Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brooklyn's Courtesy Tier Offers "Something Better"

Brooklyn's Courtesy Tier have a new track up on their Bandcamp. It was issued December 26th 2012 and is available in numerous formats at a "Name Your Price" offer. "Something Better" was Recorded and Mixed by Ben Rice at DeGraw Sound in Brooklyn, NYand Mastered by Alan Douches at West Side Sound. Just check the link below.

Something Better

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Super Snake - Summer Girls

As I sit here with tingling extremities in an apartment within view of Japan's
Mount Fuji waiting to add layers before heading out. I thought it would be the perfect time to add my two cents about an EP that's been on replay since I got off the plane two weeks ago.

It's hard to imagine it's taken me so long to review a four song EP I downloaded on Bandcamp over a month ago. It's just that these four songs are excellent on so many levels that it's taken it's fair share of time to fully delve into their unique eccentricities.

Super Snakes is a "Super Group" of sorts. Comprising Jerry Jones of Trophy Scars and former personnel from Chambers and I am Heresy respectively. Three uniquely special bands in their own way; Jerry Jones being the most notable.

On the bands debut they pull out all the stops and take things to a level usually selected by seasoned veterans and bands we hold in the highest regard.
Dirty, "Don't Give A Fuck" relentless Rock excess. Jerry Jones delivery is part screamish, part menacing, demonic slithered word. Each of the four track names come from some real badass characters both real and fictitious. "Baron Samedi" was a Loa of Haitian Voodoo. "Frank Booth" the fictional character and antagonist from the 1986 classic "Blue Velvet" "Anton Chigurh" was the hit man from the novel "No Country for Old Men" and "Stringer Bell" the drug kingpin from the TV dram  "The Wire". Lyrically these tracks are even more sinister and creepy. "Frank Booth" was so dirty I felt like I needed to be bathed upon listening. John Pinho's guitar work on "Summer Girls" is not only notable but praise worthy to say the very least.  Whether or not you're a fan of any of the aforementioned bands. This is an EP and a band you should be looking into. Super Snake has it's first full length already recorded and due out soon. Go make yourself familiar with these four songs before it arrives. James Damion

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dot Dash - Winter Garden Lite

Washington D.C.'s Dot Dash may not be immediately recognizable to our readers but the bands personnel have been staples to the indie and punk community for decades. Guitarist/Vocalist Terry Banks and Bassist Hunter Bennet are formerly of Julie Ocean while drummer Danny Ingram played with the legendary Swervedriver. Guitarist Bill Crandall, formerly of Adam West rounds out the band.

On "Winter Garden Light", the bands second album. Dot Dash (Taken from the Wire song of the same name) craft an impressive collection of
post-punk power pop. The band together elements of The Jam, Joy Division and the Buzzcocks with a dash of minimalism that has me thinking of the production values of
The Jesus Mary Chain's "Psychocandy". All of it blending together nicely to form a perfect Power Pop sound. "Winter Garden Light" has a refreshing and catchy vibe. Highlighted by mature song writing and structure. Each song has it own warm and distinctive feel with a hook laden, jangly vibe.

Though this took a few listens to find a deeper appreciation and connection with the songs.
I found myself enjoying more and more with each listen. "Winter Garden Light" is a record more than worth investing in.
James Damion

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Sautrus - Kuelmaggah Mysticism: The Proloque EP

Every now and then we get a request for a review from outside of the country. The majority of which don't even seem to come close to matching the kind of material we cover here at United By Rocket Science. That said, when I first came across The Proloque EP from Sautrus I was not expecting much return on the bands download. Never mind the name, title or the fact that this came to me all the way from Poland. This complete "Out of Left Field" surprise is a complete gem and one of my most listened to EP's of the late year.

Kuelmaggah Mysticism offers four songs of sludgy,
Stoner Metal that also offers a good dash of bluesy, 70's Hard Rock debauchery. Weno's vocals are deep, soulful and bluesy while still holding down the Rock n' Roll fort. There are moments on "The Blackest Hole/Black Hole" that remind me of an insanely dark and sinister MRI I had last week at 2:30 in the morning. I found myself immediately hooked on these four tracks. One can only hope that the band will delivering many more dirty little gems in quick form. With hope the wait won't be long.
Very impressive. James Damion

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Strife - Witness a Rebirth

Hardcore torch bearers Strife return to the fold with "Witness A Rebirth" the bands first studio material in more than ten years.
Back in the 90's when California straightedge band Strife first appeared on the Hardcore radar. They filled the void left by bands such as Judge,
Chain of Strength and
Youth of Today and may have even tightened the screws a bit. While 1994's "One Truth" refueled us. 1997's "In this Defiance" inspired us.

When first hearing about the reunion and the making of the record I tossed it into the figurative abyss of reunited bands looking to relive old glories on the dance floor. However, unlike many of the unmentioned newly reunited and reinvented bands. Strife held a special place in my later Hardcore history. At a time when it seemed like I was holding on to a genre that had been littered with bands playing metal riffs and representing their gangsta' hood. Strife, along with a handful of bands gave me inspiration and made me feel that.... all hope was not lost.
So I proceeded with caution and an open mind.

On "Witness A Rebirth" the band fires on all cylinders at a breakneck pace. All the elements that made Strife stand out two decades ago coming rushing back as the band return to their relentless beast of a sound. Passionate vocals that renew old battle cries coupled with a relentless guitar assault and enough mosh parts to turn any square footage into a war zone. The album features it's fare  share of who's who from a list of bands I never really cared much for myself. Terror's Scott Vogel, Chino Moreno of the Deftones, Dino Cazeres of Fear Factory and Igor Cavalera of Sepultura add to the mix. Making one wonder if anyone from the actual band even showed up for the recording. Regardless of whether or not those players made any major differences in the records sound. It works!!!

Though the record doesn't really break any new ground. It doesn't do anything to erode the foundation and reputation the band worked so hard to create. It might just win over a new legion of fans. As far as reunions go, this is about as good as it's gonna get. James Damion

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bad Brains - Into the Future

It's never a good thing when you have a negative attitude about a record before even listening to it. Thus was the case with the Bad Brains latest release. Sad yet appropriate considering how much the band meant to me and basically everyone that listened to Punk or Hardcore in the 80's. The ROIR cassette and 'Rock for Light' were part of my introduction to Hardcore. I saw the Bad Brains many times between the release of  
"I Against I" and "Quickness". Including leaving my senior prom early with my date to catch them at the Ritz in NYC.

My love, respect and admiration for this band never really died but remained firmly placed in that 80's decade. When 2007s "Build A Nation", (the bands first album of new material in twelve years) arrived I harnessed that love and respect to have hope that the band would somehow gather the solid musicianship of Daryl Jennifer, Dr. Know and Earl Hudson, matched with  the production on long time fan, friend and supporter Adam Yauch to help overcome the fragilities of H.R.'s worn vocals and well documented mental state. Disappointment followed, as did my hopes the Brains would ever recapture old glory or even come remotely close to what they accomplished decades ago. Sadly this was not the case with "Build A Nation". Even sadder, it is not the case with "Into the Future". The band really does try to.

As far as I can see the problem with being the Bad Brains is living up to the incredibly large reputation the band is do deserving of. The problem I have with "Into the Future" is though the band is working hard on creating an album that will bring us back to that golden age, all while providing hope for the future. It comes off more like the Bad Brains have become a Bad Brains cover act. Sure, they can play the songs while looking the look; But they never come close to sounding or feeling like the original. Dooming themselves to playing weddings, high school reunions and frat bars. If "Into the Future" holds any clues to where we're headed. Book me on the first flight out of here. One can only dry hump the past for so long without becoming dehydrated and uninspired by glories long past. I will not be brainwashed into thinking this band will ever produce anything close to what they did in the 80's.
James Damion

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chris Neptune - S/T

Every now and then our blog gets a submission that has us scratching our head and wondering "Do they have any idea what we do here?" "Did this artist take even a few seconds to explore the content of the blog?"

"How would you like your white bread sir?" "White, very white with the crusts cut off and an unhealthy dollop of mayonnaise for good measure." That is how I would describe the sampling
I received. Chris' bio only tells part of the story. Influences ranging from Alan Parsons Project to Toto to John Mayer to Coldplay. Chris manages to gain inspiration and ammunition from the dullest and most uninspiring artists to plague the universe with their horse tranquilizing odes to sedation. If I can take anything positive from listening to this it would be that the track "You'll be Surprised" had me racing through You Tube for the theme song to the 80's TV show "Greatest American Hero". In support of his EP and upcoming full length; Chris recently headlined 'The Crossroads' in Garwood, NJ. Sadly, I was unable to attend. That would have been interesting to say the very least.  James Damion

Chris Neptune

Antidote - No Peace In Our Time

As a teenager growing up in the mid to late 80's New York Hardcore scene Antidote were already a legendary and somewhat mysterious band to many who entered the scene at the time. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" was already an almost unattainable, long out of print classic.
The EP rivaled and to many, even overshadowed that of Agnostic Front's "United Blood",
Cause for Alarm's self titled EP,  The Mob's "Upset the System" and The Abused
"Loud and Clear".

Thirty years later after a series of reunion shows that seemed to be born out of the monumentally shitty
 "American Hardcore" book and movie. The band has been promising a record of their first new material since the
Reagan Era. The wait seemed to be a long one but the band has delivered on their promise.

"No Peace in our Time" delivers ten songs of classic Hardcore sound in just over twenty minutes. The album feels a lot like what should have originally followed "Thou Shalt Not Kill" sometime in the mid 80's before crossover put a stranglehold on New York Hardcore. An element that really helps the record stand out amongst a lot of the more currently polished and metallic Hardcore acts. An element I strongly believe the band was dead set on accomplishing.

Though Drew Stone's vocals wore on me at times. I felt Rob Nunzio's guitar work was stellar and really helps to overshadow that shortcoming. "Uneffected" and the forty-three second "Time to fight, ready to fight" stand out as my favorites. Throw in a cover of Black Flag's "Rise Above" with guest vocals from Agnostic Front's Roger Miret'  and you have a strong foundation to build on.

Though this was not the monumental release many had hyped it to be. I feel that it captured a lof of the spirit and intensity of Antidote's original sound and that of some of the more notable early New York Hardcore sound. "No peace in our time" isn't a great record but it's good enough to make me want to dig up my re-issue of "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and try to remember what it was like to be thirteen years old again. James Damion

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