Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Challenges- Going For Bronze (Video)

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Challenges is a pop-punk band fronted by lead vocalist and founder Corey Maynard, lead guitarist/backup vocalist Brian Dempsey, guitarist Danny Massei, bassist James Tripaldi, and drummer RJ Sumblin. This is their latest DIY video from their forthcoming EP entitled Our Honest Opinion.


Check out our past coverage of the band here and stay tuned for the release of their new EP.

I Swim With Sharks- Build Me Up (Video)

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Here is the latest single from Leeds based aggro-pop trio I Swim With Sharks called Build Me Up. This record is even more aggressive compared to their other incredibly catchy single, Just Be Good, that we covered last year.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This Week On BandSoup (2/20-2/27)

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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.

Leatherbag (Indie Rock)--  Leatherbag is an American power trio from Austin, Texas. After relocating to Austin from Houston in 2005, Leatherbag was formed by songwriter/guitarist, Randy Reynolds. The band's new and final form finds Drew Emmons wired on bass and Danny Blanchard wild behind the drums. The band has performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and at the SXSW Music Conference.

The Foot. (Alternative Rock)-- Hailed as one of Denver's top rock acts, The Foot. entered the national scene at New York City's CMJ 2010. Urb Magazine declared them "one of the 15 acts you wish you saw at CMJ" alongside such acts as Das Racist and Two Door Cinema Club. After making several swings across the country, playing some of the most prestigious venues at home, and playing with some of the most respected artists on the national stage, The Foot. has begun work on a series of EPs, the second and third which will be released in early Spring 2012. 

Funktion (Funk/Hip Hop/Jam Band)-- Funktion, the 7-man band based in Kalamazoo, MI, delivers their blend of funk-rock and soul with a hip-hop beat.

IG88 (Electronic)-- Branden Clarke, otherwise known as IG88, would maybe like to fool you into believing that he and his buttons are buried somewhere in between a spray of ambient elation and the sands of a remote desert planet – but there’s something else here. Something tangible and soulful, something raw and quick. Something like the full breath of a thunderhead, the shards of sparks following a blunt and sonic hit to the nail on the head.

Acid Baby Jesus (Garage Rock)--  ABJ represents the future of heavy psych'n'roll from an isolated, ancient civilization. Combining the ruthless elements of American outlaw roots music and celestial glam rock, like fellow deconstructionists Demon's Claws, "LP" suggests the Rolling Stones at their wearied best, with the electrifying hi-jinks of Brian Eno bulldozing the swagger into the darkest corners of the cosmos.

James London (Singer Songwriter/Folk)--  Hailing from Portland, Oregon, James London’s debut EP, “Where Do We Go From Here,” soars with memorable melodies and complex, layered arrangements. From the lush, spacioussplendor of the opening title track, to the moody ... swaggering conclusion of “Bad Seed,” the songs onthis record provide a shimmering, sometimes psychedelic, sonic landscape in which to get beautifully lost.

Beecher's Fault (Alternative Rock)--  In their first year, Beecher’s Fault has become a key player in the local music scene of Astoria, NY. The pop/rock band has played an impressive amount of shows at prominent NYC venues that include The Bitter End, Sullivan Hall, and Pianos. Though only a trio, their live performance has frequently been described as a “wall of sound” that captivates audiences as they light up venues with an energy that is more akin to that of a six-piece ensemble.

Mofo Party Plan (Indie Pop)--  It's fancy and "Dancy".

Muffler Men (Alternative Rock)--  Muffler Men is a power trio from Ghent, Belgium with an alternative rock sound that leans towards stoner rock.

Louder Space (Reggae Rock)--  Louder Space formed in San Luis Obispo, CA on October 5th, 2011 when bassist Oren Ben-Joseph and drummer Philip Tyler joined up with singer Chris Kaye and guitarist Clayton Daly. Meeting each other at a party, the group instantly connected on similar music tastes and the desire to jam together. Since then, the group has been rocking out and working hard to make new exciting music.

The Ready Aim Fire! (Synth Pop)-- Synth-driven indie rock from Walnut, CA.

Kung Foo Grip (Hip Hop)-- Eff Is H & Greg Cypher. Two MC's making that fresh coast hip hop that never gets old. Relevant, independant, & definitely dope! Lyrical, classic, hungry, and versitile.

Zombie Western (Instrumental Rock)-- The aptly named Zombie Western is a four piece instrumental post-rock band based in Waco, TX. The band's influences are clearly apparent in their music, their name, and the intensity of their performances. The careful blending of the dramatic elements of film with the subtlety of layered instrumentation come together to create their textured sound.

Tea Cozies (Garage Pop)--  Steeped in garage rock and british indie, Tea Cozies take influences from guitar-driven pop bands as Blur, Elastica, and the Pixies.

La Palma (Instrumental/Modern Jazz)--  Modern Jazz, soundscapes, and classical instrumental music.

Circus Town- You (Video)

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Here is Circus Town's latest video off their 3 EP, which is now available on iTunes.


Formed in late 2009, Circus Town are Gavin Morris (vocals & guitar), Paul Cooper (bass guitar) and Andrew Gibney (drums). The self proclaimed "dirtiest three piece band to ever be allowed to leave the shores of Birmingham" boast a sound full of bluesy guitars, thundering drums, and vocals that sound like a mix of Jack White, Neil Young, and Nathan Willet.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shiny Penny and The Critical Shoes- Mr. Welker (Soup of the Week)

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Ohio, Illinois oooh I want to take you
Kentucky, Michigan come on pretty mama
...
Off in central Indiana
There's a place called Kokomo...

Where energetic and melodic alternative rock still lives within a young trio dubbed Shiny Penny and The Critical Shoes.

What started out as an acoustic cover band in 2009 has transformed into Kokomo's 2011 best live band and a rising, spark plug act to watch out for in the future. Their 2011 debut EP, Third Spin, features three tracks that are all over the rock and roll map. Wonderville is a Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque trek into rap-rock territory; Curse of the Elephant displays a heavier, alt-punk influence packed with multi-layered chants and power chords; and the stand-out, Mr. Welker, is a nostalgic nod to turn of the century alternative rock. Third Spin gives a dizzy perception into what the band really is, but Mr. Welker is a smash hit begging for worldwide acclaim and radio play.


Dean Schimmelpfennig (say that three times fast) shines bright in this single as he and the accompanying music flip from an introspective, melancholic tone to an outcry of fear and frustrated questions. The arrangements are just as infectious as the vocals and lyrics and, in my opinion, foreshadows the direction that the band should go in because it fills a void in modern alternative rock that is still covered by bands from the 90s. Not only is this a flawless song, it's one of the best outputs of alternative I've heard in years. 

As a big fan of 90s and turn of the millennium alternative, Shiny Penny & The Critical Shoes have me highly anticipating what they have in store for 2012. I've been dying for an updated version of this type of music for years and if Third Spin is any indication of what they are doing in the future...

that's where I want to go
a place called Kokomo.

Orange Grove

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Orange Grove is the radiant brainchild of lead singer Michael Maidwell and guitarist and close friend Jacob Streefkerk. After leaving their Caribbean homes in St. Maarten to pursue an education in the Netherlands, the two decided to form a band after years of toiling at business school. The mellow grooves and happy vibes that soulful reggae tends to bring made the number crunching and deadpan feeling at school tolerable and it translates directly into their music. Instead of just providing and radiating stress relief to their audience like other reggae bands, you can hear their own stresses being relieved into the music, which gives Orange Grove's brand of reggae a little more rock and roll aggression and maturity in their message.


This five man reggae-rock outfit are currently three full length albums in and claim to just be hitting the peak of their careers. Lead singer Michael Maidwell is very enthusiastic and somewhat mysterious about what they have in store in the near future: "We are about to drop something big and it’s very heavy. It will make a very loud thumping noise and even the people who are not paying attention will hear it. It will wake people up out of their sleep..even the very deep sleepers...[but] if I told you what it is you might never feel it for what it really is."



The band recently released a brand new pop-reggae influenced track, Some Things Last Forever, which is available now on iTunes and their Bandcamp page. This new record differs a bit from the other songs shared on the main site. Compared to the heavier, rock laced Feel that Fire and modern reggae influenced You Decide It, it would seem that the band is heading towards another direction in their music; however, after listening to more of their discography, I know it's just Orange Grove doing what they have done for close to a decade now-- keeping their fans guessing while showing off their dexterity and talent that can handle almost any style of reggae and rock available.

Much like Rebelution and SOJA in the US, Orange Grove has the means to break through to a wider audience. Their endless influences, ingenuity, and knack for writing catchy tunes in various styles give them an accessibility that is hard to come by in this genre. If Pepper and Rebelution were a seed, they would grow into something much like Orange Grove, but this band is already bearing the fruit of something even better.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This Week on BandSoup (2/13-2/20)

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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.

Shiny Penny & The Critical Shoes (Alternative Rock)-- Often known for their "musical chairs" on stage, SPCS rotates instruments every few songs on stage to produce multiple styles and sounds. Also known for their wild, funky breakdowns, combined with Dean's strong yet melodic vocals, Brad's bluesy yet heavy guitar solos, and Dustin's tasteful beats and bass lines, SPCS looks to be a force to be reckoned with in the music world.

Afterlife Parade (Indie Rock)--  Raw and deeply triumphant, Afterlife Parade is a Nashville based indie rock band that's sound combines life's hard fought wisdom with the roar of street cadences and ticker tape; music that beckons hearts to march.

Matt Wilson Band (Rock)-- Matt Wilson Band, a four piece highly versatile rock n roll band, is fronted by piano/singer/songwriter Matt Wilson. Matt is an incredible entertainer, band leader who tailors each show for his audience. It's a wildly entertaining night that keeps audiences on the dance floor to the very end.

Dot Square (Indie Rock)-- Devised in 2005 by singer/songwriter Jason DiBartolo, "Dot Square" is an ambitious outlook on the contrary side of the world today. With swirling guitar textures, subtle driving melodies, & dramatic rhythms, "Dot Square" tackles the mind and aims straight for the mood.

The RainDoggs (Blues)-- Click Here to Hear our Soup of the Week and The RainDogg's awesome Snoop Dogg cover of My Medicine.

Scott Ramsay (Blues Rock/Instrumental)-- Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Scott Ramsay is a blues rock guitarist and sound engineer student working on his new album entitled ‘Route 66′ set to release around April-May of this year.

The Enemy Within (Hardcore/Punk)-- Former members of Boston bands Beware, Milo's Syndicate & Blood for Blood team up to form a super squad of hardcore rockers.

Color Me Blind (Hardcore/Rock)-- Color Me Blind has established a unique sound that highlights both their musicianship and utter love for music. From brutal head-banging licks to catchy choruses, there is no doubt this band loves to test the realm of Hardcore and Alternative Rock.

Karvel (Alternative Rock)-- Karvel are a three piece alternative rock band from London, Twickenham. Karvel have achieved so much in so little time. Having only been together a year, they have worked with the likes of Jim Abbiss (Bombay Bicycle Club, Adele and Kasabian) and Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse) as well as performing a live acoustic session on BBC Radio London.

Runaway Brother (Alternative Rock)-- Fueled by a wide range of bands from Say Anything to Death Cab for Cutie, and Third Eye Blind to Tegan and Sara. Released their first two EPs: Mr. Saturn & The Bull Moose Party and have been working on their debut full-length album. Split EP with The Pattern Traced out this Fall. 

Pola.A (Electro Pop)--  Pola.A, from the Flexible Friends label out of Versailles, France, is a multifaceted artist that can be best described as pop meets electronic folk.

Tha Geeks (Hip Hop)-- Tha Geeks are three MC's from Cleveland Heights, OH who spit dope rhymes on their own original beats.

Blak Lyons (Rock)-- Rock and Roll quartet from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hot One of the Week: Wild Darling

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Let’s get real; most people can appreciate artists like Kaki King, Iron & Wine, and, most notably, Andy McKee. The harmonic and rhythmic experimentation and exploitation that can be accomplished with a simple acoustic guitar is what these guys preach. They find ways to turn this one instrument and their two hands into a full band, capable of seducing seasoned musicians and the average citizen alike. Wild Darling takes influence from these artists and many more, even providing an acoustic soul akin to Jack Johnson. Take note of the instrumental prowess expressed in the videos below and go to the links below to hear more lyrical tracks.

Below is an interview with Peter Motzenbecker, owner and operator of Forestry Records, home of Wild Darling.

Pete, you own and operate Forestry Records, the label with which Wild Darling is signed, how did you come upon Wild Darling? 

I first met him (Josh/Wild Darling) in some 8 am class during the Spring semester of our sophomore year, around 2009. We didn't really talk all that much mostly because it was an 8 am class and no one really likes 8 am classes, but I could tell he was a cool guy. Fast forward to next Spring and we have a class together again. By this time, I had already started working on developing Forestry. I hadn't really put it out there to many people, but the first website was up and so were our first two releases. So one day before this class, I was working on the website waiting for people to come in and class to start, and Josh was asked me what it was and I explained, and he was like I'm in. Later I heard a demo he had recorded with our other friend and I was like wow, I have to record him, see what I can with this.

What caused you to work with them and even do most of the producing, recording, mixing, and mastering for the releases of the self-titled and the new single, "Ghost"?

So, Josh and I started to become really good friends, we hung out a lot and we started looking for an apartment off-campus with our friend Gary to move into for our senior year. Fast forward to senior year, we were all pumped to have this apartment and we were all pumped to start recording things because we were all audio production majors. During the fall, Josh started to write a good amount of songs, most of which appear on the album, and in the spring, we started recording the self-titled release. We all the guitars and vocals in my bedroom and constructed some sort of mixing space in there as well. We loved it, working whenever we wanted was extremely beneficial for both of us. We ended up finishing it that summer (2011). We first got it mastered by this guy Mark Fitzgerald at this place in Syracuse, but I didn't really like how it came out so we ended up doing it ourselves. Still don't really know how much I like it though!

For 'Ghost', Josh had been working on it for a few months, but didn't really have any other songs and I thought it was probably one of his most marketable songs and really wanted to do it right. So this past December, we went up to Pyramid Sound Studios in Ithaca, NY after failing to really capture a good sound in my bedroom at home. So we spent a day in there with Phil Abbot, who recorded, mixed, and mastered it, and it turned out pretty well.



Check out Forestry Records and more of Wild Darling here.
“Like” Wild Darling on Facebook.
-Doug Foley

Friday, February 17, 2012

Patrick Dodd Trio

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Who is the man with the voodoo voice that lures both the strange and square into Beale Street water holes? Who is the old soul with the fiery lung reminiscent of Albert King, Marc Broussard, Johnny Guitar Watson and Mississippi Fred McDowell? Who is the one with the commanding voice that's strong as a horse and immediately grabs you with its hoarse beauty? 


Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Patrick Dodd was brought into this world with the gift of the blues and cultivated his talent on the outskirts of the genre, while adding in his own contemporary color. Dodd had a successful run with his band a decade ago, but put aside growing his musical career to grow his young family. Now, along with seasons veterans Harry Peel and Landon Moore, the Patrick Dodd Trio are back in the saddle shelling out soulful vocals, whispering lyrics and knee-bouncing bass and drum beats for perfectly timed full throttle progressions.


The trio's latest release, Future Blues, is quite an accomplishment. The simplicity and straight forwardness of the arrangements allow Dodd to shine bright but still give off a much larger sound than what you would expect from a trio. Their mix of vintage blues, southern-style rock, gospel, and jam music is accessible for both the blues enthusiast and virgin ear alike, mainly due to Dodd's hypnotizing rasp and modern swagger.


Sparkle Gross- Sparkle Gross EP (Free Download) & Smell My (Video)

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Sparkle Gross is a five piece blues rock band from Madrid that pride themselves on their "Les Paul sound and robust rhythm section". Taking influences from The Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, and The Faces, Sparkle Gross' first EP as a band forays into swamp rock, classic rhythm and blues, and roots rock and roll. Peet Nollan bounces from Cocker to Chris Robinson to Warren Haynes and gives a schizophrenic display of vocals over emphatic audio dust from the cowboys firing off the rhythm behind him. Their debut EP is yet another fine display of blues rock in a country (Spain) that has absolutely fallen in love with the genre.



Download Sparkle Gross' debut EP on their website below and check out the video for Smell My above.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soup of the Week: The RainDoggs (featuring Larisa Montanaro)- My Medicine (Snoop Dogg Cover)

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Picture Tom Waits and Snoop Dogg in a 68 Camaro driving from New Orleans to LA, and it’s all being filmed by David Lynch. This is the voo doo smoke that seeps from The RainDoggs' jaws and paws.

The journeymen Doggs are now led by the vocals of Larisa Montanaro and she’s just what these guys needed. "She is the proverbial cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the Bonnie to all these rough neck Clyde’s, get my drift? But make no mistake, she’s no damsel in distress. She stands firmly on her own two feet and belts out song like a steam engine belts out smoke. Her voice-- god damn! It’s like rum tainted honey or 100-proof white lightning cut with star dust, and like her fellow sirens of old, she’ll lead you onto the rocks if you ain’t careful."

Here is their take on Snoop Dogg's "My Medicine" off of his 2008 album, Ego Trippin'. This cover is both brave and wanton, as Larisa captures the lure and sexiness of nature's greatest medicine.

You can download My Medicine and four other tracks on The RainDogg's latest 2012 release, One Armed Bandits, which is available as a free download.




The Missing Season- The Last Summer (Free Album & The Great Unknown (Live Acoustic Performance)

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Born in the forests of Breton, the songs of The Missing Season (Nicolas Gautier and Marin Perot) were cultivated on the deserted roads of Australia before hatching on the Atlantic into a distant, less tormented cousin of Elliot Smith. In 2009 the duo morphed into a quintet by joining Kevin T├ętour on bass, Peter Marolleau on drums, and Vincent Dupas on guitar and keyboards. Together the band continues their blend of folk, slowcore, pop, and vintage songs for the wandering soul.



Their third full length album and latest LP, The Last Summer, is now available as a free/name your own price download. Here are a few live performances from the album above and the download link below.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Week on BandSoup (2/6-2/13)

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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.

Death Rattle (Electronic/Indie Rock)-- Check out our blog post featuring a free download and Death Rattle music video. Heavily influenced by Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and Fever Ray, Death Rattle splashes their dreary innards over what sounds like a futuristic factory machine hard at work. The femme fatale on the mic glides over the industrial synths and pounding percussion perfectly, as the grinding, seductive bass drives her kiss of death into the heart of your cortex.

Skyways Are Highways (Alternative Rock)-- After ten years and a handful of demos under their belt, Skyways are Highways have officially recorded their debut double single of the same name.
Mixed by ARIA award winning Producer & Engineer, Steve James (www.steve-james.com), whom has spent the last ten years investing his time in Skyways Are Highways, so much so it seems like Steve is another arm of the band. Check out both singles on the main site.

Saint Jude (Rock)-- Check out our recent blog post featuring Saint Jude's latest video and free downloads. 

Orange Grove (Reggae Rock)-- European based Reggae rock band that have been around for over ten years but are about to release a special project unlike anything they have released before. Stay tuned.

Quiet Hounds (Indie Rock)-- Some sounds just command the ear when created with honest pursuit; such is the case with Quiet Hounds. These are gentlemen of various talents unexpectedly united with the unabashed desire to produce pure, authentic music with only spontaneity as a guide. Stepping out of familiar cages and unleashed to create something that had been stirring within for quite some time.

Patrick Davy & The Ghosts (Rock)-- Patrick Davy and The Ghosts are a three-piece group from Detroit, MI. Their music is influenced by Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Ryan Adams, and Crosby Stills and Nash. Whether they are performing electric or acoustic, the music remains a blend of crafted, artistic melodies and powerful fundamental rock grooves. The Ghosts have a number of recordings and are now expanding beyond their hometown.

Patrick Dodd Trio (Blues Rock)-- Often compared to Albert King, Marc Broussard, Johnny Guitar Watson and Mississippi Fred McDowell, Dodd's soulful style is a fiery mix of passion, melody, rhythm and soul. He is the bridge between the roots of blues music and the contemporary influence of southern rock, roots and jam music.

Bob Dean (Alternative Rock)--  The title of their debut album describes it best "Volcanic Music" Bob Dean have set out to create something new in the Manchester music scene. This international 5-piece have been gigging for just over a year, they have been praised for their explosive live performance and have been compared to The Mars Volta, Muse and Coldplay with hints of classical and Icelandic influences.

The Province (Pop Rock)-- Female fronted pop rock band from Hermosa Beach, California. Their new album Skeletons & Keys was released last week.

The Golden Troubadours (Acoustic/Folk)-- The Golden Troubadours are a dreamlike acoustic band from Nottingham who write unique soulful songs with shades of flamenco, folk, soul and blues performed with passion and feeling, which leave the heart-strings lovingly played.

Tensei (Hip Hop)--  The Chicago based production crew, Tensei, is comprised of Simple X and Midas Wells. The two met in college at Southern Illinois University with a shared love for hip hop and together formed the group Tensei, meaning 'heaven star' in Japanese. This EP brilliantly showcases Tensei's production style, forfeiting traditional use of samples and instead, using live musicians to create and produce their tracks.

Whales in Cubicles (Indie Rock)-- New band out of London.

The Soviet (Indie Rock)--  Check out Doug Foley's Hot One of the Week/Interview with the band.

XBloome- Mushroom (Live Bedroom Performance Video) & Free Album Download

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XBloome is an electronic pop collective from Vienna, Austria that formed in 2005 in a small, blue flat in the city with Belinda Fritz (vocals/violin/guitar), Hannes Zellhofer (synth), Peter B (drums), and Bernhard Wodni (bass).


The band's last release, X Marks the Spot, is an interesting electronic album because the band decided to stray away from their studio equipment and fancy software and constructed the entire album from free, open source software programs. On top of that, they mixed, mastered, and made all of the CDs (burned the discs, printed the art, constructed the cases) in house. The band did this because they "were surprised that it's often not legally possible to share our experience, know-how, and the fun we have with making music, if we use state-of-the-art, proprietary tools. And talking to other artists, VJs, etc. confirmed that their know-how was also locked to conditions/restrictions of a certain vendor. Because these artificial restrictions are blocking creativity and exchange - we've decided to go open." After recording and releasing the album, XBloome also encouraged fans to "remix" their artwork and music by allowing them to download files off of their website and also posted detailed tutorials of how they made the album from start to finish.

According to the band, "X marks the spot" is the world's first album that was produced exclusively with Free Software from beginning to end. It is a proof of concept that shows that high-quality audio- and graphics-production is possible using exclusively Free Software tools.

Now that's DIY!

Check out their awesome LIVE Alice in Wonderland post-drink performance of their single "Mushroom" in a tiny bedroom flat above. You can download this song and their entire album free of charge below.




Slow Suicide- Ghost (Gost') (Free Album Download)

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When I first listened to “Snow Fall (Snova)” by Slow Suicide, I immediately envisioned innocent children playing in a wintery landscape. Despite the brooding and cynical feeling to the song, I also felt a feeling of hope for a better world peak through. The second song featured on Bandsoup, “Black X (Chernoe)”, is another story. It is a haunting soundscape that begins with noisy, hissing sounds that will either immediately turn you off or hypnotize you into continuing. I chose the latter to see where the song would go after the mechanical noises faded and soon after the song transitioned into a smooth and cinematic sea of guitars. That's when I found out Slow Suicide's m.o. is finding the beauty in the unusual.


I found their latest album, Ghost (Gost), and fell in love with their intimate instrumental music that's deeply influenced by rock and roll and moody electronic music, but with an absurd noisy twist (I hear Brian Eno and Glenn Branca). Ghost (Gost') is available as a free download and is a must listen for fans with an open mind and those that can find beauty within the madness.

- Jesse Van den Eynden

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hot One of the Week & Interview: The Soviet

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As I contemplated my blog this week, I wanted to do something different and give readers (and listeners) a chance to meet the artist rather than just read what I wrote about them. A perfect act for me to cover this week is The Soviet, a quartet from northwestern New Jersey who just released their debute EP. So without further hesitation I give you my interview:


First, before we get started, would you please introduce yourself and tell us your previous experience with music and your largest influences?

My name is Joshua Perna. I'm a multi-instrumentalist; I started playing jazz drums in my pre-teens, eventually moving on to study bass. I eventually taught myself how to play guitar, and, for this project, how to sing. I've done session work with all of these instruments, and been an actual member of only a couple of bands up until this point. Since I play different instruments I'm influenced from all over the place, but as of right now I'd say my biggest are Thom Yorke, Guthrie Govan, and Darren King.

Tell us the story behind The Soviet: a. why the name, b. who else is in the band, and c. goals you have for this project.

We originally got the name from mewithoutYou's song of the same title, but chose to keep it since it's just an interesting ad authoritative word (it translates to something along the lines of "the council", I think.) I have the blessing of working with a few really talented guys. I started the band with a long-time friend of mine, Aaron Brown, who plays lead guitar. We later found Alex Long, a jazz guitarist who picked up bass for the project, and Kevin, our drummer. Our goals are pretty simple and sincere: we just want to perform the music we're creating and get it out to as many people as we can. I feel as if many people get too wrapped up in fantasies of fame and lose sight of the fact that a band should be about a love of music, and we're really trying to hold onto that.

Your first EP is on its way out soon. How long as this been in progress and what was involved?

Wherewithal EP was written in a matter of months. We only really started as a band in Summer of 2011, and just recorded the record in January. Writing it, though, had a lot to do with finding our sound. We had all come into this project from different places, musically (primarily from a progressive/metal music scene.) So a large part of writing this was the trial and error of really agreeing what sort of sound we wanted to orient ourselves around, since this genre was entirely new to us.

Take us through the content of Wherewithal. What makes this record special, both musically and lyrically?

The EP is basically a walk through different situations and junctions in a person's life and how they choose to cope with them. Having the wherewithal (which means capability, for those who don't know) to do something is a daily struggle, and lyrically that's the emotion that the EP is centered on.
Musically, the EP is varied. We write under the pretense that no two songs should sound the same (while keeping a cohesive sound, of course.) So even though it's only a 5-track record, it covers a lot of musical ground in terms of dynamic and energy.

Do you have any closing remarks regarding the release of Wherewithal, the future of The Soviet, and your fans out there?

Just to get a copy of our music, by legal means or otherwise, and keep an eye on what we're doing. I hope our music is something everyone can get excited about, because I can honestly say this is one of the most meaningful projects I've ever been a part of, and I'm very excited about the future. Thanks!

Check out “Wherewithal” here and go like The Soviet on Facebook.



-Doug Foley

Saint Jude- All Ways Were Lost (Video) + Free Downloads

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Melbourne's Saint Jude play gospel tinged blues-pop-garage-country dug up from the 70s. They really do.


What started out as a Black Keys-like two man band has now blossomed into a five man fueled force with Bill Deeble (drums/vocals), Brooke Penrose (vocals/guitar), Ryan McCarthy (lead guitar/vocals), Brendan McMahon (keys/vocals) and Mick Stylianou (bass/vocals). After Bill and Brooke released The Mountain EP in 2009, the duo went on the hunt for a fuller and fatter sound, which can be heard on their latest singles, All Ways Were Lost and Rain is Falling Down, that will appear on their first full length album set to release in March of this year. 

Above is the video for All Ways Were Lost, but if you head over to their bandcamp page, you can download both singles free of charge.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Soup of the Day: Death Rattle- The Dig

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Death Rattle is a mystery.

Besides knowing they reside somewhere within London's fog, they have revealed no further information, no bio or background, no news on what is to come. The only thing we have is a song they released three months ago and an accompanying video that shows the duo's faces melted together, singing their pulsating single, "The Dig", into the white.

Heavily influenced by Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and Fever Ray, Death Rattle splashes their dreary innards over what sounds like a futuristic factory machine hard at work. The femme fatale on the mic glides over the industrial synths and pounding percussion perfectly, as the grinding, seductive bass drives her kiss of death into the heart of your cortex.


60 Second Review: Ben Crane

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Having spent a little over a year as a manager in this crazy industry, it still boggles my mind when I hear amazing artists that aren’t as acclaimed as they should be. Ben Crane is absolutely deserving of all the fame he has yet to acquire. This California singer/songwriter offers up a sound comparable to the likes of Andrew Jackson Jihad and Bob Dylan, which can be heard on his first full length record, Hay Fever. This bedroom/classroom recorded album does not disappoint and features an eclectic and delightful mix of new age folk laced with pop sensibilities.

The sounds and influences on this album are all over the place and Ben shows how talented he is by playing a myriad of instruments. My favorite tracks were the album's opener, Summer 99, a clap your hands and stomp your feet kind of track that makes you wish you immediately knew every word so you could sing along; Terracotta Heart, a nice ballad-like break from the first two up-beat tracks on the album; and the short two minute acoustic closer, The Captain’s Last Words, a perfect way to bring the album to a close and tie it all together.

If you are already on the search for a perfect summer album, look no further.

- Matt Bergeron


Ben Crane on Facebook

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Whores- Ruiner

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Atlanta, GA noise merchants WHORES have unleashed their debut release, Ruiner, via Brutal Panda Records.  The album was recorded this past summer at The Factory in Atlanta, GA with Kyle Spence (HARVEY MILK) handling the mastering duties.  The record is available on a limited edition 12″ vinyl, with orders available here.


The band has quickly become known for their intense live shows, which they plan to bring across North America early next year. Creative Loafing Atlanta said it best: "To put it plainly, Whores' debut EP, Ruiner, finds the Atlanta noise-rock trio destroying everything in sight with a pulverizing rumble of slow rhythm and hatred. Singer/guitarist Christian Lembach's possessed vocalizations sway between soaring melodies and screaming lashings in "Daddy's Money." The song pulls back the hammer and a blast of methodical, teeth-gnashing rage ensues without an ounce of subtlety heard anywhere throughout the four remaining songs. But there is a tuneful drive behind standout cuts "Fake Life" and "Straight Down." Each one moves with brute force, drawing strength from its own ferocity as the bass-heavy rhythms reveal themselves as the vicious centerpiece. The production is clean, direct and loud, facilitating the strengths on "Fake Life." Each song punches with reactionary, and ultimately rewarding, fits of pure psychosis.


Here is a fan made video for their song "Daddy's Money".

A Yawn Worth Yelling

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A Yawn Worth Yelling is a five piece band out of San Jose, California made up of the multi-talented Tyler Boyd (lead vocals/guitar/percussion), Brayden Deskins (lead guitar), Johannes Heine (bass) , Taylor Stover (drums), and Joey Pisacane (lead vocals/guitar). On top of mastering their main roles, all members serve as back up singers because the band likes every yawn and every yell to have multiple layers and depth, as heard on their acclaimed debut EP, 1,000.


1,000 is an interesting record mainly due to the fact that the band is apart most of the year in different universities across the north pacific. Oftentimes, the band writes and records their material separately, sending bits and pieces of ideas to each other over the internet, until they can all meet up and turn the fragments into a complete song. "Their biggest challenge", according to lead guitarist Brayden Deskins, turns out to be unnoticeable and almost unfathomable considering the cohesiveness of their debut EP.

Combining influences from Maps & Atlases and The Dear Hunter, AYWY switches from smooth to spry at the drop of that hat and executes each mood seamlessly. The band is young and green, but after listening to the first two tracks on the EP (1,001, Actually and This Inherent Omniscience), their talent, melodies, and mature songwriting abilities take over and the musical experience takes over the inexperience. Just imagine if they had more time together.




1,000 is now available as a free download. The band is rumored to have a full length album currently in progress.



This Week on BandSoup (1/30-2/6)

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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.

The Scholars (Alternative Rock)-- Shimmering, hook-laden rock music from Oxford, UK. The Scholars draw inspiration from post-punk, New Wave, and rock in an attempt to make sense of a confusing media age.

Whores (Grunge/Alternative)--  "Whores is relentless and merciless in its sonic attack: Its gigantic walls of fuzz and thunderously colossal low-end rumble recall The Melvins’ refined sludge; the epic, primal howls, feedback-heavy rests and meticulous precision recall the best of The Jesus Lizard and Karp. Simply: Whores f#!king slays. Period."

Weird Dreams (Indie Rock)-- With a unique sound influenced in equal measure by David Lynch’s liminal, hallucinatory worlds, and acts as varied as the Beach boys, T. Rex, The Tammys, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright and Smashing Pumpkins not for nothing have Weird Dreams been described as “the most exciting new band in London”.

The Average Engines (Alternative Rock)-- The debut album “Battlesuits” arrives like a large scoop of ice cream in the deepest winter; a bitter sweet combination, painfully if you eat it too fast, but extremely delicious anyway. Following on from their EP “If Dali Broke My Arm It Would Sound Like This”, they come with the goods on their first long player, published on their own label Brutkasten, containing a mixture of Indie, Stoner, Prog, Alternative and a little help of Pop. Average Engines bring a lovingly handmade debut to the fore.

3 1/2 (Garage Pop)-- Leila, Legz, and Tizza are 3 1/2, Co Wave's Los Angeles bedroom doo wop rock trio that are impossible not to like.

XBloome (Electronic Rock)-- XBloome is an Austrian band, joining electronic drum- and synthesizer sounds with classical instruments like violin, trumpet and bass into a smooth blend of ambient disco trip-hop.

The All-About (Indie Rock)--  The All-About is a synth-based power-pop project maintained by Zac Coe in and around Central New York, musically devoted to exploring the enduring connection that exists between pop music and catharsis. Described by producer Oliver Ignatius as "one of the most lovely dissections of the blisses and anguishes of a failed love affair to come out in years," the 2nd LP, Winterpop, is a "pop-soul-synth-punk opus," and it's available for free right now at: http://theallabout.bandcamp.com/.

Groj (Electronic)--  Brainwashed by the visionary sounds of Krautrock giants and the rapturous explorations of Richard D. James, in “Promised Land” Groj interprets themes of trust, self- deception and private fantasies. Under the influence of a minimalist implosive system and tangled in an abundant and hypnotic electro-acoustic foliage, the album comes through with a unique sense of simple delivery.

The Missing Season (Dream Pop)-- French duo that just released their third album, The Last Summer. 

A Yawn Worth Yelling (Indie Rock)-- A Yawn Worth Yelling is composed of five members from San Jose, California. They released their debut album, 1,000, in 2011.

The Black Black (Indie Rock)-- The trio creates their own brand of groove-heavy punk rock. Rock solid rhythms juxtaposed with powerful, driving bass lines and spastic guitars; all tied together with classic melodies. It's rock music that sinks into your bones and requires you to keep turning it up. The Black Black released their first EP "Music To Sell Drinks To" in January 2012 and will be playing shows all around the Northeast this Spring.

Kubatko (Electronic)-- A czech music composer and DJ.

The Few (Blues/Funk/Rock)-- With a passion for vintage, The Few deliver retro vibes, fine-tuned for modern times. From their original stage setup to their custom made Becker instruments and rigs, The Few does it like no other. With a sound often compared to the Black Keys or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Few creates a riffy, blues charged vibe, dripping with rock induced jams.

Kid City (Indie Pop)--  Eerie electronic pop from new Toronto duo that just released their first EP.

Moody Gowns (Indie Rock)--  Moody Gowns are a band who are quintessentially British for all the right reasons. They champion that wry wit and charm that all of history’s greatest Brits possessed. They couple it with light-hearted cynicism that is undeniably funny. They don’t take themselves too seriously; yet they are more real, true to life and down right important than any other band on your radar right now.

Lower Lands (Alternative/Punk Rock)-- View our blog post from last week here. Lower Lands is a young quartet from the cathedral city of Lincoln, United Kingdom that blend a spry and spirited mixture of alternative, pop, and new millennium punk rock. Last year they released their free debut EP, This Was Not Our Greatest Endeavour, a noisy yet catchy foray into the land of post-hardcore. This year the band plans to release another EP entitled Growing Pains featuring the lead single "Reality in Routine". As seen and hard in the video/single above, it's obvious that the lads from Lower Lands have already endured those growth pains and are now reaping the benefits.

Eager Eyes (Alternative Rock)-- An emerging rock quartet from Alameda, California. Their self titled debut is available now.

I Self Devine (Hip Hop)-- Chaka Mkali, also known as I Self Devine is a musician, Mc, community organizer, racial justice trainer, graffiti artist, muralist, program coordinator and director of organizing and community building at Hope Community Center in Minneapolis. Stay tuned for the new album The Sounds Of Low Class America coming May 8th, 2012!

Devin Levi (Electronic/Indie)-- Music from Devon Levi's new album, Here's to Now, a blend of electronic music and live instrumentation that Devon likes to call "artistic alternative".

The Creech (Punk/Alternative)-- Punk/Hardcore band from Germany.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pat Hull- So Far Gone (Video) & Soup of the Day: My Flame

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Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Pat Hull is sure to immediately grab your attention. His distinct voice raises eyebrows because the listener sees a young man with five o'clock shadow but hears a folky female range. Once you adjust to the odd contrast, Hull's vocals become an added spark to his warm melodies and spirited songwriting abilities.

So Far Gone is an older song off of his Forever's Night EP, but is a great embodiment of Hull's endearing ethos. If you check out Pat's latest song, My Flame, on BandSoup, his infectious pop meets roots rock style shines even brighter as the catchy lyrics and contagious arrangement morphed me into a moth. My Flame also reminded me a bit of Neil Young, an influence that Hull harvests amongst a bushel of others on his 2011 album, Light.



Walter Cabal Studio Interview 2 (Video)

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Riverside, California based singer-songwriter Walter Cabal is preparing his new album, Between Lines, with producer/engineer Matt Mendoza. In the above video, the two talk about the recording process and what it's like to collaborate on an album coming from two different mind states.


Between Lines' available 02.28.12
Pre-Order at http://cabal.bandcamp.com
$9. 1st Pressing physical copies limited to 100.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hot One of the Week: Impo & the Tents

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This semester has me confronting what I consider a huge class in my college career, Honors Punk Rock and Society: Critical and Comparative Perspectives. With that in the back of my mind I decided to go through some of the punk music being fed to BandSoup. Now, as I listened to the music designated as “punk” on BandSoup I came to ask the same question my professors did this week, “What is punk?” The word, the genre, and the environment that we know as punk is much more eclectic than we even realize. Folk punk, pop punk, alternative punk, hardcore punk, and electro punk are just a few of the variations you can find on BandSoup. I was looking for a more “classic” example of punk rock music and eventually I came across Impo & the Tents




This Swedish-trio has had five releases over the past year and they are riddled with great examples of the total package when it comes to punk music. The vocals, bass, guitar, and drums all come together in nostalgic, lo-fi recordings that to me are just as magical as some of punk’s most influential records. Sadly, this act only has 244 fans on Facebook, but ironically most of their YouTube videos have just as many or more views. Despite the lack of fan representation, believe me when I say you need to get on their Bandcamp page and listen to them. Go get some free downloads and share/embed that stuff all over! Great punk rock is easily crammed into songs shorter than 3 minutes each and these guys accomplish that with precision. Look for fun tracks such as “Pretty Temptress”, “Four Eyes”, and “Ugly Girl”.

Listen to Impo & The Tents on BandSoup

An intelligent punk name, fun and catchy music, and that genuine garage feel…what could be much better than that?

Like them here!

-Doug Foley

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Skint & Demoralised- All The Rest Is Propaganga (Video)

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Here is the official video for Skint & Demoralised single 'All The Rest Is Propaganda' from their 2nd album This Sporting Life. Be on the look out for the digital release via Heist Or Hit Records on March 5th before the album's full launch on March 12th.


photo by Andy Broomhead

Anacron- Facelift 3: Cosmetic Characteristics (Free Mixtape Download)

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Los Angeles renaissance artist Anacron has just dropped the third installment of his Facelift remix project, Facelift 3: Cosmetic Characteristics. Miles beyond the typical hip-hop "mixtape," Anacron employs his talents as a producer, instrumentalist, rapper, and singer to morph 12 previously crafted tunes into completely evolved (and revolved) interpretations. 


On number three, Anacron tackles artists like Lenny Kravitz, Malachai, Rollerskaters, and more. 
Anacron's annual remix album series continues with "The Facelift 3", yet another impressive installation of reshaped sounds and ideas from the "Unfamous" one. Following what's become tradition, Anacron reworks a motley assortment of songs; bending and sometimes breaking the original structure of tunes with mild to extreme crafting and arrangement. However, no matter how removed from the original, the end result seems to always be spectacular. Whether you love or hate the original version of any song that Anacron chooses to receive a "face lift", his meticulous writing, composing, producing, and mixing process is sure to birth something that brings a positive response from any listener. With 12 tracks in total (2 hidden bonus tracks with download), Anacron's "The Facelift 3: Cosmetic Characteristics" is a better than great addition to the casual eclectic's every day playlist.

Cloudy October- The Metal Jerk (Free Album Download)

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Armed with an alluring flow that unveils haphazardly like stop motion animation, Portland, Oregon rookie MC Cloudy October demands your full attention from the first bar uttered and beyond. In the same vein as a few of my favorite experimental west coast artists, Cloudy October presents common subjects in his own original and oddball way, rejuvenating the way one listens, absorbs, and connects with hip hop.


Here is what Cloudy had to say about the project:
The Metal Jerk, is named after a rhyme style I am currently employing.

The Metal Jerk is a walking abortion. It is a rhyme style that seems to have an advantage by vocally mimicking and adhering to the instruments inside of a beat. It is inspired by popular piano right hand techniques and improvisational jazz. It is also a rhyme style that is handicapped by my lack of practice, primitive syllable placement within composition and my incessant, desperate use of the punch-in function and delay effect while recording. This album marks a period in my life that I discovered that my imagination is much larger than my skill set.


This album is dedicated to all you fucks creating safe-hop complaining about other safe-hop artists. Your blood taste terrific and you make my job really easy. My colleagues and I have discussed your plight for many years. The best advice we can give you is to start and continue to seek opinions about your work from outside of your peer group. Listeners, the industry and the times may not be the best place to place all that blame.


On behalf of myself and all the amazing people who are a part of this project, we hope you enjoy the sounds of The Metal Jerk. Ta ta. XYXYXYXY


Limited Physical Copies of this album will be available before Spring of 2012.

This Week On BandSoup (1/23-1/30)

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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.

Ben Crane (Folk/Acoustic)-- Hay Fever is Crane's first full-length release. The recording took place in his bedroom and classrooms in the Tufts music building. At its core, it's a folk album. But, he tried out lots of different styles and ended up with a pretty eclectic mix of tunes.

Daniel Whittingon (Folk/Blues/Country)-- Daniel has been performing since age 11 and spent the first few years of his music career touring with his father's blues band. In 2008 Daniel began work on a solo album and performing acoustic shows in Hollywood, CA at venues like the Rainbow Room, the Roxy, and the Pig and Whistle. After 3 months of working on the album, he moved to Austin to continue pursuing a solo career and to complete the album in Texas.

Makeshift (Regggae)--  An emerging Chicago based reggae/blues band that's reminiscent of O.A.R. and Slightly Stoopid.

Xperimento (Latin/Funk)-- Xperimento is a bilingual, multicultural band that blends world sounds such as Cumbia, Reggae, Merengue, Ska, Salsa, and Funk with elements of Rock, R&B, Hip Hop and Dancehall. Their songs are rhythmically driven, melodic, and catchy, making their live performances upbeat and fun, weather playing at clubs or big festivals. Xperimento's line up includes a horn section, percussion, drums, electric guitar, bass and a multifaceted singer.

The Ocho (Psych Rock/Jam Band)-- The Ocho is a 4-man Instrumental band who is stationed in Landskrona, Sweden. They play a mix of progressive and psychedelic Rock with hazy synths and funky soundscapes.

Pat Hull (Folk/Singer Songwriter)-- "The Brooklyn based songwriter's alto and his intimate melodies are evocative of Luke Temple's solo records before he started Here We Go Magic, and although the instrumentation, cadence and atmosphere of this material scream "country", Pat's melodies and guitar parts go in the direction of gently reinventing the genre rather than obeying to its exhausted axioms" - Deli Magazine

Wilbur By The Sea (Folk/Singer Songwriter)-- Wilbur By The Sea, the moniker of indie-folk songwriter Sean Knisely, is from a chance encounter along a road far from home. Placed curiously on a Florida road sign with no further explanation, it came to embody the wanderlust that later led Knisely to leave his hometown in West Virginia and follow his passion for music. After recording a collection of earnest and vulnerable acoustic songs in his apartment, he left his TV director job and hit the road to start following his dreams.

Symbol & Surface (Folk/Indie Rock)-- Read our Hot One of the Week feature on Symbol & Surface.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Decortica- Shinkansen (Video)

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Here is another video from Auckland alternative rockers Decortica off their 2011 album, Love Hotel, which you can order/download in various different ways here.

 
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