Tag: The Deli Magazine

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Inspired Sounds and Visuals for Ramonda Hammer’s “Destroyers”

Over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of  founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters, and with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Whatever That Means, the act quickly received attention both locally an nationally, as the album was released to praise from the likes of  Impose Magazine, Earmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and others. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine. The quartet released the Destroyers EP earlier this month, and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet chaotic and cathartic coda; but at the core of the song is a bitter, emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet ironic, triumphant and ass-kicking yet yearning for more — without quite knowing how to get there. 

Directed by Matthew Anderson and featuring the members of Ramonda Hammer along with Elizer Rios, Dylan Karate, Jessie Payo, Gayly Singletary, Addison Murphy, Caleb Hammond, and Justin Jackson, the recently released video draws from 120 Minutes-era visuals — but with a decidedly hazy, feverish vibe, as it features two toga wearing men, drinking wine until one drops dead presumably from poison, a series of Ancient Greek-like characters on the fringes, much like a Greek tragedy before splitting into focusing on the band performing the song, as though it’s the soundtrack to the proceedings. 

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was once featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters. Their self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical applause from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolumeFuse TV and elsewhere, and as a result of a rapidly growing local and national profile, the band signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn VeganShe Shreds MagazineBlurred Culture and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Ramonda Hammer’s forthcoming EP Destroyers is slated for an August 4, 2017 release, and the effort’s jagged and off-kilter title track “Destroyers” received attention from this site and elsewhere for a sound that channeled  The BreedersVeruca SaltThe MallardBleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

The EP’s latest single “Bender” as Davis explains was written while she was binge-watching Shameless for two weeks straight and she just couldn’t get off the couch to anything remotely productive. “In retrospect, I guess I could call it ‘research’ or whatever, because I ended up writing this song. But yeah, the lyrics are really just a conversation between two opposing sides in one’s brain. The verses ask questions from the more sane, healthy part of one’s psyche, and the choruses respond from the anxiety-ridden, depressed, and very frustrated side. And the reason this person (okay, it’s me!) is so effing frustrated is because they care so so so much, but when crippling depression sets in from time to time, when they get caught in a bender of some sort, it’s so hard to do the things that make you happy. In a final cry, I end the song with, ‘I swear that I deserve good things’ because I think I do and I know other people feel the same.” And while arguably being the most personal song Davis has written, it may be one of the more melodic and anthemic tunes they’ve released to date, sounding as though it could have been released between 1992 and 1996.

Comprised of founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters.

The quartet’s self-released 2016 debut Whatever That Means was released to critical praise from Impose MagazineEarmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and elsewhere. Building upon the growing attention they’ve received, the quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine.

Interestingly, 2017 looks to be a big year for the up-and-coming Los Angeles-based quartet as they’ll be releasing their new EP, Destroyers on August 4, 2017 — and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet cathartic coda; but at the heart of the song is an emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet bitterly ironic, triumphantly ass-kicking yet a little sad.

 

 

Over the course of the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay post-punk act The Harrow. Deriving their name from a name of a device used to punish and torture prisoners in the Franz Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony,” the band can trace a portion of their origins back to 2008 when its founding member Frank Deserto (bass, synths and electronics) started it as a solo recording project that expanded into a full band in 2013 when Deserto recruited Vanessa Irena (vocals, synths and programming), Barrett Hiatt (synth, programming), and Greg Fasolino (guitar) to flesh out the project’s sound. As a quartet, the Brooklyn-based act released the “Mouth to Mouth”/”Ringing the Changes” 7 inch and their full-length effort Silhouettes to critical praise across the blogosphere including The Deli MagazineThe Big TakeoverImposeAltSounds as well as this site for a sound that is deeply indebted to The CureSiouxsie and the BansheesJoy Division, and others —  although with Silhouette, the material, which was mixed by friend and frequent collaborator, Automelodi’s Xavier Paradis revealed a band that had been subtly experimenting with and expanding upon their sound, as their sound took on a bit of an industrial feel, as though nodding at Depeche Mode and New Order.

Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since I had written about them; however, in the last few weeks, the band announced that they will be releasing a remix album Points of View, which would be comprised of remixes, re-workings and re-imaginings of the material off Silhouettes by various friends, collaborators and associates as part of a “living” album that will grow as they receive additional contributions to the album.  And fittingly, the album’s first single was Xavier Paradis’ propulsive, dance floor-friendly remix of “Kaleidoscope” in which industrial clang and clatter and tweeter and woofer rocking beats are paired with the original’s shimmering guitars and Irena’s ethereal vocals — and as a result, the remix retained the spirit and mood of the original, while being a subtle new take.

Interestingly enough, if you had been following the site since the early days, you may recall that I wrote about the Brooklyn-based synth pop duo Azar Swan. Comprised of singer/songwriter Zohra Atash, who was a touring vocalist with A Storm of Light and multi-instrumentalist and producer Joshua Strawn, who was a member of Blacklist, Vaura, Vain Warr and others, the duo’s current project can trace its origins to when Atash and Strawn ended their previous project Religious to Damn in 2012. And much like it, The Harrow it had been some time since I had written about them — that is until now, as the duo remixed The Harrow’s “Secret Language,” giving an already stark minimalist song an even moodier, retro-futuristic John Carpenter soundtrack vibe.

Back in January, I wrote a post on Reno, NV-born and Nashville, TN-based alt rock/blues/rock artist  Jack Berry. Berry can trace the origins of his recording career to when he wrote and recorded his first album while studying in  Los Angeles. Berry then worked and performed along the West Coast as one half a of a duo before before he decided that it was time to go solo. Relocating to Nashville, Berry spent several months couch-surfing and writing and recording material with the hopes that he could catch the attention of that city’s local press. Eventually, Berry began receiving praise from outlets such as Nashville SceneThe Deli MagazineBlues Rock Review and others, which resulted in slots at Toronto‘s North by Northeast (NXNE)CMJ and SXSW‘s Red Gorilla Festival. Since then, Berry has played a number of venues between his hometown and NYC; however, 2016 may be his breakthrough year with the Spring 2016 release of his latest album, Mean Machine. 

Now, as I mentioned a little earlier, back in January I wrote about Mean Machine‘s first single “The Bull,” a sultry and bluesy single that paired arena rock-friendly power chords, propulsive and carefully syncopated drumming, an anthemic hook and Berry’s seductive crooning and howling that sonically seems to draw from Soundgarden (think of “Mailman” “Spoonman,”and “Fell on Black Days” off Superunknown) as it does from old-school blues and contemporary rock. Mean Machine‘s latest single “Bad Dog” continues where “The Bull” left off: arena-friendly power chords, propulsive drumming paired with  Berry’s sultry crooning; however, the song possesses a cocksure swagger and menace that pushes the song towards the old school blues territory — in particular think of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

 

Born in Reno, NV and currently based in Nashville, TN, alt rock/blues rock artist Jack Berry can trace the origins of his recording career to when he wrote and recorded his first album while studying in Los Angeles. Berry then worked and performed along the West Coast as one half a of a duo before before he decided that it was time to go solo. Relocating to Nashville, Berry spent several months couch-surfing and writing and recording material with the hopes that he could catch the attention of that city’s local press.

Eventually, Berry began receiving praise from outlets both locally and nationally from the likes of Nashville SceneThe Deli MagazineBlues Rock Review and others, which resulted in slots at Toronto‘s North by Northeast (NXNE), CMJ and SXSW‘s Red Gorilla Festival. Since then, Berry has played a number of venues between his home base and NYC; however, 2016 may be his breakthrough year with the Spring 2016 release of his latest album, Mean Machine. 

“The Bull,” Mean Machine‘s first single is a sultry and bluesy single that pairs arena rock friendly power chords, propulsive and carefully syncopated drumming, an anthemic hook and Berry’s seductive crooning and howling that sonically seems to draw from Soundgarden (think of “Mailman” “Spoonman,”and “Fell on Black Days” off Superunknown) as it does from old-school blues and contemporary rock.