Friday, August 28, 2015

A Sound Salvation: Rock N' Roll as a Religion (Book Review)


Ian Fowles, who has played in both Death By Stereo and The Aquabats, published his master's thesis through Sonic Mystic Publishing. It came out in 2010, but I picked up a copy of this at Programme Skate and Sound in Fullerton about two years ago, and got around to reading it while here in Colombia. Through A Sound Salvation: Rock N' Roll As A Religion, Ian argues that Rock N' Roll fulfills all the basic tenets of organized religion. He explains that as defined in the Encyclopedia of Religion (edited by Mircea Eliade), Rock N' Roll observes the eight sections of religion which include: Traditionalism, Myth & Symbol, Concepts of Salvation, Scared Places & Objects, Sacred Actions, Sacred Writings, The Sacred Community, and The Sacred Experience. Ian's thesis is well supported, well researched, and enjoyable. This is recommended for all rock nerds alike. Plus It's super informative. Who knew that Priscilla Presley was converted to Scientology by John Travolta? You can pick up a copy at amazon HERE

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Canyons: No Man Is An Island E.P.


This is Canyons' second five-song cassette e.p. No Man Is An Island is a document of the band at a specific time with a specific line-up which unfortunately no longer exists. After this was recorded both Maegen and Garrett would end up leaving the band. However, this is finally seeing the light of day on #diy4lyfe records. And the band has continued on with a new line-up. These five songs are really gorgeous representations of what the band is capable of. Nick's drumming is amazing. Maegen's voice is beautiful. Jeremy's guitar tones are spacey. The songs are long-winded. But they vary. They have highs points and low points. The spacing and the sequencing is well done. I hope someday this band gets their act together enough to put out a full length, and tour on it because when they're good they're really good. It would be sad if this was the last thing they ever put out. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Forced Order: Retribution 7"


Forced Order put out a demo tape, then the Eternal War 7"on Mass Movement Records, before releasing Retribution, a new four-song 7"on Revelation Records. They did all this in less than a year. It's crazy how fast this band made moves, but it's no surprise how quickly they took off. This is dark, heavy, metallic hardcore. Two of the songs on this thing are instrumental! The drums are pounding, the guitars are wailing, and the vocals are haunting. I think in some ways the two songs that are instrumental are more powerful than the songs with lyrics. "Gnosis," my favorite song on the 7" shows the depth this band has, and says more without lyrics than most hardcore bands do in their entire discographies. With plans to release their full length on Rev in 2015, this is a must own. Buy HERE.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Calvin Jalandoni: Self Titled Full Length


In 2011 Calvin Jalandoni started playing shows by himself. He recorded a demo and released it on bandcamp. He played shows sparingly lecturing people on mitosis, atoms, and biology. His ideas were usually lost on the crowd. His shows were always a little disjointed, a little awkward, and a little inspiring. Three years later he recorded and released his first full length album on hand-made cd's with instructions on how to meditate while listening to it. With a shifted and more directed focus, this feels like the first real representation of what he is shooting for. When he handed me a copy, he told me to listen to this by myself, in the dark, with headphones on. Listen to the whole thing all the way through. Don't give up, he said. It's an album. It's a piece of art. It's an experience. There are only four real songs on this which range from 5:00 - 10:00 minutes while the other seven songs, each at the 35 second mark, represent different chakras with instructions on how to meditate to them and the way to reach full enlightenment. The first standout moment on the album is where Calvin screams "If I die before I wake / I pray the lord my soul to take." I remember listening to this for the first time in Garrett La Bonte's living room, and literally sitting up and saying,"holy shit. Calvin did it. He wrote an album." Yet, I think Calvin is best when he is quieter like on the beginning of Early Morning. But it's his undeniable ability to shred on the guitar that usually stuns people during live shows. He ends the last song Final Flowering, by telling people "don't go on behaving like a machine / that's how people keep functioning / destroy the structures of politicians and greed" before repeating "love yourself." I think at it's very core, these are punk ideas. Ideas we've all heard before, but I promise that this is the most interesting way they've ever been presented. This is unique. No one else is doing what Calvin is doing. He has no contemporaries. But at the end of the day he gets it. "Love is the final flowering. You can not perfect it." That's it. That's all there is to it. 

Email Calvin for a copy of the cd. You want the physical release. Trust me. It ties the whole thing together in a way that listening to it on the internet can't. calvinjmusic(at)gmail(dot)com. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Enough Said: Heritage Day 7"



I spend a lot of time joking about how I hate Eric Aliberti, but the truth is I don't. And as much as I want to hate his band, this 7" surprised the shit out of me.  Enough Said's been around for years at this point, and their past demos never really did anything for me, but the lyrics on this record are super on point. The title track Heritage Day exclaims 

They march the streets mapped by their elders 
They wear the uniforms adorned by their mothers
They carry the torch lit by their fathers 
They foster the beliefs instilled in them by others 

Before exploding into the chorus
I don't - want it
I won't- accept it
I don’t- need it
I won’t- believe it 

This record hits hard, and it's over before you know it starts. These Five songs in seven and a half minutes will punch you in the face and knock you out before you realize why you're on the floor with a lump on your skull. It's fucking scary good. I don't even like hardcore, and I like this. This is my favorite batch of songs that Madison has ever played on with the exception of Creatures' Vesuvius. It's good. It's really good. And you can buy it HERE. They're probably the only band that'll ever rep Placentia, and that's okay with me. 400 on back. 100 on white. Do it. 

Split released on Thick Skin Records and Fight 'Em All Records

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pelican Vision: Isolation E.P.


Pelican Vision, the main songwriting project of Jacob Brown, put out a four song cassette tape back in the summer, and they are something that could only come out of a bedroom. Calling on influences like Pedro the Lion and Rocky Votolato, this is Jake's' strongest release to date. I'm really impressed with this tape because Jake plays both drums and guitar on this recording while using his brother Jordan for bass. "Needing," the strongest track of the four, sounds like the beach, summer boredom, shitty minimum wage jobs and road trips. These songs are about being stuck, but seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Here's to getting out of the suburbs. You can grab a copy of the cassette here from Avocado Records

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fury: Kingdom Come 7"



After shelling out a six-song demo tape on Mosher's Delight that had the whole world dancing to Big Al's Beat these kids took their songs to the road opening up for Soul Search for over a month before releasing their first 7" on BBB Records. The A-side of Kingdom Come runs out with guns blazing: fast-as-fuck, angry hardcore that's also a little vibey, and more pissed off than anything on the demo. I really like the contrast with the B-side, which has two longer songs more influenced by NYHC. I think the B-side shows a lot more depth and could potentially preview where this band is headed in the future. The artwork is killer too. Super powerful image. The best thing to come out of Yorba Linda in 2014. Do yourself a favor. Pick it up. It's already more than half way through it's first pressing.