Outlander in the Emerald City: Lync – These Are Not Fall Colors (Flashback Album Review)

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Formed in 1992, Lync was one of the pioneers of the indie rock scene that grew out of Olympia and Seattle in the early- to mid-1990s.  Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Sam Jayne, bassist/vocalist James Bertram, and drummer Dave Schneider, Lync’s strengths encompass discordant riffs, intertwining guitar and bass melodies and a heavy, driving beat to keep the ground solid underneath.  Jayne’s vocals are beautifully indistinct while maintaining a screechiness that is bound to make your head ache delightfully.  With only one full album under their belt, These Are Not Fall Colors showcases the band in a head-bang worthy package, drawing comparisons to hardcore favorites such as Fugazi and Unwound.

Where to listen: The full album can be found on YouTube (streaming after the jump)

Where to buy: Check out Lync’s bandcamp (http://lync1994.bandcamp.com/album/these-are-not-fall-colors) if you like what you hear!

The album opens with “B”, beginning with a bombardment of feedback extending into a melodically brooding riff and rolling drumbeat, wasting no time in showcasing Lync’s talents in the post-hardcore vein.  The song takes off into a soaring barrage of distortion and chunky rhythms, with Jayne double-tracking his screaming vocals over the chorus.  Although the lyrics maintain an ambiguous quality throughout the song (and most of the album for that matter), a few profound lines shine through, including the repeated “You only need your own air to breathe.”  Lync’s influences can be easily traced back to classics like Pixies and Sonic Youth with their use of the (now almost-clichéd) alt-rock loud/soft dynamic; however, they implement it differently, often giving breathing room in the chorus while still never losing intensity in the verses.  “Silverspoon Glasses” is no exception to this rule, featuring swelling walls of distortion that collapse into haunting yet beautiful melodies.  The album continues with the supremely catchy “Cue Cards”, featuring the classic off-kilter arpeggio and rolling drumbeat combination, with a bass-line to guide the major melodies, a trick peers Modest Mouse picked up (and perfected) in their first few records.  The last track, “Uberrima Fides,” allows the album to close out with a bang, climaxing to a kick-ass buildup before the reverb-drenched outro jam (which takes its guitar effects from space-rock gods Caustic Resin and Built to Spill).  The feedback at the end of the track allows the album to fade out as it began, ready to be replayed and re-appreciated by its fans.  Although twenty years have passed since its release, These Are Not Fall Colors remains a highly influential record in the indie rock scene that has grown to such great heights in our alt-loving society of today

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Katie Hanford

Rad Report: Up and coming artist – Caroline Rose at The Vera Project

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I don’t usually follow country artists, but when I listened to Caroline Rose on her Soundcloud I was drawn to a vibe that her voice seemed to carry. Saturday, October 11th Caroline Rose walked into The Vera Project and onto the stage with a bang, wearing her head-to-toe red outfit as she swung her guitar over her shoulder. She puts her lips up to the microphone and softly spoke in her comforting and sparkling voice, “Thanks for not being at the Beyoncé concert tonight. There’s not actually a Beyoncé concert so don’t be alarmed.” The crowd laughed and started tapping their feet to her music as it began to fill the room. Despite the modest crowd, she started off by singing with the kind of voice that opens up a room to positive energy and good vibrations in a way that is impossible to not enjoy.

The liveliness didn’t stop with her music—her sarcastic and naturally hilarious nature continued to come out as she joked throughout the night. Though as the show proceeded, each song seemed to tell a different story of her personal journey. She paused from her innately jokey demeanor as she brought up her debut album I Will Not Be Afraid, which came out in August. This album—a culmination of six years of her work—contains some older songs from when she was only eighteen years old, and some newer ones that currently relate to her life as she pushes twenty-five (a birthday that she admitted to having mixed feelings on). But regardless of the extended period of time that it took to release this album, Caroline Rose has clearly made it a long way since she started in Vermont years ago!

Caroline Rose in America Religious

This shift in her music from older to newer was even apparent throughout her set Saturday night, as the genre of her music seemed to shift a bit. Her original sound of “vintage country” (a term she coined herself) began to transition into a somewhat southern blues with clear folk and rock influences. Now this was more my kind of music to jam to! Just after she leaned into the microphone one more time and whispered “it’s going to get loud in here” the energy was turned up to a whole new level. The rest of the night was full of even more dancing and excitement than it had been before as the crowd danced to Caroline Rose’s unique mix of music and verve that filled the room.

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Rad Rebs

Marina and the Diamonds – Froot

Welsh songstress Marina and the Diamonds has just graced us with a brand new gem to sink our teeth into. The disco-y “Froot”—stylized as “FROOT”—is the new title track from her upcoming album of the same name. Always the generous spirit, Marina, born Marina Diamandis, released the song 10 days ago, on her birthday, October 10th. “Froot” sees Marina comparing herself to a ripe fruit, ready to be picked by the man she’s been waiting for. The song’s organic and lush lyrical imagery is in sharp contrast to the shimmery, digitized synths washing in and out of the five and half minute-long track. With tongue-in-cheek rhymes, elastic vocal runs, and catchy hooks, Marina has struck a happy medium between her indie-pop debut LP from 2010, The Family Jewels, and 2012 electropop concept album, Electra Heart. Whether or not “Froot” has enough juice to propel itself into stateside radio, as her single “Primadonna” could only graze, is yet to be seen. Regardless, the song is gaining traction and hype in the blogosphere, and has certainly earned itself a cozy place on my regular rotation.

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Jamie Coughlin

Hungary, Hungry Huskies: WHAT ON EARTH is this?!

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Power-punk has returned in the city of Budapest! Catchy riffs and anthem-like choruses fill the spaces in-between WHAT ON EARTH’s dominating drumline. While Tamás Dalmáci pumps through angst-filled pop lines, guitarists Viktor Mosolygó and Ákos Kocsány build off each other’s classic chordal structures.

Since forming in January, the band’s been writing and recording quite the collection of kick-ass tracks. I had the pleasure of hearing their first single in advance (embedded below), and even in its un-mastered form, a smile came across my face as Ádám Darida’s bass drum caused my legs to shake in raucous rhythm. Sum 41-esque guitar parts mix with alternating melodic tones that call back to the early 2000’s as our ears bled in our parents’ garages. I’m certain that the coming weeks will bring more broken bottles and hearts as philosophic lyrics mold with woes of ex-girlfriends past.

For all that and more, check out the ensemble’s first official song, How We Live (embedded below – after the jump)!

If you liked it, check out their Facebook, Bandcamp and SoundCloud to stay up to date in a country that’s just 9 hours away. And come back every week for more from Budapest and the surrounding area… I’ll be here until December to bring you another look at a world of music that I’ve never seen or heard before!

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DJ Desman