drinking from the same water in the same boat. Who are you to cast the first stone?”

Moving into the second song and quite possibly my favorite, “Sunns” (Not just because I play through a Sunn 4×10): The opening lyrics tear at you, pulling the flesh from your eyes and hitting you with deeply simple lyrics — “If we don’t make it back, we don’t make it back” — screamed by backing vocals. “Empires” adds some built-in sampling, a rocket ship taking off, building into the ultimate crescendo with “Empires were made to fall, cities were made to burn, our love, our love won’t repeat history.”

Breaking away from the subtleties of the rest of the album, “Home” rocks you the fuck out. “We’re tired, yes we’re tired of singing along, give me back yesterday,”  leaving you with some grime in your mouth and wanting more of these talented youths. And I bet you will be doing just that. They have what it takes to reach a dedicated audience.

[bandcamp album=3604254286  bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=42erts, 85BB size=venti]

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October 16, 2011

Diving Into: In The Pit Of The Stomach

Upon first listen of We Were Promised Jetpacks‘ sophomore album “In The Pit Of The Stomach” one thing comes to mind; they stepped up and made an album that shows a pleasant departure from the somber ballads I had loved in their first album, “These Four Walls,” and grew as a band.

“In The Pit Of The Stomach” is well-titled, because that is just where you’ll feel it. As usual, Adam Thompson’s lyrics are gut wrenching in his native Scottish tongue, sung full-heartedly and at times painfully with emotion. Matching perfectly with Sean Smith’s slightly over-driven Fender bass tone and clever grooves that lock in with drummer Darren Lackie’s fast hands and steady feet. Add Michael Palmer’s high register riffs and lush melodies, you’re taken to a faraway place inside yourself.

As a whole, the album is darker and rougher with a new found maturity that comes from two years on the road between studio time. The opening track, “Circles and Squares,” drives the listener home with a bombardment of guitars and cymbals, then fades away to the main guitar riff and an amazing bass groove. Moving into the album with tracks like “Medicine” and “Human Error,” Thompson’s accent prevails in his lyrics, bringing a pleasant separation from many of the “indie” bands currently dominating the scene.

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