Hibernal – The Machine

The Machine cover art

Artist Hibernal
Album The Machine
Genre Post-Rock | Prog-Rock | Experimental | Spoken Word
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Release 06 March 2013
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The Machine’ is Hibernal’s debut album. Mixed by Mark Healy, mastered by Rowan Salt, and featuring the voice talents of Rowan Michaels, Samantha Béart and Robert Blythe.

The Machine‘ interweaves spoken word with instrumental music pieces to tell a compelling storyline that unfolds throughout the course of the album. Featuring a professional voice talent cast and an original music score,‘The Machine‘ is an immersive and powerful musical experience that draws the listener in and won’t let go.

This is a unique prog rock journey that explores the themes of ambition, sadness and our choices in life. All of this is told through crunching hard rock riffs, heart-wrenching melodies and soaring guitar.

‘The Machine’ is about the choices that we make in our lives, the directions in which these decisions take us, and the influences we have on the people around us as we choose our paths. ‘The Machine‘ is about identity, and about being true to oneself.

Synopsis: A man climbs the corporate ladder inside a powerful company, but finds that with each promotion he must sacrifice a part of himself.

Duck. Little Brother, Duck! – No Spitting On Cats During Plague Time

No Spitting On Cats During Plague Time cover art

Artist  Duck. Little Brother, Duck!
Album No Spitting On Cats During Plague Time
Genre Math-Rock | Punk
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Label Topshelf Records, Friends For Life
Release 07 June 2013
Rating:

Duck. Little Brother, Duck! is a quirky Portland band who caught my attention with the release of their 2010 album “Survival is Not a Workout”. Admittedly, these guys aren’t for everyone and their vocals will be offsetting for Post-Rock purists, but I believe they’ve earned their stripes in the world of math-rock and therefor are relevant and worthy of attention from Postrockstar. Their newer work, specifically this EP, is definitely on the more wild side and if you’re not into it I implore you check out their older work for the same fun and spastic quirkiness without the heavy emphasis on vocals. – Iamhop

Glorie – Falling

Falling cover art

Artist Glorie
Album Falling
Genre Post-Rock | Ambient
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Label Makeshift Music
Release 06 March 2013
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Instrumental band Glorie was formed in Memphis in the spring of 2009 by former Satyrs frontman, Jason Paxton, after an eight year hiatus from playing music. The other members of Glorie (Jonathan Kirkscey, Robert Brimhall, Andy Saunders, and Jeff Hulett) come from diverse musical backgrounds and have performed with an impressive array of artists such as Cat Power, Jay Reatard, The Bloodthirsty Lovers, Snowglobe, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Al Green.

The band started as a desire to create more substantive, engaging instrumental music with a strong focus on melody. Their music blends acoustic, electric, and electronic sounds and draws inspiration from many genres including rock and instrumental hip- hop. Texturally, the instrumentation is diverse including layers of strings, synthesizer, guitar, piano, and vibraphone creating an entrancing thick wall of sound with a cinematic quality.

Platonick Dive – Therapeutic Portrait

Artist Platonick Diive
Album Therapeutic Portrait
Genre Post-Rock | Shoegaze | Electronic
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Label Black Candy Records
Release 16 January 2013
Rating:

“Silence against Noise”, that’s Platonick Dive musical definition, between ambient digression, geometric constructions and feedback explosions. Passionate about electronic music, delays, loops and fiords. Intelligence Dance Music, sound experiments, dubstep echoes and dreaming guitars. Platonick Dive comes from Livorno (Italy) and they are three: Gabriele Centelli (guitar, voice, synth, electronic sampler), Marco Figliè (guitar, effects, synth, electronic sampler), Jonathan Nelli (drums) (via fb)

Souls and Demons – Meaning of Life

Artist Souls and Demons
Album Meaning of Life
Genre Ambient | Electronic | Synths
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Release 01 July 2013
Rating:

” Souls and Demons is a solo project that brings together environmental sounds to make music. SAD is only sound, no vocals nor claim to do anything complex. You go with what the demand rate based on the simplest way possible.” (Poorly translated via Google)

Be Water – Be Water

EP cover art

Artist Be Water
Album Be Water
Genre Rock | Ambient
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Release 30 April 2013
Rating: Good

Sometimes you can just tell that a lot of work is put into something. Not just physical labor, but thoughts and feeling. Be Water’s EP is like that. There are a lot of things you can come away with in regards to a release like this, but the work and passion is evident almost from the first note.

This southern New Jersey four piece makes some very solid third wave. While a lot of this genre can come off as background music, this EP challenges the listener, especially in its later songs. There’s simply a lot going on at times, but without overburdening the ear.

While the straight out third wave stuff is solid, be water seems to excel at atmospherics and ambiance. At first listen I was about ready to write this off as a typical third wave clone…but the last track off this 4 song EP is honestly so full of depth and mood it persuaded me to give the whole of the album more of a chance.

The aptly named “catharsis” very much embodies the shifting emotions of working things out of one’s system, with an uplifting finish. To me, the jewel of these tracks is the EP ender, “The Shepherd is Sleeping.” With great spoken word samples found sounds, and a huge sounding ambient feel, Be Water show a more experimental side. There is a great amount of nuance in this track, and the repeat listening value is very high. Here is when be water really escapes the mold of third wave, and it’s by far my favorite track on the EP.

Everything is very well produced and recorded, especially for what I gather is a home recording job. The mix is great, and stands up under a heavy scrutiny. Instruments sound as they should, except when they shouldn’t, which is also done with much aplomb. The band is tight and the low end sways as nicely as the high end glimmers. Drums pound in the less understated moments, and the cymbal work is solid. The snare sounds particularly nice here.

I would love to rate this higher, and I think Be Water has great potential, but I can’t bring myself to ignore the case of third wave post rock-itus that the first track, ”A Stampede” evokes, however solidly done it is. All the songs could be a bit shorter (the average is 10 minutes) but not drastically. It’s the inventiveness I hear in the short second track “You Weren’t There,” and “The Shepherd is Sleeping” that ultimately makes me long for more…thereby making the other offerings that much less appealing due to their ubiquity.

The bottom line is that this is a solid release from some talented guys who are definitely keeping it real, and have the potential for making exceptional music, especially if they follow the experimental path.