Tag Archives: melodic

Indian School – “The Cruelest Kind” [NEW MUSIC]

I was late to embrace Audio Karate, one of the fieriest bands to come out of the late 90s/early-aughts pop-punk scene.  By the time I was getting into their kind of raw, full-throated, vocals and live, loud, imperfect production, the band was almost broken up.  I had no idea that was the case when I stumbled across “Nintendo 89” on a Warped Tour compilation, and if I had, I would’ve begged them not to.  Listen to this beast:

The first thirty seconds are one of the most epic builds in pop-punk.  The guitar tones are perfect, the drums won’t stop, and when it all drops out to introduce those main power chords – ugh.  There’s more energy in those thirty three seconds than a six-pack of Red Bull.  I can only imagine the reaction it got live.

Anyway, these dudes went their separate ways around ’05 and left the world with two albums, Space Camp, and Lady Melody.  Buy ’em, love ’em, play ’em loud, and then check this out:

They came back!  They have a piano player, mainlined The Strokes and changed their name, but the songwriting and singer Arturo Barrio’s distinct pipes are as solid as ever.  I miss the throat – rupturing rawness of their earlier work, but hey, that’s growth.  Space Camp didn’t have a single instance of saloon style piano playing either, but “Elvis” features it heavily and it works.  It’s a give and take.

Whip-crack opener “Rob Your House” comes closest to capturing the groups free-wheeling energy of old, with the titular phrase serving as an anarchic refrain that’s gonna feel good to shout out with a group of drunken buddies at a show or before a night of debauchery.  At the same time, it also sounds the most “Strokes”y, complete with synths and – unless I’m crazy – a hint of a vocal effect.

The middle pair of tracks, “High Low” and “Wind You Up” form the backbone of the new sound: slower tempos, catchy choruses, and the addition of some acoustic strumming and clean piano sounds.  EP closer “Elvis” is the track that sounds the least likely to work on paper, but is executed with aplomb.  The aforementioned saloon piano kicks in early in the track and is mixed low, but shines in the chorus.

Over the course of the four tracks, the moment I keep going back to, the one that draws the line in the sand is two and a half minutes into “Wind You Up.”  Like the opening of “Nintendo 89” it’s another beat where everything drops away, but instead leaving space for the hell-raising guitar from that track, it’s just Art’s vulnerable croon and a piano.  Does it make me want to pogo my way into a pit  Not really, but it makes me damn excited for what Indian School does next.

UPDATE: Thanks to Eric and Lucy for pointing out I overlooked a fifth track that can be found here: http://soundcloud.com/indianschool/tracks  Enjoy!

Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |

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Carta Marina – “End Of An Era” [ALBUM REVIEW]

End of an Era Cover Art

http://cartamarina.bandcamp.com/

Chicago & Illinois as a whole, What needs to be said about its street cred in the world of music over the years home to Wilco, Andrew Bird, The Smashing Pumpkins , John Prine, Miles Davis,  Eddie Vedder was originally from Evanston, Illinois. RATM guitar master Tom Morello from Libertyville, Illinois. And an entire Blog could and probably is devoted to what Chicago Blues has given to the world.

Out of that amazing lineage comes Carta Marina –

consisting of

Chris Reehoff – Guitar, Glockenspiel
Justin Shields – Keys
Jeff Palac – Vox, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica
Rick Gladkowski – Drums

Anthemic, Spacey, Touching, At times Raw is just some of the ways their collective sound could be described along with many more adjective’s. But I’ll leave that to each individual set of ears who has the pleasure of listening to their album End Of An Era. Recorded live @ Uptown Recording. It’s so refreshing to hear a band at the top of their game being able to track live and nail each song with energy and precision. Strong and melodic vocals from singer Jeff, Which at no point over the course of the 9 tracks does he grate on the listener, Instead by the end your ready to press play again to hear his soaring refrain of Arcadia also featuring some great interweaving guitar lines by Chris. Not to leave out the Rhythms provided by Rick who has power and accuracy with every hit. Never over indulgent he creates a solid frame for the melodies and textures to live and breathe. Textures enhanced by subtle delays, reverbs and the perfect licks and phrases of keys man Justin and sounding at times like Garth Hudson if he was let go through The Edge’s FX setup.

The album can be purchased from the bands Bandcamp site with some great extras for those who are inclined to help a band by parting with those few extra dollars.