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Record Review

Ready Set Survive – Fight Single Review

June 14, 2018

As a horror fan, when I think of Ready Set Survive, usually their song Everyday Is Halloween is what first comes to mind. I have seen them perform a couple of times now and that song is still what stands out to me most from their repertoire. However, from this point going forward, I am sure I’ll be looking for this song in their set. With a feature from fellow San Diegan and rapper Soup the Messenger, this track is definitely something a little different.

The band’s latest single, “Fight”, is a politically-charged anthem with the middle class in mind. The thought-provoking lyrics call for change in an ambivalent and confusing social climate, and the heavy guitar-based melody echo the intensity of the song’s content and message. When Soup the Messenger’s first line hits your ear, it is somewhat unexpected but welcomed. His flow and delivery are a certainly meaningful addition to the song, as well as his lyrics to match the Ready Set Survive lyrics. If you like alt-rock or pop punk with hefty melodic rhythms and a meaningful message, give this single “Fight” a listen.

If you would like to check out “Fight” and the rest of Ready Set Survive’s discography, you can find them on Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora. For updates on when they will be playing their next show, like them on Facebook, give them a follow on Instagram at @ready_set_survive, or keep an eye on our social media pages to stay in the loop. Thanks for looking!

– Ari

 

Record Review

Fallen Monuments – Distance and Time Album Review

June 13, 2018

Fallen Monuments is a melodic punk band based out of our very own San Diego. They boast members who are all veterans in the local punk scene and you can tell through their songwriting and tight sound that they’re definitely well-seasoned. When I previously reviewed the latest EP from the band Taken Days, I mentioned that their sound was akin to the melodic punk of Alkaline Trio. Well, Fallen Monuments also takes a page out of the 90’s era of melodic punk, but they find themselves closer to being in the same vein as Bouncing Souls; a bit more skate punk influenced perhaps, and certainly carrying the vibe of the west coast in their tunes.

The band’s debut album consists of nine tracks and boasts confident, bellowing vocals, clean yet large melodies and instrumentation, and personal lyrics with obvious sincerity. The standout songs for me on this album were “Conflicted” and “So Cliche”, as they both contained some of my favorite melodies/choruses on the record. If you are into fast-paced, melody and lyric-driven punk that’s friendly to your ear, give Fallen Monuments a listen.

Fallen Monuments are playing their next show on June 16 at Tower Bar along with Riva Rebels, Hardly Human, and Frank Taco for $5. If you’d like to check out their record, you can find it here on their bandcamp or check out their website. We hope you enjoy it. Thanks for looking!

– Ari

Record Review

Plane Without A Pilot – Just Another Unsung Tragedy Album Review

May 15, 2018

San Diego has a long, rich history with the pop-punk genre, beginning in the 90’s and continuing into the present day with no sign of letting up or slowing down. The genre and those who celebrate it take up a large part of the music scene and are certainly some of the most active when it comes to mutual support among themselves. Plane Without A Pilot are certainly no exception to any of that; they are the first to arrive at a show and the last ones to leave. They clearly have a passion and dedication to local music coupled with a respect for the musicians giving their time and effort to an audience. That same passion is evident in their latest record, Just Another Unsung Tragedy.

Released on April 27, the eleven song album is definitely consistent all the way through with deeply personal and situational lyrics, catchy upbeat riffs paired with pleasing melodies, and their own brand of pop-punk/rock that has a unique sound to the typical formula one might find in many other songs of a similar genre or style. In my opinion, the lyrical content is what stands out as the vehicle to take you through the record from start to finish. The stories within the songs are universally understood and, in some cases, a contrast to the energy of the rhythm in a great way. The standout songs on this record for me are the title track (“Just Another Unsung Tragedy”) and the second to last track (“Hanging By a Thread”). Both songs contain some of my favorite riffs/melodies on the record. “You Got Me” is also definitely a noteworthy, high energy song. If you enjoy bands like The Rocket Summer or have a penchant for late 90’s/early 00’s pop-punk, these guys are definitely worth a listen. You can check out their latest record, Just Another Unsung Tragedy, by clicking this link to their bandcamp page. You can also find them on Spotify and iTunes.

Plane Without A Pilot is playing their next show at Punk Goes 80’s Pop, presented by Rocktoc at 710 Beach Club on May 27, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. The lineup also includes Infinite Signals, Chasing Claymores, Ready Set Survive, and The Montell Jordans. You can purchase tickets here for $7.00 or at the door for $10.00. All proceeds will go to Feeding San Diego. See you at the show!

– Ari

Music Video Review

Tape Heads – Animals Video Review

March 29, 2018

If this song and video have one huge influence, it is definitely found in the beachside neighborhoods of San Diego. The party-ready riffs of this indie-rock-meets-60’s-surf vibe are fueled by the imagery of Ocean Beach in San Diego and all of the piers and flip-flops that come with it. It’s clear that the members of Tape Heads have pride in their turf and they have fun with it. The video takes you on a walk through the neighborhood and gives you an idea of a probable Tape Heads practice space. The energy of the band comes across very clearly and entices you to bob your head along.

The song itself also sounds like what might be on the playlist of a twenty-something beachgoer to pregame before a night of bar-hopping or even on the way to soak up the sun. The guitar melody is really what stands out for me in this particular song, as I can really get a gist of the influences that might have helped this band come together. I can only assume that Tape Heads probably jammed a lot of reggae-infused rock, old 60’s surf rock, and proto-punk growing up. If that sounds up your alley, check out more of their stuff on their website.

– Ari

Music Video Review

Stray Monroe – Hold the Line Video Review

March 16, 2018

 

Southern California pop-rockers Stray Monroe released their newest music video on March 2 for the single “Hold the Line”. The video itself follows a quirky, surprise-ending type of plot line that gives for an enjoyable watch for the three-minute duration and it features all three band members as part of a hit woman’s list. The video concludes with a twist involving a house show played by the band itself. The neighborhood of North Park in San Diego is heavily displayed as well. Overall, the vibe of the song fits with the music video very well and the ‘hit list’ theme is never portrayed as too dark or heavy to outweigh the melody and lyrical content, so I think it flows well.

Stray Monroe is beginning to come into their sound, an indie pop genre heavily influenced by the britpop of the 90’s that features bands like Blur and Supergrass. If you are a fan of bands like The Kooks, Rooney, or The Fratellis, check out Stray Monroe. Their upbeat sound and feel-good energy is sure to get stuck in your head once or twice, and the vocals perform almost as if they are another instrument within the song.

If you like what you saw and heard, come out to the release party for Stray Monroe’s EP, Momentary Vertigo on Friday, March 23 at 710 Beach Club. The show starts and 9:00 p.m. and tickets are available by following this link. Thanks for reading!

– Ari

Record Review

Corporate Citizen – What Would He Do EP Review

March 3, 2018

I have to admit that I’m not particularly good about keeping up with many bands coming out of North County; I live in a rut of my surrounding two mile-radius, and that’s on a good day. However, after hearing this EP, it looks like I’m going to have to get back on my game. I would hate to miss out on more bands that sound like this. Corporate Citizen formed in the summer of 2017 and released this EP in January. It looks like they haven’t done many shows yet, but hopefully they can make it down to central San Diego at some point, because I am pretty certain I’d be there.

As for the EP itself, the themes really speak to me – that of questioning and engaging in societal accountability and social responsibility while also reflecting inwardly, worrying about yourself and the future to come, whatever may. The music is reminiscent of 90’s New York and East Cost hardcore like Sick Of It All and H2O, but I can’t ignore how heavily this EP reminds me of Built to Last, another set of San Diego locals who were also around in the 90’s. Like Built to Last, I think the blend of East and West Coast is a big part of what catches your ear in this EP. With four songs on What Would He Do all coming in at under three minutes, you don’t have much of an excuse to not give these guys a listen by checking out their bandcamp page. Hope to hear more from them in the future.

– Ari

Record Review

New Crimes – Inauguaration Demo Review

November 15, 2017

If you like to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in San Diego punk and hardcore, you may have already heard about New Crimes. They’re a four-piece act that formed in 2016 to follow in the punk rock tradition of combating and giving their biting feedback on the current sociopolitical climate of the U.S., and they’ve already laid solid groundwork as far as their Inauguration Demo goes. New Crimes describes their music as having “wide-ranging influences in aggressive music”, something that definitely comes across as you take a listen and are greeted by tones reminiscent of sounds like the early 80’s Hermosa Beach scene and even some later powerviolence heaviness. It’s a familiar cacophony of sound, but a much welcomed one. For being a new band, they have already played a good number of shows at venues like Tower Bar and The Casbah, and I’m sure they will have more coming up. Keep an eye out for New Crimes and check out their two demos on their bandcamp by following this link. Thanks for looking!

– Ari

Concert Reviews

Private Lives Concert Review

November 9, 2017

Private Lives played a 30 minute set  for “Through Being Cool’ at The Blonde Bar in San Diego on 10/21/17 The 30 minutes Private Lives played was a musical experience; the four piece band played a robust set that was musically powerful w imaginative sounds. The layers of music with deep and dense undertones were juxtaposed by Nate Barcalow’s voice. Only Barcalow’s voice could take us on a “Razor’s Edge”, type of journey- visceral to the bone. With Music this tight w such detailed compositions keep us on the edge of our seats for more shows.