Albums/EPs

SINGLE: StoneLeaf – Each Last Act

Release Date: October 2nd, 2006
Label: Still River Records
Website: www.stoneleaf.org
MySpace: www.myspace.com/stoneleaf

Rating:

‘Each Last Act’ is a rather odd single. The guitar work varies from basic power chords to riffs consisting of single notes, and the vocals are quiet and spooky. At times this comes of as annoying, and it’s a surprise to work out that they’re actually meant to sound like that. By the second minute a guitar solo rears its head, trying to bring a bit more edge into the song, but at the mosts parts it’s plain dull.

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ALBUM: Steel Panther – Feel The Steel

Release Date: June 9th, 2009
Label: Universal Records
Website: www.steelpantherrocks.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/steelpanther

Rating:

Spinal Tap + The Darkness x Cock References = ‘Feel The Steel’

I am prone to exaggeration, but with that in mind I have no hesitation in calling this the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Not necessarily in a bad way, but to prove my point, quickly Google the lyrics to lead single ‘Death To All But Metal’ and you’ll automatically agree with me. I’ll wait. Okay, so now we’re on the same page. While it may be incredibly stupid it is undoubtedly perversely entertaining. You also have to respect any band that can make a song titled ‘Asian Hooker’ with the lyric “Smells like sushi” sound epic.

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SINGLE: Sound Of Guns – Architects

Release Date: July 8th, 2009
Label: Distiller Records
Website: www.soundofguns.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/soundofguns

Rating:

Liverpool: something both The Beatles and Sound Of Guns have in common, actually it’s the only thing the two bands have in common, simply because when you listen to these lot, they’re just as rock ‘n’ roll as Led Zepplin.

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ALBUM: A Skylit Drive – Adelphia

Release Date: June 9th, 2009
Label: Fearless
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/askylitdrive

Rating:

The latest studio attempt from post-hardcore giants A Skylit Drive has been eagerly anticipated by many, and it takes shape in what is ‘Adelphia’, an album that could well storm the post-hardcore scene and alternative music circles, throwing the band back into the spotlight and increasing their internet fanbase considerably.

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EP: Skinless Finger – Introducing…

Release Date: September 2nd, 2007
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/skinlessfinger

Rating:

Unique and original bands and sounds are always a nice refreshing thing for you to come across, and one that won’t come across with a cliché or the imitation of another band is even better. Skinless Finger from Manchester create a combination of genres into one sound, mainly punk/ska and reggae with their notable beat-boxing vocals included throughout a lot of their material. In ‘Introducing…’ they have provided this package into four songs.

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SINGLE: Skindred – RatRace

Release Date: October 29th, 2007
Label: Atlantic Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/skindred

Rating:

The combination of metal and reggae isn’t a regular fusion which you come across, but Skindred aren’t afraid to have a go at this rarity, and it wouldn’t be a lie to say that it works.

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SINGLE: Silicon Vultures – Sour Tits

Release Date: January 29th, 2007
Label: Captain Of Industry Records
Website: www.siliconvultures.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/siliconvultures

Rating:

Exciting, screaming, energetic, emo, indie. There’s a large range of words you can use to describe the debut single from this very little known band, and none of those words would be ‘boring’.

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ALBUM: Send More Paramedics – The Awakening

Release Date: September 18th, 2006
Label: In At The Deep End Records
Website: www.sendmoreparamedics.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/zombiecore

Rating:

Though this band clearly show some attitude in their work; their angry punk sound and feel especially obvious with the track ‘Follow Your Programming’ where the words “Fuck you!” are screamed almost from the first second, ‘The Awakening’ just comes off as an album which just gives off one thing all the time, and no variety in a record often makes it a boring one.

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ALBUM: The Secret Handshake – My Name Up In Lights

Release Date: April 21st, 2009
Label: Triple Crown Records
Website: www.thesecrethandshake.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thesecrethandshake

Rating:

Luis Dubuc, or known to most of us as the solo electro-pop act The Secret Handshake, appeared in the alternative music scene in 2007. Although Dubuc had been making music since 2004 it was his sophomore release ‘One Full Year’ that got him noticed. The album was a revitalising change from the overcrowded emo genre, and the 90’s inspired music was a friendly blast from the past that proved to be a hit. So, of course expectations were high to see what the 24-year-old Texan would create next.

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ALBUM: The Secret Handshake – One Full Year

Release Date: March 24th, 2008
Label: Sixsevenine Records
Website: www.thesecrethandshake.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thesecrethandshake

Rating:

Solo musicians (not including commercial driven pop acts) are growing ever popular in recent months, including the likes of The Rocket Summer, Kevin Devine, and Lightspeed Champion. With no exception to the rule is The Secret Handshake, consisting of the one member Luis Dubuc. Another prime example of this trend in the fashion of alternative music, and he’s now released his latest slice of electronica/rock fusion, ‘One Full Year’. Equipped with nothing more but a keyboard, a drum machine, and an Apple MacBook shoved into a small confined corridor in his flat, he created ‘One Full Year’, a showcase of one man’s fun and chilled musical labours.

Opening track, and also debut single release ‘Too Young’ brings a calm start to things, though still remains to have a catchy chorus and an atmosphere you can dance along to. Not a common occurrence in most lovesick songs. This isn’t the only moment of relaxed yet dance-a-long songs that the record has to offer, as shown in ‘Midnight Movie’ and ‘Pictures’, which contain properties that some would find boring, but The Secret Handshake can pull-off magnificently. ‘Coastal Cities’ is one song that sticks out a lot on the album, almost performing like a ballad, but somehow containing elements that keep us from thinking that on our first few listens. But don’t worry if this kind of stuff really isn’t your bag, there’s plenty of moments that are crafted to improve your summer experience, showcased in ‘Denton, TX’, ‘Game Girl’, and the more popular ‘Summer Of ‘98’. Simplistic electronic beats occurring on a regular basis with catchy lyrics to deliver a song that will brighten up your day, make you want to dance, and even play the song over and over again. Album closer ‘Crosses Fingers’ is something a little bit different, with every second being coated with electronic and synthetic melodies and vocal effects that leave you bedazzled and intrigued as to what it is that you were just listening to.

So, simply put, if you’re after some relaxing songs aswell as songs you can have a little party with then ‘One Full Year’ is right up your street. The Secret Handshake has presented this package filled to the brim with electronic beats, melodic hooks, the occasional buzzing guitar, wrapped with simple yet heartfelt lyrics. It may not be a total masterpiece, but definitely worth your time.

Written by Zach Redrup

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