Demons Debuts ‘Slow Burn’ Video

Courtesy: Spartan Records

Independent aggro-rock group Demons is giving audiences another way to distract themselves from everything going on.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Slow Burn’ Thursday through Revolver magazine.  The video, a lyric video, features the band members — Zach Gehring, Jon Anderson, Drew Orton, and Chris Matthews — performing the song against a multi-colored backdrop.

The song’s musical arrangement is an up-tempo work whose frantic energy alone will keep listeners engaged.  Its lyrical content comes across as a social commentary of sorts, adding to listeners’ engagement.

Gehring talked about the video’s debut during the band’s Revolver interview.

“We were de-railed last year when our drummer almost died in a bike accident, and now the world is on hold dealing with the Coronavirus. We’ve had this song and video done for a while now. No one really knows what’s going on or how long we’ll have to stay inside, so we decided to let this one loose. We’re stir crazy and frustrated, just like everyone else.”

Gehring stressed the song featured in the band’s new video is not the final version of the composition. He pointed out the final cut will be featured in the band’s next album, Privation, which is scheduled for release this fall through Spartan Records.  A precise release date will be announced soon.

More information on Demons’ new single, video and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://demonsband.bandcamp.com

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

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Young Fox’s New LP Reaches For The “Sky” And Wins “Gold”

Courtesy: Spartan Records

Late last month, indie rock outfit Young Fox released its new album Sky Beats Gold to the masses.  The 10-song record, released via indie label Spartan Records, is one of this year’s top new independent albums.  That is due to the arrangements at the heart of each song and the songs’ lyrical themes.  In regards to the record’s arrangements, the sound generated through the arrangements is such that it will appeal to fans of Project 86, Anberlin, Thrice and other similar acts, giving the record and interesting depth.  The songs’ lyrical themes add their own depth to the record, too, forcing listeners to really think as they listen to each work.  All things considered, this record is one that shows the best elements of the indie music community, proving once again why it is one of this year’s top new independent albums.

Young Fox’s new full-length studio recording Sky Beats Gold is one of this year’s top new independent albums.  It is a record that clearly goes for the gold.  That is evidenced throughout the course of its 10-song body.  The record’s opening track ‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ supports those statements.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s guitar-driven arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of works by Thrice and Project 86.  This is the case in the song’s verses and its chorus.  The break that follows the bridge is an especially smart part of the song’s arrangement.  That is because it sets the stage for the song’s closing moments, really providing a powerful final musical statement.  When that moment is joined with the rest of the song’s arrangement, the whole of the arrangement becomes such that it makes this composition a solid starting point for the album.  The song’s lyrical content strengthens its whole even more.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ presents just as much depth to the song because of its seemingly contemplative nature.  Front man Luke Cypher sings over the song’s guitar-driven arrangement, “Take this unrelenting heart/And this voice in my head/My mind commands my mouth/To count the creaks in your bed/I heard every word you said to him/When the sun died.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Take this unrepentant heart/And find the road through this room/As your mouth commands your mind/To see what I’ve consumed/If you should forget yourself/Please don’t forget that eyes remember everything/Images of lives and kings/Pleading now to take you in/Try to sleep through the night/Cause sometimes the monsters win.”  The lyrical content in the song’s second half is just as deep, with Cypher singing in just as many metaphors.  Guitarist Martin Lunn said in a recent interview that the mass of metaphors used throughout the song is meant to present a message about accepting failure as an important part of personal growth.  One can see that as Cypher sings that “eyes remember everything” and that “sometimes the monsters win.”  Such deep thought becomes even more impacting when it is set against the rich, sonic landscape painted in the song’s arrangement, the whole of those elements makes this song a powerful work and a solid start for this record.

‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ is a solid starting point in Young Fox’s new album with its rich musical landscape and deeply introspective lyrical content.  While the song is clearly one of the record’s key compositions, it is just one of the works included in this record that shows what makes the record such a standout effort.  ‘Slow Burn’ is another work that shows the record’s depth.  Just as with the album’s opener, that is due both to the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content.

‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ is a clear example of why Sky Beats Gold is one of this year’s top new independent albums.  It is only one of the songs included in this record that serves to support that statement, too.  ‘Slow Burn,’ which also comes early in the record’s sequencing, is another example of what makes this record stand out.  That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  What makes this arrangement stand out is the juxtaposition of its more brooding moments and its seemingly more uplifting moments.  The two distinctly different moods create an air of perhaps optimism outshining negativity.  That supposition is supported as Cypher sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “The sun, the moon and the stars/They speak to me/They whisper with hints of personality/Every time I wake I see your face/Despite your fears and doubts/This is not a race/This is a slow burn life we’re living/A sharp-edged knife we’re given.” Cypher’s message that “This is not a race/This is a slow burn life we’re living,” is the key moment in this part of the song.  Since a slow burn is something that happens over time, rather than quickly it’s as if he is saying life happens over time, and it is not a race.  In other words, take it as it comes.  That is a powerful statement.  When it is set against the optimistic vibe presented by the song’s arrangement, it becomes even more powerful and supports even more the noted interpretation.  The contrast of the song’s second verse to its chorus support that statement even more.  Cypher’s refrain at the song’s end that “As long as we hold the line/Despite the night/Trials worth the fight/We will see the sun leaves little doubt about that positive message.  The song’s musical arrangement couples with that message to make this song another standout composition and even more proof of why Sky Beats Gold stands out in whole.  It still is not the last of the record’s most notable songs, either.  ‘Wine of Violence,’ which comes later in the record’s run shows in its own way what makes this record a surprise hit.

‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ and ‘Slow Burn’ are both key inclusions in Young Fox’s new album Sky Beats Gold.  Each song shows in its own way through its musical arrangement and its deep metaphorical language how much this record has to offer audiences.  They are just two of the songs that show how much this record has to offer, too.  The musical arrangement and lyrical content exhibited in ‘Wine of Violence’ do just as much as the previously noted songs to show how much this record has to offer.  The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Wine of Violence’ creates a sonic landscape that is just as rich and vivid as those presented in the previously discussed songs (and the rest of the album’s songs).  The combination of the guitars, bass, drums and what sounds like keyboards couple with Cypher’s soaring vocal delivery to make the arrangement alone reason enough to take in this song.  The song’s lyrical content gives just as much reason to hear the song. That is because it will leave listeners thinking and talking.  It will leave listeners thinking and talking in part because there seems to be only one real verse here in which Cypher sings, “Let your heart explode/Let me lead you to this open road/Join me with the wolves/A sheep’s clothes present a hope for fools/I am here/This is now.”  This verse is book-ended by Cypher’s constant refrain of “Let the torches burn low/Let the ghosts that I have shown/Be stripped away in sleep/Be bruised against the curses I keep.”  Thematically speaking, the metaphorical language used here leads on to think this is a commentary about false leaders on the one hand.  However the constant refrains present another message about perhaps letting go of the past and moving forward in life.  That is, of course, just this critic’s own interpretation, so it should not be taken as gospel.  That being the case, the combination of this deep lyrical content and the wall of sound created in the song’s arrangement couple to make this song another powerful work and another example of what makes the album in whole so impressive.  When it is joined with the other songs discussed here (and those not discussed), the whole of those works shows fully that Sky Beats Gold earns gold as it shoots for the sky.

Young Fox’s latest album Sky Beats Gold is a work that reaches for the sky and the gold over the course of its 10 total songs.  By the time the last notes of the record’s closer ‘Hearts of Men (Part 2)’ slowly fade away, it becomes fully clear that this record has won gold.  The musical and lyrical depth of each song makes that undeniable.  They make the record in whole a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of this year’s top new independent albums.  Sky Beats Gold is available now in stores and online.  More information on this surprisingly impressive new effort from Young Fox is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.youngfoxband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/youngfoxband

 

 

 

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Mae Guitarist’s New Band Makes A Big Impact On Its Debut EP

Courtesy:  Spartan Records

Courtesy: Spartan Records

Demons, the new project from Mae guitarist Zach Gehring, recently released its debut EP Great Dismal. The record, which was released via independent record label Spartan Records is a surprisingly interesting record. It is so interesting in fact that one could argue it to be one of this year’s best new EPs. The main way in which it earns this honor is through its musical content. Audiences will note in listening to the six-track record that the band’s members–Zach Gehring, Josh Whittle, and Jon Anderson–don’t stick to just one sound from one song to the next. Gehring’s own vocal delivery set against the record’s changing musical landscape makes it even more interesting. That is because his delivery changes just as drastically as the songs’ varied musical styling. Having noted both of these elements, it is only natural to make mention of the record’s production values. The record’s production values, while not perfect, still generate a full, powerful sound even in the record’s simple closer that will keep audiences listening from beginning to end. In listening so intently, audiences that give the record a chance will agree that considering its noted elements, it truly is deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new EPs.

Demons’ debut EP Great Dismal is one of this year’s best new EPs. Audiences that give this record a chance will agree with this sentiment. They will agree because in listening to its six total tracks, they will note a certain focus from the band in each composition. That focus is evident primarily through the variety of sounds that serve as each song’s backbone. ‘There Is No Reward,’ the band’s current single, and ‘Lenora Slaughter’ both exhibit something of a sludge/doom sound in the style of Crowbar, Witchcraft, and Black Sabbath. By comparison, ‘Radical Cure,’ the record’s fourth track, carries something more of an old school 80’s thrash/punk sound. It is a sound that is completely opposite of the record’s first two opuses and a welcome change of pace, too. ‘Parallel Lines 2′ changes things up even more with something bordering between stoner rock and sludge. And then there are the two completely contrasting works that are Godless Girls,’ which is in this critic’s eyes, the most radio ready of the record’s works, and ‘Quietly Waiting,’ the record’s closer. ‘Quietly Waiting’ is a stark contrast to any of the other songs featured on Great Dismal stylistically speaking in that it is a simple, acoustic piece. It features Gehring alone singing and playing guitar as he sings about what can only be assumed to be a broken relationship. ‘Godless Girls’ on the other hand has a much more radio friendly rock sound even with the constant change in its mood. Taking into account each of the different sounds exhibited by Great Dismal’s songs, it offers audiences plenty of variety. What other way is there to put it? And that variety in and of itself is more than enough reason for audiences to give this EP a chance.

The variety of musical styles exhibited throughout the course of Great Dismal’s six tracks and twenty-four minutes makes for more than enough reason for audiences to give Demons’ debut EP a chance. They are just one part of what makes this record worth the listen. Believe it or not, Gehring’s vocal delivery style actually plays its own part in making the record worth the listen, too. That is because just as with the songs’ varied musical styles, Gehring’s vocal delivery style changes just as much from one song to the next. His vocal delivery in the record’s first two songs makes them especially interesting because it isn’t the standard screaming and gutteral growls that are so commonplace from other bands that perform that form of music. Yet somehow the contrast works quite well and in turn makes both songs interesting in their own right. Even when he uses that same style against the work of his band mates in the more stepped up ‘Godless Girls’ the contrasting styles still works just as well surprisingly enough. On the other side of the proverbial coin, his vocal style matches nearly perfectly with the remainder of the songs as their musical styles change and change again right down to the album’s melancholy closer ‘Quietly Waiting.’ That Gehring and his band mates would take into account something as simple as the relationship of vocal style and musical style shows even more how focused the band was as it wrote and recorded Great Dismal. Being that the band was so focused both in this avenue and that of composing the songs’ musical side, it shows even more clearly why it proves itself to be such a surprisingly interesting first effort from the Virginia Beach, VA-based band.

The thought and effort that the members of Demons put into the creation of its debut EP is a rare thing for an independent band. That thought shows real focus and effort on the part of the band’s members. In turn it makes Great Dismal a rather surprisingly interesting first effort from the band. As important as that effort and thought proves to be, it still is not all that makes Great Dismal worth the listen. The record’s production values as just as much worth noting. It should be noted here and now that the record’s production values are anot perfect. But they are not terrible, either. It is just that at times Gehring’s vocals come across as being overpowered by the talents of his band mates. Those moments are not so prevalent that they kill the record, though. So to that extent the record’s production values aren’t that bad. As a matter of fact, the work on the record’s first two tracks gives them a full, almost booming sound. In the same vein Gehring’s powerhouse vocals are expertly balanced with the talents of his band mates in ‘Radical Cure,’ with the end result being a purely classic punk/garage sound that will take so many listeners back in time. Even the melancholy, acoustic sound of the record’s closer ‘Quietly Waking’ shows its own emotional depth and power thanks to the work of whomever manned the boards for the record. These are just a few examples of the influence of the production values on Great Dismal. The record’s other songs could be used just as easily as examples of the influence of its production values. Regardless of whether those songs are used or the ones noted are used, it can be said with certainty that even while not perfect, the production values incorporated into Great Dismal are just as important to its enjoyment as the thought and focus used in the creation of the songs both musically and lyrically. All three elements combined, Great Dismal shows in the end to be clearly a candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new EPs.

Great Dismal is just the first effort from the members of Demons. Yet for a first effort, it is a surprisingly interesting and impressive work. Gehring, Whittle, and Anderson exhibit a thought pattern and focus rarely seen among underground bands in their debut records. That focus and clear thought resulted in six tracks that will keep audiences listening from beginning to end. That clear thought and focus coupled with the record’s overall impressive production values makes the songs even more impactful. All things considered, Great Dismal is anything but a dismal record. Rather, it proves in the end to be, again, one of this year’s best new EPs. It is available now and can be ordered direct from Spartan Records’ web store at http://spartanrecords.limitedrun.com/products/549458. More information on Great Dismal is available online now along with all of the latest news from Demons at http://www.facebook.com/demonologie.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Unifier Exhibits Great Creative Depth On Its New EP

Courtesy:  Spartan Records

Courtesy: Spartan Records

North Carolina-based rock act Unifier recently released its latest EP Gutted. The five-track disc, released via independent label Spartan Records, offers audiences eighteen minutes of music that emo fans and of the noise rock genre will assuredly appreciate. They will appreciate the record both for its musical side and its deep lyrical content which, as front man/guitarist Aslan Freeman notes on the band’s Facebook page, is meant to reflect the band’s re-invention both collectively and as individuals. It is one of those listens that rather than instantly grabbing listeners’ ears, will instead grow on audiences with each listen. Freeman goes on to note that he and his band mates–Luke Rayson (bass, vocals), and Mike Kane (drums)–wanted to go in a “heavier and darker direction” as part of that re-invention. And in listening to each of the EP’s five tracks, it definitely did that, delving into the emotions felt with some not so happy situations. Simply put, the material included on this record is quite heavy in its own way both musically and lyrically. So it is not one of those records that audiences can just pop in and take in any time. It is one of those pieces that calls for listeners to be in a certain mindset if they are to fully comprehend and appreciate it. This is obvious right from the disc’s opener ‘Fall.’ ‘Break,’ the disc’s second song makes this just as clear as does its closing number ‘Forget.’ ‘Mend’ and ‘Sink’ each offer their own interest as part of the disc’s whole, too. All five songs taken together show that Gutted lives up to everything that Unifier’s members have noted of their new creation. That in mind, the depth and heaviness presented through the course of this record proves it to be a work that both the band’s original fans and those not so familiar with the band’s music alike will appreciate more with each listen.

Unifier’s new EP Gutted is an aptly titled release from the North Carolina-based band. The five tracks and approximately eighteen minutes that make up this new record successfully echo the sentiment of front man Aslan Freeman in regards to the emotions that it is meant to evoke. This is evident right from the disc’s opener ‘Fall.’ Musically speaking, it creates a certain, raw emotion among listeners right from its opening moments. The way that it builds to a climax before pulling back in those opening moments shows a real attention to detail and appreciation for the impact of dynamics in music. This is especially true as Freeman sings over his own reserved guitar line and Mike Lane’s time keeping, “It’s been wrong all along/throw them out/The thoughts you knew then/Wasted time/the place that you’d been/Changing minds and clothes again.” Freeman seems to go on to admit in the song’s closing lines that the uncertainties felt by the song’s subject are on him. At least that is this critic’s interpretation. That can be inferred as he sings in those closing lines, “Just a little less talk and a little more action/Now that you never walk/The blame has been all mine.” He even seems to express his own uncertainties about the presented situation as he sings in the song’s chorus, “Standing in the back/And watching as you take the fall/So what/A better way to say that I just wanna write you off.” Like so many songwriters across the genres out there, Freeman writes seemingly in metaphors. So even if these interpretations are incorrect, the sheer depth of Freeman’s writing in this case shows why it was such a wise choice as an addition to the record.

The raw, powerful emotion generated by the combination of ‘Fall’s’ music and lyrics makes clear why this song was chosen as one of the songs to be included on Unifier’s new EP. They show just as much why the song was chosen to open the EP. ‘Break’ the EP’s second track proves in its own way to be just as worthy an addition to Gutted. Musically speaking, this song could be argued to be the disc’s best song. It is the closest that the band comes to a radio ready single on the record. That is thanks to its relatively catchy hooks and choruses. Its thought-provoking lyrical content will have listeners talking just as much as Freeman sings, “Failed enough/I know it’s all for fun/Just a little closer/You know I’ll do anything/I’m ready to break/I keep holding on at times I should walk away/I can’t ask you to stay/But I’ll keep holding on/I’m holding on for/So much for right now/If I come down/Do you need doubt from everyone/Show up and get loud/Cause I’ll do anything.” Again, Freeman comes across as writing in metaphors again here. But the first inclination is that the song is rooted in relationship issues. That thought is raised as he writes, “I keep holding on at times I should walk away/I can’t ask you to stay/But I’ll keep holding on.” The tension in Freeman’s voice as he sings makes the song’s emotion all the stronger and in turn makes even stronger the argument in regards to the song’s lyrical topic. Regardless of the topic, one thing can once again be agreed upon in listening to the song’s lyrical and musical side: the depth of both its lyrical and musical side together makes clear why this song is another good addition to Unifier’s new EP and why it makes Gutted in whole a record that any of the band’s fans new and old alike will enjoy.

‘Break’ is a definite contender to represent Unifier on the band’s new EP. That is because of the depth of both its musical and lyrical content. The band members’ talents considered alongside the song’s thought-provoking lyrics will have audiences talking in the best way possible. It isn’t the disc’s only high point, either. ‘Forget,’ the disc’s closer, is just as much a candidate for a representative single, too. That is obvious right from the song’s first thirty seconds. Freeman, Rayson, and Kane exhibit what this critic feels to be direct influences from Jimmy Eat World in this case. Because of that influence, Unifier is certain to hold audiences’ ears not just through the song’s first thirty seconds but straight through its near four-minute run time. The song’s musical side managing to hold listeners’ ears, its lyrics will most certainly engage audiences just as much. This song perhaps more so than any of the EP’s others, comes across as echoing the disc’s title and the band’s explanation behind the title. Freeman sings in this song, “Tear it all up/Everything/You’re not a one in ten/You never were/You’ve never been/Can you live with it/They won’t call you anything/Is that what you intended/Never wrong, never right/Blending in/Are you fitting in?” Freeman comes across as addressing someone here. Maybe a former band mate or friend, considering the language and references used throughout the song. Or of course he could simply be writing in metaphors yet again, using the live performance imagery to get across another message. Once again, here is an example of Freeman’s attention to detail and that of his band mates, too. Considering the lyrical content that makes up most songs on mainstream radio and those songs’ musical side, a comparison of those songs to this composition and its possible lyrical message proves without doubt why this song is another positive addition to Gutted. It shows, too why this song along with the disc’s other songs makes Gutted in whole yet another solid work from Unifier.

‘Forget,’ ‘Break,’ and ‘Fall’ are each clear examples of how much Unifier has to offer audiences on its new EP. Each song exhibits quite the depth both musically and lyrically. The disc’s remaining songs–‘Mend’ and ‘Sink’–each exhibit their own value to Gutted, too. All five songs taken fully into consideration, they show collectively and clearly that while it may not be as well-known as certain other bands of its ilk, it still proves itself a band worth the listen with a new record worth at least one listen. Gutted is available now and can be ordered direct from Spartan Records’ official online store at http://spartanrecords.limitedrun.com/products/546661-unifier-gutted-ep. More information on Gutted is available online now along with all of the latest updates from the band at:

Website: http://unifiermusic.com

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.