Archive | June, 2012

‘Feature Presentation’ – OKTAYNE

28 Jun

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The latest Hip Hop export from the great state of Cali comes in the form of ‘Feature Presentation’ by Oktayne. California has always been an exceptional breeding ground for rappers, with big names such as Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Dre all contributing to the states strong Hip Hop culture. This means that whenever a rapper coming out of California releases an album, it’s often compared to the greats of the oldschool (because it’s usually a direct rip off). However, with Feature Presentation, we have something a little bit different.

Straight away you’ll notice that this album is packed full of content (16 tracks in total). However, each song somewhat cleverly differs from the next. This is an album that contains tracks ranging from subtle balladry, all the way to huge, ‘anthem like’ numbers. Feature Presentation is a diverse album in the truest sense.

Oktayne manages to lay down his rhymes with pride, authority and intelligence. You can easily understand his lyrical content and you might often find yourself grooving to his voice. Oktaynes technique could be described as unorthodox at times, but somehow it feels right. The flow is original and distinctive when it comes to Oktayne and his voice has a certain energy that is lacking in today’s Hip Hop scene.

The beats on Feature Presentation predominately range from old school grooves to bass maxed dance mixes. However Tracks such as ‘Me For President’, ‘Break Up Sex’ and ‘Overdue (One of the best tracks on the album in my opinion) bring a spacey and terrestrial vibe to the album. The album is strong with both the old school and spaced out tracks but it feels as though the dance tracks are a sub par attempt at a radio/dance hit and that the album could have done without them.

Feature Presentation is another fine release from Californian rapper, Oktayne. Fans of Kanye, Biggie or Childish Gambino will really appreciate and enjoy the more subtle moments on this album and If you’re into Hip Hop from Cali, then you should definitely get this album in your collection.

7/10

You can check out OKTAYNE at:

OKTAYNE Facebook

OKTAYNE Twitter

‘Vox E Tenebris’ – Radio Fallout

25 Jun

Vox E Tenebris is the latest album from Texan power trio, Radio Fallout. This is an album full of straight forward Alternative Rock and Garage attitude. Radio Fallout have been gathering a considerable amount of hype in the lead up to the release of Vox E Tenebris.  So does Radio Fallouts latest album live up to all the hype?

The album starts off  with I Want To Be Alright. This is a track that contains some great riffs here and there but fails to resemble anything past your average Pub Rock song. Track #2 (the album’s title track) is a different sort of deal though. The groove changes considerably and the band sounds more sonically diverse. Dynamically, the band is also better in this song. Tones are much thicker and the shakiness of the vocals isn’t present at all. Moving onto the body of the album, we have the songs, Falling In, Wishing Well and Heir. These tracks are primarily acoustically driven with the exception of Wishing Well. Acoustically driven doesn’t necessarily mean less though. Falling In is one of the most powerful songs on the album and will serve well as an almost ‘anthem like’ sing along at Radio Fallout shows. Wishing Well is also a strong track on the album. It’s one of the more dynamic songs of the lot and in fact one of the more creative additions. Towards the end we approach (in my opinion) the most strongest tracks of the album. Tracks such as Hour Of Darkness and Summer Sun are tracks that both light up this album and most likely, will light up stage when played live. Hour Of Darkness contains powerful riffs and rustic vocals that might remind you of a certain someone named Kurt Cobain. Summer Sun is basically the lighter half of the two songs. This is a fantastic, laid back ballad which builds to a satisfying climax.

The production of Vox E Tenebris is nothing but crystal clear. Each instrument is distinctive and you can easily hear how each member contributes to the over all sound. The dynamics are also clear and appropriately placed, however this was engineered, co-produced and mixed by Evan Kleinecke so you would expect nothing less!

Radio Fallout have produced a fine addition to their back catalog with Vox E Tenebris and even though Garage Rock can be somewhat of an ‘acquired taste’, you should consider giving this album a listen. I’d recommend this for fans of Nirvana, The White Stripes, Weezer or Wheatus.

6/10

You can Check out Radio Fallout at:

Radio Fallout Facebook

Radio Fallout Twitter

Radio Fallout Official Website

‘Neurogenesis’ – Monks Of Mellonwah

25 Jun

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2 years since Monks Of Mellonwahs debut E.P Stars Are Out, the band have grown from strength to strength (and even earning a few illustrious awards along the way). Monks Of Mellonwah have since earned themselves a stellar reputation since their first E.P and have now released their second, entitled, Neurogenesis. So how does Neurogenesis satisfy? Let me tell you how.

The E.P opens with the sultry groove of it’s title track, Neurogenesis. This sets the mood and tempo of the E.P quite nicely with spacey riffs and powerful rhythms. Next we are treated to Never Ending Spirit. A track similar to its predecessor in terms of tonal spectrum, however, slightly more emotional in its delivery. Track #3 is where things start to heat up. Kyoto picks up the tempo and Monks Of Mellonwah pump out an old-fashioned, powerful Indie Rock tune. Now we come to the E.Ps conclusion and possibly (definitely in my opinion) the best song on this E.P. You Shine is a track that just radiates beauty. The many different shades of guitar tones and spacey reverbs are controlled with ease, the rhythm section lays the foundations with absolute precision and the vocals are delivered with nothing but class. Monks Of Mellonwah have written an incredible song with You Shine (You’ll definitely be convinced with that guitar solo).

You’ll also hear quite a bit of influence with Monks Of Mellonwahs latest release. You might find yourself hearing influences of Boy & Bear, The Temper Trap, The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and even some Progressive Rock influences within the sound that is Monks Of Mellonwah.

Production wise, this album is perfect. Produced by Jeff Bova and engineered by Howie Weinberg, Neurogenesis is a fantastically sonic album. The dynamics are perfectly displayed and each song is a audible pleasure. Subject your ears to this E.P ladies and gentleman. You’ll thank me for it.

Neurogenesis is another great release by Monks Of Mellonwah. After listening through it, I wanted more. This is an E.P that builds and builds and builds from the very moment you press play. It takes you to a high plateau and then when you least expect it, takes you even higher. The band got it right with this one and Neurogenesis makes me appreciate Australian talent even more.

9/10

 

Monks Of Mellonwah Facebook

Monks Of Mellonwah Official Website

You can catch Monks Of Mellonwah on their upcoming tour of Australia:

Friday 3rd August 2012 – ROUSE HILL, The Brewery – NSW

Saturday 18th August 2012 – SYDNEY, Sandringham Hotel – NSW

EP Launch Show – With Number Station

Friday 24th August 2012 – CANBERRA, The Basement – ACT

Sunday 26th August 2012 – MANLY, Boatshed – NSW

Friday 31st August 2012 – WOLLONGONG, The Patch – NSW

Saturday 8th September 2012 – BRISBANE, Ric’s – QLD

Friday 21st September 2012 – MELBOURNE, Grace Darling – VIC

Saturday 22nd September 2012 – MELBOURNE, Revolver Upstairs – VIC

EP Launch Show – With Number Station + Rain Party + Waverley – MELBOURNE, Pony (2AM) – VIC

‘Gasoline’ – Didi Benami

15 Jun

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Beautiful, soft, calming, heavenly and simple. These are words that come to mind when listening to Didi Benamis debut single, ‘Gasoline’.

Expect to find yourself pressing the repeat button on your media player when listening to ‘Gasoline’. This is simplistic pop in it’s finest form. ‘Gasoline‘ is a song that you should subject yourself to whilst doing anything. It creates a perfect mood in your home, it creates a sense of calm and a feeling of positivity. This song is pure joy to listen to.

The smooth, flowing vocals of Didi Benami fit perfectly over the shimmering guitar chords, creamy bass lines and infectious drum grooves of her backing band. Didi Benamis voice shifts extremely well between notes and her vibrato is impeccable. Her lyrical content also contains simple, yet effective imagery which is easy to understand and relate to. ‘Gasoline’ is a fine example of what this woman can do.

Didi Benamis debut single, ‘Gasoline’ is definitely a song you want on your iPod. This song is perfect for almost any occasion and will shine light in even the darkest of places. Success is nothing new to Didi Benami, however I wouldn’t be surprised if even more found its way towards her in the future.

7/10

You can buy Didi Benamis debut single, ‘Gasoline’ from iTunes and Amazon

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You can find anything and everything on Didi Benami at:

http://officialdidibenami.com

Didi Benami Facebook

http://twitter.com/#!/Didibenami

Ne Obliviscaris – Live @ The Beetle Bar, 10/06/2012

15 Jun

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The stage is set. The crowd is silent and Brisbane is ready for the return of            Ne Obliviscaris.

Following an engaging build up, the band breaks into track #1 from their highly praised debut album, Portal Of I. The crowd surges into a frenzy and the energy in the venue is immediately electrified. Ne Obliviscaris are back, and more powerful than ever before.

‘Xenoflux’ (a personal favorite of mine) is the next track the band dives into. Everything is as tight as it could be. Every melody, every rhythm, every vocal line and every beat is played to perfection. Drummer, Nelson Barnes powers through with immense energy whilst bassist, Brendan ‘Cygnus’ Brown adds a rare trait of beauty to the bands rhythm section, creating a powerful yet intricate sound. The climax of this song is the first sign of just how epic Ne Obliviscaris can be. We expected epic and we that’s exactly what we got.

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The body of the set contained more epic tracks such as ‘Of The Leper Butterflies’, ‘Forget Not’ and ‘And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope”. Once again, the band shows us exactly why they are one of the best Progressive Metal bands in Australia. Xenyor and Tim Charles are a formidable duo and work perfectly together on vocals. Both are able to project their voices with such authority and energy. It truly is a sight that must be seen and heard. The incredible guitar work of Benjamin Baret is another strength of the band. His technical yet tasteful guitar playing is something to behold. Matt Klavins on Rhythm keeps the bands sound thick and tight, a trait which all guitarists should take note of. Most of the crowd can do nothing but watch in awe, however some can’t help but go absolutely mental to the sound of Ne Obliviscaris.

ImageThe tail end of the set draws near. It feels as though the band has just began even though they’ve now been playing for close to an hour! ‘As Icicles Fall’ and ‘Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise’ are the tracks that will be the last of the night and the band delivers them with nothing but ferocity and power. The conclusion of the show features the amazing vocal and violin solo by Tim Charles from Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise’ . A beautiful ending to a brutal set.

I had certain expectations for this show. I expected something brilliant. What surprises me is just how good this band is. From their album, to their live show. Everything was brilliant. I look forward to when Ne Obliviscaris play a larger venue. One can only assume just how impressive it would be…

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Ne Obliviscaris – Live @ The Beetle Bar, 10/06/2012

Photography by Taz Febicoski

‘Ineffective Lullabies’ – The Incredible Kicks

14 Jun

“Should we go there?”….”Yes'”.

No boundaries is often a goal worked towards by many a musician. Many fail and some reach that goal. However very few can claim ownership to a genuine hunger for sonic exploration. The Incredible Kicks however, are amongst those very few.

Scheduled for release on July 13th, Ineffective Lullabies is the latest release from The Incredible Kicks and this just may be their most ambitious record to date. The whole idea of a genre is thrown out the window when it comes to these guys and you never know which direction the music is heading in. It feels as though an absolute myriad of  ideas that fit together were thrown into the melting pot and somehow, someway, Ineffective Lullabies was born. An unusual method of creation, but one that certainly works in the bands favor.

The Incredible Kicks are an absolute dynamic force on this release, combining the ambition of King Crimson, the creativity of The Beatles and the precision of Transatlanic. Ineffective Lullabies is a constantly changing ride, it seems to grab the listener and never let go. This is a record without a dull moment with plenty of surprises.

Each song sounds nothing like the next and each contains it’s own unique stamp on the record with no niche left untouched. Songs such as ‘Footprints’, ‘Ratings’ and ‘Ineffective Lullaby’ bring back that crisp, vintage sound and attitude of the 60’s and 70’s. Track #6, ‘Last Person Alive’ is the highlight of the record, containing some of the best Hard Rock riffs I’ve heard all year and is one of the tightest, free flowing Progressive tracks of the year. Complex would most likely be an understatement when it comes to ‘The Incredible Kicks sound’, but the band have managed to maintain a successful marriage between complexity and style. Tasteful complexity is what it’s all about.

As far as musical surprises go in 2012, Ineffective Lullabies ranks quite high on my list. However this was quite a pleasant surprise. I love that vintage Prog Rock sound and The Incredible Kicks have absolutely nailed it. This latest record is a true testament to what this Brisbane based band can do. So if insane, vintage Prog Rock is your thing, then I definitely recommend you put this in your collection. This record is the magic that happens when the question is beckoned. “Should we go there?”…….”Yes'”.

8/10

You can check out The Incredible Kicks at their official Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/theincrediblekicks

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A conversation with: Tim Charles & Matt Klavins (Ne Obliviscaris)

13 Jun

 

Ne Obliviscaris interview. Beetle Bar 10/06/2012