Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Such Is Life in the Night

Though it's been about a month since this video was released, I've been watching it a bit recently and for one reason or another it resonates with me. Into the Night's music video for their single "Such Is Life" has something about it that I can't quite put my finger on, but whatever it is, I love it. The video has the hard-edged guitar riffs that drew me to ITN in the first place, and the bass lines are head-pounding while the drums are a crisp breakaway matched interestingly with the images that flash up on the screen. The video itself is odd: just a masked man running through through a forest and city with no apparent destination in mind. But maybe that's a metaphor for the aimlessness of life; it wouldn't surprise me to find out it is, and when paired with the ominous music and opaque message, the new video for "Such Is Life"is eerily powerful on a number of levels. Filmed in Melbourne just after Cyclone Yasi hit Australia, Into the Night have let their demons speak with this new window into their music and lyrics. Truly an inquisitive video on its surface, when coupled with the dynamic chords and rhythms of "Such Is Life," it is clear that Into the Night are masters of visual art as well as sonic. Brilliant.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lost and Living in Atlantis

I've been waiting for a few weeks now to have some time to devote to this article and this group. Sometimes listening to new music, the words just flow out and onto the page, painting for you guys a very real and interesting picture of who the artists are and what they do. Other times, however, it's a little more difficult to put my finger on just the right words to describe a new group or artist, and that's the obstacle I've been trying to overcome with this band for a few weeks now. Fortunately for these guys, and all of you guys out there though, the words seem to have finally come to me, and now I feel I can finally describe fully and accurately the talent with which these new NRN43 features approach their music.
Lost In Atlantis's debut album, Silent World
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Lost In Atlantis is a techno-rock foursome comprising Elisabetha 'Liz' Rosnowski (lead vocals and synths), Alex Eldridge (drums), and brothers Eric Pinedo (guitar) and Tim Pinedo (bass). As I start listening to LIA's Myspace page, it's clear that the musical dynamics at play here are worth mentioning. Some artists just have it, and when Lost In Atlantis commences with tracks like "Ready to Go" and "FireFireFire", it's like a whole symphonic rush of sound and attitude.
A mix of '80s new-wave and '00s alternative and garage-rock punch, Lost In Atlantis rips a sound from their instruments that's like a sonic display of light and love for my ears. Halfway in between the punk rush of Paramore and the synthesized bliss of Muse, Lost In Atlantis create a sound that is impossible to ignore. The group's debut album, Silent World, now on sale online, is a brilliant flash of genius reveling in pop-sensibility and alternative edge. Even great songs like "Whisper" and "Unwind" are no match for the most powerful songs on the album. "Alien" is as lovely in its subtle nature as it is opaque. A blurry vision of gray hope and love, "Alien" is a clear triumph for LIA. Rosnowski's vocals are soft; at home in the cradle of Eric Pinedo's guitar chords as Tim Pinedo's bass lines soothe the rhythm softly above the kick of Eldridge's drums. A pseudo-sonic love-letter, "Alien" is pushed higher by the building bridge that drives full-force right into the last minute of the song. If LIA did everything wrong with every other song on this 15-track breakout record, "Alien" would surely be their saving grace.
As "Alien" ends in a creepy cradle of keys, LIA blasts forward with "Catastrophic Compromise," a Paramore-inspired track that throws back to Hayley Williams' vocals on RIOT! and All We Know Is Falling. Rosnowski's pipes are just choice here, and as they melt over the pop-punk rhythms of Tim Pinedo's bass thumping over Eldridge's toms and high-hats, "Catastrophic Compromise" is an LIA trophy hands down. Not overly complicated, but still a great song to listen to, "Catastrophic Compromise" is one of the tracks that makes Silent World a fun album to listen to. In an era when artists think that every song has to have some deep political meaning, it's nice to just have a song that's ear-candy.
But even among the four and five-star tracks that pervade Silent World, one stands out as LIA's clear breakout song. "Tek No" is LIA's greatest work to date. I can't quite put my finger on it, but for one reason or another, this song just draws me in to it in ways the other songs hadn't. To ask what's right with this song is simply too difficult a question to answer. Where to begin? The beginning of the song is a page right out of the ELO playbook: Eric Pinedo's guitar leads right into a blasting rhythm on Tim Pinedo's bass and Eldridge's drums before they all drain out and Rosnowski's keys serenade me in a lullaby of romantic bliss. A cross between Paramore's vocals and Muse's synth-driven rock, "Tek No" brings to mind a bright tapestry of sounds and emotions. Rosnowski's vocals are smooth and firm, and as this romantcore track blasts into the stratosphere, I'm engaged in it like this song holds the key to some mysterious cosmic message I can only hope to hear. Definitely my pick to LIA's lead-off single, "Tek No" is a masterful piece of cosmic proportions. 
While we here on the east coast seem to not be hearing as much about them, I'd bet anything that Lost In Atlantis are making waves over on the west coast like there's no tomorrow. With a sound like this, it must be beyond impossible for anyone to ignore this group. Dynamically savvy and clearly technically talented, Lost In Atlantis are the 2010s' answer to the question of whether or not true techno-rock is still alive. And it is, truly alive and kicking. If you're looking for the next big thing to come out of the south-western U.S., take a peek, because Lost In Atlantis are goin' up fast, and there seems to be nothing this side of the galaxy that's gonna stop them.    

Sounds Like: Muse, Paramore, Smashing Pumpkins, VersaEmerge

Key Tracks from Silent World: "Tek No," "Alien," "Catastrophic Compromise," "Ready to Go," "Disaster"

Check out Lost In Atlantis more at: and

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cloé Beaudoin, Out Beyond the Sea

One of my tightly-held beliefs with regard to the world music community in general is that it's truly heartbreaking how much talent is out there. There is so much talent, in fact, that I'm finding hard to keep up with the new artists I want to premier here and the vets that just keep pumping out treasure after treasure of artistic triumph. Case in point (again!), Cloé Beaudoin, that Canadian-French siren from the snow-drift clutches of eastern Canada. Beaudoin's covers of "World So Cold," "21 Guns," and "Screaming Bloody Murder," as well as her original pieces "Rest in Peace (RIP)" and "Deliverance," are all five-star tracks if I ever heard any. They grab you and shake you, and don't let go even a little until you're wiped out and waiting for more.
Yet one thing I love about Beaudoin as an artist is that she relishes a challenge and revels in her versatility. Whereas her covers before of Three Days Grace, Sum 41, Green Day and Evanescence all broadcast Beaudoin's hard-rock side, and her original "Rest in Peace (RIP)" in particular shows her deep edge, Beaudoin can just as easily decide to let down her guard a little and surprise me yet again.
I suppose it really should no longer be a surprise when she unveils a new cover that is as far removed from post-grunge and hard-rock as any, but still carries the same punch that the others do. Premiering just a couple of hours ago, Beaudoin's new cover, an updated take on Bobby Darin's classic song "Beyond the Sea," exhibits once again how this siren from the north with the fiery voice can blow us all away.
To be truthful, I'm not as familiar with this song as I was with "21 Guns," but still I used to hear it playing in the house from time to time. A melody from a bygone time, "Beyond the Sea" is almost Big Band-ish, a throwback to Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and other singers who perfected the love ballad. Here, Beaudoin trounces the opposition yet again, and delivers a unique and breathy performance that would have even the most die-hard of Darin fans intrigued. Though not her usual choice in style, Beaudoin nevertheless shines on this song. Definitely a triumph for Beaudoin in its unique placement as a Big Band song covered by an alternative/acoustic musician, "Beyond the Sea" takes on new life in an era when such songs are not heard so often anymore. My favorite song for the day, Cloé Beaudoin does it again. I can't say that I'm even the least bit surprised.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mass Undergoe Reveal Sick New Cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way"

It's been a little quiet on the Vancouver front for NewRockNews43 lately, but Mass Undergoe have decided to change all that with a little cover of a classic song. Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" was classic and amazing the first time I heard it: Stevie Nicks' voice was strong and determined, and Mick Fleetwood's guitar was driving and solid.
But that's the original version of the song at this point. Now this classic track gets an alternative update as Mass Undergoe make sure that the guitar chords, still driving and forceful, are filled with post-grunge sneer, and the vocals, still melodic and catchy, are painted over with a pop-punk slick that makes them irresistible. I still listen to Mass Undergoe periodically for some of their tracks like "I Saw You on a Rainy Day" and "This Abundance of Truth" which still rock harder than ever. But while those tracks start of with a post-grunge lick of the bass under David Isbister's alternative-style vocals, "Go Your Own Way" is presented on the backs of catchy guitar chords mixed with smooth pop-punk vocals. While MU didn't write it, every time an artist covers a song, especially one as classic as Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" they leave their stamp seared into the flesh of such a brilliant piece. Alan Calimba's palm-mutes lend a certain perplexity to the opening seconds of the song, and the minute that Brandon Lazeby kicks in on the drums and enters with Marino Mestrovic on bass, this version of "Go Your Own Way" is immediately different from the original. And to top it all off, Isbister's voice is just choice when the chorus rolls around: strong, smooth, and full of energy and attitude.
If their own particular musical quirks weren't enough to set their version of the song apart from all others, Mass Undergoe sweeten the pot by throwing in a few more surprises. The dynamic group-vocals during the choruses just make this song irresistible, and are immediately some of my favorite things about this song. But something else seems out of place at first, though it soon makes its way into the line of my favorite new things about this version of the song. Following the second chorus showcasing the vocals of the entire band, Mass Undergoe change it up, dropping the classic rock skeleton of the song and opting for a ska-punk rhythm and vocal set. Lasting less than a minute, this brilliant change-up is one of the greatest new things about this cover; it's catchy and clever, and blasts right back into a post-grunge rhythm that feeds directly into the classic rock sear of the last minute.
And then before I know it, it's over. The only way to describe this song is brilliant. I wish very much that I could find a studio version of it to post here, but the only video on Youtube is a live performance with Mass Undergoe tearing this song up. Don't despair though, the live version is pretty good for the non-professional quality, and the blasting chorus is still clear and powerful. The studio version, meanwhile, is on Mass Undergoe's Myspace page (here, so if I was you, I'd high-tail it over there and check it out. Mass Undergoe have covered "Go Your Own Way" like it's never been covered before, and in their version, the song grows in ways it's never seen. If I was Mick Fleetwood, I'd wanna shake hands with these Mass U guys, because they just made one of the most classic songs in American history all that more amazing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Go Periscope Up for the Cover of Rolling Stone!!

Today I've got some unbelievably exciting news for you all: Go Periscope, the electronic-rock duo from Seattle, WA premiered here a few months ago are in a contest to be the first unsigned band to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. Though I don't read Rolling Stone as often as others do, and though I sometimes find their writing style not to my taste, it is nevertheless undeniable that their influence if grand, and that any group who might get to be featured between the pages, let alone on the cover, could see significant success afterwards.
Go Periscope, who made waves with their song "Crush Me," enjoys the talents of vocalist and keyboardist Florin Merano and vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Joshua Frazier. Releasing their new song, "Boys Like, Girls Like" for purchase on iTunes just a weeks ago, Go Periscope are making sure that they are not swept underfoot and left behind. Yet "Crush Me" still has the same crisp and sexy vibe that it had when I first listened to it, and if GP do make it to the cover, it will be to the credit of this song.
Get it done GP! We all wanna see Go Periscope on the cover of Rolling Stone!    

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