State Of The Art: Hawaii’s THE GRANITE SAINTS [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Hawaii.*

From Honolulu, Hawaii, The Granite Saints are, according to their biog, “a three chord homage to the bands of their youth.”  They are snotty-nosed punks with the attitude of them against the world.  They talk and walk their way and anyone who doesn’t like it can just get out of their way.

Forged in the fires of 2013, they are made up of Lonesome James on rhythm guitar/lead vocals, Brian on bass/backup vocals, Shane Taylor on lead/rhythm guitars and Chad Taylor on drums.  They released a self titled EP in 2017, with some awesome beefy riffing on tunes like “Juju Mama” and “Run The Night.”  However, 2018 saw them really open up the Pandora’s Box of punk rocking music with ‘Red, White & Screwed.’

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State Of The Art: Missouri’s SORRY, SCOUT [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Missouri.*

Sorry, Scout describe themselves as an “Indie rock/pop punk/ Americana” hybrid out of St. Louis that write songs about “love, gentrification, police brutality, bigotry and survival in an increasingly oppressive reality.

The band is made up of Randi Whitaker (vocals), Nate Jones (guitar), David Anson (bass) and Zack Schultz (drums).  They are fresh, melodic, powerful and driven. They hammer home their ideas about society with the charm of a well versed poet, armed with a supreme sense of purpose.  Their one release to dste is the anthemic artistically authentic EP ‘Never Asked For It’, which was issued in August 2018. Continue reading

Adam Cox’s Top 10 Albums Of 2018!

My memories of 2018 are inextricably linked to amazing music.  Life has been fairly unremarkable, but for the sonic highways I have followed which led to me writing for the great Metal Nexus site. Thank you Fist, for taking me on and for the whole team being like family. I am blessed that I can creatively vent through this fantastic site.

This year has seen my love for Metal music being well and truly filled. It has been another bumper year and I hope my top album picks make for interesting reading and lead to people listening to the albums.  Whatever you do, please support the artists and I look forward to even more great music in 2019.

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State Of The Art: Iowa’s SPACE BURIAL [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Iowa.*

Space Burial formed in 2015. They are a psychedelic/stoner/prog rock band from Dubuque, Iowa. Created as an outlet by singer/guitarist Pinky, Space Burial became, in their own words, “an excuse to stay out late and buy vintage instruments and recording gear.

Space Burial‘s self titled EP, along with their sophomore release ‘Celestial Seed’ is available on BandCamp.

The band eat heavy musical food, with a mind-altering content. They have successfully fused modern sounds with Seventies prog influences. In addition, they write tunes that matter and have urgency. They pepper spray the listener with spoken word parts in songs and know when to put the hammer to the floor and drive off into the stratosphere.

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State Of The Art: Wisconsin’s MY MEMORY REMAINS [Album Stream]

mmr

My Memory Remains

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Wisconsin.*

My Memory Remains formed in June of 2015. The band consists of Nicole Steinmetz on vocals, Aaron Aull and Justin Perry on guitar, Kyle Miller pn drums and CJ Schmidt on bass.

They are based in Eau Claire, WI and have appeared on the same bill as killer bands such as The Devil Wears Prada, All That Remains and Otep.

From their biography, the band “write music in a way that everyone can relate to and can feel a connection with.” They are a hard rock band with Metal leanings and a singer with an incredible voice and range.

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State Of The Art: Rhode Island’s PUBLIC POLICY [Album Stream]

Public Policy Band

Public Policy – Photo by Stuart Window

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Rhode Island.*

There is not a great deal I know about Rhode Island’s Public Policy, but their Facebook page gives a colorful overview – “Public Policy is a sinewy, brash, and beautiful rock ‘n roll band from Providence, RI. Complex, tightly-crafted rock songs churn and boil under dense and plaintive lyrics. It’s not jangular, and there’s no saxophone in sight.

The band is comprised of Dean Gardner (vocals, guitar), Nick Cooper (guitar, vocals), Dan Moriarty (drums, backing vocals) and Dan Sliwinski (bass guitar, backing vocals).

public-policy-human-resource

Public Policy – Human Resource

Their sophomore release ‘Human Resource’ was recorded by Daryl Rabidoux at The Radar Studio, Clinton, CT and Axion Media Lab, Pawtucket, RI. It was mixed by Daryl Rabidoux at Axion Media Lab, Pawtucket, RI.

This is five tracks of steaming emotion, a stream of consciousness that brings back Grunge and Emo in one post-hardcore package. The vocals veer between sneers and tears and the guitars rip away right in your face.

The band are artists, first and foremost. Nothing on this release cries out any rock star pretentions. They are a ball of concentrated acidic chords and some bitter gospel songs for the new generation. The concerns of the young are howled out on tunes such as “Ice Age“, with its eco-sermon “burn down together” refrain.

Other fine numbers include “Insulin“, with its chopping chords and grinding punk verses. Make no assumptions, these guys can play and have melodies weaving their way around this release. They know they want to talk to you and they know their message needs to get through.

They also have the same alternative vibes as the early Eighties indie bands, but they have the power that eludes those artists. They sound as if the struggle has been all too real…

Check out Public Policy and see if you can get behind their human resourcing.

https://publicpolicy.bandcamp.com/

State Of The Art: Florida’s LEVIATHAN CROSS

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Florida.*

“A country divided
A smeared reputation
The veil pulled back
To reveal the death machine” – All Is Dust

This month, I take a look at Leviathan Cross, the three piece band based out of Tampa, Florida who have “a fascination with the occult and the macabre.

The band were formed in 2015 and have released two EPs to date, a self-titled in 2016 and ‘All Is Dust’ in August of this year. The band is comprised of James Herrholz on guitar/vocals, Kyle Weidner on bass/vocals and Brandon Thrift on drums. They have a dark sound, which stretches beyond the three piece format. There is an errie sense of menace in their grooves that would neatly fit into the soundtrack of a horror film.

The music, whilst distorted to some white noise limit on their self-titled EP, has evolved into a riffing maelstrom of monstrous proportion on ‘All Is Dust‘. They have cleaned the production and swabbed the sonic decks with the now crystal clear sound taking them into the stratosphere of Doom Metal.

The latest release really does bite at your ears from the off. It has a nasty claustrophobic vibe that also tingles your senses with aggressive distain. The band are tight and have more hooks than a butcher’s shop. They stretch muscles of music and infuse with spices beyond imagination.

The songs on ‘All Is Dust’ leap out and pull you into the weird layer of pain. sweetened by guitar nuggets and drums that paralyse with an urgency unknown by many who play in this dark arena.

“Ava” ushers in the EP with a choppy piece of alternative guitar and then smashes you with a riff that is a classic. The singing is clean, but emotional. This may be one thing that sets Leviathan Cross apart from many others in the genre. It is a unique sound, full of unexpected melodies and power. The voice should be slightly higher in the mix, but it still sounds fantastic. The fuzzbox distortion solo is great as well.

A bumping bass and drums opener sets off the NWOBHM inspired “Static Regime“. It is another killer riff and I can see these guys playing arenas with this tune.

Beyond The Veil” sparkles with grinding diamonds in its life. “The Well” has some thundering bass drumming and a razor sharp riffing wall. The song speeds along, breaking into territory that was reserved for Speed Metal bands back in the day. This is not your standard Doom fare.

The penultimate track is “K Webster“, which is less of a success for me, as it hasn’t the tunefulness of the other compositions.

The EP finishes with the title track and this is a pretty political song, opening with some of President Trump’s soundbites. It is a call for greater unity and a discovery of division. It is also the only time when Death Metal vocals are used, to great effect. Awesome!

There you have it – Florida produces yet another top band, destined to be remembered in years to come as a serious player. Check them out!

State Of The Art: West Virginia’s ROZWELL KID

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is West Virginia.*

“I’m tired of tugging my hair
And scratching my neck ’til it’s red
And I’m wired from all of the coffee
I’m funneling into my head
My legs are jelly at night
From boogiein’ straight into bed
And I try to straighten it out
And get tangled all over again” – “Boomerang”

Rozwell Kid are an unusual landmark band, breathing life into the saturated market of pop punk.  They take a quirky look inside the body politic of American society much the same way that David Lynch does with his vignettes of life in his movies. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Indiana’s OUTLAWS & MOONSHINE

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Indiana.*

Southern Rock from Indiana. The good ‘ole Outlaws & Moonshine boys are out to drink your booze and steal your musical soul.  Soul is what they have in spades. Continue reading

Album Review : GRAVEYARD – Peace [Album Stream]

From the ashes of Swedish Doom / Stoner band NORRSKEN rose two new bands. Whilst some of the band formed  WITCHCRAFT, the rest formed the classic retro-modern GRAVEYARD.  They strode into the spotlight with a steely stare and a sense of purpose.

After forming, the band were swift to record a two track demo and played a total of three shows, before planning for a full-length album. Their self-titled debut album was recorded by Don Ahlsterberg and released in early 2008. On the recording sessions’ completion, Truls Mörck was replaced by guitarist Jonatan Ramm.

GRAVEYARD then toured with label mates WITCH. In the fall of 2008, they also toured with CLUTCH. In 2009, they toured with the rock band CKY and released their second album in spring of 2011.  Touring followed, with the likes of SOUNDGARDEN.  However, bass player and co-founder Rikard Edlund then left the band to “pursue other musical ventures“.  In September 2015, the band released the ‘Innocence & Decadence’ record through Nuclear Blast.

On 23 September 2016, the band announced they had broken up, citing, “all so classic reasons.”  This hiatus lasted only until 2017, when the band announced their reunion, albeit with a new drummer as Axel Sjöberg decided to stay with his new band.

The album ‘Peace’ is the reunion tentpole.  It was produced by Chips Kiesbye and is released via Nuclear Blast.  It combined elements of Stoner/Doom, but with many more references to 60’s and 70’s artists.  The warm, yet somewhat retro production, gives it a sound that is very welcome in the cold age of digital perfection.

The songs shift around your consciousness and I have generally been impressed by the thoughtfulness of songs such as “Walk On” and “Del Manic”.  The sound is propelled by guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson’s fantastically rich vocals and the jazzy content on some songs makes this record a genuine treat to fall into.  Like a feather coated beartrap – you initially feel comfortable until the teeth chomp on your leg.

There is a feeling of a band genuinely understanding the pulls of the musical universe and who are acutely aware of their place in the patheon of chaos.  They seem to be stretching out on an aural adventure in an effort to put distance between them and their somewhat tumultous past.  However, it is a solid album with great tunes such as “A Sign Of Peace” and the opener “It Ain’t Over Yet”.

If your bag is thoughtful, grooving Stoner rock with a warm retro feel, then GRAVEYARD is a band for you to check out.

www.facebook.com/graveyardofficial