Archive for October, 2009

Review: Rage Fest in Minor

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on October 28, 2009 by Dean

Today i’ll be reviewing a great album put out by a local (if you live in the Boston/ Derry NH areas) ska-core band. for those of you that don’t know, ska-core combines the upbeaty energy of ska with the hard-and-fast moshing feel of hardcore music. the intensity of the music varies depending on the band and its unique blend of ska, pure punk, and hardcore.

Harmonic, hungarian, melodic...

This album is the product of Silent Distortion, an excellent high-school ska-core band that i hope to play with in the future. the album opens with “It’s No Use”, a great song featuring innovative horn lines and intense lyrics about self-deception and self-control. The tenor sax and trumpet really go hand in hand in this song, using either octaves or 10ths to blend together lightning fast licks that are expertly played. “Blackout” boasts amazing lyrics as well, and features a core-esque chorus that is always getting stuck in my head. “El Nino” starts out with an amazing chord (for you theory junkies like me, the tenor is playing the 2nd and the trumpet the 10th of the minor i chord…he he he), and the horn lines and untouchable drum fills makes this one of my favorites. “Deja Vu” has more great horn lines and a great chorus. The intro to “Panic” always makes me laugh a little, which is exactly why i love it, and the b2 chords help to give it a more metally feel; the horn lines create a great image of panic. The album ends with “Heart Attack”, a truly masterful song which begins with a heart-rate-monitor cadence and ends in complete and utter chaos with a huge build and the sound of a guy flatlining – make sure you listen to this song all the way through!

The two guitarists (Ryan and Greason) are constantly covering for each other, one playing solo lines or horn doubles while the other plays chords and vice versa, yet when the two play together it’s almost impossible to tell there are two of them. the bass player (Ahren) belts out almost walking-style quarter note basslines on verses (see “Blackout”) and tight core-style lines on choruses. the drummer (Greg) is absolutely spot on, using fills that are so freaking fast that any other drummer would cringe (i swear they’re like 32nd notes) and seamlessly switching into breakdowns and core fills – not to mention that his screams are absolutely unparalleled (check out the chorus of “Blackout”). The singer (Kyle)  feeds dynamite lyrics through screams and an almost spoken-word style, and his trumpet skills make me envious that i don’t play a brass instrument. The tenor sax player ( Nelson) is constantly weaving in and out of harmony and unison, providing backup lines and interludes that are stellar (“El Nino” is probably the best example of both the horn players’ skills…and i apologize for the lack of an ‘enye’ : ] ).

Cons? not too many, in my opinion. there are a few (and i mean a very few) moments when tempo and meter get a little…murky. but compared to earlier EPs that i’ve heard, this is nothing. moreover, it’s something that’s practically unavoidable in a band, especially when you’re switching feels left and right. sometimes it’s hard to understand the vocals (again, i’ll reference the ‘screaming’ in “Blackout”, which is actually whole stanzas), but you could say that it sort of adds to the effect; regardless, look them up on their myspace. oh, and this album doesn’t have their bari sax player (Eric) on it – got to take care of my fellow bari brethren – which is another great reason to go see them play. quite honestly though, i think the only real problem is that i always finish the album and wish that there were more songs. give me more songs : (

hopefully i’ll have another review up soon…check these guys out! they’ve got a myspace and play gigs all around north shore MA and southern NH. thanks for listening!

-Dean

(p.s. does anyone else LOVE that the album work includes Gregorian neume notation?)

Get outta Myspace!

Posted in News with tags , on October 25, 2009 by jeffathearingaid

I’m going to be making a myspace soon so maybe I’ll get more that 5 views a day.

also, I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned my favorite band evvarr! RADIOHEAD! I’ll write a review sometime after November 1st…ha

thanks just for looking at this,

~Jeff

Get on the Ball Jeff…

Posted in News on October 17, 2009 by jeffathearingaid

So tonight I’m going to a kickboot show in Rockport where Sheep, Atlas the Atom Smasher, Jack of all Boxes, Rukus, Skankin’ Panda and the Disregardables will be playing. Very cool. Look ’em up!

Also I hope to continue expanding and actually get a review or two up next week. But I’m sort of knee deep in applying to colleges so I don’t know how much time i’ll be able to spend with reviewing.

with lurv,

~Jeff

How harsh can you get?

Posted in News on October 11, 2009 by jeffathearingaid

So This is a Stick Up is getting screwed because of this. So here’s their album “Cartography” for free. Download at Mediafire

Also, I went to a killer show on Saturday night and saw friends from the Radicals and sang my lungs out. I also got a massive bruise on my back from some dude running into the pit elbow first.

Mega tired, and I don’t have anything else to write

~Jeff

Hello World!

Posted in News with tags , , on October 9, 2009 by Dean

Well hey there everybody! My name’s Dean. I’m a fellow musician, music enthusiast, and friend of Jeff. I’ll be helping Jefferson out with the Hearing Aid, hopefully uploading a review every week or two. I’m a guitarists and baritone saxophonist, and my music interests run the gamut…from acoustic fingerstyle guitaristry, to classical, to indie, ska, punk, hardcore, jazz, fusion, metal, and beyond. Like I said, I like everything. So hopefully you’ll be hearing some more from me, and I’m looking forward to writing some reviews.

Peace,

Dean

Oh Susquehanna!

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 9, 2009 by jeffathearingaid

I don’t think words can describe how good Defiance, Ohio is. I’ve probably listened to their Albums “The Fear The Fear The Fear” and “The Great Depression” about five times this morning. So really go check them out. All their albums are out for free download on their site. Their not that great quality but it’s not an issue since the song writing is so damn good.

Also, Aaron Hibbert from OpenHand Records was nice enough to link back to me. so go check out the music there! the link is on the column on the right side of your screen. I highly recommend downloading The Best of the Worst’s “Quarter Life Crisis”. It’s free and awesome (double whammy!). I guess Aaron Hibbert’s alright. ha. (Damn the Man is good too, go get it.) oh and TIASU are really great if you’re into the hardcore thing. My band played with them a couple time this summer.We fed them and chilled with them and Robbie sang “Dammit” (Blink 182 anyone?) for us. hoo boy. look at me reminisce….

Other news: A couple of my friends are going to try their hand at reviewing so we should hopefully get a BUNCH of reviews going on.

~Jeff

Review: This is a Long album title…

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on October 7, 2009 by jeffathearingaid

Review #2 Modest Mouse “This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About”

Hey look I like indie music too…

This is one of my favorite albums for a bunch of reasons. It has a certain feel throughout the whole thing and they obviously based other albums off of this one, except for the more recent ones, which I’m not too excited about. Sure it’s natural for a band to change styles after a few years, but it was so abrupt! It happened in a snap and bang, their video for “Float On” was everywhere. It kinda pissed me off. Enough ranting… here we go

The album is loooong and most songs take off in simplistic bridges and alternate parts with maximum emotion and intensity. What I love about Modest Mouse is the fact that they can make a really simple two chord line sound awesome. We don’t see that much here but this comes out in most of the stuff from Building Something out of Nothing. The simple line from Dramamine carries out for the whole song laying out a nice backdrop for the rest of the harmonies and counter-melodies. It is a well constructed song and there are many of them on this album.

The almost clean sound on the guitar gives this early incarnation of Modest Mouse a very distinct sound. The trebly bass adds more to their unconventional approach. Melodies are almost mournful of a time lost to the band. The lyrics are equally depressing, citing references to societal isolation and arguments and frustration with life and other people. There is a general discontent that goes on through the album and ties songs like “Beach Front Property” or “Tundra/Desert” together. This emotion surrounds the album and makes it better than the simple angst seen in “Dramamine” or “Breakthrough”.

In short, it’s a great, and somewhat depressing album. I think it’s great to fall asleep to or put on during long drives (whoops) especially if you just want to vent. Also the opening scream in Beach Front Property makes me very happy.

More good albums to be reviewed in the coming weeks!

~Jeff