Whether working or relaxing, Mike Keane is listening to music. It all started growing up in the Bronx devouring his parents’ and brother’s excellent collection of records. Once he had some cash flow, he started collecting and digesting his own vinyl, starting back in the 80s with early days of thrash metal and NYHC, through the 90s expanding into shoegaze and post-hardcore. Some of his favorite bands arrived in the mid-90s but he continues to discover new music which he prefers to witness live, force onto his buddies, and now write about. Contributing to BigTakeover.com is his first foray into getting published and he could not have found a happier home for his blurbs from the ‘burbs.
Rad Owl has released their debut EP, Alladin’s Castle. The bad news is there are only three songs but the good news is all are solid post-hardcore/ punk gems.
With the Amulet, Circa Survive offer fans a slightly softer [even] more atmospheric take on their unique mash up of alternative / post-hardcore/ emo/ prog rock hybrid. It is difficult to pick a favorite, as listening to this over the past month, each day brings a different top track, most likely tied to the listeners current mood or cycle of the moon.
Living Colour has released Shade and, sorry for the cliché, it rocks. There is nothing unexpected here and that is not a complaint as the thirteen tracks have the riffs, grooves, hooks, and beats found in their early days. The production is pristine mixing hard rock blues, funk, jazz, and hip-hop. Bottom line, if you need some rock and roll, don’t mind some tough talk lyrics, Shade is not to be missed.
Queens of the Stone Age return with their seventh studio album, Villains, and not surprisingly it swings, rocks, and grooves. If this is what happens when a well-paid producer combines with a band that helped define a sub-genre than who cares, let the beat go on.
By the end of the first listen to Out in the Storm, the latest album from Waxahatchee, the tunes already felt familiar. The album is filled with enjoyable melodies, guitar-driven rock, and lyrics that are quite personal. The album closes on “Fade” but not for long as this record screams repeat.
Mutoid Man’s latest LP, War Moans, opens fast and furious with “Melt Your Mind” and does not slow down much thereafter. Knowing the historical output from the band members’ other bands, namely Cave In and Converge, it is not surprising the 12 tracks comprise a splendid mix of extreme metal and hardcore punk.
Walking into the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY, there were signs that warned NO SURFING and NO MOSHING. Clutch were in town on their East Coast leg of their Summer 2017 tour supporting Psychic Warfare. These signs made it seem that the crew running the theater have not seen Clutch since the early to mid ‘90s. True enough, the band were part of the 90’s punk and hardcore scene but over the past 15 years or so they have evolved into a hard-working no BS kick-ass rock band.