Suitcase Set To Perform Saturday; Debuts ‘Super Knife’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent Seattle,WA-based band Suitcase is scheduled to perform live this weekend with Another Perfect Crime and Subways.

In anticipation of the show, the band recently debuted the video for its latest single ‘Super Knife.’  The band debuted the video Dec. 13.  The video, which originally premiered through Northwest Music Scene, features various shots of the band in a forested setting performing their new single.  The song itself presents a distinct emo-style sound in its arrangement.

The song’s lyrical content somewhat matches that sound, as vocalist Don Farwell explained in a recent interview. It reflected on a friend who survived a serious injury, he noted.

“This song is a series of flashback memories of this friend, while the chorus/outro are more a meditation on human frailty, friendship and loneliness,” he said.  “I feel like the song translates across the entire album.”

‘Super Knife’ is taken from Suitcase’s new full-length studio recording Come Back, which is available now through the band’s official Bandcamp site. The song is the album’s third single. The album, whose track listing is noted below, has also produced the singles ‘Come Back’ and most recently ‘Good God Why Did I Do This?’

Track List:
1. Jack Burton
2. Good God Why Did I Do This
3. Marys
4. Super Knife
5. Cooler Heads
6. San Francisco
7. This Party Sucks
8. 12 Steps
9. Come Back
10. Wyatt’s a Boss
11. Don’t Get Me Started
12. Coos Bay

More information on Suitcase’s upcoming performance, its new single and video, and latest news is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.suitcaseseattle.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thisbandSUITCASE

 

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Blacktop Mojo Releases New LP’s Second Single

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Blacktop Mojo has released another song from its latest full-length studio recording.

The band released the title track from its new album Burn The Ships this week via Revolver magazine.  It is the second single to be released from the album, which has already garnered critical acclaim from fans and critics alike.

The song, the band said in a collective statement, is about the journey to the point of the song’s (and album’s) creation and the journey ahead.

“We all quit our jobs at about the same time to make this record and play as much as possible—that was our all in, no going back moment,” the band’s members said.  “It reminded me of a story we heard from the 1500s about a Spanish explorer that sailed to conquer a territory.  Once they landed on the beach, he burned al the ships so all his men knew one thing was clear, there’s no going back.  That’s what this song is about, and that’s the story of our lives at the point of the record being created.”

‘Burn The Ships’ is streaming online now via the band’s official YouTube Channel.  Audiences can also hear the album’s lead single, ‘Pyromaniac’ while there, too.

Burn The Ships will be released in stores and online this coming Friday, March 10.  It can be pre-ordered online now via the band’s official Bandcamp page.

More information on ‘Burn The Ships’ is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.blacktopmojo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlacktopMojo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BLACKTOPMOJO

 

 

 

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Holy Grail Announces More Live Dates

Holy Grail Devildriver Tour PosterHoly Grail just kicked off its latest tour yesterday and already the California-based five-piece has announced plans for even more dates.

Holy Grail announced this week that it will join Devildriver on the road this spring.  This comes as the band has just embarked on a thirty-seven date tour alongside Black Tusk and The Well.  The band’s upcoming tour will see it serve as support act for Devildriver.  The tour launches Wednesday, April 27th in Las Vegas, NV and runs through Saturday, June 18th in San Diego, California.  It also includes dates in Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, and a number of other cities.  Incite and Hemlock are also scheduled to serve as support acts to Devildriver for the upcoming tour.  Holy Grail’s upcoming dates and current tour schedule are listed in whole below.

 

TOUR DATES

2/24 Richmond, VA – 25 Watt #

2/25 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #

2/26 Boston, MA – Once Ballroom #

2/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus #

2/29 Burlington, VT – Nectars #

3/1 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle #

3/2 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #

3/3 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #

3/4 Detroit, MI – Berserker Fest @ The Masonic Temple #

3/5 Chicago, IL – Reggies #

3/6 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon #

3/7 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock #

3/8 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #

3/9 Winnipeg, MB – The Windsor Hotel #

3/11 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina #

3/12 Edmonton, AB – Brixx #

3/13 Calgary, AB – Palomino #

3/14 Kamloops, BC – The Office #

3/16 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore #

3/19 Portland, OR – Panic Room #

3/20 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub #

3/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst #

3/23 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge #

3/24 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room #

4/27 Las Vegas, NV – Vinyl &

4/29 Boise,  ID – Knitting Factory &

4/30 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven &

5/1 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory &

5/3 Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theatre &

5/5 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room &

5/6 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave &

5/8 Flint, MI – Machine Shop &

5/9 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts &

5/10 Nashville, TN – Exit/In &

5/11 Grand Rapids, MI  – The Stache &

6/13 Columbus, OH – Park Street Saloon &

6/14 St. Louis, MO – Fubar &

6/16 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater &

6/17 Window Rock, AZ – Window Rock Sports Center &

6/18 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick &

# with Black Tusk

& with DevilDriver, Incite & Hemlock

 

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

The newly announced dates for Holy Grail’s upcoming tour are just the latest in the band’s ongoing efforts to promote its latest full-length studio recording Times of Pride and Peril.  The band also toured with Night Demon late last year and performed at Death Angel’s 2nd Annual Christmas Show last December.  And as noted, the band just hit the road for a late winter/spring tour in support of Times of Pride and Peril on February 23rdTimes of Pride and Peril debuted at #9 on Billboard’s New Artists Chart in its release earlier this month.  It also landed at #14 in the magazine’s Hard Music Chart, and #35 in the Independent Artist Chart.  It sold more than 1,500 copies within its first week of release.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and Prosthetic Records’ online store.  More information on Holy Grail’s tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.holygrailofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/holygrailofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/holygrailband

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Rocker’s Debut LP “Hard To Bleed” Is Hard To Hate

Courtesy:  Phill Rocker

Courtesy: Phill Rocker

Late last month Phill Rocker (yes, that’s really his name) released his debut album Hard To Bleed. The independently released album boasts fifteen tracks all of which are a good fit for any fan of big riffs and even bigger hair. From start to finish Rocker exhibits influences from the likes of Judas Priest, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne, and so many others from that bygone era of rock. There are even some old school style power ballads thrown in for good measure to round out the record. The combination of those ballads and the album’s more up-tempo pieces makes Hard To Bleed a record that is hard to hate.

Phill Rocker’s debut album Hard To Bleed is a record that is hard to hate. Yes, that bad pun was fully intended. The fifteen-song record (there is also a deluxe edition that includes two bonus songs) is so hard to hate because over the course of its roughly sixty-seven minute run time it offers rock purists plenty to appreciate what with its classic rock sound and equally interesting lyrical content. The album is anchored by the album’s up-tempo, near mid-point ‘Burning in the Fire.’ It has already been noted that the songs featured in this record boast a noticeably old school rock sound. The sound in question takes listeners back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair. That is no different in the case of ‘Burning in the Fire.’ Rocker and company waste no time getting things moving in this song. They jump into it right from its opening measures. Drummer Brian Tichy (Something Unto Nothing, Velvet Revolver, Ozzy Osbourne) is on point in his time keeping here. The dual guitar attack of Ricardo Fernandes and Miguel Aguiar adds even more impact to the song. That is because it instantly conjures thoughts of classic Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, and even Judas Priest. Rocker’s own vocal delivery here boasts just as much power as those that have come before. The song’s musical side is just one part of what makes the song a solid anchor for Rocker’s new album. Rocker wrote the song’s lyrics as well as handling vocal duties. Rocker’s lyrics come across as a commentary of sorts as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Can somebody hear this scream of mine/Is the world goin’ blind/Hard to carry on/Without wiseman guidance/Can’t see/Nothing but dreams of foregone times/Facing the final frontier/I’ve faced this road before/Innocence calms down/Before the storm/The hurt I know is true.” Later in the song’s run Rocker asks, “Will I/Who else can I call/What’s done is done/It’s written in the stars.” In examining the song in whole Rocker comes across as making a statement about staying strong even in the most uncertain times with such lyrics. Of course that is just this critic’s own interpretation. It could be completely off the mark. Hopefully it isn’t. but the possibility is there. When that possibility is coupled with the song’s forward-driving musical content, the two together really build their own fire that will spread to listeners when they hear the song for themselves. Keeping that in mind, it is clear in the end why ‘Burning in the Fire’ is this record’s anchor. It is just one of the many songs in this album that can be cited as an example of what makes Rocker’s debut album hard to hate. The ballads that are included in this album do just as much to make it worth at least one listen. That is exemplified even later in the album’s run in the form of the bass-driven ballad ‘How Does It Feel.’

‘Burning in the Fire’ is a solid anchor for Phil Rocker’s debut album. That is thanks to the combination of its classic rock-influenced sound and its equally thought-provoking lyrical content. As solid as it is in the grand scheme of the record it is only one example of what makes it a *rock* solid record. ‘How Does It Feel’ is another good example of what makes Rocker’s new album worth hearing. Unlike ‘Burning in the Fire’ this song is a classic ballad style composition. From Rocker’s own vocal delivery to Ricardo Fernandes’ gentler melody to [Brian] Tichy’s own work behind the kit, this song is a direct throw back to the power ballads of the late 80s and early 90s. In regards to its lyrical content, the song’s lyrics will have listeners just as engaged. Rocker writes in this song, “This conspiracy doesn’t help to see my destiny/Fighting this battle/I’m more than you can be/Psycho maniacs/Rule what you can/Ask for what you need/That’s where I begin/Straight to the unknown.” This comes across as someone dealing with some inner personal issues. And the song’s chorus would seem to hint even more at that as Rocker writes, “Paranoia/In a troubled mind/Agonized by a wounded heart/Self-inflicted victim/In this unfair world/Is it real/What’s going on/How does it feel to walk away/How does it feel to taste the pain/How does it feel to go away/One more day.” The song’s final verse is just as intriguing as Rocker writes about a figure suffering from a number of emotional issues that have essentially crippled said figure. It is definitely an interesting piece that is certain to leave listeners talking just as much as ‘Burning in the Fire.’ Audiences can hear the song for themselves now via Rocker’s official website at http://www.phillrocker.com. It’s just one more example of what makes this record a record worth hearing at least once. It still is not the final example of what makes the album stand out. The album’s opener, ‘Wasted Generation (In Me) is one more example of what makes Hard To Bleed hard to hate.

Phil Rocker offers quite a bit for rock purists in his debut album; so much so that the album proves rather hard to hate. That is obvious in the album’s hard rock anchor ‘Burning in the Fire’ and its polar opposite ‘How Does It Feel.’ While both songs are clear examples of what makes this record worth hearing they are not the only songs that could be cited as examples of the record’s strengths. ‘Wasted Generation (In Me),’ the album’s opener, is one more of the album’s strengths. Much like ‘Burning in the Fire’ Rocker and his fellow musicians waste little time getting things going here. There is a little bit more set up here but very little at the most. Luckily for listeners it isn’t one of those “slow boil” setups that takes its time building up to the song’s real body. Far too many bands today take that route. And it is anything but original or enjoyable. Keeping that in mind, the overall musical composition of ‘Wasted Generation (In Me),’ by itself makes the song both an enjoyable work in itself and an equally solid first impression for Rocker. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its overall composition as its musical side. Rocker writes in the song’s second verse, “Confused and alone/Left on my own/I can’t find a place to rest/My mind’s so stressed/In between now and then/Yeah, here I am/I feel that I am always somewhere.” He goes on to write, “Come and have a look/Seek what you want/Come and have a look/Seek what you need/Come and have a look/You will find/A wasted generation in me.” The song feels, at least in regards to its lyrical content, as if it comes from the point of someone in a difficult emotional spot. It is almost as if the figure in this song is looking back on certain events of the past and comparing those events to the present, thus leading to the revelations presented here. What is really interesting about all of this is that when set against the song’s musical content there is quite a separation between the two. One would expect considering the song’s lyrical content that this song’s musical content would not have as much fire as it does. Yet somehow in its own way it proves to work just as well alongside that content. Because it does (and surprisingly so) it proves in the end why it is yet another solid first impression for Rocker and another example of what makes his debut worth the listen. Together with the previously noted songs, all three offerings show collectively that not only is this record just worth the listen but they also make this record hard to hate. They are not the only songs that could be used to prove that argument either. There are twelve other songs include in this record that could be cited in making both arguments. Audiences can hear every one of those songs for themselves when they order Hard To Bleed for themselves.

Hard To Bleed is a good first effort from Phill Rocker. The album proves this time and again throughout the course of its fifteen songs and sixty-seven minutes. From the hard rocking anchor that is ‘Burning in the Fire’ to the more melodic classic ballad style ‘How Does It Feel’ to the equally solid opener ‘Wasted Generation (In Me)’ there is plenty for any purist rocker to enjoy. That includes the other dozen songs not directly noted here. All things considered Hard To Bleed proves in the end to be a good first effort from Phill Rocker and an album that is both worth hearing at least once and in turn hard to hate. It can be ordered online now via Rocker’s official Bandcamp website at http://phillrocker.bandcamp.com/releases. More information on Hard To Bleed is available online now along with music videos, news, and more at:

Website: http://www.phillrocker.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhillRockerMusic

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Scale The Summit Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Scale The Summit is heading out on tour this spring.

Scale The Summit will embark on a twenty-eight-date tour this spring in support of its latest full-length studio recording V. The tour kicks off Tuesday, March 15th in Los Angeles, CA and runs through Wednesday, April 13th in San Francisco, CA. The first portion of the tour will see the band making its way from California into the Southwest and Midwest. There will also be a string of dates along the East Coast that begins Thursday, March 24th in Atlanta, GA. That leg includes a stop in North Carolina on Sunday, March 27th at The Rabbit Hole. After winding down the East Coast leg of its tour, STS will then perform another small handful of dates in the Midwest before heading north into Canada for the last leg of the tour. That leg will see the band Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver just to name a handful of cities. After wrapping the Canadian leg of its tour, the band will then head south again to perform in Seattle, WA on April 11th, Portland, OR on April 12th, and then San Francisco, CA on April 13th. The band’s complete current tour schedule is listed below.

 

TOUR DATES


3/15 Los Angeles, CA – Roxy #

3/16 San Diego, CA -Brick By Brick #

3/17 Mesa, AZ – Nile Underground #

3/18 Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad #

3/19 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre #

3/20 Lawrence, KS – Aftershock #

3/21 Fort Worth, TX – Tomcats #

3/22 Austin, TX – Dirty Dog #

3/23 Houston, TX – Walters #

3/24 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade #

3/25 Tampa, FL – Orpheum #

3/26 Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall #

3/27 Charlotte, NC – Rabbit Hole #

3/28 Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel #

3/29 New York, NY – Marlin Room @ Webster Hall #

3/30 Boston, MA – Middle East #

4/1 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace #

4/2 Detroit, MI – Loving Touch #

4/3 Chicago, IL – Reggies Rock Club #

4/4 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre #

4/5 Winnipeg, MB – Goodwill #

4/6 Regina, SK – Exchange #

4/7 Edmonton, AB – Skylite #

4/8 Calgary, AB – Dickens #

4/9 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre #

4/11 Seattle, WA – Crocodile #

4/12 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre #

4/13 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill #

# with Intronaut, North

 

Scale The Summit will serve as co-support act for Intronaut for the upcoming tour, which marks the first time that STS will have performed live with drummer J.C. Bryant. V is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Prosthetic Records’ online store, Scale The Summit’s official Bandcamp page, Amazon, and iTunes. More information on Scale The Summit’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.scalethesummit.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scalethesummit

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scalethesummit

 

 

 

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Holy Grail Debuts Lyric Video For New Single, ‘No More Heroes’

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Holy Grail will release its latest album next month. In anticipation of the album’s release–the band’s third full-length recording–the band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘No More Heroes’ this week.

The lyric video for ‘No More Heroes’ is an interesting new production. It presents the lyrics for the song set against a backdrop of battle scenes from World War II. It should be noted that the scenes in question are not actual footage but instead computer generated recreations of different scenes from World War II. Even having been re-created via CG, the backdrop in question is surprisingly impressive.

Courtesy:  Noisey/Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Noisey/Prosthetic Records

Front man James Paul Luna discussed the concept behind ‘No More Heroes’ in a recent interview noting that the song centers on what is happening around the world as a result of tryanny and what must be done to stop it. “Conspiracy or not, heavy shit is going down in the world, and we can’t survive battling it alone,” he said. “‘No More Heroes’ is about the evils of tyranny and self-will, where only strength in numbers can persevere. We’re all in this together, for the win. With that being said, we’re very pumped to be hitting the road with the mighty Black Tusk this spring. Together, we will wave the flag of heavy metal across North America, and together we will shred in the name of heavy metal. Stay hard and see you soon.” Speaking of the band’s tour, the band is currently touring in support of its new album. The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

2/11 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s ^
2/12 Houston, TX – Scout Bar ^
2/13 Dallas, TX – Trees ^
2/14 Little Rock, AR – Juanita’s ^
2/16 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade ^
2/17 Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits ^
2/18 Orlando, FL – Backbooth ^
2/19 St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre ^
2/20 Ocala, FL – O’Malley’s Alley
2/22 Greenville, SC – Gottrocks
2/23 Charlotte, NC – Milestone #
2/24 Virginia Beach, VA – Shakas #
2/25 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #
2/26 Boston, MA – Once Ballroom #
2/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus #
2/29 Burlington, VT – Nectars #
3/1 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle #
3/2 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #
3/3 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #
3/4 Detroit, MI – Berserker Fest #
3/5 Chicago, IL – Reggies #
3/6 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon #
3/7 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock #
3/8 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #
3/9 Winnipeg, MB – The Windsor Hotel #
3/11 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina #
3/12 Edmonton, AB – Brixx #
3/13 Calgary, AB – Palomino #
3/14 Kamloops, BC – The Office #
3/16 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore #
3/17 Seattle, WA – El Corazon #
3/18 Spokane, WA – The Pin #
3/19 Portland, OR – Panic Room #
3/20 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub #
3/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst #
3/23 San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside #
3/24 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room #
3/25 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick #
3/26 Phoenix, AZ – Pub Rock #
3/28 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar #
3/29 Denver, CO – Marquis Theater #
3/30 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room #
4/1 Indianapolis, IN – 5th Quarter #
4/2 Newport, KY – Southgate House #

^ with Marty Friedman
# with Black Tusk

‘No More Heroes’ is available now as a digital single. It is included as an instant download with all pre-orders of the band’s new album Times of Pride and Peril. Physical pre-order bundles of Times of Pride and Peril include: 1) A physical copy of the album on CD or LP, 2) Exclusive T-shirt, ong-sleeve, or hoodie designs. Fans can place their orders for physical pre-order bundles online now at http://prostheticrecords.limitedrun.com/bands/holy-grail. Fans can also pre-order Times of Pride and Peril online now via iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp at:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/times-of-pride-and-peril/id1061331360

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018AHIGG4?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_sw_su_dp

Bandcamp: https://holygrail.bandcamp.com/album/times-of-pride-and-peril

Vinyl options for Times of Pride and Peril include: Black, Limited-Edition Orange, and Limited-Edition Marble variants. Each vinyl copy of Times of Pride and Peril comes in a gatefold package that includes a color poster/lyric insert and download card. The full track listing for Times of Pride and Peril is noted below.

TRACK LISTING
1. Crystal King
2. Waste Them All Away
3. Sudden Death
4. Those Who Will Remain
5. Descent Into The Maelstrom
6. Apotheosis
7. Psychomachia
8. No More Heroes (listen)
9. Pro Patria Mori
10. Black Lotus

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a toi meshen Gets Off To A Good Start With Its Self-Titled Debut LP

Courtesy:  Misery Pill Records

Courtesy: Misery Pill Records

Orange County, California is one of the most historic regions of the country in regards to the modern history of music. It has been home to the likes of Agent Orange, Fu Manchu, Offspring, Aquabats, Thrice, Social Distortion, and so many others. Odds are most music lovers out there have probably not heard of most of those bands save perhaps for the likes of Offspring (no, it’s not THE Offspring, just like it’s not THE Deftones) and Social Distortion at least in terms of that short list. Orange County, California has been home to some of the biggest acts both in the mainstream and the underground. That’s the point of that statement. There are more acts than can be noted in one sitting, plain and simple. One of the region’s bands looking to add its name to that already expansive list goes by the name of, a toi meshen. Yes, that is really the band’s name. It is pronounced A Toy Machine. The band released its self-titled debut album this past October (October 1st to be exact). The ten-track, thirty-seven minute record is an interesting first effort from the band. That is thanks in large part to its sound. The easiest way to define the band’s sound is in its similarity to that of Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, and certain other more well-known acts. That is thanks to its balance of rap and rock elements throughout the course of the record. Interestingly enough even with such comparison, the band actually holds its own against the likes of LP and other rap rock acts. One of the best examples of that ability lies in the album’s opener ‘Waste of Time.’ That song will be discussed shortly. ‘Phony People’ is another key example of the band’s famliar sound and its abiilty to use said sound to hold its own against its more well-known counterparts. ‘Tear Down,’ the album’s penultimate is one more example of the band’s sound and its ability to use that sound to hold its own against its more well-known counterparts. All three songs noted here each show in their own way what audiences can expect from the band’s self-titled debut. Together with the other seven songs not noted here, the album in whole proves to be one that is a promising start for the band.

a toi meshen’s self-titled debut album is a good start for the band. Listening through the course of its ten total tracks, it is easy to make a comparison between this five-piece Orange County, CA-based band and the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park and to a lesser degree Shinedown among other more well-known counterparts. Even with such comparisons easily made, it can be said of the band and its debut album that both do a good job of proving independent acts (both those signed to indie labels and those that are unsigned) can and in many cases do hold their own against their more well-known counterparts. That is proven right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Waste of Time.’ This rap-rock composition takes the influence of the noted acts to form a song that radio programmers would be just as comfortable adding to their stations’ play lists as any of the songs from said acts. Audiences can hear that mix of sounds for themselves via the band’s bandcamp page at http://atoimeshen.bandcamp.com/releases. In terms of the song’s lyrical content, vocalists Tony Lanza and Daynon Lato don’t come out and say whether the song is referring to a broken romantic relationship or friendship at any point in the song. That is exemplified as Lanza raps over Lato’s own vocals in the song’s lead verse, “At a time/To define/Who we are/Where we at/How it is/It ain’t a prophecy/We relaying/A part of a tragedy/You cannot/Justify/What you do/Cuz I’m not gonna wait/You can never create/You in a blind state/Destroy your fate/Take me back/To the day/When I was never locked in a cage/Easy to rock the spot/Drop/My world is hot/Moving on/Understand where we stand/How we dropping the plan/Looking back at our time/I realize it was never mine.” And that is just the start. In the song’s second verse, the duo’s call and response paints even more of a vivid picture as they sing/rap against one another, “Rising up/From the fall/As I call/Just to weaken you all/Is it making me stronger/I feel the anger within/Begin my ultimate sin/Rah/Said to me/Now the hold that you had is now gone/It’s a twist of reality/Don’t get it twisted/Avoid the fact you missed it/I’m the one/That is breaking you down/Now I see all the madness around/And I’m not gonna take it/So check it out/I’m at the very point/To kill the joint.” Yet again there is some ambiguity in the song’s lyrical content. That ambiguity is maintained in the song’s third and final verse. considering the fact that the band left the song’s interpretation at least somewhat in the air is actually a good thing. The song is clear enough lyrically that listeners know that it comes from a very personal place. Now whether or not the song comes from a romantic or general personal standpoint is another story. And in all honesty regardless of which angle is the correct one, it could be used for both in examining these lyrics. That dual use of the song’s lyrics coupled with the song’s overall musical content makes it a solid example of what makes this record a good first effort from e toi meshen. It’s just one example, too.   ‘Phony People’ is another example of what makes this album a good first effort from the band.

‘Waste of Time’ is a clear example through its musical and lyrical content as to why a toi meshen’s debut album is a good start for the band. The personal, self-assured statement made through the song’s lyrical content set against its solid musical content makes it a song that could easily be the song to break the band on any mainstream rock radio station. It is just one example of what makes this album a good first effort from the band. ‘Phony People’ is another example of what makes this record a good first effort from a toi meshen. Just as with ‘Waste of Time,’ this song’s musical content clearly shows the influence of its more well-known counterparts. It can also be heard via the band’s bandcamp page. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, the song is a sharp indictment of all of the fake people in the world. This could apply to people in our everyday lives, the fake people who line the halls of the entertainment world, and anywhere else. Lanza and Lato make that clear as they rap/sing against one another, “Look at all the phony people out there/They’re the reason that I don’t even care/And now I’m forced to make you tell the truth/And make you realize that you’re full of/Lies.” The pair goes on in the song’s second verse, saying, “And I don’t believe/That you can prove/All the stories that you devise/Cause now I know/That what I see/Is far from perfect.” It’s not the first time that any band has crafted such an indictment of the fake people who fill the world. That is a given. But it is still a solid statement in its presentation here. That being the case, it becomes yet another example of what makes e toi machine’s self-titled debut record a good first effort. And together with ‘Waste of Time,’ both songs together paint an even richer picture of what makes this record a good first outing for the band.

‘Waste of Time’ and ‘Phony People’ are both clear examples of what makes a toi meshen’s self-titled debut a good first effort from the band. While both songs are good examples of what the album has to offer they are also not the only examples. ‘Tear Down’ is one more example of just what a toi meshen has to offer in its debut record. Much as with ‘Waste of Time’ this song is another radio-ready composition. That is exhibited through its up-tempo musical content. The balance of the song’s guitar and keyboard line throughout the course of the driving tempo will keep listeners fully engaged. The song’s lyrical content will keep listeners just as engaged as Lanza takes the lead, rapping “On the inside where it all began/Pressing on my mind for the right plan/And it feels out of time/And it feels like an SOS/From the outside as I’m looking in/Trying to make new in my old skin/And I don’t understand/Why you treat me the way you do/Yeah I don’t like it/I think twice/I won’t pay the ultimate price/Now I’m walking backwards/Falling from the weight of you/So here I am again/And I’m standing.” Lanza comes across as addressing a figure that aims to…well…tear down others emotionally and psychologically. That is made clear in the song’s chorus in which Lanza and Layto write, “Is this what you’re looking for/Tear down/You tear me down/And I’m about to break/I think I’m breaking/Tear down/You wear me own/I just can’t sit and take it/I’m just about to break/On the front side/Seeing crystal clear/Never too far from a lost tear.” No matter how much said figure tries to tear down the song’s speaker, that speaker never lets that happen, thus the line, “So here I am again/And I’m standing.” it comes across as a solid message of inner strength and self-confidence for listeners. That is just this critic’s own take on the song of course. It could very well be wholly wrong. If however it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark then it shows even more why a toi meshen’s self-titled debut is a good first effort from the band. Of course it is not the only other song that could be cited as an example of what makes this record worth at least one listen. Any of the other seven songs that make up the rest of the album’s body could be cited just as easily. That being the case, all ten tracks featured in this record come together to show why this new record is a good effort in whole.

a toi meshen’s self-titled debut record is a good first effort from the band. This is exhibited from start to finish in the album’s ten-track, thirty-seven-minute run time. Musically speaking, the album presents a band that holds its own against the likes of Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown and other more well-known counterparts to the band. Lyrically, its personal stories and social commentary make it even more worth hearing. The combination of its musical and lyrical content together makes a toi meshen a solid start for the band. a toi meshen is available now and can be ordered direct via the band’s website at http://www.atoimeshen.com and the band’s official bandcamp page at http://atoimeshen.bandcamp.com. More information on a toi meshen is available online along with the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.atoimeshen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/atoimeshen

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AToiMeshen

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