Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Pelvis Douglas - digital album 2013

If you like catchy female fronted punk rock then The Pelvis Douglas should be appealing to you. The songs are snappy and hooky and overall this is a very well done punk rock album. That's about it honestly, jangly guitars, cool female vocals and just a solid release that will get your feet tapping and your head bopping...Dave G.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Back Off - Demo 2013

When my friend Mike Bullshit posted Back Off's demo on his Facebook page. I assumed that this was a recently recovered tape from a long forgotten, unsung New York Hardcore band circa 1982. And why not? Newly formed Back Off play straight up early Hardcore that would slip in seamlessly with bands like Major Conflict, The Abused, Antidote and 
NY's Psychos. Six songs of punishing Hardcore with fierce vocals, skull fucking guitar and lightning fast drumming.
With five of the six tracks coming in under a minute and the other scratching and clawing to make the one minute mark. It's "Fast, Loud, Rules" at it's very best. The bands Facebook page Here doesn't really tell us much but I'm sure there is much to come in the near future. James Damion

Band Camp  Back Off

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Everymen - New Jersey Hardcore

With several EP's and a drunken live cassette under their belts; The hardest working band in show biz delivers it first full length and as far as these ears can tell, it's a mixed bag of everything worth celebrating in life.
The band has a way of covering the entire musical map without leaving any embarrassing stains along the way.
The album hits all the sweet spots, drawing inspiration and energy from everything  50's Doo Wop and 60's Phil Spector inspired heights to Springsteen meets the Ramones while getting lost on the way to the beach.
"Dance Only, Only Dance" is a perfect example of my somewhat confusing description. It covers miles of ground with Michael Ventutolo's inspiring vocals and Scott Zillitto's amazing sax play.
Zillito's inspiring play on the  Saxophone come to the fore front on a regular basis but are most noticeable and noteworthy on the track "Novocaine".  Summoning the ghost of Clarence Clemons and remembrance of "On the Dark Side" from the cult classic
"Eddie and the Cruisers" The overall vibe on this track in particular, perfectly captures that moment at the bar where you realize you've had way too much to drink four drinks ago and that, eventually, you'll have to find your way home.

Having seen the band a handful of times over the last couple of years I can say with confidence that this album really manages to capture the spirit, energy and drunken mirth that their live shows are so known for.Though the albums title "New Jersey Hardcore" may have you lacing up your boots and practicing your best version of the "Creepy Crawl" or "Picking Up Change". This album offers more than just a spin kick and a doc marten impression on the skull. "New Jersey Hardcore" is a record to celebrate and to celebrate to. Forget about inviting the Everymen to your party. The Everymen ARE the party.
.James Damion

Get it Here  KillingHorse Records

The Everymen  Facebook

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ex-Breathers - Collision

Ex-Breather are a post hardcore band hailing from Tallahassee TN. The band's stated influence are No Means No, Fugazi and Botch, however while the band does not clearly wear these influences on their sleeves I can hear where they draw the passion of Fugazi and mix it with the Quirkiness of No Means No and then top it of with the power and aggression of Botch. Overall a band worth checking out...So give them a listen...Dave G.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gameday Regulars - Nobody Likes A Quitter

I first caught Gameday Regulars back in February of 2012 when they played with Man on Fire and Brick + Mortar over in nearby Jersey City.
At the time the band really stood out. However, as the year progressed I never really heard much from or about the band.
I chalked it up to them being just another band passing through the area while on tour. Fast forward and almost a year later their latest EP "Nobody Likes a Quitter" fall in my lap. To my surprise, Gameday Regulars were from nearby Bronx, New York and not some working class part of Boston or Chicago, like I had thought.

On "Nobody Likes A Quitter" the band deliver four memorable songs of straight forward working class Pub Rock that feature warm but driving guitar sound and gravely vocals delivered by singer/songwriter/guitarist Gino Romero. There's a live and in your face vibe about these four songs that bring it all to another level. I couldn't help feel as if I was inches away with beer in hand, drunkenly cheering and singing along with every note. Rounding our the band respectively is brother Will Romero (Bass) and John Ryan Clifford (Drums) respectively on drums and bass. While the band may draw instant comparison to acts such as Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphy's, The Menzingers and even Hot Water Music.
Gameday Regulars and each of the four songs offered on "Nobody Likes A Quitter" deliver more than their share of raw energy and authenticity. Here is an EP and a band more than worthy of clinging onto. 
James Damion

Get it Here  Bandcamp

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cicada Radio - No Fate But What We Make

Cicada Radio has been a favorite band of UBRS since we first laid our ears on their excellent debut ep "Imposter" back in the early summer of 2011. The "Imposter" EP was full of emotional heaviness and hooks that were firmly planted in the 90's Emo sound that reminded this listener of  bands like Karate, Knapsack and Small Brown Bike.

On the new album "No Fate But What We Make" the band has moved away from the Emo tendencies heard on "Imposter" and seem to have infused a bit of a shoegaze feel to their guitar tones. There's also an openness and clarity to their sound that was honestly off putting upon initial listen. I initially struggled with this album quite a bit. I was confused by the vocals that sound like they are being shouted across an empty concert hall and the overall production approach of the album had me confused. Therefore,  I decided to put this record aside to possibly revisit another day. The strange thing is that over the next few days I would catch myself with the melody to one of their songs stuck in my head. At first it was "Charity Mafia" and then it was "Oceans" so I decided that I better give this album another chance and I am really happy that I did. "No Fate But What We Make" showcases a band that is maturing right in front of our eyes and I now appreciate the way they approached this album.

I now believe the production of the record and the things I struggled with at first were absolutely intentional on the bands part. I like the fact that I had to really listen to understand and to gain an appreciation of their developing sound. Sometimes the best albums are the ones that don't immediately grab you, but the ones that plant a seed in your brain upon initial listen and then keep dragging you back for more. Even when you aren't sure why you keep listening... Until one day you realize that you can't stop listening....I present to you "No Fate But What We Make"...Dave G. 

Cicada Radio Bandcamp
Killing Horse Records Purchase CD

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Holy City Zoo - Everybody Sells For More

New Brunswick, NJ maniacs Holly City Zoo follow up their 2012 EP "Nobody Sells for Less" with the aptly titles "Everybody Sells for More"

The EP offers six songs (two of them instrumentals) of absolute dissonance. Songs like
"Givin' Him the Business" "Karmatosed" and the instrumental
"That Was Mos Def
(not a pinch of salt)" offer some of the best 90's inspired Punk/Screamo power and aggression. Often giving the listener a front row view of what it's like to be inside a schizophrenic's head.
However, it's on "Hello, I'm Awful", by far the most cohesive track, when the band shows it's true ability to grow and mature as both a unit and individually as musicians.
I'd personally like to see more of that in the future.
This is my favorite release by the band to date. Though I really enjoyed the record.
It was the fact that I was finally able to connect the dots on why I like these guys so much. It further made me see what I feel they're capable of. My best description of Holy City Zoo would be "What if Rye Coalition and the Foo Fighters had an unhinged punk rock love child on their 2006 European Tour?" These six songs are available for download and cassette. Maybe if we wait long enough they'll put it on wax.
James Damion

Everybody Sells For More Get it Here

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gone Quite Mad - S/T Full Length

Back in late 2011 I was introduced to the band
Blue Chip Village through a collective known as
Tiny Giants. My first impressions of the band were mixed. It was a lot different from what I was listening to at the time and very different from a lot of the music we had featured on the blog. It was that difference that made them stand out for me and made me like them. After seeing them perform live a few times my curiosity and interest in the band wained considerably.
I just found myself twiddling my thumbs, waiting for something to happen.

Enter Gone Quite Mad, the newly formed version of that band. Their first EP follows the same path as Blue Chip Village's 2011 release with it's laid back, jazzy and dramatic eccentricities. Only this time around, the bands style has more of a drunken effect on these ears.

Though there are many moments where I find myself thoroughly swept up in the musicianship of the band; (The bass on "Team" and the guitar on "Drunk" immediately come to mind.) It's Gesualdi's vocal style that drives a stake through it. Often reminding me of those moments where every Diva or "American Idol"contestant holds onto that high note just long enough to remind you that, "When I take a shit; I shit gold bricks."
Gone Quite Mad come off sounding very professional, well groomed and produced on these eight tracks. Not a wrinkle in sight or a hair out of place. However, for me personally, I can respect the musicianship without actually liking the music.

Just as I found Blue Chip Village's 2011 EP to be very promising, (Review) even going as far as comparing them to a jazzier Shudder to Think. Time and further exposure to the band has left me bored and indifferent. Gone Quite Mad maintain the same personnel, sound as Blue Chip Village with a more appealing name. If you were a fan of them then, you will not be disappointed in the least. With Gone Quite Mad you're getting everything you loved with Blue Chip Village. Nothing more, nothing less.
James Damion


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Living Laser - Versus Pigs 7" (Trip Machine Laboratories)

Living Laser from NY state have released one hell of a killer 7" in "Versus Pigs". The music is tight and quick paced with plenty of starts and stops and monster riffs in the breakdowns that are sure to result in some circular motion in the pit. 

I think Trip Machine Laboratories has hit on a real gem in this band...I only hope an Lp is in their near future because "Versus Pigs" has definitely left me wanting more.

Living Lasers kick ass...there I said it...Dave G.

P.S. I see the excellent  Living Laser "Ragged Glory" cassette tape is still available from TML. I highly recommend you pick one up if your buying a 7".

Trip Machine Laboratories Purchase
Living Laser Facebook

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dark Empire - From Refuge to Ruin 2012

Wow a real metal band from my home state of New Jersey who actually have the chops, production value and talent to make a name for themsleves in the current prog metal scene.

The three songs on the bands Facebook page are very varied offerings. The first track "A Plague in the Throne Room" contains excellent riffs and mostly clean vocals, and just when I think I have the band figured out the second song "Dreaming in Vengeance" kicks off with a riff reminiscent of the best Fear Factory ever had to offer. The final track "The Crimson Portrait" slows things down a touch but still moves  along at a steady pace held aloft by excellent riffing, tight precise drumming and the strong clean pipes of vocalist Brian Larkin.

Overall, these three songs have left me thoroughly impressed and eager to hear more. If you are a fan of bands like Fear Factory, or maybe Opeth would be a better comparison, then I think Dark Empire may be right up your alley...Dave G

Nightmare Records

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

These Branches / Cycles Schmeichel split 2012

These Branches and Cycle Schmeichel  play a style of Emo  that ignites fond memories of hours upon hours spent in crowded basements and VFW Halls all across the state of New Jersey back in the mid 90's. I'm not saying that these bands sound dated, this is just the feeling I personally get from their music.

These Branches present music that is on one hand  intense and emotional and on the other hand catchy and melodic. As I stated in my review of their previous ep , if you dig bands like small Brown Bike then you need to give These Branches a listen.

The flipside of this split release features Cycle Schmeichel whose sound  is very quirky and spastic to my ears. There is melody hidden away in their songs that may take a listen or two to come to the surface, but upon repeated listens Cycle Schmeichel's sound is growing on me...Overall this is a solid split release that deserves  attention from the masses...Dave G.

Bandcamp The Branches
Bandcamp Cycle Schmeichel

Clear For Takeoff - Line of Fire

What they say: "With the release of their sophomore album “Line Of Fire” recorded by platinum-selling producer Rob Freeman (Gym Class Heroes, Cobra Starship,
Hit The Lights),
Clear For Takeoff have been blasting the East Coast with their distinctive brand of punk-inspired vocal rock. Aiming for the lyrical prowess of Queen and The Beatles while maintaining the all out rock and roll mindset of Foo Fighters and Green Day. Clear For Takeoff have a refreshingly honest approach to their songwriting and live performances.
“Throw down your arms and make music” – the authenticity of the band’s message prevails, on stage and off!

What this listener says: This is the kind of Corporate Rock shit the industry has been spoon feeding the public for decades. "Line of Fire" serves as a reminder of just how sad and desperate the music industry has become with their signings and marketing campaigns.
I have no idea where the bands "Punk inspired" sound or influences come from.
I would imagine they got it from listening to a lot of Richard Marx and Bryan Adams records. The mere mention of acts like the Beatles, Queen and Foo Fighters is enough to get their PR man sued for liable if not prove that he was as high as a fucking kite when he wrote the bands bio. Each of the songs sounds like it was written to be featured in a future douching or viagra ad. The EP opens with an ode to their listeners in "No More Hate Mail". An upbeat, syrupy track that could draw close comparison to any upbeat, syrupy track that New Found Glory ever wrote. From there it's just five more radio friendly Taco Bell, Pizza Hut,
Birth Control jingles that make the listener want to vomit. If I were to leave you with anything positive about Clear For Takeoff and their second release. It's that they can play their instruments well and create some pleasing harmonies. If you're a parent of a pre-teen/tween and you want to have him or her listening to a radio safe alternative to Justin Beiber or
One Direction; This might be a safe bet. The band is playing Cheeseburger in Paradise in Pasadena MD on January 2nd if you'd like to catch them. James Damion

Band Site

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Tea Club - Quickly, Quickly, Quickly

When Dan McGowen, a key contributor to The Tea Club, contacted me asking that
I review his bands EP
"Quickly, Quickly, Quickly"
I was more than happy to oblige. You see, that's one of the things we do here at
United By Rocket Science. When he told me he had played guitar on Suit of Lights
"Shine on Forever", a record I had previously reviewed and given high praise. I became a bit more curious.
Then came the term that often gives me the shakes, if not all out night terror; It was the term "Indie Prog Rock". Bands such as Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull and Tool are high on my list as
"Least Favorite Bands of All Time". I don't think I can count the times I've thought aloud
"If only I could never hear Pink Floyd again, I would die a happy man."

Though this was my first exposure to the band. Deptford, New Jersey's The Tea Party have been recording since 2004 with this being the bands eigth release to date. The band features guitar, (shared by Dan and his brother Patrick) bass, drums and keys.

The EP features four songs that clock in at forty-two minutes with the opener "Firebears" breaking the clock at just under eighteen minutes. "Quickly, Quickly, Quickly" is musically large and atmospheric while never shying away from actually rocking. "Firebears" opens on a rather high note before getting a bit lost in it's own over indulgence. Any song that's heart is still beating after seventeen minutes is presenting a pretty big challenge to keeps it's listeners attention. The following three songs "The Eternal German Infant", "Mr Freeze" and
"I Shall Consume Everything" follow a similar path musically though for a shorter span. Each song offers all of the best in musicianship, arraignments and song structure. Add to that Dan's passionate vocal melodies and you've got all the ingredients for a winning recipe. Though the Tea Club prove that the Prog Rock movement is still alive and breathing.
While I would easily recommend "Quickly, Quickly, Quickly" and The Tea Club to any fan of Progressive Rock; These four songs didn't do much to convince me to order my
King Crimson tickets just yet. James Damion

Get it Here
Official Site