Another Green World

In Dreams

I just went to the Memphis Bandcamp page looking for some 80s inspired music. I wanted hard hitting drum machines, glittery synths and highly reverberated vocals. It took me a while longer than normal to find something to write about since I had such a specific target, but Another Green World’s album In Dreams totally delivered. Alec West is the man behind this project. He’s been making music of this style since 2007, with In Dreams being released on May 21 of this year. He lists his influences as new wave, synth pop, shoegaze and 80s film soundtracks. It’s all very apparent and very well done.

West calls his target for vocals “dreamlike.” He’s nailing it there. These are totally dreamy. For songs like this, I almost want to be able to think of the vocals as just another texture, and he’s definitely creating that feeling. They blend in to the point where you can listen to the words or just take them as more sounds. That’s impressive considering how great all the electronic sounds already are.

This music is totally dream pop. The title track is probably my favorite, although everything on the album is worth a listen to. Other highlights are “Sleep” and “Lips Like Hers.” You can head over to Another Green World’s Bandcamp page to stream all 10 tracks for free, or you can head over to iTunes to buy them. Either way, give this guy a listen! There’s so much to be heard in music like this! 

Modern Convenience

The Shakes

Modern Convenience is a punk band from Memphis. They’ve got a really cool 11-track album on Bandcamp called The Shakes recorded at Kick ‘Em In The Mouth Studios. This band started as a solo project of Mike Bibbs and now also includes his girlfriend on drums and a rotating cast of bass players for live shows. They’re playing at The Buccaneer on June 7 if you want to get some really punky garage rock on your calendar!

The title track from the album is also my favorite song on the album. The main guitar riff is really catchy and sort of haunting. The drums hit hard and the vocals are gritty and distorted. Everything is a little over the top and that’s the way it should be. This is punk rock, and it’s just as gritty as punk rock should be. I do wonder about the specifics on the vocal processing here though. People get into some really innovative situations when they come up with sounds like this.

The rest of the album is just as raw and just as cool. I’m sure these folks put on a really entertaining show live so if you’re in the Memphis area, you should totally be sure and check them out. This kind of music is almost always more powerful live than recorded, and I love shows from bands like this. If you aren’t near Modern Convenience, you can head over to their Bandcamp and stream The Shakes for free or download it all for seven dollars.



Drone Empire

Need some really solid punk rock? Check out Adaje’s 2010 effort, “Drone Empire” on Bandcamp! They’ve had a couple other albums since this one, but I think this is the best first exposure if you haven’t heard of Adaje before. It’s twelve tracks, and you can download it at the price of your choice from their Bandcamp.

These songs hit hard, the vocals are intense, but it’s still melodic enough to be catchy, understandable, and relatable. The first track is a great example of this. It’s called “Sincerely,” and they totally scream the whole time while still remaining dynamic, tasteful and in touch with listeners.

“The West Is Where We Will Be” is my personal favorite on this album. The guitar work is especially impressive on this one, and the overall song structure is very mature. The drums are tasteful and sparse, and the song spends a good deal of time building before becoming a full on, almost post-rock blow out. Spoken word enters the picture at about a minute and a half and really hits hard. This song is vague but somehow immediately relatable. These ideas are universal.

If you haven’t heard of Adaje, go check them out! If you’re near Memphis, find them at a show. Listen to Drone Empire, and then check out the couple of splits they released in 2011 and 2012. There’s a lot of variety in this band’s collection, and all of it is worth listening to. There are hints of many great influences here.



Self-titled album review

Oh, it’s definitely a night for some instrumental post rock. I just found this band called Glorie from Memphis, and they’re absolutely blowing my mind. From the very beginning, their self-titled, elephant covered album is incredible. This is a tough genre to break through, but they’re really catching my eye and ears. Even if you aren’t normally a fan of instrumental post rock, you should check these guys out. They’re more set for crossover success than most of the stuff in their field that you normally encounter.

The first song their album is called “Highrise,” and it’s really great. This kind of band is all about the tones, and the tones on everything here are great. The piano is rich and full, the guitars are perfectly overdriven and shimmering and the drums are a great mix of both room and tight. This kind of sound takes forever to put together, and Glorie sounds like they’ve got it all under control.

My favorite on the album is the second track, “Music For A Horror Movie.” That’s a really accurate title, I’d say. This song is pretty creepy. Once again, the tones are incredible, and that’s what sets these guys apart. There’s even a theremin sort of sound in there. That’s appropriate for this kind of song.

If you’re in Memphis, go find Glorie and try to get a show set up! If you aren’t, check out the Bandcamp page. You can stream all nine tracks for free, or buy them for $10! 

Total Massacre

Silence Is Violence

Ever heard of ambient blues noise? This is the sort of genre you can find if you search through the Bandcamp results tagged as Memphis, including an artist called Total Massacre. I can absolutely appreciate good noise tracks, and I know a lot of other people can too. This is the kind of music you can listen to with nice headphones and forget about everything else in the world.

I’ve got a lot to do tomorrow, but I’m just going to listen to this band for 15 minutes or so and not worry about it for a little while. If you’ve ever gotten really busy or really stressed out, you could totally benefit from this kind of release.

Total Massacre put up a couple tracks called Shell and Protest on an album on Bandcamp called Silence Is Violence, and they’re both really solid. Shell is about 11 minutes long, and it’s probably bigger sounding than protest, but they’re both totally worth listening to. You can download them for free, so why not?

Protest is a little over three and a half minutes long, and it’s got an almost ironic sort of children’s sound to it. It’s sort of like an ice cream truck being bowed like a violin while driving slowly down a back alley in an old B film while tons of sea gulls watch. In any case, this is a very interesting track. Go check out Total Massacre for a couple really cool new ambient blues noise tracks!


A Memphis band with a lot of texture and sound

I’m glad Snowglobe lists The Flaming Lips as an influence. I actually like this music a lot better than The Flaming Lips, but I can definitely see the relation. This band is about texture, and their songs are just as elaborate as they are tasteful. There are a ton of crazy sounds in all of these songs, but they’re all placed really well. They don’t just make the song busier, they make it more meaningful, and that’s exactly what extra bits of recordings should do.

“Ms. June” is probably my favorite track on their Facebook page. It spends a bit of time at the beginning creating a really great psych rock mood with trumpet swells and interesting guitar tones, and then it kicks right into the song in full, eventually rolling into a nice little country swing. It’s a big self-explorative story of a dream, and the interesting sounds continue.

Check out Snowglobe if you’re in Memphis, or convince them to come to your town! I bet these guys are awesome live. It seems like record production must be their forte. These recordings are incredibly elaborate. Good recordings lead to good shows though, so this is by no means a bad thing. I’ll definitely be putting these guys on my list of bands to check out whenever I’m in Memphis. There’s one particular picture with what looks like a lot of Roman candles. I can only hope that was something crazy going on at one of their shows. Fireworks are always good.

The Rainy Saturdays - 'Let's Break Our Hearts'

Yes, let's. Delay and fuzz make for a hefty nod to the Jesus & Mary Chain and company.

Scissors & The Cuts

Memphis Rock And Roll

Scissors & The Cuts are just a good old rock band from Memphis, Tennessee. I know you know that you’re reading the Memphis blog right now and so stating the bands origin in long form was possibly excessive, but I believe this band is really very close to what I imagine Memphis rock and roll to be. Though it’s not blues based, it is very much straight original era rock and roll.

These songs are refreshingly simple. They’re love songs. They’re about the American life, they’re about love, they’re about cars, and they’re arranged very appropriately.

This guys’ voice couldn’t be better for this genre. A lot of people would take this the wrong way, but there’s sort of a “Swing, Swing” era All-American Rejects vibe here that I think is totally perfect for these songs. Theses songs are fun!

“Chase The Night” is probably my favorite track on their album “3 July” on Bandcamp. It’s got a lot of really interesting chord changes, and it really exemplifies that simple rock style that these guys do so well. This is a pop rock song for the modern age at it’s best.

If you get the chance, you should totally check out Scissors & The Cuts live. I can’t tell if they have any upcoming shows, but I can definitely tell that this band would be very exciting to see live. They’ve totally got that “This is a rock and roll band and we love everything!” attitude that always adds to the excitement.

Another Green World - 'Submission'

If you wish the '80s had been a little lower-fi, here's a treat for you: fuzzy, breezy new wave courtesy of Alec West.

Arma Secreta - 'Coccyx'

These guys certainly fall on the harder side of post-punk--almost closer to post-hardcore, really. Complex, long-form rock songs make up the Dependent Lividity EP.