I'm mad that I sort of wrote these guys off in the beginning and immensely happy that I'm enjoying their sounds now. This entire album is one smooth, aggressive and moving experience after another, it calms you at the start assuring you it'll be ok then 'Deficit' throws you off a jagged cliff into the cold dead waters. It becomes your soundtrack and you see yourself surrounded by a world created within this album and then '1777' plays, a beautiful melodic piece that I've had on repeat more times that I probably should haha. Constantly running guitars and drums that you wouldn't think twice on doubting their skill, it's best to talk about what it sounds like because music is about emotion and 'Memorial' is full of deep falls, dark hues and cold weather. I'm not going to get into what type of Metal this is and start labeling or creating sub-genres for a band like Russian Circles but I will say that 'Memorial' has quite a few different sounds that takes it away from being any kind of typical album. This album has a beautiful dissociative identity disorder and it works to its benefit as it shows the musical range for the band. 'Memorial' is just a little over 37 minutes but while you're in it, that doesn't matter because of how easy all the songs transition into the next while being completely different beasts at the same time. I highly recommend this album for anyone that love music with some bite to it, Russian Circles latest is unequivocally WGM approved. The album drops October 29th, you can also listen to three tracks below and hear why this has quickly become a personal favorite.
There's a new kid on the filtered photo app block by the name of Pressgram, I've been toying around with it for a couple of days and have a few thoughts and ideas on how to utilize this. I want to begin this post with the above image because it's the most important message I got from this app when reading and using it. Pressgram's mission is a good one and the advocacy for owning your photos and not trying to monetize any of your blurry selfies or awesome iPhoneography (currently iPhone only) shots is welcome. Sounds great and grand because I support that mindset but guess what else? You can now posts your photos (watermarked) straight to Wordpress both on self-hosted and Wordpress.com while still maintaining the social media aspect of Instagram and none of the Facebook mystery policies. So far I like what I see and can only hope for a higher and more populated ground for the app. First impressions of the app are mostly positive but as all new digital ventures have when launching, it still has a few kinks left to work out especially since many people are switching over and overloading servers and whatnot. The interface is sleek, clean and pleasing to the eye, the sharing is easy and has the usual Twitter/Facebook share. On the Wordpress share option you can add all your blogs and share to whichever blog you're posting to while still maintaining a presence in it's own network, you can even add tags and categories before the image is posted on your site. Interaction is ramping up and I can see this taking off in a very good way. I will continue to work with it and eventually come to a more concrete decision but I wanted to share what I've gotten so far within these two days of use, also wanted to note that the communication is excellent on Twitter. When you download the app be sure to follow WGMeets on there! What does it need?
- It lags a bit and a smoother experience is absolutely necessary if it wants to populate the network with the average user. - When sharing to Twitter I wish it didn't use the default upload Twitter pic service and use its proprietary network link like Flickr/Instagram/imgur. - A few helpful additions to the Wordpress posts option like body text or scheduling, also some more options for sharing to other networks and social services besides Instagram. - More image filters... because you can't ever have too much unless they're all the same haha.
What is it doing right?
- Image ownership and helping Photographers and regular joe's feel safe that there won't be any selling/using their images for any funny business. - Interface is smooth and it shows they payed more attention to typography instead of just sticking to thick cursives or Arial Bold to make a point. Kudos. - Maintaining a clear message of purpose and transparency to the consumer.
Who's it for?
- The iPhoneographer that's fed up with the whole Facebook/Instagram control - Wordpress users that want to own, share and post their images on their own website. - Anyone that enjoys shooting with their iPhone (I hear Android is coming sometime). - Someone looking for a fresh outlook and user interface with cleaner design within their social media.
I have a weird like/dislike relationship with MGMT so when I received this album I was a little skeptical about Astro, which has been compared to the Chilean version of the popular band. However, listening thru the album a few times I've experienced nothing but a fun atmosphere and sounds like the boys had a lot of good times making it. The sound is light hearted with an enjoyable pace, it also has a great sense of energy throughout. From the synth one chord cool sound of 'Ciervos' to the bitmapped 'Miu-Miu' then with 'Nueces de Bangladesh' heavy distorted sound, it has good range and stays sonically interesting from start to finish. Astro's self-titled album is a good nod to Latin music and it's progression towards different sounds, they also remind me a bit of El Guincho with their imaginative lyrics and synths. Sometimes you just want good music without the politics and picking sides, the Astro album is perfect for that and that's what makes it so much fun. If this Indie-Pop group stays on course and keeps developing their sound, Astros' future will bring great joy to everyones ears. While sounding great and all fun, I'd like to hear them explore more of an individual sound for Astro instead of me instantly comparing them because of similar sounds... not that it's a bad thing but you know. Those whom don't speak Spanish might be alienated a little because of the all Spanish lyrics but the sounds will totally carry you over and at the end of the day it's about the music. Mission accomplished. You can buy their album on iTunes now for a cool $7.99. 'Ciervos' is their first single/video off the self-titled album which you can watch below.
Is it just me or is Uncommon Records releasing a good deal of thought provoking Hip-Hop nowadays? Already a favorite label here so once I saw this super colorful but mostly fantastic cover (more about that later) I had to give it a listen, my eyes widened just like how my ears did after a few listens to Agartha Audio & Taiyamo Denku's team effort. The wide span of topics is always welcome when it sounds this good, all the beats produced by Dig Dug (Agartha Audio) have an easy transition from track to track due to the progression of sounds. From a Hip-Hop reborn (reboot?) to speaking on the universe and the earth we inhabit, it has a different type of audio ambiance and still make you succumb to the proverbial and much needed (in this case) head nod. Now about that mostly fantastic cover I mentioned earlier... I love the art but the typography was a miss for me. It created a unnecessary collide with the overall picture and sound on the album, maybe it was intentional but the typography didn't work for me and it was sort of hard to read the track listing as well. Does this have to do anything with the music? Not really but it's part of the overall package, I felt it was necessary to also mention it because of how much I like the art in the background. Back to the music... I enjoyed the whole album a good deal enough to highly recommend for purchase, you should want to get that awesome cover and LP look printed on that CD anyways regardless but the music is top notch Hip-Hop and that my friends is the key point.
Mike Mignola creator of Hellboy and Richard Corben have teamed up again for ol Reds new adventure "House of the Living Dead" by Dark Horse Comics. It brings the red brute to a Mexican wrestler role mixed in with Frankenstein and a few other beloved monsters from the 1930-40's era, an odd but awesome setting for this hardcover graphic novel. Set in 1954, Hellboy's romp in the ring brings him to become good friends with three luchadores which then one is taken by vampires. Hellboy gets propositioned after a fight and him turning it down, it shifts into a battlefest with a wrestling Frankenstein (sound crazy yet?) bought at a carnival. While reading it I asked myself where was it all going or was I missing something with the odd scenarios, but I kept reading and found to be very entertained by the mix of monster tributes Mignola put in.
This is a fun read for those that are fans of Hellboy and monsters as well, it comes out inexpensive at $14.99 for it being a hardcover graphic novel too. A one-story, one-book deal that's worth stepping into and letting it ride out till the end, the art throughout made the book jump out with bold shadows and just enough odd visions to shake your mental.
"House of the Living Dead" is available now so pass thru your local comic shop and pick one up!