The Rowan Radio Rock Department checks in with what they are listening to these days and some recommended metal and alternative music choices to keep you entertained during the fall.
Cold War Kids – LA Divine
“LA Divine” is a refreshing, uplifting sound offered to us by California’s own Cold War Kids. The bands sixth studio album opens with the lead single “Love is Mystical”, setting the tone for the whole album. A heavy piano rock influence, mixed with a modern energetic feeling creates a head bopping, hook riddled album. The album has its “artistic moments” with LA River, Wilshire Protest, and Cameras Always On. The tracks contain bits of spoken words and atmospheric sounds that pull the album along, but almost in a dragging way. Overall Cold War Kids offer an upbeat sounds that rejuvenates the indie rock genre.
Recommended Tracks: Love Is Mystical, Restless, Invincible
Turnover – Good Nature
“Good Nature” is the second full length release by Virginia Beach natives, Turnover. Their previous album, “Peripheral Vision”, marked their departure from a pop punk/post hardcore sound and more into a shoe gaze vibe. Good Nature only solidifies how important of a move that was. As a band, they’ve found their niche and roles in the modern rock scene; to write groovy beach rock songs with melodic hooks and haunting guitar that sticks in your mind for days at a time.
Recommended Tracks: Super Natural, Butterfly Dream, Bonnie (Rhythm & Medley)
The Tambo Rays – Recharge
Their name really reflects their style of music. The instrumentals are upbeat and dynamic and fun to dance too. The lead singer’s voice is high pitched and the lyrics are repetitive in most if not all of the songs from this album. They can all be played on the air, there is no profanity.
Get It Right Now is probably my favorite, it has a touch of Ellie Goulding in the way the lead singer sound. Overall, the CD is super pop-rock and has sounds that remind me of a summer day jamming in the car with the windows down-type of sound. The lead singer is the only vocalist in the entirety of each song.
DWNTWN – Racing Time
The tempo of the CD is easy to listen too. The lead singer has a higher-pitched voice that is a lot like what we hear in mainstream pop music but the beats are more unique. She is the only voice throughout the tracks, except the last one, As The Sparrow Goes, which lightly features Carlene Carter. The upbeat songs are fun to listen to and the slower songs, which are most from the CD are still upbeat in their sounds but are again just slower and have more serious tones.
Slower songs that have more prominent vocals on the album include Fourteen, Sticks & Stones, Pioneer Square, Little Night Song, and Lonely.
While Bloodshot Eyes, Love Someone, and Drowning offer more of an upbeat tempo.
– Danielle Miller
The Usual Things – Backup Plans
The first album that I’ve reviewed that has wowed me completely. AMAZING album. It’s definitely rock/indie rock, medium energy in most songs, and easy to listen to. The vocals and music are both interesting, unique, and good. The vocals also contrast with the music very well. They maintain the same sound in every song but manage to make every track distinguishable and memorable. You don’t get bored, you don’t wait for the songs to be over. The songs are exactly the right length and don’t go on too long. Very catchy, and not something that you hear every day. The band is very talented and it shows, and I think the songs would sound great on the radio.
Recommended Tracks: Sweet, Sweet Crazy Love, Tumblin’, and Lilacs.
My Goodness – Scavengers
I don’t think this band is unique and I think their sound is boring. They’re not bad, but they’re not what I can call good. They sound like every other indie band. I think that the band could definitely benefit from some more dynamic vocals and a singer with more range. The vocals need to pop here, and they don’t. The songs sound the same, no variation. Even songs that sound very promising in the beginning get boring quickly. Not very much variation in the music itself either, I need more than what they’re giving. It’s well produced, but that’s about it.
Recommended Tracks: Haunted.
The Side Eyes – So Sick
Wow! The female lead Side Eyes are a kick ass alternative punk band. It’s not complicated music, it’s simple but it sounds pure. Great punk attitude from vocalist Astrid McDonald. Wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped the CD in, but, I was happily blown away. It’s not taking any place on any of my top favorites, but if happens to come on I’m not skipping a song. This has a similar sound to The Runaways and Joan Jett.
Recommended Tracks: I Hate Dates, Dead End Boy, Different Plane, Please Float Away, Ignore, and I Don’t Want To Go To School
Kinlin – The Last Stand
I would’ve expected Viking Metal from looking at the cover, nope, Alternative Metal. Definitely reminds me of Shinedown, Foo Fighters, and little bit of Iron Maiden. If you’re looking for new band with familiar sound Kinlin is perfect for you.
Recommended Tracks: The Last Stand, Unthinkable, Monday Rain, Stand or Fall, Let Go, Blood of our Fathers, and Live Again.
Beastmaker – Inside the Skull
Rise Above Records always has something cool to offer, and Beastmaker is one of them. Inside the Skull is definitely an album that will make you think back to early Black Sabbath. For fans of Black Sabbath, Church of Misery, and The Shrine.
Recommended Tracks: Of God’s Creation and Inside the Skull.
Wage War – Deadweight
This is the second album released by the Floridian Metal band known as Wage War. All this listener has to say is that this album is pure perfection! From start to finish, this album keeps you captivated with beautiful vocals that evolve into hardcore screams. This album is a harmonious assault on your ear drums, and is by far the best album of 2017 by far.
Recommended Tracks: Don’t Let Me Fade Away, Gravity, My Grave Is Mine To Dig, and Johnny Cash
Iced Earth – Incorruptible
Incorruptible is by far Iced Earth’s best work yet. Pirates, Vikings, The Irish Brigades, their songs cover all the incorruptible warriors of history.
Recommended Tracks: Black Flag, Clear the Way
All That Remains – Madness
All that Remains latest album Madness wasn’t as good as their prior album, but it was still good, if a bit bland.
Recommended Tracks: The Thunder Rolls