Crit Overthought album review

“I Am Happier Than I Have Ever Been” | Crit – ‘Overthought’ (album review)

…but it’s Overthought, not over thought, an homage to Nevermind. Overthought, a feeling mutual to us all.

Headphones in. Fuzz on. Distortion tone set to HI, color set to OD.

90s California is the band’s influence; Pavement, The Flesh Eaters, The Bay Area. They’re holding apathetic self-aware parking-lot sprawl rock to a high standard, and Crit’s Overthought is an apex example of how music is no longer bound by location, but based purely off influence. “Fucking Up///Fuck Me Up” hits us with the pleading vocals that hold throughout the whole album. It’s asking for accountability and he’s “fucking exhausted.” Punk rock with its own fangs that are not store-bought, but handmade. The mixture of Wowee Zowee and American post-punk Replacements brings a sense of nostalgia you didn’t even realize you experienced, let alone missed.

“I know it’s just wrong / to shrug it off.” (A brief comment in Orlando Weekly’s 2015 Undie isn’t something to shrug about, either.) “Lose It All” rattles ice picks of misguided anxiety in just under three minutes and this trend of impaling riffs and vocal presentations never halters. “On Me” shows off the immutable mixing and mastering of this record. Vocal cracks bring real power to this track drilling in “It’s all fun.” “Asking Myself” is another anthem. Crit knows that self-degradation makes for killer tracks when done genuinely. “What am I doing? / Feeling hopeless all the time.” We’ve heard it time and time again, but when Crit presents it, we listen. It’s pop and there’s nothing bad about it.

“Waiting Too Long seems to call in The Ramones, if they where pissed that they got called sissy’s and are throwing knives into the ashcan eardrums of the audience. The tone presented matches the title track; anxiety becomes nervous energy and explodes into the closing track. Apathy reached its logical conclusion, acceptance but with remorse.

Crit exemplifies revivalism in indie rock before it broke the mainstream and was separated from alternative. They are the local band to watch. 2016 should be marauded of emotion for their sophomore album.

Crit Overthought Album Review by Andres Andrade.

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

Record Roulette: Shadow Huntaz

$5, an open mind, and time to kill. This is Record Roulette. Enjoy.

Read the other installments of Record Roulette! You know you want to.

 

The Record Store: Park Ave. CD’s Orlando, Fl

The Artist: Shadow Huntaz (OH GOD WHY)

The Record: Dark Matter

The Price: $5.00

The Draw: I don’t know. Maybe I hate myself. Maybe I like to play with fire. But, how could I resist track names like “Alien Prophecies” and “Shadow Statiz (feat. Akila Da Hun).” This is going to be painful.

 

Maybe I’m overreacting. From what I can find, Shadow Huntaz is an experimental hip hop group comprised of various electronic artists and MC’s, who came together in 2009 to create Dark Matter.  Most notable is the duo from The Netherlands who go by Funckarma. Upon first listen, I’m instantly confused. Not by the music or the lyrics, but by the actual packaging itself. My copy of Dark Matter (hell, maybe all of them) is misprinted. The songs on wax are in all different orders than the packaging. Track two on side-A, as implied by the back of the jacket, is “Implant.” But, it’s not! It’s actually “Goodnite,” which is labeled as side-B track two. “The Flames,” supposedly side-C track one, as actually side-B track one! And, almost every track is like this! It’s even mislabeled on the record’s label. I had to go online to find the right track list. I know it’s not a huge deal, but why is this wrong?

Dark Matter is essentially an album of rappers trading bars over experimental electronic tracks. The hooks are only breaks between cyphers, with each MC bringing their own diction. Unlike many rap groups, it’s easy to tell who’s rapping when, which doesn’t make the MC’s blur together. What does however blur together are the beats. The music has an almost lava lamb-type quality, with sounds distorting and morphing into each other. Songs like “Lock, Stock & Barrel,” a melodic highlight, could be featured on the soundtrack to a film in the Alien franchise. The instrumentals in whole sounds other-worldly. Fitting.

The MC’s come together and spit their verses, but I don’t hear much group harmony. I compare all rap groups to Wutang Clan, and Shadow Huntaz just kind of raps; they don’t seem unified towards something, and in whole lack purpose. Also, the MC’s sounds don’t always mesh particularly well, and sometimes clash. There’s a white guy who’s pretty annoying, and whenever he comes in, I’m done. “Shout Louder” is the worst example: his words are overly reverbed and the beat is ill-fitting. Dark Matter’s a bust.

Album Review: Dog Party – “Lost Control”

Get your dancing shoes on children, because today is a special day. Today, is my first album review, and I’m about as excited Miley Cyrus frenching a sledge-hammer (no, but seriously that happened). I’m not claiming to be the next Anthony Fantano, aka the G.O.A.T., I’m just here because I like this music, and I think other people would enjoy it. Everything that I say is purely opinion based, and you are welcome to send me an album if you want me to review something. Enjoy.

Dog + Party = Lost Control.

Dog Party is two-piece outfit, from Sacramento, CA. Lost Control, is their second full-length album, following 2011’s P.A.R.T.Y. (listen to it!). The band is comprised of Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles, two sisters are both in their teens. (Talk about impressive, when I was 15 all I did was eat ice cream, THAT’S IT!) I first ran upon these two, when the song “Jet Pack”, completely dominated my summer. I was lucky enough to see Dog Party at Will’s Pub here in Orlando. There, I picked up Lost Control a full two months before it hit stores.

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Boom. Face.

The sound of this LP is true to the California poppy punk style. Now, I wouldn’t call Lost Control Pop-punk, but the melodies mixed with aggression is here. On tracks like, “Lost Control”, “Box of Handkerchiefs”, and “Los Angeles” (originally performed by X), Lucy Giles let’s out these screaming moans that grab you by the neck. The two trade off on vocals, Lucy brings the grit, where Gwen’s voice is more melodic, see a track like “Best Friend”, which comes across prettier than other tracks. Dog Party definitely knows melody, on “The World Is Not A Game”, Gwen’s catchy background melody, against Lucy’s yells are just, *Mmmmm*.

To me at least, the lyrics show the girls age. “Flamingo Go!” is literally, a song about flamingos, and “Best Friend” tackles the heart-break of young love. That being said, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Listening to Lost Control makes you feel young inside. It gives you that child-like spirit, of the first time your parents let you go to the beach with your friends. “Flamingo Go!” is a fun song, and when I’m listening to a band like Dog Party, that’s what I want to feel, alive. “Jet Pack” is a perfect example, when Gwen sings, “Ohhh, want to go ride with me?”, it doesn’t sound overly sexual. The song sounds like she wants you to come to the beach with her, and you happen to be going there on a jet pack, what’s funner than that?

My only real complaint about the album is a lack of musical variety. Sometimes, the songs feel too fleshed out, not really thick enough to catch my attention. I know Dog Party is only two people, but with bands like The White Stripes, they build the guitars to create a thick sound. Songs like “Cry” and the guitar on “Flamingo Go!” come to mind, they’re to thin to be a great song. I think the addition of a fuzz pedal would have helped shaken up some songs. Something, so that the rifts, which aren’t groundbreaking to begin with, pack a little more punch.

“Alright”, the last track on Lost Control, is probably the most mature on the album. Lucy sings about remembering how lonely she was before she met someone, and the lyrics sound really adult here. Her voice has some echo on it, and the staggering pace is built by these quick chucks of the guitar. It sits well at the end of Lost Control, after your first high school party, “Alright” is the hangover the next morning.

Listen to Dog Party on Spotify, and follow them on Facebook. Leave me a comment telling me what you think of Lost Control. Also, suggest another album for me to review. Do it!