Envy On The Coast / Lowcountry / Photo Finish Records
Call it maturity, a change of pace or even a dive into a box of old Incubus records, but all in all, Lowcountry is a defining moment for a band full of youth. Hailing from Long Island, New York, Envy On The Coast jumped ship from their genre awkwardness and now steer a vessel full of alternative rock that entertains 90s’ influences. The group’s second full-length kicks off with a dirty thud with “The Devil’s Tongue” featuring a diabolical and enticing riff that supports singer Ryan Hunter and his impressive shrieks. How Hunter has evolved into a Brandon Boyd/Daryl Palumbo doppleganger with a creative pen for lyrics is what propels the record, but the overall chemistry discovered on “Southern Comfort” and “Clean Of You” is what will attract listeners to repeatedly stab their ears with the album’s music.
Download: “The Devil’s Tongue”, “Clean Of You”
The Dillinger Escape Plan / Option Paralysis / Party Smasher
Only two years after the highly experimental Ire Works was released, The Dillinger Escape Plan return with an aspiring percussionist Billy Rymer and a vocalist full of new and old techniques. Retaining and often capitalizing on offbeat and intricate time signatures reminiscent of Calculating Infinity, the record’s opener “ Smile Mona Lisa” is a perfect example of how the band have blended cacophony and melody into their own distinguishable symphony. To compliment their sound, singer Greg Puciato’s vocals stretch to new highs and lows adding to the structured chaos. Slower, yet overflowing with multi-instrumental jazz-influenced pieces like “Widower”, the New Jersey thrash quintet continue to push their aggressive style and solidify a genre they’ve manifested over time.
Download: “Endless Endings”, “Widower”
Various Artists / The Runaways OST / Warner
The Runaways were rock queens who captivated ears and stole hearts with their 70s’ sound that was sexy and straight up rock n’ roll (no chaser). Fronted by singer Cherie Currie and guitarists Joan Jett and Lita Ford, the band showed fans and other musicians that girls could indeed rock. The entertainment universe decided to portray their story on the big screen, casting actresses Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as Currie and Jett respectively. Though not known for being badass to the core, Fanning seems to have absorbed Currie’s innocent yet edgy personality even off-screen on the tracks “Cherry Bomb” and “California Paradise”. So much to the point that Fanning’s howls sound almost identical to the actual Runaways numbers included on the soundtrack. Toss in popular hits like The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and The Sex Pistols “Pretty Vacant” and you could call it a contender for “Soundtrack Of The Year”, right? Yes, if you exclude the two tracks where Kristen Stewart handles the mic and struggles to grasp Joan Jett’s voice. The new low from the acclaimed actress hurt the arrangement of the collection of songs, but it doesn’t force the disc to explode with mediocrity.
Download: “Cherry Bomb”, “California Paradise”
Daughters / Daughters / Hydra Head
It has been a number of years since Daughters second chaotic album Hell Songs was released. On their self titled effort, they appear to have abandoned some of the aggressive, technical and noisy tendencies found in their previous albums to adopt a more melodic gameplan. Daughters does possess the heavy reverb and atmospheres, noisy cutting riffs and sliding rhythm section found on previous releases by the Rhode Island musicians, but the group took it into a new plain of influences and came back with a mesh of genres. The numerous styles are unexpected, but the overall sound can shred ears, leaving listeners scavenging for the pieces so they can plaster them back together for another listen.
Download: “Sweet Georgia Bloom”, “The Theatre Goer”