Friday, May 28, 2010

Free Friday: De Novo Dahl - "Tigerlion"

De Novo Dahl have taken to to give away their third full-length album, Tigerlion for free download. The new album shows a new found maturity while also retaining the perfect playful pop sense that made them such an attraction. Released from their ill-fitting contract with metal label Roadrunner Records, and now signed to Nashville's Theory 8 Records, the band seems ready for a fresh start.

Album opener "Two Thirds" employs a big beat and reverb-drenched vocals for a psychedelic vibe. The gentle stomp of the wistful banjo-led "City Driver" stands out as one of the more "mature" moments on the album. "1918" is reminiscent of the Super Furry Animals and features catchy boy/girl vocals on the chorus along with rubbery synths and strings. Another standout track is "For Richard Harper" with its glammy chorus, stuttering beat and disco guitars and yelps. And the old school hip-hop inspired "Don't Kill Yourself" is a top-down summer anthem!

Download Tigerlion here: where you can name your price, including nothing but it is definitely worth more than that!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Wild Nothing - "Chinatown" (Set to tour with Neon Indian, Jack Tatum formerly of Facepaint creates blissful synth-pop on his Captured Tracks debut album.)


2. Far - "Pony" (Their faithful, rocking cover of Ginuwine's classic 90's jam. Enough said!)

3. Corey Dargel - "Fingers" (Quirky art-pop with a Smith's bent from composer on indie classical label New Amsterdam Records; features the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) on his ambitious new double album.)


BONUS: Download a free 3-song EP from Corey Dargel here:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Far - "at night we live"

Far has regrouped and recorded At Night We Live, their long awaited follow-up to 1998’s classic Water & Solutions, and their first release in over twelve years. During their break, singer Jonah Matranga was active with his solo project onelinedrawing and his bands New End Original and Gratitude. While not getting the attention they deserved a decade ago, Far has gained a loyal following of new fans who have since discovered the band’s legacy and they have created a new album that lives up to our expectations.

We don’t have to wait long before we’re reminded of Jonah’s trademark wailing scream on the chorus of the first single, “Deafening” with a heavy, giant riff. Stand out track “If You Cared Enough” features a bombastic, arena-sized chorus. The atmospheric “When I Could See” captures their unique sound so well; it sounds like it was recorded during the Water & Solutions sessions. “Give Me A Reason” is bouncy and catchy with a contrastingly heavy riff on the chorus. “Dear Enemy” will soon be a live favorite as it is aggressively heavy with an off-beat breakdown at the end. Even with its tongue-in-cheek title, “Fight Song #16, 233, 241” is a slice of seminal SoCal hardcore complete with fist-in the air gang vocals but with a sugary radio-friendly chorus. The title track, “At Night We Live” was written about a dream Jonah had about his friend Chi Cheng, the Deftones bassist who remains in a “minimally conscious" state due to a car accident and features an emotionally soaring chorus. One curveball on the album is “Better Surrender” which is like a heavier take on Brit-pop or power-pop. Also featured is their cover of Ginuwine’s “Pony” that they recorded when they first regrouped and played secret shows under the fake band name Hot Little Pony and needed a song for their MySpace page.

Most reunion albums sound half-hearted and fail to meet the fan’s expectations but after twelve years, Far returned and didn’t try to imitate the bands they influenced but remained true to their sound and have created a proper follow-up to Water & Solutions.

Download "Deafening" here:

For more info click here: and and

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Light Pollution - "Oh, Ivory!" (Shuffling piano-led new track from their debut album of swirling lo-fi noise-pop, out 6/15 on Carpark.)


2. Neverever - "Young And Dumb" (Mixing elements of pop music from each of the last five decades, LA by way of Glascow couple, Jihae and Wallace Meek make super-catchy timeless and technicolor pop.)


3. Karnivool - "Set Fire To The Hive" (Australian prog-metal prodigies create a technical, headphones on-masterpiece. For fans of Tool and Coheed And Cambria.)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Circa Survive - "Blue Sky Noise"

Last month, Circa Survive released their highly anticipated third album and major label debut, Blue Sky Noise on Atlantic Records. Although released on a major with a top-shelf producer, David Bottrill, who has also helped shape progressive albums by Tool and King Crimson, the band’s musical appeal to long time fans remains true to their emo-prog sound. With their dual guitar attack, thunderous poly-rhythms and with just enough gloss to give Anthony Green’s clear, soprano vocals more room to create the soaring melodies that showcase his divisive voice, they have created their most infectious and interesting album yet. Of course the album employs its share of the usual big budget excesses such a strings section and a children’s choir, but to great effect, as they reach beyond the limits of their already epic sound.

Album opener, “Strange Terrain” features scraping guitars to provide the contrast to the bright melodies on the soaring chorus. The first single, “Get Out” is more frenetic with a cathartic screamed chorus over skidding guitars. “Glass Arrows” follows with cascading guitars and barreling drums as the children’s choir shouts: “I don’t want excuses! I don’t want apologies!” The next single, “I Felt Free” sounds ready for the airwaves with ringing guitars, a buzzing bass line and a gigantic arena-sized chorus. “Imaginary Enemy”, with its stop/start rhythm, blazing guitar solo and heartfelt lyrics provides another standout moment. The atmospheric “Through The Desert Alone” is propelled by an off-beat rhythm, piano and soaring vocal melodies. And “Frozen Creek” really allows Anthony’s voice to shine with an emotional performance that matches the intensity of the guitars.

Though many foolish fans will cry “sell out”, many long time fans will find new reasons to like the band and new fans will be exposed to something much more interesting than the usual radio fare.

For more info click here: and

Friday, May 14, 2010

Free Friday: Mace Ballard - "The Time It Takes To Rewind" EP

Pittsburgh's Mace Ballard are an energetic and super-catchy pop-punk band with screamo and hardcore moments mixed in for good measure. They are offering their new EP The Time It Takes To Rewind as a free download on their website.

Fans of Four Year Strong, Close Your Eyes, and early New Found Glory and Brand New should find enough common ground to get down with Mace Ballard!

A couple of standout tracks are the speedy "Newsflash" with its bright, anthemic melodies with contrasting screamo breakdown and surprising guitar solo. And "Double Negative" features infectious vocal harmonies and a positive message. Also, a humorous 13-second track titled, "Spell Check"is just the band chanting out the spelling of the band's name!

Download the free EP here: now before they hit it big and start making you pay for it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Contest: Win a Prize Pack from The Dead Weather!

Atlas and the Anchor and The Dead Weather are proud to present an opportunity to win a special Prize Pack that includes a CD of the new album, Sea of Cowards, a poster, stickers and a mask, like the ones featured on the album cover!

Just send an email to with your name and your favorite Dead Weather song.

The contest runs from today to Friday 5/21/10. One winner will be notified by email.

Check out the Sea of Cowards review below and good luck!

The Dead Weather - "Sea of Cowards"

Not even a year after the release of their debut, Jack White’s heavy blues-rock vehicle The Dead Weather return this week with the release of Sea of Cowards. Though not as immediately hooky as its predecessor, the new album struts and stomps its way deep into your memory with Jack Lawrence’s rumbling bass lines that threaten to dissolve the very ground you are listening on, Dean Fertita’s fuzzy vintage organ freak-outs, and the dueling vocal howls of Allison Mosshart and Jack White, who wrecks from behind the drum set. Jack takes the lead more often on vocals this time around but sometimes it is hard to tell which of the two are snarling.

Album opener, “Blue Blood Blues” bruises with spastic guitar squelches, fuzzed-out bass and gothic doo-wop background vocals. “Hustle And Cuss” features a ride cymbal-heavy beat and "shooting star" synthesizers along with a sleazy blues guitar riff and one of the more infectious choruses on the album. “The Difference Between Us” emerges from left field with its buzzing electro-rock laced with an electronic beat. “I’m Mad” features a pulsating bass line and oscillating synths as Jack White puts on a psychotic vocal performance with maniacal laughter. First single, “Die By The Drop” features Allison’s seething vocal stance and a catchy call-and-response chorus. The flammable “Gasoline” is led by a fat vintage organ and features a blistering dueling guitar solo for a textbook study of Classic Rock. The same can be said of “No Horse” with its Led Zeppelin-like “stomp and circumstance”. “Looking At The Invisible Man” features creaking synths and pitch-shifted alien vocals for a weird trip. And “Old Mary” closes out the album with a haunting rumination with clattering drums and plodding pianos.

If Horehound sounded a bit rushed and more like the product of an impromptu jam session, Sea of Cowards is the opposite. The time spent on the road certainly made the band tighter, heavier and yes, weirder. Hopefully we can expect another great album next year…

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Mystery Claws - "Flashlights" (Not since Wilco has a band infused alt-country and krautrock as well as Mystery Claws, featuring members of Princeton and Warpaint.)

2. Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra - "When You Die" (This saxophone-laden track from the NYC indie lounge lizards' second album features a student choir and Matt Berninger of The National lending his baritone vocals to Ethan's sad-sack melodies.)

3. Hey Rosetta! - "Red Song" (Hushed folk-pop from Canadian band unpacks a suitcase full of instrumentation and sweetly soaring vocals on the title track to their new EP.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Coheed And Cambria - "Year of the Black Rainbow"

Coheed And Cambria return with Year of the Black Rainbow, their fifth album and the prequel to the Amory Wars storyline chronicled on the band’s previous four albums and in the 352-page Year Of The Black Rainbow novel (included with the deluxe version of the album) co-authored by singer/guitarist/songwriter Claudio Sanchez and best-selling author Peter David.
If you are a huge fan and have been following along with the story, the lyrics will make sense and will provide a sense of closure to the story. But even if you are a more casual fan, the lyrics transcend that of the story, remaining both emotional and accessible. The music still remains in the same vein as their heavy yet melodic prog-leaning rock but with tighter and more varied rhythms from new drummer Chris Pennie, formerly of Dillenger Escape Plan and with the newfound use of keyboards and synthesizers which add new dimensions to their signature sound.

The instrumental “One” opens the album with apocalyptic ambience before the first single, “The Broken”, breaks in with an off-beat chugging rhythm and an anthemic chorus. “Guns of Summer” features barreling, rapid-fire drumming and squelching sequencer before launching into a tight, half-time riff session with a glitchy guitar solo. The fuzzed out “Here We Are Juggernaut” features a catchy chorus of Claudio’s high-pitched wail mixed in with some throat shredding screams. “Far” is an ambient but thumping ballad with a melodic guitar line that propels the chorus and a smoldering guitar solo. Other standouts are “This Shattered Symphony”, with its roaring chorus that is tethered to the contrastingly sweet build-up that proceeds and the infectiously catchy chorus on the mid-tempo rock of “Made Out of Nothing (All That I Am)”. Another ballad, “Pearl of the Stars” reaches for the stars with added viola, atmospheric keyboard orchestration, acoustic guitars and a blistering guitar solo. And the seven and a half minute “The Black Rainbow” burns slowly until halfway through when it catches fire as echoing vocals, crashing cymbals and ringing guitars climax to end the album.

More than ten years in the making, the story of Coheed and Cambria is complete and Year Of The Black Rainbow may be their best album, as even Claudio himself has said: “If the band were to end tomorrow, this would be the perfect album to describe or to represent us.”

For more info click here:

Friday, May 07, 2010

Free Friday: 22-20's - "Latest Heartbreak" Live EP

The British blues-rock band 22-20's are reformed and ready for the June 22nd release of their new album, Shake/Shiver/Moan on tbd Records. As a teaser for their new album, they have allowed us a glimpse of their long awaited new music by releasing a live EP for free download on their website.

The EP contains live versions of four of the new songs that will appear on the new album, including "Latest Heatbreak" a hard-charging, uptempo blues-rock song with bittersweet harmonies, that fully captures the band’s live energy. The hypnotic “Heart On A String” employs a slice of psychedelia to go along with the U2-sized chorus. “Ocean” features waves of twangy sitar-like guitar. And the last song is also the title track to the upcoming album, “Shake/Shiver/Moan”.

If you like these live recordings, then catch them now on tour with Alberta Cross and soon after with Cage The Elephant. And pick up their new album Shake/Shiver/Moan on June 22nd.

Download the Live EP here:

For more info click here: and

*(The cover image above is not the cover for the live EP but for a prior EP release)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Nels Cline Singers - "Initiate"

The incredible guitarist Nels Cline who is well known for his role in Wilco and has played for Mike Watt and the Geraldine Fibbers among others, has always been entrenched in his own band the Nels Cline Singers, where he can be as experimentally stunning as he wants to be. Initiate is their latest album, a double-album including a studio disc and a live disc. The Nels Cline Singers create vivid soundscapes in High Definition that range everywhere from jazz, rock and Brazilian influences to Afrobeat and electronica, like a musical encyclopedia.

The studio disc includes 13 tracks and over an hour of new music with many standouts like, the raw, unhinged guitar freak-out on “Floored” which is anchored by Scott Amendola’s pounding drums and Devin Hoff’s funky bass groove. The glistening ambience of “You Noticed” includes an expressive contrabass solo. “King Queen” turns into a raging duel between Nels’ soaring guitar solo and guest organist David Witham’s Santana-fueled fire. And “Divining” contains a first for the band: vocals, albeit wordless, and mbira with hushed guitar for a nice contrast to the fiery performances found elsewhere on the album.

The live disc was recorded in September of 2009 in San Francisco and is the band’s first live release. In addition to live favorites from their previous releases the set contains 2 new songs and 2 cover songs. The two new songs are “Forge” which opens the album churning quietly, building ominously to a climax of the opposite extreme. And “Raze” is probably their heaviest song to date with distorted chugging and otherworldly guitar squelching. One of the two covers they chose to interpret is the inward and soulful “And Now The Queen” a rare track by Carla Bley. The other is the Weather Report classic “Boogie Woogie Waltz”. Nels’ passionate guitar takes the place of and pays homage to the late Joe Zawinul’s distinctive keyboard stylings, which closes the set with a funky 14-minute jam, that also features percussion provided by Greg, Satomi, and John of Deerhoof.

This is music for music lovers by music lovers. Seek this one out and enjoy!

Download "Floored" here:

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

3 Songs: New Music

1. Discover America - "Force of Proper Wind" (Chris Staples, formerly of Telekinesis and Twothirtyeight offers his second mostly acoustic, bedroom-pop solo effort under the Discover America moniker for Lujo Records.)


2. Elk City - "Jerks On Ice" (Features the creative fretwork of Sean Eden, formerly of Luna matched with Renée LoBue's emotional vocal seduction, sounding like a female-fronted National.)


3. Woodsman - "When The Morning Comes" (First track from their hazy new Mystery Tape EP out 6/1 on Lefse. The band features 2 drummers and 2 multi-instrumentalists for a unique sound and live show.)


BONUS: Owsley - "I'm Alright" (Pure Power-Pop Perfection! Solo artist/producer Will Owsley committed suicide last week, leaving behind a musical legacy that sadly few knew about. He is also known as Amy Grant's touring guitarist. Download and spread the word about his music and legacy!)

Download: (via Addicted To Vinyl, who wrote a great memorial post with more info on Owsley)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Minus The Bear - "OMNI"

Minus The Bear are back with OMNI, their fourth album and first for their new label, Dangerbird Records. Already known for their inventive guitar work (the Line 6 brand of guitar effect pedals is currently running a Minus The Bear themed contest) the band has branched out even further into danceable synth rock on their most energetic and experimental album.

The infectious first single and opening track, “My Time” is an upbeat, seductive synth-heavy dance party with shockingly little guitar. But with a syncopated rhythm, the guitars crash the party on “Summer Angel”, a breezy and poetic ode to summer love. The darkly romantic “Secret Country” opens with crunchy guitars and rattling cowbell and includes a prog-y guitar solo and roto toms (!), which showcases the depth of composition the band creates along with the glossy production provided by Joe Chiccarelli (My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes). “Excuses” stands out blending jazzy passages, cascading keyboards and cyclical guitars with New Wave inspired synths. “The Thief” features elastic guitars and a stuttering disco beat along with a dueling guitar and keyboard solo. The brooding “Into The Mirror” sounds straight from the 80’s and features vocals from Rachel Flotard of Visqueen for a nice contrast. Another standout, “Animal Backwards” is full of glitchy blips and beeps and psychedelic paranoia. And “Fooled by the Night” closes out the album with a wall of synth washes and more creative processed guitars.

Although already divisive among some fans due to the drastic shift in sound, OMNI is quite possibly their best record yet and each listen brings a new and unexpected layer of sound to discover.

Download "My Time" here:

For more info click here: and