Tag: music

EP: Passiflora by The Standby

Released on Valentine’s Day 2017, The Standby’s Passiflora is a melancholy, grunge-gaze ode to love. From the instrumental intro (aptly titled – wait for it – Intro) to the extremely catchy Ladykiller, the entire EP is an all-around sad banger. Equal parts heavy and just pretty, every track is solid, but the stand out is definitely title track Passiflora: Passiflora has the standard emo-grunge angst lyrically, but the chorus is the kind of thing you will definitely identify with upon first listen, and can more than easily scream along to in your car (“come on, make it easy/say I never mattered to you”). Each track is ambient and emotive, and the EP makes for a fluid and cohesive whole, readily played on repeat.  

Also, they’re selling t-shirts and physical CDs on their Bandcamp, and boast faster shipping than the United States Postal Service.

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January 28th 2017: BT’s Brutal Boogaloo with Smooth Stone Philosophers, Chillin’ with the Primates, Gelatin Skeleton, Bravura, Amavasya, and Primal Scream Therapy

January 28th 2017: BT’s Brutal Boogaloo with Smooth Stone Philosophers, Chillin’ with the Primates, Gelatin Skeleton, Bravura, Amavasya, and Primal Scream Therapy

This past Saturday’s show at Basement Transmissions demonstrated the exact reason why you should go to local shows: great music, amazing connections between bands and audiences, and partying with Sunny D. The entire show was just fun, and all around a great lineup of rock and metal.

Smooth Stone Philosophers
For being their first show, I certainly won’t forget Smooth Stone Philosophers anytime soon. They played a mix of covers and original songs, and worked 3 co-vocalists into their set well. But most memorably, amongst the cohesive 90s aesthetic of the rest of the band, one of the vocalists/guitarists was a very charismatic man in a kilt.

Chillin’ with the Primates
Two bands in the original show lineup for the night couldn’t make it due to inclement weather, and these guys in Chillin’ with the Primates stepped up last minute and played a solid set without a hitch. Their music is 80s influenced hard rock (with stand-out bass playing), and they ended their set with a song titled after the band….which was cute and folksy, lyrically detailing literally chilling with primates on an idyllic tropical island. This was charmingly disarming after the tone of the rest of their songs, and displayed the sense of humor the band possessed and demonstrated the entire night – a favorite moment was one of guitarists telling a facepalm-worthy corny joke between songs: “What do Winnie the Pooh and Ivan the Terrible have in common? The same middle name.” (ba dum tsh)

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Gelatin Skeleton

Gelatin Skeleton is really unique in how strongly their musical presence contrasts their personal presence onstage: between songs, band members were cordial and laid-back while speaking to the audience, but as soon as the music began, the band became a different beast entirely and the atmosphere changed dramatically. Everything about their music is solid (and you have to appreciate “songs about Mermaids and shit”, as quoted from singer Terry Crebel) and the vocals were beyond impressive. There was also a fantastic one-band crab-dance mosh pit, courtesy of headliners Primal Scream Therapy.

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Bravura

Stand-Out Track: Levitate
I don’t know if Bravura’s set marked the true beginnings of the Sunny D epic, but this is when I first noticed it….and Bravura took it and ran with it (not literally, but more on that later). The Sunny D, brought by a group of people attending the show, definitely became an interactive part of the night: Bravura singer Steven Attenborough even exclaiming “this set brought to you by Sunny fucking D” some time after drinking from a bottle (then shoving the mouth of said bottle up his nose). These antics in no way overshadowed the talent or immensely energetic stage presence of the band themselves, though – Bravura’s combination of charismatic stage presence and style of well-thought-out, rock-your-face-off progressive metal make for one of the best shows you can get.

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Amavasya

Stand-Out Track: Fruition
Somehow, in a night of nothing but rock and metal, I was completely taken off guard by Amavasya. There was almost no warning – just a nod among members on stage – before jumping straight into one of the hardest, fastest, heaviest sets I’ve ever seen. They have an incredibly fast and active stage presence to match their relentless playing style, and a well-formed brand of progressive metalcore that sets them apart. It’s also worth mentioning that at one point during the set, a member of the crowd ran (literally, this time) in circles shaking a bottle of Sunny D above their head to the music, as if celebrating the spoils of a hard-fought victory.

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Primal Scream Therapy

Stand-Out Track: Headsman
Over the course of personally seeing shows at Basement Transmissions, I’ve seen Primal Scream Therapy three times, and each time is better than the last. This was their first headlining show, as well as their album funding show, and I’ve seen them progress so much as a band. They put a lot of thought and effort into not only their music, but their presentation as well, and they have a clearly developed aesthetic and performance style. Their level of energy on stage is incredible, and their potential is pretty much limitless. A particularly memorable moment from the show was when the majority of the band joined the audience in the center of a circle pit with their instruments, and a few members of the crowd joined the singer and drummer on stage to headbang – while shaking bottles of Sunny D with such vigor that I was pretty sure they were going to explode. Primal Scream Therapy is hands-down one of the most fun bands in Erie to see (and they did an impressive cover of The Trooper by Iron Maiden, which gets major props from me).

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Sunny D

Stand-Out Track: Tasting Like Oranges Even Though It Isn’t Even Made of Oranges
I never thought of Cincinnati, Ohio natives Sunny D as rock or metal – or even musically inclined at all, really – but it definitely knew how to work a crowd. Having joined us in the form of two-liter soda bottles, all bottles impressively lasted multiple sets. They endured every encounter with audience members and musicians alike with incredible flavor and durability, thankfully rupturing on no one in the course of being in the pit and moshing. Some people might think it’s orange juice, but Sunny D is so much more: tasting exactly like someone challenged someone else to make orange juice without oranges, and at least marginally succeeding. Would see again.

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Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography, Joey Dunn and Jared Keyes for photos!

Photos: Jurassic Skatepark EP Release Show

Photos: Jurassic Skatepark EP Release Show

Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography for the photos! Jurassic Skatepark will also be playing a show at Basement Transmissions this coming weekend on Saturday February 4th with Ashes of a Generation, Mallory Run, and Into The Harbor. You can find the event page here.

Photos: Primal Scream Therapy, Amavasya, Bravura, Gelatin Skeleton, Chillin With The Primates, and Smooth Stone Philosophers on January 28th 2017

Photos: Primal Scream Therapy, Amavasya, Bravura, Gelatin Skeleton, Chillin With The Primates, and Smooth Stone Philosophers on January 28th 2017

Thanks to Jessi Szczesny/JLS Photography for the photos, and keep an eye out for the show write-up this week.

Album: Ignoramus by Stutter Frog

Album: Ignoramus by Stutter Frog

 

Released on January 20th (simultaneously Ice Cube’s Good Day and Inauguration Day in the United States), Albion PA’s Stutter Frog presented Ignoramus with hard-hitting in-your-face noise rock – think Slint, Naked City, and early Butthole Surfers – from start to finish. The album is effectively split into two halves, almost like an auditory stage show in two acts: the first half fast, punchy and energetic, and the second half (starting with track “Jeremiah“) marks the start of the moodier, more depressed – but no less chaotic – half.

The album works very well as one cohesive whole, but there’s definitely a few stand-outs. Makes You Happy is the ultimate mosh and headbang song, Flies Like Warm Places has a stronger rock vibe than the other tracks with very 90s inspired riffs, and the band themselves pointed out Scent of a Buck – the longest and final track on the album, perfectly summarizing the chaotic nature of the work in both sound and theme: an epically sprawling track detailing the last thoughts and ramblings of a man locked in a basement before committing suicide. Also, I don’t really have any other way of saying Mid-Shit Baptism is just memorable. You don’t forget a title like that.

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A huge thank you to Makain Wiginton (Stutter Frog’s guitarist) for extra insight into the album!

Video: Guidance by Amavasya

Check out the official music video for Amavasya’s song Guidance. You can find tracks from them on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. They’re also supporting Primal Scream Therapy with Smooth Stone Philosophers, Vertigo Freeway, Gelatin Skeleton, The Impurity and Bravura on Saturday, January 28th. You can find the event page here