10/22/2014 - Heavy, gripping-grooves come from Switzerland's Tome - now in review for the Nemesis EP!
10/20/2014 - Ripping-new Alternative-rock from Lost Gravity in review!
10/19/2014 - New review on some epic-sounds from alt-rock/metal solo-artist Omar Bowing!
10/16/2014 - Oh my! Death From Above 1979's new album in review right here at SBS? Unreal!
10/15/2014 - Have a read through what we think of Norweigan duo Lucid Dream and their new album!
Tome – Nemesis – EP Review
Always interesting to me, is the synchronicity of music & life…how it all comes together so clearly at times… No sooner had I just put down the phone from having a conversation with Tyler Mayfield, lead singer for Vancouver band Lung Flower about their own heavy-rock sound, when I shortly after pushed play into a very similar sound being made from across the globe in Switzerland from the band Tome. Mind you – that similar sound comes through the music only; Tome is completely without vocals, making an intense brooding instrumental-rock that certainly shows depth and some extremely vibrant & strong songwriting.
For the most part – this entire Nemesis EP is completely written, arranged, performed, programmed, recorded & produced by the brainchild behind the music of Tome, Ian S. Cophin. With the exception of the merciless pounding drums provided by Beta Monkey, a poem written by Charles C on “Dark Conspiracy,” as well as some superb guitar work from Roberto Diana featured on “Edge Of The Void,” and “Dark Conspiracy” – everything else you could possibly hear on this enormous sounding EP has come from Cophin direct.
Starting with “Edge Of The Void (Intro)” is extremely cool way to open a new record. Guitar-meets-synth in this delicate track…the melodic calm before the raging storm to come; but in many ways, this track also stands out as one of the most unique and apart from the other four making up the Nemesis EP. At less than two minutes – it’s also the only track on this disc you probably couldn’t finish an entire meal while listening to…the rest all hover around the six minute mark.
That storm comes through the moment track one stops and “The Wayfarer” kicks in. Rhythmic, heavy, distorted…this track accomplishes a lot over these six minutes. What starts with a melodic-metal riff-fest….man, what can I tell you guys….this becomes so much MORE by the end of this sonic journey. Right around the four minute mark, this track just starts to open up and wind down these crazy musical avenues…just excellent guitar-work here…all leading back to that incredibly driving, melodic riff played at twice the intensity right to the end.
I can definitely appreciate the atmospheric textures that Cophin creates. “Dark Conspiracy,” plays out nearly like a alt-blues-rock experiment at times before accelerating into the earth-shattering crescendos. Haunting poetry added, as mentioned before; and an absolutely killer switch with less than a minute to go with Roberto Diana lighting up the guitar on an immaculate solo right to the end – while it all may sound dark, dirty and dank, there’s also no denying the extreme talent in creating an entire world of sonic density. The constant add of melody throughout the music gives it a thin veil of hope no matter how desolate or despairing the sound that any track might find itself in. What’s pulled off in this track, and the track to follow, “Anathema” are true trips into the very musical mind’s eye of Cophin. Heavy grooves, complex rhythms and timing structures…there’s an extraordinary effort here being pulled off sounding effortless.
“The Last Stand,” a track that reminds me much of some of my favorite heavy-rock work in bands like Quicksand and Failure…this is one huge track. Big, BIG fan of the guitar-work & bass together on this one – they play off each other perfectly, finding their way into the open space each time seamlessly. In a couple ways, it would be the most accessible track on the Tome EP with a heavier lean towards the melody & a somewhat-more traditional song-structure.
No one panic. Nemesis didn’t ‘sell-out’ at the end…I said SOMEWHAT…
Overall, it’s an excellent EP and really keeps an ear listening through some wickedly dark & diverse sounds. It’s impossible not to notice but also not to feel the true weight of these songs; the balance between the dark & melodic, the contrast between the brightness of hope & the dirt of the earth. The Nemesis EP from Tome is certainly worth a couple spins in your player with its full set of five heavy-grooves all completely tying into each other and twisting into one incredibly enjoyable, dark & mysterious listening experience.
- Jer @ SBS
Check Tome’s Nemesis EP out right here: https://tomemusic.bandcamp.com/releases
Lost Gravity – Lost Gravity – Album Review
This album hits hard & hits the spot for sure. As the opening track thundered into our studio speakers, my first impression was ‘Jesus – how many comparisons to Filter have these poor, poor gentlemen had to endure?' Thankfully for them – that comparison is mostly valid only on this one track as they go on to clearly establish their musical identity in the tracks to follow. Even with that being said – “What Goes Around Comes Around” is still a killer track to start out the energy and volume at the max capacity.
“Changes” comes out with a vocal-shredding flow and the huge guitars we already know and love so quickly in. Excellent breakdown in this track as it heads towards the end. You can hear the ‘single’ sound on this track here – it’s a radio-ready track for sure with its anthem-style chorus and hook-laden intensity.
For my money though – make that ‘single’ be “Back Where You Belong;” I really dig the lo-fi mix on this particular track, huge fan of the filters on Breno Val’s vocals on this one too, they work perfectly in his favor here on this MEATY track; for real – this one gives your brain something to chew on! Excellent switch into a pop/rock chorus – they pull it off flawlessly. Val seems to have a completely confident grip on both the guitar and the microphone, notably picking up or slowing it down as needed like in the mellow-tempo of “Alone.”
“Anywhere But Home” is another clear winner here on this album. Musically – you’ve got Giuliano Kolling just pounding out the drums and Breno Val with an incredible bass line in one of the most incredibly well-written pop-rock tunes of my personal 2014. Really great freeing feeling in the music and another completely sing-able, completely hook-laden, golden chorus; Lost Gravity can certainly put a killer song together - there’s zero doubt about that! “Friendly Fire” will give you another dose of these guys as they rip through hook after hook on this song. This particular track reminds me much of fellow UK band Feeder – one of my own complete favorites in my catalog here; but with the pop/rock elements creeping in more and more as the album plays…to me it also sounds like this band hitting their stride at full speed.
They don’t let up. As the second half-continues, the darker “Selfish” is a completely strong tune, as are the tracks to follow in “All The Same,” and “Venom In A Vial;” though the latter two slightly make me feel that Filter comparison once again…I’m really thinking now that they’ve found that perfect middle ground between Feeder & Filter. There are so many melodic-hooks but also so many HUGE, diverse sounds in their songs that Lost Gravity could certainly find themselves becoming the perfect addition to virtually ANY concert line-up.
As they shred through one last energy-driven track in “Walk On,” you can’t help but feel the impact and impression this album makes on a listening ear. Lost Gravity has found themselves with one absolutely massive sound and they execute it flawlessly. If you look into their history – you’ll find out that this band has gone through a ton to get this album made. For all the setbacks & line-up changes they’ve been through….when you hear how this debut full-album came out; it sounds like any amount of trouble would have been worth slogging through in order to get these incredibly intense songs written, recorded and jammed right into your ears to stay.
- Jer @ SBS
Find out more about Lost Gravity at their official page at: http://www.lostgravity.co.uk/
Omar Bowing – 432 Hz – Album Review
I’ve got to hand it to progressive alt-metal artist Omar Bowing – he’s created an album here with 432 Hz that instantly got my attention; opening track “Virus” comes out swinging like a prison-yard champion. What I also noticed – was an instant comparison I could draw to one of my favorite bands of all-time, and arguably one of the most influential of the past two decades; Failure. With the incredible tones coming through the rattling, driving bass and the intensely frantic nature of the beat; “Virus” is definitely a most welcome return to a sound I’m always hoping will make its way to the forefront.
While it might have never worked out commercially for Ken Andrews and his crew in Failure – the sound itself morphed and trans-mutated, permeating other genres. When listening to the next tracks on Omar’s disc, “Evilution” and “Fear Free” - I can hear other bands like perhaps Quicksand, Ours, Chevelle, Earshot, Tool and Serj Tankian have more than likely filled the eardrums of Omar with inspiration along the way. And though I might have a ton of comparisons established in moments of listening – Bowing has managed to put an indelible stamp of his own on each of these songs through the combination of his incredible songwriting and his singer Tyson Yen's signature vocal style.
But…but wait – there’s more! Actual instrumentation! For real – Omar is writing some incredible songs and some truly incredible parts within those songs. As he surrenders the microphone for a track called “Lucky;” I kinda feel like we ARE lucky – lucky he put down the mic for just a moment to make this incredible song! For the record – I dig the vocals all throughout this album, there are some incredibly smart choices made in the writing and melody; BUT…”Lucky” really is one of my favorites; the instrument choices, tones, atmosphere…it’s all here…
That being said – I think it’s a great thing I don’t just listen to an album only once when typing up a review; my first impression…well…it was kind of shocked really. All I could really establish in those first listens; was that I was certainly hearing something artistic, ambitious, and epic. But like truly great music – this took a couple listens to really hear how truly brilliant it absolutely is. “Code Love,” with its excellent vocals, desolate harmonies, massive drums, and exceptional use of the guitarviol, is one scary-as-shit trip of a song. The solo just before the two & a half minute mark is like the shortest, sharpest and most necessary sound in my life right now…seriously….I’ve backed it up over and over just to hear it….it’s perfect.
As much as I try not to pick absolute favorites…I’d be hard-pressed to not choose “Earthquake” if interrogated long enough. Just an absolutely fantastic, melodic beginning; which mind you was already blowing my mind – then RIGHT into one of the thickest, densest, crunchiest riffs to rock the entire second half. Taking it out to the end, Omar demonstrates some killer guitar work on 432 Hz once again with this incredible solo-riff hanging on right until final notes.
“Worried,” the final track on Bowing’s new album is the kind of track that you listen to, and when you hear the extra 10% commitment, conviction, passion…venom in his voice and lyrics – there’s just no mistaking how personal a track like this is. And as a final cut for an album – freakin gold; it displays the incredibly diverse songwriting I’ve been loving throughout this entire album; these are undeniably challenging, well-written songs performed with high-energy and genuine authenticity. Ending on a standout track that really shows the incredible guitar, bass, drums, vocals doing what they do best with their own moments in the spotlight as the final track pulses on – you just know when you hear an album this solid in concept in style that we’ll be hearing much, much more to come from Omar Bowing.
- Jer @ SBS
Watch Omar Bowing’s wicked video for “Code Love” right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUJmKnRFYkQ
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World – Album Review
Scratching my eyes here…is this correct? Lil’ ol SBS has the honor of doing the review on the gigantic-sounds of this massively popular Canadian duo, Death From Above 1979? I’ve mentioned I love it here right? This…is incredible; and though I’ll admit I’ve been somewhat late to the party on the music of this Toronto-based band, I’ll also admit that now that I’m here I’m taking the couch to crash. For the year.
This music has all the rhythm and rock you could possibly want, produced immaculately. Crunchy & melodic and just EXPLOSIVE in every right way – this isn’t me blowing smoke; this is them literally setting the house on fire. From the drop, track one from The Physical World, “Cheap Talk” comes ripping out of the albums sonic-skin and just buries itself DEEP inside your head. As far as danceable-rock is concerned – this track could make Stephen Hawking himself get up and bust the robot.
The energy-festival continues on through the franticly-intense “Right On, Frankenstein!” with the vocals on full attack to match the vibrant beat and thrashing pulse of the music. In three minutes time, Death From Above 1979 shows the range, dynamics and creativity they’re still capable of in this atom-bomb of a comeback album after being away for ten years. The switch at the end of this second cut though is just pure sonic-brilliance…so short…so sweet…so…
…so hang on just a second…gonna play that one again here…just one more time…then we’ll move on…
“Virgins” is confident, funked-right-out and again, just a completely brilliant switch towards the end. The vocals are just perfect in this track…the drums, timing…it’s all here – this track is HUGE. You can’t help but just take a moment and truly marvel at just how massive the sound that these two musical-masterminds make can be. Have a listen to “Crystal Ball” – even if your volume was OFF you’d STILL hear it!
As burningly-fast as The Physical World rips by, the real magic in the music of Death From Above 1979 is just how tight, concise and no-bullshit this melodically-intense overdriven-funk/rock is; and though it’s extremely noisy in all the right ways, the beauty of the music really lies in their timing and crystal-clarity. I’m skipping around here, but “Gemini…” I mean, C’MON – I’m not alone here right? This track ROCKS.
But yeah…too far ahead right now…especially when the middle of this album is so incredibly strong. Songs like “White Is Red” and “Trainwreck 1979” showcase the real depth in songwriting contained within this dynamic band. For my money…”Trainwreck 1979” would be right up there with the best of this album full of incredible tracks; the vibrant emotion and innovatively-bouncy rock they’ve come up with this track is maddeningly catchy. Once again pulling out their ace in the hole within the final minute though – Death From Above 1979 unleashes yet another killer switch up to a phenomenal part, overflowing with outpouring emotion and true conviction through both the music and vocals.
Good lord! “Government Trash!” Just fuckin WOW. Put these two down on my ‘absolutely MUST-see-live’ list; the energy hasn’t dropped below the pulse of a cranked-up jackrabbit the entire album through. And this track LEADS into “Gemini,” which I’ve already mentioned. These two tracks, back-to-back could be used medicinally to bring around the comatose. Can all of this music be pulled off one after the other after the other live? I’ve gotta see it to believe it – these two individuals have the energy of two full bands – and by ‘full bands’ I mean like, you know…bands the size of The Polyphonic Spree.
For the final cut and title-track, “The Physical World” is a somewhat-more emotionally translatable track than the rest. It could very well be the fact that it’s probably the slowest tune on the album by about a half-step from the rest, which is to say barely if at all… But the tones and textures and commitment in this song are audibly tangible; you can hear within this very track that Death From Above 1979 came back because there was clearly still something to be said, something to be created, something yet to be heard…a message undelivered…
They were left a project unfinished; this vibrantly, extraordinarily-dynamic display of wall-to-wall energy throughout The Physical World makes me want to stand up and cheer right here in the studio. If you’re going to make a comeback after a decade – this is the musical blueprint on how to do it RIGHT. And though I hope it doesn’t take another ten years to get the next album…after listening to this one I’d happily wait another ten if it truly meant I’d get more music from these guys. Sonic perfection.
- Jer @ SBS
You already KNOW where to find these guys…but just in case – follow them at Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/DeathFromAbove1979
Lucid Dream – Lucid Dream Rocks Again – Album Review
Now here’s something interesting to listen to! In many ways…I’m not quite sure just how to relay the experience of listening to Lucid Dream, which, for a guy that reviews music daily…it’s nearly an eerie feeling! What I can tell you, is that after listening to Lucid Dream Rocks Again several times over I’m left with the sense that this musical duo truly loves to make the music they’re making…it’s like you can hear what an incredible time they’re having, even in the more sullen moments of song throughout the album.
And one thing I can tell you with absolute, 100% certainty – there is DEFINITELY a reason that multi-instrumentalist & half of Lucid Dream – Harald Nilsen is better known through his reputation as Harald “Thunderhand” Nilsen. Believe me – this guy can PLAY.
You’ll get an instant dose of his talents as the epic opening track “Unfinished Business” starts into its bluesy, smoky-lounge atmosphere. Clocking in at nearly ten minutes long – this track covers a lot of ground in one shot musically. It did make me wonder however…with the following tracks being so short by comparison, if this is the right move to make on an album with seven songs. I’m not saying it didn’t work for me – I dig the track and I think it’s diverse enough to fit the bill, but I do wonder whether or not the general population & music-fans out there would think the same. At any rate – the level of guitar playing established in this first song from Lucid Dream is an absolute showcase for the incredible guitar-work of Harald Nilsen; he sounds incredibly at home on the guitar, like he knows the inside & out of every nook & cranny on it.
Astoundingly, the absolute same can be said of Thunderhand on the bass as well. With a flair that would put Tony Levin, Flea and Les Claypool on their feet for a standing ovation – his performance on “Summer Feeling Blues” is nothing short of incredible. Vocalist Gro Nesse Bremner really lets loose on this track and for myself personally, this was the track you can hear she’s most comfortable in. She’s right in the pocket throughout this entire groovy track and sings with conviction and confidence, audibly giving this song 100% of her best.
“A Bit On The Blueside” is another texturally-heavy, smoky & hazy track. The subtle guitar in the distance is playing feverishly while the vocals hang in the air like a wisp of smoke from a dangling cigarette in the mouth of a movie-star, circa 1950’s. It’s the kind of song that would make for the perfect montage in a drama, set in a café somewhere quaint while the rain beats down outside. Of course, this might just be the way I hear it…
“The Scream Within” is the toughest track on this album; I think I want to like it more than the rest…but I’m just not sure, even after multiple listens. There’s so many points where Bremner is just nailing the vocals, and many others where she makes stylistic-choices that didn’t always resonate in the right way for myself – but in terms of the writing itself and vocal-flow, again, she’s got it nailed. It’s the biggest ‘anthem’ style song you’ll find on the album…and the kind that makes you feel like no recorded version would compare to how amazingly she might just pull this off in a live setting anyhow.
“Down” is a track that really shows the great songwriting & magic that occurs between these two. I love this song; I think the guitar-work, again somewhat subtle & subdued in the background supporting the vocals…is just awesome. If anything – I would have brought those up even more in the music-mix as Bremner hits the chorus with confidence and could easily match against a ‘bigger’ sound. But that’s hardly a complaint – this is an extremely well-written song musically, lyrically and performed exceptionally well.
With the final two songs, you get an excellent contrast and final display of what these two best and again, that magic they seem to have in this project together. “Inventory Duty” is a sweet song, with harmonies provided by both and displays the soft-side of Lucid Dream. As it winds up with the guitar-based “If You Could;” we get an excellent splash of the guitar back up to the front of the mix. With all the skills Harald clearly has on guitar – spending so much time towards the back of the mix is clearly a choice; this music is about more than his own incredible skills. And though we get another absolutely killer solo nearly 4 minutes in that makes you easily want to turn the volume knob up to the roof – it’s those moments throughout this album where these two blend themselves together in just the perfect way that truly make this album the enjoyable experience that it is.
- Jer @ SBS
Follow them at Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LucidDreamRocks
Zane Brune – Dark Night Light Terror – Album Review
I would be absolutely lying to you all, or at least wouldn’t be honest with you if I didn’t mention straight away that I literally live and breathe for albums this artistic, this pure, this daring. While I can always find an appreciation for SOMETHING in someone’s music – it’s really only that rare gem that takes your ears by surprise and challenges your brain as to what is and what is not music it can readily accept. This new album by Zane Brune is something I can thoroughly listen to on repeat – there’s so much new ground being broken here that it’s an instantly gratifying experience into the unknown right from the opening track, the aptly-titled “What To Expect.”
In my brain…the connection I instantly made with this song, was that I HAVE NO IDEA what to expect next – hence making this title one of the most brilliant to me just for that very reason. “What To Expect” = throw away those expectations and listen to some music with a truly committed, focused by free-form feeling vibe. Vocally, Brune opens this album with a nearly Johnny Cash-like drawl, but with the dynamics & dramatics of a Nick Cave record.
As it plays through funked-out, free-verse tracks like “Who Am I?,” “The Way It Moves” and the titular-track “Dark Night Light Terror” – I find the music, the vocals…they demonstrate unique qualities throughout, but MAN does this ever feel like discovering the very first Soul Coughing album, Ruby Vroom. There’s such an artistic element that runs through this music; with Brune’s constant, unwavering style really taking you into his mind, his vision….the world as he sees it and can express it musically. You might think it’s insane at times, you might be more like myself and think it’s bang-fucking-on – but the absolute truth is you’re not going to hear too many albums like this one in one lifetime.
Is the average music-fan going to ‘get this?’ I’m honestly not too sure. As readers of our work here at sleepingbagstudios – I KNOW you wonderful people are ready to stuff this into your ears – you don’t just LIKE different – you LOVE it like I do. I have a feeling that our new friend Zane Brune also feels the same way. “Headache, Heartache And Trash” is a perfect example of why I believe it! But then again…certainly so is “Coffee, Cigarettes And Wine” - each of these two tracks I find absolutely fascinating. I dig the low-talk/singing of Brune – sounds very similar to the tone in the vocalist for The Editors, who I also love. But what truly makes me listen, are the tremendous parts he’s come up with here – there are some literally incredibly well-layered parts happening ALL OVER the place. They’re busy songs…jam-packed for sure – but jam-packed with creativity! Take it or leave it!
I definitely know how this plays out for artists like Zane Brune – this is polarizing music for sure. Some of you will think I’ve lost my nut cause I love it so much, while you others…well, you others are the ones who come back to read about NEW and truly exciting sounds through our pages day after day – you GET it. And I fully guarantee, if you’re a real supporter of the idea that art & music can truly become one – you only need to use this album to point to as an example. For Zane…there’s a required commitment to continue to OWN his style with the confidence that he has been and let the listeners eventually catch up and find their way into the ideas and sounds in the music. Think of the comparisons I’ve made…Johnny Cash, Soul Coughing, The Editors and especially Nick Cave – each of these incredible bands and artists were scoffed at for taking the chances they did with their music; and each one of these respectable acts continued to stay true to themselves and their OWN truly unique sounds. It may very well be the same for the coming years of Zane Brune’s career – but he’s already got me listening and I know I won’t be the only one.
Because what we connect with in music, above all other things, is authenticity & sincerity. Is it real? Do they mean what they’re saying/playing, can you hear that they FEEL it in the music? Check all the boxes off for Brune – have a listen to the sheer brilliance in the songwriting of “I Am, I Have, I Will” – which to me, is an emotionally packed, powerhouse of a song. Brune has a way of twisting what could very well have been a standard-pop tune into something artistic & incredible, and again, full of genuine emotion. There’s absolutely standout melody in this track, an addictive vocal flow that’s delivered with conviction and some (more) incredible guitar work – can’t believe I haven’t mentioned that already!
Now, I don’t know it for a fact – but one has to assume that Zane Brune is solely responsible for the instrumentation on each and every track. That blows my mind when listening to the album this way. You can’t get this kind of freedom or ingenuity in a band, at least not from my own control-freak’s perspective. Anytime you make music with others, you have to walk that fine-line of compromise, making sure that each player is respected through the ideas & music and has their part. This to me – sounds like the work of one truly gifted musical genius – one that has the courage and bravery inside him to pursue music as an art form and not simply make another pop-hit.
And without that directed focus aimed at making radio songs – Brune is free to roam through his own creativity. Songs like “Bats” show the ability he has to create thick texture & atmosphere in this entirely otherworldly track. Guitar feedback-laden; this is another delve into the creative & artistic-side of his music before marching into another incredible pop-rock track in “Common Ground.” Much like the musical genius found in artists like Stephen Malkmus, Lou Reed for it’s sloppy-feeling, tightly-knit groove that comes across as raw as the best of The White Stripes. Seriously! Listen, it’s like….2:25ish into this track – you tell me to me FACE that’s not a guitar tone Jack White would have loved to have strummed out himself…or the way the entire track lives in a buzz of overdriven frenzy on “Believe In Me.” Again, these are busy songs – but personally I like a lot to listen to and have no issue with that whatsoever – just saying – be ready for the sonic experimentations of Zane Brune to come at you from every possible angle!
Yeah! Gotta admit – I wouldn’t write so much about Dark Night Light Terror if it didn’t deserve it this much; it truly does. As Brune switches gears one final time into the last cut on the album, “Mean To Ulysses” – it’s the perfect cut for an ending to leave you wanting to repeat. I mean, Zane! Buddy! This last amazing track of yours is nearly DANCEABLE!
No denying it though – that’s the perfect ending to this unique album from an artist with a true perspective, point of view & vision; and an extremely-valid musical contribution through its creativity, construction & intense ability to reach out into the random and come back with the gold, every time.
- Jer @ SBS
Find Zane Brune’s album Dark Night Light Terror here at Bandcamp: https://zanebrune.bandcamp.com/album/dark-night-light-terror
Wo Fat – The Conjuring – Album Review
Just because it’s only five songs long doesn’t mean it’s not an album…trust me! These five tracks are just ridiculously meaty; heavy in all the right ways without a single ounce of overkill. All throughout this album, this psychedelic-rocking three-piece kept reminding me of what the perfect blend of Living Color, Rage Against The Machine and Wolfmother might sound like. There is absolutely excellent instrumentation happening on The Conjuring with so much chunk, funk & CRUNCH, you’ll think that Wo Fat was endorsed by Nestle.
I want it noted…that this particular release from Wo Fat has also been released on VINYL.
I want it ALSO noted…that this particular release from Wo Fat might also be the ONLY release I’ve heard in a decade that truly deserves to be heard on an old-school record player. This music…this style…it’s all completely born right from the vinyl-era, and to me…whomever is holding onto one of those precious copies right now is holding onto some certified sonic gold. Honestly…this is like, their fifth album – how have I NOT heard of this band already???
Proving that it’s all about quality, not quantity – this set of five songs slays right from the drop, as the nearly ten minute opening/title-track “The Conjuring” comes rumbling in, you know right away this band isn’t here to fuck around. Heavy hitting drums with incredible fills and actual WRITING (as in, not just a BEAT people!)…gnarled-up vocals, intense bass & effects-laden guitars; right away this band puts it all up front and proceeds to make music with enough energy to launch a rocket. Excellent solo-work with real skill, showcasing some extreme abilities and some terrific vocal-effects in the mix as well as this band continues to pound out this killer opener, demonstrating that they get it just as right in the studio mix as they do from the stage I’d imagine…
“Read The Omens” is one absolute hell of a shred-fest. Talk about holding the fort! The bass & drums in this track are absolutely steadfast in their mission to get the volume knobs turned all the way up and support some truly incredible solos as this track pulses along. “Pale Rider From The Ice” is the track that made this a band I’m pretty sure I NEED to see LIVE. You know…how like, we all NEED air? That kinda need… What a trip this whole album has been to this point; but this track in particular gives a listening reviewer a straight-up music-boner. Masterful guitar work and just another example of the Wo Fat recipe extraordinaire for creating the thickest, most dense & rich sonic-textures; this music won’t just find its way into your ears – it’s gonna hang out there, set up its own jam-space and live in them.
I liked “Beggar’s Bargain” as well. To me, it’s by far the most danceable tune you’ll find on this album. So what if I dance funny? No one here but me when I do.
But in complete honesty, it’s a wicked blues-infused riff-fest with some powerhouse drums, bass & vocals really solidifying this as a standout track I’m sure for many. Weighing in at just slightly less than six & a half minutes long – it’s also the shortest tune of the five. In many ways, you can hear this song is a little more concise, a little more focused and pointed – but I think that will work as the crossover they need when looking to score more fans out there.
And truly…I think it’s great that both the band’s needs and the fans’ needs are totally taken care of…but what about MY needs? As much as you all know I love to help my fellow indie musicians reach the top…well…I say it again! What about MY needs Wo Fat?
Wait….wait just a couple seconds…hmmm….appears I’ve spoken too soon…
“Dreamwalker” = Jer @ SBS completely satisfied. THIS IS AWESOMENESS UNLEASHED. Picking up right where “Beggar’s Bargain” leaves off – we get this MASSIVE, seventeen minute-plus flawless, killer cut known as “Dreamwalker.” What an absolute powerhouse of a track and extraordinary representation of this band and their overall abilities. If this is even a tenth of what it’s like to be a fly on the wall whilst this Texan crew jams it out – I’ll more than take it; but still secretly wish to actually BE that fly one day. Through all its shifting & changing & melting & exploding – this track is an all-encompassing engorgement of everything I want to hear right now, and so to, The Conjuring as an entire entity.
Think ‘all you can eat,’ but uhhhh…only with music.
- Jer @ SBS
Find out more about this incredible band & follow Wo Fat at: https://www.facebook.com/wofatriffage
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Up NEXT on SBS Live This Week!
Live Special / Shane Phillip Re-Cut
Affordable, quality recording and jam space has come to the Fraser Valley. While the big time studios remain out of reach for the average person, sleepingbagstudios offers a professional environment that is completely within the reach of anyone who has ever had a dream of hearing themselves recorded. Our studio fees will always guarantee you a live real time recording of your entire session from your band for you to keep, review, cut, edit - whatever YOU like. We can also produce, edit, mix, master your material into suitable demo material to shop to the major labels – and we can help you package yourself right to sell your band in the best possible way.
From jam time to studio recording, sleepingbagstudios offers you an environment where the average person won’t feel the pressures of “other people” being around. With your time you also receive as much or as little dedication from our two studio operators as you like. If you just want to jam and practice and be left alone, or you want the expert’s advice, you have those options and every one in between. We cater to aspiring artists everywhere, anyone that has ever thought they could do it, but just don’t know how. We’re here to help, because we genuinely want to see the talent of our great province get the attention they so rightly deserve.
YOU pick your level of involvement. Hey, we’re all musician’s right? If you want a day here and there to rehearse for an hour, we have flexible schedules. Or if it’s time to get serious and record that album, we offer day rates and week packages. The in-house instrument rental selection is large enough for you to show up empty handed, or you can bring your own gear. Again, at Sleeping Bag -it’s whatever YOU like!
And YOU might like a lot of things!
We can take your band to that next level through our many different services available.
It’s time for YOU to do what YOU always knew YOU could. We have the atmosphere, the quality and the dedication it takes to help YOU with that first step to becoming successful. Our studio operators have the experience YOU need to get a quality recording – the talent comes from YOU. Not only will you find our rates extremely competitive but you’ll never find people that are more excited to help you make your music and help you live your dreams than all of us here at SBS.
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Our Mission Statement:
To inspire and encourage the independent music community until it over-takes the mainstream.