Skope

She Wants Revenge – This Is Forever

Wanna party like its 1985? In the best traditions of industrial/electronic Brit-Pop, California’s own She Wants Revenge carries on the legacy of Depeche Mode to the darkness and debauchery of dance floors across world. Their sophomore release, This Is Forever, from She Wants Revenge [SWR] gets your juices flowing with a mood molding intro that…

Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Music 26

So how does an artist know when they have crossed the line from mainstream to pop music? That would be when their song appears on this CD. Now That’s What I Call Music has been an awesome outlet for the labels to put 12 — 20 of the hottest and most commercial music all on…

Gallucio – All For You

All For You Gallucio’s debut album on the Cornerless Records label features solid lead vocals and fine guitar work from Anthony Gallucio, strongly backed by a talented band and guests. Gallucio definitely has its own sound and it works particularly well where the band shows a bit of edge and rocks out on stand-out numbers…

An Interview with Martin Sexton

Another Song, Another Mile By Martin Halo Touring in support of his seventh full-length LP, entitled Seeds, Martin Sexton is rounding out an American tour leg at New York’s Roseland Ballroom in early December.   Fusing acoustic shake with the richness of Americana, Sexton has delivered a pressing of uplifting compositions that cut to the…

Lyken 21 – Mindstream

For fans of precision, technical hard rock and metal, I strongly encourage you to check out Lyken 21. This New Jersey-based quartet seems to draw from influences such as Megadeth and Dream Theater — but they do it in a modern way. Lyken 21 is surely not an 80’s metal tribute band of some sort.…

Random Touch – A True Conductor Wears a Man

Random Touch’s A True Conductor Wears a Man from Token Boy Records is a remarkable album–a brilliantly crafted collage of sounds with its own internal structure and beauty. Powered by conventional, electronic and exotic instrumentation and featuring distorted voices, True Conductor has an exquisite starkness to it, managing to seem both distant, as if piped…

Richard Gsottschneider – Somewhere in Baltimore

Richard Gsottschneider is a folk/Americana artist based in New Hampshire. The songs seem influenced by legends such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Johnny Cash. The lyrics tell stories — stories that are vivid and take you everywhere from the inner city to the bayous of Louisiana. The CD is based on folk and has…

John Dyer – Gostayplay

John Dyer’s CD came across my desk and immediately caught my attention thanks for the beautiful graphic design of the front cover. As I began to play tracks from this record, I was as impressed with the music, as I was with the artwork. Dyer writes in a style closer to that of a poet…

New Monsoon – V

They sure picked the wrong cat to review this new album by New Monsoon. I accidentally referred to it as “happy garbage” to the editors here at Skope, but what I meant to say was “hippy garbage.” It really works either way as long as you keep the garbage part in. Growing up in New…

The Forms – The Forms

The Forms self-titled follow-up to 2003’s Icarus, starts off with a shoegazer blast. The album opener, “Knowledge In Hand” is a refreshing noise considering the stale soundscapes of late. But by track two it becomes apparent that the Forms are a one-trick pony. Nirvana producer, Steve Albini’s work on the album is evident in the…

Leo – Nightmares

Nightmares is a bit of a misnomer. Leo’s recently released CD starts off with a short intro track that sounds promisingly creepy and dark, but the sound quickly morphs into muddled rock/pop. Some of the guitar work reminded me initially of Godsmack but with vocals more reminiscent of Incubus, the overall balance was wobbly. Little…

West Indian Girl – 4th and Wall

The sophomore release from West Indian Girl puts a modern twist to new wave without provoking the inevitable comparisions to the artists that have saturated the industry today as the ‘new wave’ of modern rock (Killers, Interpol). This album is a masterpiece; each song blends seamlessly into the next – from the psychedelic meanderings of…

Just Surrender – We’re In Like Sin

Just Surrender is back with their sophomore full-length album, We’re In Like Sin. The quartet’s latest release by Broken English Records consists of eleven new tracks ranging from melancholy tunes to songs that’ll get you shouting their lyrics at the top of your lungs. Besides having an amusing title, “If I Wanted to Cuddle I’d…

Umphrey’s McGee – Live at the Murat

As someone who generally despises jam bands, I was surprised to find that Umphrey’s McGee’s Live at the Murat is actually enjoyable. McGee keeps the endlessly overwrought improvisations that plague their peers under control and focuses instead on clever composition. The first four tracks comprise a single song, “In the Kitchen”, which begins acoustically, descends…

An Interview with Jonathan Davis of Korn

A Solo Harvest By Martin Halo He stands as arguably one of the most explosive front men in the history of overdriven distortion and hard rock for that matter. Jonathan Davis is volatile, reckless, un-predictable, and, for the last ten years, stone cold sober. With a few months off from extensive roadwork on the Korn…

Ginger Does Austin City Limits

Attack of the Monster Line-Up By Ginger Hebert   It seems after all the musical hype it generates; Austin really confirms itself to be all about the tunes. Each year Austin plays host to several huge music festivals in which swarms of people journey to central Texas, like zombies in search of flesh, for the…

LCD Soundsystem – 45:33

Interesting. Before you even pop the CD into the player you notice it’s different. The first six songs are combined together under one title, which is also the title of the CD, 45:33. Being lumped under one title is pretty much all they have in common. Those six songs as well as the other three…

Stoli Razz & Farewell’s Marshall Davis

Hanging out with Marshall Davis From Farewell This right here is one of the coolest bands Stoli has ever interviewed. Farewell is a band off Epitaph Records. They have a new album, ‘Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun?,’ in stores now and have been touring for years. Check out what their lead singer, Marshall Davis…

The Born Again Floozies – 7 Deadly Sinners

Upon first listen to 7 Deadly Sinners by The Born Again Floozies, you might think you have returned to the early 90s ska era, except these guys rock a tuba instead of trumpets and utilize tap dancers for added percussion. While this idea is great, it’s not only been done, but defeated. Tilly and the…

Parkway Drive – Horizons

One of the most labor-intensive parts of being in a band is the grueling, rarely democratic, and often fight inducing process of choosing a great band name. After all, a band without a name that screams “Hey, we’re a band!” isn’t a band at all really. And hence my confusion when I got the new…

Small Sins – Mood Swings

I forgive you, Beck. No seriously, I forgive you for your talent. I forgive you for your business savvy. I even forgive you for being a Scientologist. But I swear to God, it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the plague of mediocre crybabies with keyboards and drum machines that you’ve unleashed upon us. Honestly,…

The Holloways – So This Is Great Britain?

This record may not be revolutionary, but it is a solidly good record. The first song to stand out was “Generator” with catchy guitar riffs and upbeat lyrics. The album contains the music video for this track which is just as quirky and amusing as the songs themselves. The video even adds aspects to the…

Nu Cultures – Butterflies, zebras, and moonbeams

When a double CD release comes across my desk from an unknown band, I’m as enthusiastic about listening to it as I am about opening my credit card bill after Christmas. But Philly newcomers Nu Cultures have left me pleasantly surprised with this ambitious release of masterfully produced downtempo. Their blend of music is Radiohead-sounding…

Alvin Lee – Saguitar

Now this is blues-rock for real blues enthusiasts! I am of course referring to Alvin Lee’s latest album, Saguitar. Those of you yearning for a Ten Years After fix might be disappointed, for this latest effort is a lot less rocking and bit more bluesy than Lee’s previous incarnation. Think more Scotty Moore, less Yard…

Les Sabler – Sweet Drive

Guitarist Les Sabler called on heavyweight studio cats to help create Sweet Drive. But while all of these players have seriously fine jazz chops, this disc is little more than an instrumental pop album. With a light guitar style, which brings to mind George Benson’s pop heyday, these thirteen soft exercises allow Sabler play breezily…

Shantel – Disko Partizani

Shantel has evolved from DJ Shantel, primarily an electronica purveyor, to a music creator who also incorporates Romanian ethnic elements into his grooves. And some of the instruments included on Disko Partizani are quite exotic, indeed. These old world accents include oud, lauto, tzouras, diatonic accordion, and helicon. More familiar instruments, such as trumpets and…

Working For a Nuclear Free City – Businessmen & Ghosts

While their name carries certain assumptions the boys of Working For a Nuclear Free City maintain they are not “a bunch of tree hugging hippies” but merely liked the visions of “secret bunkers hidden just underground ” after seeing the slogan on a street sign. Strangely enough, the name makes perfect sense upon listening to…

The Rosewood Thieves – Lonesome

The Rosewood Thieves return to the country tinged, Brit-pop sound that first caught the world’s attention last summer with its debut album From The Decker House. Although the New York-based quartet’s reputable influences shine through unashamedly on the new EP Lonesome, The Thieves display a rare comfortability in its songwriting not usually seen in such…

A Burst of Rock n’ Roll Recklessness

An Interview with Jacob Sproul of Rose Hill Drive By Martin Halo They are young, humble, and unspeakably impressive as the acting conduits of groaning bass-driven distortion fused with psychedelically charged rhythmic zeal. If Jack Bruce’s Cream and Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys caught each other’s eye hanging around the sexually charged atmosphere within the darkest…

Joe Bonamassa – Sloe Gin

Taking the album title and leading track from Tim Curry’s 1978 Read My Lips (Written by Alice Cooper alumni Bob Ezrin and Michael Kamen with Dick Wagner (A.C. alumni also) on guitar), Joe has given a good unrecognized tune a new ballsy, blues life. Mixing bluesy originals like Dirt In My Pocket and the ballads…

Surrogate – Love is for the Rich

Surrogate’s Love is for the Rich is a rainy day album. It’s the perfect backdrop for walking around the city under an umbrella or lying in bed with a book. This comfort stems from the source of the songs–all recorded in vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Chris Keene’s bedroom. At times, the songs are plain and acoustic, reminiscent of…

Shocking Pinks – Shocking Pinks

The debut album from New Zealand band Shocking Pinks is, in a word, charming. Signed to ultra-hip label DFA, home of The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem, the one-man band of Nick Harte has certainly found a home among the dance pop crowd. Closely following Harte’s career since his first album in 2005, DFA wanted to…

The Spill Canvas – No Really, I’m Fine

Far from their gritty folked out alternative approach of past efforts, The Spill Canvas presents their third album, No Really, I’m Fine. As their major label debut on Sire, the band has slipped into the cliché and left their fans high and dry as they set their sights on the big time. Never fear however,…

Chuck Ragan – Feast and Famine

Chuck’s debut record for Indie label, Hot Water Music, contains a refreshing batch of twelve original compositions that mix acoustic folk, rock and country. Feast and Famine is propelled forward by the opening track, “The Boat,” which features an emotional lead vocal against a textured bed of acoustic and electric guitars. Chuck is a man…

The Actual – The Worst Day Of My Life

The Actual had the good fortune of getting signed to Velvet Revolver’s Scott Weiland’s Softdrive Records, and getting added to the bands tour. The pop-punk group revisits the earlier genre of this style of music made popular by Green Day, Bush, Weezer, etc. This Is The Worst Day Of My Life has given the band…

Scary Kids Scaring Kids – Scary Kids Scaring Kids

If ever there were a poster child record for the Abercrombie & Fitch/Hollister Co. chain of clothing stores, Scary Kids Scaring Kids is it. What teenager with ranging hormones could resist the incredible, raw energy that emanates from this talented and terrifically tight group out of Gilbert, Arizona? The music is as infectious as a…

The Used – Ruckus with Reflection

The Used is in it for the music, not the money By Leah Wellbaum In my early youth I spent a lot of time drooling over hardly-listened-to but seriously discounted albums in used record stores. It was some years ago that I was doing just this when I picked up a used copy of an…

Only Now Existing – Escape Artist

Only Now Existing, the alter ego of James Garrett, excelled in its first album, the self produced Voodoo Dolls. The Internet buzzed with praises for the gritty rawness and passionate effort to combine genres, philosophies and moods into an eclectic mix tape worked out on a basement sound board. Unfortunately, Garrett’s second attempt, Escape Artist,…

It’s Adjustable – October 2007

The Larkin Brigade, “Paddy Keys for Mayor” I saw the Larkin Brigade live for the first time at the Abbey Lounge last month. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a crowd so into the music being played. People were (fake) Irish step dancing and clapping along to the music. They put on a really fun…

Orange – Escape From L.A

1-2-3-4 Go! Ever since the heyday of CBGB’s, punk front men have chronically adopted a faux-British snarl in an effort to sound oh-so-cool (Joey Ramone, I’m looking in your direction). Fortunately for L.A. outfit Orange, British transplant and lead singer Joe Dexter’s London-meets-SoCal punk growl comes off very genuine. Hellcat Records founder Tim Armstrong (Operation…