Chain and the Gang – Music’s Not For Everyone

Well here it is! Since the release of those two earlier 7″ singles, this thing has been patiently taking it’s time to reveal itself, and now it is upon us. The official release date was just yesterday (the 22nd), so why don’t we check it out? Continue reading “Chain and the Gang – Music’s Not For Everyone”

Titus Andronicus/ Free Energy – Split Tour 7″

Yo! So I saw Titus Andronicus and Free Energy last night in Philadelphia. I hope y’all don’t mind that I left behind the cameras and stuff, because there was WAYYY too many people there to be whipping out a camcorder in the middle of the (much) heated madness. It was extremely hot, and extremely packed.

If you’re from Philadelphia and also familiar with R5Productions, then you know what it’s like to be at a sold out show at the Church. It tends to be very unpleasant, that is until the bands you’ve been waiting for take the stage. Then suddenly everything is okay again. Like that weight is lifted off your shoulders. That weight being the hundreds of people behind you pushing and going ape-shit and just trying to scramble to the front. Except that never really stops – the people just keep pushing the whole time, like a never ending storm out at sea. You’ve only got three ways to escape the madness – 1.) stay up front until the show ends, 2.) crowd-surf the FUCK outta there and get to the back, and 3.) just turn around and try clawing your way out. The third is probably the most difficult way too.

So as some of you may already know, Titus Andronicus and Free Energy put together quite a treat for us before they set foot on this current tour (which actually ends this weekend in New York). It’s a split 7″ with one song from each band on either side. Titus Andronicus covers the Television Personalities “Anxiety Block”, while Free Energy take on Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down”. Both songs are excellently executed, and I’m having an exceptionally hard time trying to figure out which of these two covers I like better. Free Energy does a fantastic job of capturing some of that authentic Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band magic, while Titus does an equally awesome job of destroying faces and tearing shit up with their cover.

“Anxiety Block” is a fitting song for the way Titus usually does things – loud, excessive, relentless, and triumphant. And Paul Sprangers (of Free Energy) voice is surprisingly soothing and comforting in their Bruce cover, complemented by some flawless guitar playing that even the Boss himself might be a bit jealous of. Not that he has anything to worry about. I’m sure he’d approve of this cover. And I’m sure you guys will, too. It’s a magical track indeed – kind of like love at first listen. Check out both sides of this 7″ below, and if you live in either Washington D.C. or New York, it’s still not too late to catch both of these bands live in action. Because let’s be serious people – that’s how Titus Andronicus and Free Energy were meant to be experienced.

Anxiety Block –

I’m Going Down –

My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Covers, Indie Rock, Classic Rock
Split Tour 7″: Tracklist:
1.) Titus Andronicus – Anxiety Block (Television Personalities)
2.) Free Energy – I’m Going Down (Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band)

Titus Andronicus on Myspace
Free Energy on Myspace
Free Energy – Stuck on Nothing previously posted on the Drone
Titus Andronicus – “Feats of Strength” previously posted on the Drone
Come out to one of their remaining shows to grab this 7″ for yrself!

Acres of Diamonds – Maria 7″

I know I didn’t post anything here yesterday, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy finding new stuff for you guys. I made my way around the city yesterday in search of some new wax, and I came up with a few nice things. The first record I’m going to share comes straight from a Philadelphia band, and their name is ACRES OF DIAMONDS. Before snagging up this 7″ I was completely unaware of these guys, but that is no longer an issue. Good thing too, because these guys definitely have a nice sound going for them. It also never fails to make the music that much more interesting when it’s coming straight out of your own city.

So at times while listening to this stuff, some other bands lately dominating the headlines come to mind, such as the National or even the Arcade Fire. I say the National due to the vague vocal reminders of lead singer Jim Anderson to Matt Berninger in “Maria”, and the Arcade Fire for the use of the baroque piano and the ability to produce a huge and joyous orchestral sound. Part of that huge sounds comes from the fact that there are six different people in this band using six different instruments at once, so yeah, that’s pretty important. They also like to use of harmonies, (whether it be with the vocals or the guitars), and it certainly stands out in their music. These two things together are the perfect recipe for quite an addicting 7″, and it makes me all the more excited to check out their EP which has four other songs on it. This music would probably go great with the colder Winter months that aren’t as far off as we all think they are. Don’t go anywhere until you check these songs out though – I’m going to upload both of them. If that’s not enough for you, head on over to their Bandcamp page where you can listen to each song from their EP. In the meantime, hopefully these Philly-bros (and gals) don’t keep us waiting too long for some new material!

PS – I just started listening to the full EP…different band members take the vocal efforts in different songs.

Maria –

The Whole World –

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Indie Rock, Classic Rock
Maria 7″: Tracklist:
1.) Maria
2.) The Whole World

Acres of Diamonds on Myspace
Acres of Diamonds on Facebook
BUY the 7″ on their Bandcamp page

Top Drawer – Solid Oak

Top Drawer is without a doubt one of those bands that has been long forgotten about. If it wasn’t for this wonderful compilation record, I don’t know if I ever would have stumbled upon these guys. This obscure band hailed from the rural center of the United States, coming right out of Kentucky. There aren’t many facts to be said about the band, considering they were around back in 1969-1970 and they only have one album that I am aware of. Their one and only album, titled “Solid Oak”, was recorded back in 1969 at Fultz Recording Studio over in Kentucky, and if you have one of these original records in mint condition, it could sell for well over a hundred dollars. The album is constantly being sought out due to it’s rarity. According to the record sleeve of the compilation I mentioned above, the album was only repressed one time back in 1980 on Akarma Records from Italy, and has never been pressed since. On top of that, none of the band’s original members have ever surfaced to talk about the music, and it’s not looking like they’re about to show up anytime soon. This song was included on the compilation in hopes that the band members would take notice of the praise that their almost-perfect record “Solid Oak” has continually received over the years. Then perhaps the band members can give us their side of the story on what it was like to be twenty-something years old in the middle of America and release a psychedelic masterpiece, and then vanish back into normal life without a trace. Listen to the first track of their forgotten masterpiece right here on YouTube. This track is the main reason the album is so sought out, with its monumental guitar soloing and the constant loop of the keyboard, this song undeniably flirts with perfection. That’s enough from me, now it’s time to find out for yourself. Check out the amazing “Solid Oak” with the link below…and…oh yeah…

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! I hope it’s the best one yet!

Solid Oak: Tracklist
1. Song of a Sinner
2. What Happened Before They Took the People Away
3. Middle Class America
4. Time Passes Much Too Quickly
5. Messed Up
6. Baker’s Boogie
7. What’s in Store
8. Sweet Memories
9. Lies

Solid Oak: BUY, good luck finding anything else. Try checking eBay.