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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 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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CD Review: Voice of Addiction “The Lost Art of Empathy”

There are many different musicians and artists that make a statement in their art. One such musician who has been using his music as a way to make a statement about the way the world is Ian Tomele.

Ian Tomele grew up in the city of Cleveland, Ohio where many find living in the Rust Belt to be rather tough. But living in the Blue Collar town helped to form Tomele’s view of the world and that view of the world would later help to influence the Punk Rock music of Voice of Addiction, a Chicago, Illinois-based band that released its debut self-titled release in 2004.

Years have passed, but Tomele is still being influenced by the ways of the world. And his band of Voice of Addiction is still making a statement through their music. And while the band has seen a continuous line of musicians come and go, it was with the lineup of Dennis Tynan on drums, Jake Smith on guitars/backing vocals, Luke Ostojic on backing vocals that the band’s newest album was created. The newest album from Voice of Addiction is entitled The Lost Art of Empathy.

The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction begins with the track “Rustbelt”. Having grown up in the city of Cleveland, “Rustbelt” is Ian Tomele’s ode to the town that helped make him who he is today. The track features a quick pace to the music which seems to add energy to the lyrics about living in a town where you have to be tough to survive. The energetic nature of “Rustbelt” helps kick off the album in a strong way.

Voice of Addiction’s latest release continues with the track “Dead by Dawn”. The band picks up the intensity of the music and brings a lot more energy to the track than the previous song had. In fact, Ian Tomele, Dennis Tynan and Jake Smith combine their talents to create music that inches closer to Hardcore than Punk Rock on the track. The heaviness of the guitars on the track, as well as the intensity of the lyrics saying that we need to stick together in order to survive shows off just how intense the musicians in Voice of Addiction can be.

To show they are a pure Punk Rock band, Voice of Addiction included a definite punk track on their newest release of The Lost Art of Empathy. “Unity” is a track that finds the band showing off their defiant side as they tell those who want to oppress us that they will not be held down. The track’s quick and energetic pace adds to the punk nature of the track. “Unity” is definitely a pure Punk Rock lover’s dream track.

As a way of showing off his vocal abilities, the beginning of the track “Corporate Pariah” features just the voice of Ian Tomele and Jake Smith’s guitar. The track soon finds the rest of the band joining in. On the track, the band shifts from a straight-out Rock and Roll beginning to a Reggae delivery for a few measures before they take up the Punk Rock style once again. The shifting from one style to the next shows off the abilities of the members of the band. “Corporate Pariah” is easily the most creative track on the new twelve-song release from Voice of Addiction.

With the band Voice of Addiction, Ian Tomele writes and records straight Punk Rock. However, with the track “Lockwood,” Tomele changes directions a bit by creating a track that features a more Pop Punk-like musical delivery. The lighter, bouncier feel of the track makes for a strong and listener-friendly track. The track features lyrics dedicated to the memory of a fan and promotor of Punk Rock in the city of Chicago. While “Lockwood” is about one particular person, the track is a fitting tribute to anyone who helps to keep the style of Punk Rock alive.

On the track “Everything Must Go,” Voice of Addiction goes from one extreme to another. While “Lockwood” features a “pop” feel to the music, on “Everything Must Go,” the band creates a song that brings to mind the sound and style of some of the earlier Punk bands. In the song, you can hear elements of The Sex Pistols and/or The Ramones in the music. With the two tracks together, you get a good indication of just how strong the band’s influences are.

The newest release from Voice of Addiction comes to a close with the track “Are We Even Human Anymore”. This is the only track where the listener gets to experience the talent of Ian Tomele totally as the resulting track features only Tomele and his acoustic guitar. The simple feel of the song sets the track apart from the rest of the album.

The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction is a strong Punk Rock album. And while most of the release finds the band making use of their Punk Rock influences, the inclusion of Pop, Hardcore and other musical elements helps to give the album plenty of depth. As the band has been around for over a decade, the newest release from Voice of Addiction proves that the band still has plenty to say and the talent to continue making music that lets their voice be heard.

To hear the music of Voice of Addiction, check out the song “Rustbelt“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, RMG Artist Development.

To purchase The Lost Art of Empathy from Voice of Addiction, click on the album cover below:

The Lost Art of Empathy

 

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CD Review: The Victory Drive “Before I Self Destruct”

New Jersey-based The Victory Drive formed to create a pop-punk band that had a similar sound to bands like Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack and others. With a song like “The Countdown,” the band was well on its way to gaining the same type of notoriety that those other bands were having. This meant being part of The Warped Tour where bands with the same style would share the stage in front of many fans of the music. Before long, The Victory Drive was no more. Soon, however, Jamie McClanahan would return under the same moniker and start creating music on his own.

While the band version of the group had that pop-punk sound, the newer version of The Victory Drive has a musical style that is much closer to that of the musical outfit known as Owl City. The music of the new version of the band is more electronic-based just like Owl City’s sound is. And like that band that is essentially one man, Jamie McClanahan takes the lead as he creates the music for The Victory Drive on his own. During the time that The Victory Drive has existed, the music ensemble has created two previous EPs of music. To add to that library of material, a new three-song EP has just been released under the moniker of The Victory Drive. The new EP is entitled Before I Self Destruct.

Before I Self Destruct from The Victory Drive begins with the track “Bad Romance,” a cover of the song made famous by Lady Gaga. While the original version of the song by Lady Gaga contained quite a bit of darkness contained within the gothic rock feel to the music, the new version from The Victory Drive lightens things up a tad as the music takes on a feel that feels as if it had been influenced by The Eurythmics. The new version takes the song in a New Wave/Alternative direction. The resulting track ends up being a very strong interpretation of the song as it keeps much of the original style but allows enough of a difference that the song feels fresh and new.

The new release from The Victory Drive continues with the track “The Countdown, Pt.2”. Back in 2012, the song “The Countdown” was released on the band’s Almost Famous release. Like much of the music that had come from the band at the time, “The Countdown” contained a pop-punk sound that contained plenty of pop hooks that would have fit on any Top 40 radio format. The track dealt with counting down the time before the pain of no longer having someone in their life. Now, in 2017, a new track has been created that picks up later on as the singer returns to see about renewing the relationship that should never have ended. The new track features a much lighter feel to the energy level than the original. “The Countdown, Pt. 2” has enough of the old song’s feel to it so that the two tracks feel connected. However, the newer, lighter track is fresh enough that it easily stands on its own.

The third and final track on the Before I Self Destruct release from The Victory Drive is the song “Dynamite”. Like the track of “The Countdown Pt. 2,” “Dynamite” finds Jamie McClanahan creating a track with an easy pace to the music. The track contains a musical direction that is very reminiscent of that from Owl City. The pop/rock approach of the music is mixed with strings that help to add a certain amount of beauty to the track about ruining chance after chance. The final track of the three-song EP finds Jamie McClanahan creating a song that has a lot of substance to the music.

While only containing three tracks, Before I Self Destruct from The Victory Drive shows three different styles of pop-rock in those tracks. The different sounds give the new EP variety despite its rather short play time. With the new direction that Jamie McClanahan has taken his musical outfit, this short release gives new and old listeners alike a glimpse of what lies ahead for The Victory Drive.

To check out the music of The Victory Drive, check out the track “Dynamite“. 

For more information, check out Jaygurl Entertainment, the PR firm for the band. Also check out The RMG Media Group  for additional information.

To check out
Before I Self Destruct from The Victory Drive, click on the album cover below:

The Victory Drive Cover

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Dead On TV “Creeper”

Dead on TV is a Rock and Roll band from Chicago. The band features Daniel Evans on Vox/Guitar, Vince McAley on Drums, Mike TeeVee on Bass and Synths and Corey Devlin on Guitar. Each of these musicians helps to give the band its sound that includes several different genres of Rock and Roll music. Along with the usual Rock sound, the band also includes some New Wave influences as well as a generous amount of Punk feel. The band created quite a stir when they released their first EP called Fuck You, I’m Famous back in 2012. Recently, the band returned with a six-song EP entitled Creeper.