new EP

Inspector 34 - Don't Worry This Is Ok Review

Music you’ve heard for the very first time, but takes you to a place where everyone knows your name? That’s precisely where you’re going from the very first strum, the opening note of Lowell Massachusetts powerhouse Inspector 34.

This isn’t your typical EP either, Don’t Worry This Is OK, dropped with a transformative music video for their lead track “Fed Up.” Talk about hearing your guitar and seeing it in action, too! A band, who aren’t strangers to tremendous talent, are showcased front and center as the collective vision of Jim Warren, Pat Auclair, Silas Price, Ben Kaplowitz, and Alexandra Derderian! At just under 15 minutes (but you’ll wish for 5x that length in the end) this quartet of songs will leave you hungry for more! It’s all highs and no lows from here on out!

Your guide for the ride, check out the tracklist below!

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Don’t Worry This Is Ok:
1. Fed up
2. Hurts
3. Try So Hard
4. That Charming Man

If you gave this a listen before continuing, then welcome back! If not, then buckle in because you’re headed to transcendent places.

Have you ever wanted a soundtrack for your life? Needed something better than words to describe a feeling? Well look no further my friends. The opening track encapsulates you with a magnetic ambience, you are transfixed by the swelling of passion around you. Every track feels like the crest and fall of a wave, blending perfectly together. Sometimes we need more than words and other times we need outstanding voices! If I could sing, I would sing the praises of the vocals throughout this EP. What are a completely spellbinding incantation that takes you to the epicenter that is raw emotion.

In the mood for sexy baselines? Prepare to be seduced. Need a little bit of folk twang to start your day? Then look no further! Inspector 34 delivers on every front you’ve thought of and probably some you haven’t and that’s just four songs. Imagine what they have in store for you next!

Picking a favorite song here is difficult but we’re going with Track 3, ‘Try So Hard,’ and it does. I wish this track was longer, it’s the first song I played over again, and again, the attitude is infectious, the perfect illustration of what this band is capable of. This is the song you want headlining your life and playing in the background every time you do something “Cool guys don’t look at explosions” type worthy.

I have been in and around the music scene a very long time, and I struggle to imagine a more consistent, powerful band for my first formal review here for The Hook. You heard it hear first before you no doubt here it everywhere, you are going to want more, if you ever need a formula on how to do it right, this is it.

Let’s listen together, soon, and take a deeper inspection into Inspector 34 using their social media links down below!

Inspector 34: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram //Spotify

Sonnder - Entanglement Review

Photography: Alexandra Elisabetta

Photography: Alexandra Elisabetta

We recently featured Sonnder as one of our bands to follow!

So, you should already be following them, but If not, I'm just going to give you another reason as to why you should definitely be doing that.

Fronted by lead singer and songwriter, Ryan Weidman, the band also consists of keyboardist Kat Stein, bassist Steve Iannettoni, and drummer Mike Liszka! Entanglement was just released this year after Sonnder spent 2015 working on their "Singles Project," which allowed the band to release a new track each month! That project culminated into the full-length album, Entanglement, which was then accompanied by a couple of new tracks as well when completed! 

The 13-track album is a supremely impressive collection from Sonnder, and honestly, I can't stop listening to it. Entanglement blends genres of experimental indie and alt-rock that makes me stoked for music, for real. It's so hard to find some really quality indie these days, especially indie that's going that extra mile - pushing forward as other genres seem to be doing. Sonnder uses Entanglement to create the perfect space for experimentation, and the finished product is absolutely sublime.

Check out the tracklist below!

Entanglement Track-list:
1. New Direction
2. Along The Way (I've Been Alive)
3. Words To Say
4. Late October
5. About Time
6. Siren Calling
7. Pink
8. Silhouttes
9. Backwards Ambition
10. I Need (feat. Keely Sibilia)
11. Not Far Enough
12. Entanglement
13. Drifter (Bonus Track)

Typically, during these album reviews I go through the majority of the album explaining what songs I do and don't like. However, Entanglement is impossible to do that with when you sincerely love every song? I've never had this happen before. 

Of course, in comparison to previous Sonnder works, the new album is extremely focused. While each track sounds unique, it is clear that this album is one cohesive and collective work. This is a huge progression for Sonnder, and seems to be an exciting and interesting new path that they may be working toward and following!

Are you impressed yet?

I was also so stinkin' enthralled by some of the songs for their emotional tenacity whether that be in the lyrics, the vocals, or the band keeping it all together. The music sounds smart - it sounds put together, it feels passionate. Whether that be with Mike on drums, or Kat on keys - Steve on bass to round out each track.

"New Direction" is the actual perfect opening track to start Entanglement, as it drops the listener right into this magnificently webbed and intricate 13-track LP. "New Direction" is also (I'd say) the flint that strikes the stone for this album, the reason for being! Honesty, positivity, moving forward all ideals that the tracks on Entanglement grapple with or ask for. A literal new direction for Sonnder.

A few of my other favorite tracks include "Along The Way (I've Been Alive)," which has been doing really well on the radio (like whaaaat, how cool), as well as "Not Far Enough," "Words To Say," "Pink," and "Late October." However, one of the most interesting tracks is bonus track "Drifter." This track is really cool because it feels like the opening of a door.

"Drifter" is the most different from the other 12-tracks on the album, and it feels as though it's pulling inspiration from Entanglement, but also ready to move in it's own wayward direction. I an appreciate "Drifter" a ton because of it.

As I said above, what's truly superb about this album is that it's the result of the "Singles Project" that Sonnder had been running through in 2015. It's seamlessness in all aspects makes Entanglement a truly hard-hitting album for 2016. It's got all the stops, too.

In summation: Sonnder is rad and Entanglement is rad, and if our endless good reviews of them isn't enough - then check it out for yourself. We implore you.

Rating: 9.5/10

Per usual, check out their social media to tell them how rad they are or to keep up to date on what's going on with them! Links below!

Sonnder: Website // Instagram // Soundcloud // Twitter

Nevruary - Noegenisis Review

Released on April 29th, Nevruary's second full-length album, Noegenesis, is an eclectic mix of alt/pop electronic funk!

The band takes their ideas in every direction on this album and that sounds like a problem...but, it never feels like they are trying to do "too" much! There are shades of Hissing Fauna-era Of Montreal sounds on this album, with the serene and sympathetic falsetto choruses filling out each song and hype-manning the lead vocals. Nevruary layers in interesting hip-hop chill vibes towards the end of the LP as well!

The super melodic funky bass is a standout feature in every single track on this album! It is the primary form of instrumentation that they use. There are no guitars in Noegenesis, simply bass, piano, drums, and the occasional wah-synth to accompany the vocals. 

“The Runner,” released as their single, is a slower song and features a catchy hook, “They call me the runner...” The driving force of this song is the droning drum beat and the piano riff, all underlined by the funk bass guitar.

The next song on the album, “Alone To Lead,” takes the funk bass in a different direction, jumping all over the place in a steady riff, while “No Strings” is a powerful ballad that takes away the bass and gives us a beautiful piano/string orchestration. “Backslide” is a hidden gem on the album, it's a small instrumental break that gets showcases a variety of sounds that appear on the LP!

My favorite song on the album is definitely “Under Microscope.” A funky epic that seamlessly transitions through all of the varied flavors that this band juggles. This is a huge stand-out track for myself. 

Check out the track-list below!

NOEGENESIS Tracklist:
1. Jupiter
2. Crest Point
3. Untamed
4. The Runner
5. Alone To Lead
6. No Strings
7. Backslide
8. Steep Faith
9. Distraction
10. Under Microscope
11. In Black and White
12. Unsatisfied


Overall, this album is one you should check out. The memorable hooks, the interesting tonal sound and instrumentation, and wonderful tracks such as “The Runner,” “Distraction,” and “Under Microscope,” really give this album a great feel. I'm looking forward to more releases from Nevruary!

Rating: 9/10

Nevruary: Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Greaver - The Faun Review

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There is a fine line between trend and art. With the advent of D.I.Y. digital distribution,it became much easier for musicians to reach out to fans and sell their music without the help of a record label. While this was a godsend to the misunderstood artist, it also gave way to a dilution of artistry. Anyone having the ability to release music does not necessarily mean all who do, should. In my endless search for new music, I seldom come across musicians I would describe as true innovators. Especially in more emotive genres such as Post-Hardcore. 

While they’re not exactly innovators, Greaver have put out a solid record that fans of Post-Hardcore and Emo acts like Thursday, Pianos Become the Teeth, and Envy will surely find some enjoyment in. The riffs are plentiful throughout the record, discordant and looming overhead instead of hitting you directly. Vocalists/Guitarists Michael Rozier and Michael Townsel blend together really well at the front end of the mix. A lot of the vocals are either duets or traded off throughout the record, creating an interesting and haunting dynamic. Tracks like “Southfield” and “Earth Rune” showcase the uniqueness this sort of vocal arrangement can bring. 

The production on this record really helps with the impact a lot of these tracks can have on the listener. The mix by Al Jacob, who previously worked with bands like He Is Legend, is visceral enough to capture the raw emotion of each song and really take the listener down into this hole that a lot of these songs are sitting in that’s certainly more unsettling than a lot of their peers. Although the production helps most of these songs stay memorable and fresh, a few such as “Last Breath” and “Third Eye” fall pretty flat compared to the rest. The instrumentals on them are both great, however the “voicemail” delivery of the spoken narrative on each of these tracks sound too forced to really draw you in. It’s obvious that these were written and not captured from reality. 

Overall, this is a solid record from an up & coming band. Definitely check them out if you are into any of the bands mentioned above.

I’m curious to see what this band will do next, and after hearing this, I’m sure you will be too.

Rating: 7/10

For more on Greaver, check out their social media!

Greaver: Facebook // Twitter

Semiotics - For How Review

Photography: Jersey Boy Photo

Photography: Jersey Boy Photo

Semiotics has become one of The Hook's most recent featured local bands - from New Brunswick, NJ the DIY group is constantly busy and on the move, taking self-made to levels of extraordinary.

Because we love Semiotics so much, we visited and listened to their most recent EP! For How was released on Halloween in 2015, and it sports six tracks to create Semiotics’ most focused, accomplished, and emotional work to date. 

In comparison to their 2014 debut EP, Simple Requests, For How has taken Semiotics and their mission to a whole new level. I would most definitely say that For How takes what listeners loved about Simple Requests and transforms them into a more mature, better paced and collected moment of sound.

For How is propelled by the dual vocals of Seth Blissenbach and Nick Rapon. I was most impressed by the maturity of not only the lyrical content, but also the range and progressing alt-rock sound that comes through on each track. Not to mention how powerful and cathartic the instrumentals are. From guitar (Nick and Seth, still) to the consistent bass rhythm (Kyle “KyBoi”  O’Connor), and the authoritative and capable drums (Kenny Kabigting) – each track is an exemplary piece of Semiotics’ hard work.

In comparison to the quietude of Simple Requests, For How uses each track like an emotional punching bag in instrumental technique. 

While the tracks on For How are all drastically different, it is easy to feel their focus and drive. They support one another without relying on one another. My favorite track off of the EP is most definitely “Cheers Me Proper,” which the band recently put out a music video for. This track speaks for me in ways that encompass what the rest of the EP is also talking about.

Self-Discrepancy, apathy, loving someone, being alone – and maybe I am empathetic with these ideals because I share them, because it seems that most of us feel that way. Maybe what I love about Semiotics and For How is that in these joyous instrumentals and up-front, honest lyrics I am resonating. I am reverbing in the moment with each beat, each momentum – the EP is the tide I’ve been wanting to be swept away in. 

Check out the track-list below!

Track List:
1. Diy Death Machine
2. Sorry, Bruh
3. Cheers Me Proper
4. M. Connolly
5. Violent In Your Sleep
6. I've Known You Since I Was A Kid

Needless to say, sometimes you find music that you need to find – and For How is the music I needed to find. Semiotics the band I wanted to be into, can continue to be into.

On that note, I will leave you with this line from "Cheers Me Proper," my hopes and fulfillment from this EP - from (and for) Semiotics, “I’m not half the person I plan to become, and I’ll never stop holding my arms up for better.”

Rating: 9/10

The album is available for purchase on Bandcamp and iTunes!

Semiotics: Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp