Archive for August, 2012

E.N.V.Y.

Posted in Album Reviews on August 7, 2012 by lukesreviews1014

Hailing from the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, E.N.V.Y. are a rap-metal band with a very quirky sound. Whether they mean to sound that way or not, I think they’ve got a very interesting sound. They’re recently released debut EP features six tracks, all original and all catchy. It starts off fairly heavy with some catch riffs and angsty rap vocals. While ┬ádon’t think the rapping is the strongest feature to this bands music, I wouldn’t tell them to get rid of it entirely. It’s got that pissed-off-teenager-immature-Limp-Bizkit lyrical style to it, which I think is both goofy, but cool.

With a little work, all of these songs could be really hard-hitting singles worthy of launching this band onto the next level. I really like all of the songs on this EP and I think this band has a real potential to be a bigger name. Nu-metal has become a bit of a dirty word nowadays, but it seems as though bands like Hollywood Undead and Emmure are trying to make rap and metal music still a tangible form of music as well as the old guard who still make records like Limp Bizkit and Spineshank. I think the biggest problem this band will face is people thinking of this band as being some sort of joke band and not taking them seriously.

Check this band out if you like all of that rap-rock, rap-metal music.

www.facebook.com/envywv
www.envywv.com

Luke Helker

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Dark Desolation

Posted in AHP/Local Bands on August 6, 2012 by lukesreviews1014

I’ve gotten review requests from bands all across the country and as far-reaching as the United Kingdom, but here is a band from the last place I’d expect: Bangalore, India. What’s strange is that the band are a black metal band and India is probably the last place I’d expect to find a black metal band. What’s even stranger is that the band are really really good. I’m not the biggest black metal fan and by no means an authority on the sub genre, but I do listen to a few different bands in that genre and am fairly familiar with what is considered good and bad black metal and this is definitely some good, genuine, black metal.

Having only been around since 2010, the band have made quick work in making some solid and extremely dark tunes. Their debut demo album, Blasphemous Pestilence, is available via their record label, Salute Records. The demo album contains five original tracks including a Dark Funeral cover. It’s very rough and raw and very heavy and extreme. They’ve already gotten some attention from fairly sizable magazines and webzines alike and are continuing to try to push black metal’s boundaries and carve themselves a place in black metal history.

Again, I’m not the biggest black metal fan around, but I think this band is fantastic. They really believe in what they do, they are very good at what they do, and they deserve to be recognized as possibly the next big band in black metal. Definitely keep you eyes and ears on this band and go buy a copy of the album if you like it. I’ll bet Satan’s got it turned up to 11 right now.

Luke Helker

The Pandemics: Brain on Tap

Posted in AHP/Local Bands, Album Reviews on August 3, 2012 by lukesreviews1014

Some of you might remember this group when I made my initial review for them a few months ago. The Pandemics are a ska group from Long Island, New York. They are currently on tour with ska brothers from New York, Eli Whitney & The Sound Machine. Check their schedule on facebook to see if they are coming to a town near you.

Recently, the band released their debut full-length LP entitled Brain on Tap. For a debut, it’s very strong, but could use some work. I’m not the biggest fan of ska music and I wouldn’t say I’m much of an authority on the subject either, but one thing I can say for sure that the big ska groups of today: Streetlight Manifesto, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Less Than Jakes, and Reel Big Fish all put different spins on the music to make it stand out above the crowd and are consistent with their sound. I didn’t really think this album was totally consistent nor was it quite them capturing their own sound. It sounds like a sum of their influences scattered across a collection of songs in which they try to prove their musical legitimacy. There’s a lot of Streetlight in their with the quirky humor and texture of Reel Big Fish.

The album kicks off with an opening track comprised of fake news reports of a pandemic taking over. It then goes into two really solid tracks, “Brain on Tap” and “Chelsea.” These songs are great sing-along, catchy singles and this is where their sound lies. Unfortunately, it starts all going downhill from there. I don’t know if it was the translation into mp3, but the intro to “Movin'” is not together rhythmically and takes forever for the band to get into the groove. Plus they introduce a completely new singer, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the songwriting becomes inconsistent with each of the different singers. “Movin'” and “Rhumba de los Muertos” sound nothing like the first two songs I mentioned and it sounds like two different bands on one album.

The other big achilles heel this album is the track “Skaramanga,” an instrumental track that doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and just kills all the momentum that the album had. The instrumentalists aren’t bad and the track isn’t that bad itself, but unless it’s like “YYZ” then it doesn’t belong that high on the album. Save it til the end. The album then has to pick itself up from there and it certainly does with “Hey You,” which is a song that was previously released on an EP. That’s a great song along and so is “15 Days”.

All in all, I think the album is strong, but has a few peaks and troughs. It’s okay though because this is just a debut album and the band has a plenty of time to refine their sound and find what truly works for them. They already have at least four really solid tunes worthy of single status. I predict some good things to come and hopefully their tour will come across my area so that I can see their live show.

Luke Helker