500 Word Review: Homeshake “Fresh Air”

homeshake fresh air

If one thing is evident on the new Homeshake LP, “Fresh Air”, it’s that the man-behind-the-music, Peter Sagar, has come a long way from standing in the shadows of his friend and former employer Mac DeMarco. While I enjoyed a few tracks from this project’s last album “Midnight Snack”, it was admittedly a little lacking in focus and felt somewhat low effort. While this circle has never been know for producing works that were definitely slaved over for months, all of Mac DeMarco’s albums have been cohesive and mostly free of egregious flaws. While that was not the case on “Midnight Snack”, Sagar had definitely put in a sufficient amount of effort into “Fresh Air”. This seems to have catapulted his music to being more enjoyable and interesting than his mentor’s.

The album’s opener “Hello Welcome” is a short, jazzy, chord loop with a guitar melody over it. Already, Sagar’s ear for unique-yet-enjoyable tones is evident, as he creates an interesting tonal landscape all across the album with jazz guitar tones, hip-hop and soul synths, and mixture of live and synthesized drums. On top of all of this is Pete’s whimpering voice, which often flows into falsetto more smoothly and accurately than ever before. All of this makes for a very enjoyable open songs, with the three following-up the opener being especially stand-outish. “Call Me Up”, “Not U”, and “Every Single Thing” are all superb tracks that perfectly flow into each other, making for one smooth listening experience. In addition to the lush trip-hop sound of these tracks, Sagar throws in some interesting vocal samples and musical effects to transition between tracks. These perfectly fit the mood of the album and really set the stage for the tracks succeeding them.

Towards the middle of the album, Sagar starts to slip back into old ways. While “Wrapping Up” and “Getting Down Pt II” aren’t anything spectacular, they’re solid tracks. But starting with “Timing” he starts to slip into old ways. From this point on, many of the tracks are fairly bare or don’t really go anywhere. And while I am a fan of “TV Volume” and the Prince-like “Serious”, they don’t really go anywhere and are kind of stand out points in a small sea of obscurity. Things end interestingly with the easy listening jazz fusion-esque “This Way”. I hear this song and immediately think of one person: Pat Metheny, because it essentially sounds like a Pat Metheny song without the super out guitar solo. It’s not necessarily a bad way to end the album, but just a little bit of a lackluster end to a lackluster second half. That being said, the highlights of that half mixed with the on point-ness of the first half makes for a pretty enjoyable record, especially if you’re looking for something different.


Score: 7.4/10


Album Review by Ethan Lally, March 2017

“Fresh Air”:


Track of the Day Tuesday: CIRCA SURVIVE In the Morning And Amazing


This year, Circa Survive’s historic and monumental sophomore full length album, “On Letting Go”, turns 10 years old.  To celebrate this decade of excellence, the band and Equal Vision Records have released 10 year anniversary editions of the classic record on CD, Digital, and vinyl formats and Circa Survive themselves are currently on tour playing this album in full.  So, in order to continue the celebration, the track of the day and the track you need to check out today is the phenomenal “In the Morning and Amazing”.

“In the Morning and Amazing” perfectly embodies the distinct sound Circa Survive has established in their successful career.  Sweet sounding, slightly distorted guitars create a melodic atmosphere filled with creative chord progressions and catchy lead sections.  To accompany this, Nick Beard’s soothing bass guitar riffs perfectly intertwine with and compliment the artfully crafted guitar and percussion sessions.  Finally, Anthony Green’s impressive high pitched vocal performance ties together the faster, more rock oriented sections with the more calm, almost ambient indie rock parts.  “In the Morning and Amazing” pretty much summarizes the definition of a Circa Survive song.  However, this song alone does not speak for the entire album, “On Letting Go”, and I highly suggest that you listen to the entire project today in order to truly enjoy the brilliance of Circa Survive.

Like usual, I’ve attached the link to “In the Morning and Amazing” below.  Also, I’ve added the link to purchase the 10 year anniversary editions of “On Letting Go” for those who would like to own a copy!  As I’ve mentioned before, we’re having a slow start to the year here at Erik’s Album Reviews, but I promise the momentum will start to shift into a more progressive state very soon as we still have multiple reviews and other posts in the works almost ready to share with you. Stay tuned!

Circa Survive CD and vinyl:


Track(s) of the Day Tuesday: PANOPTICON Into the North Woods, BLACK TONGUE In The Wake Ov The Wolf, PROTEST THE HERO Yellow Teeth, and SEVDALIZA That Other Girl


After missing the first few weeks of 2017, we’re finally back with one of our favorite segments, “Track of the Day Tuesday”!  Usually, every Tuesday we post about what track you absolutely need to listen to today and why.  Since we had a slow start to the new year, we decided to make up for lost time and give you FOUR tracks that you need to give a listen to today!  Unfortunately, all of the songs, except for “That Other Girl”, are metal tracks, so there isn’t much diversity in the group.  However, each track and artist listed is fantastic and I highly suggest you give each song a listen today!  Here is our largest “Track of the Day Tuesday” segment ever!

First I want to discuss American Black Metal act, Panopticon’s, “Into the North Woods”.  Panopticon is one of the US based Black Metal groups that I have heard nothing but positive reviews about, but have continued to procrastinate with giving them a listen.  In fact, I first heard about how phenomenal Panopticon’s “Autumn Eternal” was through CountBlagorath’s Youtube channel.  After finally giving the Black Metal band a listen I can agree with all the hype that Panopticon is a fantastic band.  Despite only hearing a few projects by the Minnesota based band, it is obvious to any listener that their musical ability and skill in songwriting surpasses the standards set by modern Black Metal.  If you love melodic Black Metal with heavy folk influences, then you not only have to check out “Into the North Woods”, but the entire “Autumn Eternal” album.  Panopticon might be one of the greatest American Black Metal bands of all time, and I highly suggest you don’t sleep on this group like I did!

Next up on the list of tracks you need to listen to today is Black Tongue’s “In The Wake Ov The Wolf”.  If you’re familiar at all with the deathcore band, Infant Annihilator, then you will know that after the departure of Dan Watson, guitarist and drummer Eddie Pickard and Aaron Kitcher, went on to form a separate, downtempo deathcore group called Black Tongue.  Black Tongue, in the 3 years of being a full time band, have already seen an immense amount of success in the metal community and in their own songwriting.  Releasing 2 EPs and a full length record titled “The Unconquerable Dark”, Black Tongue have begun to solidify themselves as a prominent leader in the continuously growing sub-genre that is downtempo deathcore.  As you might have guessed, I also slept on their full length record despite the fact that I absolutely loved their fist two releases.  After finally checking out “The Unconquearable Dark” I cannot stop listening to the entire 2015 album.  That being said, this is a record you need to give a listen to as well, and I suggest you start off with the track “In The Wake Ov The Wolf”.  “In The Wake Ov The Wolf” was one of the first singles released off the debut full length and it has easily become one of the catchiest songs on the entire record.  I know it might be hard to imagine downtempo, beat down deathcore to be labeled as “catchy”, but the leads and chord progressions heard, especially in the chorus, are absolutely addicting and get stuck in your head immediately after listening to the entire track.  If you are not familiar with the new Black Tongue album, or the sub-genre they write in general, “In the Wake OV The Wolf” is the perfect place to start.

For those who have been reading the blog for the last few months you will remember that I wrote a blog post about the upcoming August Burns Red tour.  Last year, Lancaster’s own, August Burns Red, announced that they would do a North America tour performing “Messengers” for its 10th anniversary.  Recently, the 10 year Messengers tour went through Denver, Colorado and I was able to attend the show!  Of course, the concert itself was phenomenal, but what truly stuck out was actually Protest the Hero’s performance.  Once again, Protest the Hero was another band I heard great things about but never thought to give their discography a listen.  However, I was completely and absolutely blown away by their seamlessly flawless performance.  Every song was perfectly crafted with face melting riffs, intricate drumming, and (for a lack of a better term) impressive vocals that made me listen to the Canadian group non-stop for days after the show.  So far I can say that “Yellow Teeth” is my favorite track by Protest the Hero.  The high pitched vocals cry out as a speedy instrumental section burns through chugging and melodic shredding riffs.  If you want to be blown away by insane musicianship, then stop reading this post right now, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and listen to “Yellow Teeth” by Protest the Hero and enjoy one of the best Modern Progressive Metal acts.

Finally, the last track I want to share with you today is an experimental pop track by the Iranian upcoming pop artist, Sevdaliza.  Sevdaliza’s music, and the music videos that accompany her catalog, are mesmerizing to put it simply.  Sevdaliza’s approach to her songwriting and how she visually portrays these tracks is something that not only makes her unique, but will also allow her to reshape and change the genre of experimental pop completely.  There isn’t a single bad place to start when first listening to Sevdaliza, but I must say that Sevdaliza’s “That Other Girl” is one of her masterpieces so far and is a track that you must listen to, regardless of what other songs by the Iranian pop artist you’ve heard so far.  Plus the 2000s-esque style of animation featured in the music video for “That Other Girl” is not only trippy, but extremely nostalgic and entertaining.  I guarantee I’ll be writing a lot more about Sevdaliza in the future, so if you really enjoy this track stay tuned and I’ll be sure to post about other songs in her discography.

Of course, every song mentioned is attached below.  I know this is a lot to take in all at once, but these four songs are tracks you absolutely need to give a listen to today.  The “Track of the Day Tuesday” segment is a segment I greatly enjoy writing and the staff here at Erik’s Album Reviews is extremely glad that we can continue this segment into 2017.  Check out the songs mentioned below, let us know what you think of the tracks, and of course, let us know what songs you would like to see featured on future installments to “Track of the Day Tuesday”!


Panopticon’s “Into the North Woods”:

Black Tongue’s “In The Wake Ov The Wolf”:

Protest the Hero’s “Yellow Teeth”:

Sevdaliza’s “That Other Girl”:

Track of the Day Tuesday: GREEN DAY Still Breathing


Today the track you need to listen to is actually off of Green Day’s latest album, “Revolution Radio”.  Despite the fact that I don’t listen to them as much as I used to, Green Day will always be my favorite band.  Monumental albums like “American Idiot”, “Dookie”, and “Nimrod” are some of the first records I listened to religiously, and it’s fair to say that Green Day has had a massive impact on my life and what genres of music I enjoy the most.  So when I saw their announcement about a new album coming out in 2016, I had to give it a listen, despite the fact that I rarely listen to the California based punk band now.

After giving “Revolution Radio” a listen, I can conclude that the whole project is decent, but tons better than their previous releases of “¡Uno!”, “¡Dos!”, and “¡Tre!”.  However, what truly stood out to me is the track, “Still Breathing”.  “Still Breathing” is an uplifting track that has a melody and chord progression similar to some of the iconic Green Day songs of the late 90s and early 2000s.  This fantastic new Green Day track successfully merges the nostalgia filled old sound every Green Day fan loves with the new sound that Green Day has recently adapted.  If you ever enjoyed any release from Green Day, then you absolutely need to give “Still Breathing” a listen!  I’ve attached the track below for anyone who wants to hear.  We’re glad to be back with more “Track of the Day Tuesday” installments for 2017 and we can’t wait to share more reviews and content that we have in store for the near future!

Breaking News: Austin Carlile Leaves Of Mice and Men


Earlier today, Of Mice and Men frontman, Austin Carlile, announced that he will be leaving the prominent metalcore act.  According to the statement he released today, which is attached below, Carlile has been dealing with Marfan syndrome for a significant part of his career, and the constant touring and live performing that Of Mice and Men have taken on over the last few years have only worsened his condition.  In fact, the frontman goes on to say that if he continues to tour and perform with Of Mice and Men, the result would be inevitable “permanent and irrevocable damage to my spinal cord and nervous system”.  This is very upsetting to hear that Austin Carlile will have to step down from the band he started and helped grow into the metalcore titan that it is today.  According to his statement he will be living in Costa Rica from now on where he will be focusing on resting and healing.  Of course I hope he is able to relax and recover in his new home as well as continue to find ways to creatively express himself!

Personally, it has been a long time since I have listened to an Of Mice and Men album from front to back.  I started to stop following the band shortly after Restoring Force was released, but the first two records from Of Mice and Men will always be important releases to me.  They helped me get more involved in various genres in extreme music while also making Of Mice and Men a historic metalcore band that will be the face of the genre for decades to come.  It’s sad to think that I will never get the chance to see Of Mice and Men live with Austin again, but of course, his personal health is much more important than live performances or new albums.  The band has stated that they will continue as a four piece for now, but who knows, maybe they might eventually bring someone in to play older material, or maybe Jerry Roush will rejoin Of Mice and Men and do another metalcore cover of a pop song.  Regardless of what is in store for Of Mice and Men’s future, I hope Austin is able to recover and relax in his new home and he will truly be missed on stage!  We have a few more posts to share before the end of 2016 so stay tuned with us and have a Happy New Year!

Austin Carlile’s Personal Statement:


The Thursday Ten: 11/15/16


For those who visit Erik’s Album Reviews regularly, you will know that the staff has been very busy for the last two weeks.  Because of this we unfortunately missed the last two “The Thursday Ten” segments.  However, last week we announced that in order to make up for this lack of album ratings, we will give 20 album ratings for this week’s installment rather than the usual 10!  This week’s post features various releases over multiple genres covering everything from Black Metal to EDM.  Even though twice as many releases are feature in this installment, the rules to “The Thursday Ten” haven’t changed, and of course, we encourage you to check out every album listed on any of the major music streaming platforms.  Let us know what you think of the ratings, which albums you want us to rate next, and don’t forget to check out the previous installment to “The Thursday Ten”.  Here is this week’s post:

  1. Skeletonwitch – The Apothic Gloom EP: 8/10
  2. The Acacia Strain, Thy Art Is Murder, and Fit For An Autopsy – The Depression Sessions: 9/10
  3. Power Trip/Integrity Split EP: 7/10
  4. Dan Mason – Summer Love: 7/10
  5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool: 7/10
  6. Aborted – Termination Redux EP: 8/10
  7. Lamb of God – The Duke EP: 7/10
  8. Jason Richardson – I: 8/10
  9. bl00dwave – Distance: 8/10
  10. Defeater – Abandoned: 8/10


  1. Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine: 8/10
  2. Blink-182 – California: 8/10
  3. Balance and Composure – Light We Made: 8/10
  4. Moose Blood – Blush: 8/10
  5. Wakrat – Wakrat: 4/10
  6. Tesseract – Polaris: 7/10
  7. A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations: 6/10
  8. Adventure Club – Red // Blue: 5/10
  10. Vaerbitt – Tid: 9/10

The previous “The Thursday Ten”:


500 Word Review: Dwellings “Foreverest” – Single


On November 25th, Modesto, California based post hardcore band, Dwellings, released the follow up to their debut single “Lemonade” with the release of their latest single, “Foreverest”.  For those of you who have been following the page you will know how excited I am to hear new material from this group.  Their debut single was nothing short of phenomenal, and based off that performance alone, I honestly believe that this group is the future of the post hardcore sub genre.  That being said, I was extremely excited to hear new material from this group because I’m still curious to see how their sound will develop throughout this debut EP.  This new single, “Foreverest”, definitely varies significantly from their debut release, “Lemonade”, however there are still consistent themes heard on both tracks that give listeners and fans of the group a sense of what this up and coming band will sound like!

As stated earlier, there are multiple clear differences that you can hear between the tracks “Lemonade” and “Foreverest”.  For starters, “Foreverest” is somehow even more melodic than the anthemic track, “Lemonade”.  To be clear, this is not a negative quality, but it is still a surprising feature, especially when considering how harmonious multiple sections and choruses were on “Lemonade”.  The guitar work is simply graceful and does a great job with complimenting the superb songwriting and vocal performance heard on “Foreverest”. However, the most significant and enjoyable difference between the two tracks is how the overall sound of the track ,”Foreverest”, is more unique to Dwellings.  As much as I love “Lemonade”, there were multiple instances where the track sounded a lot like previous Dance Gavin Dance releases.  “Foreverest”, on the other hand, sounds more unique to Dwellings and their specific style of songwriting, and in the process, shows off their own personal take on post hardcore.  The influences from DGD and other well known post hardcore bands can still be heard, but Dwellings’ personal and recognizable sound is without a doubt the most prominent aspect heard, and in return gives their fans a better idea to how their sound will develop and become even more unique with future releases.  “Foreverest” will probably be the most melodic and slowest song heard on the upcoming EP and it gives the project a good range from higher energy,  in your face songs to slower and even more emotional tracks.

However Dwellings, like most other major California based post hardcore acts, still show some examples of similarities to Dance Gavin Dance in this new track.  These similarities are not a bad thing, or show lack of creativity, but demonstrate how they are able to take this modern style of post hardcore and transform and mold it into their own unique sound.  The first similarity a listener familiar with DGD will hear when listening to “Foreverest” is that this song is heavily influenced by Dance Gavin Dance’s third full length studio album, “Happiness”.  “Lemonade” featured elements from both “Happiness” and “Acceptance Speech” (the fifth studio album by the Sacramento based band), but “Foreverest” appears to just draw influence from “Happiness” alone. This is not a surprise to me since they have already shown signs of writing in a similar style to “Happiness”, and Dwellings’ bassist, Anthony Pacheco, has even stated that this DGD record is his favorite to date.  That being said, it now seems obvious why “Happiness” and “Foreverest” might sound somewhat similar.  “Happiness” is one of, it not my absolute favorite, DGD record as well, so Dwellings’ use of mixing in elements from this legendary record is something that I definitely approve of.  These elements, which include everything from the sincere, emotion filled lyrics to to the slow, yet melodic song structure can be directly compared and sound similar to songs like “Happiness” off the album of the same name, but can also strengthen their own songwriting by combing their favorite moments from “Happiness” and their own personal songwriting sound.  However, it is important to note that all of Dwellings’ material has been recorded by Josh Benton, who used to play guitar for Dance Gavin Dance and now records some of their releases like “Tree City Sessions”, and has been mastered by Kris Crummett, who recorded most of DGD’s full length records and other releases by notable California based post hardcore groups.  Because of this, some of aspects of Dwellings’ material might be similar to DGD solely because their production process is almost identical to Dance Gavin Dance’s.  Regardless of where they take influence from, Dwellings is making some serious progress at becoming the next legendary post hardcore group.

In conclusion, this is another solid track from soon-to-be household name, post hardcore group, Dwellings.  My anticipation for this debut EP continues to grow with every single released and I simply cannot wait to see what they put out next.  I give their second single, “Foreverest”, and 8.9/10.  The release date for the EP, “Lavender Town”, hasn’t been posted yet by the band, but when it does the staff at Erik’s Album Reviews will be the first ones to share it with you!  Check out the review for their debut single, “Lemonade”, below and give the latest single, “Foreverest”, a listen and let us know what you think!

“Lemonade” Review: