All original and one borrowed song by Pretty Boy Floyd & Story of Reversels. Deep Glitch Art works by Matt Murphy. Sound engineering by the impeccable Andy Bishop of Giraffe Studios. Band photo by Marquana Burgess. Production benedictions by Jennifer Love Lee. Booking by Sean Padilla of Happy Nomad Booking. Press by WolfieVibes Publicity. Radio PR by The Band Mom.💜💙
Hailing from Asheville, NC this duo has its origins in a birthright no human should have to experience. Each member was born to a cult that believed in reversing male vasectomy to enable procreation on a mass level.
The name Reversel is spelled this way to reverse the evil that visited their lives. To give hope to Trans Queer LGBTQ people in their infinite variety.
The music on their upcoming 3rd release represents their community quite well. Filled with dark beats, wavy vocals, and intriguing lyrics that transport its listener to a world where acceptance of our individual humanity is not just possible but a given.
You will not be able to put this record away but display it with pride. Every track pulses with its own vitality.
Gravitron deserves to be in the top 5 indie songs at year’s end.
Azael is truly haunting. The sonic grooves captured here will astonish the most jaded of listeners.
Relentless kicks in with great percussive beats and awesome baritone vocals. This song generates light.
The rest of the songs are as follows:
Absurdity/ Torch Song/ The Real Pretty Boy Floyd/ Softboy Rabbithole/ Wonderland/ Cupcake ft. Vvitchboy/ Boom Kitty/ Skin/ Dissolve/Resolve. My My.
As the USA recovers from Covid-19 there are a couple of new releases from today’s finest rock bands to provide a much needed experience of joy.
Weezer and Twenty One Pilots are today’s new/old rock heroes. Sure Weezer has some great back catalog; Twenty One Pilots’ catalog is fewer titles but growing well.
Okay, Weezer has been around over 30 years, but remain vital as ever. Alright let’s start with the newest Weezer platter….
Van Weezer is just the right album for Summer 2021. Vocalist Rivers Cuomo had been wanting to contribute this type of modern rock n roll that salutes his love for eighties metal and hard rock.
Hero is a standout single that is on par with great Foo Fighters tracks.
Blue Dream uses the actual tab from Ozzy’s Crazy Train! And the song is totally original.
There are many flourishes of Eddie Van Halen’s playing style throughout the record hence the title Van Weezer.
The entirety of the set’s thirty minutes is pure cathartic release of why rock fans never stop wanting more no matter their age.
Twenty One Pilots have spent their Covid time recording the follow up to their concept epic Trench.
The new one is titled Scaled and Icy to reflect isolation and the scaled back way of life everyone has endured.
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are a great duo. On the current set singles like Choker return them to their earlier form on records like Vessel.
Do not let the surface happy pop sound fool you. The lyrics are just as complex and probing as any Tyler has done previously.
Good Day opens the set with the declaration that it’s hard to believe that today is good. Singing out is the best way to bring joy. Mr. Joseph does just that. He sounds a lot like Mika which is a great thing.
Both albums will provide plenty of happiness this Summer!
Each new decade begins with a clearing out of the sounds that animated it. Following the 1980’s metal stampede record labels embraced Grunge. This was the early 1990’s.
Then bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains were on top. Following their short-lived reign came a sight & sound nobody saw coming.
Industrial. Heavy. Nuanced. Not really traditional metal nor hard rock—alternative metal?
TOOL. The name was mono-syllabic. The logo was cool. The sound was enigmatic to its core. Songs were long. The vocals did not come in for two minutes! Their videos used animation of the stop-motion kind; thematically dark.
The first four albums have amassed three Grammy awards; sold millions of copies; topped the US chart twice. Then for unknown reasons the band disappeared from the music scene entirely.
13 Years later since their last record something truly amazing happened—TOOL’s social media page lit up with a post announcing a new record. The music listening public did not forget this band. The response has been quite large.
Legal problems and label disputes aside, the band’s music appeared on digital streaming services for the first time.
“Fear Inoculum” carries the band forward nicely. The running time on the digital format is 1 hour, 26 minutes.
The 10 tracks are formatted with 6 epic songs and 4 instrumental passages that form a type of connective tissue that support the lengthier songs.
This is an expertly crafted record. The band’s consistent sound serves the listener well.
Going underneath the surface of human physiology to dig deep into unanswerable questions of spirit and mind are TOOL’s strength as musicians.
I have the digital album on Amazon Music Unlimited. The vinyl version of this record is to be released this Fall. The CD had innovative packaging.
A 4X4 screen built into the three panel cardboard sleeve contains exclusive video images. It comes with a speaker and a cord for recharging the screen. The price for the CD was $30. Amazon sold out in minutes.
This is a review of all the tracks on the digital streaming format.
inoculum – a substance (a virus or toxin or immune serum) that is introduced into the body to produce or increase immunity to a particular disease.
“Fear Inoculum” opens with Buddhist chimes. Opening with this title track is an explicit mission statement. Fear is a disease/malady that will be reduced.
Maynard James Keenan’s laconic style of vocals have lost nothing to the years. His delivery makes you listen closely. The lyrics are among the best this band has ever delivered.
The music throughout is hypnotic. The length of each track will not matter if you allow yourself to tune into the depth of meaning here.
“Pneuma” literally means breath. In theology, the soul or vital spirit. The lyrics exemplify what it means to live. We must become our best selves over a lifetime.
At 11:53, it’s one of the longest tracks here.
At the 7:30 mark comes a theramin driven instrumental passage that is quite beautiful.
“Litanie contre la Peur” is the first of the four short instrumentals that act as connective tissue/support for the six epic tracks contained on the album.
It translates “Litany of Fear”. A relaxing depth takes hold by this point that will not let go until the end.
“Invincible” (12:44) opens with the sounds of tapping on an empty water jug. The guitars have a nice timber here. Evoking the mythical search for everlasting youth with the “chasing of Ponce De Leon’s phantom”.
A warrior’s lament. Reflecting on the epic of battles fought. Trying in vain to remain relevant as a soldier in our new age. “Tales told of battles won, things we’ve done, Caligula would grin.” Now time is bearing down on the pawns (tools?) of war.
“Legion Inoculant” (3:06) is a phase shifting instrumental that drifts into and out of distant sounding voices that struggle to be heard.
“Descending” (13:30). Opens the second half of the record with sounds of waves crashing on a beach. This invocation that we can rouse ourselves from a self inflicted sleep before it’s too late.
The lyric repeats”Falling is not flying”. Each of these six epic tracks have instrumental passages that are sweeping and understated.
The drone of guitars snarl into spiral patterns of harmonic riffs. A wake-up to our “wanton slumber” to “mitigate our ruin”.
“Culling Voices” (10:05). This track describes being in a state of psychopathy— a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits.
A melancholic track with great pathos into the psyche of “imaginal interplay”. The voices in our head are misleading. The repeated refrain of “don’t you dare point that thing at me” allows its listener to fill in their own blanks.
“Chocolate Chip Trip” (4:48). A connective instrumental. Out of left field is TOOL’s default position. A quirky buzz of beats and repetitive keys.
Those culled voices are being scrambled up into something else. The percussion and keys are quite hypnotic.
Realigning the synapses perhaps in its dive towards the final epic contained here.
“7Empest” (15:43). The band is obsessed with the number 7. It appears in some way on each of their 5 albums. The music reflects the lyrical meaning. Starting off slow with those Buddhist chimes mixed into the riffing it builds into the promised fury.
An examination of the mind gone off its hinges. A tempest in a teapot. TOOL takes the most cliche of metal ideas bending it toward the meaning needed to fit this inoculation of fear. “We know your nature…Calm before the torrent comes.” The ‘We’ is authoratative.
At 4:30 we get the most furious sounding riffs on the album. This rage up is the most straight-forward of all the tracks. It harkens back to “Sober” on their debut record, “Undertow”.
After eight minutes it churns and wends around you with guitars blazing. Like the abstract serpent on the cover art it twists and turns beautifully. You never see it’s eye. But the musical storm is omnipresent. It cannot be controlled.
The album closer is the final instrumental. A gentle outro to the proceedings of the past 90 minutes! “Mockingbeat” (2:05).
The final pitch from left field. Artifice or real bird sounds, voices, constant chirps all culminate in a soundscape you are not prepared for based on the previous 9 tracks. But this is what TOOL are all about. After the final chirp it’s over.
TOOL fans will love this record. For the new listener it may take awhile to get into this epic. After 4 listens, I love it.
TOOL is on tour this October & November in the US with Killing Joke opening. For all dates and ticket info go to http://www.ticketmaster.com
Tue • Nov 19 • 7:30 PM Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” is a critically acclaimed play that keeps getting revived on Broadway. I saw the most recent production Starring Annette Bening and Tracey Letts.
It tells the story of an American defense contractor who knowingly sold defective plane parts that led to the deaths of 21 pilots during the war.
Vocalist Tyler Joseph took the name for his band from this play. He is the principal songwriter for the duo. His childhood friend Josh Dun is the drummer.
I loved the play. Arthur Miller became one of my favorite playwrights. Consequently, Twenty One Pilots are now one of my favorite artists in music.
The duo from Akron, Ohio did not try to sell themselves. Playing low key gigs in their home state until one fateful show with 1,200 local fans and 12 record label reps in the crowd took them by surprise.
They have recorded 4 studio albums. The third album”Blurryface” was their breakthrough to the commercial mainstream. The song “Stressed Out” went triple platinum.
I found them on SNL. Then I went to hear all of their music online. I could not stop listening. Their sound was unique. How could a rock duo seemingly reinvent the genre?
Tyler Joseph discovered for himself how to express personal struggles with depression, doubt, and survival using his voice. He plays keyboards/synth. The music has no guitar. This became revelatory to their success.
I felt strongly that no other artist reflected these times better. Exploring themes of faith, mental illness, death, insecurity and suicide on their eponymous debut, “Vessels”, and “Blurryface”, the duo took a year off to write a story focusing on the painful end of an order based on faith.
Their recent offering, “Trench”, was a concept record well received by fans and critics alike. Set in the fictional city of Dema, in a world known as Trench. Clancy, the main protagonist, takes a personal journey into this decaying culture to discover Nine Bishops control this crumbling society.
Trench Album & Josh Dun with Tyler Joseph seen above.
Dema means Towers of Silence. In Zoroastrianism the dead are placed inside of towers made of stone. Black Vultures feed on them. Ecology falters leading to the disappearance of these sentries to the eternal.
The songs tell the story well. Tyler Joseph and Paul Meaney of indie band Mutemath wrote all 14 tracks and produced the album.
‘Jumpsuit’ opens the record. A protective article of clothing needed to survive in Trench. ‘Levitate’ & ‘Morph’ describe the actions required to move around dangerous sections of the city.
The vocals vary from soft to outcries; falsetto to baritone; sometimes in the span of a single song.
‘My Blood’, ‘Chlorine’, ‘Smithereens’, and ‘Neon Gravestones’ cover more ground. The joining together to fend off enemies, cleansing away dark thoughts, and sacrificing for your community are expressed in these tracks. The music insists on our resisting old thoughts to operate in a discovery of improved life.
‘The Hype’, ‘Nico and the Niners’, ‘Cut My Lip’, ‘Bandito’ and ‘Pet Cheetah’ follow in quick order. The action moves fast; the thoughts need time to be absorbed.
This album takes more than a few spins but rewards its listener with catchy beats and introspective lyrics. The pop elements repeat a lot. I found it more soothing than irritant.
‘Legend’ and ‘Leave The City’ are about survival. Coping with new circumstances becomes the salve.
If you have not listened to this music yet start with Blurryface or Vessels. While Trench is satisfying to the duo’s now established following, it may not grab a novice.