Star Scream - Sexploitation Review
Star Scream has hit an interesting sweet spot with album Sexploitation, it lands at the juxtaposition where a Tim Burton film score, a video game soundtrack, and Electro Pop Punk all meet. This makes for a completely unique but endearingly familiar sound, with that said the songs on this album are all the band's own... Read More
Steve Bello Band - Quicker Than The Devil (Single) Review
The Steve Bello Band is back and are bringing a tighter sound than ever before! The song begins with a melodic intro and then the New Jersey based three piece outfit brings the heavy speed to snap the listener's attention fully onto the song's every last note. Overall the band sounds supercharged, the time they took off seriously reinvigorated the trio. And that is saying something... Read More
Dauzat St. Marie - Falling Again Review
Dauzat St. Marie serves up a deep yet uplifting EP with Falling Again, reminiscent of 90's alt acoustic rock but with a maturity and romantic air not often combined. Vocals and instruments are skillfully and well presented... Read More
Lauriana Mae - City of Diamonds EP Review
Lauriana Mae returns with a new EP and a more mature sound and carrying. She has also ditched most of the big band style accompaniment she had on her last outing that TLR reviewed, this time she has opted for a more Pop and modern Jazz heavy sound with Hip Hop aspects joined in as well... Read More
Chrysalis - Focus On The Center Review
Chrysalis delves into Experimental Rock and Metal pretty soundly on Focus On The Center, at points the seven song album is like mixed media set to music. TLR has been getting more and more Experimental in the door lately, and Chrysalis is one of the best examples of how to do Experimental right... Read More
Married With Sea Monsters - Paper Doll (Single) Review
"Paper Doll" retains the punk rock attitude and garage rock band fuzz and low fi sound I fell in love with on Married With Sea Monsters' "Face It, Tiger" inspired by Edge of Spider-Verse #2. The trio is still tight as ever between vocals, guitar, and drums; bummed I couldn't go to their show at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find in North Carolina for the release party of Spider-Gwen #1 back in February. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to the band's YouTube channel... Read More
FlashFires - Shy (Single) Review
FlashFires delivers a catchy indie/alt-pop number with "Shy", throwing it back to the early 2000's with the melody, very 2003 Kaiser Chiefs. Not a rip off, very similar vibe and melodic structuring is all, it's a good toe tapper and like many of the reviews this week, the five piece indie band is UK based... Read More
Profane and the Sacred - Chapter 1: A Long Time Coming Review
Heavy, dark, light, profound, and absolutely hard rocking. Profane And The Sacred takes listeners on a varied journey through the nine songs that comprise Chapter 1: A Long Time Coming. Influences are numerous and come out in degrees through each song's composition, most of the album is heavy hard rock with a metal edge to them... Read More
CHIEFS - Tomorrow's Over Review
CHIEFS bring a hard rocking album to the table with Tomorrow's Over, grunge influences are clear from the first notes of the first track; each song is fuzz heavy with some drop tuning on the heavier songs. Overall, I'm digging the album, it feels progressive (not referencing the metal genre) yet throws back to grunge and 90's hard rock... Read More
Love Zombies - Be Honest (Single) Review
The Love Zombies' new single, "Be Honest", recalls 60's girl group fun poppy energy, mixed with some old school UK punk scene power, and a vibe that's reminiscent of Tragic Kingdom era No Doubt mixed with Blondie... Read More
Meg Myers - Sorry (Single) Review
There is a lot of power in Meg Myers voice, most of it she hasn't revealed yet, at least not in any of her material that I have heard, but in her new single Sorry you can hear untapped strength bubbling beneath where she restrains it. There's also a lot of sexual power in Meg Myers' voice... Read More
Kyshera - Circle Review
Kyshera is just about everything that is right with alternative rock, engaging sounds, thought provoking lyrics as well as heartfelt lyrics that don't dip into pop or emo territory. The Cardiff, South Wales based three piece has cut an album that is all their own sound, at points you hear some influences in their compositions, but these never overcome the band's identity. They are good... Read More
Faith No More - Superhero (Single) Review
Faith No More's second single, "Superhero", off their new album, Sol Invictus, blurs the lines between alt rock and metal. If you've only listened to the songs that have made it on FM rock stations, this won't be the FNM you're used to; that's a good thing. If "Superhero" sets the tone of the rest of Sol Invictus and where the five piece outfit is going in the future... Read More
Vespers Nine - True Story Review
Vespers Nine delivers a decent mix of hard rock, energetic rock, and ballads. The ten song album does dive into the ballad side of the pool pretty heavy, complete with a better than the original cover of Mister Mister's "Broken Wings", though even their ballads retain an energy and drive in the music not seen in ballads anymore... Read More
Reason - The Deception of Dreams Review
Prog rock with melodic overtones from UK based Reason is some of the best progressive rock/metal that's has come in the door at TLR in the last year or so. It is without a doubt prog, but not over the top and focusing mostly on guitar play; say like Dragonforce does sometimes (though I admit I do like some of their better songs). Reason is well rounded prog metal and their compositions showcase that very well... Read More
The Singles - Candy (Single) Review
Sexy electro pop, somewhat reminiscent of Blondie, at least in Scarlett Johansson's vocal style on this first single from the all women supergroup that also features Este Haim, Holly Miranda, Kendra Morris, and Julia Haltigan. Inspired by groups like The Grimes, The Bangles, and The Go-Gos; Johansson has stated that the group aims to produce "ultra dance pop"... Read More
Citizen Vicious - Loud Mean Fast Dirty Review
Thrashers from Montreal, Citizen Vicious rides the line into bar metal at times, but mostly does stay in the thrash genre. The album title pretty much says it all about the kind of thrash the band performs, loud and fast being the dominant aspects; even on the live cut of their cover of Steppenwolf's classic "Born To Be Wild"... Read More
Pallor Mortis - The Art Of Terror Review
Brutal and relentless. Pallor Mortis never lets up and the band revels in it, judging from the layout of each song's composition. The Montreal-based four piece Death Metal outfit hammers their genre home with the brutal beating of the vocals, the growling instruments, and foreboding atmosphere of some song intros... Read More
Halestorm - Mayhem (Single) Review
For the naysayers of Halestorm's first single from Into The Wild Life, "Apocalyptic", listen to "Mayhem". "Mayhem" is harder, faster, and about sex and rocking out, no love, no lovelorn sentiment; just balls to the wall hard rock. The song has the energy of "Love Bites (So Do I)" and oozes sex like "Dirty Mind", the composition is kinetic from start to finish and never comes down... Read More
Taryn Southern - Change It Up (Single) Review
Taryn Southern steps away from her usual comedy driven song writing with "Change It Up" for an uplifting and self affirming number about taking charge of your life, changing things up and making yourself happy with yourself and your life. It's not a sap fest, it's good. The synth pop inspired composition is a nice nod to feel good 80's and early 90's pop/synth pop/electro pop before every song seemed to be required to focus on love, failed love, unhappiness, sex, or drugs... Read More
Mammoth Black - Death Is Not Ashamed Review
Heavy and dark, Mammoth Black brings hard instrumentals and Brett Lloyd's vocals pulverize with their strength; they are reminiscent of All That Remains' Philip Labonte but heavier and raspier. The band bills themselves as Heavy/Sludge/Doom, Heavy is there in spades but on Death Is Not Ashamed, this reviewer is hearing more Doom than Sludge. Which is fine by me, I prefer Doom Metal to Sludge Metal anyway. The Virginia-based five piece has a very solid sound and polished instruments... Read More
Evil Scarecrow - Robototron (2009) [Single] Review
Evil Scarecrow's missing track from Sixty-Six Past Six finally sees release as a single. The song's narrative is about a robot named Robototron... obviously. Robototron goes off program and sets out to kill all humans, the song is good, but nothing that breaks the heavy metal mold. That's not a bad thing here, the song is good and stronger metal than a good chunk of what is being produced in the US... Read More
The Connectors - Half Measures (Single) Review
London based, stripped down, punk rock duo The Connectors' garage punk lo-fi single Half Measures recalls old school British punk with a hint of '77 NYC punk attitude for a sweet mix of two distinct punk flavors. The song is nothing but Andy's vocals and scratchy guitar with Danny's simple but powerful two snare, one tom, one bass, and two cymbal rig... Read More
Kodah - Forever (Single) Review
Composition on the English four-piece band's single, Forever, is solid and has more rock with a peppering of hard rock to it than what constitutes most alternative rock these days. Instruments are crisp and straightforward, minimal reverb, and no effects; I like that... Read More
Halestorm - Apocalyptic (Single) Review
Halestorm's first single off their upcoming third full length album, Into The Wild Life, is another hard rock, guitar heavy, ode to a failing relationship; however, this time Lzzy Hale's lyrics focus on one last time having sex rather than the more emotional side of a relationship's end as she has showcased in the past... Read More
From Hell - Ascent From Hell Review
From Hell has crafted an epic, dark, bone crushingly heavy concept album in Ascent From Hell. Each song is a full narrative; monologues, dialogue, narration, different characters... this is a true story telling concept album. It is well done and well constructed in the lyrical narratives and sung dialogue from beginning to end, and tells one hardcore story that would make a hell of a horror novel or movie... Read More
Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out Review
Loud, abusive, and pissed off; just like every thrash album should be. Exodus is back with Blood In, Blood Out, and they are just hard and heavy as when they first came on the scene 30 years ago with ripping guitars, grinding bass, and skull splitting drums. Exodus seems to level up with every album, sounding more cohesive and unified with each passing year despite the changes in personnel over the years... Read More
Dear You - I Can Only Blame Myself Review
Dear You delivers some tight pop punk goodness on their six song EP, I Can Only Blame Myself. Plenty of emotion in these songs, not dipping into emo territory though. Not a mold breaker for the pop punk genre, but nonetheless this Texas based three piece outfit refines the genre pretty damn well; this reviewer is hoping to hear more from them soon... Read More
Tom Keifer - The Way Life Goes Review
Tom Keifer's debut solo album, The Way Life Goes, released over a year (and unfortunately not talked about nearly enough by the mainstream music media) cements Keifer's ability to write and perform diverse material. While clearly different from his compositions with Cinderella, Keifer does not create a new persona for himself on The Way Life Goes, he shows new and deeper aspects of his personality as a writer while also sharpening what we know and love from his work with Cinderella... Read More
Under Aspect - The Things You Should Not See Review
Under Aspect delivers a solid metal album in The Things You Should Not See, with a nice crossbreeding of metal subgenres woven throughout the eight tracks within. There are some tropes that come from Death Metal, Goth Rock, Post-Hardcore, even Metalcore along with a bevy of detectable influences contained here too in the structuring of some of the songs. Killswitch Engage, Deftones, and The Devil Wears Prada are easily heard as said influences over the course of The Things You Should Not See; but not in a suffocating way... Read More
Reckless Serenade - Take Me Back To The Summer (Single) Review
Reckless Serenade delivers a heartfelt pop punk ditty in "Take Me Back To The Summer", thankfully a little heavier on the punk side of the genre than I've heard from the indie pop punk crop of bands lately; frankly most of them have been keeping one foot firmly in the emo pool lately. Which, despite the nostalgic title and part of the lyrical content of the song, is not the case at all for this single... Read More
Grifter - The Return Of The Bearded Brethren Review
The Return Of The Bearded Brethren is an ten song love letter to the best parts of 70's rock! Big sound that rides the line between rock and metal, a whiskey soaked flair that only the best Southern Rock has... well, had before Southern Rock became Hard Country; which is definitely not the case on this album. Grifter, a three piece outfit from Britain has nailed a sound that, as stated, calls forth all the best 70's hard rock brought to the world; but they are far from a tribute band... Read More
Resistance - The Seeds Within Review
Resistance’s “The Seeds Within” delivers a heavy and dark message through the whole album. The sound is bold and gritty, and as you’d expect of kickass metal, deep. Not only are the instruments intense, but the vocals are just as gritty and hardcore. You can tell that this is how it’s meant to be heard, with a pounding depth, strong bass, and bold, rhythmic guitars... Read More
AC/DC - Play Ball (Single) Review
The first single, and what will be the second track on the full album, Rock or Bust, dropping on November 28 of this year; is most definitely AC/DC even with the sad and first ever absence of Malcolm Young. Though there is no mistaking that "Play Ball" is AC/DC from the first second the song starts, there is a difference in sound that further marks Malcolm's retirement from performing... Read More
Taryn Southern - Everyone Pees In The Ocean (Single) Review
YouTuber, actress, songwriter/singer Taryn Southern's "Everyone Pees In The Ocean" is another of her many hilarious and yet poignant comedy songs, that rings true while making fun of some aspect or another of modern society. This time Taryn skewers the secrets, little white lies, and half truths we all share and over share with others. Granted pop isn't usually something TLR plays with, Taryn gets a pass because she is damn funny and a talented lyricist... Read More
The Age of The Universe - Singularity Review
The Age of The Universe has some very tight instruments on their Singularity album, vocals follow suit and have a slight resemblance to Bono's voice sometimes; but not close enough to be a detractor from the overall listening experience of the album. The band really shines on their harder numbers, billing themselves as Alternative and Space Rock, their music fits either category; Alternative more so... Read More
Psyborg Corp. - The Frozon Shrines of Obsÿdÿana Review
"Electro Sci-Fi Opera", this description of their sound and this album is perfect. Bogotá, Colombia based Cyberpunk/Electro masters, Psyborg Corp., has crafted an entire space opera in a mere eleven songs; that includes a well thought out, multiple chapter, and well written back story that the album carries further. Electro sounds and compositions are new and futuristic and convey a fuller picture of the story the band is telling with their songs of ancient prophecies, alien worlds, advanced technology, and alien peoples striving to survive an unstoppable cataclysm... Read More
Tantric - The Blue Room Archives Review
Tantric delves deep into songs frontman Hugo Ferreira has written over the years and archived; as he puts it, "This isn't so much a premeditated album, but a collection of music I have done that I always loved extremely but never found a place for. It's songs in their purest form, no flashy production or elaborate theme. Imagine it as a mix tape of songs I wrote or co-wrote that stand alone uniquely."... Read More
Tummler and Solomon - You've Worn Out Your Welcome Review
Heavy, experimental, and somehow dissonant yet not all at the same time. Tummler and Solomon have an interesting sound, deep and bass driven, melodic with deep drop tuning, dark and drudging in a good way (I know that's kind of an oxymoron in terms). I don't recommend listening to this while driving, seriously, as it can induce meditative/trance state when coupled with a monotonous task. Some tracks could definitely be the soundtrack to a horror movie for how heavy they are... Read More
Lovesick Saints - Dia De Los Muertos Review
The Lovesick Saints are an Arizona based three piece alternative/punk outfit, their six song Dia De Los Muertos features a much more diverse sound and diverse influences from outside of those genres. Some songs have a country-ish feel, stressing the "ish" there, in composition as the lyrics are more alt and punk driven even in songs like "Empty"; others have some pop rock in their hooks and structure. The trio has a much stronger presence and tighter instrumentation on their faster songs that have more punk energy... Read More
Married With Sea Monsters - Face It Tiger (The Mary Janes Cover) Single Review
Married With Sea Monsters must have loved Edge of Spider-Verse #2: Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman as much I did, because they made a real cover of a fictional song performed by the band, The Mary Janes, Gwen Stacy is the drummer for the alternate Marvel Universe she hales from, and Married With Sea Monsters completely nailed it... Read More
The Smoking Hearts - Victory! Review
he Smoking Hearts score a victory with Victory! Billing themselves as rock 'n' roll, the band's sound is closer to a mix of metal and hardcore punk, but to hell with splitting hairs over genre; this English band kicks ass! Bullet Tooth has a gem in this quintet of hardcore rockers, tight instruments, powerful vocals that come close to death grunts but never leave the hardcore arena for death metal... Read More
Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Ty Dolla $ign - Shell Shocked (Single) ft. Kill The Noise & Madsonik Review
EDM and Hip-Hop aren't usually genres reviewed at TLR, but considering this is the first single off the soundtrack to the remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and myself being a die hard fan of the TMNT despite my mixed feelings on what I've seen of the new one so far, it's fitting to review it. Took a few listen to grow on me, but in all honesty, this song fits so much of the personality of the new TMNT, from what I've seen in trailers and read in interviews; as well as the sprawling mythos around the many, many incarnations of the Ninja Turtles that my rock centered brain took it in stride and listened to the lyrics closely... Read More.
I, Omega - Transients Review
I, Omega has crafted a hard hitting album that rides and blurs the lines between metal and progressive... and it is good. Thrown in are some punk and hardcore influences, by this reviewer's ear at least, the punk bits are definitely appreciated here. The band's instruments are tight and aggressive but do not lack emotion other than anger, that said, there's not one song on Transients that isn't ready for headbanging or inciting a mosh pit... Read More.
Million Dollar Fix - Psychelephant EP Review
Million Dollar Fix is pretty damn balls to the wall rock 'n roll. Hard riffs and tasty hooks, their is like if AC/DC and Wolfmother had a baby, and it is good. Instruments are hard and guitars in particular have a fuzz to them with a dirty edge like their amps are burning out, drums are strong and defined; no machine gun fire, which is fine by this reviewer. Not knocking the machine gun approach, it impressive in technicality but gets too repetitive for my ear after a while... Read More.
Ben Kuzay - A Celebration Of Life Review
Ben Kuzay is back with another bass powered album. A Celebration of Life delves deeper into Ben's composition skills as he lays out an album with varying moods and deeper subtext in his playing than on the last album of his that we reviewed, Perpetual Reign. There's less shredding, well what most think of when they hear "shredding" linked with guitar or bass guitar, this time around; though no less metal than Perpetual Reign was... Read More.
(Hed) p.e. - Evolution Review
(Hed) p.e. is back after a four year break from producing a full album, and damn are they on fire with Evolution! The band has really hit the gas with the songs on this album, even the tracks that are more reggae than their usual rapcore/punk fusion they dubbed G-punk. Each song is layered and engineered that displays the raw yet refined power of the band's musical talents awesomely, and also showcases the emotions of each song in a way many bands that have made it to the cult status of (Hed) p.e. have forgotten... Read More.
Save The Clock Tower - Wasteland Review
Tasmanian quartet, Save The Clock Tower, bring together metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, emo, screamo, alternative, and balls to the wall hard rock; melding and distilling the mix down to the purest forms of each in a blend that surpasses many metal and post-hardcore acts. Save The Clock Tower uses the tropes of these genres to truly break out of the mold of the post-hardcore subgenre... Read More.
Ray Goren - LA Sessions Review
Listening to Ray Goren's EP, LA Sessions, hits home that this reviewer wasted his early childhood and teens when it comes to music. Young Master Goren is only 14 years old and jams with Soul based and guitar heavy R&B/Rock like an amalgamation of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and BB King; in skill only though. Ray is making his own sound and it is good, a little more pop in some ways than I usually like, but truly that's only in the hooks and how infectious his melodies are. Goren has crafted an incredible fusion of Soul, R&B, and Rock in his song writing both in lyrical content and musical composition for a knockout combination all around... Read More.
Mohammad - We Will Rock You (Single) Review
Mohammad Molaei's cover of Queen's legendary song, "We Will Rock You", will not be for everyone, especially purists that deny anyone can touch anything Freddie Mercury wrote and it not automatically be a steaming pile. That said, Mohammad's version is badass in its own right, blending classical string instrumentation with electronic melodies flavored with aspects of his Iranian background in the arrangement and flow of the alterations he has made to the song... Read More.
Ajenda - Hatred and Greed (Single) Review
Four piece Belfast, Ireland based Ajenda crafts a powerful song that calls humanity as a whole out on the downward spiral it is collectively in. A spiral of ever prevalent and seemingly always growing hatred, and its resulting segregation, between people on personal, racial, ethic, and "class" levels... Read More.
Aji Brokenbones Samiaji - Save Our Culture of Sudanese Review
A teaming of World Music, Sudanese Ethnic to be specific, with shred metal is awe inspiring and completely beautiful. Not only for bringing this aspect of Sudanese culture to a wider audience, but for the technical creativity and beauty of bringing together increasingly rare instruments like karingding centreng, rebab, bonang, saron, kendang, gegedukan and modern instruments with roots in Europe and of course some shredding guitar! So much beauty, power, and history in every note, it's easy to forget you're listening to a metal album... Read More.
Adrian English - Total Chaos Review
Adrian English returns with Total Chaos, and as hard as it is to believe, he is better than ever. Speed, precision, and more emotion flowing through his music than in previous outings. The man never seems to level off with his mastery of guitar from one album to the next. Granted, in many ways shred metal can sound like "shred metal is shred metal is shred metal" when musicians choose to reach a plateau of skill and musicianship, but Adrian always sounds like he never wants to get complacent or stay in one place forever... Read More.
SWIRL is a hard rock/metal outfit from Temecula, CA and they are bringing big arena style rock and metal back to the forefront from the Inland Empire out to the masses! The band, led by brothers DT and Brian "Bam Bam" Jones, has encapsulated everything that was great about post-glam pre-grunge, big arena rock that rode the line between hair metal and hard rock. Not only have they encapsulated that sound and style, they have distilled it to its best, strongest form... Read More.
Something You Whisper - From The Other Side Review
Something You Whisper shows how diverse they can on the From The Other Side EP, showcased are example of their ability to write and play rock, metal, metalcore at points, ballads, and that sweet spot that rides the line that borders hard rock and metal. They shine particularly well on that line, not unlike Halestorm's ability to find that same nexus point, and explode with their best and strongest instrumentation and vocals... Read More.
The Dollyrots - Barefoot and Pregnant Review
Pop Punk snark and humor mixed with Kelly Ogden's tight yet bubbly vocals and bass guitar, Luis Cabezas' smooth guitars that are still clearly guided by punk power chords and attitude... and yet there are some ballads in Barefoot and Pregnant too. This is The Dollyrots in top shape and better than I remember them from when they first broke out... Read More.
The Venetia Fair - ...Basically Just Does Karaoke Review
The Venetia Fair are back with their new EP of covers, “...Basically Just Does Karaoke”, on the EP are the bands takes on new and old classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen, if I have to tell you it was done by them you need to GTFO Tastes Like Rock), Jesus of Suburbia (Green Day), among others. Instead of covering the songs verbatim, The Venetia Fair take each and give them a retooling with their own punk meets cabaret style. No rioting please, it's well done, very well done in fact... Read More.
Soul Asylum - Delayed Reaction Review
Soul Asylum's 2012 album Delayed Reaction, their first new album since 2006's The Silver Lining, brings the band to new heights of their game. Still making beauty from melancholy, Soul Asylum tops themselves perpetually within these ten songs; this is what alternative rock should sound like... Read More.
Uh Huh Baby Yeah - Trash Talk Review
Uh Huh Baby Yeah present a hybrid of pop-rock with screamo. The go-to formula for pop-rockers that want to get radio play without becoming Justin Bieber (...the reference burns the fingers as it is typed) with enough cursing to enjoy the need for radio edits of the songs. That said the cursing feels like it's there just for that reason though and not to express anger or other emotional extremes... Read More.
Downfall 2012 - Everyman For Himself: Issue One Review
Hard, fast, and pissed off. Downfall 2012 delivers metal that revels in its roots while staying current; mixing in some rap style lyrics in at points and dystopianism . Almost nihilist lyrics, that are geared toward change though, for this reviewer's money anyway, and less of the "screw the future" type that has become popular in the last two decades... Read More...
Toby Knapp -
Static Warfare Review
Toby Knapp is back and has brought a blend of heavier but more thoughtful metal with him in Static Warfare. The aggression and virtuosity is still there in his playing and his compositions, but there seems to be more depth to this album than his last outing... Read More...
The Venetia Fair - Every Sick, Disgusting Thought In Our Brain Review
The Venetia Fair's Every Sick, Disgusting Thought We've Got In Our Brain is rock with a cabaret punk feel to a good chunk of the material on the album, while retaining heavier rock hooks and attitude; the album comes off as a mainstream rock answer to steampunk. Not this is a bad thing, some songs are reminiscent of early Panic! At The Disco before we all realized they suck; The Venetia Fair is what the guys from Panic wish they could be... Read More...