Posts tagged ‘Hard Rock’

Tightrope by Black Taxi

BlackTaxi-1

Frantic, lightning quick, unpredictable, and with no mercy for pedestrians.  Brooklyn’s Black Taxi is not unlike any other taxi you’ll find in New York City.  The punk/pop/rock quartet has been churning out gritty tracks and working the live circuit to the bone since 2007.  Their new EP, Chiaroscuro, will be released this month.  Chiaroscuro, in the art world, is the use of strong contracts in light and dark.  We can look back to “Tightrope,” a single off the group’s sophomore album, We Don’t Know Any Better, for the perfect example of that contrast.  Mixing dark tones and lyrics with an energetic pop sensibility, “Tightrope” shows that Black Taxi is the kind of group that looks at red lights more as a suggestion to stop rather than an obligation.  Enjoy.

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The Rubens demand your undivided attention

Sometimes you discover a band and it makes you feel like you’ve discovered electricity. That’s how I felt when I stumbled upon The Rubens, a four piece rock outfit from Sydney, Australia.  Consisting of three brothers and their childhood friend, The Rubens make gritty rock tracks sporting serious blues melodies layered with scruffy guitars and enough soul to make Aretha swoon.  The quartet’s first single, Lay It Down, garnered serious attention in 2011 and they just released Don’t Ever Want To Be Found, the first single off the debut album which just finished recording in the States.  I searched far and wide and bring you the only tracks I could find.  Let the countdown for the new album begin….now.

Best Tracks:

All of ’em…

Don’t Ever Want To Be Found

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Lay It Down

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My Gun

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Cowboy Song

When and Where:

When? Any time you wanna feel like a badass.  Where? If you feel like a badass, then where ever you damn well please.

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Buy Don’t Ever Want To Be Found here

Download Lay It Down and Cowboy Song for free here

Download My Gun for free here

American Royalty’s Matchstick Catches Fire

Imagine the Black Keys on speed and you get Matchstick, the second EP from rock group,  American Royalty.  The Los Angeles-based trio mixes plenty of musical genres into every track (soul, psychedelia, rock, R&B, and electronica) and somehow disciplines them just enough to work together to a create trippy, funky, hard rocking EP.  Released on February 14, 2012, each song on Matchstick is a chaotic thought fighting desperately for your attention…and winning.

Randomly shifting gears midsong from one genre to the next, Matchstick is an EP anthem for the aurally ADD who stare at their playlists for 20 minutes trying to figure out what to listen to.  At just three songs, Matchstick begs for an immediate second listen because, by the end of the first, you’re trying to figure out what just happened and why you liked it so much.

Track Breakdown:

I’ve Been Fighting For You is American Royalty’s smoothest, most soulful sound, melding blues with a slight electronic rip and that homemade, musty garage rock sound.

Matchstick starts with a slick piano melody and builds to a psychedelic climax coupled with some eerie harmonies and hooks by vocalists, Marc Gilfry and Billy Scher.

Blood Keys has ominous guitars coupled with dark, sultry vocals that lead into some thrashing riffs and sharp electronics so versatile, they make this a fitting track for a concert or a club.

When and Where:

I picture myself kickin’ back at some invite only cigar bar, legs kicked up on the edge of the table, with clouds of smoke and American Royalty’s grooves filling the entire room.

I’ve Been Fighting For You

Matchstick

 

Blood Keys

 

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And You Were A Crow by The Parlor Mob

The Parlor Mob formed in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 2004 and released And You Were A Crow in 2008.  With their new album, Dog, released a few weeks ago, it’s the perfect time to introduce you to their first album, a display of amazing hard rock, nasty guitar riffs, a lot of soul and rusty vocals that takes you back to the great rock groups of the 60s and 70s.  

And You Were a Crow is an energetic album that feels like it was forged out of sweat, dirt, and a love for groups like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.  Mark Melicia’s vocals are straining and angst-ridden, but it’s when the band slows things down for the mandatory rock ballads that his voice fills out and pulls you back down to reality.  This album is a lyrical rock rarity, where none of the songs are about partying and getting wasted.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes you ask a little bit more out of your music.

Best Tracks:

Hard Times is pure rock n’ roll: it’s fast, loud, unapologetic, and serves as an anthem for those who have been screwed.

Can’t Keep No Good Boy Down starts out with a country twang that maintains throughout the track and quickly becomes fun and energetic with the addition of a piano and tambourine.

Everything You’re Breathing For has an easy tempo but soon drops its vocals and cuts into a Zeppelin-influenced guitar riff.  The steady pace of the drums keeps the song moving smoothly and halfway through, hints of psychedelic rock take over the guitar solo.

When and Where:

Listen to this album when you are frustrated with society, corruption, the economy, or how Fox keep renewing Bones. If you are at a point where you you know a huge turning point in your life is on the horizon, you must listen to this album.

Hard Times:

Can’t Keep No Good Boy Down

Everything You’re Breathing For:

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Singular Focus – So So Fresh by Nico Vega

The rarest of female singers are the ones that can rock out and rip the mic to shreds.  While not the strongest album in the world, Los Angeles-based Nico Vega’s self titled debut album contains a few decent songs, however, the shining jewel in the crown is So So Fresh.  The immediate familiarity with the song is due to Aja Volkman, whose vocals are a throwback to Joan Jett.

I can’t help but snarl when I hear this song.  It makes you feel like a righteous mofo with the rhythmic lead guitar and the chorus which has that balls-to-the-wall straining vocal followed by some messy chanting that fits the tone of the song perfectly.  Even without a bass guitar, you feel deep full thump laced throughout the song.

If you fall madly in love with this song, I recommend Wooden Dolls which shows off Aja’s versatility in displaying her smoky vocals that easily transition to a piercing voice triumphantly bashing the chorus (a little over a minute into the track).  I guess I’m cheating and should have called this double focus.  Whatever.  Get over it.

Enjoy.

So So Fresh:

Wooden Dolls:

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