Patrick's Music Blog

Check out Psych Rock/Garage rock band Wand’s single Growing Up Boys off their new LP Ganglion Reef which is out now.

Basement Jaxx-Junto(Album Review)

Basement Jaxx is a British house duo and  Junto is their seventh studio LP and first since 09. Junto is an album that’s built to played when   in a good mood. Filled with dance tracks and a general festive atmosphere it’s an album that’s easy to enjoy.

     The second track on the album on the album Power To The People really sets the tone of the album a world music vibe and great vocals. Basement Jaxx really packs each track with an energy that’s fun and infectious. Some of these tracks have a strong world influence others are just these trance pop jams. This album really isn’t too complex in it’s composition but it executes well on making rhythms and grooves that anyone with a pulse can enjoy. There’s some tracks on here that sounds so 80’s and early 90’s it’s ridiculous and I love it. Something about you is just a great chill groove. Summer Dem has a funk vibe that just sounds great.

     Basement Jaxx's Junto is a fun party album. It takes from various different styles and mushes it all into a good house project. Very enjoyable album and I’d recommend it to anyone into house music.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl8nfan7Jk0 

Rating: 8.0/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Check out You, The Wolf’s Awake.

 Their EP is coming out in October

Rustie-Green Language(Album Review)

Rustie is an electronic artist out of Glasgow Scotland and Green Language is his second full length LP. Rustie first came on the scene with his debut Glass Swords. An album full bombast and hip-hop influence it was one I really enjoyed. This one is  a more eclectic progression from that one and is about as good.

    A lot of Rustie’s style is intact on this album. Brightly textured synths a lot of hip-hop influenced beats and bass. That’s evident from the first couple tracks on the album. A glimpse is just a beautiful track with great electronics flourishing throughout the track. Raptor is a pure synth driven banger. There’s also Attak which is a great track featuring Danny Brown who sounds great over Rustie’s production. There are also more toned down ambient moments on this album like Lets Spiral toward the end of the project. There’s even R&B coming in a couple off the tracks which isn’t bad either.  

    Rustie does a good job of creating an album that varies in styles but still keeping things flowing well together. The sort of video game toned electronics without being too chippy is consistent throughout.  There are a couple tracks that are a tad underwhelming compared to others on the album but nothing that keeps it from being an enjoyable listen as a whole. 

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Descendents-Milo Goes To College(Classic Album Review)

A grey album cover has the band name "Descendents" in large, bold, capital letters across the top. Across the bottom, in smaller capital letters, is the title "Milo Goes to College". In the center of the cover is a line drawing caricature of singer Milo Aukerman, illustrated from the shoulders up wearing a collared shirt and tie. His neck is slender and curves out as it heads upward, ending at the rims of a pair of rectangular glasses. The top of his head is not drawn, but his hair is represented by a series of short vertical lines above the glasses. His eyes and nostrils are represented by small black dots, and his mouth by a horizontal line drawn across the neck.In the early 80’s the Descendents were really just one among a slew in a California punk scene that was brimming with great hardcore bands. After the band released the Fat EP which established them as a solid band they followed that up with their seminal debut Milo Goes To College. Melding both hardcore speed and rifts with catchy melody the album is certainly considered among the best of the bunch when it comes to the hardcore coming out of that scene during that time. 

      The album is essentially one minute blast after one minute blast of straight punk music. Both explosive and catchy these tracks really show that while being fast and loud go a long way in making a punk album good playing is really what’s going to set you apart.  The rifts and bass on this album just do a lot within a minutes time and that really helps the tracks become more than what they would be other wise. The energy of this record is relentless but never too blistering and I think that helps the lyrics hit a little harder than normal as well. At just over 20 minutes you feel like you’ve enjoyed more music than what you have. There’s no wasted space on this album.

     The lyrical sentiments on the album range from songs about love to raging against everything a teen would find annoying from parents to the stale boredom of suburbia. Some of the tracks are pure violence like M 16. Milo Aukerman’s vocals and tone really comes in as a constant disposition. It all comes through like he’s on edge and ready explode at any minute on this album. 

       Essential melodic hardcore. Definitely a classic release.  If you’re into hardcore I’d give this a decent listen if you haven’t already.

Rating: 10/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

  

Opeth-Pale Communion(Album Review)

Opeth is an progressive/heavy metal band that has been releasing albums for nearly 20 years now. Most of their work is critically acclaimed and well received by fans and this one will probably be no different. Pale Communion is the band’s eleventh studio album. This one is very much on the progressive side very melodic while still maintaining their patented musicianship.

      From the very first track I knew I was in for a very interesting project.  Eternal Rains Will Come  comes in with a very catchy rift and a decent melody but at the same time coming in with great guitar work. There’s lots of atmosphere and strings on these songs. They’re also some nice acoustic/electric guitar mixes on the LP. I really think that the interplay between the lead guitars and rhythm is just top notch on most of these tracks. A lot of these stretch themselves a little on the long side around seven or eight minutes to be exact. Cusp Of Eternity is the longest but I don’t think that track justifies it’s length it’s a tad flat.

       Pale Communion is a great LP though from front to back. I like how strong and at times dramatic the vocals are on this album it fits the music perfectly. Some of the more acoustic mid tempo tracks are just beautiful. My favorite track though is Goblin which is an instrumental that feels really improvisational by the middle toward the end of the track.Nothing on this album is particularly heavy or harsh but I think the playing more than makes up for the  tameness when it comes to this LP. It’s just a great show of technicality and just sounds really good. All in all everything is cohesive. If you’re a fan of Opeth it’s another great LP I’d recommend to any progressive rock or metal fan.

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

Kimbra-The Golden Echo(Album Review)

The Golden EchoKimbra is an 24 yr old pop artist out of Australia that incorporates electropop, R&B, neo soul, jazz elements. The Golden Echo is her second LP and it’s filled with those sounds. This is definitely an LP that sounds like it was a lot of fun to make.

        Clean and pristine that’s what I think when I hear the music on this album. The album is produced with a nice crystal clean feel.  The Golden Echo sounds like a mix of Michael Jackson during the Bad era and Prince with some electropop in there two. Equal parts contemporary and 80’s throwback Kimbra does every style on this album justice. There’s some great r&b tunes on this project and at the same time some excellent funk grooves. Kimbra's range on this LP is very noted at times using a more Prince esq eccentric vocal on some of the more funk laden tracks.

     The hooks on this LP are very strong and the melodies on this LP are just right. Kimbra lyrically sings about 90’s nostalgia(Teen Heart, 90’s Music), love, romance(Love in High Places, Nobody But You) ect she sings with as much confidence and any vocalist out. Still this like most pop LP’s is all about the tunes. Tracks like Goldmine, Miracle and Madhouse are just well produced pop tunes. This whole album is that.

    Kimbra really has a good ear for tunes and as far as pop releases go this year this is easily a top my list. Her ability to just fit on all these tracks is just great. Equal parts old school and new it sounds like it was a lot of fun to make this album and it comes across when I listen to it.  I’d recommend this LP to anyone it’s a great album.

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

FKA Twigs-Tw-Ache

Fifi Rong-Next Pursuit(EP Review)

Next Pursuit cover artFifi Rong is a singer-songwriter from Beijing but currently producing music in the UK. Next Pursuit is her first EP. The music she makes is a nice blend  of R&B, pop and Trip hop and she does it nicely on this EP. 

    Fifi really has a nice delicate vocal that really fits over the production style on these tracks.  Some are more darker and melancholic others are lighter and have a catchier chorus. She does a good job on both styles of music. Intimacy is a favorite of mind it really has a nice melody to it. Breathless is sort of slower track with dark electronics in the background. I really like the trip hop elements on some of these tracks and a lot of the production on this project cause it’s varied throughout the project but all sounds tailor made for Fifi. Equality has a very nice mixture of  light piano keys and electronics that sound really good.

      Fifi has a nice sense of range not only vocally but mood wise. Some tracks she comes of contemplative, even a little somber other times more sultry and upbeat. Lyrically I think most of these six tracks are sharp especially Cold In You and Equality which is about knowing that heartbreak happens to everyone. So for the most part I enjoyed listening to this. I do think there’s room for improvement I definitely enjoy some tracks over others  but certainly a solid foundation.   Next pursuit has some replay value and is worth a listen so I’d check it out.

http://fifirong.bandcamp.com/

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II

SZA-Z(EP Review)

SZA is an R&B artist on TDE(Top Dawg Entertainment). Z is her third EP. The EP was released early in this year in April and was met with mostly a positive response. Much like her label mate Isaiah Rashad she left to deal with question about whether the hype about her is only because she’s signed to one of the hottest rap labels out right now. I don’t think she hits it out of the park but she does have an ear for interesting production and a solid vocal.

     SZA has a pretty chill demeanor and decent range on her vocal. The production on this LP ranges from minimal R&B with some neo-soul to 80’s synth-pop. He lyrical content deals with love, romance, and nostalgia. There’s some interesting beats on these tracks some are very hip-hop influenced and others just have a slightly trippy feel like the track hi-jack. Still there’s something about the EP that feels understated and I’m guessing it’s cause she’s developing as an artist. Some of the tracks feel a tad monotonous in tone in the middle section of the EP just cause the tempo on most of these tracks stay at the same level.

     Still there’s a lot to like about this project SZA shows potential to create music and a lot of the tracks on here are pretty good. The features from Chance The Rapper  and Kendrick Lamar are also pretty good as well so give this project a good listen if you haven’t already.

Rating: 7.5/10

By: Patrick Griffin II