Neon Death Ranger | A Review of the Self-Titled EP

Everyone knows about the classic Love Ballad, boy meats girl, wants to hold her hand and so on. Then there is the Breakup Song, boy loses girl, boy finds solace in booze and punching? Well, what about an electro based song of murder? Enter Portland’s Neon Death Ranger; an electro rock group who have taken a path less traveled in terms of lyrical storytelling. Their five track EP, which was released on Halloween, is set to make the Manson family’s playlist.   
The first cut off of the EP is an 8 minute beast of a song Rainbow Blood Bride that lures you in with a synth feast for the initial four minutes only to break into a threatening set of lyrics describing the familiar idea of a killer hiding in the back of your car with a knife at you neck. The songs that populate this EP stay within the realm of murder fantasies for the most part; ranging from throat slitting to cutting the brake lines.    
The dark nature of this album is perhaps expression of macabre humour or a Dexter-centric take on the love and obsession. Either way, you wouldn’t want to be caught with this album playing in your car if you have a body in the trunk. Neon Death Ranger is fun for the whole Manson family.
You can download the EP in its entirety here.

(We at Indie Blog Shot do not condone murder or even capital punishment for any reason whatsoever.)    Happy Halloween!       


Bad Books | A Review of Their Self-Titled Album

Bad Books has recently released their first effort with a self-titled album of folk inspired music. This six man band is composed of Kevin Devine and Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra.  That’s right Bad Books is the answer to the question on everyone’s lips: will anyone form another indie folk supergroup to stand up to Monsters of Folk?

What Bad Books has managed to bring to the table is very a contemporary style of folk music that can stand up to anyone currently banging a folksy drum. Bad Books begins its debut album with a slow moving number that quickly swells with background harmonies and a flurry of guitars. Numerous cuts off of this album feel like instant classics such as The Easy Mark and The Old Maid which speaks to the inner defeatist in all of us.  As with most indie folk albums (at least the good ones), Bad Books captures a certain spirit with its lyrics and melodies and that spirit is that of the frustration of a young boy tossing a ball against an ally wall while waiting for his father to finish at the pub.    


A Sunny Day in Glasgow | A Review of Autumn Again

The Philadelphia band A Sunny Day in Glasgow has released its third full length album Autumn Again.  Their sound is similar to an ever expanding bubble made entirely out of background noise of the universe; it’s possibly the most annoying album some people will ever have the pleasure to listen to. But for others it might be a welcomed addition to a music library filled with vacant stare inducing dream pop acts such as Animal Collective. A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s newest offering is not without its charm though, the track Sigh, inhibitionist (Come all day with me) starts off with promise, reminiscent of something you may hear from Jesus and Mary Chain but then quickly flutters off into the stratosphere with the rest of this album. The band should also be given some notice for the title of one of the album’s last tracks This assclown eats ambien OR Nobody likes you (No Art) – brilliant!


Taking a Look At My Grey Horse

My Grey Horse is a five piece band from Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K. that is off to a strong start. After a well received first EP the band is set to release its second entitled The Saltway. First impressions matter though, and the band’s first offering left a strong one. The lead vocalist sounds like a well tuned River Cuomo but that does not mean that My Grey Horse is a Weezer clone. No, the young band seems to take some inspiration from acts similar to Canada’s Wolf Parade. This can really be heard in the track You’ll Never Learn which features My Grey Horse’s contrasting vocal harmonies accompanied by a playful keyboard melody. This band isn’t a one trick pony, as the other tracks available on their website makes it clear that My Grey Horse draws from an eclectic pool of musicians for motivation.  As a first attempt My Grey Horse has managed to capture the essence of what good indie music should always embody: it’s slightly raw, has the potential from which to grow and is genuinely interesting to listen to.  Here’s to hoping that My Grey Horse will make a mark with The Saltway EP. 

My grey horse - you'll never learn from Peter Butler on Vimeo.


Kings of Leon’s Micro Interview Series on the Come Around Sundown Album

If you are unaware, the Kings of Leon are set to release their fifth album Come Around Sundown on October 19th which you can preview in it’s entirety here.  That is not the only reason why you should check out this site.  There is an ongoing series of interviews with all four band members talking about each of the tracks. It’s one thing to speculate on what some songs mean and another to get a walkthrough right from the horse’s mouth.  Each one of the interviews, which are at most two and a half minutes long, gives a little bit of history on a particular track, what it’s about when it was written and the circumstances surrounding its recording. It is an interesting series and worth following.

Highlights From the Interviews So Far
In Part 3 of the series the band discuses their first single from Come Around Sundown, Radioactive. They explain that the song was written for another album Aha Shake Heartbreak but just didn’t fit.

 Lead singer Caleb Followill was inspired to write the track Pyro by a news story about a group of extremist Christians that met an untimely end at the hands of the FBI.

The Track Mary was written as an outlet for Caleb Followill’s irritation over his brother/drummer Nathan Followill’s impending nuptials. Hence the first line of the song, “Mary if you wanna!”, which is an interesting revelation, that the track Mary isn’t about being pissed that an old flame is getting hitched but that your brother is getting married.    


Wheels on Fire | Cherry Bomb EP

Wheels on Fire, a band that originates from Athens, Ohio and have recently released their latest EP entitled Cherry Bomb. The three new tracks offered on this EP contain a certain character usually reserved for older musical acts. Their sound which is a nice mix of low-fi garage rock and “The Clash” renewal delivers on energy and style. EPs are meant to highlight the strengths of band’s music which can often lead to a disappointing reception for any full length that follows. But after listening to the band’s latest full length album Liar Liar which only recently came out it’s clear that this is not the case for Wheels on Fire’s Cherry Bomb EP. The EP is right on par with the rest of their work, it’s playful, slightly poppy and hard to find fault with. Wheels on Fire will be touring Europe throughout this October.      


Kings of Leon | First Impressions of ‘Come Around Sundown’

Kings of Leon have had a big couple of years since their release of 2008’s highly successful album Only By The Night. That album brought this band from being one people could barely remember the name of, to a household name. Kings of Leon is now known for songs like Sex on Fire and Use Somebody of the Only By The Night album but it wasn’t long ago in Britain that the band was making musical waves with their older albums such as Youth And Young Manhood or Because Of The Times. These albums rung out to many people because of that undeniable rock feel to them which pulsated with charisma and personality that is usually reserved for the fleeting golden moments that very seldom come for most artists.
The release of Kings of Leon’s fifth album Come Around Sundown is distinctively more mature than any of the other offerings to come before it.  Come Around Sundown doesn’t have that streamlined feel to it that Only By The Night came to be known for, the new album is slower and the lyrics feel like they are coming from a happier place.  Especially when you put them up against some of the lyrics from Because Of The Times which could be best described as a drunken conversation with the lads after a bad break-up with a long time girlfriend.  One of the few real throwbacks on the new album, in terms of lyrics that are more reminiscent of tracks like Molly’s Chambers or Trani is Mi Amigo. In that track the refrain goes something like this “I’ve got a friend, helps me to get up again. Showers me in Booze, tells me I got a big old dick, and then she walks my ass home”. Classic Kings of Leon!   
With any Kings of Leon album it takes a bit of time to process and it’s important to wait until the third or fourth listen to pass any judgment.  If history serves any purpose it should tell us that albums from the Kings of Leon are loaded with gems that just need a bit of time to catch with the people who are listening. The real standouts from Come Around Sundown are Pyro, Mary, Back Down South and Mi Amigo