Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide finally took some time away from the venues and bands for a couple of days of relaxation and clearing the mail clutter of new CDs that arrived in the mail. She highly recommends the following selections as noteworthy stocking stuffers or something to enhance your personal collection this holiday season.
Dying & Falling
This 13 track (11 tracks with 2 bonus remix tracks of The Shake and Swimmers Can Drown) literally rocked this reviewer's ears even after recently attending this band's live taping at JBTV studios in Chicago. Opening with the fast pace and speed of danceable dark electronica/industrial (as featured in Swimmers Can Drown) that's coupled with the intensity of lead vocalist, Brittany, to which smooths out the raw music edginess by adding a touch of feminie sexuality and fiery passion as well as dynamic vocals, it's not too hard to find a song or two where you'll find yourself strutting some powerful dance moves on the floor at the next Nocturna, blogspot readers, especially when listening to songs like Ammunition (track 3) and Worth the Wait (track 4). What's not included in this album (but she wishes it was) was the heart-wrenching War To Win that was featured during i:Scintilla's live JBTV taping. According to Brittany, this particular song is featured in an upcoming documentary soundtrack. SouthSide highly recommends checking out the title track (#6) where the band adds a touch of dubstep/dreampop to their haunting electronica/industrial music and the vocals. Though projected in a slight downtempo groove, this reviewer enjoyed the rhythms floetry before moving quickly to the upbeat dark electronica of Face the Kill (track 7). Want to really hear how dynamic and powerful Brittany's vocals can be, blogspot readers? Then listen to The Shake (track 8) in this band takes a melodramatic turn for a ballad that features piano (piano/string arrangement by Robert Mantz)-cello (by Kitty Thompson) driven production sound which beautifully spotlight this vocalist and her voice. Here she shines the most, in SouthSide's honest opinion, sans the industrial edge bringing out more of the soulful gusto of heart-wrenching emotions to the lyrics within the eclectic mix of electronica and orchestrations that you will literally feel (as well as hear). Loved the haunting string ending to this particular song. And while listening to this CD, take a few moments to admire the lovely yet dark artwork designed by Brittany for i:Scintilla's album cover.
Release 3: Brides/Canoe
Not what SouthSide was expecting when receiving this two-track CD from her friends at 100m Records yet she's glad it was a totally unexpected experience for her. Might sound confusing, blogspot readers, but it was the unexpectedness by this Boston band in which this reviewer thinks Soccer Mom's going for ...among other thing like not being able to physically categorize their uniquely eclectic music and sound. For example, check out track 1 - A Canoe Shy where this band features a harsh sounding 80s Brit pop/rock influence and sound especially on the vocals that's meant to be played and heard LOUD! Definitely crank up the volume ...go ahead and scare your neighbors while basking in the rawness of the jamming guitar riffs and percussion rhythms blasting your ears away. If that the band's intention at the time of recording, they thoroughly have succeeded in this task, blogspot readers. Meanwhile track 2 - Brides opening with a repeated calming tribal beat before shocking the system with a blaring blast of guitars and drums before finally moving into the song. As SouthSide mentioned earlier, it's hard to categorize this band since they do draw from a lot of genres and influences especially during this particular song. You will hear LOUD electric guitar rock, 80s pop/punk rock and more that's entirely meshed into a seemingly and confusing chaotic mess as the loudness of the music overshadows the vocals a bit. Yet once again, this reviewer has the distinct feeling this song was designed that way to get your head banging to the beat, blogspot readers.
evolve or die
V Is For Villains
Beware, blogspot readers, Villains have taken control of their minion scene ...especially here in Chicago! It's not even a passing fad either. This band is here to stay now that they have (finally) released a full album in between making appearances at local anime shows to rockin' out Steampunk festivals (near and far). Besides villainizing venues like Reggie's Rock Club, House of Blues (Chicago), and Metro, this band also features a merch which goes beyond the standard buttons and stickers ...they have trading cards, masks and more to complete your acceptance of their villainous control over you. Even SouthSide ...er rather Eva Trixx has had the extreme pleasure of interving the master Villain himself of V Is For Villains, Mr. Agitator in two separate interviews. Yet now that this band of musical villains have a full-length CD declaring their villainy intentions on the world titled Evolve or Die, it's time to pick a side, blogspot readers - do you evolve with the band or die? This CD features a sexually-charged intensity within its opening song Just A Sinner in which Mr. Agitator must bow to the whim of the femimine wiles and power of Veronica Jade that he can never escape from as well as two villain anthems - Rise Above (track 3) and the title track (#9), where all villains are called to unite and heed to the call of their villainous master for world domination! Resisting will be futile ...simply just join them while they take your listening ears down a dark road of face pace electronica/steampunk/industrial rock music. Tracks flow right into each other without pausing for a moment's breath which is almost like attending one of Villains' shows except there's no Pink Elephants (a Midnight Minion, i.e. V Is For Villains fan, favorite) on the album. Still there's a love (villain-style) ballad - track 8 The Black Swan Love Song (one of SouthSide's personal favorite). Yes, villains do have emotions, blogspot reades, and can love but that love can also lead to heartache and pain. Plus check out the instrumental March of the Villains and feel the thunderous orchestrations of the minion army of many overtaking the world ...sadly it's a short track. Perhaps there will be a Part II featured in the next V Is For Villains album.
One final note, check out the fascinating artwork done by Carlos Santiago - The Headmaster of all Villains as well as manager and more for the band.
Until next time, support your local scene,