|Are you tired of the same old Christmas carols? Have you lost your copy of The Filthy Skank’s Freddy the Snowman? Good news - there’s another outlet for you to express your alternative rocker side this holiday season. The Hives teamed up with-Cindy Lauper - to record “A Christmas Duel.” It’s available for free on The Hives website. Get your noise-rock on!…
Fans of Jesus Lizard will be wickedly stoked. They’ve announced some shows in 2009, the final one to will be in Chicago. … Speaking of shows, there’s a rumor that No Doubt is working on a new album. They plan to support it in ’09 with a tour. Hopefully, they’ll stop in Dallas.
If you are scene kid stalking My Chemical Romance’s front man, Gerrard Way, then you already know he decided to breed, and his wife will give birth over the summer. That is so punk rock.
Forgotten Space - Club Dada 11/14/08
Forgotten Space is an amazing band consisting of some of Dallas’ best musicians. Lead Guitarist Kenny Withrow (founding/current member of “Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians), has riffs of legendary trips of mind-blowing psychedelic proportions that will leave you floating on a cloud. Forgotten Space is a hardcore and dedicated Grateful Dead tribute band in Dallas. They have two full-time drummers (Jerry Saracini and Bryant “Pablo” Russell… also a classically trained guitarist). Jerry is amazing and has jammed with Grateful Dead bass player Phil Lesh. Bob McConville (bass/vocals) has been in many bands including regular Dada playing band, The Dead Thing. Will Hodges is an awesome keyboardist. Lead vocalist Scott Prosser totally wails on guitar as well. See Forgotten Space and you’ll forget your troubles. Hear them on myspace.com/forgottenspace (Scotty Mankoff)
Black Cobra - The Lounge on Elm St., 11/21/08
California’s Black Cobra, Jason Landrian (guitar/vocals) and Rafael Martinez (drums), played a set you could really sink your teeth into, making their sludge-thick doom-punk set seem as if there were five members. Jason’s sonically buzzing but smooth guitar defied the instrument’s usual tone and tilled up bass signatures with the combination of his Sunn cabinet and bass amp rig. Weave that with quick and deliberately loud drumbeats - and you’ve got the night’s resonated standout “Omniscient.” “Thrown from Great Heights,” laden with punk elements, ” energized the crowd. The multitude of rhythmic changes was perfectly timed to keep things interesting and jaw dropping. “The Cry of Melora” carried that characteristic acutely. If you are a fan of bands like Weedeater or Torche, then you’re sure to enjoy Black Cobra. (Misty Johnson)
The O’s - Double Wide 11/08/08
One of the best new bands of 2008, the O’s were created by two heavy hitters on the Dallas scene - John Pedigo (Boys Named Sue, Rose County Fair) and Taylor Young (Polyphonic Spree, The Backsliders) The O’s began as an acoustic due this past summer. John sings, plays banjo and pedal steel, while Taylor sings, plays acoustic guitar and kicks a giant drum at the same time. They trade off lead vocals and put on one incredible show. Signed to Erv Karwelis’ IDOL Records, they’re scheduled for a nationwide tour starting in February 2009 with a February 10 CD release. Stand outs are “California” and “I Love You So Much.” To experience one of the best sing-along, dance-along shows, go see The O’s or check out WeAreTheO’s.com (Scotty Mankoff)
Idea Killer - Skillman St. Pub, 11/15/08
The name “Idea Killer” is based on killing ignorant ideas. However, as Stevil (creator/guitar) described it in an interview on doomradio.net, there are “deeper explanations that target specific concepts.”
Don’t assume they’re solely doom based. IK embraces thrash here and there, and their drummer Rezn opened for them with his industrial-electro solo side project, Ceremony One. Shelton (vocals) was able to belt out hardy screams on stage and in the pit (in which he participated). Highlights were “Epic Disease” and “Hell is Afraid,” which encompassed aspects of doom and thrash thanks to Tony (guitar) and Stevil. Look for this band, because they’re sure to turn up somewhere close, especially since they’re part of the national Black Eye Media team. (Misty Johnson)
Bayside - Shudder, Victory Records
The boys from Queens maintain their ambitious drive with newest release, Shudder - the fourth full-length studio album in the last seven years. During that time, they dealt with the loss of their drummer, John “Beatz” Holohan, while on the road, Bayside remains steadfast in their endeavors, and proves it by starting this CD out properly - without any bullshit. They jump right into first track, “Boy,” without the slightest introduction. This frame of minds sets a no-nonsense tone for the album. Most lyrics, in contrast to many bands in the pop-punk genre, have substance. The guitar work follows a different flow than most in this genre, which makes Bayside a creditable source of good rock music. If you’ve been waiting for this album, you won’t be disappointed at.
The Tossers - On A Fine Spring Evening
Are you looking for the perfect St. Patty’s Day soundtrack? Your search is over, my green beer drinking amigo. The Chicago Celtic sextet is back and delivering a punk-inspired album born in the vat of all things drunkenly Irish. This one is worthy of inebriated celebration or, at least, a few good toasts at Chief O’Neills down on Elston Ave. The lyrics are, above all, reflective and thoughtful, but the listener doesn’t need to understand them to have a good time. And a good time is what this album is. None of the songs suck, but if bagpipes don’t float your teeth, you should keep on trucking. If you enjoy getting drunk and rowdy, then pick up this CD and some cheap whiskey.
Hinder - Take It to the Limit, Universal
Everything about Take It to the Limit just screams awful- the pseudo-retro rock posturing, lowest common denominator frat-boy jams and those damn ballads that desperately want to be the next “Lips of an Angel.” There’s no need in wasting any more space on this slightly smarter Buckcherry (if that’s possible). Pure and simple, this is a CD for people who don’t listen to music. I’m sure this soundtrack for getting herpes will sell a bazillion copies.
Escaping Gravity, Self-released
These guys do not sound like any band in the metroplex. The music is almost dream-like-whatever that means. Each song is progressively moving along like a stream that seduces the listener into an imperturbable state. From the beginning to the end, they’ve found their own sound. One aspect rarely found these days is a genuine sense of symmetry. Escaping Gravity oddly manages to make songs extremely balanced with great time changes. If this CD were a form of martial arts, it would be ninjitsu, because it creeps up on you. Luckily, it doesn’t kill you. If you have the chance to see them live - order an absinthe. It will fit nicely with the sound. (Shane Epting)
James Morrison - Songs for You, Truths for Me, Interscope
If Hollywood ever follows up Mannequin 2: On The Move, this album will make the perfect soundtrack. On his sophomore release, Morrison puts his best Rod Stewart-esque foot forward with opener “The Only Night.” “Save Yourself” isn’t bad, either, but the rest are hits or misses. A few must be avoided while driving or operating heavy machinery, because they cause drowsiness. Most of these numbers appeal to those suffering from love sickness - or just sick of love. But, if you’re sick of love songs and broken hearts-don’t approach this disc, at all. Though, if you were a big fan of his first album Undiscovered, you might dig this one.
Rise Against - Appeal to a Reason, Interscope Records
Approaching their ten-year mark, these well-seasoned Chicago vegetarians have successfully climbed the ranks of the post-punk hardcore scene. Appeal... is their fifth carved notch on their album-making bedpost, and they’re far from running out of oomph. Good portions of the lyrics represent the ideals of those who sit on the left side of the political fence, evident in swift numbers such as “Collapse (Post-Amerika)” and “ Re-Education (through Labor).” So, if you are butt-hurt for McCain, then look elsewhere for sympathy. If you’ve been a fan of these guys, you won’t be dissatisfied. If you think their style sucks, this album will not change your mind, because they stick to the tried-and-true formula of their previous work.
Artist vs. Poet - Fearless Records
The interesting thing about first impressions is that you only get one. In the case of Artist v. Poet, the guitar work has an alluring mix that encompasses the history of rock from the ‘70s to today. It makes a great first impression. Travy Thomason’s vocals, on the other hand, are so whiney that they sometimes compromise the integrity of the music. For instance, on “Runaway,” he should have eased up on the “sissy voice” a tad. Thomason’s voice does, however, work well on slower numbers such as “All In.”
Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns, Geffen Records
This is possibly the best make-out music of the decade. If you are not riding on this bandwagon yet, this album might make you want to quickly hop on board. A Hundred Million Suns is worthy of endless accolades. Snow Patrol is bringing the art of the whole album back. Yeah, you are free to select songs from iTunes, but forget that shit, amigo. But if your pocketbook is feeling the pinch of the Bush economy, and you must select only a few, then go for “Please Just Take These Photos from My Hands” and “Crack the Shutters.” From the start until the finish, this CD plays well all the way through. Drink the goddamn Snow Patrol Kool Aid. You won’t regret it.