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CD Review: Finding September “History”

Finding September is a San Antonio, Texas-based band that features Emily Bayardo (vocals), Jayden Mermella (drums), Josh Gomez (guitar) and Graham Butler (bass). Together, the quartet creates a group Pop/Alternative Rock band that also contains some Heavy Metal influences in their music. That blend of musical influences creates a style that recalls bands like Green Day, My Chemical Romance and other bands. That is what helps to create the sound of the music from Finding September. And that musical blend is what can be found on the debut EP from Finding September called History.

The five-song EP of History from Finding September starts off with the title track of the release. “History” starts off with a strong drum break from drummer Jayden Mermella. That fast, strong and quick solo gives the listener an indication as to why Mermella has been named Best Drummer in Texas in 2018. Following that fast solo, the track finds the band taking its inspiration from the likes of Blink 182 but with the sound that is much more intense in its nature. The strength of the Punk Pop created by Finding September puts the band directly in the center of the style with plenty of other bands. And yet, the track also proves the band has plenty of their own style as they create a song with its own unique sound.

History from Finding September continues with the track called “Inhibitions”. While the previous track featured a straight Punk Pop feel to the music, the band adds some Alternative Rock inspiration to this track. The track features the same intense beating drive that was present in the title track of the EP but with a stronger pace to the song. While the band is rather strong on the track, the focal point seems to be vocalist Emily Bayardo who adds vocals that feel like a combination between Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne. The combination of Bayardo’s lyrical delivery and the feel of the band on this track create a track that contains a stronger Pop influence than the previous track.

For the next track of “Summer Club,” the band releases the most produced track of the EP. Of course, as it is the lead-off single of the EP, that sort goes without saying. The track begins with yet another strong drumbeat from drummer Jayden Mermella which is quickly joined by some simply percussive effects. That helps to create a backbeat that gives the song a commercial feel. That commercial backbeat is quickly joined by the rest of the instrumentation that creates a track with perhaps the most commercial Pop direction of the release. Add to that the lead guitar of Josh Gomez that alternates between the right and left channels. Blending all of that together with a sound that places the band squarely in the Pop Punk genre, “Summer Club” features a musical direction that puts the band squarely in Top 40 radio formats.

Perhaps the track with the most unique feel to the music is the track “Darkest Greys”. Aside from the piano that leads off this track, the production quality on this track is slightly different from the rest of the release. That production quality takes the various instruments on the track and blends them together in a way as to make the instruments feel as if they are one band and not individual instruments. It unifies the band’s sound and yet, does not allow for one instrument to stand out from the others. This is not, in any way, a bad thing. It simply gives this track a much different approach than what had come before.

The final track off of History from Finding September is yet another track that separates itself from the earlier songs on the EP. The track “Let it Burn” begins with some Industrial Rock and Roll, giving the song the darkest atmosphere of any of the songs on the release. That Industrial atmosphere places the song squarely into the Alternative Rock genre instead of the Punk Pop that most of the EP fell into. This is one track that easily shows of the talents and abilities of each of the musicians in the band as well as singer Emily Bayardo as she proves that she has a knack for singing different styles of music. The energetic feel to the music of the track helps to finish off the History release from Finding September on a very strong note.

While it is only five songs deep, the debut EP of History from the San Antonio, Texas-based Finding September contains plenty of variety. Staying within a certain energy level allows for the release to be strong, yet not overpowering.

 

For more information, check out All This Huxley’s PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site. 

 

 

 

 

For a taste of the music from Finding September, check out the band’s single “Summer Club“. 

To hear the History from Finding September, check out the release on Spotify by clicking on the album cover below:

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Reviews & Suggestions

CD Review: Sundodger “Bigger Waves”

Seattle, Washington-based Sundodger is a band that combines elements of seventies Rock and Roll and some modern-day influences to form a style of Rock and Roll that is easily timeless. The band Sundodger is comprised of: Dan Engel – Vocals, rhythm guitar; Jeff Norman – Lead guitar; Don Currie – Bass guitar and Mark Fiebig – Drums, percussion. Together, the band has created several albums of music with the newest one being called Bigger Waves.

Bigger Waves from Sundodger begins with the track “Too Much Too Soon”. The track begins right off with a strong guitar part. That guitar part gives the track a Classic Rock feel. Soon, however, the refrain of the song gives the track a much more modern feel. The track continues to move along and change as it goes. As it moves along, the band’s music even gives off a little Pink Floyd feel to it. The different elements in the track give the song a style that will grab the attention of Rock and Roll lovers, no matter what style of the genre they happen to gravitate towards.

As “Too Much Too Soon” comes to an end, the track “Banner Days” begins. And just like with the previous song, “Banner Days” contains several different musical feelings. However, as “Too Much Too Soon” contains an ever-changing feel to the music, “Banner Days” seems to contain several different musical elements all at the same time. The blending of several different musical styles within the entire length of the track means the listener can hear different influences all at once. “Banner Days” is easily one of the strongest songs on the release.

Sundodger continues their new release with the track “Shayla”. Lying somewhere between Punk and New Wave, the track “Shayla” comes across as a Green Day song with just a little eighties British influence to the music. The track features a strong, driving pace to the music courtesy of the bass and drums with a strong electric guitar presence that gives the track plenty of energy. The reverb that comes from the guitar even adds a touch of depth to the music. “Shayla” feels as if it would have been right at home on the radio back in the nineties but is still fresh enough to feel at home on today’s Rock formats.

The band takes their music in a slightly different direction on the track “Keeping a Light On”. Where the previous track makes good use of the band’s Punk influences, “Keeping a Light On” seems to find the band blend some U2 influence into their sound. While the song doesn’t feel like a direction copy of U2’s style, the influence is strong enough to be evident as you listen. The track features a strong Rock and Roll feel with a modern-day British influence. Together, the track feels readymade for today’s Top 40 radio formats.

With the song “Epitaph,” the band raises the intensity within their music. The stronger Rock and Roll that is present on the track raises the energy level on the album. While the song “Shayla” feels rather Green Day-ish, “Epitaph” from Sundodger seems as if the band took a hidden influence from a band like The Ramones and added it into their music that already has plenty of depth to it. With the influence from The Ramones, “Epitaph” is one of the loudest, strongest tracks on the entire release.

On the next song called “Grace,” the track begins with a musical approach that brings to mind the music of Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit” before the band truly launches the song. While “Give a Little Bit” found its way onto radio back in the seventies, the rest of the track contains a strong Alternative Rock approach that would have been right at home on radio back in the nineties.

Bigger Waves, the new release from Sundodger, comes to a close with the track “Echoes”. For the final track of their album, the band seems to have slipped back in time to the seventies. “Echoes” is a track that will easily conjure up visions of Pink Floyd as the track contains the same feel as many of the songs that Floyd has produced over the years. Along with a slow, easy feel to the music, the song also contains some production value that adds some atmosphere to the track, which was helped along with the addition of Don Currie who played The Mellotron electro-mechanical keyboard. That atmospheric addition to the track helps bring out the Pink Floyd influence in the band’s music.

Sundodger’s newest album called Bigger Waves is the first album from the band that has been released on vinyl as well as digitally. If you are a fan of records, this is your chance to add a solid release to your music collection on record.

To hear the music of Sundodger, check out the song “Too Much Too Soon“. 

For more information, check out Sundodger’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

 

 

To check out the Bigger Waves album from Sundodger, click on the album cover below:

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Wings of Valkyrie “Exploding Hearts”

San Antonio, Texas-based Punk Rock band Wings of Valkyrie came together as a band back in 2010. Choosing their name because of liking what the Norse legend of the Valkyries was about, the band created a sound that incorporated many different elements into the band’s Punk Rock music. And with bands such as Green Day, The Misfits, Taking Back Sunday as well as No Doubt and Red Hot Chili Peppers all being musical influences, you can tell that the band’s sound is not going to be boring. And with The Misfits and the elements of Horror of that band’s music being included in the influences to the music of Wings of Valkyrie, it comes as no surprise that the San Antonio band would create a few songs within their playlist of original material that also contain a strong Horror influence. But that horror influence is only a small part of the band’s overall writing style.

The original lineup for Wings of Valkyrie came together back in 2010. Through the years that have followed, several lineup changes have hindered the progress of the band. Because of ever-changing lineup of the band, Wings of Valkyrie have only produced a total of two albums in the years since 2010. The latest album from Wings of Valkyrie, the eight-song release of Exploding Hearts, was released earlier this year in April. For this release, founding members Valdeezy and MiK! settled on creating the album on their own, bringing in another member to play the bass when the band performs live. As a result, the band’s Exploding Hearts album features Alex “Valdeezy” Valdez on Drums and Mikael “MiK!” Lopez on Guitars/Bass/Vocals.

Exploding Hearts from Wings of Valkyrie begins with the track “Restless”. The track features a rather laidback musical approach for the first thirty seconds before the band launches the song into full throttle. The track’s music is fully punk-flavored with only a little Pop flavor added in. The lyrics of the song is where the track separates itself from most other Punk Rock songs. Within the lyrics, Mik! sings of coming out of the grave and trying to make his way in a world that has since passed him by. The song of “Restless” is radio-friendly while still containing enough harshness to satisfy any hardcore Punk music fans.

For the track “Where Were You?” Wings of Valkyrie adopts more of a straight-forward Punk sound for their song. That more straight-forward Punk flavor on the music matches up well with lyrics that contain a great deal of angst as well as anger towards the world. The track’s lyrics deal with the singer coming to terms with the fact that no one was there when he was down and out and really needed the help. “Where Were You?” is a great Punk track that contains a no-nonsense vocal delivery from MiK! as he tries to release his anger before it gets the better of him.

Sometimes, the influences that appear in the music from Wings of Valkyrie are very apparent. On the song “Goodnight Moon,” the band launches into a song that has the same sound and feel of something that could easily have come off of an album from Green Day. In fact, the Punk music on “Goodnight Moon” as well as the Pop-like approach of the music itself would easily have fit onto any of Green Day’s albums. The track begins with a light touch on the music before the band bumps up the energy and the song really takes off. The track is a nice mix of Pop feel and Punk mentality. And to add to that Pop feeling, the song also features the background vocals from Jenny Luna, the same woman who contributed the artwork to the album. “Goodnight Moon” is one track on the Exploding Hearts album from Wings of Valkyrie that will definitely feed your desire for Punk music.

If you create a band that makes Punk music, you need to create songs that draw from the real Punk mindset. With the track “Revolt,” Wings of Valkyrie definitely do that. The track features lyrics about the call to action that comes from a need to take a stand. The music and the lyrics on this particular track bring to mind the earlier bands like The Ramones or The Dead Boys who were known for their no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners attitude. While “Revolt” from Wings of Valkyrie may contain a slightly slower pace than most Punk tracks, but the Punk attitude is overflowing on this track. This track is definitely an anthem for today’s generation!

Just like the song “Revolt,” the song “Chicago” from Wings of Valkyrie also brings up anger from motivation that comes out of hatred. “Chicago” is a tribute to a city that has seen its share of anger, hatred and utter chaos in the last few years. While the track is a tribute to the city, there is absolutely no energy loss in the music in the song as the band’s musical approach still contains plenty of energy.

Following track after track of powerful moments created by the Punk music from Wings of Valkyrie, the band’s Exploding Hearts release comes to an end with the track “I Surrender”. The track finds Mikael “MiK!” Lopez singing about the pains of life and how they have started to weigh on him. The track’s lyrics are may seem rather depressing at times, but that simply means that Lopez is dealing with life the best way he can- through music.

Throughout the nine tracks that combine to create the Exploding Hearts release from Wings of Valkyrie, the band splits the time between serious subjects and lighter musical fare that come across as a lot more upbeat. And even though the entire album was created by only two musicians (Alex “Valdeezy” Valdez on Drums and Mikael “MiK!” Lopez on Guitars/Bass/Vocals), the resulting release feels fully developed and leaves the listener feeling completely satisfied; proving it’s not the number of band members, it’s the talent they possess.   

For a taste of the music from Wings of Valkyrie, check out their song “Restless” off of their Exploding Hearts release.

For more information and to check out more music from Wings of Valkyrie, check out the band’s Bandcamp account.

Also be sure to check out the band’s album cover designer (as well as manager), Jenny Luna.

To purchase a copy of Exploding Hearts from Wings of Valkyrie, click on the album cover below:

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Reviews and Suggestions

The Grown-Up Kids: Get Up Kids Turn Comeback Kids with “There Are Rules”

Where were The Get Up Kids at the start of the millennium?  As a listener coming at their latest record, I heard a mash-up of sounds one wouldn’t immediately associate with the band – electro, funk and post-punk are some that spring to mind. Graphically speaking, the cover is sophisticated. The image on the front of the LP is of a woman holding a mirror to her face, where the mirror reflects the ocean to the viewer: a Lacanian articulation of femininity and its evolving self-reflexivity through the play of the gaze. The viewer gazes at the woman, who in return gazes into open space and vast water.

The Get Up Kids came onto the scene in the ’90s wake of Pavement, Weezer and Green Day. After splitting up in 2005, the band reassembled and began touring extensively throughout most of 2008 and 2009, developing an underground community with other bands such as Rocket Fuel is the Key, Coalesce and Braid. Their latest record, There Are Rules, is a departure from Vagrant Records – the album was released on their own label at Quality Hill Records. Mixed by Bob Weston and produced by Ed Rose, the sound retains the band’s early nineties garage aesthetic while adding the liberties of technological editing. When the Get Up Kids graced the ’90s, critics initially referred to them as an “emo band” however, the kids have fought with such branding since their inception. While they were influential to the Midwest emo movement of the early ’90s, they play with genre more than they identify with it.

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Lost Without Cause Talk Influences, Bankrupt Labels and Aspirations

Lost Without CauseLost Without Cause are an Alternative Rock, three piece outfit hailing from Watford, Herts, UK. They have been playing together since their formation in 2004, and so far have played well over 200 gigs with the likes of My Passion, Saving Aimee, Fei Comodo, Koopa, The Runners and Linchpin.

To give you a little background information on Lost Without Cause: in 2007 the band was selected by MTV as part of their new talent initiative program, which involved a live performance and an interview which aired on MTV2 throughout April, May and June 2007. In July 2007 they visited and recorded a live session in the world famous Maida Vale Studios, and in November 2007, after progressing to the 3rd round of an International Battle of the Bands, were invited to play at the London Astoria 2. The gig was a massive success and the band progressed onto the 4th round where they once again played the London Astoria 2. In July 2008 they were selected by Bon Jovi from over 400 acts as one of the Top 20 bands with the chance to support them at their Twickenham show. Unfortunately, after an online vote, they narrowly missed out.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Green Day “21st Century Breakdown”

gdayI’ve never disliked Green Day, but I can’t say that I’ve been an avid fan, especially after the lackluster follow-ups to 1994’s smash hit “Dookie”. That began to change in 2004 with the release of their excellent “comeback” concept album “American Idiot”. Now, 5 years later, “21st Century Breakdown” makes me want to buy a Green Day T-shirt to wear with pride.

“American Idiot” was a huge success at the critic and commercial level – these kinds of records, appearing after a decade of being together, create a fear in the fanbase that the last hurrah has been achieved…how in the world are they going to possibly top “American Idiot”? I must admit I had the same concern myself. With each passing year of nothing new from Billie Joe and the gang, I grew closer to writing off “American Idiot” as a fluke and concluding that the band had nothing more to say.