Tag: Samiam

New Audio: Acclaimed Act Thrice Releases An Anthemic Prog Rock-like Single

Comprised of founding members Dustin Kensrue (vocals, guitar) and Teppei Teranishi (guitar) with siblings Eddie Breckenridge (bass) and Riley Breckenridge (drums), the Irvine, CA-based rock band Thrice can trace their origins to its founding members meeting in high school and playing in a local band Chapter 11. When it came to starting their own project, Kensrue and Teranishi recruited Teranishi’s skate park buddy Eddie Breckenridge to play bass, and Breckenridge then brought his brother Riley to play drums, completing the band’s lineup. As the story goes, before their first show they realized that they needed name, and hard-pressed, they decided on going with Thrice, an inside joke between the bandmembers out of desperation. Although they had intended the name to be a temporary one, they began to gain fans and people started to associate them with it, so they were forced to stay with it.

In 1999, the band released the First Impressions EP, which was recorded during a twos-day session at A-Room Studios with Brian Tochilin. Only 1,000 copies were made and the individual bandmembers sold them out of their cars. Working with Death by Stereo’s Paul Miner, the Irvine, CA-based quartet recorded 12 tracks, which eventually became their 2000 full-length debut Identity Crisis, which was released through Greenflag Records. A portion of the album’s proceeds were donated to Crittenton Services for Children and Family, and with growing local buzz, the quartet caught the interest of Hopeless/Sub City’s Louis Posen, who eventually signed the band, and reissued Identity Crisis. To support the album the band toured with the likes of Samiam, Midtown and Hot Rod Circuit.

February 2002 saw the release of the band’s Brian McTernan-produced Hopeless/Sub City debut, The Illusion of Safety. Much like its predecessor, the band donated a portion of the album’s proceeds to a non-profit youth shelter in South Central Los Angeles, A Place Called Home, with the label matching all donations. The album received generally positive reviews and after tours opening for Further Seems Forever and Face to Face, followed by their first headlining tour, Thrice won the attention of several major labels, including Island Records, who signed the band, after agreeing to match the band’s charitable donations in the same fashion as Hopeless/Sub City. After signing with Island Records, the band toured with Hot Water Music and Coheed and Cambria before returning to the studio.

Interestingly with the release of 2002’s Illusion of Safety and 2003’s The Artist in the Ambulance, the band developed a reputation for a fast and punishing math rock-like sound centered around heavily distorted power chords, rapid time signature changes; however, with 2005’s Vheissu, the members of Thrice began incorporating synths, electronic beats and a much more experimental approach to their songwriting that continued through 2007 and 2008 with the release of The Alchemy Index, two albums that actually consisted of a 4-part, 24 song cycle, with each of the four 6-song EPs featuring significantly different styles based on the classical elements of fire, water, air and earth both lyrically and musically. 2009’s Beggars and 2011’s Major/Minor found the band continuing to refine their experimentation and exploration of their sound; but after the release of Major/Minor, Thrice announced a final tour and a hiatus.

In 2015, Kensrue and Teranishi decided to reform the band, and by the following year, they released their first album in four years, 2016’s To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere.  Slated for a September 14, 2018 release through Epitaph Records, the band’s tenth full-length album Palms is their second post-reunion album, and the album which was co-produced by the band and Eric Palmquist reportedly finds the band’s sound encompassing everything from post-hardcore to piano-driven ballads, making it arguably the most sonically expansive album of their careers to date. Interestingly, the album’s latest single, the prog rock-like mid-tempo “Only Us” is centered around pulsating synths, enormous power chord-led guitar riffs, an arena rock friendly hook and Kensrue’s plaintive and earnest vocals. As the band’s Dusin Kensrue explains in press notes. “‘Only Us’ came from thinking about how easily we’re so divided into ‘us’ and ‘them’ when really we have an inherent ability to care for those in our group, and the parameters for who falls into that group are extremely flexible. It’s about how the things that we think separate us are actually inconsequential, and if we could broaden the idea of ‘us’ to include all people, it would help us build a more loving and civil society. “

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New Audio: Ice Balloons Return with Doom-Laden Animated Visuals for New Track

Over the past month or so I’ve written a couple of posts on the All-Star, no-wave, noise-punk act  Ice Balloons, an act comprised of a who’s who of contemporary indie rock as the band’s lineup features  TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, Samiam’s Sean Kennerly, Fuckemos’ and Surfbort’s Sean Powell, Midnight Masses’ Giselle Reiber, Wild Yaks’ Dan Scinta and B.A. Miele. The project finds each member bringing disparate elements from their various primary gigs and creative pasts into their creative process but in a rather unique fashion. 

“Calypso Heartworm,” the first single off the band’s full-length debut Fiesta was a fuzzy and dissonant song with a rather untraditional and indiscernible song structure and while there are hints at familiar elements as there’s sort of a bridge and something that resembles a bridge and a hook, all held together by a propulsive and angular bass line, buzzing guitar chords and a trippy, kaleidoscopic vibe. The album’s second single “The Wasp” featured scorching guitar work, sizzling electronic laser blasts and distorted, howled vocals in an anthemic and blistering punk anthem from a broken and failing spaceship sent from a dystopian planet, much like our own. However, the album’s third and latest single “Fallen Family” is a hellish and doom-laden dirge, complete with down-tuned, rumbling bass, thunderous drumming and heavily distorted vocals. 

Featuring animation by Chicago, IL-based director Jim Trainor, the recently released visuals for the song are reminiscent of Matt Groening’s Life in Hell and Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto as it possesses a real dark irony. 

Last month, I wrote about the All-Star, no-wave, noise-punk act  Ice Balloons, an act comprised of a who’s who of contemporary indie rock as the band’s lineup features  TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, Samiam’s Sean Kennerly, Fuckemos’ and Surfbort’s Sean Powell, Midnight Masses’ Giselle Reiber, Wild Yaks’ Dan Scinta and B.A. Miele. And while the band may be a side project from each member’s full-time gig, the project finds each member bringing disparate elements from their primary gigs and their pasts into the side project’s creative process; in fact, as you would have heard on “Calypso Heartworm,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut Fiesta, the band specializes in a fuzzy and washed out dissonance paired with a difficult to discern song structure. There are hints at familiar elements — there’s something like a bridge and there’s even something like a hook and even verses — and it’s held together by a propulsive and angular bass line, buzzing guitar chords and washed out sounds. With a trippy and kaleidoscopic vibe underneath the cacophony of noise, “Calypso Heartworm” manages to feel anxious yet slack and chaotic.

“The Wasp,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming album, Fiesta was inspired by insects, after a hallucination caused by attitude sickness during a trip to Colorado, and the single features scorching guitar work, sizzling blasts of electronics and distorted, howling vocals to create a song that sounds like a blistering punk anthem from a broken and failing spaceship sent from a dystopian planet, much like our own.

 

 

 

Comprised of TV on the Radio‘s Kyp Malone, Samiam‘s Sean Kennerly, Fuckemos‘ and Surfbort’s Sean Powell, Midnight Masses‘ Giselle Reiber, Wild Yaks‘ Dan Scinta and B.A. Miele,  no-wave, noise-punk act Ice Balloons features an who’s who of contemporary indie rock. Although it’s a side project from each of their full-time gigs, the project find each member bringing sometimes disparate  elements from their pasts into their songwriting process and as you’ll hear on “Calypso Heartworm,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut Fiesta, the band specializes in a fuzzy and washed out dissonance paired with a difficult to discern song structure. There are hints at familiar elements though — there’s something like a bridge and there’s even something like a hook and even verses — and it’s held together by a propulsive and angular bass line, buzzing guitar chords and washed out sounds. And while possessing a trippy and kaleidoscopic vibe underneath the cacophony of noise, it’s a song that manages to feel simultaneously chaotic, slack and anxious.