Category Archives: Reviews
Last Sunday, Cinco de Mayo, I had the chance to check out a band from Los Angeles that I had never heard of, Stars in Stereo. The five piece was opening for Bullet For My Valentine, but their sound was more radio friendly. They definitely had a sound that can be carried into large arenas, so they did well playing to a venue of around 2500 people, but they seemed as though they haven’t quite perfected on stage antics for the big stages yet. Nonetheless, the members interacted with each other very well on stage. Singer Bec Hollcraft interacted well with the crowd, and both parties appeared to be having fun.
Overall the sound of the band is very easy to get in to. The members of the band all dressed in dark colors with haircuts and appearances that would otherwise imply that they play heavier music, but instead they play pop music with themes and attitudes of heaver music. Overall, their sound is very much like what they are often billed as, “a female-fronted band along the same lines as 30 Seconds to Mars”. They had a few songs that stood out well, including their single “The Broken”, which is easy to sing along to. The band has a wall of sound underneath the vocals, with Hollcraft joining in on third guitar for part of the set. The band also made use of delay pedals and electronic synth backing tracks. Paired with their sound was a set on screens covering speaker cabinets. These screens showed different images and some song lyrics. They had a very well rehearsed live show, and everything that they did held up live.
If you are into bands like 30 Seconds to Mars or Flyleaf, you will enjoy this band’s music. While I could tell that they are still getting used to bigger stages, I would still say that they show enormous potential to develop into a much bigger band, especially if they keep touring with big acts!
Dense and experimental, The Octopus Project have put together an exuberant and celebratory set of frantic songs in their new album, Fever Forms. But first, some facts about the record, straight from the band themselves:
Fever Forms was recorded by the band in a museum carved out of a mountain and mixed in collaboration with the mighty Erik Wofford (Black Angels, M. Ward, Maserati).
Sinewy and cold, Stripmall Architecture’s newest release, Suburban Reverb, is simultaneously an organic and technological experience. 9 tracks of breathy vocals and airy synths combine to both lift the music and keep it at a distance.
Red hot and rocking, Stars In Stereo’s new self-titled album is a white hot quasar of anthemic and incendiary fire. Fronted by the fantastic vocals of Bec Hollcraft, the band roars through 10 tracks of modern rock excellence, each one worthy of radio airplay and hit single status.
While there’s no question the band has a place in hardcore history, Suicidal Tendencies has never achieved the level of reverence and respect afforded to contemporaries like, say, Bad Brains.
This is odd because the bands share more than a few similarities. Both of them rose to prominence around the same time with ethnically diverse lineups in a predominately white scene and both garnered their fair (and, often, unfair) share of controversy, especially in their early years.
Funky and weird, glitchy and smooth, Royal Canoe’s newest release, the full-length Today We’re Believers, is a strange amalgam of sounds, rhythms, and genres. The band, out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, succeeds on its own terms, using every influence and interest they have to put together this restless and fun collection of songs.
Sounding like a lifeboat sent out from early ’90s space-rock, Tripwires’ debut album, Spacehopper, is a fantastic beginning to their career. Atmospheric and emotional, the songs float along a wave of psychedelia and electronics, getting into your subconscious and pushing you on a journey into the center of their sound.