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ALARIC- End of Mirrors- Music Review

Alaric End of Mirrors Neurot Recordings Facebook.com/Alaric Why does Alaric stand out from the thousands of other bands that I hear through my podcast? This is the second time I have chosen to review one of their releases, both of them being full reviews. Why? Well let’s examine that, what does this band have that peaks my interest enough to sit down and write a music review. Wether you have written fifteen or a couple hundred or thousand like I have over these twenty nine years, it’s never easy to come up with things to say. So writing a full review really takes something from me, mostly because I’m dumb and I don’t know what to say. Let’s take “Wreckage” as an example. It’s slow dirgy blues number, heavy weighted metal pulling you down by the ankles into the black dirthy thickness of humanity gone sick and diseased. Or maybe that’s just something I’ve read into it and it’s really about having a paper route and one of the customers won’t pay you when they are supposed too. Point is? Well, it’s a really good song, with a distinct flavor of hopelessness that I enjoy, a fatal wiring in our human souls I look upon and feel comforted by. I think what really impresses me and makes me want to listen to this band in my own free time is that the music really fits a lot of how it is day to day, life and all that. Holy shit check out the Spinal Tap like break down towards end of “Mirrors”. What was I saying? Wait this isn’t some kind of stream of conscious thought piece, I can go back and look at what I said before. Why the hell am I still typing this? See, that’s what this music does for me. Not to say I’m floating on some kind of drug induced cloud playing hand ball against the closet door, its more of a state of rational, clear thinking. Or maybe I’m just some idiot sitting in his garage huffing copy toner. Hard to tell really. 1,2,3 Huff! Look, I know we are all fucked, its a bloody dirty mess out there. None of us make it out alive, most of us worse for the wear. However, there are those pockets of sublime escape that come along every now and then. They are short, very cramp spots in our universe but when they do open and...

Maradeen – Above the Horizon – Music Review

Maradeen Above the Horizon Maradeenband.com Hear their song “Living for the Weekend” on SLTM (the Podcast) Episode 267 “Living for the weekend” is a poppy charmer in the vein of Oregon’s Parson Red Heads and should be the first choice for the first single. Yeah, “Living for the Weekend” is a strong song for the band, good country beat, wonderful sweet harmonies. I would have lead off the album with this track. You can forgive it’s vacation commercial pretend importance. It’s not the bands fault if some company hijacks it some day for a commercial to promote their states tourism or sunshine product. “Lost in a dream” is just missing something, it’s a bit pedestrian in need of a dead hitchhiker or a plum fairy flying through the scene to give it a boost. Singer sounds a bit like a tired Kevin Thista. The Song “like a river” is what I imagine the offspring of the fellas in the legendary country group Alabama would sound like if they started their own band. Did he just say “Where did my jesus go”?”In “dealin with the devil”? Its not the song I would have put first, but that’s been mentioned above. Reminds me texturally of TPOH but only if Moe Berg didn’t have any of the teen angst. Alright, now that the album has sat with me for a few weeks, it’s time to put some new ears on this thing, which is something I recommend when reviewing a release. Our first impressions are always very primal and instinctive but I find that I flesh out my ideas better after repeated listens, then a break of a few weeks and another few listens. I do like the strings in the first song, nice touch. It helps break up a six minute plus song, but the song never feels laborious or extraneous. “living for the Weekend” is such a winner here . Just a good rambling down a country lane, beer in the back seat on a sunny spring day jaunty rocker. Good stuff. “Lost in a Dream” sounds like a different band, one that listened to a lot of 90’s pop music, and wondered what it would be like to be the Cranberries. “Back when the west was mine” reminds me of some great FM Rock radio I heard as a kid in the 1970’s. It would have fit perfect in between the Rolling Stones, and Steve Miller Band. It’s a...

Peaer – S/T- Music Review

Peaer S/T Tiny Engines I do like the guitar sound on this release. Sometimes I’ve noticed when bands get this sound, a kind of chiming perpendicular buzzsaw with the safety guard but it’s starting to come off sound, they tend to make it thin and a bit over distorted, Peaer mixes it right. “Third Law” has some nice harmonies, very well used, right emotional heft and completely integral to the feel of the song. I went to high school with a kid, oh lets call him J.C. Marsh, and he was a depressed kid. I liked him, very intelligent but never stuffy or condescending about it, a bit gothy and fun to hang out with for certain allotted periods of time. I just couldn’t, as a manic depressive, be around that much sadness, real or not, for any extended period of time. For me to expect that this person has remained the same all these years later is a bit of selfish narcissism on my part. “Sick” is catchy as hell and might be the most upbeat song about being tired of yourself. It wonders why you can’t be something else or at least change a marginal amount just so you can shift focus. Jesus, I’ve been in that town before, stayed a few years and almost didn’t make it out. **Brad Bugos wrote this review. He’s really sorry that his words couldn’t be more expressive or even more about the music, but things pop into his head, and they tend to be about how he feels emotionally awkward every time he takes a breath or moves. Thank god you’re not him. Email if you want brad@fatrobotradio.com or leave a message below. Thanks and happy arm huggery....

Satan – atom by atom – music review

Satan atom by atom Listenable Records Damn these guys rip it up, sounding like a Nugent riffed metal band with coherent clear vocals. I was surprised by what this is rather than what I thought it was going to be. Seriously, its like a late 70’s BOC like band took their riffs and melded them with mid 80’s metal band with lyrics about evolution being at its peak and end and satan. It’s a really good mix and it really works. Maybe I’m putting some of my own baggage ino this but that’s what happens with these things. But what I’m getting out of this is that we as humans have evolved as far as we can, so this is what you get. So anyone righteous or who follows a godly path cannot expect the rest of us to better ourselves morally because this is where we are at as a society/civilization. So to them, even if we don’t worship evil we might as well, we are on the wrong side of their history. So far into this run of shows this is my favorite release. Phenomenal guitar work. Check out the guitar solo in “fall of persephone” especially at the end of the song. WOW. I hope it’s okay to listen to a band called Satan who play old school metal with songs about evolution being at an end and fallen saviours, because I enjoyed the hell out of it. The end, the very end of civilization is upon us, no more cell phones, dynamite and pre-lubed condoms. It’s over. So why am I, as one of the doomed, rocking out at the edge of the black sea enjoying banging my head and throwing the two devil coronuto? It’s because the band up on the stage at the end of the world party is jamming. Sure they are reporting the findings of how we started our decent and became doomed, reporting back like some sick Ted Koppel hell bent on informing everyone of their follies and part in this exploding lost experiment. Is there time to be saved? Maybe but we don’t care cause the riffs are great, the solo’s kickin and the singing spot on majestic. That this band formed in 1979 and can still rip it up and produce this kind of wonderful metal, really speaks volumes of the talent in this band. My favorite thing that I listened to for this set of episodes of...

Maple Stave – V- Music Review

Maple Stave V Phratry Records Six short songs, I wish there were more. Well when I say short, the last four songs are over four minutes, but it just seems to move along at such a nice clip that the six songs are gone before you are ready for them to leave. I do like the displayed anger in the last song, kind of a Snapcase vibe, check out “Call Sign Spider” after you hear the song we are going to play. Good stuff. Listening to Maple Stave reminds me of Mission of Burma and how I found them in the late 80’s. I used to kick myself for not finding the band (or even other worthy bands sometimes as well) during their zenith. While Maple Stave and Mission of Burma share a certain feel, it’s Maple Stave’s style of music that began these thoughts. Or at least not what propogated them. I think we as a culture spend way too much time trying, and to what benefit?, to be the first to catch onto something. Mocking those who come later into the fold. Lately, I’ve been getting into the Kinks. Of course this is way past their prime time, or even production time. But they did exist before I was born, and certainly zenithed while I was young. My Point? Maple Stave is a good rocking, tight band, and wether you find them now or later in life all that matters is that you found them and that you were open to new things. I mean look at me, I’ve grown from being a self involved asshole with a zine to a self involved asshole who has a podcast. Growth. **Brad Bugos has no concept of growth, as a matter of fact he still thinks it has to do with his penis. Idiot. This review was written by him with no help from the outside world (he makes he say that everytime for some reason). Please check out Maple Stave and the coolest record label going Phratry Records, not only cause they are friends but because they rule. The end (he also makes me write that...

Crom Dobh – Heimweh – Music Review

Crom Dobh Heimweh Van Records cromdobh.bandcamp.com van-records.de This album starts off like a cut from a Soundgarden album, “Mind Riot” or “Searching with my good eye closed”. The guitar work in “Kings II” is phenomenal, its just a good overall song. It’s driving rock with sonic guitar licks and barely legible vocals. Throat graveling vocals. Drums are low in the mix. Usually with metal that is heavier, the drums are loud but these sound almost thin. “The invulnerable Tide” has a nice slow groove. Vocals prove to be a valuable tool on this song. Adds the right atmosphere. Kind of sullen creepiness. “Kings II” (And We Ride) would be a perfect song for a Nordic horse saga, and WE RIDE!! The guitar at the end of “Sedation” is so damn good. Sure the songs are long, something that will bug or dismay those who want their music in tight little bundles, but if you were attracted to brutal metal in the first place, and this band, that is not something you’re going to give three shits about. What matters most in those types of songs, and the bands that play them, in my opinion is that it moves. What you don’t want is for your conveyance to slow down, picking up crud and muck from the road. You signed on for a brutal, fast, out of control plunge into the darkness, not a joy ride through the woods. This is clipping, and you’re not even sure you can make out scenery as you go by. Yeah, “The invulnerable tide” is a standout track for me, it’s got such a great heavy groove to it. It doesn’t seem like six minutes and thirty seven seconds when you listen to it, and if you do listen to it with earbuds or headphones you get such a close immediate feel. It’s not such an easy thing to have heavy guitars pulling a song along at a nice pace, I’ve seen it over done too many times, so a big tip of the hat to crom dobh for putting it out front and letting it get there in fine measure. I also like how during the solo for “Sedition” the band jacks it up a bit, there’s a growl like someone fell out of the vehicle, but the band just keeps moving, ala bet a bit faster than before but still taking their time to get their. **Brad Bugos wrote this review. What...

Our Darkest Days – A Common Agony – Music Review

Our Darkest Days A Common Agony bird attack records Well played, sung and harmonized rock candy. I don’t think you will want to eat the whole thing in one sitting, lots of calories, but it sure the hell is fun and a lot more exciting than kale or avecado bean dip. “Dying Flames” would be the song I would pick out as the single, it showcases all the bands strength’s. Sped up metal drumming must be a bitch to play, something that would take a toll on your arms and hands during a tour. I think it would be something I would be questioning towards the end of the tour. Maybe years of practice cut down on the sore arms? You would be more sweat than man after a show.(see how the drummer from Our Darkest Days responded to this question in our interview) The songs are damn fast. That’s what I’m getting at, but they still maintain a catchiness w/good harmonies. It’s hard to believe that this is their first release together. Sure these guys have played in other bands, but this being their first full length together is amazing, so tight and well played. Such polished head butting melodic fury isn’t quite this easy on a first release. Ask Jim Paul Jim. Plus these guys are Canadian. **Check out our interview with the band on sltmonkees.com . Brad Bugos wrote this review, he’s been around way too long, is a bit bitter that things didn’t work out better and hasn’t eaten all day. Contact him at brad@fatrobotradio.com . Thank...

In Defence- Don’t fuck with the Dungeon Master – Music Review

In Defence Don’t Fuck with the Dungeon Master indefence.bandcamp.com Sounds like early Anthrax, early 80’s hardcore, metal. Love the high note bellow in the song “Dungeon Master” . Speed metal with a sense of humor. If you told me this was unearthed from the 1980’s, I would believe it except the clear crisp production makes it hard to believe it was from that era. “Grill or Be Grilled” is funny, enjoyed that a lot. A band with a sense of humor , where have they all gone? At least we have In Defence. It just sounds like they are having fun, which is something I think is missing in music, and hard rock/punk rock especially. Music tends toward the serious, and that’s fine but there needs to be some silly bullshit and sense of humor in the lyrics to wash out all the mud. Listen to some of these song titles “Tacos til Death”, “ADHDTV”, “Fun with Beer”. It’s like the metal I listened to in college, SOD, Anthrax, MOD, bands with some heavy rage but with a sarcastic sense of humor and a skewed way of looking at the world. Damn I forgot how much I missed it. Fast speed metal. I couldn’t have enjoyed his release more. It’s music and bands like this that I continue making SLTM (the Podcast) and writing music reviews. Sometimes I get bogged down and an overwhelming feeling comes over me when I get so much music, and some of its hard to listen to or talk about. It gets tedious and boring, but then stuff like this comes along, and it’s fun, well played speed metal like back in the old days and I find my faith and determination renewed. I absolutely love the tongue in cheek high pitched yell in “Don’t Fuck with the Dungeon Master”, motherfucker that’s pitch perfect. It recalls a memory and it makes me laugh. Let’s hope this band continues making music and that they realize what a breath of fresh air their music and humor is, I know I enjoyed listening to this release. **Brad Bugos wrote this review. He has been reviewing music for over 25 years, and he tends to get bitter and angry at small tiny little things that don’t matter to anyone else. That’s why he only writes about six music reviews per run of episodes of SLTM (the Podcast). Some day he’s going to have a heart attack or stroke...

Broken Cross- Through Night to Light- Music Review

Broken Cross Through Light To Night Broken Cross Bandcamp Broken Cross Facebook El Duce had a son and he’s here to rule the Metal world. You would swear or at least I would, that it’s EL in the background of this first song, his ghostly voice floating out of the grave. “Poison of Insanity” is a seven minute song with a lot going on. Real good, really interesting. Lots of ideas floating around, breaking in and laying over. I like the “Uhh Yeah” in the background of “Foresaken Existence” . It’s the little things that set music apart for me. The production on this release should also get notice, along with the playing and song writing. If this were a standard metal release it would be too heavy, too muffled, but the way it’s layed out now, the drums off in another room, banging away, it works. If there was thickness it would ruin the songs , this way its more open and they breath. Dig the guitar solo in “Open the black hole”, now if this were another metal band that would not sound like it does. This band seems to understand that picking out the best parts of other bands or sounds that they like and using them regardless of if they fit the mold, works for them. “Poison of Insanity” , is that children laughing and playing or some sea gulls down at the shore , squawking in terror? Hard to tell. It’s the only song over five minutes, most are around three and a half. A good way to end the album too, put your magnus opiumus at the end. Leave a black print on your way out the window. All and all I would suggest this release to anyone who likes metal, who likes and misses El Duce (cause the singer does touch the great EL’s hood with his singing at times) and for whom life feels like an endless journey outside in the dark bleak cold to get a can of lager. **Brad Bugos wrote this review. He uses Dave’s World the horrible TV sitcom to fall into a deep sleep every winter in hopes that he won’t wake up until baseball starts. Never works though, as his face and ass start to go numb and he has to get up to take a piss. Reviews are like a sandwich, someone once told me. You add to much mayo and the whole thing...

Geometers 4 Song EP – Music Review

Geometers 4 Song EP Jetsam Flotsam This may only be a taster of what Geometers sound like but these are four very strong songs. Plus you can get their full length Pay To Live which just came out in December of 2016 on Jetsam-Flotsam (a wonderful Chicago record label). While driving rock may be a bit of a standard indentifier and hardly descriptive enough for the band, it is an attack point to their design. It’s like we were going to a party out of town, and while you were fumbling around for the directions to Lamp Hill, you wanted something to drink and some rock to help you see. While those things are not necessary to the ability of your group to get to its destination, they sure as hell help you get loose and ready for your late night jog through the woods when the cops ultimately break up the party and you have to make a run for it. I can see us, a few drinks into the night, cops pulling up the lane, and we make a break for it. Nothing but our wits, some alcohol fueled stupidity and the song “Sidearm” looping through our skulls. As we stumble laughing through the woods, of which we know very little, the pace at which “Sidearm” breaks whipping through our minds helps us to keep pushing it until Keith finally picks us up three miles away by Fishers pond. “It was only that jackass Jeff Coogly with his dad’s flashing lights” he tells us as we get in the car heading back towards the party “not the cops”. And so as we go back to drink some more out in the country on a lane that only farmers use to sow their crops, we put Geometers back in the player, cursing Coogly’s dumb ass and thanking the drinking gods that we didn’t impale ourselves on a rock or stick while running like idiots. All the while the four song EP creeps into our subconscious for our next mad dash into oblivion. **Brad Bugos wrote this review. He remembers well the times he spent out at Def Leppard Hill, Roach Road, Van Halen Valley and Three Bins. Times spent drinking, chasing girls and listening to rock and roll. He would have been cool with hearing this four song EP, especially in the place of Steve Millers Greatest Hits. Comments, opinions, problems? brad@fatrobotradio.com . Thank...

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