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New England Record of the Month: I Was Awake - Facade

With their new album, Facade, I Was Awake has released upon the world a substantial effort that shows the versatility and raw talent of the five-piece metal group.  Weaving together a dynamic web of prog, metal, and alt-rock that invokes the greatness of bands like The Deftones and Porcupine Tree, while maintaining an original and modern energy, the boys from Beverly, MA have created a deeply engaging sound that will keep this album on heavy rotation.  From beginning to end, each track shows a different facet of the band, starting with the title track, a one and a half minute crescendo, leading up to the hard-hitting "Erasing", filled with chunky guitars and mixed meter grooves.  Facade is a journey, maintaining those strong grooves, taking periodic stops for high-energy riffs ("Gravity") and softer dynamics ("As Within...", "...So Without").  If thought provoking lyricism and intelligent songwriting is your thing, then I Was Awake will likely become a new favorite.  Give Facade a listen (or twelve) and keep your eyes open for live performances in 2017. -Brian Varneke 

 





Pulitzer Prize Fighter Prepares for Record Release at Great Scott 1/7

Boston quintet, Pulitzer Prize Fighter is gearing up to celebrate the release of their latest EP, Everything That Makes You Feel Tired.  Embracing the aptly named subgenre of "R&Bmo", their music seamlessly combines angsty guitar licks with danceable grooves and soulful vocals.  There's even a sexy saxophone solo or two.  Genre-bending and unpredictable, Pulitzer Prize Fighter has created a unique sound that simply works.  Check them out at their record release show on 1/7 at Great Scott.  Joining them are Jack Romanov, Split/Halves, and Dionysia. -Brian Varneke

December 2016
I Was Awake
"Facade
"
mp3

With their new album, Facade, I Was Awake has released upon the world a substantial effort that shows the versatility and raw talent of the five-piece metal group.  Weaving together a dynamic web of prog, metal, and alt-rock that invokes the greatness of bands like The Deftones and Porcupine Tree, while maintaining an original and modern energy, the boys from Beverly, MA have created a deeply engaging sound that will keep this album on heavy rotation.  From beginning to end, each track shows a different facet of the group, starting with the title track, a one and a half minute crescendo leading up to the hard hitting "Erasing", filled with chunky guitars and mixed meter grooves.  Facade is a journey, maintaining those strong grooves, taking periodic stops for high-energy riffs ("Gravity") and softer dynamics ("As Within...", "...So Without").  If thought provoking lyricism and intelligent songwriting is your thing, then I Was Awake will likely become a new favorite.  Give Facade a listen (or twelve) and keep your eyes open for live performances in 2017. -Brian Varneke





Buzz Alert: The Smallest Town Ensemble Paints a Portrait of City Life With EP Out East

Brainchild of Matt Bowker, The Smallest Town Ensemble is not an easy band to track down, but if you're lucky enough to come across their EP, Out East, you'll be telling all of your friends about the gem you found.  A love letter of sorts to the Somerville, MA community, Out East paints a portrait of urban life that anyone inhabiting a cramped city apartment can relate to.  From country/folk twang to brass choir harmonies and gospel musings, Bowker weaves through a multitude of genres, creating a beautiful and poignant tapestry.  Each track features a unique instrumentation, masterfully tailored to the needs of the song.  Spend some time with this album and keep your eyes open for more from Matt Bowker and friends. -Brian Varneke





Thunderforge Brings a Killer Robot Xmas to Salem, MA 12/23

Stumped on what to get that special someone this holiday season?  Stuff their stocking with some power metal from Thunderforge.  The western Mass heavy metal quintet released their EP, Call of the Conqueror, earlier this year, bringing into the world five tracks of face-melting guitar work and soaring vocals from frontman Adam Morini.  The album is an excellent showcase of the bands talents, ranging from driving, double-bass riddled mayhem to softer, dynamic sections that illustrate the band's diverse capabilities.  Check these guys out at Koto in Salem, MA on 12/23 for a "Killer Robot Xmas" toy and canned food drive, also featuring Frostbite, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, and Green Bastard. -Brian Varneke

 

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