Good Graeff Good Job Go ep review

Good Graeff – ‘Good Job Go’ (ep review)

Good Job Go has me feelin’ some type of way. Once the EP had played through for the 6th or 7th time, I had to stop and inquire: when was the last time I heard something that simply put a smile on my face? When was the last time music made me experience unadulterated glee, for nothing but pure enjoyment.

Good Graeff masterfully crafted this release to keep anyone who hears it in absolute bliss. Bringing you back to that full moon on the beach, you feel the midsummer breeze blow back your hair as you take in the sparkling peaks of the Atlantic. Or maybe, it was the trip up to St. Auggie with the entire band in one car; the windows were down and the Florida sun illuminated every beautiful detail.

I digress. Let’s talk about those vocal runs, and how they ran away with my heart. I found myself treated to quick, precise melodies that maintain the thought and emotion of a talented artist, gracefully placed over dreamy cello and poppy bass.

Another delicious treat was lying just under the warm, fuzzy blanket the aforementioned melodies had knit: a floating cello. The instrument’s incorporation suggests a majestic melancholy over an otherwise upbeat album. This is most apparent on the final track on the album, “Unsung Heroes.” Unlike the former songs, this track abandons the rest of the album’s upbeat attitude, laying me to rest beside the sleepy cello.

You know what…
It’s time to press play again.

Good Graeff – ‘Good Job Go’ (ep review) by Graham Johnson

Odessos Move track review

Odessos – “Move” (track review) \\ ep out 10/23

One cannot have enough of this new Odessos track. It’s like disco went on a road trip to Cali and didn’t stop, save for gas and cigs. “Move” is titled appropriately considering it persists in grabbing your hand and pulling you back out on the floor. A sweet mixture of wavy guitar and groovy bass lies on a bed of smooth, funky drums that keep you comin’ back for the flavor.

As it turns out, “Move” wasn’t the only preview I would be getting of their upcoming EP, Ursus Arctos Arctos. The EP is set to release at Will’s Pub on Nov 8th; however, Richard was gracious enough to offer me a listen to a handful of final mixes. What I experienced was exactly what I was looking for out of a modern band. Their interesting song structures and alternate time signatures diversifies the group of songs without taking them out of their element. Hearing the mixes turns my attention to their upcoming Off The Avenue session on the 17th. The atmosphere this talented band has created should make for a fantastic video.

Long story short, Ursus Arctos Arctos is fucking phenomenal. Get psyched.

Odessos – “Move” (track review) by Graham Johnson

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Boxing At The Zoo - 'BATZ' (ep review)

Boxing At The Zoo – ‘BATZ’ (ep review)

A few months after the release of Daydreamer by The Young Psychedelics, the band has been reduce to only two members. Count your lucky stars that Daniel Ramos isn’t one of them.

Alongside Chase Bauduin’s grand bass playing and fall-in-love-with- me vocals, Andrew Lesmes’s impactful drumming (already stoically seen in local psychedelic-revival band, The Detour), allows for Daniel’s return to the role of charismatic and energy-releasing lead guitarist for his band, Boxing At The Zoo. Fueled by captivating indie pop rock that mixes the emotional depth of early Modest Mouse, the catchy rhythm of Vampire Weekend debut, and the blissful vocals of The Head and the Heart, Boxing At The Zoo self-titled EP (BATZ) strikes a chord of harmony and progression for the Central Florida independent scene.

BATZ opens with “Wanderlust,” a playful tune that drags you in with its brilliant rhythm and friendly indie pop sound. Flowing into “Ms Molly,” Boxing At The Zoo demonstrates some playful riffs — their signature at this point. Remarkably, these two are the most straightforward tracks on the EP.

Leading into “Another Story (Feel So Low),” the dynamic sound of earlier tracks are simply and elegantly shifted into a bouche of elegant lyrics: “Another story/Just another chance to be proven wrong/Just another chance to move along.” Chase’s vocal duet with Daniel provides a milky mixture of sincerity and passion. “Gone,” a song drenched in lyrical depth and an attitude that strives for hopelessness, continues this trend with the lyrics, “No point in dragging distant memories/No, they won’t make me a better person.”

“Time Will Tell” drags you back into the quick and promising indie pop from “Wanderlust” and “Ms Molly.” BATZ closes with another passive-aggressive tune that is filled with as much elegance as any track on this EP: “If you simply tell me you miss me/ I can pretended to care.” Daniel gives us a wink with this solo near the end of this track and wraps us all completely up with: “Oh she loves me!/Yeah she loves me!/ And she knows it!”

Beautiful and drenched with a taste for irony, Boxing At The Zoo presents an enthrallment for independent rock in Central Florida. As Daniel continues to provoke us with realistically romantic lyrics, we can only wait around patiently, for more.

Boxing At The Zoo – ‘BATZ’ (ep review) by Andres “Andy” Andrade 

Fat Night - 'Lazy Days' (ep review)

Fat Night – ‘Lazy Days’ (ep review)

Picture yourself sitting on a front porch on a beautiful Florida day, smokin’ cigarettes and watching the cars go by. Fat Night’s Lazy Days puts you there. The primary contributor appears to be the band’s deep roots in R&B and Latin vibes. Right off, skins (drums) walk on in with a jaunty jive, turning heads. You’re treated to laid-back strings (guitar), cruisin’ double time piano, and mellow guitar solo-ettes. The ride is as perfect and elusive as our chilled afternoon.

The organ and guitar carry you throughout the album on waves of reverb and pure groove, inviting you to experience the graceful dance of the two instruments, performed by talented hands. These elements rap around each other, only to suddenly repel, finally separating to show one another a thing or two. This is especially apparent on the tasty “Long Shadow Short Temper,” a fresh mix of call-and-return, paired to silky harmonies. A trippy organ solo leads you to the end of the street with the promise of a six-pack.

Regardless of the beautifully orchestrated keys and strings, one mustn’t detract from the marvelous vocals of the EP. The vocal lines take you on a ride down the coast with the top out and a damn good cigar to burn. Masterful use of triplets lends itself to the frequent off beats and groovy, riding bass. As if precise rhythms and sultry tones weren’t enough to keep your ear glued to your speakers, the vocal runs are capable of melting the frostiest of loins.            

Fat Night rounds off this lethargic afternoon with a conclusion, of sorts, with a drive into the sunset on “Thoughts.” As the sun comes down on Lazy Days, you receive a look-back, stylistically and emotionally, ending your journey as relaxed as you began it. ATTENTION SHOPPERS: Fat Night’s Lazy Days should go with you everywhere. It is fantastic for every occasion and will put you in the right mood every time. Keep it easy. Listen to Fat Night.

Fat Night – ‘Lazy Days’ (ep review) by Graham Johnson

Living Decent - 'Living Decent' (ep review)

Living Decent – ‘Living Decent’ (ep review)

Fall in Florida is weird. One day, you feel like you’re floating in the middle of a PSL, nuzzled-up watching trees slowly die. The next, that unforgiving bitch summer shows her nasty head like the ex you can’t get rid of. This back-and-forth, bipolar game of love can stretch throughout winter, and can suck the holiday spirit out of old Santy Claus himself. On their debut EP, Living Decent encapsulate this feeling with a release that soundtracks both the cool breeze of fall, and the hot hell of fall. Enjoy.

At first glimpse — or whatever the auditory version of a glimpse is — Living Decent seems like a full on summer EP; it was released back in July and the guitar often sounds like soft swells, running onto warm sand. But on the intro, “Close Enough to Keep You Close,” Victor Alvarez’s voice sparks a sentiment that thrusts me  into the cool isolation of autumn. His ghostly tones engulf the release in a sense of longing — hauntingly abundant on the hook of “Borrowed Bike”: “You feel like home.”

This theme of nostalgia as pain is further exemplified in the song’s video. In it, we watch an old home video, a flashback to a time where the American life was simpler, more pure. Although the instrumentals in their openness create the sensation of freedom, the EP as a whole tries to recapture a lost feeling. “Bad Collections” cries, “Your glowing lights are now receding.” Like a Floridian longing for jacket appropriate weather, Living Decent look at the skeletons in their closet and wish they were still flesh and blood.

Take me back
Back before the day we met
Back before we had any consequence

Caffiends - 'No Gods No Decaf' (album review)

Caffiends – ‘No Gods No Decaf’ (album review)

What happened to Punk? Weren’t we attending every backyard brawl just to hear a band that would inspire us to knock heads with our fellow thrashers? Caffiends latest, No Gods No Decaf, comes at you like a golden egg through a goose. “Anthem For A Shittier Tomorrow” shoots right out of the gate with intent; “Succubus” immediately follows through with skinning force. With fast and catchy lead riffs, rivaling thick driving bass lines, and spot-on trad punk-skins, “Hello Reality” brings everything that was once beautiful from ’90s-era pop punk to the forefront in what feels like a skatehead’s ballad to life.

Be that as it may, the most note-worthy titles on this album are the fast, thrashy, party-hearty death jams. The first of these, “Dillinger Four is a Gateway Drug,” comes out swinging for your guts, and won’t let up until you’re bruised, bloodied and grinning from ear to ear. Its dirty riffs and machine-gun drums will call you back to the pit once more.

At the peak of this album, “A Light at the End of the Funnel” immediately hooks you in with bass progression that’ll turn a crawl into a sprint. The vocals play on our bittersweet memories of getting drunk and wasting time: our beautiful anthem. Following this thought, the bass and skins go quiet to usher in the guitar’s melancholy lead. This track may very well leave you with a sense of longing that you can’t quite place.

Not to worry though, as this notion is immediately replaced by a “Hangover Fart” that’ll soil your drawers. Following is the phenomenally thrashy tribute to the 90s, “I Wanna Get a Mohawk,” egging you on to jump from the stage, elbows flailing, into a thrashing mob of sweaty moshers.

With an album that goes as hard and as fast as No Gods No Decaf, how do Caffiends round off this harmonic cacophony of punk-rock standbys? Through the titular track, “No Gods No Decaf.” Quite possibly one of the hardest tracks on the album, it concludes this fast-paced, one-band thrash-fest with a well-warranted bang.

Throughout the album, a saxophone takes to the stage alongside these talented thrashers: the final track being no exception. Caffiends bring one last surprise in the form of, to date, one of the greatest saxophone solos to grace Punk-Rock (can’t say that very often, now can you?). It maintains its jazzy roots, while keeping pace with high-octane guitar, culminating in an experience that summons all your dear memories of getting your ass kicked at all those old living room and backyard shows.

No Gods No Decaf gives us a solemn promise that Caffeinds aren’t done by a long shot, and they’re here to help you break your shit and burn down your house. Party.

Caffiends – ‘No Gods No Decaf’ (album review) by Graham Johnson

Soapbox Soliloquy - "Besiege My Keep" Video

Soapbox Soliloquy – ‘Closeface//Ghostface’ ep

There’s sort of mutual respect between psychedelic dreampop and sweltering heat. The light guitars and blurred vocals always seem to be my soundtrack to melt to. Maybe this realization is only coming out because I’m currently listening to the new Soapbox Soliloquy while sitting outside in minimal shade, but after the heatstroke kicks in and my bones dissolve, I’ll be a happy puddle of goo.  

Soapbox Soliloquy is the monicker of St. Pete singer-songwriter, Jasmine Deja. I really dug the EP, Clothed in Cost, she released last summer, and since then, she’s come out with two more, the most recent being late-July’s Closeface//Ghostface. Deja is more monumental than ever on this new EP. A huge chunk of the acoustic strumming has been replaced with walls of clanging guitars, and the vocals are more prominent in the mix, varying from Ty Segall-esque wails to ghostly hums.  

Tomorrow, Soapbox Soliloquy is playing a show at Space Station with fellow St. Pete fam, Sonic Graffiti, and Orlando’s fuzz alien, Timothy Eerie. I could be wrong, but this may be the first time she’s played in Orlando. Either way, it’s free, so yeah. Enjoy.

Pleasures The RUB Review

EP review: PLEASURES – ‘The RUB’

pleas·ure – (n.) a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.

I caught my first glimpse of PLEASURES at GROWTH, a half-show, half-visual spectacle that served as the unveiling of a mobile light installation from Orlando musician/artist, ARK. PLEASURES played directly before ARK. No doubt. He picked the right band. The spacey bliss of PLEASURES lulled the audience into a trance; a blanket of warm synthesizers wrapped each individual. This feeling translates directly onto their beautifully produced debut-EP, The RUB. Enjoy.

Three of the four songs that make-up The RUB are over five minutes long. Each one of them whips and whirls the listener through space and time, as instruments crash over each other. On the opener, “Everything Forever,” the guitar and synth are subdued during the verses, but pulse with intense color in the instrumental breaks between them. They continue to soar higher and higher, finally exploding into stardust after almost six minutes. Vocalist Katherine Kelly seems to control them with her heavily modulated commands. She cries, “I want you.”

These robotic vocals glitch out on the next song, “Gemini Twin.” The synths do the same, firing like malfunctioning lasers. It’s important to note that these wild elements are always offset by a tight, precise rhythm section. Check the infectious drum beat on “Man is A God.” It forms a launching pad for the other instruments.

For as weird as The RUB is, its most supernatural moment is the final track, “Tryna Get The Honey From The Pot.” A pounding electronic beat serves as a pallet for Kelly’s twisted coos. The layers of sound bind to form a wall of static. We have truly transcended this space. Then, the EP just stops. Probably, a sucked into a black hole or some shit. 

Indigo People – ‘Glasshouse EP’

Around this time last year, I did a review of an ethereal jazz artist who goes by the moniker Chris Topher. He had just released his fourth EP, Green Machinea release that featured Topher collaborating with Silvia Plath, Carl Sagan, and Jackson Pollock. A year before that, I did my first review of Chris’ music on Introspective. The reason I bring up Chris Topher in the first place is because he has a new moniker, Indigo People. And as Indigo People, he’s expanded the single he released last September into a complete EP. enjoy.

Glasshouse starts with “Daydreamer,” a piece that incorporates a familiar element from Chris Topher/Indigo People, some scholar discussing our universe. These audio clips have always drawn me to his music. They’re thought provoking and really make the aura of these songs. Next is “Silent Film.” This was the single from last year. So far, we’ve got a new name, but not any changes to the music. Let’s continue.

“Passeig de les Aigues” knocked me out. It’s where the new sounds finally emerge. The song starts with a mandolin line, something that I’ve never heard in a prior EP. The direct words of “Daydreamer” are replaced with the singing of birds. It’s very folk-era Zeppelin. A bass line hits that brings thunder into the forest. This is followed by strings and tambourine on the tail end of the song that are some other forrest-y thing. This is a brand new world for this artist. This is Indigo People.

But, Topher’s piano lines are still present, leading us through this new territory. “Keukenhof Gardens” somewhat returns to space, but takes an electric drum kit with it. The outro on this one beautiful; the pianos and guitars delicately bounce off each other. The last song is “Blue Box.” And we’ve got more new elements, glitchy synth and tasteful beat-boxing. “Blue Box” jumps around way more rapidly than the prior pieces. Paino, guitar, kit drums, more glitches, and a funky bassline all enter and exit at leisure. The three-and-a-half minute coda feels long, because we’re hit with so much, so quickly. It’s another large step forward for this artist. As long as he keeps experimenting and his music keeps intriguing me, he can call himself whatever he wants.

Nik Talbot – “Switchblade Silhouette”

“Switchblade Silhouette” is an audiobook EP by singer-songwriter Nik Talbot. Nik’s LinkedIn page says that his day-job is singing and playing guitar in The Dull Blades. Legend goes, the Melbourne duo were in the midst of recording their second album, when Talbot hit creative oil and began forming the idea that would become “Switchblade Silhouette”.

Not quite audiobook, not quite EP, this conceptual western is a mix of scripted dialogue and song. Each track is introduced by a short scene that pieces together the overall narrative. Talbot pulls his best John Wayne meets Raoul Duke in the main character, Felix Blisskill. Felix is chasing The American Dream and hopes to find it in a desert. Drugs are his tour guide.

The music itself doesn’t stray too far from The Dull Blades’ usual fuzzed-out twang. Talbot’s vocals add to the story’s atmosphere; it’s as if Rango picked up a Big Muff. As for Felix’s American Dream, it fades into the dust while he repeatedly sings, “I’m going to leave this road behind.” Enjoy.