Tag Archives: Metal

Strive Roots Opens for War – Downtown San Diego

This Friday, Sept, 23rd, the incredibly talented band Strive Roots is opening up for classic funk band War. If you’ve never heard of Strive Roots, let this video recorded by MusicWithoutLabels at last year’s THC Music Fest, give you your first taste. Eli (lead guitar) does something with the guitar I’ve never seen ANYONE ever do. I still can’t figure out how he does it. Check it out:

With tunes like that, and one of my favorites, Communicate: along with a whole slur of new material, this show is going to be ridiculous! If you’re in Southern Cali, and you like to dance and jam the f*k out, you’re definitely going to want to catch this. Tickets are on sale here, or you can email Eli directly at eli@striveroots.com, and maybe he’ll hook you up!

Strive Roots also plays tonight at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood at 11:30 pm. If you don’t happen to be in town, you can check out all that Strive Roots has to offer at striveroots.com or on Facebook. This band is seriously going to blow up soon, unquestioned. Don’t miss em!

Written by: Dante Cullari

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10 Awesome Independent Record Labels [LIST]

Here at Music Without Labels we do our best at providing you with some of the top independent music worldwide, which is why I’ve decide to show some love and promote the main industry that helps manage these artists’ insanely busy music schedules; Independent Record Labels! Now this list is in no particular order so their is no hierarchy of which label is better than the next. This is an independent community so it’s our job as indie people to promote quality independent music equally together. We will continue to promote the Independent Record Labels in this new series. Hope this comes as a great reference, and please stay tuned for more:

1. Toolroom records

Label Genre(s): Dance (HOUSE)

Description: Being started by one of the United Kingdoms’ largest dance DJs in Mark Knight, it was certain to be a hit immediately following their release to the world in 2003. After 8 years the label has continuously gained international recognition for it’s unprecedented release of non-stop quality, throughout the entire dance spectrum. Their focus on originality and funk influenced HOUSE has really brought them to the level they are today having taken a stronghold on their niche from the beginning.

tool room records

Artist Count: 46 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): Having had one of Music Without Labels favorite HOUSE DJs in the game made it a bit of an easier decision when trying to figure which labels should be on the list. We all know Mark Knight is a genius (the guy started toolroom! duh) but Toronto, Canada native progressive-house DJ DeadMau5 has set a whole new standard for the work ethic of a modern day House DJ, which was sure to have helped propel Toolroom Records down their long road to success. It was bit tough to pick a track here since we’ve posted DeadMau5 about 8 times on here, but it was decided that everyone enjoys some “HR 8938 Cephei”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

2. Sumerian records

Label Genre(s): Metal | Hardcore | Rock

Description: Coming from both sides of the United States in LA and DC, co-founders Ash Avildsen and Shawn Keith have managed to open the independent heavy metal market not only domestically but internationally as well with their first non-US band, Fellsilent, signing back in 2008. Sumerian was created ‘by artists, for artists’ which has continued to help ship their music to the top of the metal genre, representing 25 bands with endless potential. The labels’ ability to expand their demographic early has surely given them the edge they’ve needed in the grueling music industry of today. More recently Sumerian has worked with the video game series Rock Band to provide music to their network. Songs by Asking Alexandria have made it into the mix already in the past and you can expect to hear more in the latest production with groups Veil of Maya and After the Burial.

sumerian records

Artist Count: 25 current

Beat-Play Feature(s): A bit earlier this year we were halted by a follower on our Facebook page by the fact that we hadn’t posted metal music in awhile. After digging into some newer metal tracks I was more than pleased to come across Sumerians own Chicago, IL band Born Of Osiris with their latest single release entitled “Follow The Signs”. Since the release of the song in February the band has completed their full-length album “The Discovery” which dropped in the later days of March. Here is “Follow The Signs” by Born of Osiris:

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

3. Stones Throw records

Label Genre(s): Mostly Hip-Hop

Description: Stones Throw was created in 1996 by San Jose, CA native Chris Manak, aka DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, to originally produce and distribute music he had recorded with his best friend and fellow artist Charizma, who had been killed 3 years earlier. With that being said this label is very personal to Chris and has gained countless recognition and the overwhelming addition of 44 more artists than day one of Stones Throw Records back in ’96. The success of the label has come primarily from the approval of Chris Manak in all music represented. As the executive producer, he picks what he likes, and that’s the final decision, and main key to their ongoing success. It’s that old school vibe that keeps them alive, with artists like Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc who so smoothly bring old into the new with everything they do, from music, to merch, to design, and videos, this is a cool class of music with a lot to offer.

stones throw records

Artist Count: 44 all-time

Beat-Play Feature(s): So I had to add the “(s)” on the end there specifically for these guys because we have posted many tracks from Stones Throw and would like to share 2 with you right here. Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc are just non-stop turning heads all across America, each having albums released by Stones Throw early this year, they’ve seen much hype with their videos and multiple hit singles. With two tracks to play let’s jump right into it:

Aloe Blacc – “I Need A Dollar”

Mayer Hawthorne – “No Strings”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

4. Sub pop records

Label Genre(s): Indie Rock | Alternative | Punk Rock

Description: Created by Bruce Pavitt in the early 80s as a fanzine (non-official fan magazine of independent musicians) called Subterranean Pop this label has undergone some pretty influential transitions throughout their long journey to the top of the independent label scene. Today Sub Pop Records is one of the leading producers and distributors for independent rock, with 2 Platinum and Gold Records from past artists such as Nirvana, The Postal Service, The Shins, and Flight Of The Conchords, it comes without question why such high interest has been carried out throughout the years. Some of today’s biggest names in indie rock still call Sub Pop their home as the fans continue to hear hit after hit.

subpop records

Artist Count: 71 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): With 71 active artists it’s really tough to try and pick one out and go with it as your best choice, so this is not my best choice, just a damn good song like the long list of others Sub Pop has to offer. Fleet Foxes bring a great deal of originality to the modern music scene, and sometimes their old soul makes it difficult to appreciate at first, but with the release of their latest album “Helplessness Blues” we’ve seen a great deal of excitement stir up about the group. Here is the title track off their new album:

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

5. easy star records

Label Genre(s): Reggae | DUB

Description: These guys are an absolutely unstoppable force in the reggae scene today with an incredible talent pool in their list of artists. Music Without Labels has had the pleasure of working with a number of these artists, including Cas Haley, Easy Star All Stars, John Brown’s Body, and The Black Seeds, writing reviews and capturing live concert photos for them in our select cities. The earlier in-house productions of Easy Star All Stars brought 3 best-selling reggae albums of the decade, giving Easy Star Records the glory moment they needed to transition into that next step as an independent label. After capturing an impressive sound they knew people loved, it was at that time where they began focusing on other artists as well as themselves. Having that re-inventive reggae niche on hold in the Easy Star All Stars, bringing in progressive, classic, and modern reggae proved to be an essential decision for where they’ve come to be.

easy star recordsArtist Count: 13 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): As mentioned in the ‘Description’ above, we have done many types of promotions for Easy Star Records’ artists, from album and song reviews to live concert photography. The Easy Star All Stars brought a whole new world to the reggae scene with the release of their Beatles and Pink Floyd classic  full-album reggae/dub remixes in “DUB Side Of The Moon” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts DUB Band”.  Since it is Easy Star All Stars show here, I’m going to go ahead and choose a track by them along with a link to their concert photos. Here is one of my personal favorites by Pink Floyd and now Easy Star All Stars, “Money” (The Alchemist Remix).

Easy Star All Stars [PHOTOS]

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

6. partisan records

Label Genre(s): Folk | Alternative | Country | Experimental

Description: Being one of the younger independent labels in our list of longtime forces, this Brooklyn, NY label has quickly made a name for itself within it’s short 4 year life-span. Partisan Records brings a different style to the record label business, encouraging their artist to create and share their own sound and stories, indicative in the labels’ wide-range of genres. This sense of originality is the key to their fast growth in such a competitive market, harnessing some of the great indie artists of today in, Deer Tick, Dolorean, Holy Sons, Paleo, Middle Brother, and Mountain Man. Expect to see much more from this label in the near future including new artists, videos, music, merchandise, etc…

partisan recordsArtist Count: 13 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): It was just the early part of March when we were blessed with the joyous ring of Middle Brother and their self-titled hit track “Middle Brother”. A driven group of musicians in search of their next great sound, the band consists of John J. McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit. The fun-filled tone they bring with their first release was a sure hit, joining that classic oldies vibe with the popular folk sounds of today.

Middle Brother – “Middle Brother” 

Contact Link: Website | Facebook | Twitter

7. Alpha pup records

Label Genre(s): Experimental | Creative | Adventurous

Description: This isn’t your normal independent label. Or should I say labels? Alpha Pup Records has made it’s mark in the music industry by perfecting the art of collaboration, not only bringing artists together but harnessing 40 independent labels under one outstanding network. This is the sort of collaboration you expect from a label pumping out tracks for artists such as P-Funk All Stars, Hello Morning, dak, Busdriver and many more.

alpha pup records

Artist Count: 160 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): With such a long list of artists it’s kind of hard to miss an Alpha Pup client when promoting the independent world. We’ve featured a number of theirs including Abstract Rude, Nosaj Thing, and Shlohmo. Being big fans of electronic music, Shlohmo had caught our attention earlier this year with the release of “Places”.

Shlohmo – “Places”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

8. Hopeless records

Labels Genre(s): Alternative | Punk | Pop | Rock | Metal

Description: Spending a majority of their focus on the independent punk scene Hopeless Records has owned this sound, claiming the top spot of the punk record labels since their early 90s start. Some of the greatest artists in punk rock and metal during the mid 2000 era were represented by Hopeless. Aritsts including Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice, Yellowcard, All Time Low, and Silverstein were putting in some serious work to help take the new label to it’s forefront of being one of the great independent labels. With the recent addition of Yellowcard, it is expected to see them reach another milestone in the near future with this incredible collaboration.

Hopeless Records

Artist Count: 15 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): After leaving the spot-light they had earned through Capital Records in 2008, Yellowcard decided to rejoice with the indie world and post up with none-other than Los Angeles, California’s Hopeless Records. They followed up their longtime run of major label success with the amazing production of their latest independent album release, “When You Are Finished, Say Yes”. Here is their hit featured on The Beat-Play Experiment:

Yellowcard – “For You, And Your Denial” 

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

9. ghostly international

Label Genre(s): Experimental | New Age | Everything

Description: With 12 years in the game this Ann Arbor, Michigan label has managed to capture an entire style through the many different forms of expression art has to offer. Ghostly International isn’t just about music but the art within music and everything that comes with that art including their roles in design, clothing, technology, innovation, and publishing. They represent a plethora of genres that all seem to fit a similar expression or feeling within the overall tone or message of their art.

ghostly international

Artist Count: 15 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): I am unfortunately unable to provide any tracks from the Beat-Play Experiment archive, but you can guarantee a few tracks throughout the year. One of my personal favorites, being Com Truise, has been on the fence for an artist review for a couple months now and it’s probably about time to pull the trigger on that. To show some love to the electronic expertise of Com Truise here is his track “Pyragony”.

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

10. vicious Recordings

Genre Label(s): Dance | Electronic | HOUSE

Description: With over 18 years of experience in the dance music game, this Melbourne, Australia label has perfected the industry, producing some of the top HOUSE DJs of the world in Avicii, Mind Electric, and butterBOX. Founders and Producer/DJs Andy Van and John Course have an energy that is unprecedented in the electronic dance scene, helping them gain the attention of many up and coming house DJs from all over the world including, the US, Sweden, Australia, Indonesia, and many other countries.

vicious recors

Artist Count: 15 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): Being a huge fan of the growing HOUSE scene from Europe, Avicii has continued to capture our ears here on The Beat-Play Experiment with hit after hit. So we’ve probably featured 3 tracks so far on the blog by Avicii and it’s pretty hard to determine which one is the best, but judging by the stats, the people love to hear “ID + Vocal”. In this new dance era the progressive sound of Avicii has proven to be the best joining an eclectic group of DJs such as DeadMau5 and Benny Bennasi.

Avicii – “ID + Vocal”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Written By: Mark G. Valente | @MarkwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Beneath The Surface Live at Soma in San Diego, CA [Photos]

Beneath the Surface Live at Soma in San Diego, CA

Beneath The Surface-“Oceans”

Click the pics for more concert shots!

 

Check Them Out Here

For merch and to download their album “Oceans”, Click Here

Props to Kian Bardikalaie for the pics!

By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

TopCast RUNDOWN (6/21-6/28) [CHARTS]

This week was flyin’ by with tons of new songs from so many spectrums, I could barely even keep track of them all!!! We went all over with this TopCast, capturing a wide-range of genres from reggae to punk-rock to jazz. Please sit back and enjoy last weeks 8 top posted independent tracks in this weeks TopCast RUNDOWN!

Vampires Everywhere! Live at Soma in San Diego, CA [Photos]

Vampires Everywhere! Live at Soma in San Diego, CA

Click the pic for more concert shots

Vampires Everywhere!– “The Embrace”

Check Them Out Here!

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

Anvil “Juggernaut Of Justice” [NEW MUSIC]

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today.  I looked back on a couple old blogs I have written and I was reading the other awesome stuff on this site when it finally hit me.  There is NOT ENOUGH METAL on this blog!  Now I am not a metal-head by any means, but who doesn’t like to turn it to 11 and destroy shit?  There’s only one metal band in my opinion that continues to embody the spirit of what Beatplay is all about.  They are called Anvil and they have just dropped a gem called “Juggernaut of Justice.”  Do me and your neighbors a favor and TURN. IT. UP.

Turn It Up – Anvil

Anvil has come back from Metal oblivion (although with 17 full length releases I believe they have never gone away) with an amazing documentary released last year covering all things Anvil and the difficulties of relentless touring and the ideas of “what could have been” taunting a band still trying to make it huge after 20+ years and being considered one of the best in the business with out the cash to show for it.  Anvil is one of the originals, simple as that.

They have been playing fast, loud and crazy music for decades.  This most recent release dominates.  It’s non stop and in your face.

Fuken Eh! – Anvil

It’s hard to review this record.  Problem #1: my hands literally won’t stop playing air guitar and air drums.  Problem #2:  I just threw my desk across my apartment and my computer was on top of it.  Problem #3:  My elderly (expletive) of a neighbor just came up and told me to turn it down to which I said nothing and awkwardly/ slowly closed the door in her wrinkled face.  All great problems to have and my luckily indestructible computer survived so I can continue.  But first…

When Hell Breaks Loose – Anvil

Hell has broken loose.  It’s time to stand up and give these guys the respect the have deserved for years.  They have great lyrics and great hooks.

Lips is the lead singer/ guitar player.  His voice is like razor blades ripping through a wall of guitar and drums.  This band embodies metal.  They live it.  From the start of this record, title track “Juggernaut of Justice” though the final punch in the face “Tonight is Coming” Anvil just doesn’t stop.  ALL the songs are heavy.  ALL the songs are fast.  ALL of my brain cells have turned to mush.  I feel bad I wasn’t a fan/ didn’t know about this band earlier in my life.  Granted they have been around since before I was a fetus.  Who knows?  I may have just become a metal-head from the start.  Here’s the last track from “Juggernaut of Justice.”

Tonight is Coming – Anvil

Anvil currently has a couple US dates on their TOUR PAGE and are touring heavily in Europe.  “Juggernaut of Justice” was released back in May so go buy it right now.  It was recorded not to far from my house at Dave Grohl’s Studio up in Northridge, CA, which makes it even cooler in my book.  So throw the devil horns up and repeat after me.  Long Live Metal but most of all  LONG LIVE ANVIL.

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

The Great Apes – “Mad Again/I’m Bad Like Jesse James” [MUSIC]

the great apes

The Great Apes are a blues-rock band out of Cape Town.  Under the influence of old blues legends like Muddy Waters and Odetta, this band has alot of soul. Layers of spirit and primal noise create a monster of seductive rock ‘n roll.  The five apes include Yusif Sayigh on vocals, Pienaar Du Plessis in control of rhythm guitar, Antonie Gunter mastering feedback on lead guitar, Jacques Stemmet grooving base and Jaekan Coetzee smashing drums.  They have played at various venues throughout South Africa – check out their song Mad Again/I’m Bad Like Jesse James here.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Music of Mullingar [PLAYLIST]

Eleven track selection from Irish bands based in the midlands town of Mullingar, Westmeath

Featuring :

The Aftermath

The Aftermath are an Irish mod/pop rock band, currently based in Mullingar. They are composed of brothers Johnny (guitar, keys, vocals) and Michael Cronin (drums, percussion, samples, vocals), both of whom are originally from Longford but raised in Leeds, UK, as well as Mullingar guitarist, Justin McNabb and bassist Martin Gray. The Aftermath released their debut album, Friendlier Up Here on 25 April 2008

My Photos by

Innate

Innate emerged from Mullingar in 1999 and since then they have proved as impossible to pin down as mercury. Innate are centred around 4 members: FRANK BYRNE on vocals and guitar, ROSS KENNEDY on drums, NIALL MASTERSON on bass and JOHNNY OWENS on guitar, vocals and occasionally, violin. Innate sound exactly like a band should, with guitar sounds that slip between the maudlin and fury, a fluid and sublime rhythm section and vocals to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Many have tried to pigeonhole Innate onto a previously heard template, but the reality is Innate are in a league of their own, one where comparisons count for nothing and the music counts for everything.


Peter Doran

Peter’s been honing his own craft since age 11, when, inspired by his cousin’s heavy metal albums, he first picked up the guitar. (Music is in the family lineage; his father also plays guitar and writes songs, and an uncle, Anthony Doran, is the bassist for platinum-selling band the Blizzards.) After a few years of high-velocity shredding, Peter “became less interested in the speed of the notes, but in their character instead.” In 2006 he released Wood, a rich collection of startlingly mature songs heralded by leading music publication Hot Press as “an admirable debut that should open doors and minds.”

In 2009 Peter was contacted by acclaimed Italian producer Filippo Gaetani, who had heard one of the singer-songwriter’s demo tracks online and was eager to collaborate.
“Peter has the capability of moving your soul with simple yet profound lyrics, and his vocal tone and melodies are uncommon,” raves Gaetani, who has worked with Andy Bell, Stefano Bollini, and Adrina Thorpe.  Sleepless Street is the glorious result, a gorgeous, multi-layered work by a gifted artist swiftly gaining ground on the paths of his idols.


Darragh J Glennon

Darragh J. Glennon has been crafting and performing his alternative music since the age of fifteen, sharing the stage with the likes of Fionn Regan, Declan O’ Rourke and Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs).

Since beginning his travels, performing with Mullingar band ‘Triega’, Darragh went on to release the singles ‘For My Love’, ‘Smile’ and ‘I’m on the Way’. His debut album ‘Detour’ was released in 2009.

The new album is nearing completion and is due for release in 2011


Crimson

Crimson are Fergal O’Rourke – Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar, Kevin Leech – Bass Guitar, Aidan O’Rourke – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals, Kieran O’Rourke – Drums.
Crimson, a four piece rock band hailing from County Westmeath, Ireland. After paying tribute to their heroes as a covers group, Crimson left the covers circuit and began writing their own material. Supporting many bands, Crimson’s fan base is rapidly growing throughout the country. Crimson have recently launched their debut album “Untamed/Underground/Unwell” which is available in selected E2 and Eason stores and will is also available on iTunes.


Arrow in the Sky

Formed from the ashes of folktronica ensemble Till the Morning Comes, bassist turned singer Conor McCauley returns from his Japanese exile to work once again with longtime collaborator Brian Murphy. Six months later and they would shape the new/ancient sound that was haunting their heads into debut Ep Do What Thou Wilt.

Flash Forward a year and the duo are getting set to unleash their sophomore EP, Winter’s Requiem. The EP is a celebratory funeral mass, a farewell to the past and a heartfelt greeting to the future.

The sound live can be likened to other harmony laden song driven artists such as CSN and Simon Garfunkel or more contemporary artists such as My Morning Jacket Fleet Foxes and Bowerbirds.With an arsenal of traditional instruments doing very untraditional things strange and boundless vocals soaring then cascading AITS have created a world and sonic imagery all of their own. Weaving an aural tapestry of folk, blues, alt-rock into their own unique blend of Irish-Americana.


We Go Go

We Go Go are a four piece alternative rock band from the Irish midlands musical hotbed of Mullingar. Formed in March 2009 from the remains of other projects, the band’s profile has risen steadily in the intervening months, playing shows the length and breadth of Ireland and gaining a reputation as an incendiary live act. Combining powerful angular guitar lines, pounding drums and tight harmonies, the band’s debut single Nitpicker released in October ’09 reached no.4 in the downloadmusic.ie weekly chart, and led to the band being just one of 20 unsigned Irish bands chosen for the 2010 JD Set.
After just finishing their first Irish tour in October 2010, the band are planning to release their next single ‘Clean up’, in the spring of 2011. Currently in the middle of a joint Irish tour with The Vibes. We Go Go are definately a band to keep one eye on!!


Jung Turks

With just classical guitar and drums for comfort, Jung Turks sound like the offspring of the White Stripes and Rodrigo y Gabriela; lost musical children who were reared in a South American gypsy camp by former Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, before being sent to boot camp with Frank Zappa, who in turn sent them to the bog where they dug turf and fusion music.’
quote by – Ronan Casey, Westmeath Examiner


Hail To Farewell

‘Hail To Farewell’ are a 4 piece prog rock band that formed in 2010. Since their launch onto the Irish music scene they’ve supported many amazing Irish acts including ‘Republic of Loose’ and ‘Fight Like Apes‘ and have many exciting things lined up for the future.

This powerful collaboration came about when long standing rhythm section partners , Tanya O‘Callaghan and Eoin Fitzsimons teamed back up after years of successful session work and projects.

Bassist Tanya O’Callaghan has gigged up and down the country with various musicians including a highly acclaimed session job with Maynard James Keana, front man with world renowned American band Tool which lead to working in USA for many months.

Established musician, Eoin Fitzsimons has been banging out the groves since the age of 16 and sessioned with many great bands around the country. He has also been apart of original bands such as Waiting To Explode.

This meteor nominated rhythm section joined forces with powerhouse vocalist Carolyn Cahill who has enjoyed great success performing in many of Irelands greatest music venues and on the IMRO Tour 2010. Her vocal range has not yet failed to wow audiences every time she performs.

The final piece of the jigsaw was to be completed in the form of Davy Blythe – long established session player who has gigged all over Ireland. His distinctive guitar sound was to complete this exciting and unique new Irish sound.

My Photos by

The Acid Test

Mike Cole

Mike Cole is a folk artist from the midlands who is currently writing and recording his first solo album (The profits of which are to be donated to charity). He began writing songs as soon as he could put 3 chords together at quite an early age. Over the years he has worked hard at the art of songwriting and played a number of gigs around Mullingar incorporating many instruments into the live show such as guitar, piano, harmonica and ukulele. His love of listening to music is matched only by his love of creating it so catch a live show or listen to his music online to get a sense of what this emerging songwriter rele has to offer.


By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


Closure In Moscow [MUSIC]

Closure in Moscow’s American debut “First Temple” opens with a break-neck cross sticking that sounds like frantic Morse code.  I’m no expert, but after a couple spins, I’m pretty sure it loosely translates to:

“Hang on to your butts.”

Australia’s music scene has produced a number of talented, successful groups in the past, even if most of them don’t find their way into heavy rotation in my collection (lookin’ at you, BeeGees, INXS, Men at Work, Savage Garden, Air Supply.  Okay, maybe Savage Garden…).  The bands that have captured my ears – AC/DC, Jet, and Wolfmother – tend to be cut from the same heavily blues-influenced riff-rock cloth.  Maybe it’s the pub culture I picture when I think of Australia, but those bands make music to drink and fight to.  Or at least drink and play Tekken to, depending on your comfort with live fisticuffs.  Either way, it gets my blood pumping.  I love it!  That’s what I expect from Australian rock!

Closure in Moscow is different.  Where their brethren rock with the stomp and strut of giants, Closure in Moscow slay instead with speed and precision.  From note one, the playing is focused on densely interwoven guitar lines, complex drum patters and time signatures that duck and pivot like a basketball player.

Over it all, frontman Christopher de Cinque’s vocals soar, crafting melodies that radio-rock bands would fall over themselves to record (see “Sweet#hart” below). Better still, the combination of his higher register with some unique phrasing takes the vocals into an unexpectedly funk and R&B indebted territory.

Some would call the results entry level prog rock; I’d call it highly refined.  The band has managed to take the swirling, spacey, sometimes meandering sounds of groups like Yes, Rush, King Crimson and Tool and blend it with bite and an ear for hooks that their pub rock ancestors would be proud of.

One last note: listen to this album on the best speakers if you can find.  Not only is there a small orchestra’s worth of instrumentation hidden away in some surprising places, but the drum and guitar tones at play are some of my favorites in recent memory.

“Sweet#hart”:

My favorite track – “A Night At the Spleen”:

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

Born Of Osiris – “Follow The Signs” [MUSIC]

Born Of Osiris

So it has definitely come to the attention of myself and some of our followers that we haven’t had a quality heavy metal group on the blog in quite sometime. Chicago, IL metal group Born Of Osiris‘ newest single “Follow The Signs” came out in February as the first track for their upcoming album release this year under independent label Sumerian Records.

The heavy metal tone is definitely an acquired taste but for all those intricate music listeners looking for flawlessly executed riffs, insane speed and screaming vocals you can actually make the words out to then I’d say you might have a new sound here. Check it out and be on the lookout for their newest album to drop soon!