AM Revelator = Queens of the Stone Age + Angus Khan
At first listen, AM Revelator is pretty generic. Their riffs are boring, the vocals don’t stand out and the songs don’t do much moving. Repeated listens melt away the initial malaise and show a mature sense of song crafting. The lyrics are decent, but nothing to be too proud of. Groove makes its way past the lame effects and paper bass drum to give a good head nod. The semi-Sabbath riff in “Smash” is homage to the progenitors of metal, but the remainder of the song is a bland slice of Brit blues pie. If these Ogden boys would venture outside of their local watering hole and watch some of the young bucks on the all-age circuit, they might be able pull their heads out and capitalize on their potential.
Until Further Notice
The Rules of the Game
Until Further Notice = Simple Plan + Blink 182 + Sum 41
Until Further Notice is the perfect band. There, I said it. If I knew nothing about music, I might mean it. The songs these guys play are retardedly sophomoric and lack any musical talent beyond beginner-level teenage rock camp. You know that friend of a friend who is overly aggressive and wears the Tapout shirts, but goes tanning more than your little sister? He’s always talking about how he likes “wicked-heavy bands” and headbangs to anything with shitty distortion. This guy loves Until Further Notice. If Nickelback had vaginas instead of post-Bon Jovi cock rock, they would be Until Further Notice. If you’re into wearing sweater vests (not in the ironic indie way, but the GAP-store, yuppie way) and love AMFs at Liquid Joe’s, saddle up for some “heavy” rockin’!
UNCLE SCAM And The Current Administration
UNCLE SCAM = Every shitty bar band you’ve ever heard
I was once speaking to some people about local music when guitarist Raffi Shahinian politely interrupted and said he was in a band. That band happened to be Uncle Scam. Shahinian described his band as sounding somewhat like System of a Down. Not to steal any of his thunder, but I don’t think that guy has ever actually heard SOAD. Uncle Scam is that band playing at a bar that is just overly loud white noise that gets in the way of your drunken evening. Their three-song recording sounds pretty decent and has a good mix, but the guitar tones are overfilled with lame effects that don’t progress the songs at all. The guys are all tight musicians, but their songs are uninspiring and unoriginal. Hopefully, they have fun playing in this band at local bars, because that’s all they’re ever going to do with these subpar rock tunes. (Club Vegas: 09.17)
Loom = The Bled + 31 Knots + Small Towns Burn A Little Slower
Salt Lake music fans would have to have lived under a rock (or maybe in a stake center) to miss seeing Loom’s name on a marquee or show flier. The most indie ofBroship is back, sporting a more refined and matured sound in Selva Molhada via Exigent Records. The 2007 opus, Angler, was an EP of catchy, raw testaments to the sea. Molhada breaches the depths with more intricate guitar and violin work. The drums sound absolutely perfect (thanks to engineer extraordinaire Kris Krummett) andJosh Davenport’s vocals are more polished. The album brings Davenport out of his signature gravel yell with some clean singing and sets the band into an area that could be commercially viable to a bigger label such as Equal Vision Records or even Vagrant Records. Loom’s tour bus (literally an old, renovated school bus) has hit hundreds of tour stops, which, with the strength of this full-length album, makes it very probable that they will soon outgrow their small label and move on to bigger and better things.
Mary May I
Made for Hiding
Street: Aug. 2008
Mary May I = Sex Pistols + Finger Eleven + My Chemical Romance + 30 Seconds To Mars
Have you ever heard those bands that seem to dabble in many different genres, but don’t really have a core or a niche? That’s how Mary May I is. They’ve got a punk crust with post-punk sauce, nu metal crumbs drizzled over chunks of groove rock, baked in an indie-rock oven. Unfortunately, the dessert is a bland mixture of bad vocal vibrato, forgettable riffs and boring drum beats. They’re more Spam than crème brule. Made for Hiding sounds like Johnny Rotten was on Prozac and took voice lessons for three months before stopping into a terrible Radiohead cover band. The lyrics are trite and full of whiny suburban diatribes on troubled girls and the boys who love them. If this band is ever on the menu at a concert you attend, order out between courses.
Drop Dead Julio
The Stories We Could Tell
Drop Dead Julio = Blink 182 + Sum 41 + Simple Plan + 1998 (the year)
Drop Dead Julio (pronounced “Jewlio”) is a band that transcends genres. This band is so subtly complex that words probably won’t be invented for hundreds of years to even begin to describe the amount of layered lyrical and musical mastery provided to our ears on The Stories We Could Tell. Wait, no. They’re actually the exact opposite. Drop Dead Julio is full of mediocre pop-punk melodies and weak choruses that were probably written by an eighth-grade English student. They’re Blink 182 without the comedy. They’re Sum 41 without the musical chops. They’re a simpler version of Simple Plan. These guys have missed the pop-punk boat completely (they formed three years ago) and make New Found Glory look like the Marlon Brando of music. Some of their lyrics that form a totally, like, deep acoustic live performance are “Got a shotgun, somebody kill me / I promise you it won’t be boring.” Please, somebody listen to the man.
A. Star Recordings
Wite Nite = Isis + Pelican + AODL
Wite Nite’s self-titled EP starts off with a promising ambience of swirling sounds and soft guitars, but moves quickly from that beauty into an unrelenting, bad mushroom trip. The whole alblum is actually perfectly described as a mushroom trip – it starts off pretty and exciting, but time seems to stop about five minutes into it and you just want it to be over. The disc jolts in and out of consciousness, from ambient post-rock a la Isis or Pelican to grating noise. The switch is neither completely jarring, nor smooth and fluid, which makes the concoction taste like someone forgot to scrape the shit out of the caps before selling you the bag. A. Star Recordings makes no effort to hide their philosophy of helping friends instead of doing what’s right for the label. As former SLUG Managing Editor Andrew Glassett said in the November 2008 issue, “…it appears [A. Star] chooses to release whatever comes their way.” This release proves that sentiment.
Adam and Darcie
The Valley Where I’m From
Adam and Darcie = John and Yoko + that final song in Juno
Adam and Darcie Sanders are a serenading couple from Provo. In their beautifully simple (but not without accoutrement) Valley CD, the indie acoustic duo’s voices melt over one another in smooth layers superimposed upon acoustic guitars and banjos. Their soft, airy voices complement one another quite well. The cuteness in this band isn’t only apparent in the well-balanced vocal stylings of the two. The lyrics about true, mature love are appeasing to the post-high school fundamentals of amorous feelings over fleeting affection. Christmas-y bells in “Still I Know I,” drum samples in “First Sign of Relief” and electronic beats in “On the Moon” are welcome additions to the organic feel of harmonizing voices above guitar or banjo.