The beautiful part of running my own music blog is that I can switch from the aggressively visceral From Under the Willow to the majestically cerebral SHMNS. And if you don’t think that’s the tightest shit then get the fuck out.
The downside to maintaining a blog solo is that I don’t grammar too good.
I also forgot to give a damn about that, moving on.
Guys from this point on, vowels, use them dammit! I get it, they’re elitist and you’re not down with elitism. But can we all agree that they make things better despite their desire to stay a fivesome?
Music, right. I write about that stuff. SHMNS has a something of a different sound than I’m used to. It’s very mellow but at the same time has a driving quality. It could be the swift hits of Richie “16 Candles” Straub that keeps the momentum of the airy cosmic sound that is well, everything else. I must say for a group so new it’s rare to find elements fitting together so naturally in their sonic landscape. Nothing really stands out but in a way that nothing is really overlooked or undervalued and that’s a good thing. Synthetic programming zigs precisely to the organic guitar zags. Justin P. Romanos voice digs in right between the tenor highs and the baritone lows of the vocal scale adding a nice crisp topping to the audibly delicious cake of the band. Then you have guitarsmith Issac Louis’s subtle yet brilliant fret work grabbing your ear drums and massaging them to a full dopamine fueled brain-gasm. Building the pulse of this intoxicating ear-SD is Mike Morrongiello plucking his way to your fragile heart with his bass, or something like that. Is it only me? I would hope not, that kid is the tits and I feel like nobody fingers their bass anymore.
As far as missteps go, there aren’t too many of them. Most of what disappoints me about the record is appreciation of certain aesthetics and if you want a list of errors go find a theory nerd because I am clearly not one and therefore not hearing anything that I think is wrong or misguided. Although at times in an effort to create a sound the tracks do feel a bit formulaic despite sounding varied. I do hear a bit of a common pattern in the music. Soft simplistic lead-in to the verse which is very mellowed but with a slight drive with a small break before the pace is picked up with the hook into the chorus. It is a style I’ll admit that works but it shouldn’t define the writing. That’s my only critique this record is good. It’s smart, it’s different in a way that is needed, and it’s such a trip that you can’t really afford to miss.
Love, Jacob P. Overholt
TL;DR Ear-SD is form of LSD administered through doses straight to your ear drum. It’s real I swear.
If you’re looking for an Ear-SD dealer hit me up on twitter at @UG_Alliance
I think it’s about time I wrote about some metalcore again. I like metalcore, it makes me a very happy boy. I grew up with it and never really outgrown it.
There was a very slow period time over the past couple of years for Metalcore. A lot of what was coming out was flat, generic, and was a collection of moves and moments that brought other acts to the spotlight. I believe that the landscape is finally sifting through it’s wannabes and creating an environment where the creative metalheads can thrive again. From Under the Willow is one of those acts finding footing in a now increasingly constructive scene.
Let me put it this way because there is so much garbage available if you don’t stand to say something you may as well be signing the death warrant to your musical career. What the Willow boys have set in a motion is a band writing heavy music without a general subscription to the general metal archetypes of music.
Raw organic musicianship and a generous pairing of synthetic elements has given From Under the Willow an accessible yet unique sound. Packed to the brim with the chugs, breakdowns, screams, and bellows of the tried and true Metalcore formula. With the base of the music set it’s time to throw in the flavor. Willow’s true power lies with expanding layers of musical influences. Live a Little shows off some phenomenal shredding a la classic thrash and rock and roll. Wake Snakes has the ever talented Dave Garman of Carousel Kings laying down flow that would make most Rappers blush all while throwing in a few hip hop grooves. My biggest compliment is that nothing feels over produced or synthesized where it needs to be raw, it’s one of Outlaws many strengths. The tone is tight, sharp, and very aggressive while the clean vocals and screams sound very organic and in the moment. Punk and even Pop trimmings bring together all the beautiful ingredients under one hell of a crust on this Lancaster Metal Pie, which you should totally buy at that Amish Market right off the highway. You know cause, they are always just there in Central PA. Also Amish Mafia is fake.
Now a typical Metalcore trope is the breakdown, while Willow does not disappoint with many of it’s aforementioned breakdowns it does trip over many of the Metalcore mistakes. The Tropes are what cause the record to stutter. Outlaws is a fun record but its reliance on staples have it stumbling with it’s strides.
Outlaws is a solid debut for this newly minted outfit, let’s hope there is much more to come because now that I have had a taste I’m hungry.
Join the movement or die, Jacob P. Overholt
TL;DR - So many kids started following me over my Modern Baseball posts and now I’m talking about metal. Just when I started getting a fan base.
If you’re gonna stop following me, please say good-bye to me on twitter @UG_Alliance
So a while back my friends got a bunch of us together in their house and we shot a music video. It was probably one of the most fun nights of my life. We drank, we crowd surfed, Sean got a tattoo, I did a keg stand while also shooting foamy beer out of my nose, and some dude did coke. That video debuted today and it looks awesome.