Young Statues

On April 2nd, Young Statues will release a new EP aptly titled Age Isn’t Ours. A bold, lively and adventurous collection of songs that showcases the band at their absolute best and most confident. A portion was recorded and produced by Ace Enders (The Early November) at his Living Room Recording studio in Hammonton, NJ. A process that Cirignano says, “challenged the band to bring their very best every day”. Another first was guitarist Matt Weber in the producers chair who recording at The Gradwell House in Haddon Heights, NJ, which has become a second home of sorts for the band. Age Isn’t Ours sees Young Statues expanding on the atmospheric Americana inspired rock from the S/T full-length and into the world of smart and sophisticated indie pop. The songs move and unfold with an energy only hinted at previously. Still present are Cirignano’s contemplative and occasionally biting lyrics. Friends, lovers, family and every bit of his personal life are all discussed with an honest wit. “In a thousand years it never changed and I’ve only got sixty if I’m lucky” he sings on “Ghost Passenger” confronting both a situation he wants to desperately change and his own mortality in one piercing line.

With Age Isn’t Ours, Young Statues have matured far beyond what their name implies. They are a band that started as an idea and grew into a certainty – all in just 18 months.

Young Statues are Carmen Cirignano, Matt Weber, Tom Ryan and Dan Bogan.

Candy Hearts

The line between nostalgia and rehashing is a bit of a fine one. Some bands can do the sounds of old right, while others just seem to stumble all over their influences. Candy Hearts’ new EP The Best Ways to Disappear definitely falls into the former though, as their formula of gritty pop-punk with a musical twist from two decades ago makes for a fun if also familiar experience through six tracks. The result is something that is tough to shake in terms of catchiness and just plain good songwriting – all while remembering to make a personal touch on the lyrical side of things.

Allison Weiss

Call it cliche but sometimes a musician’s inspiration can be broken down simply. Some are inspired by fame and money and some just want to tell their story to everyone. The latter is the best way to describe 25-year-old singer-songwriter Allison Weiss. “When I started playing, I wasn’t so much inspired by other musicians as I was inspired by the need to get a feeling out into the world,” she states. Weiss’ honest, catchy, folk-infused powerpop have attracted a devoted fanbase over the last few years. While her music has changed stylistically, her passion to create music hasn’t. “I’ve always been a writer. I’ve got a lot to say to people and the only way I know how to do it is through pop songs.”


Weiss first picked up the guitar at the age of 14. Inspired by pop punk and the ups-and-downs of young relationships, her journey began. Throughout it all, Weiss always embraced a DIY ethic. “I’ve always been a shameless self promoter. I never counted on finding anyone who believed in me as much as I did, so I just learned to handle everything myself” she says.


Confidence in herself mixed with natural online marketing skills has helped Weiss’ spread her music to new audiences. Two highly successful Kickstarter campaigns resulted in New York Times and Wired Magazine features and a panelist position at SXSW.


It was at this point, Weiss made one of the biggest decisions of her life and moved to Brooklyn. The change of scenery brought a whole new mindset when it came to making music. “In the past I was just a sad teenager in my bedroom writing hopeless breakup songs. I’m still a sad teenager on the inside, but I’m also a pretty happy adult trying to figure myself out and talk about love in a more mature way,” Weiss reflects. Weiss’ maturity shined on the self-released I Was An Island EP.


Earlier this year, Weiss received one of the biggest honors of her young career. She was handpicked by Lou Reed to join his backup band for a European tour. While some might be intimidated by the presence of a rock legend, she tried to absorb as much as possible from the experience. “Our soundchecks were two hours long and he’d be there the whole time, breaking a song down into the tiniest parts, perfecting the sound.” Weiss remembers. “He has this way of breaking you down with brutal honesty and building you back up with the most genuine praise. One minute he looks you in the eye and says your note was terrible. The next minute he stops the song to tell you how beautiful you just sounded.”


If she took anything from Mr. Reed however, it was the reminder to always have fun and enjoy the ride. The sky is the limit at this point for Ms. Weiss. “My favorite moment is right now. I feel like I’ve just made the record I’ve been dying to make. I started playing electric guitar again. I got my hands on a tour van. I played in Europe with a legend. I flew over the Atlantic four times this summer. I’ve got this constant feeling that something great is about to happen.”

Bearhunter

BEARHUNTER began with David Calos, Mike Calos and Robert Pusateri in the Fall of 2006. The trio began writing music that extracts the most appealing elements of rock history without being over indicative. BEARHUNTER songs to date evoke a sense of looming madness fueled with love, coffee, nicotine and adrenochrome. Their debut album released in September 2008 is the culmination of their experiences together and apart over this time. The sophomore follow up “Still Life Terrarium” was released in May 2010, building on their sound as a tight three piece with intricate compositions. Their third album “Call It A Red” has taken the band in a slightly different direction with more concise songwriting. It was recorded analog tape to tape with Matt Smith at Hi/Lo and is due to be released June 2013 on Harvest Sum Recordings.

Alberto Alaska

Rochester, New York is renown for it’s pop-punk, metal, and hardcore scenes. While those giants battle it out for a chance in the spotlight, a small movement of post rock and alternative bands have begun to create something new for the Flower City.

Alberto Alaska, create their sonic foundation within the dual lead guitarists, who paint the frame work for a driving bass and a powerful percussive element. Combine the music with the lyrical journeys and the over all effect gives the listener a satisfaction that can only be quenched with the dynamic complexity of their work. The bands latest release, True North EP, received local acclaim and further established them in a scene laden with pop-punk and metal.

Local music writer, Roman Divezur, had this to say about the band, “A meltdown of atmospheric and progressive styles that’s typical of the post-rock genre. Alberto Alaska is a young band that can build a song into a hazy climax and burn it with a mid-tempo groove…this band is neither hard nor heavy nor wrong. It’s like a wall-of-sound with chops on the side.”

Deep Pockets

New York’s quartet Deep Pockets play heavy, jangly post-hardcore with a swirling, rhythm section and songs that move from smooth to hectic in the space of a few beats. The band have released material via Art of the Underground, Dead Broke, and Rok Lok. This live session features songs from their upcoming full length LP “You Feel Shame,” to be released this summer via Brooklyn-based Iron Pier. The session captures the way the comfortable confines of Quiet Country Audio became a place for Deep Pockets to get loose and let loose.

Native

Pure, inborn, and Native, This band is heavy, trippy, and has a wide sound that melts into liquid gold. Always straight to the point, the songs capture the personality of each member at all times. This clash of egos creates an “end of the world” type of tension and depth. Just like Close to the Edge and Fragile, they are a constant, gyrating, overlapping machine that is made up of each member’s intent to try and overpower the last. This formula births the most sincere approach to playing music and really leads to a new, original, and unpredictable sound. The mixing of peculiar attitude and teasing the ones you love, only on stage. These guys are nice, polite, young, intellectual, political, and opinionated among many other things, and we love it all. The combination is an explosion of awareness. Native have started to stand up for what they believe in. Listen to the new album this summer and join the revolution. These are songs for tomorrow written before yesterday. In between the lines, that narrow channel bridging life and death. It’s the only way one can go that far and not be afraid for their life. Not even with nn-DMT, folks.

Music. The trance involved in it. We see this let go and we surrender to Native‘s live performance. We leave it all behind and embrace the inner experience we all carried yet forgot to tend to. We really enjoyed this show. It became clear to us pretty quickly that their sound cannot be contained. Five years later, Native return to their favorite Montreal venue to shed their skin and show us their souls. This was a special night and I’m glad we were able to capture it on tape.

Hidden Hospitals

It’s not often that a project of any variety comes out of the gate with a clear brand, vision, purpose and identity. But Hidden Hospitals, a four-piece alternative rock band from Chicago, IL, has accomplished just that. Most bands spend years and many album cycles sifting through ideas to define a sound. Hidden Hospitals’ singular focus has been forged from many collective years within the music industry in previous projects (including Damiera [Equal Vision Records] and Kiss Kiss [Eyeball Records]).

“Places revealed to those seeking resuscitation, rejuvenation, decompression, atonement.” Their website defines where this band derives its moniker. Their iconic mark embodies this foundational vision. Obscured within a double “H” is the universal symbol for aid.

The band recently released their second EP, EP 002. Recorded in Nashville and mixed and produced by J. Hall, EP 002 is the Chicago band’s deepest dive into music yet. As front man David Raymond explains, “After absorbing the experience of our first EP (001) we discovered all of these new sounds that I feel are unique to us as a group. In other words, they wouldn’t have surfaced had we not been exposed to each other. EP 002 is parallel to this exploration, discovery, and mindful application.”

Hidden Hospitals has chosen to forgo the traditional roads mapped by an industry in transition. They intend to forge new paths, leaving a trail that inspires others to follow. If EP 002 is any indication of this group’s future, consider it a bright one. |+|

Athletics

From the opening notes of the title track, you realize Why Aren’t I Home? is gonna be one of those records that brings you to your knees, swallows you whole and leaves you in awe. It’s one of those surprises that defies all expectations and leaves you shaken. It’s one of those albums that reminds you why it is you listen to music in the first place. Produced by Gregory Dunn (vocals / guitars for Moving Mountains), ATHLETICS’ debut rises to heights impossible to resist. The crystalline guitars and pulsating bass lines, the soaring vocals and tortured lyrics, the sweeping chords and cascading climaxes, the pounding cadence of the drums…it eventually takes you. No, you aren’t dreaming. It’s possible to be this hard and this melodic, this mesmerizing and this melancholic all at the same time. It’s possible to rock just as much as you post-rock. It’s just beautiful, the dual tone and stories told are exquisite. Nothing is off, there’s nothing to add. Every song on the album takes flight with awe-inspiring riffs ripped straight from the pages of the band’s Handbook On Raw Emotion. ATHLETICS blend styles and sounds with an uncommon depth to form a carefully constructed, cohesive work of art deeply rooted in power and conviction. An absolutely stunning, mature debut that will transcend time and genre. Fucking epic.

The Traditional

At a time where most of us could agree that very few artists in today’s music world are genuine in their approach, a new grade of musicians from Buffalo, NY arrive to oppose the general commonality of the underground scene, with their dark, but albeit authentic and heartfelt brand of emo infused indie rock. As their debut EP “You Can’t Rebuild Forever” makes its mark, the honest representation of thoughts, ideas, and emotions will certainly be something that resonates with every listener. The Traditional is a unique example of a band that is able to embrace their musical influences rather than copy them to call it a product. Expect nothing but a raw, high energy, and honest standard from The Traditional on record, as well as in the live setting. Their strides towards sharing their design with as many listeners as possible can only be measured by the integrity of the band’s music and their drive to work as hard as they can to get their message heard. In a moment where the stereotypes seem to have outweighed the art, The Traditional remind us that there is still something very real about what it means to express yourself through music.