Cheshi: FFF

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An album review

This is an album that will grab your attention. The tracks are raw, hewn with the musings of an artist that brings the dark shadow over the sweet nature of folk. The genre of dark folk is one of my least explored, but after giving this album a listen I found an entirely new perspective. Opening and closing with only auto tuned vocal tracks, the creative nature of this music is apparent from the first 30 seconds.

The guitar holds a foundation for the harmonies and every track has so many layers. This is deep music, from a deep intelligent mind. At times serene, at times full of sorrow, Cheshi is a band that knows how to write a song that connects to the core of the mind. I think that there is a misconception with acoustic music. Atmospheric is an understatement.

FFF is an album that reminds me of the morning fog rising over the sea, beautiful and distant in its calling. Known for their songwriting, Cheshi lives up to every expectation and surpasses them with FFF. I highly recommend this album. Cheshi has a lot more to offer, with many live performances under their belt and more members joining, the future of this group is bright.

Fake Fuckin Facade, I just love the way that sounds.

Listen here: https://cheshi.bandcamp.com/album/fff-full-album/

Cheshi: FFF

Schroeder: Self Titled

Schroder

An album review

Schroder is a punk/pop punk/rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. This is fun music. I love albums like this, great riffs, great composition, great vocals and short songs. With the longest song coming in at 2:39, this is not a very long album. I’ve always felt like if you have something to say in a song, say it. Once the idea is expressed, and the message gets out, don’t carry on longer than you feel is right. Don’t set limitations on yourself, and don’t ever try to write inside a box of how someone else might say you should try to write differently. Just be honest, trust that what you’re writing is being expressed well, and your ideas will be heard. Schroeder is a band that knows what it’s saying, and expresses it perfectly.

The choruses on this song are great, with lots of old school punk rock chanting leading into fantastic soloing. Nekron Forever is an example of this. There’s a lot going on on this album. Not entirely punk, not entirely anything. This is a collection of good songs written by a good band. Sometimes I feel so exhausted by genres. Picking and choosing what is good and bad by how much it relates to one thing or another. Good music is just that, and good music crossing all genres. Schroeder is such a talented band, and one I can’t say really fits any definition. Windshield is my favorite track on the album, it’s so interesting. The drums, bass and guitar all work so well together. The more complex the song becomes, the more complex all the pieces are. The vocal backups on this song are so good, they contrast their harshness against the melodies. Their lyrics are all available on their bandcamp site, they are really worth reading along with. It also gives you no excuse to not sing along, with an album release this catchy I’m sure people will even without the words. I’m really excited about this band, and can’t wait to see more from them.

Listen here: https://schroedermd.bandcamp.com/album/schroeder/

Schroeder: Self Titled

Pushovrs: Educate the Public

Pushovrs

An album review

Pushovrs are a garage/punk/surf band out of Baltimore, Maryland. Educate the Public is an album with a lot of depth. Bass heavy, loose and very anti-political, this is a kind of music I haven’t heard in a while. I remember about 10 years ago there was a lot more anger in music. The bitter sarcasm is something I haven’t really heard in a while, the outrage against the injustices of the world. Pushovrs has no problem getting straight to those points and making their views clear. Educate the public at times sounds like an accusation, a stand against the conventional way of living. In this sense it also is reminiscent of the 1980s American hardcore movement. There’s a strong punk influence on this album as well. The band that kept coming back into my head was Dead Kennedys. The singer even reminds me a lot of Jello Biafra’s wild tones.

Everyone in this band is talented, and in each song that is proven. There’s a lot of atmosphere to these songs too. The psychotic laughing and high pitched speech really caught me off guard. It was an interesting touch. Even moreso after that the song doesn’t end, it carries on the higher pitched riff for a little while longer. Amazing song.

Cigarettes is the track that shows off the drum and bass chops. When the guitar does come into the song, the way the energy picks up, the sick solos would not have had as much impact without the way this band composes. Educate the Public has a great variety for 6 songs, and that they are capable of making many different kinds of songs. If you’re looking for a song to have a few drinks to, Loud Bangs is the winner there. The closer, and the only track with a semi acoustic part, the build here is so good. I love songs that aren’t limited to one style. The drumming on this song is my favorite of the entire album, they are complex, catchy, and really impressive overall. Loud Bangs has some really smooth grooves to it, and Pushovrs is a band that everyone should check out. I really enjoyed listening to every song on Educate the Public. You can see Pushovrs perform live at Electric Maid in Washington, D.C. on August 23rd.

Listen here: https://pushovrs.bandcamp.com/

Pushovrs: Educate the Public

Eastwesthwy: What’s Next EP

EastWestHwy

An EP Review

Eastwestwhy is an indie/dance/pop rock band from Hyattsville, Maryland. With as many genre labels as they do have, at the same time Eastwesthwy has crafted a completely new sound in this EP. The guitar is flowing throughout every song. Heavily delayed, playing as a melody flowing with the vocals instead of reacting to them. Every track on this EP is very well composed, this band really knows how to make their music sound incredible. Not only that, with all of the pop influence in this band, they are very accessible. Most people I think would have a hard time not jamming along to these songs. Everything, the drumbeat, the bass lines, and more than anything the vocals are full of hooks that will stay rooted in your mind long after the EP has ended.

This has become a very popular style of music in DC in the past few years. I wasn’t really sure what to think of this style of music at all for a while, but the more I’ve moved away from listening to anything but local music, I’ve started to really get it. If you’re not sure if you like Indie Pop music, this album is a great way to decide. There’s a lot of depth to these songs. That’s the most appealing thing about Eastwesthwy, the complexity of every song hidden underneath some of the catchiest lead riffs I’ve ever heard. This EP will put you in a good mood.

Surround is my favorite track off this EP. Very synth heavy, my favorite song most for the groove of that bass line. The way the guitar solo slides on top of that, the breaks, the way the vocals are mixed, this is such a well crafted song. Even if this was on the only song on the EP, I would recommend it based on this track. I’m reminded a lot of other acts like…well I don’t really know this genre well, but this is the best indie pop band that I know of. I can say that honestly. Seriously though, check this album out. These guys are really talented and so good at what they do.

Listen here: https://eastwesthwy.bandcamp.com/

Eastwesthwy: What’s Next EP

Electric Temple: First Flight

ElectricTemple

An EP review

Electric Temple is a stoner/progressive/psychedelic rock band from Alexandria, Virginia. Wild guitar solos, complex bass lines, technical drumming, ┬ánothing is held back at all. From the first track to the last, this album has hard rock sound with some intricate songwriting. Anyone that’s a fan of classic rock, 80’s metal, thrash or stoner rock will definitely enjoy first flight. The layered soloing on Haze Daze is great to hear, and every member of this band is capable of stealing the show in any of these tracks.

Forgotten Low is my favorite song. There’s something very dark about the composition here. The descending chords, the low pitched chanting in background, it’s all very atmospheric. Electric Temple is a band that’s capable of using their sound to create so much varying and unique tracks. Each song is full of slick leads, the bassist keeps the rhythm but also takes them to anywhere he wants on the fretboard. Not to be left behind on anything, often the bass will follow the guitar through even the most complex riffs. I’m reminded a lot of bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, Clutch, and Wolfmother.

Blood Eagle is my favorite track of this EP. Starts out with a drum solo, which is always a great way to open any song. The verses are bass heavy, the chanting comes back in the chorus, and there’s a lot of crazy shredding throughout. The bass and drums work together so well. The guitar can drift in and out as it pleases, this is a tight band. All of the members work together so well, it’s very clear on listening that this band has great chemistry. Although there’s only five tracks on First Flight, the shortest track clocks in at 4:41. There’s a lot to hear on this EP, and it’s clear to me that Electric Temple will have a lot of great music coming out in the future that I’m excited to hear.

Listen here: https://electrictempleband.bandcamp.com/releases/

Electric Temple: First Flight

The Absolute Sky: RURALA

Absolute

An Album Review

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Absolute Sky is one of most upbeat indie bands I’ve ever heard. Every song has this sense of wholeness, or happiness that’s embedded into words that aren’t necessarily so reflective of the positive tone in the sound. As a matter of fact, a lot of these songs are full of despair, loneliness, and fear. The Absolute Sky has found a way to write about self doubt in a positive way. To me, this kind of music is very cathartic. The problems and issues are universal, and that leads to this entire album written as something everyone can relate to. I’m reminded a lot of Ben Folds, The Shins, The Strokes, and at the same time nothing will ever quite fit. The Absolute Sky just has to be heard to be understood.

One thing that really stands out in RURALA is the vocal work. Harmonies, whistling, and many other complex ways of writing the vocal lines as not just words, but an instrument producing a melody that can carry a song. It takes a lot of care and patience to be able to implement them so well.

Parking lots is my favorite song. I have never heard a song quite like this. The guitar solos in the song are so good, all of the musicians in this band are very skilled at what they do. This song, to me is about living on the east coast. Growing up and seeing the seasons change, how things were easier and made more sense before the world was too complex. The song spans several months, from the fall to the winter. The cadence of the words in this song really hooked me in. They are very quick and poetic. All of the lyrics to these songs are available to read on their bandcamp page, I recommend taking the time to read along while listening. RURALA has some writing that challenges the music on which is better. After the first few songs, I had to listen to the album in it’s entirety. This is great, honest, well composed indie rock. I’m also reminded a lot of my morning jacket.

The bassist in The Absolute Sky is also very talented. Not only keeping the rhythm but adding to it. The drummer is doing everything right in this band. There’s so much control required to be able to play like this. From slow and smooth to fast and insane, it seems like there’s nothing this band is doing wrong. I am really excited to see them play soon, check this album out if you’re an indie fan, ever lived on the east coast, or have a beating heart.

Listen here: https://theabsolutesky.bandcamp.com/releases/

The Absolute Sky: RURALA

HU: Self Titled

Hu

An Album Review

Hu is a Pop Punk/Indie band from Washington, D.C. I really hesitate to even try to categorize Hu. On their self titled release, every single track in mind blowing. This album is just everything that I adore about music. I am a huge fan of this album, and this band in general. The vocals, the drums, the guitars, the bass, it’s all just so amazing. It’s powerful music.

From the start this band just has these vocal harmonies that create such an interesting atmosphere. The way the instruments play against other, and drone along in a harmonious melody, it’s very interesting. In Before My Eyes, the bass line is very impressive. The tone of every instrument is on point. Hu clearly had a vision for this album, and there’s not any doubt in mind that they were able to accomplish that. The way the various guitar riffs build on each other is very impressive. This is complex music. All the thought and care that went into each song is evident in the sound. There’s a lot of great build ups on the album. That’s where the percussion really shines. The melody is carried by the drumming so well in these sections.

There’s a lot of emotion in these songs. The lyrics are clear and personal, certain songs seem to be clearly written to or about a person. There’s a slight sadness in Hu, not only reflected in the vocals but in the instrumentation as well. In “I Won’t”, the song goes from sad to determined. Just as it follows in life, sadness can be used to fuel determination. From tragedy in our own lives, we can find strength. In this album, Hu has found a way to express this very well.

Hu also has a very far away, spacey, experimental sound in some of their songs. EIAT is a great example of this. It almost blends into instrumental music, but the way the lyircs are effected to match the guitar makes Hu sound larger than life. It’s as though their sound could carry thousands of miles, with nothing impeding the notes as they drift off into our collective conciousness. Writing these I must admit I have had a few drinks, and may be a little goofy due to that, but this is a great album. I really did enjoy every song, and I believe that anyone listening to this one will be able to find something that they enjoy about it. Very unique, creative tracks, with strong hooks and amazing vocal and guitar work. Strongly recommend.

Listen here: https://huband.bandcamp.com/album/hu/

HU: Self Titled