Fire From The Sky
A chaotic blitz of distortion and melody, 7th Standard’s Fire From The Sky is a loud roar compared to the mild whimper of some of rock’s biggest acts.
Fire From The Sky barrels out of the gate and leaves a trail of sonic destruction in its path.
Jason Mahon and Dan Camacho’s chainsaw guitar duels lie at the forefront of the album’s ferocious sound. Bassist Mike Hernandez and drummer Andy Dibben’s rhythmic assaults add even more muscle to Mahon’s and Camacho’s aural attack.
Tracks such as “Sensitive Skin,” “Apologize” and “Embarrassing” demonstrate the group’s tendency to intertwine soaring choruses with pummeling riffs.
On “You Decide,” the band takes a step back and hands the spotlight over to Mahon’s emotionally charged wail.
The track is an acoustic ballad that swirls with a soothing melody and a finely tuned harmony.
Fire From The Sky is an aggressive, in-your-face romp of angry bliss too good to pass up.
– Dustin Schoof
As a band, Cave In has gone through many changes.
Their album, Until Your Heart Stops, was a straightforward, screamy metal record.
While technically competent, it was nothing extraordinary.
Their next record, Jupiter, was its polar opposite.
Guitarist Stephen Brodsky stepped into lead vocal duties and the band became much more experimental and harder to classify.
Their newest release, Antenna, is their major label debut.
With it, Cave In has officially brought their unique blend of sounds into the mainstream.
The band evokes a variety of influences throughout the record.
The crunchy riffage in “Inspire” is highly reminiscent of Led Zeppelin.
Echoes of Radiohead are also often heard throughout, culminating in the spacey nine-minute opus “Seafrost.”
“Stained Silver” is a hooky, radio-ready single.
Cave In is a young band, and Antenna has the potential to be their breakthrough release.
– Chuck DelRoss
(Ace Fu Records)
The Vexers’ self-titled debut record certainly shows promise.
The Philadelphia quartet, recently transplanted from Los Angeles, plays an enjoyable, riff-driven brand of postpunk.
The backbone of the band is the vocals of singer/guitarist Jennifer Taylor.
Her voice is sharp and upbeat, similar to Justine Frischmann of Elastica.
The rhythm section – guitarist Tres Warren, bassist Michael Hammel and drummer Jesse Van Anglen – manages to keep up with her every step of the way, creating danceable tracks like “Human Machine” and “City Life.”
Lyrically, Taylor seems to certainly have a bone to pick with the male gender.
She tells a man, “You can’t break me, no matter what you say to me,” on “Sick Sick Sick” and, “You get nothing,” in the track of the same name.
All in all, this is an impressive, fun and energetic debut from a quality local band.
– Chuck DelRoss
Yo La Tengo
The hushed sounds of a softer Yo La Tengo that were hinted at on 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out take over on their latest full-length, Summer Sun.
Summer Sun is an ode to those hot breezy Sunday afternoons in August when you start wishing for fall.
The hushed vocals of Ira Kaplan on “Season of the Shark” wash over the listener like linen curtains brushing your face as you watch the neighborhood kids throw water balloons at each other from your window.
Bassist James McNew also takes the soft breezy route with his vocal contributions on “Little Birds.”
The vintage Yo La Tengo distorted electric guitar riffs might be absent from Summer Sun but the songs don’t miss them.
What is left is a subtle blend of guitar, drums and bass, sometimes accented by barely discernible but essential instruments such as strings, saxophones and flutes.
Yo La Tengo has continued their perpetual experimentation, combining folk, indie rock and noise to produce a hauntingly gorgeous record.