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Burn The Louvre - We'll Be Just Fine Review

Design by:  Marah Montague

Design by: Marah Montague

Canada natives Burn the Louvre, up-and-coming indie rock band, have recently released their new EP, We’ll Be Just Fine. With a total of six songs and a striking album cover that draws the eye, We’ll Be Just Fine is Burn the Louvre’s second EP, and a great step forward onto the music scene. Their first EP, Post-Romance, was released in November 2014.

The new album has been featured on college radio stations across Canada such as Mohawk College & McMaster University in Ontario, Ryerson University in Toronto, University of Guelph, and Brock University in St. Catherine’s. Burn the Louvre has also been featured on several music blogs in their home turf, but now, The Hook Journal is giving them a warm American welcome. 

Check out their social media down below!

We'll Be Just Fine Tracklist:
1. Fast Cars & Porn Stars
2. Body Lies
3. Give Me Love
4. Simpler Places
5. Breakdown
6. We’ll Be Just Fine
 

 

 

 

We’ll Be Just Fine starts off with the track “Fast Cars & Porn Stars,” which begins with a guitar melody that immediately makes my ears perk up. The song introduces the vocals of frontman Jordan Speare. Speare’s voice has a similar cadence to other indie rock singers like John Gourley of Portugal. The Man, and Nicholas Petricca of WALK THE MOON. The songs on We’ll Be Just Fine sound like something similar to what a Philly native would hear on Radio 104.5. My personal favorites were “Give Me Love” and “Simpler Places.”

The lyrics to “Simpler Places” are all too relatable – not to call on an overused sentiment, but it does really apply here. The chorus of “Well I don’t wanna try living a lie for the rest of my days, for the rest of my days and the rest of my nights,” stood out to me the most. This song is one I would expect to find tucked away in the soundtrack of a coming-of-age indie movie; the lyrics tell the story of that sort of journey of finding yourself, of reaching a point in your life when you realize what you truly want and who you want to be.

“Simpler Places” has a music video out, which you can watch here!

An honorable mention goes to the song “Breakdown” for its instrumentals. Burn the Louvre is certainly a band to watch out for, and We’ll Be Just Fine is worth a listen. Download the EP now and be sure to follow Burn the Louvre for more updates!

Burn the Louvre: Facebook // Instagram // YouTube // Twitter

Fox Hollow - The Dream Reel Review

NY locals, Fox Hollow, have been very busy this year - and before we end 2017, we're revisiting their April release of The Dream Reel. The 4-track EP is a glam rock tribute to the you we're all thinking about when we think about someone else. An indie, smooth moving EP this is definitely one you're going to want to put on while we whittle away at the end of the year.

Fox Hollow is comprised of memebers Michael Themistocleous (Vocals/Guitar), Joseph Oliveto (Guitar), Dan DeLucia (Bass), Chris Swift (Drums), and let's not forget Lyle the Corgi (Vocals). The EP was recorded and mixed by Ryan Meyers in Syosset, NY. With an emphasis on instrumental performance, the vocal feels secondary as you move through this album, but we'll get to that later. 

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Artwork: Brian Parisi

Artwork: Brian Parisi

The Dream Reel Tracklist:
1. The Dream Reel
2. June
3. Tennessee Whiskey
4. Strangers to Ourselves

 

 

 

 

 

Opening title track is going to introduce you to Fox Hollow with poise & grace. You've got a band that borders on pop rock, that groovy movement that bands like Medusa's Disco or Adventure Lost are also participating in. "The Dream Reel" drops listeners into the world of Fox Hollow, one in which you're always talking to someone else, yearning to get lost alongside them - good or bad. The rest of the album isn't going to disappoint, it feels similar in sound and lyrical content, but that makes The Dream Reel a solid consistent listen. As a listener I do wonder what else is in Fox Hollow's bag of tricks that isn't showcased here on the EP, but that's what 2018 is for, right!?

Closing track 'Strangers to Ourselves' is a 7 minute ode that is the culmination of Fox Hollow's goal. The lyricism on this track especially stood out to me in poetics and meaning. This track is one that I feel comes to you at a point when you need to hear it - and you want to bathe in all 7 minutes of it. Consider The Dream Reel Hook Approved. So check out The Dream Reel & Fox Hollow because we're gonna be following them right into 2018.

For more on Fox Hollow & The Dream Reel, check out their social media down below to never miss a beat!

Fox Hollow: Facebook // Bandcamp

Green Knuckle Material - Renaissance Review

Green Knuckle Material are ending 2017 with their December release of Renaissance. The EP is a fun-loving, sweet little collection of 5-tracks that Green Knuckle Material should be proud of. I mean, we're gonna practically beg you to listen to this one. With an infusion of hip-hop, indie rock, alternative rock and rap rock you're in for a montage of good sounds and good feels. 

But first, let's introduce the people that brought us Renaissance: Scatterbrain (Rap Vocals), Young Dan (Guitar & Lead Vocals), D String (Bass & Vocals), Mudd Dog (Guitar & Vocals), and the Hawaiian (drums). The EP was produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Josh Gustin and Mike Ravenda. The 5-track EP is a cohesive, exciting & fun to groove to when the winter blues have you down.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

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Renaissance Tracklist:
1. Lullaby
2. Soon As
3. Hole
4. For the First Time
5. Pictures

 

 

 

 

Opening track 'Lullaby' sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Reminiscent of bands like Pepper, Green Knuckle Material leave an open hand out for listeners in this first track. The EP devolves into a more 90's rock influenced sound with an identifying guitar tone, and vocals to offset it. Tracks like 'Soon As' and 'Hole' most represent this part of the EP. The piano & shrieking vocals in 'Hole' especially are not to be missed.

'For The First Time' slows it down for Green Knuckle Material, similar to 'Lullaby.' The piano in this track offsets the harshness of the vocals, and the chorus is the highlight of the track for me. Closing & longest track "Pictures" is the black sheep of the bunch, but I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I really enjoyed 'Pictures' because this EP could've gotten really stale very quickly, but GKM gave listeners a new sound in each track and that's a really stellar thing.

Generally, GKM have always stuck to their guns and are a band you can count on for a good time and feel good vibes. Renaissance is a fantastic EP and you'd be silly not to listen. Check out Green Knuckle Material & Renaissance before the year is over, and check out their social media down below to stay in the loop with everything they've got going on!

Green Knuckle Material: Website // Instagram // Facebook

Devon Goods - S/T Review

Glen Rocks, NJ is a tiny place in New Jersey that sits close enough to New York to have a constant identity crisis, and that's ok. Devon Goods is an indie punk quartet that embodies that very sentiment in their newest release, S/T. The 4-track self titled EP is a heartfelt, gut wrenching little album that is the perfect way to ring in Fall on this October evening. 

Devon Goods is Mike Beyda, Zach McCollum, Justin McCollum and Ross Greenberg. The EP was produced by Ryan Stack at Format Audio and we just can't stop listening to it. According to the band, "Justin McCollum and Michael Beyda started writing songs together at the ages of only 14 and 15 and soon after Justin’s brother Zach McCollum to join up on the drums. It wasn’t long until Ross Greenberg (bass) completed the line up and got his brother to help them record their first EP “Teeball” in his basement. Later, in 2015, the band decided to record and release a more polished EP entitled “Couldn't Ask For Anything More.” Focusing on live performances and honing in on their stage presence, the band went on to play a group of weekend tours until they began recording their latest release “Devon Goods” this past April." 

The EP released on June 23rd and Devon Goods say it is the epitome of where they are with their sound right now. Check out their tracklist below to follow along!

S/T Tracklist:
1. Jersey Shore, PA
2. 528
3. Cicada
4. Appleblossom

 

 

 

 


Opening track "Jersey Shore, PA" is a solid, math-y kind of track that hooks listeners immediately. As a New Jerseyian myself this track speaks to me (probably, right). Devon Goods quickly prove themselves as a hard hitting foursome that wants you to listen to what they have to say. The album boasts that half sung, half screamed mentality of indie punk and math rock. "528" is self described as the most popular song off the album, and to listeners this track does stand out amongst the rest as a nice middle ground.

Personally, I really enjoy "Cicada" because it is softer than the rest. This track leaves the most after the EP has finished, and maybe lyrically the track has more I can hold onto than others. 

Either way, you should check out Devon Goods for yourself and decide. Take our word for it and take the leap into it. We're sure you won't be disappointed with this one. In the meantime, check out their social media down below to catch up with their latest news.

As always, thanks for reading!

Devon Goods: Facebook // Bandcamp

The Broken Few - We Leave Pieces Of Ourselves

As Fall encroaches (hopefully) upon us, we're settling in with a good book and a good band. This time it's Providence, Rhode Island quintet The Broken Few. The post-hardcore screamo band bring out the sad boy in us all, and for the month of October, that's what we're into.

(Shut up, Mom this isn't a phase)

Way back in April, The Broken Few released We Leave Pieces Of Ourselves, a 9-track album that pushes and pulls at the innards of anyone who stumbles upon it. The Broken Few includes members Eddie Cote (Vocals), Joe Landriana (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Cordon (Bass), Jordon Collard (Drums), and Chris Michaels (Guitar) to create a nice slice of what you instrumentally like about post hardcore with the screams to go along with it.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

The Broken Few Tracklist:
1. Fuck Yeah, Bob Saget
2. Axe Body Spray
3. Smile
4. Winter
5. Hey Jealousy
6. Rose
7. To Whom It May Concern
8. You Don't Know Me
9. Wander

 



Opening track "Fuck yeah Bob Saget" lures listeners into to something that isn't always going to be very funny, but that's ok. I really dig the vibe of this album, it's soft in nature (or probably just recording), and it sneaks up on listeners in a lot of ways. I prefer this album instrumentally, and when Cote is singing rather than screaming, the tracks feel a little more impactful. Some tracks have an inconsistent type of vocal depth to them, one where I wish they'd choose between the two styles. 

For the most part, tracks 1-5 were preferred over the latter half of the album. They felt the most consistent, heartfelt and well put together. I wanted more tracks like that where I could get lost in sharing those feelings with the band as they pull them out of the listener. Overall, I like The Broken Few. I want to listen to more music for them and I want them to do well. I wonder where their path will take them in the future, and what things they want to hold onto or let go - and We Leave Pieces Of Ourselves is an ode to a time in which they did just that.

To keep up with The Broken Few, check out their social media down below!

The Broken Few: Bandcamp // Facebook

Orion Freeman - Morning Son Review

A singer/songwriter from the woods near Philadelphia, PA, Orion Freeman has recently release their brand new album, Morning Son. Their first release since 2014, Morning Son is a soft, folk inspired 9-track album that carries listeners through the journey of a childlike appreciation. 

Released April 24, 2017, Morning Son was produced by Orion Freeman, recorded (partially with the power of the sun) at Birchwood Studio in Granville, PA, mixed and mastered at Cambridge Sound Studios in Philadelphia, PA, mixed by Jim Salamone and Todd Mecaughey, with additional mixing by Orion Freeman, and mastered by Jim Salamone.

Orion Freeman had this to say about the release, “This second record of mine comes at a time of massive change in my world, and in the world around me. It represents a stripping down, a simplification, a return to the places i'm from and the emotions I've lived with. My first record was a tour-de-force, all-in attempt at encapsulating my entire existence up until that point- twenty seven musicians, strings and horns, over an hour of musical journeying, through the void and back. With Morning Son it felt super important for me to at least temporarily scale back, down to the base ingredients of voice and guitar, harmony, with sounds of everyday life peppered in, and just a select few other instruments to add to the overall texture and feel. It feels to me more like a single chapter this time around, as opposed to an entire book"

It began as simply an extended letter of gratitude and acknowledgment to the small child within my own self, who still felt like something was missing or had been left unsaid. I had no initial intentions of even having it professionally mixed. But what it became over the course of the recording sessions was something else entirely- a spotlight on certain emotions that in our culture don't often see the light of day; and in turn, an offering to those who may have (or still) feel the same way...”

Check out the tracklist below!

Morning Son Tracklist:
1. Farewell
2. Jesus in Denial
3. Flower in a Vase
4. Mourning Son
5. Icarus
6. Family Tree
7. Salvation (The Ballad of a Good Boy) 
8. Morning Sun
9. The Return

 

 

Morning Son is a 9-track album that features passionate lyrics and powerful instrumentals. It begins with “Farewell,” a thirty-second intro that includes seagull sounds and a short guitar chord that transitions seamlessly into “Jesus in Denial.” It’s slow, mellow, and calming, something to listen to when you’re contemplating life and doing some soul-searching. The songs on Morning Son feel like they should definitely be part of the soundtrack to an indie movie about a group of friends finding themselves and making precious memories together.

Morning Son makes me think of soft sunsets and warm breezes, nostalgia and deep feelings. It was really hard to decide what my favorite song was because I truly enjoyed them all, but I guess it really depends on which one impacted me the most.

They all flow on an emotional level for me.

The pretty, acoustic instrumentals and the soft vocals combined to create a powerful listening experience that took me away and had me deep in my feelings. But if I had to pick a single song to be my favorite, it would be track 5, “Icarus.” Maybe that’s because I’m such a fan of the Greek myth, but it’s also a great song. The lyric, “You can’t blame a man for chasing the sun” hit me hard.

My second favorite song is “Mourning Son,” not to be confused with “Morning Son,” which is the title track. “Mourning Son” is almost entirely instrumental, and songs like that really affect me more than others.

All in all, Morning Sun was a great album, and I’m a new fan of Orion Freeman. The album is available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp, and you can follow Orion on social media for any updates from him!

Orion Freeman: Facebook // YouTube // Twitter // ReverbNation

COPES - Never Better Review

Copes, the alt-rock trio based out of Baltimore Maryland has released their debut album, Never Better back in March of 2017. Grunge meets punk meets garage rock in this quick, hard-hitting, and emotional journey that spans 7 tracks and is actually a lot of fun. From the moment the record begins to its final notes, Never Better’s Nirvana, Green Day, and Pixies influences are undeniable and take you back to genre of music that has all but disappeared since the late 90’s. It’s a refreshing yet nostalgic sound that permeates the entire album and helps make Copes a real delight to listen to. 

Copes is comprised of Sebastian Pinto (guitar/vocals), Vinnie Burke (drums), and Alec Pugliese (bass) and is the embodiment of the DIY underground scene of days past. From hand making a lot of their own merch, to even recording their own records, Copes is about as authentic as they come, and the listener can definitely feel that. Unlike a lot of DIY acts however, Copes never feels cheap or rushed, but rather polished with just enough grit around the edges. It’s very clear that Never Better is the product of a lot of passion and dedication. Nothing here is particularly groundbreaking or extraordinary, but the beauty behind Copes is that it doesn’t need to be.

Never Better never tries to be anything other than what it is at its core; an alternative grunge album that pays homage to the acts that inspired it, and that’s exactly the reason is works so well.

Never Better Tracklist:
1. Never Better
2. Rights
3. Vertigo
4. Ghost
5. Drop Out
6. Crutch
7. I’m Gone
 

 

 

 

The album starts off with riveting drums that almost feel like surf rock in the track “Never Better.” These drums surprisingly, yet very effectively, lead into a classic grunge riff on guitar that has the perfect tone and feel to it followed by the angsty vocals of Pinto. It’s a solid opening track that introduces us to what Copes is all about and never overstays its welcome.

The next track “Rights” shows us a bit of a softer side of the band, but is quickly offset by a heavy, loud, and dirty chorus that serves as a fantastic track that shows us Copes’ dynamic. Moving on,  “Vertigo” is the first glimpse of the fun, pop-punk side of the group. It’s a fast, rhythmic, and catchy song and is one of my personal favorites off the record.

The following track “Ghost” is the polar opposite of the previous one. It’s classic grunge meets a bit of emo, with soft emotional verses and incredibly loud and heavy choruses with pseudo screaming vocals. “Ghost” is a fantastic track and is filled with moody ambiance in all the right ways. The following track, “Drop Out” while a solid song, was ultimately forgettable for me. It’s of the same ilk as “Vertigo” which isn’t a bad thing, but for such a short album, these 2 songs sound too similar to one another for them both to be memorable. 

“Crutch” almost seems like Copes attempt at a Weezer song. It’s a little off-kilter, but that’s what makes it appealing. A fun and inviting dance beat, and bright guitar riff lay underneath the entire track and provide a cool juxtaposition to the capricious sounding vocals. The finale of the record “I’m Gone” is as fitting an ending to an album as anyone could hope for. It feels big and epic and ultimately gives the listener a feeling of closure that seems to be absent in a lot of music today for some reason or another. It’s pounding beat gives it a very simple feeling, but still manages to satisfy the need for variety through its subtle changing vocals and guitar solos. 

Never Better is a good album. It’s a familiar sound that seems to have gone missing from the music scene presented in a fresh, authentic, and most importantly fun way. Copes is a band that knows their strengths and plays to them rather than try and be something that feels forced and in-genuine. These are quick, well written songs that know where they come from. They respect the icons and legends that inspired them without ever sounding like just a knockoff, and it makes for a really enjoyable record.

Check out their social media to stay up to date!

Copes: Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp // YouTube

The Backwoods - The Blue Spot Recordings

Virginia based pop punk band The Backwoods have released a heavy hitting EP titled The Blue Spot Recordings that’s sure to hit the spot for emo pop and pop punk fans alike!

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

The Blue Spot Recordings Tracklist:
1. Rainy Day 
2. Bayberry
3. Early Birds
4. Buyer's Book
5 .June

 

 

 

 

This EP is something I’d like to describe as “organized aggravation.” 

It’s something that’s very common in the pop punk genre; well structured music with a very angry and volatile delivery. The vocals delivers his lines layered with throat tearing growl reminiscent of Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years. Not to mention his screams cut at the same edge as his singing, without the melodic restraints of course. It’s 150% emotional emphasis.

However, on the song “Early Birds,” a particular vocal part really stood out to me. Around the 0:28 mark, a smooth and soulful melody takes over that is easily not only the best vocal part of the album, but probably one of the best verse parts I’ve heard this year. I just wish there was more of that going on throughout the release.

Instrumentally, The Blue Spot Recordings is punch after punch after punch. There’s a nice full feel in the kick drum that really gives a punishing heaviness to the album overall. There’s a solid fullness to everything, and endless riffs that I really wish I had written first.  

Going back to “Early Birds” (sorry it’s my favorite track) there’s even a little breakdown part. Think less easycore/metalcore and more melodic hardcore. I was practically hitting spin kicks in my living room.

There wasn’t really much that I didn’t like about this, but there were a couple of things. First, I wish the production was just a little bit better. I wanted to talk about the general themes going on in the album, but a lot of the time I couldn’t pick out individual sentences because the vocals, at times, were either overshadowed by the guitars or just a victim of the singers raw, emotive performance. Secondly, as stated before, I would’ve liked to have seen a little bit more of the soulful singing. I was enjoying the album before I got to that part, but that really blew me away. I really think that stylistically it would make for some really nice hooks.

All in all, this was an exceptionally solid release by The Backwoods.

If you enjoy hard, driving pop punk/alternative rock, you’ll be hooked.  If not, well it’s worth at least a listen anyway. Everyone’s got an aggressive side to them, and music is a place where we can kind of release those emotions safely. This is the kind of music for that. It’s a torch carrier of a long maintained tradition of being in a tightly packed venue, covered in the sweat of friends you don’t know yet, and having a good night the whole time. I can definitely see myself going to one of their shows, and I can definitely see The Backwoods carving out a future in the pop punk scene.

For more on The Backwoods, check out their social media to stay up to date with what they're up to!

The Backwoods:  Facebook // Instagram // Twitter