Archive | November, 2012

‘Atlas’ – Parkway Drive

26 Nov

Finally got a chance to listen to the new Parkway album in it’s entirety the other day after some very lengthy sessions of the ol’ bein busssyyy. But here we are and the new Parkway Drive album, ‘Atlas’ has been digest by my ears and is currently sitting and making itself known in my re collective thought. Now I’m one of those kinds of fans that only started getting into Parkway after being shown their DVD  ‘Home is For the Heartless’. Was never really a fan before watching, but after seeing it I became pretty curious about what these guys were all about. Low and behold, they have some pretty good songs! (Sleepwalker took me, hook line and sinker)…..But I digress. Any who, there’s been a lot of back and forth opinion about this album. Some extreme love….and some extreme hate swirling about for the latest effort from the Parkway boys. So let’s run through it a little and see where we stand.

We’ll start off by saying, if you’re an old school Parkway fan, you’re not going to be comfortable at first listen. As a band, Parkway Drive is evolving, getting bigger and becoming more and more of a household name in Heavy music circles, so inevitably, their sound is going to change (It’s the artistic bug that lives in a musician that probably drives this). The sound is more refined, more progressive and mildly more expressive and experimental than what we’ve come to expect from a band of the ‘Hardcore’ nature. Personally I don’t mind the sound of the new record, however I’m a new Parkway fan and thus, I have the opinion of a ‘new fan’. If we put it in laymens terms, ‘it’s more good than shit’.

One common feature or ‘recipe’ that this record does adopt that previous Parkway albums have adopted is simplicity. Simple riffs, simple vocal lines and simple melodies. Keep the heavy at maximum and everything else doesn’t really matter is the attitude that Parkway Drive possess. Of course, Parkway does it the right way, as apposed to an album full of shitty breakdowns which some bands are calling ‘records’ these days. Funnily enough the single taken from ‘Atlas’ which is entitled ‘Dark Days’ is not my favorite song (although it ain’t too bad!). What really gets my dick hard is track #6, ‘The River’. This is a killer track with an absolutely beautiful introduction and a track that proves this band can be diverse and still be the band that their fans love.

In further attempts to diversify themselves, Parkway also brought in a new producer for this album (a factor many say is the main contributor to Parkways new direction and sound). This may be true, as you can sometimes tell when the band isn’t being themselves and a producer has had a ‘moment’ on a song. You can tell when Winston is Winston, when Jeff is being Jeff and even when Luke is being Luke! But yes, there are a couple of moments where you think ‘DIDN’T EXPECT THAT ONE, WOAH MAN, OK, EASE UP! crisp production though….very crisp.

After having time to digest this album, I reckon I like it. Definitely not the best Parkway Drive album, but it’s up there. Some mistakes were made and the band tried some things and failed, but hey, that’s what being an artist is about. It’s a solid album and will no doubt drive to band to further success both nationally and internationally. This is definitely an album to check out if you’re into Hardcore music, Heavy Metal or if you’re into living it straight edge.

“Do it for Winston, mate”….

8/10

 

 

Parkway Drive Official Website

Parkway Drive Official Facebook

 

Parkway Drive is also currently on tour around Australia & New Zealand! Go check them out when they hit your city.

Between The Buried & Me – Live @ The Zoo 15/11/2012

20 Nov

Wasn’t a bad night at all to see some Progressive Death Metal in Brisbane. Conditions were perfect and Progressive kings ‘Between The Buried & Me’ were in town to play a sold out show at The Zoo. This was the bands second venture to this ‘killer snake and crocodile’ infested country (may possibly have been a talking point for them on the plan trip over) and considering how much they kicked our asses last time they were here, Brisbane fans expected more of the same.

Now before we get really deep with this review, I’ll comment on a trend that I often see with Progressive bands that come out to Australia. It’s really a fantastic thing when a big band brings out another incredible (but less bigger) band with them to tour Australia. Not only does this give the fan incredible value for money but it gives amazing bands the opportunity play to parts of the world that they might not have been able to. We saw it happen when Dream Theater brought out Pain of Salvation and now we’re seeing it with Between The Buried & Me bringing out Animals As Leaders. I’d just like to say a big thank you to any band that decides to bring out another band that the crowd loves. Touring…You’re doing it right.

So let’s do this…..Opening the show was Brisbane locals, ‘The Schoenberg Automaton who were simply a perfect choice for the coveted support slot. These guys opened the show solidly and gave us a taste of what to expect for the rest of the night. This was also my first time seeing their new vocalist, Jake Gerstle and was pretty impressed at his power and energy. Solid set from a great up and coming band, go check them out if you haven’t.

Next to grace the stage, we have Animals As Leaders. I had been hearing a lot about this band and their guitarist, Tosin Abasi over the past few months and was keen to see what they were all about. I was surprised to hear a massive roar as the band merely came on stage to setup their equipment…….And then they began to play……and holy shit, what a band. It was a guitarists dream show. So much melody, so much energy and so many strings! For a three piece with no bassist, these guys can bring the heavy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the band made a lot of new fans that night.

And now the moment that we had been waiting for. Between The Buried & Me hit the stage….and the place goes nuts. Now I’m not sure what kind of gigs The Zoo is designed for, but I don’t particularly think it’s designed for a Death Metal concert (Especially when BTBAM are opening with ‘White Walls’). Fortunately (and unfortunately) I was right up the front for this show and as soon as the band kick into gear, the pit starts and you can literally feel the floorboards warping and shaking!

The band goes through an incredible set which included a couple from the new album, a couple from ‘Colours’ and a few from the rest of their incredible back catalog (including the amazing ‘Disease, Injury, Madness’). The energy felt so immense and their wasn’t a person in the room that wasn’t covered in sweat, this is a death metal concert not a fashion parade after all. I cannot express enough how hard this band rocks. Their delivery is perfect and as a band, they are near perfect. A fair mention must also go to the engineers of the night. All the bands sounded amazing from wherever you were in the venue.

For some, this was the perfect night. For others, this was a near perfect night. For all, this was definitely not a shit night. Was an absolute pleasure seeing these bands perform and I do hope I get to see them again in the future. Nothing but praise and adulation for these bands, and they deserve nothing less.

 

 

‘Dreaming In A Brilliant Colour’ – Crazy Mary

1 Nov

Crazy Mary is one of those old school gems that still exist in the music industry. Hailing from New York City, these guys continue to carry the flame for the vintage and pioneering sound that was so integral to the psychedelic pop era of the 60’s. The band is now on their third album with the release of ‘Dreaming In A Brilliant Colour’ and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Put this record on the turntable, CD player or listen to your little mp3, whatever you decide, you’ll be transported back to 60’s. A time of self discovery, Pot, sketchy governments, racism and free sexuality (good times….good times). Crazy Mary’s sound reflects this time appropriately with predominately upbeat songs with positive lyrics, laced with that sexy organ sound of the 60’s and 70’s.

Don’t expect anything out of this world though. This is a combination of Pop with influences from psychedelia. Some may be dissuaded by this record as it can be tagged as a bit ‘cheap n’ cheesy’ at times. Lyrically it falls a little short of expectations and can feel like a karaoke song that a Chinese tourist would love to sing (nice market perhaps?). If I had to put a comparison on it, I’d be most likely to say Crazy Mary is a marriage between Velvet Underground, Cream, Heart and Shorelines (polygamy was popular back then).

Crazy Mary is a band that’s not going to tickle everyone’s fancy. These guys have a real niche sound that would appeal to lovers of vintage and old-school sounds. This is however, a band that stays true to themselves and their passion. Check them out if you’re into genres such as Vintage Pop, Psychedelia, Country or Folk!

7/10

 

 

Crazy Mary Official Facebook

Crazy Mary Official Website