this album rulz but it also kinda sux

quick & useless reviews by two former music directors from a college radio station you couldn't give a fuck less about.
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
I can’t say I’ve been super big on Bombay Bicycle Club’s previous releases, but goddamn is this shit solid. Lots of interesting things going on instrumentally throughout the album, especially in their use of vocal sampling. There’s definitely a solid complexity to their compositions, which is so damn impressive considering how catchy pretty much every god damn song is. Also, their bassist is a fucking badass. Seriously some of the best fuzzy bass shred I’ve heard in the context of indie rock since Ben Folds Five’s last (good) album. Some of the slower songs feel weirdly disjointed from the rest of the album, and I’m still kinda lukewarm in regards to the lead vocalist, but overall, So Long, See You Tomorrow is solid as fuck.
overall rating: kinda rulz.

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

I can’t say I’ve been super big on Bombay Bicycle Club’s previous releases, but goddamn is this shit solid. Lots of interesting things going on instrumentally throughout the album, especially in their use of vocal sampling. There’s definitely a solid complexity to their compositions, which is so damn impressive considering how catchy pretty much every god damn song is. Also, their bassist is a fucking badass. Seriously some of the best fuzzy bass shred I’ve heard in the context of indie rock since Ben Folds Five’s last (good) album. Some of the slower songs feel weirdly disjointed from the rest of the album, and I’m still kinda lukewarm in regards to the lead vocalist, but overall, So Long, See You Tomorrow is solid as fuck.

overall rating: kinda rulz.

Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together
It always sucks when a band kicks their career off with a lot of solid releases, only to dash the world’s hope of their potential with one completely shit album. It takes a lot to come back from that, but Architects seem to be getting there. After the bland-as-fuck piece of shit that was The Here And Now, Architects have been slowly trying to mix in their older/heavier/mathier side of things with their seemingly newfound obsession with chuggy post-hardcore shit. This works fairly well on Forever//Together, and the album has a lot going for it on the technical side of things. It took me a few listens to get past the overly excessive use of dumb chugcore breakdowns scattered throughout the album, but I’ve been digging it more and more over time. It’s still definitely not up to par with Ruin or Hollow Crown, but at least these guys seem to be putting effort into their writing again. Bravo, bitchfaces.
overall rating: kinda rulz.

Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together

It always sucks when a band kicks their career off with a lot of solid releases, only to dash the world’s hope of their potential with one completely shit album. It takes a lot to come back from that, but Architects seem to be getting there. After the bland-as-fuck piece of shit that was The Here And Now, Architects have been slowly trying to mix in their older/heavier/mathier side of things with their seemingly newfound obsession with chuggy post-hardcore shit. This works fairly well on Forever//Together, and the album has a lot going for it on the technical side of things. It took me a few listens to get past the overly excessive use of dumb chugcore breakdowns scattered throughout the album, but I’ve been digging it more and more over time. It’s still definitely not up to par with Ruin or Hollow Crown, but at least these guys seem to be putting effort into their writing again. Bravo, bitchfaces.

overall rating: kinda rulz.

✝✝✝ – ✝✝✝
Crosses! Another Chino side project! Dude is busy. Anyway, this is album is pretty interesting in that it blends influences of industrial and more recent dark-ish IDM stuff. It starts off pretty strong, but gets super down-beat and just kind of a weird not even halfway through. I keep trying to get into it but I really can’t. Some people will probably really, really, really dig this, but I am not one of those people. Sry.
overall rating: schmeh.

✝✝✝ – ✝✝✝

Crosses! Another Chino side project! Dude is busy. Anyway, this is album is pretty interesting in that it blends influences of industrial and more recent dark-ish IDM stuff. It starts off pretty strong, but gets super down-beat and just kind of a weird not even halfway through. I keep trying to get into it but I really can’t. Some people will probably really, really, really dig this, but I am not one of those people. Sry.

overall rating: schmeh.

Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion
Yeah okay, I can dig on some jazzy-proggy-instrumental-metal-jamz. These guys definitely have their lite-jazz to shred transitions down (and vice-versa), but as crazy as these guys are, I feel like this album could use a little bit more stylistic variation. It’s mostly proggy, weird time signature shred to clean jazz chords and back again. Still, I’d give it a listen or five if you’re into instrumental prog metal shit.
overall rating: kinda rulz.

Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion

Yeah okay, I can dig on some jazzy-proggy-instrumental-metal-jamz. These guys definitely have their lite-jazz to shred transitions down (and vice-versa), but as crazy as these guys are, I feel like this album could use a little bit more stylistic variation. It’s mostly proggy, weird time signature shred to clean jazz chords and back again. Still, I’d give it a listen or five if you’re into instrumental prog metal shit.

overall rating: kinda rulz.

Alaya – Thrones
Hmmmmmeh. Djenty shit with cleanish prog metal-esque vocals. Guitar work not that interesting. Writing not that interesting. Lyrics are kinda bad. Meh.
overall rating: schmeh.

Alaya – Thrones

Hmmmmmeh. Djenty shit with cleanish prog metal-esque vocals. Guitar work not that interesting. Writing not that interesting. Lyrics are kinda bad. Meh.

overall rating: schmeh.

Chiodos – Devil
Holy underutilization of talent, batman. I’ve always been pretty lukewarm about Chiodos’ music, but was kind of stoked to see what Devil would bring, what with the addition of Thomas Erak (Fall of Troy) on guitar…kind of hoped that he would bring out more of the prog-esque sound that Chiodos hints at with every album, but nope, this one is just another Bone Palace. A few interesting moments that come and go too quickly surrounded by a lot of gut-wrenchingly cheesy emo bullshit. Bastards.
overall rating: schmeh.

Chiodos – Devil

Holy underutilization of talent, batman. I’ve always been pretty lukewarm about Chiodos’ music, but was kind of stoked to see what Devil would bring, what with the addition of Thomas Erak (Fall of Troy) on guitar…kind of hoped that he would bring out more of the prog-esque sound that Chiodos hints at with every album, but nope, this one is just another Bone Palace. A few interesting moments that come and go too quickly surrounded by a lot of gut-wrenchingly cheesy emo bullshit. Bastards.

overall rating: schmeh.

Accents – Tall Tales
I definitely want to like this album a lot more than I actually do. I mean, the instrumentation, arrangements, and writing are all super, super solid (think The Decemberists but with more distortion, then add some rainbows and sunshine). Unfortunately, Tall Tales decides to put the gut-wrenchingly cheesy/terrible lyrics and supremely sub-par vocal action in the spotlight, and it really destroys anything these guys try to build instrumentally.
overall rating: schmeh.

Accents – Tall Tales

I definitely want to like this album a lot more than I actually do. I mean, the instrumentation, arrangements, and writing are all super, super solid (think The Decemberists but with more distortion, then add some rainbows and sunshine). Unfortunately, Tall Tales decides to put the gut-wrenchingly cheesy/terrible lyrics and supremely sub-par vocal action in the spotlight, and it really destroys anything these guys try to build instrumentally.

overall rating: schmeh.

Broken Bells – After the Disco
Yeah, I dunno, the writing can be pretty solid in parts, and there’s definitely some dancey catchiness going on up in this bitch, but honestly I just get bored with this album by the end. Maybe the sound is too repetitive/chilled out, I’m just not sure. All I know is I just can’t dig it all that hard.
overall rating: schmeh.

Broken Bells – After the Disco

Yeah, I dunno, the writing can be pretty solid in parts, and there’s definitely some dancey catchiness going on up in this bitch, but honestly I just get bored with this album by the end. Maybe the sound is too repetitive/chilled out, I’m just not sure. All I know is I just can’t dig it all that hard.

overall rating: schmeh.

Ava Luna – Electric Balloon
What I loved about past Ava Luna releases is how well the band has been able to pull off balancing dissonant weirdness with solid pop-sensible song writing. However, it seems like with Electric Balloon they’ve decided to completely abandon any and all pop sensibility in favor of treking far off into dischordy experimentationland, and as a result, the writing suffers miserably. Everything sounds ridiculously forced, nothing flows, and it’s just not pleasant to listen to.
overall rating: sux.

Ava Luna – Electric Balloon

What I loved about past Ava Luna releases is how well the band has been able to pull off balancing dissonant weirdness with solid pop-sensible song writing. However, it seems like with Electric Balloon they’ve decided to completely abandon any and all pop sensibility in favor of treking far off into dischordy experimentationland, and as a result, the writing suffers miserably. Everything sounds ridiculously forced, nothing flows, and it’s just not pleasant to listen to.

overall rating: sux.

Invalids – Top Secret Area EP
Oh. Oh yes. It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten my math rock boner tickled, and this EP. This. EP. I don’t even care that it’s only 2 songs, they’re both rad as fuck. So ridiculously technical. So ridiculously catchy. Probably some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard on a math pop release. Ever. Just. Yes. Moar. Plz.
Key Tracks: Both of them
overall rating: rulz.

Invalids – Top Secret Area EP

Oh. Oh yes. It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten my math rock boner tickled, and this EP. This. EP. I don’t even care that it’s only 2 songs, they’re both rad as fuck. So ridiculously technical. So ridiculously catchy. Probably some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard on a math pop release. Ever. Just. Yes. Moar. Plz.

Key Tracks: Both of them

overall rating: rulz.