The Blankz – (I Just Want to) Slam

the_blankz

It was only recently that we wrote about The Blankz’  instant Arizona classic,  White Baby  The impressiveness of that release set the bar pretty high. Bands often change, experiment and grow, which isn’t always a good thing if what they already have is working.  So when I discovered I had something new to review for The Blankz, I was curious if they had retained the magic that was captured in White Baby.

Thankfully, their brand new EP, (I Just Want to) Slam wisely sticks with the same formula of weirdo pop punk + synth, which won them some small scale critical acclaim. The first thing that came to mind when listening was that (I Just Want to) Slam would have been a perfect for one of the obligatory slam section parts of  just about any 90′s skateboard video.  It’s kinda too bad they don’t really make those kinds of skate videos anymore, and it’s all pretty much on youtube now (or maybe they still do, and I’m just too old and out of touch to know about it.)

One thing which defines The Blankz’ songs is how catchy they are. Even after only a single listening sesh, I find myself repeating the choruses in my head over and over. Hell, i’ts been almost a month since I heard White Baby, and that’s still annoyingly stuck in my brain. Time will tell what kind of mental staying power (I Just Want to) Slam has. It’s like they put drugs in these songs or some kind of MK Ultra style, subliminal mind control messaging. Anyway, potential listeners beware: these songs will stay with you.

I suppose I should talk about the actual substance of the music here. The title track (I Just Want to) Slam is fast paced right from the opening bell and maintains the same level of energy throughout. The vocal performance is among the better I’ve heard for this genre of music. Vocals are clear, on key and delivered with balls. What more can you ask for? This is music for moshing, just letting loose and having a blast in the pit….but of course it can be a metaphoric anthem for how to approach other areas of life.

the_blankz_band

There is a second song on the album, called Baby’s Turning Blue. It’s a short but punchy jam which gives a brief and peculiar narrative of a punk rock “baby” growing up to fall victim to drug abuse. The guitars in this song are awesome, tonally and technically. The timing here is great, with frequent breaks and pace changes which all go off without a hitch. This band is tight. Everyone is on the same page. If I have one criticism it’s that I wish this song was a bit longer and elaborated more on the interesting lyrical premise. The vibe of Baby’s Turning Blue reminds me of early 90s Orange County or San Diego punk music, even though there is nothing explicitly retro about this music, and I can’t think of any specific examples of bands these guys sound like. It’s more of a feeling.

Listening to The Blankz is like if you were to resurface a fond memory of being at the Warped Tour sometime before it started to suck. The good news is that The Blankz are in the here and now… and continuing to crank out cool stuff. Cover art has a great aesthetic by the way.

For more info:
http://theblankzband.com/
https://soundcloud.com/theblankz
https://www.facebook.com/theblankzband/
https://www.instagram.com/theblankzband/

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Caesar Osiris – Más Allá

caesar_osiris

Más Allá is a new single from Los Angeles based artist, Caesar Osiris. It was created with the intention of inspiring environmental awareness. The song’s aquatic ambiance and sea breeze aesthetic illustriously showcase the beauty of the oceans Osiris seeks to preserve. Musically the track could pass as a fairly decent pop single, bio-fueled by Caesar’s more than capable singing abilities and some energizing tropical synths. The production value is very good, on par with a professional label release. The video also features some choreographed dancing as well as some creative costume choices. This is a solid effort by a determined artist, and it’s for a great cause. We all need to do a better job of taking care of our oceans. Not only is water necessary for our lives, the sea creatures do not have anywhere else to go if we ruin their home.

For more info:

https://www.caesarosiris.com/
http://www.facebook.com/caesarosiris

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Console Clone – Rewind Mankind

console_clone_rewind_mankind
Cover Artwork by Leah Davis Art

Console Clone is a synthwave electronic music artist from the United Arab Emirates. The jams from his debut album Rewind Mankind wouldn’t seem out of place on the Cherry 2000 film soundtrack in 1987. What that should tell you is that this guy does synthwave very well. The title track, Rewind Mankind, is the archetypal, action packed synth sound. It’s one of the most straightforward songs on the album, high energy and engaging to the max.

The album features a lot of samples and references to science fiction, which listeners may or may not pick up on. For example, The Video Dead contains well placed samples from the film, Night of the Living Dead. Klendathu is presumably titled after the bugs’ planet in Starship Troopers, while Electric Sheep is a nod to Philip K Dick. You get the idea. Almost all of the songs are fairly fast paced and maintain a consistent level of cinematic intensity. Yet, musically there is a lot of variation in terms of sounds utilized, as well as the often unpredictable structuring. You really are not quite sure what you’re going to get with each track you click on. You just know when you push play that it’s going have that familiar, darkly energetic ambiance in some enticing new form and that it’s going to be good. These recordings are just phenomenal. They sound very 80s but authentically 80s, unlike when a store tries to bring back some old clothing style but everyone who was around then can tell it’s just a tad off. This guy has the genre and aesthetic nailed down and also manages to incorporate some structural originality.

The album can be purchased here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G68JRK7

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Brielle Monique – Hallucinate

Brielle_Monique_artwork

San Diego born singer Brielle Monique’s new single, Hallucinate (scheduled to be released on August 31, 2018) showcases her classically trained and well curated vocal abilities. Her voice certainly doesn’t have anywhere to hide in the mix. Musically, Hallucinate is a very minimalist jam, and Brielle’s vocals really do carry the tune. The track slowly builds from a near acapella beginning and blossoms into a sprightly intricate pop song. It’s a trick to maintain the balance between displaying soft emotion and demonstrating vitality, and Brielle Monique manages to accomplish this both lyrically and musically. What instrumental backing there is does an excellent job at complementing Monique’s voice rather than obscuring it.

For more info:
https://www.instagram.com/brielle.music
https://www.facebook.com/officialbriellemusic

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Cody Daniel – Breaking Away

codydaniels

Breaking Away is a pretty smooth and straightforward pop song from up and coming vocalist, Cody Daniel. It comes from his EP, The Calm. Cody has a few releases under his belt already in which he has already established some talent. Breaking Away hits all the marks in terms of what makes a contemporary pop song a hit. It’s catchy, competently produced and performed by an artist that fits the mold of a pop star while retaining some stylistic originality. Cody Daniel’s energetic yet laid back persona gives his music both a relaxed and upbeat feel. The quick witted lyrics flow nicely,the whole song just has a nice ring to it. The only missing ingredient here is a label to back this project with some heavy marketing (and money.)

For more info:
http://www.cody-daniel.com

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Richard Wadsworth – Eternity

Eternityalbum

Singer/songwriter Richard Wadsworth gives new meaning to the term “prolific.” Claiming to have created over 1,300 songs since the age of 19, his latest album, Eternity is stocked with a whopping 77 tracks. You might think that with an album which contains so many songs, the tracks themselves would be very short to compensate. That’s not the case though. The opening track, Heavenly Starway, clocks in at just over 77 minutes. The remaining 76 songs average between 3 and 5 minutes each.

Wadsworth describes his music as “Christian-themed rock and roll featuring angelic vocals and gentle electric guitar strums.” Religious themes aside, musically his songs remind me a lot of obscure 90s indie folk and avant garde LoFi artists. The sound is very raw, almost like a live recording. There is very little editing. The songs consist of some rather creative strumming of out of tune guitars, with accompanying vocals in various forms and tones. The lyrics can be difficult to make out at times, but I don’t think it really matters. This is an experimental recording, so pretty much anything goes.

I could find almost no info on this artist other than what is listed in the press release except that he may be from Philadelphia. There’s no website or social media presence to speak of. Eternity is one of the most bizarre recordings I’ve ever listened to, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether it was all an elaborate troll. Icy Love is probably my favorite track, though admittedly I did not listen to all 77 of them. The “album cover” is just a 19th century painting by William Rimmer titled Evening (The Fall of Day.) The same painting was also the basis for Led Zeppelin’s label, Swan Song. If you’ve got some time to kill, give Eternity a listen.

Available on Spotify

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Hoffey – Love is Wild

Hoffey - Love Is Wild

HOFFEY, a male/female pop twosome from Vancouver Canada, recently released their debut single, titled Love is Wild. The often synchronous yet contrasting vocals of Erika and Jordan Toohey complement each other well enough. There are a couple of ways in which this track differs from a conventional pop track though, both of which are positive. For one thing, the artists are genuinely partners in a romantic relationship, which gives added sincerity and meaning to the lyrics and how they’re expressed. This is unlike most common pop songs, which typically are written by third parties and just simply manufactured for public consumption (there are a few exceptions.) The other noticeable distinction here is the unique synth backing on Love is Wild. It has more of the feel of an artistic collage than a standard pop/dance beat. In fact, if this song were released without vocals it could pass for a very good chillwave track. True to the song’s theme, the interesting pacing and unpredictable breaks almost seem calculated to correspond to the tempestuous, yet beautiful wildness of the relationship experience itself.

Official release link:
https://fanlink.to/HLIW18

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+