BRANDTSON – Dial In Sounds (CD / Deep Elm)
After two full length albums and a fantastic EP called ‘Trying to figure each other out’, my favourite band on Deep Elm is back with their latest release. There’s really not much to say about those ten songs on ‘Dial in sounds’ except that Brandtson still are outstanding. That’s it, outstanding. Never heard such great melodies as on ‘The rookie year’ for a while (ok, the new Bad Religion album doesn’t count here as it is over the top). The album was recorded with Ed Rose, who previously worked with The Appleseed Cast, The Get Up Kids, Coalesce, etc. And if that wasn’t already enough to make you buy this album, then maybe it’s the artwork/layout which is beautiful? Anyone into melodic, poppy or simply great music has to get this one.
CAMBER – Wake Up And Be Happy (CD / Deep Elm)
Camber from New York are back with their third album. After the first two albums (‘Beautiful charade’ and ‘Anyway, I’ve been there’) were produced by John Agnello (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Chavez), their latest release was produced by the members of Camber themselves along with Wayne Dorell and offers 11 songs of cool indie rock. I guess this album is great to drive around with your car on a summer evening (as I don’t have a car I can’t tell for sure), but my definite soundtrack for a summer evening driving in a car is Saves the Day’s ‘Through being cool’, but that’s a different story. Anyway, Camber are pretty cool, so check them out.
CURL UP AND DIE – Unfortunately We’re Not Robots (CD / Revelation)
What a strange release. I can’t imagine that there are people out there saying that this kind of music is the soundtrack of their life. And if so, stay away from these people. After a self-financed EP that later was re-released on Status Records, Revelation singed them and put out their first full length. Selling points: Production by Kurt Ballou, mastering at West West Side by Alan Douches. Apart from that, I really don’t like this one. Maybe I don’t understand the band’s vision, but in my eyes this album gets boring while listening to it. I also have the impression that the singer doesn’ really sing the lyrics but rather scream anything else but the words. Hey, this was cool on the first Obituary album ‘Slowly we rot’, but this was in 1988. Curl Up And Die’s sound is really not my cup of tea, but maybe it’s yours.
DEAR DIARY – NO. 5 EP (4 Track Promo)
Dear Diary come from Germany and maybe some of you might already be familiar with them as they appeared on Deep Elm’s Emo Diaries Chapter Six. Or maybe you know their previous two CDs that were produced and released on a DIY basis. The music is in the vein of bands appearing on Deep Elm, which means cool indie rock. And Dear Diary are really good. I don’t know if this four track EP is for sale, but I rather thin it’s a promo. So you have to wait a little bit before being able to lay your hands on a future split CD with Stuart from Sweden that will come out on Deep Elm as well as a split 7” on the German label Guideline Records (with which band?). I like this EP a lot, and you should really check out Dear Diary when they are playing in a town near you. Get in touch with them through their website www.deardiary.de.
FALL SILENT – Drunken Violence (CD / Revelation)
This is the first “real” full length of Fall Silent for Revelation as ‘Six years in the desert’ was a compilation of older songs. The new tracks are a lot better than the old ones, way more tight and aggressive. Lots of metal riffs and fast drumming as well as moshing parts. This band is really special, sometimes pissing people off with their statements and covering ‘Barracuda” by Heart (which got changed a lot as you might guess…). If you’re into aggressive thrash metal with a hardcore voice, then check out Fall Silent’s latest release, and forget about the cover and inner sleeve artwork which is really crap.
LIGHT IS THE LANGUAGE – The Void Falls Silent (CD ( Gladiator Records)
Honestly, I never heard of a band called Light Is The Language before and neither did I hear of a label called Gladiator Records before. Well, maybe that’s because of the fact that this seven song EP is the first release of this label. And it’s a pretty good start in my eyes. The music you are about to witness is metal influenced hardcore with a LOT of metal. As I like this kind of sound a lot I dig Light Is The Language as well. The band describes their sound as progressive hardcore/noise, and that definition is fine with me as there are lots of complex parts in the songs. Keep an eye on this band and the label, very good apperance.
SOLARSCAPE – Secret Everything (CD / Rewika)
After only one year Solarscape from Germany are back with their second album that is again coming out on Rewika Records. I don’t know this previous album, but apparently the sound of Solarscape changed a little bit from indierock to more singer/songwriter stuff. This is really nice music to lean back and relax, mostly acoustic and with some string parts. Just listen to ‘Sailing champion killed by pirates’ which is so beautiful. I have to quote the info sheet here: “Play it very loud, very late, very alone.” Yeah, that’s probably the best way, even though I don’t think you have to play it loud to recognize that this is good music.
V/A – The Emo Diaries Chapter Seven – Me Against The World (CD / Deep Elm)
Another chapter of the Emo Diaries with lots of unknown bands playing indie rock. I guess that’s pretty much the sound all bands on it could agree on. Maybe This Beautiful Mess (unreleased song) and Time Spent Driving not that unknown anymore, but mostly this compilation is supposed to present some new acts. The Emo Diaries are so well known by now that I don’t think I have to say anything more about them except for the bands featured: Tabula Rasa, Time Spent Driving, Before Braille, This Beautiful Mess, Dorian, Halifax Code, Drive Til Morning, Seven Head Division, Waterpistol, The Killing Suspense, Two Weeks From Tomorrow and One Starving Day.
V/A – Deep Elm Unreleased No. 1 (CD / Deep Elm)
Another fine compilation from Deep Elm, but this time it’s not the Emo Diaries but the first in a row of releases presenting unreleased songs from Deep Elm bands. All songs on this CD (10 bands/songs in total) were previously unreleased, and these are no tracks that were not good enough for a band’s full length. Just listen to the new song by This Beautiful Mess and you will agree. Bands featured include Brandtson (great as usual, but you really expect anything else?), Planes Mistaken For Stars, Triple Fast Action, Pop Unknown etc. As I said, ten bands, great songs that will only be available on this comp, and hopefully available for a nice price. No. 2 of this series will include bands as The Appleseed Cast, Race Car Riot, Cross My Heart, Slowride, and many more.
V/A – Revelation 100 – A Fifteen Year Retrospective Of Rare Recordings (CD / Revelation)
Finally the 100th release of Revelation is out after being delayed forever. As the title indicates, it’s a compilation of rare or hard to get songs from classic Revelation bands just as Burn (a song from 1992), Shai Hulud (exclusive song for this record), Garrison (same as Shai Hulud), Gorilla Biscuits (with a song from their first demo recorded in 1987 that is pretty funny), Ignite (with an acoustic version of ‘You’), Youth of Today (unreleased song from the band’s final recording sessions) etc. etc. This comp gives you a quick overview of classic Revelation music and how the label’s sound developed over the years. Just compare ‘My life’ by Sick of it All to Himsa’s ‘Tempest in second.’ Nice layout with band photos. Lyrics and detailed information on each track (20 in total by the way) are included as well, so there’s no reason why not getting this album which comes out as a double LP as well. Fifteen years and hopefully a lot more to come.