That cool indie label Patetico Recordings has released another album that will turn dream pop heads. Broken As WE Are is the new album by Panophonic. It still has that same ‘analog flavour’ as the other Panophonic albums. This means that when you listen to the songs, each one sounds like it’s from a cassette table released in the 80s. And I think that’s the kind of sound the band have tried to emulate since their first album. I think this work. There are those of us who have this nostalgic cravings for all things 80s.
The album starts with a slow track called Your’s to Keep. This one ends with a great electric guitar solo. Served Cold follows with this great drum pattern. It’s raining outside and this is a good soundtrack. If you like early 80s Goth stuff then you will appreciate this one. Especially if you are a big fan of The Joy Division.
The title track Broken as We Are sounds trippy. In fact it reminds me of any Siouxsie and the Banshees song from the late 80s – early 90s. They exploit dissonance in a good way adding something to the bare atmosphere which feels like you are walking in an abandoned warehouse late at night. Nothing Left is quite a surprise as it uses the keyboard as the accompaniment. You would not suspect the singer is American than Brit. The somber melody can really haunt your dreams like any scene from a Sandman comic book.
Understanding Emptiness has that hypnotic drum beats. Perhaps they are channeling The Cure. This is another ‘thriller/suspense’ candidate for any TV series. You know where the main character looks like Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. Haunt My Dreams is too dissonant for my taste but I am sure when you are in the mood for something dark and depressing then this will suit you. Sweetness and Light is another slow scorcher that borrows heavily from Ian Curtis/Joy Division style, while Until the End takes you out from your stupor into a slow dance under the rain. The keyboards are like flapping butterflies tugging at your pained heart.
The Great Manipulator is another nod to the great Gothic/New Wave bands of years gone by. The upbeat As I Rise closes the album. Broken As We Are is a satisfying musical journey into moods, feelings and decades. This is potent and beautiful , all from the awesome Panophonic.
Yup, nothing could represent the power of indie music that Philadelphia’s own Stellarscope. They are back with a new album called Shades of Sadness and Sorrow. They are improving on the sound that defines them as a band: a combination of 80’s post punk, dream pop and Gothic atmosphere.
There are 10 songs from this album. Shades of Sadness and Sorrow is their latest release after The End is Near. I’m Not Prepared (March 2014). The album will be officially launched early this March 2015. It is amazing that the Shades of Sadness and Sorrow sounds complex considering that there are only two personnel under Stellarscope: Tom Lugo and Bob Forman.
The recording is so lo-fi you would think you are listening to a cassette tape from some obscure 80s band. And that’s the way I like it. In a way it is a trip to the bast while at the same time the subject is very much relevant to what’s going on in the world. The vocals sound like they could have been recorded inside an abandoned factory as you can notice in the echo.
Dug this Hole greets us with its energetic style plastic through speakers. Perhaps this might be the band’s carrier single. We will see. It is hard to choose which track stands out. There’s Never Hated Like This (which I can personally relate to following the tragic personal events in my life three years ago). Although I think Living in a Haze is my favorite of all. I love the hazy guitar sounds that encircle the song creating a plasma of stellar radiation amidst the pulsing rhythm.
Farewell sounds like an intro from either a Sioux’s or old Cure song. I don’t know how to describe it…but classy could a fitting word. The Mansonisque Eat Your Heart Out sounds a bit chaotic but the drums are crunchy like spicy peanuts. After the aggression and robust sounds of the previous tracks, It’s All Gone Slows the pace. The glorious guitars of Soul Disturbances reminds me a bit of Bauhaus especially that the singing is unmistakably Peter Murphy. I love it! Face the Dirt closes this carousel ride with high notes.
Stellarscope proves that what is beautiful about rock in the 80’s is here to stay. And it is a joy to be showered by music like this at a time when everything feels bland.
Stuart Smith has made a great impression on indie folk/rock ears!
In the tradition of great singer/songwriters like Chris de Burgh and those in the same category, Stuart Smith has carved his own distinctive style which will attract hordes of fans! His tunes go down easily like expensive Irish whiskey. There is that sunny vibe in all his recordings. This is pop music with leanings on blues, folk and acoustic rock. He is from Leeds and his press photo reminds me a bit of the young Liam Gallagher. He has a mellow voice and is fond of incorporating vocal harmonies. That latter style is exactly what made his tunes captivating: half Beach Boys and half British folk but with a very 2014 freshness.
There is not much to write about Stuart Smith for now as he is just uploading the materials he recorded and making rounds in social networks. But I know there will be more of him soon as he is very promising with regards to his material. Stay tuned!
Click each of the links below to listen to his songs.
Patrick Brazel – Vocals/Rhythm
Hugh O’Reilly – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Cillian McSweeney – Bass/Backing Vocals
Ryan Normandin – Drums
Type of music: Indie Rock
The Strokes, Kings of Leon, The Pixies, The Cure, BRMC, The Smiths, Margaret Thatcher, The Replacements, Kooks, Neil Young, Foals, Justice, etc.
Introducing of the catchiest alternative rock band to come out of Ireland is no other than Von Shakes. Composed of Patrick Brazel – Vocals/Rhythm guitar, Hugh O’Reilly – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals, Cillian McSweeney – Bass/Backing Vocals and Ryan Normandin – Drums; the band promises to deliver sonic goodness a.k.a pepper with caramel filling. How’s that? The potential single Robinson Crusoe has a massive ear worm you can’t untangle yourself from due to its awesome melody when you hear it. And I love great melodies.
The single from the album My Side has a video out and it features a chase with a projected image of a girl around the city. Very cool video worth checking out! The song itself is another pop rock tune that is really going to court mainstream radio. If radio stations will play this tune then they are not missing out. Lead man Patrick Brazel looks like he could be an actor in a movie.
Bohemia has twelve tracks of good music. Headaches is my other favorite because of that great guitar sound, terrific beat and sweet bass. I think their shining moments happen when they play fast tunes. Although I’d say Pale is a good ballad where the vocals are full bodied and really expressive. Hopefully as they mature we will hear more great ballads from them.
Bohemia is an auspicious debut that will gain fans at the rate of how pancakes are done! It’s really that good. Add a good amount of maple syrup and you have one of the best musical snacks of 2013. Go look for Bohemia and relieve that depression with good tunes.