VAVO: “No Friend Zone” captures millennial youthfulness and free spirit

New York-based EDM duo VAVO was formed in 2015 by the talents of Vancouver native Jesse Fischer and London born Alden Martin. VAVO’s early works featured a progressive, electro sound, which appealed to a wide audience, and it included their remix of Martin Garrix’s “Scared To Be Lonely,” their first solo single “Ace Of Spades,” “Astronomia 2K17,” and their remix of TheFatRat’s “Fly Away.” The duo started 2018 off with a bang, dropping ‘How Low’ with John Christian on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom Records. In March, VAVO debuted a new creative direction – an EDM/Pop crossover sound that has resonated with

Quinn Soular: “Ovah & Ovah” ft. Ziggi Recado – both impressionistic and insightful

Quinn Soular has released his 3rd official single “Ovah & Ovah” which is a summer banger featuring guest vocals from Dutch-Caribbean Reggae superstar Ziggi Recado. Born on the Island of St. Maarten, Quincy Adolphin aka Quinn Soular is a Pop and R&B singer-songwriter who has his own music production company, QP (The Quinn Productions). If you’re a fan or just a longtime R&B historian in general, you probably know that some of the game’s most renowned voices were cultivated in choir stands and churchyards. Sure, R&B’s secular content often clashes with the gospel’s divine intent but the similarities are unmistakable.

Emmanuel Dalmas & Kirby Howarth: “This Is Love That I’m Feeling” – a song with a country bent

Emmanuel Dalmas a company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry from the South West of France, also moonlights as a multi-genre music composer. Dalmas has been steadily building his music catalog since kicking things off in 2016 from his home studio. He produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his projects, which in turn are made available for both commercial and non-commercial use. Emmanuel Dalmas recently dropped his latest single, “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, done in collaboration with Kirby Howarth, who added the vocals and lyrics to Dalmas’ music and

Armonite: “And The Stars Above” – complex, vibrant sonic landscapes

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MVJOR ARCVNA: “The Last Word in Love”- a master of layers and sequenced progression

Jaron Pearlman aka MVJOR ARCVNA, is an audio engineer, backing musician, and songwriter who grew up in Asheville NC, and is now based in Atlanta GA. Over the years he has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists, including The Indigo Girls, The Shadowboxers, Amor Kismet, Mercury Jackson and more. MVJOR ARCVNA is revered by many critics – and certainly by us – as one of the most quintessential independent producers currently around, standing almost alone in his ability to mix catchy crossover EDM-Pop sounds with complex rock-styled songwriting, and igniting the electronic underground in a truly unprecedented fashion.

DJ Mizzy: “Prost” – gorgeously phrased synth lines, and subtly floating aural overtones

Boasting a sound that goes from his favored deep house grooves to hip-hop, DJ Mizzy, born Claudel Larose, is an international DJ and producer raised just outside of New York. Inspired by artists such as Sander van Doorn, DJ Yonny, and Avicii, Mizzy has a strong passion for his work. Throughout his 18 years of DJing, Mizzy has traveled all over the world to perform, using the original Technic SL1200 turntable as his prime tool. His latest endeavor is “Prost”, a German influenced track with a melodic tone, incorporating a subtle Caribbean flair. DJ Mizzy’s melodies are emotionally evocative and

Boy Leadfoot: “Turn-Buckle” – wholeheartedly playing to their strengths and sounding great while doing it

Max Gordon with Boy Leadfoot is a three-piece blues-based, alternative soul and rock project, from Vancouver Island, Canada. Their latest release, the EP “Turn-Buckle” is a breath of fresh air compared to the pop dribble permeating the American music scene right now. This is the type of musical project that will carve out a steady cult following and attract a good deal of critical acclaim. All three members are very professional and innovative musicians, and musicians of any sort will gobble up all kinds of licks, tones and spices from this release. The EP resides in the nebulous nexus of

Juan Donovan: “Merlot & Marijuana” – a brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production

As one half of the production duo Darkroom Productions, Juan Donovan has produced with his partner Jamal Roberts some of today’s hottest artists. That list includes R Kelly, Wale, Young Money, Maino, JellyRoll, 24Hrs (Royce Rizzy), Brick Squad, G-Unit, Bad Boy, and more. The duo also won multiple awards for its phenomenal work on HBO’s classic hit series “The Wire”, which garnered them featured in major publications such as FADER, The New York Times, VIBE, and dozens more. It’s not surprising then that Juan Donovan would want to drop a record that’s as much a personal statement as a collection

American Spirits: “Nowhere Near Perfect” – at their most musically and lyrically ambitious

Since being launched in 2017, Bowling Green, Ohio, Indie Rock band, American Spirits, have also founded The Summit Shack, a local DIY venue that has hosted over 25 bands since its inception in the same year. 2018 saw the four piece band release their album “Nowhere Near Perfect”. This recording will grip you by the neck and slam you into the ground. It’s simply one of the most listenable Emo albums you would have heard in a while. You could play the whole thing through without getting bored, probably every day if you wanted to. The music is catchy. The

Internationally Acclaimed Contemporary Jazz Band Drivetime Drops Elegant New Single “Mysterious Life”

 Song is the Lead Single and Title Track of their Latest Album Single Follows their Billboard Jazz #1 Most Added song “Whispers”  Single Marks Band’s relaunch Via Red Hot New The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records  (Los Angeles – The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records is proud to announce the release of a new single, “Mysterious Life,” by Jazz Fusion torchbearers Drivetime. This Michael B. Sutton production is enriched with sensual soprano saxophone, spacy synths, pulsating drums and percussion, deep pocket bass and enigmatic electric guitar, “Mysterious Life” – the title track of the band’s eight and latest

Corners of Sanctuary: “Metal Machine” – These guys came to ROCK and it shows!

Heavy Metal band, Corners of Sanctuary, first hit the music scene in 2011. In 2012, COS quickly began to gain momentum after releasing their first full‐length album titled Breakout. Soon after, COS signed with La Mazakuata Records in Mexico, which produced 2 follow up albums; Harlequin and Axe to Grind. Additional EPs, including Epilogue, Carry the Cross, December Wind and Merry Metal Xmas, Live at the Trocadero Theater and 2015’s Prelude to War, were also released. In late 2013, COS began working with Pure Steel Records in Germany, who re‐released both Harlequin, in 2013, and Axe to Grind, in 2014. In 2015 COS signed with Metalizer Records in Germany for the release of their fourth album titled Metal Machine on October 31, 2015.

The album cover

The album cover

Corners of Sanctuary’s blend of hard rock and metal roots, coupled with their apparent mastery of modern production values, is a winning combination.  The crunchy guitar riffs grind; the bass is robust without being muddy; the drums have pop and punch while the cymbals shimmer; the vocal harmonies abound, and the guitar leads are ever-present. Sonically Frankie Cross (vocals), Sean Nelligan (drums), James Pera (bass) and Mick Michaels (guitars) deliver a very rounded offering.

COS has risen to such a high caliber of ability and have harnessed their massive capabilities in such a manner on Metal Machine” to create a sound that could quite possibly top the best classic metal music being produced by some of their peers now. These guys came to ROCK and it shows! They absolutely nail it with precision right from the title track, which follows the brief intro opener, “Turn It On”.

The guitar riffs are phenomenally orchestrated and brilliantly choreographed and are delivered with such gusto and testosterone that you know, in between all the hard work, the hurdle-hopping and obstacle conquering, these guys had a lot of fun in the studio recording tracks like the back-to-back “Like It Matters”, “Left Scarred” and “In Blood We Shall Return” – and they loved what they were doing too. The probably knew it would be this good.

The guitars  on “The Return” are simply old-school metal at its best, upgraded and tweaked, sprinkled with experience and played to perfection while the vocal changes throughout the song are to die for, and I mean repeatedly. But the best is yet to come with “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Wrecking Ball”. Mick Michaels shows a lot of muscle in the riff department on this one, favoring us with an engaging blend of crunchy riffs, classy melody and a rich guitar tone.

Corners of Sanctuary

Corners of Sanctuary

James Pera is thumping out the bottom end, with no distracting rattle hampering the smoothness of his delivery. Sean Nelligan sounds inspired behind the kit, as each member of the band seems to be pushing one another to capture more magic. And Frankie Cross, if he hadn’t already, earns his spot with some commanding vocal performances.  This band clearly respects their foundation and is building something great upon it.

Sometimes my first impression on listening to a release of this magnitude turns out to be spot-on and then sometimes repeated play exposes weaknesses I was quick to overlook in my zeal to embrace new music. For that reason, many times I have to listen to an album for a few weeks (or even months sometimes) in order to really appreciate the greatness. I confess that my initial impression was, “Wow, this is the metal we’ve been missing.” But then a bit of skepticism began to creep in with repeated listens. After putting it away for a week and then coming back with a fresh perspective I’m ready to nail down my impressions – all of which are thankfully circling back to that all important initial impression.

Metal Machine” turns out to be an extremely gratifying collection of songs which have enough of an older vibe to make this definitely identifiable as classic metal while simultaneously bringing in some new elements that keep the album from becoming predictable. This is a substantial and savory effort and a testament to how four musicians can bring together a holistically strong metal release that anyone who loves the genre should be able to appreciate.

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