Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fireflight Album Review for 'Now'

The alternative rock and female fronted band, Fireflight, have been churning out inspirational heavy rock for a few years now since their hit single "You Decide" exploded on the scene. After a string of successful followup albums, they are now a mainstay in Christian rock.

Fireflight has grungy elements to them, with thick crunching guitars and heavy leads mixed with belting vocals and softer harmonies. Their newest release, Now, does a perfect job of showcasing all of these elements while adding something completely original to the mix.

The first track, "Stay Close," is a very strong opener with a big chorus and excellent harmonies throughout. It has a nice heavy feel yet mixes well with the poppy vocals.

"Ignite" has an intro reminiscent to early Linkin Park and has great instrumentation throughout. The chorus has a superb back and fourth between main vocalist Dawn Michele and background vocalist, Justin Cox.

"Escape" does exactly what the title says. It takes the listener away from the heaviness of the previous songs. It is a power ballad of sorts with a nice drop out for the bridge.

The next song keeps the pace light, and really highlights Michele's voice. The song has a powerful message of God's love and speaks on how when we think He's not there, He's right there in the midst of trouble.

The slow and poppy, "Keeping Me Alive," talks about how God's love keeps us going through life. Immediately following is the uptempo and catchy, "Stronger Than You Think," as Fireflight brings back the gritty guitars as they sing, "I am stronger than you think, you'll never get the best of me."

"Prove Me Wrong" follows up with a mid tempo catchy riff and vocals. However, the following track, "Dying For Your Love," is one the best songs on the album.

The intro is heavy and then slows down for the verse. The chorus lands somewhere in the middle as both vocalist alternate between singing. The outro is heavy hitting, sounding more like alt/grunge rockers Breaking Benjamin. 

The softest song on, Now, is "Rise Above." The song is a straight pop song that sets to move and inspire.

"Now," the title track is a great way to go out on the album. The cool synth opening along with the mixed heavy guitars make the song worthy of a single.

Overall the album will not disappoint. If you are looking for some heavy music with softer female vocals and an occasional rock ballad; Now is the perfect thing for you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mac Lethal Live in Stanhope New Jersey Concert Review

I had the privilege to see Mac Lethal play a show about an hour away from house in Stanhope, New Jersey. As some of you know Mac Lethal is my favorite rapper of all time and has influenced my music greatly.

My friends and I got to the Stanhope House at around 6:30 and sat through about six openers as we munched on wings and ate an amazing prime rib (in honor of Mac of course!)

The best of the openers was a 16-year-old local kid name Carpe Diem. He was very impressive with his rhyming and song making ability. 

Going on right before Mac, was the Yes Yes Yalls. They had just come off of Bamboozle and were pretty fantastic. The beats, the singing, and the rapping were all on point.

Finally at around 11:30PM Mr. Lethal entered the building. Greeting the remaining die hards with a hardy hello on stage, Mac instantly captivated everyone in the room.

He opened up with "War Drum" off of North Korean BBQ, which in my opinion is one of his best albums. 

Throughout the night Mac answered questions and took suggestions from the crowd. In one of the funnier moments a fan requested the song, "Lithium Lips." He hadn't performed it in a few years and actually took the girl's iPod to listen to the song to remember one of the verses.

Other conversations included politics, gay marriage, and poking fun of one of the fans strange outbursts.

Some of the highlights included an acapella version of his "Look At Me Now" pancake song and his great track with Sadistik, "Ashes to Ashley."

I had two gripes with the show. The first was I wanted to hear more off of Irish Goodbye. The only track played was an acapella version of "Jake and Olive." However, I will not complain fully because I know Mac's full catalogue and love everything off of 11:11. Also, his energy on songs like "Calm Down Baby" and "Rotten Apple Pie" made the performances special.

The other gripe is that I wished he performed longer, but that's me being greedy!

The entire show Mac Lethal was gracious and humble as he continously thanked the crowd and showed his appreciation for us being there.

At the end of the show Mac met and spoke to everyone off stage as well as gave them a free copy of Irish Goodbye because he said "To sell out means to sell something, so the whole tour I'm giving my album away for free."This was of course to combat the haters of Mac's recently found success with his viral videos and Text From Bennet Tumblr.

He stayed to take pictures and sign albums while answering questions and giving everyone his individual attention. My friends and I stopped to take pictures and get our merch signed. I told Mac about my band and gave him a CD and wristband, which he thanked me for and even took a picture with it on.  Later on in the night he commented my status on Facebook and told me he enjoyed the music!

Overall awesome night, well worth the $12. Check out the video and pictures below. I apologize for the sound quality, I was near the speakers.

Vinny Jett, Mac Lethal, and I

Mac wearing the POF wristband 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's Not Over News

Staten Island pop-punk band, It's Not Over, has been a mainstay in the local scene for over five years, but recently they took an extended hiatus to figure out where the band was headed and to make some changes musically. 

Finally, after many months, they have announced that their comeback show will be Friday July 13 at the Cup in Staten Island. Full details here.

The band would also like to let their fans know that guitarist/back up vocalist Josh Cronopolus has parted ways with the band, and that they are moving more towards a pop driven direction. With this change of style they are eagerly looking for a keyboard/synth player to fill out their music section.

It's Not Over is asking fans to vote for their song "Stop, Drop, Love" on z100. Vote here.

Singer Mike Giordano and bassist gave Ramirez are also exclusively looking to work with artists on upcoming projects and is offering his studio and production skills to anyone looking for a fair deal.

"I have experience working as a producer/songwriter with the engineers/producers who have done songs for B.O.B (airplanes), Diddy (I'm coming home), Eminem (I need a DR.) and more. Plus I have a college degree in audio production," said Mike.

"If you are interested message me or e-mail me, mikeantgio@gmail.com. I can send you some examples and we can talk about a price that works best for you. 

Anyone who books a song for June I'm charging extremely low for June because I could use some extra bookings this month."
Read my album review for It's Just Started