Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rogue Sounds- Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite (Free Album Download)


Rogue Sounds is an established instrumental rock trio from Anaheim, California with a desire to make instrumental rock more accessible to music fans. Combining the post-metal cinematic sludge of Isis, the astral and ethereal soundscapes of Junius, and the grandiose instrumental schizophrenia of Russian Circles, Rogue Sounds is an amalgam of experimental noise from some of the most respected mad scientists of moody metal.

On their new album, Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite, Rogue Sounds deliver an onslaught of constantly evolving compositions that orbits one corner of the rock and roll universe to another in a matter of minutes, cycling from metal to industrial to space rock to drum and bass and back again. Songs like "Wormsign" and "25th Parallel North" illuminate the band's best attributes, which are soaring compositions laced with spacey guitar work and punishing hard rock percussion.

Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite is available as a free digital download, but can also be purchased (pre-ordered) on vinyl. From the same store, Rogue Sounds have a few awesome t-shirts and other records available for purchase.

Colour Coding- Perfect (Video & Free Download)


There's nothing quite like the sound of youthful hope.

There's a certain buoyancy to the sound that instantly ignites a feeling of contentment and sends a blissful buzz throughout your body. This lovely feeling oozes out of the lead single, "Perfect", from Sydney, Autralia based indie-pop duo, Colour Coding. 

Wrapped in a blanket of silvery synths, fetching melodies, and an addictive whistling hook accompaniment, "Perfect" is a tender and addictive ode to puppy love. The single is from Colour Coding's brand new and self produced Proof EP; a debut exhibition of Tim Commandeur and Chris Holland's capacity for the catchy and propensity for pop.

Colour Coding is definitely for those with a sweet tooth, but it's hard for anyone not to smile and nod along with their "perfect" ode to innocent love.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This Week on BandSoup (3/5-3/19)


Another week in the books and yet another week of great uploads here on BandSoup! Here are a few of the bands that you must hear according to an unanimous vote from the BandSoup blog team. Remember, new bands pop up on the site 1-5 times per day, so check back in with us. You might be missing out on your new favorite band!

* Click the band's name to hear their music.

We had a SXSW week last week, so here is a post with two weeks worth of our best new uploads.

Typhoon (Indie Rock)--  Check out our recent blog post for more info and videos. Typhoon's music has always been marked by complicated arrangements and careful orchestration. Live performances routinely involve 12 or more band members playing at once. "The group masterfully combines indie rock instrumentals and vocals with violins, percussion, hand claps, xylophone, horns and a choir of other instruments, making for inspiring and catchy songs." 

This Means Nothing in Mexico (Indie Rock/Pop)--  Vancouver trio that dares you not to groove to their single "Spirits" off of their brand new unveiling, Year of Thunder, now available as a free download.

Rogue Sounds (Instrumental Rock)-- Formed in the summer of 2008 to create more accessible instrumental music. The band currently resides in Anaheim, CA and has released 2 EP's, 2640 & Transmission. Most of 2011 was spent writing & recording 'Jupiter And Beyond The Infinite' which was released for free download/no minimum donation March 10th 2012.

Max & The Moon (Indie Rock/Pop)-- Max & The Moon's "Out of My Head" was our Soup of the Week last night. Check out the blog post and get your free download!

Coast Jumper (Indie Rock)-- Songs from their debut album, which is currently available as a "name your own price" download.

Literature (Indie Rock)-- Songs from the debut LP from Austin TX power pop madmen. Purchase here.

Tokyo Raid (Garage/Psych Rock)-- Serving up a ferocious, fuzzy, Rohyphenol-laced cocktail that fuels the bloody collision of neo-psychedelia, garage, post-punk and glam, San Francisco’s mercurial Tokyo Raid effortlessly pull off the difficult trick of being simultaneously iconic and fresh.

Equals (Instrumental Rock)-- "The densely layered songs all have their distinctive storyboard of moods and textures, each one a lovely surprise yet all five somehow melding together to form a cohesive, cinematic whole." Click here for a free download of their self titled EP.

Planet Asia (Hip Hop)-- New music from underground hip hop legend Planet Asia's latest record, Black Belt Theatre.

More awesome new bands/solo artists on the flip side!

Ben Rector- I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston Cover)


If there is one artist that proves musicians do not need major label aid to find success in the digital age, it's Nashville's Ben Rector. Rector pummels the iTunes charts with every release and has built an enormous fan following by doing what he does best-- sing and perform. Combining influences from John Mayer, Ben Folds, and Bruce Hornsby, Ben Rector is the multi-talented poster boy for the new era of digital DIY artists, where talent and close connections with fans reign supreme.

Here is a Whitney Houston cover that was recorded by Ben before her untimely death. Rector's latest album, Something Like This, is available now on iTunes and other online retailers.
Rector is a 24-year old nobody. He's never been on a label, he's never spent a dime on promotion, he's never been on national television, and he's literally topping the iTunes charts. There's no catch; just listen to the music. With a rich voice and skillfully crafted songs that both befall his age, it's no wonder he's no longer a secret. In a world where everything is only a click away, the opportunity for a uniquely talented artist to take off is unprecedented. And so is the success of this up and coming Singer-Songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee.

Rector released "Into The Morning" in February of 2010, and it quickly climbed to #5 and #10 on the iTunes Pop and Overall charts. In a year and a half, the record went on to sell 15,000 albums, and over 60,000 singles independently, due solely to word of mouth and consistent touring. Rector is no stranger to the road; he has toured incessantly the last four years, rapidly growing a legion of fans and selling out most dates on his previous two headline tours. This rapid growth culminated in the release of "Something Like This" on September 13, 2011. The record was the #1 Singer Songwriter album 5 minutes after its official release, it climbed above Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" to the #4 spot on iTunes overall album charts, bested only by Lady Antebellum's same-day release, Coldplay, and Adele.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Billy Corgan Interviews at SXSW


Billy Corgan's interviews were a hot topic around SXSW. Some agreed with what he said and some (surprisingly) did not. Here are both interviews: the first one with with Google Play and the second summary video with Brian Solis.

What do you think about Corgan's views? Agree or disagree? State your claim as a fan or artist!
In this interview with Google Play, Billy brings up some very relevant points about regressions in music as an art form and its influence on culture and society. He also discusses the many struggles that bands face in today's music business. He stresses how a band's focus on just creating singles is very record company centric and that it hinders artists from building any kind of integrity. Overall, he seems very concerned by the lack of "great bands" since the 1970s. To him, they are few and far between and people are more likely to name Led Zeppelin as a great band instead of naming a more contemporary musical act.

More importantly, he mentions how it is a social crime that music as an art form has become an accessory or a good. He also states that due to the mass commercialization of music, its cultural impact is no longer there since people cannot emotionally connect to something inauthentic. To him, the proof of this phenomenon can be seen in the lack of record sales across the board.

In terms of the music industry, he calls it "one of the biggest business failures in the history of mankind". He also attributes the lack of progress in music and its forms of distribution (especially compared to movies) to the constricting and protective nature of record labels.

On current trends, he calls for a change in the way people support their favorite bands. To him, it is equally important to financially support artists for the music that they create and for fans to be proud of doing so...that it is not a "dirty" thing to do.



Typhoon is an 11-14 piece band based out of Portland, Oregon led by lead singer Kyle Morton.

Typhoon's music has always been marked by complicated arrangements and careful orchestration. Live performances routinely involve 12 or more band members playing at once. "The group masterfully combines indie rock instrumentals and vocals with violins, percussion, hand claps, xylophone, horns and a choir of other instruments, making for inspiring and catchy songs."

Listen to Typhoon on BandSoup

Their early recordings reveal a greater degree of experimentation with various styles, including a number of "sea shanties", Country Western and Eastern European-inspired songs. Their more recent output, including their album Hunger & Thirst and its companion EP, A New Kind of House, show a more focused and consistent sound, and a greater focus on creating a cohesive thematic through-line. Many of the songs are preoccupied with mortality and directly reference lead singer and primary songwriter Kyle Morton's own struggle with Lyme Disease as a child.

Here are is an official video for the song "The Honest Truth" off their latest album A New Kind of House (above), a live video of their 2011 SXSW performance at The Driskill for NPR (middle), and a record session video of their epic song "Claws Pt. 1" (below).



2011 was quite a year for electronic and synthesized music as M83 and Cliff Martinez's work on the Drive soundtrack reignited mass worship of epic computer pop records. Now, in the wake of the subterranean explosion of bedroom chill wave and 80's influenced synth-pop, we are seeing numerous bands replacing their beloved axes with keyboards, midi controllers, and synthesizers, while attempting to capture the nostalgic noise that seems to be bringing generation x, the millennials, and the internet generation together. On top of rock and rollers experimenting with new sounds, this nostalgia-boom has also brought on a lot of copycats and flash in the pan laptop musicians that lack the musicianship of veteran artists like M83 and Toro Y Moi. This is proven with a few hours spent scouring synth laced sub-genres that lead you to many of the same sounds and samples floating over flaccid drums and over-worked vocals. Let's face it, there aren't many groups that can float with in the clouds with present gods of electronic pop music, but Crozet, a new duo out of Philadelphia that recently released their debut album We'll Be Gone By Then,  pack a divine punch strong enough to go toe to toe with their heavyweight competition.

What started out as a solo bedroom escapade of John Helmuth during his senior year of college eventually turned into a two-headed electronic monster with the addition of Sean Lee. On We'll Be Gone By Then, the duo masterfully blend gargantuan drums, luscious layered synths, dreamy guitar riffs, and reverb-soaked vocals into an ethereal enterprise of exquisite computer driven pop.

Crozet's tastefully crafted and sequenced records bleeds youth, romanticism, hope, spirit, and often sounds like a soundtrack to a futuristic Jon Hughes-esque coming of age film. I'm Lost, with it's blossoming guitar riffs and epic drums, introduces the introspective journey; Powerful tracks like Just Wait, Neon, and On the Line provide the rising action (obstacles, conflicts) with their grandiose arrangements and penetrating synth lines; Closed Shades and He's a Nomad provide the pace of the climax with a more melancholic vibe that's beautiful yet tragic and listens like a beach of sadness aching for a wave of hope to crash its shores; We Can See It provides the falling action (or the moment of final suspense before the dramatic conclusion) with its enthusiastic and hopeful spirit; and the title track, We'll Be Gone By Then, is the perfect accompaniment to the denouement-- the tear-jerking conclusion where our protagonist beats the odds, finds that the hard road was worth traveling for this outcome, and raises a fist in the air a la John Bender as we fade into black.

Crozet's well crafted debut shows signs of brilliance and a group that is far beyond their bedroom bandcamp counterparts.  We'll Be Gone By Then is a mature synth-pop record that shows Helmuth and Lee's knack for composing emotional and infectious pop records that will inspire, motivate, and invigorate a multitude of listeners and 80s babies.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

60 Second Review: Mac Lethal- Irish Goodbye


What can I say about David Sheldon aka Mac Lethal? Mac is a veteran hip hop artist from Kansas City, Missouri that did the impossible and became a viral sensation twice in late 2011 with his classic "Look At Me Now" pancake rap video (below) and his controversial "Texts From Bennett" Tumblr (which is now a smart phone app). After years of subterranean grinding, Mac Lethal has been hit by the internet lady luck and is now chillin' on top of his viral throne awaiting the world of television and advertising to kiss his rings.

But this is no gimmicky, flash in the pan MC.

Mac has been doing it for a solid decade, and to go along with his recent explosion of success, he has blossomed even more as a lyricist and a complete hip hop artist. His flow is unmatched by any other great white hype doing it today and his most recent LP, Irish Goodbye, is the best thing I have heard from any underground hip hop artist in the last five years. On Irish Goodbye Mac lets his tongue loose and battles the industry and life's cruel battles with a sardonic yet thoughtful outlook. The record has everything that is good about pop radio with the edge and heart that a lot of underground artists possess but fall short of delivering. It's odd and bittersweet how he blew up on a whim off of two seemingly crap shoot attempts at garnering attention because Mac Lethal's talent has no boundaries. This mid-western jerk has made a career out of making pasty hip hop fans feel like a bad asses while at the same time making them smile with sharp tongue in cheek one-liners.

I could sit hear and type to you a contrived review of a few key tracks, but instead I am going to list them and make you a promise-- If you even have the tiniest soft sport for hip-hop, check out these key tracks (The Palour, No Miracle, Vodka Tonic With a Lime, Aviator) and you will have yourself another amazing artist to add to your playlist. If the purchase price of Irish Goodbye doesn't tickle your fancy, Mac has a free mixtape from last year called North Korean BBQ that will hit the spot just as good as his renowned pancakes.
- Matt Bergeron
Copyright 2010 BlogSoup