Sunday, January 29, 2012

Almost Kings to Play the 2012 Grammy Awards

Almost Kings

You discovered them here first, and now Almost Kings is blowing up like a nuclear warhead and playing their first show of the year at the 2012 Grammy Awards!! The Marietta, GA quartet, which features axe-murderer lead-guitarist Ryan Yunker, hurricane-blast bassist Danny Helms, human beat-machine drummer Kevin Compton, and slick rhyme-schemer and lead vocalist/MC Bryan "Boze" Bozeman, beat out 916 other artists from around the country to nab the first place spot in the national contest. Mixing crunching guitar and soul-shattering rhythm with hook-filled hip-hop vocals, Almost Kings are more than just a club favorite in the Atlanta area: they're the next step in the rap-rock hybrid vein that made bands like Rage Against the Machine, Primus and Linkin Park international names.

Almost Kings' debut album: Filthy Nice

With their tearing rhythms and energy-filled choruses, Almost Kings have been a staple on my radio show Underground Takeover since its inception last year. Their song “Unstoppable” is the unofficial wrap-up, and with other songs like “Legend” and “Pornstar” on their debut album Filthy Nice, Almost Kings create a sound that is entirely impossible for people to ignore. I knew it was just a matter of time until these guys blew up, and now the whole country will know just what kind of hard-rock energy has been building just below the surface on the hot streets of Atlanta.

Boze’s vocals are slick, little whispers just before the roars come and rip the roof off of whatever club they’re playing at the time. His raps are smooth and beat-driven, and mashed against the bass-blasts that Danny Helms comes down with, there’s no way anyone in the audience is standing still. Ryan Yunker’s blistering guitar solos climb over the crunching feedback to drill through the ears of everyone jumping at this point, and bolstered by Kevin Compton’s gut-busting back-beats, the rhythm section of Almost Kings is so closely tied with the melody and energy that the finished product is incredible.

Clearly an example of a band getting their just desserts, Almost Kings are sure to blow the roof off the Grammy Awards next month. There are new Kings in town, and they’re simply unstoppable.       

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Spectator at the Darling Parade

One thing about this job that gets easier and easier the more I do it is how seamless the discovery of a new group translates into a detailed article. Even with the writer's block every journalist gets sometimes, I can't stay away too long, as these artists and many more just keep pulling me in to their incredible music.
Case in point is today's story, Darling Parade. A four-piece prophecy of things to come, Darling Parade is a cunning mix of power-pop sheen melted over alternative-punk attitude and rhythm. The anthemic sing-along choruses Darling Parade weave between their stop-start verses create a track-list that simmers with new melodies driven over classic pop dynamics.
A tight-knit group from Nashville- Tennessee consisting of Kristin Kearns (lead vocals and guitar), Adam Hatfield (lead guitar), Nate McCoy (bass), and Casey Conrad (drums), Darling Parade take the melody and anthemic song structure of Avril Lavigne and lay it over the punk ethic of Paramore to create a slew of songs that sound as fresh as ever and blow me away.

Darling Parade; From left: Adam Hatfield, Kristin Kearns, Nate McCoy, and Casey Conrad

I discovered the Darlings a few months ago, and the reason I waited to tell you guys all about them is because why get the lowdown on one record when you can get it on three? The Darlings just released their most recent EP, Until We Say It's Over, just over a month ago around Thanksgiving, and it's a sick addition to the already burgeoning DP catalogue. One of my favorite songs from any of Darling Parade's recordings is the first song I heard by them, "Bells Are Ringing" from their self-titled debut. In its corner, "Bells Are Ringing" has a melody that kicks ass bred against a background of rhythmic guitars and drums. From its inception, "Bells Are Ringing" finds a home deep inside of Kearns' soaring vocals which hover somewhere in between Avril Lavigne and Paramore. Carving out her own little vocal niche for Darling Parade, Kearns leads the rest of the band fearlessly into battle as Conrad wrestles with his drums to blast for the most powerful rhythm he can muster from the skins. Tightly wound around McCoy's heartbeat basslines (that drive the verses of this song in an unforgettable way), Conrad's drums prove that a drummer, too, can create his own sound, if you're listening for it. Hatfield's fretwork is something that continues to intrigue me throughout the entirety of the song. Pick-slides and finger-trembles that pop out in the most unexpected of places, Hatfield finds a way to take a song that was already Top Ten material and make it even more so. If "Bells Are Ringing" doesn't hook you the first time you hear it, I will be utterly surprised. The keywork, too, provided by both Kearns and McCoy, takes the track to new heights with power and melody that I can't help but fall into. This song is everything that's right with the music coming out now. A great anthemic message wrapped up in the shiny wrapping paper of melody and pop-polish, I can't imagine what more the Darlings could do right.     

Darling Parade's debut: Darling Parade

Also from Darling Parade jumps "Far Away," a song that fights with the former to assert its dominance over the EP. Built on McCoy's blistering basslines, the vocal work by Kearns is some of her best. Hatfield's guitar riffs are the essence of the word "epic," and as his palm-mutes back up McCoy's distorted basslines on the verses, there is already something different about this track. Conrad's drums add to the epic feel of the track as they crash in a crescendo of rhythmic bliss over Hatfield's chords while Kearns is high above, a vocal angel with a certain type of edge. With "Far Away" and "Bells Are Ringing" on the same record, the Darlings prove that they have a candle to burn in the hard-rock parade.

One of the best things about Darling Parade is that they seem to come out with a new EP almost as quickly as I can go out and get them. Just before their release of their most effort, Until We Say It's Over, the Darlings released the EP What You Want, featuring such hit songs as "Take This City" and "What You Want," as well as the blistering self-contained single, "Perfectly Worthless" (which has seen substantial radio play on my own radio show, Underground Takeover). 

Darling Parade's newest EP: Until We Say It's Over

Yet even with Darling ParadeWhat You Want, and the "Perfectly Worthless" single under their belts, the Darlings are still not satisfied. So just over a month ago came their most recent triumph, Until We Say It's Over. I've listened to this album over and over (and it's also worked its way into my radio show playlists in a big way), and there is just no way to not love this record. The lead-off single (which comes along with a great music video) is "Never Wrong," a song that will have you singing even before you know it. Kearns' voice is hypnotic and Conrad's drums are rhythmic pulses of life as Hatfield's guitar chords blast through in technicolor force when the chorus begins. Clearly my favorite track on the new EP, "Never Wrong" is an instant classic in the DP catalogue. The high resonance of Hatfield's guitar bleeds seamlessly over McCoy's basslines, and like heartbeats in the darkness, Darling Parade's rhythms are so contagious, there's no way not to love this band. Among other five-star tracks like "Long Way Back" and "Remember" (which features guest vocals from Stephen Christian of Anberlin), "Never Wrong" is another grand slam for Darling Parade.
With the potential to be one of the greatest new bands of the 2012 musical year, Darling Parade burst onto a scene that will surely welcome them with open arms. A tuneful spirit signaling the renewal of true rock n' roll, Darling Parade soar in on the silk-tipped leather wings of true alternative rock. If one band makes it onto your playlist this year, this one has got to be it. The Darlings have arrived, and with them my renewed faith in the power of true melodic rock.

Sounds Like: Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Letters to Cleo

Key Tracks from Darling Parade: "Bells Are Ringing," "Far Away," "Never Fall Down"
                   from What You Want: "Take This City," "What You Want"
                   from Until We Say It's Over: "Never Wrong," "Long Way Back," "Remember"
                   Singles: "Perfectly Worthless"

Check out Darling Parade more at their: Homepage and Facebook  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

List for the Insomniac

January 21, 2012 -- 12:45 A.M.

1. Here We Go - One Step Away
2. Who I Am... - Avion Roe
3. The Swing - Fight the Fear
4. Pick Up the Phone - Chasing Morgan
5. Don't Ask for the Moon, We Have the Stars - Radio Rescue
6. Rain - All I Know
7. Closure - LOVELOUD
8. Secret Handshake - Freak Morice
9. Revolution - Mr. Mayhem
10. Phoenix - Aerials

Thursday, January 12, 2012

List for the Insomniac

January 12, 2012 -- 12:50 A.M.

1. Who I Am... - Avion Roe
2. What We Are - The Material
3. The Swing - Fight the Fear
4. Lost - Ratham Stone
5. Dream Away - Aerials
6. Secret Handshake - Freak Morice
7. Don't Ask for the Moon, We Have the Stars - Radio Rescue
8. Truth or Dare - Waking Elliot
9. Coast to Coast - Those Mickingbirds
10. Take Me There - Precious Meddle

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fight the Fear Debut New Music Video

Connecticut-based band Fight the Fear just released their new music video for their song "The Swing" yesterday, and what an addictive music video it is! Fight the Fear (who have an in-depth review coming on here very soon!) make use of hypnotic programming and vocals laced intricately over addictive blasts of guitar and bass chords as cymbals crash head-on in this clever music video. I've watched it 50 times already between last night and right now, and I know there are more plays to come. Check this out, it's gonna be your new addiction for at least the next week!!

Also, check out Fight the Fear's first music video "The Fire" here!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tetrarch Release Brand New Promo Video

It's been a couple months since we saw anything new from Tetrarch, but last night that changed. Just a few ours ago, the four-person metal force debuted a new video on Youtube to promote their new single "We Are the Hunters" off their most recent EP, The Will to Fight. The video promo, filmed by Chasing Squirrelz, Inc., and Tetrarch's first official release of 2012, provides some great background information on the band. Viewers will see where Tetrarch started, how they've been transforming over the years, and where they're going to go next, and all of this against the backdrop of some great shots of the band performing their song, "We Are the Hunters." Go check out this new promo guys, it's sick. We're definitely gonna see big things from Tetrarch in 2012!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Hey all, hope you guys had a sick and happy new year!! Congrats to all of the winners of the 2011 Pydromania Awards!! This was so successful, it will definitely be a regular thing every year. Thank you so much to all the artists who participated, and all the fans who voted. The promos of the winners will be posted very soon, so stay tuned, it's gonna be great! I have a bunch of new articles in the works, so in the next month you guys will have lots to talk about and new music to jam to. Keep rockin' guys, 2012 is gonna be a great year!!   

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