Australia Week :: Black Knight and Highway Blonde

Black KnightOn the first day of Australia Week we are looking back to two bands that made their appearances in our inaugural year of 2009. And unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything from either of these guys since. Highway BlondeBlack Knight and Highway Blonde (formerly Smart Artists) are both solidly in the rock genre. Highway Blonde is a bit more modern rock while Black Knight is a bit more on the post-punk side of things. Over the years I’ve found myself humming a tune or two from these guys. It’s always a testament to me whether a band is good or not if one of their songs can find their way into your head just out of the blue.

So, without anything new since 2009 from either, check out a couple of videos from their glorious pasts….

 

 

– DMitch

 

The October Thumbs Up Goes To….

thumbs upWe’ve tallied all the Thumbs Up’s and Thumbs Down’s for the month of October and the Froglix listeners have proven to have quite the diversity of tastes. Forty-five (45) tracks from thirty-three (33) artists received votes, but alas, not everyone can be a winner. Represented in the Top Ten alone though are artists we have described before as rock, modern rock, alternative rock, Brit alt-rock, ambient, electro, electronica, indie pop, ska, power ska, reggae, punk, post-punk, singer/songwriter, and actually quite a bit more. So without further ado…take a listen to October’s favorites…

October’s Top Ten
(in alphabetical order)

28-200 :: I Kiss U
Attention Thieves :: Let It All Out
Case Of The Mondays :: Indie Girl
Mars Accelerator :: Fill For The Glacial Till
Mobile Wash Unit :: September Was Winter
Ring Of Truth :: Why Should This Be?
Rude City Riot :: Victoria
Small City Calling :: Atlantic: Castaways
Treading Lemmings :: Comeuppance
Variety Workshop :: U Suck Noodles

– DMitch

 

 

Blue Friday

Much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, so it was for the remaining members of Joy Division. After the tragic death of vocalist Ian Curtis, bandmates Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris were faced with a very difficult decision…would they keep pressing on or simply quit the music scene altogether.  Well the answer came quickly and press on they would.  The addition of keyboardist Gillian Gilbert completed the original line up of what would become one of the most critically acclaimed post-punk/new wave bands of all time…New Order.

In early years, their sound was somewhat a continuation of what they had begun with Joy Division but they soon picked up on the dance vibe emanating from New York and began building the most appealing of those elements into their songs.  “Blue Monday” is the absolute epitome of their transformational sound. Oh…and by the way…it’s one the best selling 12″ singles of all time.

Somehow…I think these cats were on to something but take a listen and dig it for yourself.

– Drago

Flashback :: Joy Division

Check out Joy Division on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/love-will-tear-us-apart/id278672609?i=278672963&uo=4″ title=”Joy Division on iTunes”]

One of the originators of the “Manchester Sound”, Joy Division formed in 1976 with more of a punk sound but, overtime, as their sound evolved they truly set the stage for the post-punk movement in alternative music. While  “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” featured above, was their first major hit, it was somewhat overshadowed by the tragic suicide death of lead singer Ian Curtis at the tender age of 23 in May 1980.

It’s been forever and a day since I last heard this song and as hear it now again, many moons later, two (2) thoughts come immediately to mind…what a good band Joy Division was and, sadly, how great they could have been.  Either way, many thanks to DMitch for suggesting this track and this band for the Friday Flashback.  Dig it.

– Drago

Getting Frenched Feels So Good

artist: Kesshin | genre: alternative, punk, rock | label: unsigned

Kesshin are a three piece hailing from Paris who sing in English and whose music has been featured in the video game Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. They play fast, feature shouted vocals and thick, chunky guitars that remind me of early Green Day, Social Distortion and Bad Religion.

A new EP, For Too Long Now, is available and offers fantastic tracks like Young, Brilliant and Alone” (I didn’t realize my middle school days had inspired a song), which clearly invites the Green Day comparison, but the stomping rhythm and the way they stumble into the chorus makes it Kesshin’s own. I love the power of their songs. They are tight and sound terribly confident on Final Report, which was in my face immediately. I loved the way the song gets to a point where it’s just the singer and the bass, then the drums come roaring in again. The best thing about “A Thing Or Two” is when they double track the singer’s voice. It’s almost like they have to do that, since the band is playing such blistering stuff behind him. The rapid-fire attack of the guitars in “Killed In Action” make it their best song.

Kesshin are a bit of a mystery, however. Unsigned, they don’t have a dedicated site and I wasn’t able to find any upcoming tour dates. Too bad, as I’ll I bet they are sick live. The only place I could find their music was at their mypace page, www.myspace.com/kesshintheband, where you can hear the songs from Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and a bunch more. I need more information on Kesshin, because what I’ve heard is really, really good.

– Thurdeen

 

What’s In A Name?

artist: Sleep City | genre: post hardcore | label: InVogue Records

[itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-road-to-awe-xibalba/id412864103?uo=4″ title=”Get Sleep City’s Still Breating (EP) at iTunes”]

Rhode Island’s Sleep City have just signed to InVogue Records and their debut EP, Still Breathing, dropped on February 8. Through the course of seven songs, these boys swing a heavy hammer and aren’t afraid to unleash the mayhem.

A song like “The Road To Awe (Xibalba)” throws you around the room a few times before before gently setting you back down with a cool acoustic outro.  “The Five And A Half Minute Hallway” arrives with booming drums and screaming lyrics before dissolving into guttural bellowing. It gallops along at a furious pace until the 1:55 mark, when things slow down, almost like they’re catching their breath, before a cool interlude with great drumming and an electronic beat, only to slip into total chaos again. It’s my favorite track and I love their ability to keep things together even when the music is at its most intense.

Sleep City got me fired up. Hearing them made me want to go out and try and run through a wall, or at least hit one really hard. I’m excited about them and can’t wait for a full-length. In the meantime, find a slew of upcoming tour dates at http://www.myspace.com/sleepcityrock/shows. Dig it.

– Thurdeen