Lilac Daze: Sedated

LDSedated

Lilac Daze is a pop-punk/post-grunge indie garage rock band from Frederick, MD. They have released three records since 2013, toured all over the east coast, and still, arguably, have not received the credit they deserve in their own hometown. Sedated, their latest six song EP has been played through my speakers more times than I can remember since its release in July 2014. That was around the time I had just begun to venture into the Frederick scene, moving just a short distance away from everything familiar near DC, knowing nothing about what I was in for.

The city of Frederick, friendly and welcoming at first, had gradually revealed itself to be the center of its own universe; one that is split down the middle into folk and heavy metal music, with room for little more than a few Weezeresque polished garage rock bands in between. I have been lucky enough to hear a hand full of great rock bands here with real originality and creativity, but they are hard to find. I would bet that there are lots more, practicing in basements and bedrooms just waiting for the right opportunity to be heard. Within the folk and metal genres there are ones worth hearing, but they will almost certainly have that opportunity since the scene caters to that. (End rant).

I had heard Matt’s other project, Cosmic Halitosis, play live on occasion, and even once shared a bill. Though I will admit I was put off by the name, I was instantly a fan of his catchy songwriting and lively, playful style. So I was not surprised to fall deeply in like with Lilac Daze. Sedated starts out strong with Frederick Rock City, the heartfelt, melodic song that sticks in my head sometimes for weeks at a time with the lines:

“I used to think all humans were inherently good
every time i’m wrong someone proves me right
what’s the riddle to this?
I think i’m too serious”

I will have to call this one my favorite, though the rest of the album certainly backs up the good first impression. These songs are all heavy and melodic, and abrasive in all the right ways. They have a fun and bouncy energy that makes for a great live show. There is something childlike about the lyrics– philosophical, disillusioned but innocent, and strikingly honest. This music has heart and passion. It’s the kind of music that gets real enough to physically lift you out of a bad situation through its words and conveyed emotions. The guitar and bass parts are straightforward and stark, and the tone is satisfyingly crunchy. The drums are solid, and seem to lead the whole operation. The band’s aesthetic is consistent and charming. They have all the makings of a band that will go far, and I hope they do.

by Wanda Perkins

Lilac Daze: Sedated

The Radiographers: Talk With Transparency

The Raidorios

The Radiographers are an indie rock band from College Park, Maryland. Guest Review by Christopher Wallace

The Radiographers, something I don’t have to think too much about because, this is the kind of tunes I can groove to. That’s what I like in some bands. Music where you can just put it on and not judge it. Plays as an ill background soundtrack of a party. Everyone would feel groovy and wicked to the melodies and beats. Clarity is key sometimes and I believe this band has that! The mixing is done really well and you can hear everything. I can’t stop playing My Survival, literally. Little Black Glove is also another favorite, “she doesn’t even know why she does it at all” but does any of us? It’s a pretty relate-able lyric. After hearing the last track Again I just had to play it again. I know, sounds a little cheesy but at least I’m honest. The Radiographers is a band definitely worth listening to. They can get funky and a little psychedelic. A scorching Indie/Rock sound that isn’t boring at all and predictable. I really can’t slap it into a genre but who needs those anyways nowadays? Genres are getting too complicated. Have an open ear and mind. Then you’ll start to appreciate such genius things as The Radiographers!

The Radiographers: Talk With Transparency

Treble Lifter: Heart Race

Treble Lifter

Treble Lifter is a post punk band from Washington, D.C. I should say right away, I love this album. It’s just amazing, I really think that every track is so good. It’s punk without being too nailed down, it’s aggressive and violent in the exact way I want to feel. This is the kind of music I want blaring in my car as I speed down highways, not giving a fuck about anything but how much faster I can go and how crazy I can dance without crashing into a tree. Heart Race really is fitting, my heart was racing from beginning to end. It’s such exciting, exhilarating music. The vocals are heavy, hit hard and resonate. I love the voice of this band, and I want to be in the audience screaming right back at Treble Lifter. The guitars are crazy in a controlled and melodic way.

The drumming, I could go on for about six more paragraphs how much I love this drumming, composition, vocals and guitar but someone told me once reviewing music should be more than praising everything. Fuck that though, Treble Lifter deserves all of the recognition possible for what they’ve accomplished with this release. If you’ve never listened to post rock or post punk, or are just an normal punk or hardcore fan, do yourself a favor and listen to this album. Go to their shows, support them and this sound. This sound that Treble Lifter has created resonates in my spirit, and I think it will in yours too. Framed Mistakes was my favorite track, but that was a very difficult choice. We need more music like this!

Listen here: https://treblelifter.bandcamp.com/

Treble Lifter: Heart Race

Burnt Seeds: Dive

BurntWeeds

Burnt Seeds is a garage rock band from Washington, D.C. Dive is a very interesting release, it’s very atmospheric and ethereal while maintaining a solid foundation of good hooks and excellent guitar playing. Burnt Seeds can shred, and there’s a lot of shredding on this song. The drumming is great and the entire rhythm section flows so smoothly. Well written music is so great to listen to, the ebb and flow of Dive sets off my serotonin receptors. The tone of the guitar and the effected, reverb heavy vocals are trance inducing in their dynamic sound.

The Alternate name for this song, Fire In The Jukebox, is very fitting to me. I like the name Dive, but there have been so many good songs with that name. I have a feeling this fact was not lost on Burnt Seeds. I can image it though while listening to this track, a burning jukebox in a crowded diner, the sound of melting vinyl on a hot summer day while the people move too fast to notice. It’s the sound of a fire, and the sound of the smoke. I really like this song.

 

Listen here: https://burntseeds.bandcamp.com/track/dive/

Burnt Seeds: Dive

Nine To Five: Demo

ninetofive

Nine To Five is a punk rock band from Washington, D.C. Catchy, melodic, upbeat and fun are my first impressions of Nine To Five. In my heart there’s always good to be a fire burning for good punk, and this band is on my wavelength. As a demo it’s very impressive, with the tones and growls of the late eighties blended with the more melodic sound of southern california punk rock. The guitar tone is fantastic, the bass is fast with a very high tone, following the guitar leads while also managing to stand out and shine on its own. Nine To Five are very good songwriters, and write hooks that will stay with you long after the demo is over.

There’s a decent amount of anger and rage, but it’s presented in a very upbeat, uptempo way. I really enjoy that sound. It’s bouncy and fun, and brings life back into a dull day. Songs about longing, frustration, the frustrations of working to survive versus doing what’s in your heart. Hours Go By is definitely my favorite track. It’s simple, but brilliant in it’s simplicity. I think it’s partially after quitting the cubicle life, and the way I used to feel trapped inside a corporate cage eight hours a day, fantasizing about being anywhere but there. Nine To Five is a really fun band to listen to, and I love this demo. Any punk fan should be sure to check it out!

 

Listen here: https://ninetofivedc.bandcamp.com/

Nine To Five: Demo

Catscan!: Challenger Deep

Catscan

Catscan! is an electronic rock band from Washington, DC. This album is very unquie, hitting hard and fast with and upbeat, exciting sound on the first track that leads into a very stylized, composed, and often chill sound. Kaiko (I can’t make special o’s like that song has) starts with the sound of waves and seagulls. There’s nothing that makes me feel more at ease than the comforting cry of the birds and the seas. As I’ve said, there’s a lot of variety here. From dark and creepy to introspective, Catscan! proves that they have what it takes to tackle any genre. There’s a lot of electronic sound and effects blended into the intricate guitar harmonies and well produced and catchy choruses that will stick in your heard long after the song is over.

Catscan! has more than just songs, they write fantastic stories of the horrors of the deep, animals, outlaws, and occasionally about their own lives and experiences. Catscan! is hard to define, their sound isn’t set in one style. That’s one of the things that’s so great about this band.  While listening to Challenger Deep I was reminded heavily of They Might Be Giants, REM, and Ben Folds Five. This music is weird in the best possible way. I’ve seen this band live, and they put on a great show! If you get an invite to a show, don’t miss out!

 

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/catscanboys/sets/challenger-deep/

Catscan!: Challenger Deep

Hashima Machine: Family of Giants Keeping Warm

Hashima MachineHashima Machine is an experimental instrumental band based out of Baltimore, Maryland. This is an interesting and engaging release from some of the minds behind Cartoon Weapons. It’s complex, full of intricate melodies and astounding guitar work. The drumming and percussive work is so well done, it doesn’t sound as though it was recorded live with no overdubs. That might be the most amazing thing about Hashima Machine, coming from someone who has been spending what feels like an eternity working on my next release, the ability to be flawless on the first take is a rare skill. The piano playing is something that I can honestly say I haven’t heard before.

The raw talent is so tangible in Hashima Machine. The songs are more long journeys, painting whatever their meaning is to your mind in beautiful and unique ways. I’ve never stared so intently at album art, sitting and deciphering where I am in my life, what I’m accomplishing, where I need to go, all of these emotions and feeling that stir and rise while listening to Hashima Machine make it shine so bright to me. As the sun rises, as the seasons change, as new life begins and old lives return to the ether, Hashima Machine is to me the sound of existence. I love this music. Have your own experience, let the Family of Giants keep your spirit warm. I know I will.

 

Listen here: https://hashimamachine.bandcamp.com/album/family-of-giants-keeping-warm/

Hashima Machine: Family of Giants Keeping Warm