Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Bell Hollow-Bell Hollow

March 1, 2006

bell-hollowBand Name: Bell Hollow
Album Name: Bell Hollow
Best Element: The clean melodies that intertwine within the songs

Genre: ’80s UK post-punk with nocturnal alt-rock
Website: www.bellhollow.com
Label Name: None
Band E-mail: bellhollow-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Pull up a chair, throw on a black light, sit back, and relax to the soft sounds of Bell Hollow, a Brooklyn-based quartet working hard to put the gentle back into gentlemen. Their self-titled EP, released in the fall of 2005, does just that. With songs that bring to life the long-gone yet missed voices of The Smiths and even the softer Tears for Fears, Bell Hollow’s tracks deliver a pure, simple message with intertwining melodies and pitch-perfect delivery.

Opener “Our Water Burden” kicks off with a delicate guitar lead that sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Immediately the tender yet full tapping of Australian-born Hayden Millsteed kicks in on drums, accompanied by the solid plugging of bassist Christopher Bollman. Greg Fasolino plays his guitar with ease, blending his high-toned leads with clean palm-muted rhythms to layer the texture of each song. His tone compliments vocalist/synth player Nick Niles’ flowing vocals, whose ability to croon words and switch from mid to high range in an instant adds greatly to the music, transforming the voice into an instrument in and of itself.

The highlight track of the EP is second track “Lowlights”, which is kicked into gear with a Bollman-supplied low, melodic bassline. As the song generates, Niles often leads the music with soft falsetto subtleties while Fasolino carries the melody on his guitar. Bell Hollow’s instruments and vocals both transition smoothly from chugging verses to haunting choruses and back. “Late Night” has much the same feel as “Our Water Burden”, but with a little more of an upbeat feel to it. The EP ends with the musically intriguing “Getting On In Years”, a mixture of ethereal guitars and synth.

One disappointment on this EP is that Niles’ vocals don’t quite fit the words he’s singing. The lyrics yell “Come on girl, I’ve made it more than clear. Come on girl, I’m getting on in years”; however, Niles’ gentle vocals don’t seem to match up with the words he’s singing. The words scream frustration, but the vocals croon melancholy bliss.

Overall the EP is a great mood-setter for those days we find ourselves wanting peace. Bell Hollow is the answer.

-Erik Williams

Endlesscreed@charter.net

A Cappella and Lovin’ It

A Cappella and Lovin’ It

If you’ve read anything of IndependentClauses, you’ll notice that I like new sounds. I like sounds that I can’t play, can’t write, can’t even imagine. If you’ve got a sound that’s unique, I want to hear it. I like to know that there is still creativity out there.

This column is about a CD full of sounds I wouldn’t have even pondered. I recently discovered it on Rhapsody- an online music repository at www.listen.com that costs ten bucks a month for unlimited plays by a virtually unlimited amount of artists. It’s called The Unaccompanied Voice: An A Cappella Compilation, and it was released by Secretly Canadian Records in 2000. I discovered it because Damien Jurado makes an appearance on it- I was listening to Jurado and clicked a link to one of the compilation albums he appears on (because Rhapsody is kind enough to cross-reference everything for me).

What I found there was a vast treasure store (24 songs worth) of completely unaccompanied voices. While the songs range from a single vocal line (Jurado’s performance of “Dance Hall Places”) to virtual choirs (“Farewell to Nova Scotia” by Sharon Topper and Fly), to one man putting many versions of himself looped under him (Jandek’s “Om”), to duets (“Leaflets Gabe” by Modest Mouse – yes, that Modest Mouse), there’s every type of combination possible. There’s also many styles- Pedro the Lion’s obviously indie contribution, spirituals like the delicious “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down”, and even foreign language contributions a la “La Vie En Rose.”

The predominant factor here is beauty- the voice is treated like an admirable instrument, an instrument to be praised just like a guitar. These songs are a breath of fresh air- a reminder that a voice is a great thing. I was introduced to the Red House Painters through this album, and Mark Kozalek’s voice is now one of my favorite things about the Red House Painters (I just heard two of their albums on Rhapsody- man, I love this thing).

It sounds weird to have an album of all a cappella music, but usually the songs aren’t very long. Some barely break 20 seconds, and most stay within the 1 to 2 minute range. These songwriters know how to work their craft- they know what is too little and what is too much.

The amazing thing about this compilation is that you can still buy it from the Secretly Canadian site- the guys up there at Secretly Canadian believe in this comp so much that they kept it around. Or maybe they didn’t sell out the first pressing- I don’t know. But I like to think that they’re a tad bit proud of this off-kilter pressing- a little bit fond of their odd little baby. Here’s to odd music, and here’s to Secretly Canadian. May odd music continue to live on in defiance of the radio. May beauty still be found in unexpected places. May this ever be a testament to odd, unusual music.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

40,000 Photos, 2000 Bands, and 10,000 Screaming Kids

40,000 Photos, 2000 Bands, and 10,000 Screaming Kids

John Neidhardt and BandGallery.com

Impressive numbers, huh? That’s just a little bit of John Neidhardt’s work. Neidhardt is the founder of the amazing resource BandGallery.com, a site where amateur music photographers can post their work to get noticed by places like IndependentClauses.com, as well as by other photographers. In addition to that, Neidhardt is also editor of theHvScene.com, a huge local music site. I had a chance to snag a couple minutes of his time to answer some questions, and this is how it went.

Independent Clauses:What got you into band photography in the first place?
John Neidhardt:I’ve always viewed bands and musicians as a powerful source of photography. I first became interested in photography when I was introduced to The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie NY. I went to my first show and was amazed by the lighting and the sound of the bands. I saw a photographer on stage taking photos and within a few weeks I found those photos online. To me, this was amazing. I received my first camera through my father. With this camera, my father and I have shot easily 2,000 bands ranging from local to national. These photos were taken for The Chance Theater, kind of as an internship, and used for my local “scene” website: TheHvScene.com.

IC:What prompted you to start BandGallery.com?
JN:With a collection of over 40,000 photos, I couldn’t let them go to waste. I wanted to create a personal website for my own photography and within a few weeks of thinking, I decided to turn the idea into something that photographers just like my self should be able to utilize and take advantage of to show off their own work and let it not go to waste.

IC: What is the basic idea behind BandGallery.com?
JN: Basically, BandGallery was developed to allow photographers to create and organize an online portfolio containing an unlimited amount of their work. Since photographers aren’t the only ones who enjoy photography, users can also register for their own personal web site and share 30 of their own photos and create their own personal profile.

I figured there are thousands of concerts going on every night world wide with at least one photographer. There should be some way for each of those photographers’ photos to be seen by the world.

IC: How has response to the site been?
JN: Surprisingly, the response has been overwhelming! We have over 4,500 photos already uploaded and nearly 300 users in our community. Technically speaking, everyone loves how the site works and how they can interact with it. I designed the website on my own with programming features from PHPBB. With a response from Independent Clauses which is absolutely fantastic!

IC: Do you have any “ultimate plan” for the growth of BandGallery.com?

JN: Well, like any other website today, of course I can wish that my site grows into something as large as MySpace.com. But ultimately that is not my goal at all. I want the site to grow as a community and let it involve those interested in what the site was actually created for. I do plan on doing some heavy advertising campaigns to promote the website such as radio ads and banner ads online. Hopefully some record labels would like to work side to side with me to promote their bands photos.

IC: What advice would you give to those who want to start band photography?
JN: Pick up a camera…big, small, expensive, or even cheap and just start shooting every thing you see in a low light situation. Try to be in contact with as many bands as you can to see if they would like you to help them out. Do everything free for a while to help you learn. The bands will be your number one source to getting into a show and taking your shots. Eventually other bands will notice this and a chain reaction will occur, you’re on your own from here!!

IC: Is having great equipment a necessity to start doing band photography?
JN: Not at all, as I said: Pick up any camera and learn the aspects of the field. Once you think you’re serious enough and would like to move on, buy the next level of camera.

IC: What is/was your favorite band to photograph?
JN: This is a very hard question. I’ve shot thousands of bands. My favorite time photographing bands would be on the Warped Tour 2005. I shot bands such as My Chemical Romance, Atreyu, Acceptance, Mae, and The Offspring. It was just awesome. I even met some of them. Being in front of 10,000 screaming kids shooting some of my favorite bands was one of my most enjoyable moments. But I would say The Offspring was my favorite.

IC: Describe your favorite band image you’ve taken and the story/show behind it.
JN: My favorite band image would be of a local band called I Am The Pilot, check them out at myspace.com/iamthepilot. It was at Club Crannell and the singer, Chad, dove into the crowd and the crowd was singing along with him. There was so much action and excitement, I loved it. Although the photo itself isn’t amazing, the meaning behind it is.

IC: What have you been listening to lately?
JN: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Mae, It Dies Today, Just Surrender, Armor For Sleep, Haste The Day, and Bury Your Dead.

IC: Anything else you’d like to say while you’re on the record?

JN: Thank you so much for the interview! Check out BandGallery.com if you are interested in photography what so ever or if you listen to any types of music. With 4,500 photos already uploaded you can expect a lot more in the future. Look for your favorite musicians and show your friends. Help this community grow. Thanks Stephen.

-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini in January.

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Crush Kill Destroy-Metric Midnight

crushkilldestroyBand Name: Crush Kill Destroy

Album Name: Metric Midnight

Best element: Complex, brilliantly executed songwriting
Genre: Indie-rock

Website: www.crushkilldestroy.net

Label name: No Karma (www.nokarma.com)
Band e-mail: ckd@crushkilldestroy.net

Ever since Chris Otepka got tinnitus so bad that he had to end Troubled Hubble and Pete Townshend issued a cry that rock will make you deaf (don’t believe it? see here: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/people/13553402.htm), I’ve been mildly concerned about the health of my ears. After all, I aim to make a career out of this craziness that we call independent music, so I need to take good care of that which enables me to hear it.

So I was naturally a little concerned when No Karma sent me an album by a band named Crush Kill Destroy. Having just reviewed Lords’ Swords for another publication, I wasn’t sure I could take any more hardcore without significant damage to my ears (I’m slightly paranoid, thanks to Pete Townshend).

Thankfully, Crush Kill Destroy do not crush, kill, or destroy anything on their new album Metric Midnight. In fact, a better name for this group would be Slide Groove Gallop- while it doesn’t sound nearly as cool, it’s a much better description of CKD’s rock sound.

I could go off the deep end and say that this is post-rock indie with ambient touches, but that’s dumb. I’m going to call this what it is- rock music played by some seriously odd kids. The main ingredients of Crush Kill Destroy’s rock are a lead guitarist who plays bizarre melodies, a songwriter guitarist who writes fractured, dissonant songs, a bassist who acts like a guitarist (he plays excellent melodies), and a drummer who pulls it all together with jazzy grooves.

The first two songs on this album are spazzy, dissonant rock songs punctured by spoken/barked vocals. These songs are quite good, but it’s become my policy to start listening to this album on track three- the 11-minute epic “Is the New Black.” They drop the overtly spazzy dissonance and replace it with a different type of dissonance- a permanent mood of slight discomfort, just enough to keep you on your toes. They perpetuate this mood with uniquely discordant melodies that seem so natural to the ear that I find myself wondering why I wasn’t able to write them. The band doesn’t fear featuring instruments, either- the guitars, drums, and keys all have their own moments to shine, whether it be with a mood-shifting riff or a continuation of the groove.

It’s all about groove here, as the instruments work together to form a cohesive unit of indie-rock goodness. The instruments interact so cleanly and so perfectly that it’s easy to miss how talented these musicians really are. They’ve spent a lot of time cultivating their dissonant, hypnotic, rocking work here, and as a result, the songs float on in a very ethereal way. It’s a genuinely new sound to me, so the entire experience of listening to Metric Midnight feels a little bit removed from reality.

Metric Midnight is an experience- it’s not an album that you pick and choose songs out of. You have to listen to a good chunk of this album in a row to understand what’s going on. You’ll have to listen to a lot more than once to really enjoy it. But once you’ve digested this for a while, there will be no denying in your mind that Crush Kill Destroy has crafted one heck of an album. These guys have an amazing talent for songwriting, and it shows up on Metric Midnight. If you’re a fan of moody rock, you should not let this one get by you.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Faster Faster Harder Harder-EP

Band Name: Faster Faster Harder Harder

Album Name: S/t EP

Best element: Strong vocalist and acknowledged dance tendencies
Genre: Upbeat indie-dance-rock

Website: www.fasterfasterharderharder.com

Label name: N/a

Band e-mail: Fasterhardermusic@gmail.com

Whoever came up with the idea of the “treble-high recording” should be shot. Out of all of the recording problems in this world, my least favorite one is where the cymbals are so violently present that it actually makes my speakers cringe, the snare and kick drums sound like cardboard boxes, and the high guitar parts shriek with an banshee-esque ferocity while the rest of the guitar notes sound like someone stirring paste.

And yes, Faster Faster Harder Harder’s four-song EP has that horrible recording style. But other than that, this music is pretty good.

FFHH plays upbeat indie rock that falls neatly into the current parameters of the scene: funky bass lines, catchy guitar work, the occasional dance beat on the drums, and a ‘just shake your butt and don’t care about anything else in this messed up world’ mood. But never fear- these guys do it very well.

Their two strengths lie in the fact that they embrace the fact that they are a dance band and that their vocalist is excellent. The first strength is that they know where they’re at, and they don’t try to cover up or hide the fact that they want to make you dance. Why else would they throw a trancy techno remix of their best song on the end of a 3-song EP?

The second strength is their vocalist, who has both the chops and the attitude to make a band like this work. The first thing that’s obvious is the fork-tongued cynicism and sarcasm that emits from the vocalist’s mouth- but when you realize that he’s not missing any notes or committing huge range errors, it gets even better.

Their best song here is the dark and foreboding “Smith Vs. Savage”, thanks to the fact that there aren’t really any high guitar parts to make me cringe, the drums don’t sound as bad as they did in the other recordings, and the guitar/bass interactions are seriously cool.

If you like upbeat indie-rock that’s concerned with making the body move, then you will love Faster Faster Harder Harder. They deliver the goods on this short EP, and if these four songs are any indication of their future as a band, there will be probably be some hype in their future. Jump on it now by jumping on the dance floor.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

The Greatest Underground Show on Earth: Calgary Metal Compilation 2006

greatestshowAlbum Name: The Greatest Underground Show on Earth: Calgary Metal Compilation 2006
Genre: Metal
Website: www.cyclonerecords.ca
Label Name: Cyclone Records

Band E-mail: info@cyclonerecords.ca

Compilations are probably the hardest thing to review, especially when they have more than two genres of music on them. Cyclone Records’ The Greatest Underground Show on Earth hits you with 14 tracks from 14 artists, all hailing from Calgary’s growing metal scene. Along with 14 tracks, the compilation also has 5 different sub-genres of metal. Some, like Caveat and Insidious, are fast and in your face, while others like Decipher and Despirited are long, drawn-out death metal. The compilation goes on to include Katabasis, a metalcore band known to a number of hardcore and metal fans. The most surprising band on here is the female fronted Black Sky, which blends melodic female vocals with a metal background.

Each of these bands gives this compilation a different feel, making it hard to follow, but it does give you a taste of a scene that you don’t often hear from. Every metal fan will find something they like on this album- I promise. It really is that varied.

-Scott Landis

redbassist66@comcast.net

Various-Assemblage Vol 1.0 DVD

greytwoelevenBand Name: Various
Album Name: Assemblage Vol 1.0 DVD
Best Element: Really high quality choices.
Genre: Metalcore/Emo/Punk/indie….all separately, not a mix.
Website: www.greytwoeleven.com
Label Name: Grey Two-Eleven Records
Band E-mail: celeste@solidpr.com

Grey two-eleven’s Assemblage Vol. 1 is a very interesting release. It’s like a compilation album- only it’s a DVD of music videos instead of a CD of songs. I will treat this like I treat comps, because I really can’t think of any other way to review it fairly.

This is simply a stellar release. There are twenty music videos on this DVD, and of those twenty, only two bored me. Ironically, the two culprits of video boredom were two bands that would otherwise be praised: Copeland and Dismemberment Plan.

The Grey Two-Eleven staff did a great job picking these videos on many levels, picking a quality batch of songs in multiple genres that showcase a lot of different styles of video and varying levels of exposure.

After starting off with a bizarre concept video from pop-punkers Name Taken, this DVD launches right into the good stuff- darker punk band The Exit’s contribution “Lonely Man’s Wallet” is a great song with a brilliant story-telling video. The video shows the band in what seems to be a subway, watching various “lonely” people spend their money in various ways: gambling, drinking, whoring, etc. It’s a really well-crafted video and excited me for the rest of the release. Poison the Well’s metalcore contribution is a very well-shot but rather unexciting video of the band playing in a large barn- thankfully, “Botchla” is a good enough song to save the video. Indie-punkers .moneen. contribute a concert video, and while these normally suck, .moneen. shows that they know how to throw a party: doing backflips, surfing the audience, wrecking their equipment, running around the stage, and generally causing mayhem. It’s really fun to watch.

Ultimate Fakebook contributes hilarious satire on their genre of rock-n-roll by teaching a ‘rock-n-roll class’, one-man indie-pop project Onelinedrawing shoots a home video of Jonah Matranga walking around trying to make people smile, The Waking Hours and the Weakerthans pull off geek-rock with fervent abandon, and Blueline Medic partially succeeds at spearing the corrupt corporate and political systems by shooting a very low-key, thoughtful video to a punkish anthem.

These are all highlights, but the two absolute best videos are entered by The Beautiful Mistake and The Jealous Sound. The Beautiful Mistake’s “On Building” isn’t even one of their best songs, but the video for it amazing. It’s a story video that shows a man in a restaurant walking up to the waitress, talking to her, and giving her his card. He leaves. She leaves as well, returning to her abusive boyfriend/husband, who has already messed up her daughter and sets in on her. A montage scene of the man in the diner feeling the woman’s pain ensues- a simply stunning touch. The woman gets a gun, and murders the abuser- she calls the man in the diner. He runs in, takes the gun from her, wipes it of prints, and when the police come, he is the one arrested for the murder. The woman is in anguish. I’m in awe. It’s probably one of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen.

The Jealous Sound has an amazing video as well, but this video shows the band playing in a room lit with lamps that keep flickering on and off, casting weird shadows on the members of the band. The cinematography on “The Fold Out” is painstakingly and beautifully created, as the multiple camera views all have a purpose. The eerie ambience of the scene is only enhanced by the really, really tight indie-rock in the background- exactly how a song and video should play off each other. If the song weren’t as amazing as it is, the video wouldn’t be as powerful as it is, and vice-versa. Excellence.

This is a really excellent way to find out about new bands, and I highly recommend that you check this DVD out. I am a fan of music videos, and this compilation made my day when I watched it. I hope to see more of these compilations in the future, as this DVD’s high quality, quantity, and range make it one of the best ideas to come across my table in a while.

-Stephen Carradini

IndependentClauses@hotmail.com

Inner Surge-Signals Screaming

Band Name: Inner Surge

Album Name: Signals Screaming
Best Element: Vocals
Genre: Political hardcore
Website: www.innersurge.com
Label Name: Cyclone Records

Band E-mail: innersurge@hotmail.com

Political rockers Inner Surge have put out yet another hard hitting political rock album. Signals Screaming has no distinct genre- the sounds range from processed melodic hardcore to downright brutal hardcore that comes close to falling under the spaz-core genre. This album represents a complete change in genre from their heralded metal release Matrika.

Overall, this might not be the strongest of Inner Surges releases. I’m laughing as I say that, because even the weakest of this band’s releases will blow almost any other band out of the water. The album starts out with four processed melodic hardcore songs that don’t play up the band’s strengths. These songs seem to blend into the woodwork with their reliance on sung and spoken vocals and traditional instrumental parts. But as the album progresses the music progresses.

The second half of the album takes the album and the band in a completely different direction. Some of these songs remind me of the early demos of Funeral for a Friend: raw, seemingly unpolished melodic hardcore songs with a focus on screaming vocals. Others remind me of spaz-core giants Fear Before the March of Flames with the raw energy, brutal vocals, and technical instrumental parts. My favorite song, the 7 minute epic “No Profit in the Cure”, follows the spaz format and showcases the talents of the band beautifully.

While not the strongest release, Signals Screaming puts out great music where it counts and will earn Inner Surge quite a bit of recognition well outside their home country of Canada.

-Scott Landis

redbassist66@comcast.net

Underappreciated Album: The Juliana Theory’s-Emotion is Dead

Underappreciated Album: The Juliana Theory’s Emotion is Dead.

In 1999, I had a chance to see Audio Adrenaline when they were on tour supporting Underdog- arguably their best release in a prolific career. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the album enough at the time to lay out the money, so I missed out on a show that I would have really, really liked.

A few years later, I accidentally did the same thing, only the band was The Juliana Theory and the CD was Emotion is Dead. At the time, I thought The Juliana Theory was pretty good, but not good enough for me to go to the bad side of town, spend 20 bucks, and suffer through some subpar openers.

I kick myself about once every month for that decision, because not only is Emotion is Dead the best album that the Juliana Theory has ever released, that show is the only time TJT has ever come to Tulsa.

It’s easy to overlook Emotion is Dead- it was released on Tooth and Nail to little fanfare, as TJT’s previous offering Understand This Is a Dream was a builder album, not a breaker album. Another problem is that everything TJT has released after Emotion is Dead was different than this sound, so no one feels the urge to search their back catalog. A third problem is that the main marketed track off the album was a major-key pop song (“Top of the World”), instead of one of the dark, epic emo tracks that sprawl across the majority of this album. Fourthly, this album was on the forefront of the nu-wave emo movement- a year ahead of Thursday’s eponymous Full Collapse and two ahead of the disastrous Tell All Your Friends by Taking Back Sunday- so now that emo is a bad word in the indie-rock world, all those previously associated with it are blacklisted.

All of those problems have conspired to bury Emotion is Dead. But it can’t be buried. It is an amazing collection of songs that capture the mindset of one very conflicted set of people. If you like music, you will find something that piques your interest on this album.

After two straight-ahead mid-tempo rockers (“Into the Dark” and “Don’t Push Love Away”), TJT introduces us to the furious rock stomp that is “To the Tune of 5,000 Screaming Children”. Serving more as an appetizer than the main event, it’s one of many anthems that TJT will serve up in the span of the album. “To the Tune…” has arguably the best lyrics on the album: “We’re not misinformed or misdirected, functioning on your subjective, your hatred only fuels us on.” The snarling lyrics and charging guitars of this song are only offset by the occasional calls of “Check it out!” and “woo!”- they know it’s a rock song.

Then the single hits- and “Top of the World” is pretty much the perfect pop song. There’s handclaps, devilishly catchy melodies, sha-la-la’s, the whole bit. It’s a bit randomly placed, but it’s a good song.

And finally, we reach the meat of the album- the part where the jaws start dropping. “Is Patience Still Waiting?” is the first track that fuses their passion to their progressiveness. The beginning is a pensive, straight-ahead rocker like “Into the Dark”, but throughout the song builds up to the bridge, where a solo acoustic guitar comes in. A breathy voice whispers “come on…” a few times, building up the suspense, until unexpectedly, the vocals jumps straight to a scream. Right over an acoustic guitar. And the guitars burn the rest of the way.

“If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?” is another emo charger, parading out more vitriolic lyrics and showcasing their skill at layering vocal melodies. But those are just the arteries leading to the main core- and that main core is two songs: “We’re Nothing Without You” and the 14-minute closer “You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight/Emotion is Dead Pt. 2.”

“We’re Nothing Without You” is a dark slow-burner- a track that draws its power from background synths, shifty bass lines, and a lot of melancholy. When Brett Detar calls out “We are nothing!” at the end of the morose chorus, it’s spine-tingling. But when he calls out “We are nothing without you!” as a sampled clip of soldiers marching and chanting plays in addition to the shifty bass lines, background synths, and melancholy air, it’s positively enrapturing. It’s one of those sections of music that you repeat cause you just can’t believe it happened.

“You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight” features a mournful piano line in the intro, and builds on that basis into a furiously pounding emo epic. It takes all of 8 minutes to get there, so there’s a lot of build and release (something sorely missing in much of music today, and definitely in short supply in emo). It also features the chanting soldiers again in the highlight of the song, as the drums pound away, Detar howls “You always say goodnight!”, and the guitars churn. It’s amazing.

The outro is an instrumental- a complex, dark, vibrant instrumental that makes me wonder why the rest of TJT’s output sucked so much if they had so much instrumental talent. The piano line and the techno influences are excellent.

This album took everything that was going on at the time and combined it- dark rock, punk, techno, emo, pop, all of it. It’s an amazingly diverse album, but it’s also very consistent in its songwriting quality. There’s not a bad song on here, from the acoustic “Something Isn’t Right” to the punked-out “Understand the Dream is Over” to emo epics like “You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight.”

Emotion is Dead should be required listening for every member of any nu-wave emo band. It’s a nu-wave emo textbook, almost. Forget Taking Back Sunday- The Juliana Theory is where it’s at. Rest in Peace, Juliana Theory. You are awesome.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@Hotmail.com

Making Tracks: Intro

Making Tracks: Intro

So this is a new feature I’m starting up- basically a list of websites I’ve enjoyed in the past month. I’ll do it every month, because when you spend as much time on the internet as I do, there’s a lot of places I frequent. Most of these will have to do with music, but some will not.

First off, we have IndieAnthems.com, a semi-daily music blog that Chris Garrett and I write. It’s more a music diary than a mp3 blog, as we post more quality than quantity. It’s a good way to keep up with news from bands you read about hear on IndependentClauses.com.

Speaking of mp3 blogs, I’ve been reading *sixeyes mp3 blog lately. Alan Williamson runs it, and he has some great tastes in music. I’ve been introduced to The New Amsterdams, finally heard some Calexico, read an interview with Destroyer, and much more. Very interesting stuff.

And if you want to discuss that interesting stuff, head on over to LoveThatSound.com, a messageboard I’ve been frequenting. I’m a mod over there, so if you want to get more of my rantings, you can become an LTS member.

Also, I’ve been really excited about Pavlovvisuals.com, a site that does some really incredible graphic design work. If any of you bands need some art, you best get it from Pavlov Visuals, as their experience, professionalism, and quality can’t be beat.

And finally, I’ve been spending too much time laughing at Toothpastefordinner.com, a hilarious daily comic. It’s definitely bizarre, but it’s very, very funny if you’re into grammar-related and observational humor.

Until next month…..away!!

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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