J Tizzle: “The Chill Zone Vol 3” – The taste is smooth and distinguishable!

As living things, we need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. A song requires both rhythm and pitch. For the musically hungrier amongst us, these ingredients are not enough. We need to add extras, such as mood, atmosphere, emotion and groove. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and extras the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads within the craftsman, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily one, by the name of J Tizzle (Jeffery Townsend Sr.), avoids these annoying traits. Within his songbook exists all of

Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

Red Tan: “Don’t You Dare!” – Vocally anchored and soulful!

Red Tan is a young widow and single mom. Living in an unfamiliar environment while suffering depression and anxiety has been a challenge that she was able to put into music on her single “Don’t You Dare!” It’s an inspirational anthem meant to help others overcome their struggles and difficulties, and achieve their goals. In the meantime it has been a healing medicine for the singer-songwriter herself, helping her to become a stronger and better person. Red Tan’s ability to create deep thoughtful music, her timeless voice, and her capacity to be so introspective, makes her extremely relatable to any

Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Knarly Jones: “Redemption” takes us on an epic journey

“Redemption”, is Detroit-based EDM producer, Knarly Jones’ second drop in a series of four releases this summer, preceded by “Atonement” which was released in June. After spending time away from music to study mathematics and physics, Knarly returns to the electronic music scene with a refined cinematic style and a slew of new releases. “Redemption” combines cinematic scoring elements with classic electro-house feel and heavy drops to create a unique sound for 2019. Knarly goes into his bag of tricks and creates an enlightening, varied soundscape that unleashes bass all over your face. With all of this to dive into, it’s

Maxime: “The Honest Me Pt.1” – a unique piece of work!

Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer

Absolute Doubt: “When Nightmares Become Dreams” – extreme melancholic chill!

John Francis, known by his artist name Absolute Doubt, is an up-and-coming rapper with a talent for freestyling. He works with a number of artists and producers on his latest EP “When Nightmares Become Dreams”, including Lucki, Jay Storm, and Downtime. The project imbues most of the tropes in contemporary swaggy rap music with an omnipresent breeziness that feels endemic to a luxurious daydream. The 2-song release consists of mid-tempo, gently forlorn hip-hop, padded out with New Age trap gauze. The music is pervaded by an all-embracing sonic fog. Absolute Doubt is best when he is pitted against gently fibrillating

Keys And Vices: “Chronic Nostalgia” can rock the socks off of any audience!

Keys And Vices are something of a Trojan horse. Hidden within the confines of a band with a cryptic name and fronted by a deceptively talented lady is a power-trio that can rock the socks off of any audience and probably any band they share a bill with. Stacked with massive riffs and sweet hooks, their “Chronic Nostalgia” is a monumental step in their recording career. With beefy production that highlights the tight dynamic between front-lady Jennifer Valdez (Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Lyrics), bassist Kevin McCarty and drummer Kris Ayala, the band’s first full-length offering packs enough punch to dominate modern rock, alternative, indie, or whatever radio, while still sounding as if it could have fit right at home somewhere alongside the legendary alternative rock bands from the 90’s.

No doubt, the all-encompassing aesthetic is intentional, and the band pulls it off with flying colors. Valdez’s vocals can be hushed yet powerful, or soaring above the wall of sound created by their beefy cuts.  Relentlessly energetic through and through, “Chronic Nostalgia” offers a few reprieves in the form of slower-simmering rhythms.

Through it all, the band keeps the energy going, and never is there a moment or a second of sound wasted. Like the band’s three members playing together, the 10 tracks all lock into each other perfectly. Who says the album format has to die when band’s like Keys And Vices can produce them so effortlessly?

If you like guitars that are still loud and proud, driven home by a relentless rhythm section and a powerfully nuanced vocalist, Keys And Vices will likely become a mainstay in your own rotation. This is the type of album that deserves a few listens. At first it will sound good, by the second listen you’ll start loving it.

On the third play through you’ll be left breathless as each little gem undercovers itself almost totally. The dynamism is what’s really key to keeping this set engaging. The songs dart in unexpected directions in their minute revolutions from verse to chorus.

“Out of My Head” opens with a jangly guitar figure under-girding Valdez’s hazy, vocals before concentrating into increasingly harsher riffs, propelled by Ayala’s galloping drum beat. Keys And Vices pack a lot of movement into three to four minutes, but the compositions never feel cluttered or jarring.

“Running Away” showcases the incredible range Valdez’s vocals, while her guitar growls to the sound of McCarty’s deep bass and the thumping rhythm of the drums. This is a grinding and at times shimmering alt-rock story. “Like an Anchor” is not the jarring, straight to the face, guitar pounce, but a more mature, coil and choose when to strike delivery.

“Twila” is a mid-tempo piano-driven soundscape which serves as an appetizer, and lead-in, to the most epic, towering track on the album – “How Do I”, which to me is the absolute centerpiece of this recording. In Jennifer Valdez you have a frontwoman who is as cocksure as she is enigmatic.

She possesses a talent that outshines the mere craftsmanship of her peers, and she lays it all down on this salaciously bombastic grinder, together with Kris Ayala’s strident drums and the subtle brilliance of Kevin McCarty’s bass playing. Herein lay the difference between Keys And Vices and so many of their contemporaries. There is no posturing, no attempt to look cool for the sake of it. It’s all about the music.

Amidst the majority of the edgy sounds that cover the record, the band slows it down with “Box of Keys”, and then light up the synths on “Count Back”, before cutting right back to the bare-knuckled piano and vocals on “Ghost Love”.

If nothing else, these final three songs presents what a lot of bands of this generation are lacking—a strong lead figure and dynamic performer. You won’t want to miss a single minute of Jennifer Valdez’ mind-blowing performances on “Chronic Nostalgia”.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAMSPOTIFY

About The Author

Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.