Richy: “#RichySeason” – seething tone seals the beats together!

Upstate rap artist MBK Richy from Auburn, NY has released his album “#RichySeason”. The album starts with a bang with the lead single, which is also a video, “Talk That Shit feat. Leedreamer” it’s totally unrelenting and is a good foreshadowing of what this high energy album is going to be. Richy has a great choice in beats that separates him from the herd, and forms part of that specific trait that runs across this entire album – he will do anything to keep you interested – from the beats to the rapping. Richy has a very good vocal range for an

Mr. Flames: “Local Kingpin – EP” – mastering the role he’s developed for himself

Scartobe Galantae Flames aka Mr. Flames is of African American, Cuban, and Italian descent. Originally from the east side of Cleveland, Mr. Flames currently live in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up was rough for Mr. Flames due to being a part of the typical struggle for an African American family, so he went to the streets in search for money. As time progressed through his hustling days, Mr. Flames moved up in reputation as the local kingpin. He then decided to pick up the microphone and give rapping a shot. After losing both parents, he came up with the name ‘Scartobe

Kiki Sire: “Rutina” – exciting rhythms and smooth vocals

Kiki Sire is a Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Composer and graduate of the Matanzas School of Musica in Cuba where he studied alongside many great Cuban musicians by day and performing salsa music in the festivals and clubs of Havana, Varadero and Mantanzas by night. Kiki who has performed with many great musicians, has made regular appearances on TV and Radio and won many awards and talent contests for his singing. “Rutina” is a salsa album composed, performed and produced by Kiki Sire containing 8 original compositions. Kiki Sire is undoubtedly well versed in the art of musical conversation, as he is

Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Newborn: “Honey Trap” – something of a perfect alchemy

The Coney Island, Brooklyn-based band Newborn was formed by  high school friends Allen James (vocals/guitar) and Eric Weglicki (guitar/bass/vocals) and a love of rock spanning from Metallica, Nirvana, to Muse. After many years of jamming together they decided to form a band. Newborn played their first show December 2014 which was followed by the release their debut EP “Broken Virgo”. The band has since evolved musically, adding drummer Dave Goldenberg, and going from strength to strength, culminating in the release of their latest single, entitled “Honey Trap”. The song features Newborn’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive,

Gloom Influx: “First LP” – looping the listener into a nostalgic yet futuristic world

Montréal-based musician Luc Leclerc, aka Gloom Influx, delivers a unique and powerful blend of metal and synthwave, influenced by 80’s movies and video game soundtracks, heavy metal, and contemporary artists like Justice, and Carpenter Brut. Sometimes you need to listen to music that makes you feel like you are in the future in outer space and somehow the 80s never ended. And sometimes you want to add elements of robots, monsters and fear. When you want those things, there are few better than Gloom Influx . Whether you come at this album from the perspective of someone into synthwave, darkwave

Jigsaw Man: ‘No Home’ – a self-produced EP with strong stoner overtones

The 4 track ‘No Home’ EP is the debut release from Jigsaw Man, the moniker under which singer-songwriter Steven Faulkner is releasing original material. “It’s nice doing things under a pseudonym because you can be more personal about the lyrics, and because you have that separation,” said Faulkner, continuing: “In my head the lyrics belong to Jigsaw Man, so I can be more honest and personal. I can write far more honestly and I’ve certainly done that on this EP. In the past I’ve always looked for metaphor or simile but this EP is very honest.” Playing since he was a

Vacant Image: “Before 12” – surprises at every turn

Vacant Image’s debut album “Before 12” is an engaging record, filled with carefully crafted hooks disguised as bridges and transition. It sounds like the brutal, beautiful result of the band being passionate enough to rip each of our heads off.The eleven track album captures the inimitable essence of the band the thing that makes any heavy rock album that sounds prettier than its peers, a truly new metal sound that’s grungy sensual without resorting to shoegaze tropes, aggressive and unconventionally alternative in a way that never suggests predation or regressive machismo. Synaesthetically speaking, it’s a smear of pink, purple and black, a kiss that bites down on your lip to draw blood.

By no means did Vacant Image invent the idea of combining brutality and beauty in metal, although they are ahead of the curve. Nothing short of a name change will likely convince skeptics at this point, but “Before 12” proves that Vacant Image can be vital as they are relevant.

When so much rock music in 2016/17 feels dead, vapid, and recycled, here comes an album so vividly alive and inspired that it could turn even the most curmudgeon digital doer into a worshipper of the guitar once again. “Before 12” arrives at a time of a pervasive aesthetics-over-substance trend in rock, where everything sounds so perfect, so calculated, so pleasant (the inevitable product of our digital recording age).

On the surface, a shitty song can be masked in beautiful production and still be a beautiful song as long as it hits the desired mood, sonically. Vacant Image is the antidote to this, just listen to the calculated wild abandon on songs like “Mister Bell” and “Petals”. It comes down to basic artistic direction: Write killer songs that work on their own terms, then let the recording process accentuate those songs and color them aesthetically — not the other way around.

And killer songs abound here, from “Mister Bell” and “Saving Sold Souls”, to “Ladies and Gentleman” and “Broken Blues”. But this album surprises at every turn, seamlessly transitioning from contemplative quietude, into manic chaos on a whim.

All the while meshing their tried-and-true, alternative metal aesthetic, with as many elements of different genres as they can. In the hands of a lesser artist, it’d be mere pastiche. Vacant Image makes the sound their own. For those looking for a metal album to passively enjoy, though, “Before 12” has you covered—this album goes hard when it wants to.

Piecing together Josh Vanek’s (Vocals/Guitar) lyrical motifs is an abstract exercise, much like his words themselves. He’s a master of impressionistic symbolism — words that project a mood more than just any literal meaning.

The tracks here are almost all textural masterpieces, with guitars layered into a swell of audio orgasm, provided by Chris Sheppard (Drums) and Andrew Gilbert (Bass). Where they go from here is anybody’s guess, but in this moment, Vacant Image is perhaps the most important rock band in the dark indie underworld and a calm reassurance for guitar bands everywhere as we continue into an uncertain digital music future.

The Vacant Image debut album ‘Before 12,’ is available on the bands web-store (VacantImage.bigcartel.com ), iTunes, Google Play, Amazon,
Spotify and more. Follow the band on Facebook.

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