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Gamingforce Music Exposure Club™
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Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Jul 26, 2007, 04:17 PM Local time: Jul 26, 2007, 04:17 PM #1 of 201
Fair to Midland - Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True
Year: 2007
Genre: Prog Rock



1. Dance of the Manatee
2. Kyla Cries Cologne
3. Vice/Versa
4. The Wife, The Kids, And the White Picket Fence
5. April Fools and Eggmen
6. A Seafarer's Knot
7. A Wolf Descends Upon the Spanish Sahara
8. Walls of Jericho
9. Tall Tales Taste Like Sour Grapes
10. Upgrade^Brigade
11. (When the Bough Breaks) Say When


Okay, so the tendency for a lot of prog bands these days is to jam as much gobbledygook as they can into a song or album title, but Fair to Midland shouldn't be discounted just because of that.

Any fans of The Mars Volta and Coheed & Cambria will recognize some of the high-pitched vocals and interim songs between tracks, but Fair to Midland rein themselves in short of having 3 minutes worth of ambiance in the middle of a song. Instead, what you'll find here is some very catchy tunes with a progressive edge to them, and some captivating lyrics that lend themselves well to the "classical fable" theme of the album (even if they don't make a damn bit of sense).

At the day's end, you might not rank these guys among your favorite bands, but I think it's interesting that they're trying to make progressive a mainstream affair, and that they succeed, to a certain extent.

(By the way, that growling section in Dance of the Manatee is thankfully the only one of its kind on the album. I'm not sure what they were thinking there. =/)

Favorite tracks: Dance of the Manatee, Walls of Jericho, A Seafarer's Knot, Say When, April Fools and Eggmen

Splendidly weaved from an atom bomb.

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by Skexis; Jul 26, 2007 at 04:30 PM.
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Sep 10, 2007, 10:24 PM Local time: Sep 10, 2007, 10:24 PM 1 #2 of 201
Joni Mitchell - Blue
Label: Reprise
Release: 1971
Genre: Singer/Song Writer




1. All I Want
2. My Old Man
3. Little Green
4. Carey
5. Blue
6. California
7. This Flight Tonight
8. River
9. A Case Of You
10. The Last Time I Saw Richard

Joni Mitchell is one of only two women on Rolling Stone's "Top 100 Guitarists of All Time." Regardless of what you think about the magazine, it's saying something that she managed to make the list at all, since she doesn't play rock or blues music, and most of the list was devoted to rock & roll and its influences.

Anyone familiar with the songwriters of the late 60s and 70s like Jim Croce, Don McLean, or Nick Drake should know something about what to expect here, but Joni Mitchell's earnestness and forthrightness in her songwriting shines through like few others. The crooning vibratto she uses lends each song a gravity and nostalgia that runs throughout the entire album.

There's really only winners here, but my favorites include: "All I Want", "Little Green," "Carey," "California," and "The Last Time I Saw Richard."

Like the color when the spring is born.

There's nowhere I can't reach.

Last edited by Skexis; Sep 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM.
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Sep 23, 2007, 01:27 AM Local time: Sep 23, 2007, 01:27 AM #3 of 201
I felt like slowing it down a bit for you cats today, so I brought some chill and downtempo. Just a foreword: I like Bonobo a lot more than I like Dzihan & Kamien, but I think they're both worth checking out for any electronica or jazz lovers.

Bonobo - Days to Come
Label: Ninja Tune
Release: 2006
Genre: Downtempo/Funk




Spoiler:
Disc: 1
1. Intro
2. Days to Come
3. Between the Lines (ft. Bajka)
4. Fever
5. Ketto
6. Nightlite (ft. Bajka)
7. Transmission 94 (Parts 1 & 2)
8. On Your Mark
9. If You Stayed Over (ft. Fink)
10. Walk in the Sky (ft. Bajka)
11. Recurring

Disc: 2
1. Days to Come [Instrumental]
2. Between the Lines [Instrumental]
3. Nightlite [Instrumental]
4. If You Stayed Over [Instrumental]
5. If You Stayde Over (Reprise)
6. Walk in the Sky [Instrumental]
7. Hatoa [Instrumental]

Here's what you do. Picture Air. Add platform shoes and a polyester shirt collar that could swallow a baby. ('Fro optional.) Now you've pretty much got Bonobo's Days to Come. He definitely doesn't have as much penetration as Air's music, but he does a damn fine job of it regardless.

Bonobo comes from label Ninja Tune, which has also hosted Amon Tobin for some time. While Amon Tobin has since gone entirely experimental, Bonobo has stayed pretty much within his own niche, crafting jazz influence music that has only gotten better as the years go by.

Definitely check out: "Days to Come," "The Fever," "Transmission 94 (pt. 1 & 2)" and "Recurring"

Move away from your western lands, travel towards eastern sands.





Dzihan & Kamien - Freaks & Icons
Label: Six Degrees
Release: 2000
Genre: Downtempo/Chill




Spoiler:
1. After
2. Dabudei
3. Streets Of Istanbul
4. Before
5. Homebase
6. I Guess She...
7. Slowhand Hussein
8. Just You & I
9. Colores
10. Ocean Air
11. Smile
12. Where Are We?
13. Spacewater

Dzihan & Kamien are a couple of Austrians with groove on their minds. Basically you can think Sunday afternoon listening. It's lazy, but with a slight edge to it. In this case, it's eastern influence, courtesy of both artists' interest in Turkish and middle-eastern style.

One thing that you'll notice time and time again in Dzihan & Kamien's music is the clarity and punch of the samples and vocals that they use. A lot of downtempo music is minimalistic not just with the samples but also with the treble or the distinctness of the sound. With these guys, though, the buzz of the bass and especially the crystal quality of the piano come through the whole time, making it seem like a more fresh sound, even when it might not be.

Favorites for me include: "After," "Homebase," and "Spacewater"

When your sunlit window needs a soundtrack.


This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Feb 26, 2008, 04:22 AM Local time: Feb 26, 2008, 04:22 AM 2 #4 of 201
A new album for you hopeless romantics out there.

Stacey Kent - Dreamsville
Label: Blue Note
Release: 2000
Genre: Nightclub Jazz




1. I've Got A Crush On You
2. When Your Lover Has Gone
3. Isn't It A Pity?
4. You Are There
5. Under A Blanket Of Blue
6. Dreamsville
7. Polka Dots & Moonbeams
8. Hushabye Mountain
9. Little Girl Blue
10. You're Looking At Me
11. Violets For Your Furs
12. Thanks For The Memory



The 30's and 40's are alive and well thanks in part to Stacey Kent. A throwback to the dance nightclubs and glitter gowns, this album contains many of the golden standards of the same period. Ms. Kent is fortunate enough to have modern recording equipment at her disposal, so this album comes out sounding crystal clear, and enchanting anyone that takes the time to listen.

This album is soft...so soft, in fact, that I'd say if you're doing something else while listening to it, you're not really doing it justice. Listen to this if you're relaxing, or if you're having dinner with a special someone, or if you just want to think the world is a little bit better place for a while.

Favorites: You Are There, I've Got a Crush on You, Isn't it a Pity, Violets For Your Furs

...And feel the petal soft and sweet against my nose.

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Jul 9, 2008, 04:19 AM Local time: Jul 9, 2008, 04:19 AM 1 #5 of 201
Today it's going to be a little sweet and a little sour. First up we have the somewhat popular band Alexisonfire, which a lot of people (at least in Texas) don't seem to know about. I've never heard them on the radio, so I hope this is news to some of you. Second is the soft-voiced Dallas Green (City and Colour being his namesake) from Alexisonfire, who put out a solo album basically at the demand of his fans after some acoustics came to the surface on the internet.

Alexisonfire - Crisis
Label: Vagrant Records
Release: 2006
Genre: Post-Hardcore/Hard Rock




1. Drunks, Lovers, Sinners And Saints
2. This Could Be Anywhere In The World
3. Mailbox Arson
4. Boiled Frogs
5. We Are The Sound
6. You Burn First
7. We Are The End
8. Crisis
9. Keep It On Wax
10. To A Friend
11. Rough Hands

Alexisonfire is the product of 3 other different bands breaking up. You get the sense that if things had been different, these guys would have been happy to play, each in their own niche.

But after listening it's apparent that some karmic intervention has brought these guys together, and the end product plays well. The back and forth between hardcore and soft vocals definitely gives the songs some replay value, and in my own opinion, allows them to reach a wider audience, letting the moshers and the guys nodding over at the bar a middle ground that they can meet on.

This album is their third and most recent, and it's obvious their success has helped rather than hindered them. This is a band that has apparent chemistry, and they've allowed each member to bring things to the creative table-- something that some other bands might resent. Compared to their 2004 album, there's not a whole lot of change in the band's style, but what little experimentation there is only adds to the dynamic of the band.This album will show you stadium favorites like "Boiled Frogs" next to pseudo-ballads like "Rough Hands" and what sounds like an attempt at post-rock noise with "You Burn First."

Bottom line is that these guys rock.

Favorite tracks: Boiled Frogs, This Could be Anywhere in the World, Keep it on Wax, To a Friend

All right! This is from our hearts!

_____________________


City and Colour - Sometimes
Label: Vagrant Records
Release: 2005
Genre: Acoustic/Indie




1. ...Off By Heart
2. Like Knives
3. Hello, I'm In Delaware
4. Save Your Scissors
5. In The Water I Am Beautiful
6. Day Old Hate
7. Sam Malone
8. Comin' Home
9. Casey's Song
10. Sometimes (I Wish)

Here's the real star of the show, as far as I'm concerned. Where Alexisonfire is a little something to everyone, Dallas Green brings the big guns in a quiet way. He's a talented singer, a talented songwriter, but perhaps more importantly, he maintains a sense of style about the way his music comes out. A small flourish here or a sharp pluck there keeps his songs memorable while the words are allowed to work their magic.

This first album, as mentioned above, is basically a response to fans that wanted to hear more of Dallas Green's acoustic work that appeared on the internet. It's a collection of some songs that he had already written, and in some ways it still sounds more like a collection than an album. As if it's in some sense of disarray. I like to think of it like an amalgam of keepsakes in someone's shoe box. All those memories that come bubbling to the surface when we view the photos and knick-knacks of our relationships.

Friends, with this album, Dallas Green makes the college anthem sound good.

Favorite songs: Comin' Home, Sometimes (I Wish), Save Your Scissors, Day Old Hate

If I was a simple man...

I was speaking idiomatically.

Last edited by Skexis; Jul 9, 2008 at 04:23 AM.
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Oct 29, 2008, 10:12 PM Local time: Oct 29, 2008, 10:12 PM #6 of 201
Pop Pistol - Pop Pistol EP
Year: 2008
Genre: Electronic Rock/Alternative
Label: Unsigned


1. Angela Awake
2. Triggers
3. All Heart No Head
4. Calm Little Center
5. Purple Eyes
6. You Will Fall
7. Jealousy Dance
8. Urban Hope
9. Influential Devil
10. Angela Asleep
11. Io

This band is made up of three unknowns, all native to my own San Antonio, and they are badass. I recently saw them when I went to see Dredg on tour. They were the first band up, and believe you me, they blew the other guys out of the water. They had a great energy and band rapport with one another, using the stage for the performance, instead of making the mistake that the stage should be used like the studio. The lead singer/lead guitarist in particular is one of those visible presences as a lead man, and pours his energy into the guitar as he plays, alternatively headbanging or sinking to his knees. I could tell it was difficult for him to manage two parts at once, because there were a couple of times it seemed like he forgot where the mic was, but he was still completely professional and played on, basically handled himself well.

As for the music itself, they mix some pop rock, some sampling, and some nice rock beats, making it easy to listen to, and, I've found, hard to forget. According to the trio, this album was a couple years in the making, and I feel like the finished product is great for a first release. It might just be that good recording equipment is becoming cheaper for the little guys to buy, but this album suffers from little distortion or "garage" sounding hollowness.

One or two of my friends was put off by the singer's voice, which sounded a bit whiny live, but I feel like a lot of that is thankfully gone here. Some people might still take issue with the way the singer's voice sounds, but if you're anything like me, the first impression will get bowled over in the midst of the tasty groove.

These guys have their single, Angela Awake on iTunes, but unfortunately because this is a garage EP, there's no place to buy the full album. I'm just trying to get these guys a bit more exposure.

Favorites: "All Heart, No Head", "Calm Little Center", "Jealousy Dance", "Angela Awake", "Triggers"

You pull triggers in my mind.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?

Last edited by Skexis; Oct 29, 2008 at 10:15 PM.
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Dec 5, 2008, 12:25 AM Local time: Dec 5, 2008, 12:25 AM #7 of 201
Portal - Blood Red Tape
Year: 2008
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Unsigned


1. Jebel Moon
2. Splizkrein
3. Your Kettle
4. The Kingdom
5. Six Degrees
6. The Simple Things
7. Enemy
8. We Kuffar
9. Back in the Day
10. The Light


Portal uses some of the same elements bands like Tool and Porcupine Tree utilize, like ethnic drums, song lengths most radio stations would balk at, socially conscious lyrics, and odd time signatures. So, in a sense this is nothing really new.

However, a frontman can make a big difference in how the music is heard, and the same is true here. With a clear, call-to-arms voice piled on top of the already great syncopation between guitar and drums, this band makes the mundane memorable. I personally favor their longest running songs because it allows for more crescendos, and more opportunities to build tension in the song. I like to compare the structure of songs like "Your Kettle," or "The Kingdom" for instance, to Blackwater-era Opeth.

I also personally really enjoy the singer/songwriter's style. It's layered, and poetic, but in a way that makes it accessible instead of being the kind of confrontational with us or against us notion that I see often times with Tool's songs.
Portal's lyrics are made to work well in the context of the song, which tells me that the songwriter wanted his work to be a part of something greater, to complement the work from the other band members. (Listen to the end of "The Kingdom" to understand where I'm coming from.)

It's hard to say why I enjoy this band so much, truthfully. The sound design is certainly top-notch, but perhaps it's that when Portal puts something to paper, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. They just tend to do the crescendo moments so well, and the pieces fit together so neatly, that I find myself coming back to listen again and again. Even remote fans of bands like the ones I mentioned should do themselves a favor and listen, too.

Favorites: "The Kingdom", "We Kuffar", "Your Kettle", "The Light", "Enemy"

If it breaks like waves on the shore...

FELIPE NO
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Jul 7, 2009, 01:40 AM Local time: Jul 7, 2009, 01:40 AM #8 of 201
Ed Harrison - NeoTokyo OST
Year: 2009
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Drum & Bass/Downtempo/Ambience




1 Annul
2 Tin Soldiers
3 Beacon
4 Imbrium
5 Automata
6 Hiroden 651
9 Mechanism
10 Paperhouse
11 Footprint
12 Out
15 Scrap I/O
20 Carapace
21 Stopgap
22 Radius
23 Rebuild

NeoTokyo is a Source mod played through Steam with a future dystopian bent. Its primary influence is from Ghost in the Shell, which is evident in a lot of the model and environment design.

The game itself is mostly a pure action, counterstrike kind of affair, but it's notable because the soundtrack for the game is its own entity. You won't hear these tracks during gameplay. It is, instead, 27 tracks worth of external mood setting for the game.

Saxophone and strings meet chimes and hissing snares as one track might be mistaken for Blade Runner or Yoko Kanno, and another might be Amon Tobin. The production values are not super high for the album as a whole, but for an amateur effort, this seems like quite an accomplishment for Mr. Harrison, as it really brings out both the cyber-esque and the asian themes running under the game itself. When you listen, you can imagine crack anti-terrorism squads preparing for a mission, or engaging in counterespionage.

You might notice that the track numbers are odd for this release, but that's because this is the free version released with the mod itself. 15 tracks from the artist's original 27-- just because.
Of course, for the person who must have it all, CDbaby has the complete 2-CD album on sale for $11.

The kind of music on display here is in a painfully small genre, so even if this album tends to stand on the shoulders of giants more than it innovates, it's good enough to keep around for a while.

Favorite tracks: Beacon, Imbrium, Stopgap

Carrier established. Uplink is a go.

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?

Last edited by Skexis; Jul 7, 2009 at 01:43 AM.
Skexis
Full of Fleshy Goodness


Member 770

Level 34.03

Mar 2006


Old Aug 26, 2010, 07:46 PM Local time: Aug 26, 2010, 07:46 PM #9 of 201
Bus Stop Stallions - Don't Block It!
Year: 2009
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Funk/Soul/R&B




That beat is hot! BSS bring in the best of rhythm-fueled funk with some great trumpet, sax, and trombone work that lends a great punch to these "out on the town" tracks. You almost feel ashamed that you're not wearing a zoot suit.

This kind of sharp, blaring brass has fallen out of style from a lot of popular music, but it really is a shame when you see how the Bus Stop Stallions put it to good use. Not only does the music really shine, but their live show simply can't be missed. The band has a great personality and plays off of each other very well, doing one-offs and extended solos with little more than a glance at one another, and managing to mesh the showmanship and the dance with the music and the funk. It's really too bad the cover of the Michael Jackson song "Get On The Floor" couldn't be put on the record for obvious reasons, because it managed to redo the somewhat forgettable disco tune into a unique brass-powered pop spectacular.

If I had any complaints with the album, it would be with the band's use of chorus effects for the lead singer. He has such a prominent and clear voice, that it almost feels like it muddies the waters to change it in such an unnatural way.

It's hard not to like any track off this infectiously funky record, but a few of my favorites include: Without a Sound, Taxi Driver, The Gift, and Make Me.

Make me, make me, feel all right tonight!
(Also on CDbaby)

Jam it back in, in the dark.
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