Whitesand/Badlands – Seeding the Clouds

YO. I have something special for you guys here today. I’m hoping that these sound waves are entering your ears for the very first time, mainly because it’s brand new music and it seems to be the bands first official release (but I’m not 100% sure on that).

That band would be known as WHITESAND/BADLANDS, and their 52-minute double LP was just released to the masses recently, and they would be more than happy to share it with YOU. They recorded their new LP at Sacred Heart Recording Studio, which just so happens to be a 19th century cathedral converted into a recording studio, and after learning that it almost seems too perfect that the record came out the way it did. They released the music in vinyl and mp3 format only, so to get these tunes you either gotta cough up the money for some brand new wax, or just buy some new mp3’s. But seriously, we all know which option is giving you more for your money. Just do yourself a huge favor and buy the vinyl.

Whitesand/Badlands have been around since at least 2008, and they’re currently made up of seven different members at most – but it’s usually just a combination/variation of those seven members. Andy Larson appears to be the constant frontman, although I’m not entirely sure about that – bear with me people, there’s not that much information out there to be found about these guys. While I can’t necessarily answer every question about the band, we can leave their music to do the rest of that for us.

Most of the songs from the LP are quite long, so it usually takes awhile for them to hit their mark, but each one does in due-time, and you’ll definitely notice the difference once they change things up. And it’s not a sudden burst of madness you should be looking for either, they do it all with much more subtlety. Some good examples of this would be on the longer tracks like “Magician’s Hat”, “Syntax Trees”, and “Sunburn”. Along with this, most of the songs have an underlying dark mood in them, at times sounding extremely eerie, tribal, or primitive. Primitive would probably work best with the song “Witch Hunting” or “Magician’s Hat”, while eerie would work best with “Brandspeakeasy”. Then you get much more welcoming jams like “Statue Park” and “Thought Leader”, but they still manage to change the direction of the song midway so you never get too comfortable with any sound.

“Thought Leader” takes about a minute to build up, and once it does you’ll find yourself in a mess of crunchy guitars and buzzy bass lines. It all ultimately leads up into a triumphant ending with some great little guitar licks during the final minute, making me go on to say that this might be one of the most accessible songs on the record. In a few of the other songs (“Sunburn”, “Brandspeakeasy”, “Syntax Trees”, etc) they bring out what sounds like a legitimate grand piano, and it really goes a long way in bringing the songs to life and giving them their own, unique (and much more serious) sound. But that’s enough from me – listen for yourself with the songs I left below. I had a tough time figuring out which ones to leave you all with too, so be sure to listen to them all. If you want more go to their SoundCloud page.

Witch Hunting –

Syntax Trees –

Thought Leader –

My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Experimental, Post-Rock
Seeding the Clouds: Tracklist:
1.) Angels on a Pinhead
2.) Witch Hunting
3.) Brandspeakeasy
4.) Statue Park
5.) Magician’s Hat
6.) Syntax Trees
7.) Sunburn
8.) Thought Leader
9.) False Prophets
10.) Whale Song

Buy the Double LP – Just send $25 to whitesandbadlands@gmail.com
Whitesand/Badlands – Official Website
Whitesand/Badlands blogspot
Listen to more from the LP on SoundCloud

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The Ills – Lost Trams EP

When I was surfing around the web trying to find some information about this band, I didn’t get very far. Most of the descriptions across the web are just copy-and-paste descriptions that seem to be used in every necessary place you could think of. The description I am talking about can be found on their Myspace page, and even on their Last.fm page. Unfortunately for me, this is all I know about the band, so just regurgitating the material certainly isn’t fun or entertaining to read.

So this is the Ills in a nutshell: Their name came about as a joke after they made their first song in September 2008, and since then they’ve gained momentum, found their own sound, and began playing shows in their hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia. Fun. Now here they are today putting out their most recent EP after putting out their first one back in September of 2009. I haven’t listened to the first EP, but the latest one is a beautiful, thought-evoking album in which they force you to paint a picture in your head to go along with the music. Along with that, their music also creates an environment, (known as a soundscape/dreamscape to some), and it’s as dreamy and lethargic as you could hope for and the second track “Vulnerable” is a prime example of this. The following track “To Go Through the Silence” also fits into this category as well, until about halfway through they suddenly kick things up and the cymbals crash until we’re at the end of the song. The opening track “Immense” is a bit different from these other two, and you can hear it for yourself right below. The final 7-minute track “Broken Wheel on the Ambulance Car” is more electronically dominated than the rest of the songs, resulting in an electrified atmosphere present throughout the entire song. You shouldn’t waste any more time listening to what I have though – download the EP through the link below and find out for yourself! Happy listening!

Immense –

Vulnerable –

My Rating: 6/10
Genre/ Tags: Instrumental, Post-Rock, Shoegaze
Lost Trams EP: Tracklist
1.) Immense
2.) Vulnerable
3.) To Go Through the Silence
4.) Broken Wheel on the Ambulance Car

The Ills on Myspace
Download the “Lost Trams” EP right HERE directly from the EXITlabel
Download their first EP right HERE

(The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope – All This Heaven

Believe it or not, (The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope may have been around for longer than you once thought. The band originally formed in Washington D.C. back in the winter of 2000, when they put out some of their earlier releases, like their first few EPs. The band remained in Washington D.C. until the summer of 2007 when they decided to move to Philadelphia, which from here on out they considered Philadelphia to be their home. As of currently the band still resides in Philadelphia, and they’re most recent release was put out in 2008 on Turnstile Records, and it’s called “All This Heaven”. As far as I know, this is the most recent release from the band.

The album starts off with quite a racket. The first track “Which Witch is Which” begins on a terrifying note, with the song being nothing more than some screeching and scratching. This is bound to leave any listener questioning what they are about to get themselves into. Things don’t stay this way for very long though, and that’s probably a good thing. The following track “Get the Joke” kicks off with a much more inviting sound, and shortly into it you’re probably thinking “Why the hell wasn’t this the opening track?” Right around the 2 and a half minute mark, the song begins to build up into much more, with the lead guitar bringing us along for the ride and moving the song forward.

The next track “Lines” is certainly a highlight from the album. The song starts off with just some guitar, but slowly picks up one instrument at a time. First the fuzzy bass guitar slides on in, which is then followed by the splash of a few cymbals. Then the drummer gives us a steady beat, and this is when the song begins to take form. Right after the 2 minute mark the lead guitar and vocals come in, and that’s when the song continues to grow. A lot of the music on this record builds up in the same fashion, almost producing a soundscape in which you can immerse yourself in. The next track is “The Complete Lights”, and this one kicks off much differently than the prior tracks. They don’t waste any time starting this one, and about halfway through you’re met with a huge, thunderous guitar solo that sounds as if the god’s up in the sky have become angered. The tom-toms and the rhythm guitar help give the solo that destructive feeling before the track closes out with some familiar drum rolls. Moving onto the next track “The Story About the Knives”, this one starts off a bit slower and laid back. The guitars that introduce almost hint at something bigger and better to come, all over top of that groovy bass line. Sure enough, right around the 4 minute mark, the song changes pace and you’re once again immersed in the middle of another “Kaleidoscope” soundscape. Be sure to listen to this song below.

Skipping ahead to the track “Dead Room”, this just happens to be the longest track on the album, clocking in at over 7 minutes. Perhaps they call this one dead room because of the 3 and half minute intro. For 3 minutes it just sounds like all the members were told to screw around with their instruments, and this intro was the result. Complete with screeching door sound effects, this is definitely what it would sound like to be in a “Dead Room”, but remember, this is just the intro. Right at the 3 and half minute mark the song kicks off, and almost immediately the bass line comes in. This is when the song becomes dangerously catchy, and the bass line is sure to keep your foot tapping. The ghastly lead guitars do a nice job of guiding you through the track yet again, right into the vocals of lead singer Damien C. Taylor. Along with “Lines”, “The Complete Lights”, “The Story About the Knives”, and “This is False Telegraph”, this song fits right into the highlight category for this album. Be sure to listen to the mp3’s below.

Dead Room –

The Story About the Knives –

This is False Telegraph –

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Post-Rock, Psychedelic, Shoegaze
All This Heaven: Tracklist
1.) Which Witch is Which
2.) Get the Joke
3.) Lines
4.) The Complete Lights
5.) The Story About the Knives
6.) 13 Days
7.) Cicada Song
8.) Dead Room
9.) Learn To Forget
10.) Asa Nisi Masa
11.) This Is False Telegraph
12.) You Know Who

(The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope on Myspace
Listen to the album in its entirety right here > Apollo Audio