Top 20 Songs for November 19-25, 2017

1. HIGHWAY TUNE – Greta Van Fleet (1)
2. LOVING YOU IS SO EASY – Wide Eyed Boy (2)
3. SO TIED UP – Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs (3)
4. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (4)
5. THE SKY IS A NEIGHBORHOOD – Foo Fighters (5)
6. WITHOUT YOU – Disciples of Babylon (7)
7. WALK ON WATER – 30 Seconds From Mars (6)
8. ONE FOOT – WALK THE MOON (10)
9. I LOVE YOU BUT I’M LOST – Tears For Fears (11)
10. HOLDING ON – The War on Drugs (9)
11. KINKY – Oli Barton & the Movement (12)
12. SUIT AND JACKET – Judah & the Lion (8)
13. NO ROOTS – Alice Merton (14)
14. THUNDER – Imagine Dragons (15)
15. LAY ME DOWN – Candid (18)
16. DEVIL IN THE DETAILS – VERIS (19)
17. RX(MEDICATE) – Theory of a Deadman (N)
18. LITTLE ONE – Highly Suspect (13)
19. UNFORGETTABLE – French Montana, Swae Lee (16)
20. UP ALL NIGHT – Beck (20)

RUSTY SHIPP release new video for their single “Treading Water”

Screenshot 2017-11-14 18.37.16 (2)

One of the great things about being a music blogger is getting to know other music bloggers, who frequently turn you on to new artists and bands that they write about. So, it was my lucky day this past June when I happened to read a post on my friend Zezrie’s blog Jealous Sounds about a Nashville rock band called Rusty Shipp and their monumental tour de force of an album Mortal Ghost. I was so impressed with them I became an instant fan and reblogged her review.  The band has just released a new single “Treading Water” from Mortal Ghost, along with a brilliant animated video.

Rusty Shipp calls itself a “Nautical Rock’n’Roll” band, with a sound influenced by the melodic chord progressions of The Beatles, the surf guitar of Dick Dale, the grunge rock of Nirvana, and the heavy metal of Led Zeppelin, among others. Their music is characterized by a dark, underwater sound, haunting vocals, and unconventional heavy riffs. The band has undergone several personnel changes since forming in 2014, and now consists of singer/songwriter and front man Russ T. Shipp (literally his birth name) on guitar and vocals, Elijah Apperson on lead guitar, Michael Craft on bass, and AJ Newton on drums. (Jake Adams was bassist on the recording of Mortal Ghost.)

Like many of the songs on Mortal Ghost, “Treading Water” is an exhilarating and powerful hard rock track. Rusty Shipp employs frantic riffs of gritty shredded guitars, fortified with heavy buzzing bass and hammering drums, to create a song that’s hard-hitting yet beautiful. The wonderful guitar change-ups that occur throughout the track demand, and hold, our attention, making for an impressive, melodically complex song. Shipp’s impassioned vocals are enthralling as he sings the nautically-themed lyrics that address feelings of hopelessness about life and one’s place in this world:

I’m alone in this world, drifting like a lost ship at sea
The more I live the less I feel at home
Treading water just to keep from drowning
All creation ’round me groans, till the sea and all that’s in it is undone
Something’s nipping at my toes. Treading water till the angels come
Give me that ancient feeling, the kind of love that David felt, shining through the jaws of holy war
I want to go behind the curtain, to where the golden cherubs dwell, find something worth us fighting for
Something in these endless waves feels dead, cold and lonely as the stars
It’s sad that some believe this liquid pendulum could put together someone’s heart
If I find in myself a desire nothing in this world can fill,
The only explanation left is I was made for another world

The imagery depicted in the fascinating and visually captivating video symbolizes the feelings of alienation and hopelessness caused by a cold and increasingly technological world.

Connect with Rusty Shipp: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music: Spotify / Soundcloud / Reverbnation / YouTube
Purchase: iTunes / cdbaby / Bandcamp

BAD LLAMA – Single Review: “Apocrypha”

Apocrypha

Bad Llama is a talented and charismatic alternative metal band based in Burton Upon Trent, UK. Blending 90s rock, funk and metal with modern industrial and progressive sounds, they create music overflowing with intricate melodies, complex arrangements, powerful instrumentals, intelligent lyrics and impassioned vocals. The band is comprised of Kyle Jordan (Vocals), Dan Houlbrooke (Guitar), Sam Wyatt (Guitar and Backing vocals), Lewis Hutchings (Bass) and Gaz Waddell (Drums).

Bad Llama photo 1

In September 2016, they released their outstanding debut EP Shedding Skin, which I reviewed and you can read here. Building on the solid foundation established by that EP, Bad Llama have now released a new single “Apocrypha” and it’s brilliant!

Roiling guitars, thunderous drums and throbbing bass set the tone for the hard-hitting song. An eerie synth that sounds like distorted violin strings lends a menacing, psychedelic vibe, while Jordan’s powerful, raw vocals raise goosebumps. Having two axe men gives their music incredible strength and complexity of sound, and Houlbrooke and Wyatt don’t disappoint as they deliver an onslaught of shredded and distorted riffs. It all builds to a powerful crescendo in the outro, and the soaring chorus is a perfect finish to the superb track.

Connect with Bad Llama: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream their music: Spotify

Purchase: iTunes

Top 20 Songs for November 12-18, 2017

1. HIGHWAY TUNE – Greta Van Fleet (1)
2. LOVING YOU IS SO EASY – Wide Eyed Boy (3)
3. SO TIED UP – Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs (2)
4. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (5)
5. THE SKY IS A NEIGHBORHOOD – Foo Fighters (8)
6. WALK ON WATER – 30 Seconds to Mars (7)
7. WITHOUT YOU – Disciples of Babylon (9)
8. SUIT AND JACKET – Judah & the Lion (4)
9. HOLDING ON – The War on Drugs (6)
10. ONE FOOT – WALK THE MOON (11)
11. I LOVE YOU BUT I’M LOST – Tears For Fears (15)
12. KINKY – Oli Barton & the Movement (14)
13. LITTLE ONE – Highly Suspect (10)
14. NO ROOTS – Alice Merton (16)
15. THUNDER – Imagine Dragons (17)
16. UNFORGETTABLE – French Montana, Swae Lee (13)
17. THE MAN – The Killers (12) 21st week on list
18. LAY ME DOWN – Candid (19)
19. DEVIL IN THE DETAILS – VERIS (20)
20. UP ALL NIGHT – Beck (17)

UNDER AEGIS – Single Review: “Sedated”

Under Aegis

Under Aegis is a Progressive Djent Metalcore band with a lot to say. Their brutal in-your-face music – born from generous amounts of crushing bass, explosive guitars, speaker-blowing drums and fierce vocals – bulldozes a path of sonic destruction. At the same time, their blistering lyrics call out societal evil, hypocrisy and bullshit. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based foursome includes Nik Dennee on vocals, Bao Vo on guitar, and brothers Avery Gaitens on bass and Parker Gaitens on drums.

Last May I reviewed their outstanding EP [Extinct], which you can read here. In August they released a powerful new single “Sedated,” a scathing, full-frontal assault on the current state of affairs in the U.S. of A. It’s a monumental track, and a bit of a departure from the band’s usual music style. While still featuring their signature fearsome riffs, buzzsaw bass lines and jackhammer drums, it’s more melodic, with a healthy injection of hip-hop. Though he still screams many of his vocals in the metalcore style, Dennee also raps quite a bit, making for a track of greater complexity and impact. I really like it, and think it’s their best song yet.

Their incredibly hard-hitting and provocative lyrics attack the corrupt, greedy and tyrannical forces in our society – whether it be our government and political leaders, the media, or big corporations – all working to control our lives, take away our freedoms and sedate us into compliance and blind resignation.

Welcome to the individual, digital, subliminal, criminal, imminent dawn of the new age. It’s time to wake up, open our eyes, and realize that our lives are at stake if we hesitate.
They seek to control and manipulate.
Fuck that, my life they will never take.
But at the end of the day if you had a chance, if you had a way to attack would you fight back?
You chose to insult our intelligence.
We’ll respond with nothing but malevolence.
All your “search and seizures” with no evidence.
All of your power took all precedence.
We have been tranquilized, victimized, weaponized, demoralized.
They continue to operate away behind closed doors and away from our prying eyes.
And they continue to destroy our lives.
One by one, our world dies as theirs fucking thrives.
And truth be told, your only worth your weight in gold.
Land of the free? Don’t make me fucking laugh.
Destroying our lives and gaining profit.
Death to your prophet.
No matter the cost.
Freedom is lost.
It’s time to wake up.
And let me spare, you the people, another fucking hypocrite
I’m here to tell you how the shit really is.
In this land of unequal opportunity we are always coming face to face with tyranny.
Self treason no matter the season.
You justify arrests with no plausible reason.
Take a stand and react and see the facts.
There’s no fucking way out there’s no turning back.
No. Take a step back and look around.
You will see the facts.
There is no turning back. There is no turning back.
Here is the truth, can you handle it?
I pledge allegiance to nothing. So fuck you.
We will not fail. That’s what they expect from us.
We will prevail. That’s what they will get from us.
We will not fail. No. We will prevail.
All of this hate it must mean something.
I pledge allegiance to nothing.
Here is the truth, can you handle it.
They want us all sedated.
They want us all sedated.
Low doses from the red, white, and blue.

Follow Under Aegis: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream their music: Spotify / YouTube

Purchase: Bandcamp / iTunes

ANDY K LELAND – EP Review: “Happy Daze”

Happy Daze

Andy K Leland is an Italian folk singer/songwriter who sounds British, and has a wicked sense of humor. In his bio, Andy – who was born Andrea Marcellini – calls himself Andrea’s “shadow-self, and the two selves fear each other.” That dichotomy is evident in his songs, in which rather negative, biting lyrics contrast sharply with his simple, catchy melodies and pleasing acoustic guitar. In September, Andy dropped his debut EP Happy Daze, a collection of six tracks including two that I previously reviewed – “The Kingdom” and “Home Grown Muck”.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of Andy’s sound is his quirky, off-kilter vocal style, in which he clips his words, sometimes dropping a letter or two. It all sounds charming in an off-beat sort of way, and perfectly suited to his lo-fi sound. Despite his cynical, often dark lyrics about life and relationships, as the EP’s title suggests he may be telling us to not take them so seriously after all, or at least resign oneself to their inevitability. Because his music is fairly straightforward, I’ll emphasize Andy’s lyrics instead.

Andy Leland2

The Kingdom” seems to be speaking from the perspective of someone who is dying or already dead, and now describing their observations of the afterlife with a blithe sense of irony:

Got up one day in the kingdom surrounded by some strange folks
They held in hand their relics and really dug my antics
So we danced together took some rest however
They were all plugged and wet so they got electrocuted

Well outside it’s dawning la-la-la-la
I won’t see the morning la-la-la-la
I’ll be dead or dazzled by our own black nature

To a gentle, pleasing acoustic guitar riff, “Home Grown Muck” addresses the feelings of isolation and disillusionment increasingly prevalent in society today:

Once I was clever now I’m more than numb
But I’m just trying to oh… I’m trying nothing at all
There’s a lack of sharing however we just pretend we’re gold
But the point is that we’re the scum of the world
Oh, lord please bring me something warm just like opium
But don’t dare to keep the change

A failing relationship seems to be the subject of “Bistro Nights,” a short track only 1:51 minutes long. Andy sings the melancholy lyrics about giving up:

I’m wasting my time spending the night
Counting the days that I’m leaving that I’m trading
For you to be thinking I’ll be ok
And I’m tired sick of it all, all
Please don’t tell me to get on the track
Or wave my goodbyes I can’t cross the line

On “Half Dead Dog” he sings of his broken spirit to a rather somber acoustic guitar:

I mend a a few bits of my poor brain
You’re wrong when you think that I’m strong
I’ve been worn out for so long

Mr. Panic” has an upbeat vibe, with a nicely strummed guitar, but the lyrics confuse me a bit. Though I may be way off, Mr. Panic seems to represent death, who’s come for the singer:

So you’re great, you’re grand, you’re smart you’re “Hey!”
But ask your body and ask your brain as you often don’t recall my name
Well it’s P.A.N.I.C.
What? Oh… I’m fine thanks 
‘cause I’m wildish and stylish a bit childish don’t you know?

Now pack your bags and just follow me I swear you won’t regret… oh no

Farewell” is the most melancholy track of the bunch. Andy sings from the perspective of someone who has come to terms with the fact no one likes him, including his girlfriend who left him, because of his own failings. Consequently, he’s decided to end his life. Pretty depressing stuff here:

My friends pretend they have a job
They all pretend they’re having fun
Miss my dog, will miss my time with tomorrow’s morning light
My life is dreary and my girl
My girl adores me but she left ‘cause I’m weird but I am glad
Glad to know she’s doing well
There’s a truth I can’t avoid
Nobody likes me I’m a boy who hates you all, that’s so mean
No one to blame but me

Those of you in Italy can catch Andy performing at these upcoming shows:

November 11: WAVE – Misano Adriatico (Rn), w/Egle Sommacal
November 12: Circolo Arci Artigiana Fano – Fano (Pu), w/Haley Heynderickx
November 18: Circolo LaSerra Arci Recanati – Recanati (Mc), w/Massimo Scoposki

Follow Andy:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream his music:  Spotify / Soundcloud

Purchase:  Bandcamp

Top 20 Songs for November 5-11, 2017

1. HIGHWAY TUNE – Greta Van Fleet (2)
2. SO TIED UP – Cold War Kids ft. Bishop Briggs (1)
3. LOVING YOU IS SO EASY – Wide Eyed Boy (4)
4. SUIT AND JACKET – Judah & the Lion (3)
5. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (7)
6. HOLDING ON – The War on Drugs (5)
7. WALK ON WATER – 30 Seconds to Mars (8)
8. THE SKY IS A NEIGHBORHOOD – Foo Fighters (10)
9. WITHOUT YOU – Disciples of Babylon (12)
10. LITTLE ONE – Highly Suspect (6)
11. ONE FOOT – WALK THE MOON (13)
12. THE MAN – The Killers (9) 20th week on list
13. UNFORGETTABLE – French Montana, Swae Lee (11)
14. KINKY – Oli Barton & the Movement (16)
15. I LOVE YOU BUT I’M LOST – Tears For Fears (17)
16. NO ROOTS – Alice Merton (18)
17. UP ALL NIGHT – Beck (14)
18. THUNDER – Imagine Dragons (19)
19. LAY ME DOWN – Candid (20)
20. DEVIL IN THE DETAILS – VERIS (N)

PHILIP MORGAN LEWIS – Album Review: “Grief Harbour”

Grief Harbour

I’ve written about quite a few excellent albums in recent weeks, and I’m pleased to feature yet another outstanding one, this time from UK singer/songwriter and producer Philip Morgan Lewis. The London East Ender just released Grief Harbour, an ambitious undertaking with 13 stellar tracks. Melding alternative rock, blues, garage rock and folk influences, Lewis has created an exciting, bluesy rock sound that complements his unique, raspy vocal style.

Lewis released his debut EP Karma Comedown in 2013 to rave reviews, and received extensive radio support in the UK and US. With Grief Harbour he firmly establishes himself as an extraordinary musician with a lot to say. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he writes and produces his songs and plays most of the instruments, including guitars, banjitar, bass, piano, and percussion. For the album, which was released through Moonalizer Records, he received assistance from Vick E and Little A (his daughter), who supplied backing vocals, as well as Jon Harris on drums, Nick Miles (Neek) as drum session engineer, Rob Updegraff, Charles Slevin and Gavin Bowers (Elêphant) on additional guitar work, Clive Smart on slide guitar, and Ben Jones on bass.

Philip Morgan Lewis

The hard-hitting title track “Grief Harbour” kicks off the album in a big way, with an aggressive pounding drumbeat blasting through the airwaves, letting us know right away that we’re in for a wild sonic ride. A barrage of gritty guitars ensue, along with some down and dirty bass and Lewis’ emotionally-charged, gravelly vocals that grab hold and shake us out of our complacency. Mysterious backing vocals combine with a distorted riff, adding a hint of danger to the track.

Grief harbour population one is a spit on the map at the end of the line
Welcome to desolation lane take a walk down the pier to the Laidback hotel 
Grief Harbour Six Feet avenue get a pint at the Fox and just settle your dues

I wanna burn like a thousand suns and set this town on fire if only for one night
I wanna rise like a dying star and set this world alight if only for one night

It’s a fantastic song, and the mesmerizing black and white video shows a shadowy image of Lewis dancing rather seductively in front of the album cover art (which was painted by his father). Not only is he an amazing musician and songwriter, he’s also a pretty good dancer!

And speaking of dance, you can’t help but move when listening to the sultry “Seven Deadly,” or “Six Foot Tambourine,” with its irresistibly catchy driving beat that aims straight for the hips. Layers of gritty guitars and a heavy buzzing bass line are driven by a thumping drumbeat as Lewis implores the lyrics that speak of a recurring nightmare:

A Six foot tambourine came down crashing on me
As I lay down in the tube somebody’s loading me
My feet are cold I can’t breathe but now I see
Though the nurse is kinky I’d rather she would let me be
Stay out of my head. I’d rather be dead
Stay out of my head, ain’t already dead

It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album. Lewis has produced interesting and provocative videos for a number of songs on Grief Harbour, and posted them on YouTube just prior to the album’s release. Here’s the one for “Six Foot Tambourine”:

Swing By Your House” is an emotional plea to a friend who’s thinking of killing themself, followed by the gorgeous and haunting “Foxes On Red Leaves,” a standout track and my absolute favorite on the album. The powerful, bluesy track soars with layers of jaw-dropping guitar work that goes from shredded to chiming to jangly to wailing, bringing chills from start to finish. Lewis captivates us with beautiful piano work and impassioned vocals about trying to hold it together and not lose your mind, seeking relief by self medicating with drugs:

Am I losing it babe. Just got a lot on my mind
Foxes on red leaves sink their jaws in my veins
As they go for the kill and I can feel no pain
Foxes on red leaves keep on calling for more
As I roll up my sleeve I shall fear them no more

A break from the heavy subject matter arrives with “Laidback Hotel, ” a delightful, bouncy track with honky tonk piano, lively guitars and snappy drums. Next up is the rousing ear worm “Karma Comedown 2.0,” a reworking of a track from the Karma Comedown EP.  The blues-infused rock song has an infectious foot-stomping dance beat guaranteed to have you on your feet and swaying your hips.

Phantom Pain” is a bluesy folk anthem with hard rock overtones. Buzzing bass and assertive percussion, replete with an abundance of crashing cymbals, provide a sturdy backdrop for layers of acoustic and electric guitar and some fine piano keys. Another favorite is “GYB (Got You Babe),” a sexy head-banger of a tune with a pulse-pounding beat and incredible bluesy guitar work that’s so good it brings goosebumps. I love songs like this with a powerful driving beat. The fantastic video features Lewis playing guitar and stomping his feet all over London, with his little daughter making a few appearances.

Whistleblower” delivers more foot-stomping goodness and bluesy guitars, with powerful lyrics urging us to rise up and speak out against tyranny:

Would you talk would you tell it all
Would you face the nation and be the whistleblower
When dirt hits the fan there’s a place and a time for you to rise
There’s no rest for the wicked and the whistleblower

The bluesy gospel-sounding “Sinner” serves up some tasty distorted guitar work, while “Don’t Care if You Don’t Mind” is a pleasing, romantic folk ballad. Closing out the album is “Bring Down Heaven,” a powerful five-minute-long anthem. Lewis employs all kinds of instrumentation – piano, shredded and screaming guitars, heavy bass, synths, and aggressive percussion, not to mention the sound of a thundershower – creating a melodically complex hard rock song with a gospel vibe. That takes some skill, something he has in abundance.

Grief Harbour is a brilliant, meticulously-crafted album, and one that Lewis should be very proud of. His heavy, blues-infused style of rock is among the finest I’ve heard, and a testament to his incredible musicianship.

Connect with Philip: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream his music: Spotify / YouTube / Google Play

Purchase:  iTunes / Amazon / Deezer

Top 20 Songs for October 29-November 4, 2017

1. SO TIED UP – Cold War Kids w/Bishop Briggs (1)
2. HIGHWAY TUNE – Greta Van Fleet (2)
3. SUIT AND JACKET – Judah & the Lion (5)
4. LOVING YOU IS SO EASY – Wide Eyed Boy (6)
5. HOLDING ON – The War on Drugs (3)
6. LITTLE ONE – Highly Suspect (4)
7. SIT NEXT TO ME – Foster the People (8)
8. WALK ON WATER – 30 Seconds to Mars (9)
9. THE MAN – The Killers (7)
10. THE SKY IS A NEIGHBORHOOD – Foo Fighters (11)
11. UNFORGETTABLE – French Montana ft. Swae Lee (10)
12. WITHOUT YOU – Disciples of Babylon (13)
13. ONE FOOT – WALK THE MOON (15)
14. UP ALL NIGHT – Beck (14)
15. LAY IT ON ME – Vance Joy (12)
16. KINKY – Oli Barton & the Movement (18)
17. I LOVE YOU BUT I’M LOST – Tears For Fears (19)
18. NO ROOTS – Alice Merton (20)
19. THUNDER – Imagine Dragons (N)
20. LAY ME DOWN – Candid (N)

REDRAM – Album Review: “Perception”

Redram band

Not long ago, I read somewhere that the album is a dying format in music. Reasons given had mostly to due with the overwhelming popularity of streaming, as well as the availability of millions of songs on streaming services that allow people to make their own personal “mixtapes” of songs they like, without having to buy an entire album. Another reason offered was the decline of concept albums, or albums with an overall theme.

Well, I have to say that, based on the huge number of albums that continue to be produced, the album format is not only still alive, it’s thriving. A fine example of that is the brilliant debut album Perception by indie alt-rock band Redram. The Los Angeles, California-based duo have crafted an amazing collection of provocative and compelling songs addressing the deception foisted upon us by the media, and the acceptance of corruption in our society.

Redram is Chaz Gravez (Charles Graves) and Modiso Mike (Michael Coddington), both multi-instrumentalists who refer to their music as “shamanic trip-rock chillwave” – a pretty apt description. They employ unusual and complex melodies, a wide array of instruments and electronica, and lots of different vocal styles and sounds to express their deeply contemplative lyrics with powerful impact.

Regarding their name, in conversations via Twitter messaging, Chaz explained that Redram “is a combination of symbols in one title. First we used a software called Redrum for a lot of our drum parts. Also, we are both big fans of The Shining and the metaphysical meaning behind that film (redrum). And then also, I’m an Aries/fire sign and we love good ol’ satanic rock and roll imagery.”

Chaz also stated that the nine tracks on Perception are arranged to flow as one coherent piece of music, and he kindly explained the meaning behind each song. Beginning with “Electra,” a psychedelic trip of gnashing, distorted guitars, eerie synths and discordant tinkling piano keys, the overall theme is established for the album. The song’s about a young woman trying to define her identity and role in an increasingly technological world of changing archetypes and symbols – something we all must face to some degree or another if we’re going to survive in a tech-based society.

Next up is the mesmerizing “The Program,” with weird synths, acoustic guitars, and a mix of falsetto and echoed spacey vocals chanting “The Program, the program” and “Perception is all my love / What you see is what you believe.” Chaz explained that the musical concept of “The Program” is the use of Mantra, or repetition of theme, to describe the theory suggested by a scientific study conducted a few years ago that there is a 49% chance that this realty we live in is just a computer program.

The hard-hitting “Press” alternates between frenetic riffs of jangly guitars and a slow, hypnotic beat, filled with all kinds of synths and gritty guitars. The lyrics speak of a press that’s manipulative and owned, and we have the power to change it but we’re too divided and distracted to make it happen. “We’re walking around with dollar bill eyes. We can stop the press. We can stop the mess. We move to the sound that pays for our time. We can stop the press, but it’s a full court press.

Sheriff” is another Mantra with the repeated phrase “I want to make you sweat,” delivered by an odd, almost disturbing electronically-altered voice. It’s intended to represent a duality of the archetypal character of a ‘Sheriff’ who wants to make you sweat in more ways than one. Musically, like several of Redram’s songs, the track has a powerful hypnotic beat, with guitars and dark synths used to great effect to create a sense of tension. Despite the disturbing vocal sounds, some of the instrumentals are hauntingly beautiful.

One of my favorite tracks is “Chillmilton,” with a fantastic trip-hop beat, rapping and shamanic chant-like vocals. As Chaz explained, the song “is about a young guy at his first music festival (Coachella) trying to decide between positive and negative choices in the devil’s den.” They sing “One pill two pill three pill four. What you gonna do when you hit the floor? It’s not lyrical, we’re hysterical. What will you find on a stage of miracles?Chill Milton, chill.”

70 Versions” employs trippy synths and layers of reverb-heavy and mildly distorted guitars to create dissonance. The lyrics speak to religious dogma vs. spirituality: Is the true value of life material or spiritual? “Speak the truth. You’re personal truth. Your spiritual truth. A miracle. My god.” The title phrase “70 Versions” seems to be a double entendre, as it sounds like they’re singing “70 virgins.” Mysterious, spacey synths and otherworldly vocals lend a sci-fi vibe on “To Space,” a song about depression and disconnection from others.

More spacey synths, accompanied by a continuous mournful organ, deliver “Fake News,” a biting attack on media and politics. Chaz stated that, specifically, the song was inspired by the lies of the media with regard to the Syrian conflict. “Western mediaThat’s old news. That’s fake news. Which side are the real good guys on? Which lie is the moral lie?

The powerful video features scenes of conflict in Syria and Iraq, as well as several U.S. Presidents, leaders of Middle Eastern countries, and other media figures.

Album closer “The Machines” is an homage to Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine.” (Chaz and Modiso are both big fans of Pink Floyd.) The song represents the complete evolution of a technological society, in which the people have been transformed into machines, with all of their behavior and responses pre-programmed. The track has some great bass and guitars, along with dark, eerie synths that perfectly convey the creepy situation.

Perception is a work of musical art, both conceptually and in its execution. The creativity and musicianship of the two men of Redram is impressive, as is their ability to transmit powerful messages into music that’s incredibly complex yet accessible, and an amazing listen to boot.

Connect with Redram:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream their music:  Spotify / Reverbnation / Soundcloud

Purchase:  Bandcamp