Take two parts Disturbed, one part Saliva and add a drop of Tool. Stir and let sit for a little less than an hour.
The end result is Memento’s Beginnings, which transforms searing choruses into four-minute bursts of aggressive metal mayhem.
The foundation of Beginnings is built on industrial-strength guitars and bone-crushing drums.
Australian-born Justin Cotta’s booming wail provides structure and support for the Memento powerhouse.
Bassist Lats chugs along like a thundering locomotive, while guitarist Space toggles between soothing chord progressions and skull-cracking riffs.
An occasional acoustic guitar and organ round out a well-balanced meal consisting of roaring metal with a side of sincerity and heart.
Tracks like “Nothing Sacred” and “Saviour” are soaked with Staind-style riffs and a bellowing wail reminiscent of Saliva’s Josey Scott.
While current metal bands like Tool and Disturbed strive for a more complex sound, Memento gets the job done by keeping it simple and direct with a dose of brutal honesty.
Daredevil: The Album
The key to a good soundtrack is much like the key to a good movie: it takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster, twisting and turning, inside and out.
From top to bottom, Daredevil: The Album grabs the listener by the throat and refuses to let him go.
Fuel comes flying out of the gate with “Won’t Back Down,” and is followed by a one-two punch of The Calling and Saliva.
Tracks from Drowning Pool, Nickelback and Seether follow without giving the listener’s neck a chance to rest.
To keep the rhymes and rhythm flowing, Nappy Roots and P.O.D.’s Marcos Curiel turn it up a notch with “Right Now,” a track that thumps over a slamming guitar
The rush of adrenaline that starts off the album is drained with Moby’s “Evening Rain,” a tune that quickly washes away any trace of exuberance left by the first seven songs.
Evanscence picks up the pace again with “Bring Me To Life,” a hand crafted sculpture of sonic beauty. The group pops up a bit later with an emotionally drenched ballad called “My Immortal.”
Chevelle, Hoobastank and Paloalto keep the party going with bone-crunching guitar romps.
Revis brings the symphony of rock destruction to a crescendo with “Caught In The Rain,” a catapulting rock gem that mixes the might of Tool with the harmonic sense of the Crash Test Dummies and Greenwheel.
– Dustin Schoof
A Love Story
Philadelphia-born songwriter Vivian Green recently introduced her blend of smooth, soothing vocals into the Rhythm and Blues arena.
Her debut, A Love Story, however offers much more than the standard formula most artists use to taint the name of R&B.
What sets Green and A Love Story apart is her voice, which is painfully accurate for whatever situation any song on the album calls for.
The radio-friendly “Emotional Rollercoaster” showcases Green’s vocal range as she sings of the ups and downs of romance.
“Complete” is a soulful experience, featuring a classical, yet funky melody and siren-like background vocals.
On “Final Hour” all Green needs is a soft violin section and sad piano melody to get her point across.
The diverse appeal of Green’s range may prove too jazzy for some, but true R & B fanatics will instantly fall in love.
Tight production and Green’s seductive voice make this album worth buying.
Armed with meaningful lyrics and a voice tinged with traces of gold, Vivian Green is living proof that Philly continuously produces the true purveyors of classic soul.
– Ben Robinson III
The All-American Rejects
The All-American Rejects
What if Jimmy Eat World married the Go-Go’s?
They would probably produce a little band called The All-American Rejects.
Heavy on heart and stuffed with more hooks than a coat rack, The All-American Rejects bridges the gap between light-hearted punk, pulsating New Wave and hip-hop.
Think of it as The Cars, Sugar Ray and Something Corporate throwing a party inside your head.
The Oklahoma-based quartet dive head first into familiar punk territory, but with a twist.
Church organs, which open up the album’s single “Swing, Swing,” layered strings and the occasional keyboard give way to bite-sized punk-pop tunes.
Tracks “My Paper Heart” and “Time Stands Still” swell with the pain of breaking up and rejection, but searing harmonies offer a silver lining in the cloud of
Bassist and lead singer Tyson Ritter belts out playful choruses while guitarists Mike Kennerty and Nick Wheeler stick with the three-chord guitar attack reminiscent of punk pioneers the Ramones and The Sex Pistols.
Chris Gaylor’s blend of hip-hop beats and straight-ahead time signatures gives the album its own distinct touch.
The All-American Rejects will be opening for the Riddlin’ Kids and Homegrown on Feb. 26 at the TLA, 334 South St. Call 215-922-1011 for more info.
– Dustin Schoof