This week, the track you need to give a listen to is “Depression Drive” by the vaporwave artist, Fla.mingo. Fla.mingo’s album “Fantasy” was the first release of 2017 for Business Casual and I already know that it will be one of the greatest vaporwave albums of the year. I’m not very familiar with Fla.mingo’s music, but based off “Fantasy”, it appears that he mixes both vaporwave/plunderphonics influences with house/EDM influences. In fact, when listening to his music I instantly think about how some of the synths and vocal samples remind me of Porter Robinson and his two phenomenal full length records. Combining both my love for vaporwave and EDM, I guarantee I’ll become a huge fan of Fla.mingo as I begin to check out more of his material.
“Depression Drive” is a great place to start when first listening to “Fantasy”. It has a looping synth very similar to Porter Robinson, Minnesota, Seven Lions, and other notable EDM acts, while also incorporating a pitch shifted vocal track that compliments the rest of the track beautifully. “Depression Drive” also has a simple, repetitive beat that gives the song a club/House vibe, which further makes the track even more addictive. “Depression Drive” is a song you absolutely have to listen to today! I’ve attached the entire bandcamp stream of the album below for those who want to give “Fantasy” a listen. “Depression Drive” is track number 5, but I highly doubt you’ll be able to listen to only one song, as the entire release is phenomenal. I look forward to seeing what else Fla.mingo has in store for us in the future and of course let us know what track you think should be the “Track of the Day Tuesday” next week!
Recently Australian punk and metal label, UNFD, released a select amount of represses from Australian metalcore giants Northlane, In Hearts Wake, and The Amity Affliction. Releases like The Amity Affliction’s “Severed Ties”, In Hearts Wake’s “Earthwalker”, “Skydancer”, and “Divination”, and Northlane’s “Singularity” were all rereleased on 3 separate variants each. However, the most significant repress out of all of these releases is the repressing of Northlane’s “Discoveries”. “Discoveries”, which is Northlane’s debut full-length album, is not only one of their best releases, but it is also one of their rarest releases on physical formats. Before this repress, “Discoveries” was on two different variants; Nebula Swirl and White each limited to 150 copies. It also had two pressings on CD, but those are even harder to find copies for sale. The vinyl copies, however, are not only limited, but extremely expensive as well. The White variant can be bought for as little as $120 on Discogs and has been sold for as much as $178. The Nebula Swirl variant on the other hand is nearly three times as expensive, selling for as little as $308 and as high as $360! So it’s fair to say that this repress was huge news for any fan of Northlane who never got a chance to own their first record on vinyl.
Unfortunately, “Discoveries” is sold out on nearly every site it was being sold on. Merchnow and 24 Hundred are already sold out completely, but some online stores have a few copies left! I’ve attached all links to pick up any variant below for those who want to buy a copy before they’re sold out completely. The album is stellar to say the least, so if you are on the fence about picking up a copy for yourself, I highly suggest you grab one, especially since these represses might go up in price once they are totally sold out online! We still have a few more posts left before the end of 2016 so check back in to see what we have left to release!
UNFD European website:
Yesterday, prominent vaporwave record label, Business Casual, officially announced the first few releases scheduled for 2017! Through their twitter page Business Casual announced four records that will all be released in January, starting as early as next week! The first release of 2017 will be BIZBOX 4 “Chill”, which is a project I am extremely excited to hear! For those familiar with Business Casual, you will know that the label runs a bi-monthly release where a selected album, or multiple albums, are sold in a cassette bundle with random tapes of previous Business Casual releases. This project is a fan favorite, and after buying a copy of BIZBOX 3, I can without a doubt say that these label specific release projects are phenomenal and are something I now look forward to! Following the release of BIZBOX 4, Business Casual plans to release “Fantasy” by Fla.mingo and “Caffeine” by R-RODD. I personally am unfamiliar with either of these artists’ material, but just from looking at the aesthetic of the album artworks shown, I assume that at least one of the upcoming projects will feature a sound somewhat similar to future-funk. Regardless of their genre, I definitely plan on checking out these records due out in the next few weeks! Finally, the last announced January 2017 release is actually a cassette release for STAQQ OVERFLO’s “Promise”. “Promise”, which was actually last month, is a very successful album that has found its way on to numerous AOTY lists recently. I personally plan on giving it a listen before I finalize my album of the year list, and you should too! All of these releases will be sold on cassette as well through Business Casual’s website!
Business Casual is one of the leading labels in the vaporwave genre and their massive catalog of releases have helped shape the future of vaporwave itself. If you still haven’t checked out any projects associated with Business Casual, I highly suggest you visit the label’s site, especially since all of their albums are available for free download! I’m very excited to see what’s in store for Business Casual, and these 4 projects should definitely be a solid start to a successful year for Business Casual! Check out the list of scheduled releases below, visit the label’s page, and be sure to come back often for more vaporwave related news, reviews, and content!
BIZBOX 4 “Chill”: 1/6
Fla.mingo – “Fantasy”: 1/13
R-RODD – “Caffeine”: 1/20
STAWW OVERFLO – “Promise”: 1/27
Business Casual website:
Earlier this month, prominent melodic hardcore act Being As An Ocean announced that their fourth full length studio album will be released on June 9th, 2017. The upcoming album, titled “Waiting For Morning To Come, will be their latest record since their 2015 self titled full length and will also be their first album released through Equal Vision Records. The California based act has seen a significant increase in their fan base since their latest release and it is safe to say that this forthcoming record will be one of the most anticipated records in the first half of 2017.
Personally, I believe that BAAO’s self titled album is their worst release to date. Their absolutely legendary debut album, “Dear G-d”, and their great sophomore record, “How We Both Wondrously Perish”, completely outperform their third full length album and as a result, Being As An Ocean’s self titled record was very disappointing. There is one thing, however, that is keeping my anticipation for this new material from BAAO very high and that is the fact that the two singles the band has released in 2016 have been unfathomably phenomenal. The two singles, “Dissolve” and “Ok”, feature a perfect mix between the classic, original Being As An Ocean sound, and the more alternative rock influenced new sound that has emerged in the last few years. With a combination of melodic guitar and bass riffs with background, ambient sounding synths and other instruments, Being As An Ocean has been able to completely redeem themselves from what they released in 2015. If these two singles are featured on “Waiting For Morning To Come”, or if this new album sounds anything like these two new singles, I can absolutely say that this fourth studio album will easily exceed the expectations established after the last release.
Singles and merchandise bundles will definitely be released early next year, and the minute they do, we’ll be the first ones to share it with you. Until then, check out the two singles released by Being As An Ocean in 2016 and check out our post about the latest single, “Ok”, below! The post attached below was actually one of the first “Breaking News” blogs ever written on Erik’s Album Reviews, so it’s pretty neat to see how far we’ve come since that post was first released. We’ll continued to keep you updated on all Being As An Ocean news, so make sure to check back in for more updates on one of the biggest names in melodic hardcore music today!
New Single “Ok” Out Now:
Today, the song you need to check out is Troubled Coast’s “Patient Hands”. Troubled Coast are a melodic hardcore/aggressive pop punk band out of Berkeley, California, and to be honest, I just found out about this band only a few hours ago. Recently I was on Merchnow browsing for new vinyl to pick up and I stumbled upon the remaining Troubled Coast records that were on sale. The vinyl was so insanely cheap I had to check them out and possibly buy a copy. After listening to their material I can without a doubt say that this EP, “I’ve Been Thinking About Leaving You”, is stellar! The EP, which was released through Pure Noise Records in 2011, features a similar sound to Being As An Ocean, Hotel Books, Balance and Composure, and even Such Gold. In fact, if you like any of BAAO’s melodic hardcore song structure intertwined with catchy choruses, you will love “Patient Hands”, especially since it sounds like it could easily be heard on Being As An Ocean’s self titled record. Unfortunately the band broke up in 2013 and have since pursued other musical projects. Even though the band is defunct, please give them a listen, and even pick up a record if you like what you hear as I’m sure the former members would be ecstatic to see people still enjoy their music. I personally will be buying some of their vinyl this week and you should to!
“Patient Hands”, my favorite song by Troubled Coast so far, is attached below. The group still has a somewhat active Facebook page, so be sure to give them a like, check out their new projects, or even send them a message letting them know how much you enjoy their discography! Regardless, “Patient Hands” is without a doubt the “Track of the Day Tuesday” this week and is a song you definitely need to hear. Stop by later this week for more reviews and music content!
Troubled Coast on Facebook:
Troubled Coast vinyl:
Over the weekend, one of the greatest electronic artists of all time, Aphex Twin, performed in the United States for the first time in 8 years. Playing at Houston’s Day for Night Festival, Aphex Twin performed a two hour long headlining set to close out Saturday night. The impressive live set is absolutely mesmerizing and easily makes up for the long gap between US performances.
What is even more notable to mention is that Aphex Twin released a surprise 12″ record at the festival. Apparently, according to festival goers who bought a copy, the artwork and record sleeve is completely white and the only designs seen are on the vinyl disc’s inner label, which features the logos for Aphex Twin, Warp Records, and Day for Night Festival along with the date and location of the festival. It is speculated that two songs are featured on the vinyl, but further information about the new vinyl has yet to be released.
If you picked up a copy, leave a comment and tell us more about this surprise 12″ record release and let us know how the festival went! For those who weren’t in Houston, like myself, you can watch the first 30 minutes of Aphex Twin’s set below! And lastly, If you love electronic music as much as we do at Erik’s Album Reviews, then make sure to check back in for more electronic music news and reviews to be released soon!
After missing last week we are now back with the next installment to “The Thursday Ten”! Like usual, the rules for “The Thursday Ten” haven’t changed and we encourage you to check out every album listed below on any of the major music streaming services. Let us know what you think of the ratings, which albums we should do next, and don’t forget to read previous “The Thursday Tens”, like the most recent one attached below! Here is this week’s “The Thursday Ten”:
- Hail The Sun – Culture Scars: 8/10
- Stolas – Allomaternal: 8/10
- The Devil Wears Prada – Transit Blues: 7/10
- Gallant – Ology: 9/10
- Sianvar – Stay Lost: 8/10
- Memphis May Fire – This Light I Hold: 6/10
- Fire From The Gods – Narrative: 7/10
- twenty one pilots – Heathens *single/not an album*: 5/10
- Rob $tone – Chill Bill *single/not an album*: 9/10
- Leon Bridges – Coming Home: 8/10
The previous “The Thursday Ten”:
Over the last 24 hours, my news feed has been swarmed with negativity and hatred pertaining to recent events. However, there has been one news story that completely counteracts these negative posts. The article discussed an announcement that I have been waiting for years to hear. System of a Down, one of the most influential metal acts in the history of the genre, and one of my favorite groups of all time, are recording a new album for the first time in over a decade. After reuniting in 2010, System of a Down embarked on numerous short tours and live appearances, but a new album was never in discussion until now.
The news of this new record in the works surfaced when drummer John Dolymayan confirmed that the rumors were true and that SOAD will be releasing a new album. He also went on to state that the record has been in the writing and recording process for the last six months and their playing ability is at an all time high, which will result in a more progressed sound designed for the new generation of System of a Down fans, and will not sound like, as Dolymayan goes on to describe, “like ‘Toxicity’ Part 2”. So far 15 songs have been written for the record, but an estimated release date has not been revealed. Also, nearly every SOAD band member has shared multiple images through their personal Instagram account of themselves in the studio working on the upcoming System of a Down release!
As a devout SOAD fan, I still can’t believe there will be a sixth studio album by this legendary metal band. Thankfully, I have already seen SOAD perform live. Shortly after their reunion they booked a short North American tour, which I was able to attend. The show easily became one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended, however, the only thing that could top that memorable experience would be to hear new material from the group after waiting at least 12 years for another release. If you yourself are a massive SOAD fan, let us know what you think about the latest announcement in the comments below and be sure to check back in as more information about album number 6 gets released!
Earlier, Manheim, Pennsylvania based metalcore band, August Burns Red, announced that in 2017 they will be doing a tour for the 10 year anniversary of their sophomore album, “Messengers”. “Messengers”, which was released in 2007 is by far their greatest release ever, or at least one of their best for those who beg to differ, and is widely accepted as one of the greatest metalcore albums to ever be released. Drastically changing the genre and their careers as musicians, “Messengers” was the first release to feature the full band lineup we see today in August Burns Red and helped set in stone the classic, one of a kind sound that embodies August Burns Red. Songs like “The Truth of a Liar” and “Composure” are still fan favorites to this day and are often included in live performances from the band. My personal favorite ABR song of all time, “Up Against The Ropes”, is on “Messengers” as well and being able to finally hear this song live is something that is still surreal to me!
If you like metalcore at all you need to attend at least one date of this tour. The supporting artists on this tour alone, including one of my favorite Australian bands, In Hearts Wake, and progessive metal legends, Protest the Hero, are enough to come out to your local date. All dates are posted on August Burns Red’s site attached below and the hysterical video announcement, which features Dustin of ABR telling fans about the upcoming tour, can also be viewed below. Buy a ticket this Friday and make sure to listen to the historic August Burns Red album, “Messengers”!
Earlier last week, The Weeknd released a new music video for the single “False Alarm”, one of the first two tracks to be released off his upcoming album “Starboy”. The hip-hop/ R&B icon previously released his first single, also called “Starboy”, which was accompanied with a video as well. “Starboy” is a more traditional style hip-hop track that resembled a sound very similar to Abel’s older material. The video was also fairly violent but focused more on the musical content rather than the visual representation. “False Alarm” on the other hand, sounds completely different and also features a music video that is both extremely violent and intense. In fact, I would actually consider this video to be more like a short film rather than a music video.
The track “False Alarm” itself is something unlike the average The Weeknd song. It is a rock based pop song that is both aggressive and, at some points, even has a goth rock inspired sound. While the instrumental part of the song is more aggressive, the soft, high pitched vocal performance by Abel is still present. Personally, I feel like this rock inspired song actually holds him back vocally and that his phenomenal singing is better exemplified on the more R&B sounding track “Starboy”. I wasn’t too into “False Alarm”, but it is nice to see The Weeknd branch out from his comfort zone and experiment with a different approach to writing new tracks. I will say, however, that this music video/short film is very entertaining and keeps you glued to the screen from the beginning of the fictitious robbery until the gory end. I still look forward to hearing the rest of Abel’s upcoming release and hope there are more music videos like the last two to accompany it!
The video for “False Alarm is attached below along with my recent blog post reviewing the first single off “Starboy”. Leave a comment about the upcoming The Weeknd release and be sure to check back in for more reviews, breaking news, and other music content!