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    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Artist You Should Know NOW!!! - Kevin Devine

    By Alex Mayfield

    If you don’t know Kevin Devine (which you probably don’t), a good enough reason to check him out is because he is such good friends with the guys from Brand New and Manchester Orchestra. Now I know that just because you are a friend of two fantastic bands doesn’t make you good. However, if you do not listen to Mr. Devine then you are missing out on a real treat. The reason his music works is that it is simple and easy to listen to. His voice is hypnotic, pleasant and for some reason you don’t want to stop listening. He is compelling off stage and on and is simply an entertaining individual. If you want some music to check out you have plenty of options. He has a total of five studio albums, three live albums, and five EPs. There is plenty of Kevin Devine to go around. I highly recommend checking out all of his albums, specifically Brother’s Blood because it is really well crafted and one of my favorite albums of 2009. You should probably try to see him live with his “Goddamn Band” (that is their actual title). Why would you want to pass them up? You wouldn’t. Kevin Devine is a must have for your iTunes library. Trust me, you will not regret it.

    Album to download: Brother’s Blood (2009)

    Songs to Download: “Fever Moon”, “Brooklyn Boy”, “I Could Be With Anyone”, “Cotton Crush

    Brother's Blood LP (2009)

    Album Review: Minus The Bear - Omni

    By Alex Mayfield

    Minus the Bear is an electric indie rock band out of Seattle that follows up their successful album, Planet of Ice, with their fourth LP Omni. Minus the Bear has a lot of good things going on, especially when it comes the musicality of the entire band. MTB shows that they are instrumentally very talented. A good example of this is the musicianship of percussionist Erin Tate, who shows a mass amount of technicality in his drumming. However, I have some issues with this album. The vocals are incredibly generic (“Hold Me Down”) and the times the album shines are during its instrumentals (2:40 into “Excuses”). Another problem with this album is the lack of diversity. The majority of the songs sound exactly the same as the one before. With as much talent as the band has, I would like to hear more variety and less singing. Luckily the instrumentals alone are reason to at least listen to a little bit of this album.


    Songs to Download: “Dayglow Vista Road”, “Into the Mirror”, “Excuses

    Official Minus the Bear Website

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Album Review: Kate Nash - My Best Friend is You

    by Alex Mayfield

    Three years after her debut LP, indie girl out of London, Kate Nash, releases her second album entitled My Best Friend Is You. Nash has a voice that works well, especially with the speedy style of music that she plays so much of. The album starts off strong with the up-tempo “Paris” and continues the same style until the investigational “I Just Love You More.” She took a risk by leaving her comfort zone and to me the risk wasn’t worth the reward. It just doesn’t fit. She has different styles on this album which are speedy Brit-Pop, experimental, and calm ballads. The ballads and the pop songs work. The experimental songs (“I Just Love You More”, “I’ve got a Secret”, “Mansion Song”) never really come together for me and take away from what she does well. The other issue with this album is that the stuff she does well blends together and becomes a little forgettable. I give her credit for trying something new, but it just didn’t work for me. I enjoyed some of the songs but the album as a whole is just decent. Maybe it will grow on me.

    6.5 / 10

    Songs to Download: “Do-Wah-Do”, “Kiss That Grrl”, “Later On

    WASU Top Ten & Adds 4/20/10

    Top Ten

    1. Coheed And Cambria "Here We Are Juggernaut"
    2. The Whigs- "Black Lotus"
    3. Shooter Jennings- "Triskaidekaphobia"
    4. Hurricane Bells- "Winters In New York"
    5. Love Is All- "Repetition"
    6. Dustin Edge- "Human or Machine"
    7. The Gaslight Anthem- "American Slang"
    8. MGMT- "Flash Delirium"
    9. Minus The Bear- "My Time"
    10. Slow Club- "It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful"

    Recent Adds

    The Hold Steady- "Hurricane J"
    Jesse Malin- "Burning The Bowery"
    The Black Keys- "Tighten Up"
    River City Extension- "Adrianne"
    The Dead Weather- "Die By The Drop"
    Dr. Dog- "Stranger"
    Kate Nash- "Paris"
    The Henry Clay People- "Working Part Time"
    Nada Surf- "Enjoy The Silence"
    The Lions- "Roam"
    Two Door Cinema Club- "Come Back Home"
    Unkle- "Natural Selection"

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    IT'S A SHAME... (when bands end before their time) - BAUMER

    By Alex Mayfield

    Most have never heard of this Columbia, SC native band and it is a shame that most never will. Baumer, a band that started in 2003, showed a lot of talent in studio and on stage. Baumer brought forth an electronic style and merged it with smooth vocals and melodic guitars. Their last album, Were It Not for You, shows that pop music doesn’t have to be generic and filled with auto-tune. Songs like Lucky Strike and Make Way for the King, combine electronics with gritty guitars to create a unique experience different than anything heard before. This indie electro pop rock band ended way before it’s time after only releasing two studio albums with Eyeball Records. Other bands that were once on Eyeball include Murder by Death, The Gaslight Anthem, and My Chemical Romance. In November of 2008, Baumer disbanded and few know the reasons why. Though it most likely will not happen, maybe one day Baumer will return. But until then, It's a Shame.

    Albums to Download: Come On, Feel It (2006) Were It Not for You (2008)

    Songs to Download: “Were It Not for You”, “Take What’s Mine”, “Money Tornado

    Were It Not For You LP (2008)

    Photos from:

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Artist You Should Know NOW!!! - The Features

    By Alex Mayfield

    The Features, though you probably have never heard of them, have been around for a while. Their first EP was self titled and released in 1997. However, the reason you should know these guys is not based on how long they have been around. It is based off their ability to play and how good they truly are. Their latest album, Some Kind of Salvation, shows an array of musical ability that is catchy while intricate, which they intertwine together quite well. This group of guys not only sounds amazing on this LP but they put on a live show that is entrancing. If you still don’t want to listen to them, just know that when Kings of Leon were able to choose a band for their record label, The Features were the very first band that they signed. These guys put together gang vocals, southern guitar riffs, catchy (yet not annoying) synthesizer, funky bass, and fast paced percussion to provide a story telling experience of a lifetime. Do not go another day not knowing these guys because they will become one of your favorite bands in your iTunes library.

    Album to Download: “Some Kind of Salvation” (2009)

    Songs to download: “Temporary Blues”, “The Gates of Hell”, “Blow It Out”, “Lions”, “The Drawing Board”…….Just download all of them.

    Photos from

    Some Kind of Salvation LP (2009)

    Concert Review - Manchester Orchestra w/ The Features, O' Brother, and Eric Skelton

    Columbia, SC - Jillian’s – April 9, 2010

    By Alex Mayfield The weather seemed perfect for what I was hoping to be a great show. The original ticket was supposed to be Manchester Orchestra w/ the Features, O’ Brother, and Biffy Clyro who had to cancel for some reason. So Eric Skelton (one of the brothers behind the band Marry a Thief) filled in as the fourth band. Skelton started the show with an acoustic guitar and soft spoken lyrics. The highlight of his show had to be his cover of Coldplay’s Yellow, which was quite good.

    Next came O’ Brother. O’ Brother is another band off of the Favorite Gentlemen label really delivers, but sadly not many people know about. They shared with the crowd their excitement of playing for such a large audience. If people didn’t know of O’ Brother, they do now. As many others that are apart of Favorite Gentlemen, O’ Brother throws together high energy with powerful lyrics and even more powerful showmanship. These guys are entertaining to say the least and put on a show that forces you to listen.

    Following O’ Brother, came the band from Nashville, TN. The Features is a band that is hard to put into any category. If you had to classify this group of guys, I guess you would call them “Gypsy Indie Hipster Alternative Rock”? Where you would classify them doesn’t really matter because they are downright fantastic. You cannot take your eyes off of these Southern boys when they play. Each song was fun to listen to as well as to watch and they seemed to be having a great time, as did everyone watching them.

    Finally it was time for Manchester Orchestra to take the stage. All I can say is that Andy Hull (front man) and the rest of the guys from MO put on a show that is unforgettable. Every song is played from the heart and they play as if each song might be the last song they ever performed. What puts MO above a lot of other bands out these days is their ability to make you feel exactly what they want you to feel, making their songs flow through the blood of everyone in the audience. Hull has an uncanny ability to connect with the audience on a personal level so that every single person feels like that song was written for them. If you ever have the chance to see Manchester Orchestra, I highly recommend that you do not miss that show. And for the Features and O’ Brother, it would be good for you to not miss those shows either. It was a phenomenal concert!

    Photos from:

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Album Review: Coheed and Cambria - Year of the Black Rainbow

    by Alex Mayfield

    Once again, CO and CA add another chapter to their confusing space epic known as the Amory Wars. YOTBR is supposed to be a prequel to the other chapters, taking place before Coheed’s first album Second Stage Turbine Blade. Though the story is filled with murder, deceit, and 72 planets, you will never be able to understand the plot by just listening to the albums. However, the story really doesn’t matter for this review because the music is still quite good. It will be very hard for Coheed to make a better album than In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3, but they still make some good music. With intricate guitars and heavy riffs, the album starts off with a little bit of chaos that, to me, doesn’t really work. However, once the album hits the anthem-like Here We are Juggernaut, the album starts to rise to a more likeable status. This album seems almost identical to No World For Tomorrow (their previous album released in 2007). When it comes down to it, the intricate guitars and powerhouse vocals present something that Coheed fans will enjoy. If you like No World For Tomorrow, you will enjoy this. If you were hoping for another In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3, I have a hard time believing you will find it here. Where does this fall in with the other Coheed albums? I’m so glad you asked. In my opinion...

    1. In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003) – 9/10

    2. Second Stage: Turbine Blade (2002) – 8/10

    3. No World For Tomorrow (2007) – 7/10

    4. Year of the Black Rainbow (2010) – 7/10

    5. Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV (2005) – 6.5/10

    To wrap up this review, the album is quite good with is use of crowd chants, good percussion, heavy guitar and is sure to please. Coheed is an acquired taste so for those who don't listen to Coheed, be weary trying to go into this album without starting with some more listenable tracks. Songs you might want to start with would be, “A Favor House Atlantic” (IKSOSE3), “Feathers” (NWFT), and “Welcome Home” (GAIBS4). So for Coheed fans, give it a listen. Others who aren’t as brave might want to stay away.

    7 out of 10

    Download tracks – “Here We Are Juggernaut”, “Made Out of Nothing”, “Pearl of the Stars”