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Friday, August 26, 2016

Single Mothers - Meltdown

Single Mothers - Meltdown
Written by Ken Bowden on August 26, 2016 for Bloodrock Media

Single Mothers is one of those noisy punk bands that just grabs you, despite the silly ass name, the music is no fuckin’ joke. In their latest release Meltdown, Single Mothers return to form, bringing in your face attitude, lyrics as catchy as they are biting, and the growling yet groovy punk rock they’ve come to be loved for.
The title track and opener, “Meltdown”, starts things off with a bang, the guitar crunches and kicks, and the drums are a-blasting. By the time it ends you’re hyped up and ready for the rest of the ride this EP is about to take you on. One of the best things about “Meltdown” is it takes you back to yesteryear of punk rock, the days of The Refused, Quicksand, early Glassjaw without sounding dated or stale.
Did they reinvent punk rock with these five killer tracks? Nope. Did they prove that punk is still alive and well outside of the trendy pop punk bopper set? You bet your sweet ass they did.
The only real downside of Meltdown is the length (that’s what she said), while EPs are typically short and Single Mothers is no strangers to fast and furious EPs, it is a bit of a buzzkill to hear these five amazing tracks and 15 short minutes later it is over. The silver lining, and of course there always has to be a silver lining, is that there’s almost always a repeat button on most music playing devices and for that we are thankful. So if you’re feigning for more, you can press repeat OR snatch up Wild Party (2010), S/T (2011), or their full length album Negative Qualities (2014) to get your fix. That being saidMeltdown is DEFINITELY a must listen for anyone who likes music that gets the adrenaline pumping.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Another Lost Year - Alien Architect

Another Lost Year - Alien Architect
Written by Ken Bowden for Bloodrock Media on August 16, 2016

So when one hears the words “truther band” they tend to think of extreme examples like Corporate Avenger but Another Lost Year’s, sophomore release entitled Alien Architect is a textbook example of what that style strives for, but without becoming a parody of itself or with the characteristic pretentiousness.

The intro to Alien Architect may be the most honest three minutes ever seen on television.  The intro, a heavy-handed diatribe, from the show The Newsroom, of why America is no longer great, followed by warning sirens and chants of “wake up”.  Following this is the first true track on the album, “Wolves”, a complex, menagerie of a steady drum line, wild guitar riffs, and an epic ending. “Run the Tank Out” continues Alien Architect’s high energy, with a more alternative rock feel.  Alien Architect does slow it down a bit with the track, “He Took Away Beautiful”.  With its prominent bass line and peaceful, yet powerful guitars, the track is an almost haunting experience.
The fourth track on Alien Architect, “Trigger Finger” is hands down the best song on the album.  By the time it is done, the band has you eating out of their hands and begging for more.
Overall Alien Architect perfectly combines clean, biting riffs, a tight rhythm section, and high energy vocals with substance and meaning, without being preachy.  Which is where many bands that dabble in the political message tend to get it wrong, it’s one thing to urge everyone to open their eyes to the world around them, but it’s another all together to shove it down your fans throats.  Quite frankly, Another Lost Year’s approach is much more palatable, to be honest, it is actually quite enjoyable. The entire album is chalked full of phenomenal fist pumping tunes that fans of Blue October, Theory of a Deadman, and Stone Sour will thoroughly appreciate. Alien Architect is the perfect mix of catchy, hard rocking, and evocative lyrics, that even the toughest music critic will find it difficult to stop hitting repeat.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Morrow’s Memory - Take Control
Written by April Baggins for Bloodrock Media on August 15, 2016   

Five years is an eternity in the music world but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and good things have happened for Detroit area alternative rockers, Morrow’s Memory, with the release of their five-track EP entitled Take Control on July 24th.  With sounds ranging from the poetic crooning of Richard Marx (circa 1989) to the technical transcendence of Tool, Morrow’s Memory, is a heaping portion of fiery passion smothered in controlled chaos with a side of  unadulterated badassery (it’s a word, trust us).
“Bloodlust” the first track on Take Control is heavy, but still has that pop catchiness.  Fans will find themselves confused on whether to bang their head or break out into ‘the Carlton’ on the dance floor.  Imagine Tool covering early Killers that is how “Bloodlust” feels.  The growls give it a bite.  The second track, “Ones and Zeros”, is that one song that will make fans fall in love with music all over again.  The intro is breathtaking, the lyrics have attitude but are still beautiful; this track is how every song should make a listener feel.  
“Sapphire”, the fourth track on the album, was actually released in early 2013 as the band’s first official music video.  Beautifully composed, “Sapphire” is pretty damn close to how lyrical and vocal perfection would sound.  It definitely has that ‘OH MY GOD’ factor and showcases the bands enormous talent.  The last track, “Find My Own Way” comes back to the heaviness of “Bloodlust”, but is more of roller coaster ride, a ride that fans won’t want to get off.  It starts out fist pumping heavy, only to slow down to a gentle sway, only to get fists pumping again…controlled chaos…gentle and passionate, yet powerful and aggressive. Absolutely flawless.  
Take Control is by far one of the most intense and stunning EPs released in the recent past.  There isn’t an age maximum or minimum, or a specific genre of music fan that should pick up Take Control.  The album seriously covers all of the bases from pop to rock and old and new; all of this in five tracks.  Still can’t quite figure how that is possible, but it is, and Morrow’s Memory should be very proud of the final product.  Take Control is spectacular and brilliant from start to finish and if it isn’t getting radio attention now, it definitely should and will be.   

Sianvar - Stay Lost

Sianvar - Stay Lost
Written by Ken Bowden for Bloodrock Media on August 15, 2016

Sianvar, a conglomeration of members from Dance Gavin Dance, Hail the Sun, Stolas, and A lot Like Birds, released their debut full length album, Stay Loston August 5th.   If you aren’t familiar with Sianvar, let me introduce you; they are a super progressive/post-hardcore group made up of uber talented members Donovan Melero (vocals), Will Swan (guitar), Sergio Medina (guitar), Joseph Arrington (drums), and Michael Franzino (bass).  Their 2014 self-titled EP, Sianvar, is straight up fire and should definitely be given a listen.
Now back to Stay Lost, “Omniphobia”, the first single was blowing my mind, I blasted that shit more times than I care to admit.  With almost hallucinogenic guitars, Swan and Medina hold nothing back, and the result is mind blowing. Then “Psychosis Succumbing” debut and again, muy caliente, I was still hooked to the infectious groove of “Omniphobia” but “Psychosis Succumbing” was still damn good.  These two tracks had me salivating with anticipation ofStay Lost.
Finally, the day I’ve been waiting for, August 5th, the wait is finally over.   I’m sitting at my desk, palms sweating profusely (okay that may be an exaggeration), and I hit play.  The first track, “Stay Lost” comes on and it’s pretty good, but next up is my jam, “Omniphobia”, with riffs so dope and bass lines so funky, everything is a blur for a bit. So much so that I somehow made it to the seventh track, “Coordinate Love”, before realizing I had missed “Psychosis Succumbing”, so I have to rewind.  “Coordinate Love” and “1100 Days” are definite bangers, boasting upbeat grooves galore.
And that’s where it ends, not the album, there are still two more songs on Stay Lost, but they seem to be, quite honestly, filler. A bit disappointing, particularly when you know what a band of this caliber is capable of, that they underwhelm.  Stay Lost wasn’t a bad experience or even a less than good one, it just felt like an experience. To quote Batman’s young ward Robin “Overwhelmed, underwhelmed, nobody is ever just whelmed.” Well Boy Wonder, this guy was just whelmed.