Rigorous Proof: Perspective

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, website, bandcamp, YouTube, Reverbnation, soundcloud

Favorite Tracks: All Time is Now, Perspective, Battles, Songs of Triumph, Going Home

So far Rigorous Proof have won the award for most social media sites and probably the most staying power of the bands I’ve reviewed so far during my time as a music reviewer. I don’t have trophies for them or anything, but it’s an honorable mention that doesnt come along very often. But that’s just like my opinion man. Anyways, now on to even more of what I think.

The album opens with the sound of raindrops and a guitar intro to the song, “All Time is Now,” setting the mood for the rest of the album. The second song, “Perspective” is very funky in it’s approach but the lyrics come across as a folk song telling the stories of people who are struggling in life, whether it be drug addiction or people who cannot get over their grievances with each other. The song is very reminiscent of the peace movement of the 1960’s with lyircs like, “we can’t get what we want or what we need
Until the power of love overcomes the power of greed and we learn how to see.” The song goes through a swirling metamorphosis into a 3/4 time signature between a solo and outro break that sound lush and deep.

There style ranges from alt rock, to psyhcedelic, to even more classic rock vibes like in the song “Going Home” which is reminscent of bands like The Who and Foghat. The song “Chameleon” has some awesome sounding synths in it’s chorus. “Battles” has a smooth drum beat over its somber tone, to wrap the album up nicely. The members are Johnny Bailey, Wesley Forster, Jesse Gaddis, and Adam Landis, but I do not know what they play, but I’ll be damned if they don’t know how to play their instruments well.

So far I have reviewed, 7 local bands in Reno, but there are probably hundreds of thousands of bands in the world that have gone unnoticed. Do you know any good bands outside of Reno worth reviewing that no one knows about? Let me know in the comments section or on facebook and I will write up a review of an album of theirs.

Violent Ruler: Swelling the Morgue

Social Media: facebooktwitter, myspace, bandcamp, reverbnation

Favorite Songs: War Demon, Hatred, What Is, Swelling the Morgue Holy shit! This album! That’s the end of the review folks see you next time.

In the meantime Violent Ruler will be holding me hostage.

Just kidding, but seriously, this death metal album sounds like it came straight out of satan’s demonic ass. The album starts with a passage from the lord of darkness himself saying that we will never see the light of day again. And from the point on, we slowly make that decent into hell. This first song, “War Demon” if filled with just about every thrash metal trope in the book from speedy dynamic guitar wails, a half time break with a morbidly beautiful solo, intense screams and grueling noises, heavy bass rocking, and all wrapped about neatly in bondage rope from the mixture of pounds and rolls from the drummer.

Where the first song, “War Demon” manages to be epic, “Spot Check” grows steadily chaotic over a 2 minute time span. The third song, “Hatred” is more steady in it’s nihilistic execution, consisting of a fast section, a slower break, and back to a speedy finish with another speed metal solo to top it off. The album has two other shorter bursts of fury songs before concluding with their heaviest song named after their album, “Swelling the Morgue.”

There isn’t much known about these guys anymore, unfortunately. They disbanded three years ago and all I really know about them is that their names are Jarad, Lane, Morgan, Horsechief, and Alex. Who knows what they’re up to now. Maybe they died and are playing their music for Satan, in which case I say good for them.

Are you from Reno? Tell me a favorite local band of yours I should review next in the comments section below.

The Bonfire Set: On The Road

Social Media: YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, Instagram, Reverbnation, bandcamp

Favorite Tracks: Red Rose, Few Years, City Lights, Nuclear Love

The Bonfire band is eloquent alternative band from Reno. This debut album of theirs combines the soulful indie sparks you’d get from bands like ‘The Lumineers’ with heavy guitar riffs reminiscent of classic rock bands like ‘The Cars’ and and psychedelic bands like ‘The Guess Who.’ A good example of that would be on the song, “Nuclear Love” where they sing about that perfect moment between two lovebirds forever frozen in time where everything about their lives is explosive and perfect. The song ends with a kickass guitar solo. This album of theirs is loaded with plenty of those, which I absolutely love. Another great example of a song of theirs with a guitar solo packing heat would be “City Lights” which is packed with a grandiose amount of that early psychedelia flair with just a hint of pop. That’s not to say that their guitar riffs are all that is to be enjoyed by this band.

They have three lead singers, two male and one female that harmonize beautifully together. There are also two interchangeable lead guitarists, one acoustic guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist, and a drummer. Altogether there are seven members and although I’m not sure who plays what, I can tell you that their names, which are are Jamil Apostol, Kirsten Crom, Casey Frasca, Luke Fuller, Denise Julian, Ryan Widmer, Patrick Zbella. Give them a listen and see what you think!

 What does everyone think of the blog so far? Let me know and share one of my blog posts on facebook if you like the local band I reviewed.

Last to Leave: Fare Thee Well

Social Media: Facebook, Reverbnation, bandcamp

Favorite Songs: Go, Anasazi, One of Those Long Name Traveling Songs, Never Say Goodbye

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Last to Leave has been playing in Reno for about 8 years now, and their  music resembles the feel of this town very well. There music is a combination of folk, country, Americana, and punk music.

Knowing about the players backgrounds, I approached their music with a bit of wonderment and many a-ha moments where their musical and lyrical choices made much sense. Their saxophone player, Dalton Cason, adds a tranquil, if not almost anthemy vibe to their music, especially in the song, “One of Those Long Name Traveling Songs.” It reminded me a bit of the music of the ska band, Streetlight Manifesto, which me and Patrick used to listen to back in high school.

Their Accordion Player, Melissa McMorran helps to add to the earthy vibe of their tracks, especially in the song, “Go.” Her whole notes help to ground the often fast paced chords of Skye Evans’ guitar strumming and Patrick Kelley banjo plucking. Luke Knudsen is their drummer, whose reserved drumming style and use of brush sticks complements their style very well. He also briefly opens their last song, “Never Say Goodbye,” on his recorder with the melody of “The Shire Song” from the movie, “Lord of the Rings.”

Visceral, driven, and relenting; the soothing melodies of this vagabond band will surely resonate through Reno for many more years to come.

Up is the Down is the: Mantra

Social Media: Facebookbandcamp, soundcloud, Youtube

Favorite Tracks: Time Will Tell, Oh Me Oh My, Again and Again

“Up is the Down is the” is such an incomplete phrase to use as a band phrase, especially considering the resolving sound of their songs, but maybe it was intentional. I just desperately want to fill in the blanks with “sky” and “ground” to satisfy my OCD for complete sentences. By I digress, I think it’s kind of a catchy band name, and their music, even more so.

Andrew Martin is the artist at hand for his one man project. He describes his music as alternative indie, neo-soul, and experimental. He takes a minimal approach, however, to his album, “Mantra,” as solo artists usually do, accompanied by his loop station to have full control of his sounds. Many of the tracks coincide together like the instrumental “Pastiche,” followed by “Let it Go” which definitely reminiscent in experimental and progressive rock albums.

Nick Ramirez flipping off the camera while Andrew Martin smiles

His music also has jazz elements as present in “Ghost,” “Oh Me Oh My,” and “Unraveling.” There is even a bit of folk influence in these songs with the subtle guitar slides and walk down resolves. His sound is very peaceful with a sense of longing, and at some moments slightly eeriy as in his song, “Oh Me Oh My.”

Each song comes with a steady rhythm brought on by rim tapping on the drums. Martin also uses a loop station in order to maintain and play all the guitar parts himself. He would loop a basic progression and then play over it with his own airy and folk fills. He’s well paced musical aesthetic is great for setting the mood of coffee shop or quiet atmosphere. I look forward to Martin’s future releases.

Actors Killed Lincoln: The Land is Unfamiliar

Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, bandcamp

Favorite Songs: Back of a Turtle, Chewy Chewy, Jump the Gun, Head of John The Baptist, Poseidon

If I were to take a train ride along the upper west coast, I would probably include Actors killed Lincoln in my playlist. They’re folk music has a real western American vibe to it, which is very fitting for a Nevada band. Their cover art even has a picture of a mountain desertesque landscape.They credit their sound as being a mix (or a typhoon swell if you will) of folk, punk, rock, and gypsy. All of these elements are present in their full sound.

Their members are comprised of Alan Lyons on violin, his brother Daniel  on accordion, Jenkins Robinson on drums, Matthew Kaminski playing cello and bass, Zachary Rees playing horn and sax, and vocalist/guitarist Kent Irwin.

Many of their songs are reminiscent of anthems with a quick steady beat accompanied by with plenty of woah-oh-oh sounds from backing vocals. The violin cello constantly hammer away at notes by the virtuosic Lyons and Kaminski, often going between fast paced triplets or sixteenth notes. This is the kind of music that classics such as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” we’re built upon.

Irwin’s lyrics are often very visceral and profound, ranging from a tattered relationship where a couple constantly threatens each other with guns in the song, “Jump the Gun.” Other lyrics are very punky as in the song “Head of John the Baptist,” with lyrics like, “I saw god in the corner of the temple selling weed and eating poison apples, so I went to the king who was a real pastor and said how much will you pay me for the head of john the Baptist?” It is then followed by an explosive and climactic finish and screams from all of the band members before it’s finish. It only takes 1 minute and 57 seconds to deliver the intensity of the song before the big finish.

Each song on this record is brought forth by esteem and relentless energy from all of its members. I have had the opportunity to see these guys a couple of times and chose not to but I only wish I could’ve made it to one of their shows to see the amount of ferocity and stage presence that is encompassed in their tracks. They are an explosive American band, with their own punk applied taste to American music and are one of the many great bands in Reno that shouldn’t go by unnoticed.

Stabby Unicorn: Licking the Magic Castle

Social Media: facebook, bandcamp, twitter

Favorite Songs: Capacity, Camaro, I ❤ You Mr. Smith.

Stabby Unicorn is a really fun and unique band. They’re sound is reminiscent of the 1980’s with a sound the ranges from new wave to the more punky style known as dark wave. Bands that come to mind when listening to these guys include The New Order, Talking Heads, and The B-52’s. Stabby Unicorn is comprised of singer/guitarist Eric Foreman, his wife Daisy Foreman on drums, and their close friend Rhiannon Box, who plays keyboards and also provides vocals.

One of the great things about this band is that there sound can change dramatically from song to song. Some of their songs, like Brush the Face have a more somber tone, while other songs like Capacity are really upbeat and have that feel of surf punk. There song Camaro  starts off with some dark and wavy tones accompanied by Eric Foreman’s low pitched guitar wailing before he starts singing. The song is reminiscent of a couple that have a hard time communicating. “I don’t want to be on a different page. I don’t want to be the rage.” The drums then steadily increase as Eric Foreman’s guitar wailing because more sporadic and tantalizing.  Some of there other songs have a very familiar indie pop sound like “I ❤ You Mr. Smith” with fast and heavy guitar chords that sound like Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes.

Stabby Unicorn is definitely worth checking out if you get the chance!

Peace.

Brendan Aguiar aka Reno’s Biggest Little Music Nerd