Blindboss is a one-man band by multi-instrumentalist Max Histrionic hailing from California and delivering very dynamic sound, who is about to launch a new album “Our Tribe” on February 23. This is a very vivacious album with many joyful elements in it. It is one of those “morning coffee” albums. It knows the ways of how to discharge you and bring you real joy with its energetic tunes.
“Our Tribe” includes twelve songs. All the way from the opening “Roman Coke” down to the closing “Shade Struck,” “Our Tribe” never stops being heady. Every song on the album is constructed in the same way. Placing this record under a genre is a double-edged sword, but the music is most of time alternative / punk rock with progressive and classic rock influences. And since we are talking about influences, the music of Blindboss recalls likes such A Perfect Circle, Soundgarden, Tool. But there is more than that. Histrionic transcends into the territory of the ‘70s vintage rock. So it can be said “Our Tribe” is a great harvest of modern and classic.
Overall, Blindboss’ “Our Tribe” is a very effective, powerful and tasty album comprised of great vocals arrangements, intricate guitar work and strong structure. It goes to the category of “must listen to” albums released in 2018.
Given Free Rein is a post-punk power trio from Athens in Greece who earlier this year released their debut album “In-Eart Trip.” I talked with the mainman behind the project Andrew Kouretas
Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?
Cool in general terms! I am good and I feel really lucky that I live in a country where I am free to express myself the way I want and create the things I like. At the same time, I live in a country where the economy sucks and we all have big problems.
Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “In-Ear Trip“?
The “In-Ear Trip” is the journey of the mind through the dark city streets towards the light of the future. The inner voice that someone hears only when the music triggers his imagination and his soul,when the headphones are plugged into his ears and then into his brain and take him away. It is an album made with passion and devotion and the songs cover a big range of music style influences, from punk to electronic and post rock.
What was it like working on the album?
It was the coolest thing I have ever done, and the most rewarding process I ‘ve been into. It was quite a challenge for me to to work in such high technical and musical level with very talented musicians. It was the first time I was doing that so I was thrilled and filled with enthusiasm from the very beginning until the release of the album. I have to admit that all this process changed me as musician but also as a person and definitely I am not the same guy as when I started.
Are there any touring plans in support to “In-Ear Trip”?
At the moment, no.
While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?
England for sure! But any country would be real fun.
Who and what inspires you the most?
The difficulties I have to face in everyday life is the biggest inspiration of all as they kind of put me in the process of writing music. For me inspiration has to do with a certain atmosphere I want to create in every song and this has to do with the sounds I use each time. I don’t know if the gear leads me to the idea or the idea leads me to the gear but maybe it’s both. I believe that the sound itself has a profound impact on the idea and I like grasping the vibe of the sound frequencies.
What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?
It was always difficult for me to distinguish the musical genres. For me, music is not so a stylistic matter as it is an atmospheric field where various sounds combine with each other and form a work of art. Maybe I could say that electronic music has been a big influence for me along with rock, punk and metal music. Surely, I have been influenced by everything I ‘ve listened to. Lately, I listen to trap music among other things.
I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
Support Given Free Rein band. It would be an honour for us to have our music spread worldwide and be able to continue our trip!
For many new bands, the desire to sound like another more successful band is strong enough to keep them from walking their own path and creating something truly unique. However for Greece-based rockers Given Free Rein, walking their own path is the only obvious road they know. Releasing their inspired, progressive and anthem filled debut full-length titled In-Ear Trip, Given Free Rein is wasting no time with a powerful delivery.
Since every song on this album is worth listening to, I will highlight a few of the very notables that you must listen to as soon as you can; starting with the opening “Magnetic Fields.” This song has an intro for the books. The vocals and lyrics are emotionally charged with both honesty and vulnerability, and for many, this is going to become their instant favorite track from the album.
Another powerful track is the anthem-like title track. This song is less punk, but there are some heavier vocals woven within that help add an edge to an otherwise soft ballad of a song. Everyone on this song plays from the heart, from the vocals to the guitars to the drums, every instrument is played loud and aggressively, and the vocals are made more haunting because of this. A great track through and through.
“Day In The Dark” is a bit ambient, a bit psychedelia; it doesn’t take long to sink its awesome teeth in to the listener. The breaks in the tempo and layering of the tracks are exciting, and by the end of the song you simply hit repeat and turn it up.
Every song on In-Ear Trip is well thought out, well played, and well mixed. Every song stands alone on its own, and the vocals are never the same as before. The diversity and inspiration placed within this album should show many new artists how it is supposed to be done if you want to turn some heads. I wouldn’t waste any time picking up this album if you want something new and worthwhile to listen to.
Post-punk is often regarded as a genre that has a lot of similar sounding bands, especially when it comes to vocals. LA’s The Shadow Principle do play to the post-punk sound pretty tightly but on their new, second album Oblivion, they also take the time to raise their music beyond the confines of that sound. How far they go beyond those confines is subjective but they do find something for everyone.
The album opens on the epic sprawl of “Minutae,” which cuts from a big beginning to fast-paced verse filled with light guitar flourishes that at times sound so flowing. The song’s guitar solo, awesomely performed by Reza Moosavi, takes the song out on a great note. The bass, courtesy of Dave Tomkins, on “When the Sun Appears” gives a nice secondary riff that outdoes the guitar at times. Vocals of Nohl Takahashi are a huge addition to the song’s energy and anthem-feeling vibe.
“Byzantium” has a much more mysterious opening than the earlier tracks thanks to a great echoing atmospheric line at the beginning. The riffs that drive “Dead Walking” give it an opening well above many on the record.
Oblivion may not be a game-changerbut it gives The Shadow Principle ground to stand on and a great example of their sound and talent. Even if you’re not a fan of post-punk with different influences you can get behind a track like “When the Sun Appears.” The Shadow Principle play to their genre well while trying to explore other ideas within that sound.