Thursday, March 26, 2015

Music Releases For March 24th, 2015

I really hope you all get the chance to ht up a local record store this week, because from what I have heard thus far, this has been a great week for music releases.  Sampling albums such as The Gentle Storm, CHON, Action Bronson, and Oceano have given the opportunity to discover new music and also look into some bands I wasn't necessarily a fan of.

It is also worth noting a special release this week.  The Sonics have released their first album in 35 years (1980).  The group has been alive and kicking since 1960, with a few lineup changes.  I still feel that is worth mentioning consider the timeline between albums.

The Gentle Storm is also worth mentioning since it's double album is a very diverse and fascinating project by singer and Anneke van Giersbergen, and composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen.  I highly recommend a few of their tracks in your day as well.

If you folks cannot/do not want to make your way to a local record store, then be sure to hit up an online retailer, or trusted digital source.  Cheers!



(Lonelady - Hinterland)

To say that this album is derivative of other Mancunian acts would be completely inappropriate. Instead, there is something purposefully, intentionally collectivist about Hinterland. LoneLady here does not seek to disassociate herself from Manchester's past, but rather, through it become part of the city which she has adopted for herself. What the album falls down on slightly is a lack of dynamics. Although standalone each song is catchy and refreshingly danceable, they don't add up towards a comprehensive album experience. There is little variation from the funk-punk, and slower tracks like 'Flee!' feel weaker to their more nervy counterparts. -The 405


(The Sonics - This Is The Sonics)

Now, nearly 50 years after its predecessor, the iconic garage rock outfit is set to return with a brand new album: Entitled This is the Sonics, it will be available March 31st via Revox Records. The 12-track effort was produced by Detroit’s Jim Diamond (The White Stripes, The Dirtbombs) and features original Sonics members Jerry Roslie (keyboards, vocals), Larry Parypa (guitar, vocals), and Rob Lind (sax, harmonica, vocals). -Consequence of Sound


(Action Bronson - Mr. Wonderful)

Mr. Wonderful acknowledges this artistic self-doubt and question of authenticity with tracks like “City Boy Blues” and “A Light in the Addict.” However, Bronson emerges proudly from the morass with a bold ego and confident delivery. He certainly sounds a great deal like Ghostface Killah, but unlike other artists accused recently of co-opting hip-hop sensibilities purely for fame, Queens-born Bronson comes across as a genuine, appreciative product of his environment, as evidenced by the snippets of curbside conversation and shoutouts to Billy Joel and Chuck Knoblauch that pepper his songs. Self-aware in all of the right ways and delightfully crass in all of the wrong ones, Mr. Wonderful is ultimately a bit of a lark, but it is also far more enjoyable, far more self-aware, and far wittier than it needed to be. -Pretty Much Amazing


(CHON - Grow)

The most tasteful aspect of the output, in my opinion, is the pure and natural sound of the music in itself. The group clearly understands and adores analogue sensibilities. Whereas their contemporaries Sithu Aye and Polyphia often use electronic elements to supplant the music, CHON completely ignore and avoid any such elements. As a result, the album sounds and feels as if it is being performed right in front of you, for you. This ability to take advantage of the space within the tracks allows for immediate self-reflection and listener’s absorption into the motifs of the music. -Sputnik Music


(The Gentle Storm - The Diary)

The Gentle Storm manages to offer exactly what we would’ve expected from this sort of collaborative experience, as well as few things that we wouldn’t have. So while you’re still waiting for another Ayreon or Star One record to come, this massive effort will more than tide you over. It’s a breathtaking effort that should undoubtedly cement itself as one of the best releases of 2015 and there’s simply nothing quite like it, and there never will be. -New Noise Magazine


(Hit The Lights - Summer Bones)

Summer Bones, the band's fourth studio long-player and first outing for Pure Noise Records, effectively seals the deal, offering up an 11-track set of slickly produced, earworm-heavy, festival-ready singalongs shot through with enough good old-fashioned punk/hardcore spirit to make the transition easy for old-schoolers looking for a respite from breakdown town. Similar in tone to bands like Sleeping with Sirens and the Story So Far, Hit the Lights have no interest in wallowing in the oft-excavated pit of youthful despair; rather, they exist in a sort of amped-up, devil-may-care vacuum of good-times/bad-times soul-searching that leans more heavily toward the former. -All Music


(Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock - Spirit On A Mission)

Tastefully seasoned with tints of Blues, almost literally drenched in fine melodies and laden with instrumental prowess, Spirit On A Mission by Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock is a clear example of how the veterans of the Hard Rock scene can continue to compete with the new generation and, perhaps, even win in the end. Let’s only hope the upcoming live performances in support of the album will result in quite a few UFO, Scorpions and MSG classics dropping from the concert set lists. As much as we adore “Lovedrive,” “Doctor Doctor” and “Assault Attack,” there’s an urgent necessity for a handful of tracks off Spirit On A Mission to find their way into the Temple Of Rock’s gig schedules. As far as their finding the way into the hearts of Hard Rock fans is concerned, there is no doubt about the titular ‘mission’ being doomed to succeed. -Hard Rock Haven


(Oceano - Ascendants)

The intensity cranked all the way up, the guitars just somehow move me with their slamming riffs and quick techniques at times. The album really excels at vocals and drumming. Vocalist Adam Warren just sounds like a raging beast on this album, really giving Ascendants a very death metal/brutal death/slam vibe. Drummer (I am assuming Chason Westmoreland, since I cannot find who their current drummer is and he was the most recent) offers a punishing delivery of double bass patterns and blast beats over the riffs. Really the vocals and drumming shine over everything else, making them the focus point for me as they were the more entertaining and enjoyable aspects of the album. -Headband Or GTFO


Anniversary Re-Issue:

(Thursday - Waiting: 15 Year Anniversary Edition)

The Collect Records edition preserves the nine-song tracklisting as is, but the package will also add a three-song 7-inch featuring demo recordings of the album's "This Side of Brightness" and "Dying in New Brunswick," as well as a cut called "Mass as Shadows" that had previously popped up on a 1999 tour EP. 

The LP also comes with new artwork, which you can see up above, as well the original liner notes. It's been remastered and will be pressed on 180-gram "blood orange" vinyl, as well as on turquoise. -Exclaim

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Full Album Stream: CHON - Grow

So one of the newest sections I created was "Full Album Streams".  Not only did this gave folks something to listen to when they are cruising the site (being that the original intention of this site was to acts as a hub to explore), but also a chance for people to explore new artists, new genres, and new albums before deciding to purchase them (also from links on AFGM's site).

Full album streams seem to be a new fad that a lot of internet savvy people are jumping on.  It can be in the form of a Soundcloud widget, a YouTube playlist, or even a single YouTube video.  This often gives record labels a chance to promote new artists and for people to subscribe to their social media pages.  So hopefully this provides you access to some new music, bands, and/or artists.  Cheers!

PS - Feel free to send us an email if you have any albums you think you should be on this list or a new one coming out we missed.  We're always listening!

(Artwork by AFGM.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Formed in San Diego, CA, CHON has only recently signed with Sumerian Records for this debut album.  You can check out previous work over at their Bandcamp page.  CHON gained a well established following after many successful tours with artists such as Animals As Leaders, After The Burial, and Conquering Dystopia.  The debut album "Grow" was released on March 24th, 2015.  Band members for the effort are:

Mario Camarena - Guitar | Erick Hansel - Guitar
Drew Pelisek - Bass | Nathan Camarena - Drums


(Album artwork courtesy of CHON and Sumerian Records)

1. Drift
2. Story*
3. Fall
4. Book (Feat. Matt Garstka)
5. Can't Wait*
6. Suda*
7. Knot
8. Moon
9. Splash
10. Perfect Pillow
11. Echo
12. But (Feat. Matt Garstka)

(* = AFGM Recommendations)



You need to listen to Grow as an album, listen to it in order as it was created and let yourself be submerged in the waves of guitars and drums. As a largely instrumental album you’ll find the guitar riffs can speak a thousand words better than lyrics ever could. The textured riffs will hit you emotionally and tug at your heart strings. That said, ‘Echo’ which features vocals predominately as its hook could be considered the standout and most instantaneous tracks on Grow. -Alt Dialogue

Doesn’t stray too far from the CHON we know and love, but experiments with new sounds too.  The re-recordings of older songs are different enough for even the most loyal fans to appreciate as new tracks.  Vocals, while scarce, are significantly improved upon since the last record’s attempts! Better range and annunciation, by far. -It Djents

Monday, March 23, 2015

Full Album Stream: Story of the Year - The Constant

So one of the newest sections I created was "Full Album Streams".  Not only did this gave folks something to listen to when they are cruising the site (being that the original intention of this site was to acts as a hub to explore), but also a chance for people to explore new artists, new genres, and new albums before deciding to purchase them (also from links on AFGM's site).

Full album streams seem to be a new fad that a lot of internet savvy people are jumping on.  It can be in the form of a Soundcloud widget, a YouTube playlist, or even a single YouTube video.  This often gives record labels a chance to promote new artists and for people to subscribe to their social media pages.  So hopefully this provides you access to some new music, bands, and/or artists.  Cheers!

PS - Feel free to send us an email if you have any albums you think you should be on this list or a new one coming out we missed.  We're always listening!

(Artwork by AFGM.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Formed in 1995, Story of the Year have been a constant name in the punk/rock/metal industry since their debut hit single "Until the Day I Die" (taken from their debut label album "Page Avenue").  "The Constant" is the fourth album by SOTY and was released on February 16th, 2010 via Epitaph Records.  It went on the debut at #42 on the Billboard top 200 charts and pushed 14,000+ records.  For "The Constant", the band consisted of:

Dan Marsala – lead vocals | Ryan Phillips - lead guitar | Philip Sneed – guitar, piano, vocals
Adam Russell – bass, backing vocals | Josh Wills – drums, percussion

"Music is the constant thing in life for us.  When I go to bed I think about music and when I wake up it's the first thing on my mind," he continues. "The Constant can mean anything; hopefully our band will go on forever and we want music to remain a constant thing in our lives no matter what." -Dan Marsala


(Album artwork courtesy of Story of the Year and Epitaph Records)

1. The Children Sing*
2. The Ghost of You and I
3. I’m Alive*
4. To The Burial*
5. The Dream Is Over
6. Remember a Time
7. Holding on to You
8. Won Threw Ate
9. Ten Years Down*
10. Time Goes On
11. Eye For An Eye
12. Your Unsung Friend (Bonus track)
13. Tonight We Fall (Bonus track)

(* = AFGM Recommendations)



Their fourth studio album (and second for indie giant Epitaph), The Constant finds Story of the Year making a comfortable return to the modern post-hardcore landscape. Like their last album, The Black Swan, the band seems to have settled into their own sound, effortlessly blending in touches of metal, pop-punk, and power pop to give the listener something that’s more eclectic and engaging than the usual collection of anthemic rock that’s become so common within the genre.

While Story of the Year may not be doing too much experimenting with their sound these days, they’ve more than shown their consistency as solid songwriters. With its driving guitars and massive choruses, The Constant is yet another highly catchy album from Story of the Year that will easily live up to their fans' expectations while making converts out of those unfamiliar with them. -All Music