Warner Bros. Records Announce Record Store Day Releases

Record Store Day 2014In honor of the upcoming Record Store Day on April 19, Warner Bros. Records will be releasing a slew of special releases from The Flaming Lips, Tegan and Sara, Green Day, LCD Soundsystem, Jay Z/Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Foals, Mastodon, Neil Young, Regina Spektor, The Wild Feathers, and Eric Clapton. In addition to swanky vinyl releases, some of the packages will include t-shirt designs, download card, and DVDs. Check out all the details below.

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Four Noteworthy Split Releases

With a steady decline in CD sales caused by an even more exponentially consistent incline in downloading, it’s becoming more and more difficult for artists to justify selling their music within physical mediums. The upside, however, is that many indie and DIY bands are using this as inspiration to get more creative, putting the extra effort into their physical products and making something even more unique and valuable for their fans. A classic example is the split release concept. With the recent resurgence of vinyl and reinforced motivation to create a valuable physical product, many bands have teamed up on interesting limited edition projects. Here are some notable split releases from this year and the past few years that are sure to be valuable collectors items: (more…)

Album Review: Minus The Bear – "Infinity Overhead"

Infinity Overhead, the fifth LP from Seattle-based indie math-rock band Minus The Bear might be the group’s most mature and eclectic record yet.

Right away, the first sound you hear as track 1, “Steal And Blood,” starts is distorted guitar. Much to the dismay of those who may be yearning for some more Omni-ous synth power, that first sound proudly marks the return of the guitar as MTB’s primary instrumental focus and sets the tone for the rest of the album. However, that doesn’t mean the record is completely void of synths and electronic effects (Oh don’t you worry, there are plenty of those). In fact, the mixture of tones on Infinity Overhead is more eclectic yet balanced as a whole than ever before. It’s clear that over the past decade, the guys in Minus The Bear have truly mastered dynamics and flow within an album. This new product seems to be an accumulation of everything they have learned in that time. The sound is still unequivocally “them,” but in a way that is re-inspired and more “mature.” (more…)

Metal Monday: Ten Great Uses of Unusual Instruments In Metal

Your average music listener might assume that metal bands are all the same in the instrument department”guitar, drums, bass, maybe piano or keyboards”but what about the flute, didgeridoo, saxophone, trumpet, lute, bagpipes, fiddle, berimbau, Whamola, or hurdy gurdy? As unlikely as it seems, there are metal bands that incorporate less mainstream instruments into their sound. Apocalyptica, for example, is comprised of four cellists and a drummer. Among folk, progressive, avant garde, and experimental metal subgenres (and even some mainstream acts), listeners can find all sorts of neat uses of unusual instrumentation. We’re going to share ten of our favorite nontraditional metal songs with you”see if you can guess what the instruments are!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Metal Monday: Which Bassist Was On This American Heritage Song Again?

If you’re in a band and you part ways with your bassist, what do you do? Well, some bands might replace their bassist or hire a studio musician, but not American Heritage. They enlisted an all-star cast of bassists to put in guest spots on their latest album, Sedentary. Bill Kelliher (of Mastodon) laid down some bass and even a guitar solo on the album, Rafa Martinez (of Black Cobra) lent his bass talents on the album, as well as Eric Bocek (of Joan of Arc, Ghosts And Vodka), who would become the band’s full-time bassits after the recording of Sedentary, among others.

If you’ve heard much music from Mastodon, Black Cobra or any of the other bands that lent a member to the recording of Sedentary, then it’s rather easy to hear the distinct influence from the different bassists. It’s especially easy to tell on the Bill Kelliher track since the guitarists in American Heritage use guitar tones similar those used by their friends in Mastodon for Remission and Leviathan. Bill’s signature bass style shines through on “Fetal Attraction.” The slight variance in style from song to song is one of the best parts about Sedentary, as each song is noticeably fresh and different, but still very much cohesive.

Before Sedentary was the band’s 2006 album Millenarian, which took a very similar style approach. It was dirty, fast, raucous, gritty, sludgy and all those other clichéd adjectives for American Heritage’s brand of music. In a March 1 interview with The Bone Reader Scott talked about the inspiration for Sedentary: “musically it came from evaluating what we were doing in general. Trying to figure out what had worked and what had failed in the past and trying to address those issues. I’m still pretty happy with most of Millenarian, but I also saw its weaknesses and tried to write towards a record that would fix some of what I thought was missing.”

And that’s exactly what they did. They took the formula from the critically-acclaimed Millenarian and made a better record. Even the artwork is incredible this time around”it was so good that it won first place for March 1 on ReignInArt.com, a site devoted to showcasing great album art in hard rock and metal.

Sedentary was released March 1 on Translation Loss Records, and you can pick up a copy from Translation Loss’ online store (along with a bunch of other great merch) or you can get it on iTunes.