Author: Tyler H

January 27, 2009

REVIEW : twentyfour64 - Know Me

I’m really sorry I’m just writing this now and in such a hurry, but I just got out of P.E. and my heart is pumping really fast and I want to bust this out before lunch is over and I have to go back to Spanish class for another boring laser disc movie. Wait, this isn’t the mid to late 90’s and I’m not still in high school?

January 26, 2009

REVIEW : Julian Drive - My Coming Day

Julian Drive – My Coming Day In a world where Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavors (and then some?), Julian Drive has found its perfect ice cream flavored musical niche. After all, vanilla is technically a flavor. In fact, it has a huge market appeal. There are tons of people out there with out any real higher sense of developed taste buds, but they still like ice cream. What I’m getting at here is that Julian Drive definitely has a broad market appeal and will probably find a good amount of success.… Continued →

January 22, 2009

REVIEW : This Is Luke - There Is Hope

Band: This is Luke Album: There is Hope Label: None Reviewed by: Tyler Hess While listening to this album, I had to do one very important thing: Check myself before I wreck Myself. When approached about reviewing this 7 song EP, I was told that the guys had come up with a new worship album. Not only did this surprise me because I had some strange thought that they were a pop punk band (or something close to that), but it also baffled when I first heard the album.… Continued →

January 21, 2009

REVIEW : Eleventyseven - Galactic Conquest

Band: Eleventyseven Album: Galactic Conquest Label: Sony BMG/Flicker Records Reviewed by: Tyler Hess If I have at any time over the past four months of writing reviews gained any scene points, street cred. or Dundee awards for anything I’ve written, I’m fully prepared for the chance that I’m going to get them all taken away right now. Jumping on the bandwagon before it was way overcrowded, Eleventyseven busted out with their sophomore release by adding quite a bit of the now all too familiar electronica to their pop-punk act in quite a diversion, musically, from their first release “and the land of the fake believe”.… Continued →

January 20, 2009

REVIEW : Fireflight - Unbreakable

Band: Fireflight Album: Unbreakable Label: Sony BMG/Flicker Review by: Tyler Hess Having seen their show for the third time a couple days ago, it came to my attention that IVM had yet to take a closer look at the band’s second full length release. The first thing that I’d like to point out is that I hadn’t listened to the album in probably two or three months, yet on the morning of the show I mysteriously woke up and remembered the words to several of their songs, so if nothing else, these songs are certainly memorable, which is something I can’t say for probably half the albums I’ve reviewed on here.… Continued →

January 19, 2009

REVIEW : Concert Review: Fireflight, Abandon, and Seven Layer Soul

Concert Review: Fireflight, Abandon, Seven Layer Soul Review by: Tyler Hess For more pictures, go here. Upon learning that my fiancé had scored us free tickets to this show, I was pretty stoked. Not because I am the biggest fan in the world, or even that I originally thought it was with Abandon Kansas, but because I love going to shows and I love not paying for stuff when I don’t have to. What I wasn’t completely stoked about was another concert at a church.… Continued →

January 16, 2009

REVIEW : Jesse Sprinkle - Surrounded By Lights

Artist: Jesse SprinkleAlbum: Surrounded By Lights Label: Blind Records Reviewed by: Tyler Hess I’m an idiot. You all knew this, but sometimes I forget, because I’m an idiot. I also forgot that I promised to tell you all about someone you probably kind of sort of know about anyway, one way or another, even if you didn’t know it. His resume is legit. Spending years behind the drum kits of bands like Poor Old Lu, Dead Poetic and Demon Hunter, Jesse Sprinkle has also now come out with a couple solo records, the latest being “Surrounded By Lights”.… Continued →

January 15, 2009

REVIEW : Berea - Empty Vessels (EP)

Artist: Berea Album: Empty Vessels (ep) Label: None Reviewer: Tyler Hess With a name like Berea (which one can only assume was taken from the Bereans mentioned in Acts, known for being faithful to checking Paul and Silas’ message against Scripture to make sure the gospel was true) and lyrics that make the writer sound like he’d just been through a semester or two at a seminary or Bible college (I’ve been there, this is from experience, not a knock or a diss), you’d expect maybe some Contemporary Christian Music or some nice acoustic congregational worship music.… Continued →

December 31, 2008

REVIEW : Goodnight Caulfield - The Masquerade

Artist: Goodnight Caulfield Album: The Masquerade Reviewer: Tyler Hess This album reminds me of why we’re in the business. As much as I love bands that everyone else and their mama know about that tour around the world and are loved by millions, there is always that local scene (which through the internet isn’t totally local) where indie bands perform in their area as they grow a local fan base and expand. Through sites like this we help bands like Goodnight Caulfield get the word out about their music and get them attention from labels and such (hopefully).… Continued →

December 26, 2008

REVIEW : Jerome Madigan - Instructions For Deconstruction

Artist: Jerome Madigan Album: Instructions for Deconstruction Reviewer: Tyler Hess A few years ago a funny thing happened: ska died.  I know, I know, some of you loved ska, its okay for you to be wrong, that really isn’t what I’m getting at here.  When ska disappeared from the scene, ska band members still had their instruments and still wanted to make music that people appreciated.  Some went on to other ventures, like how some OC Supertones went onto help form Demon Hunter, Five Iron Frenzy’s end led to Brave Saint Saturn and now apparently the former vocalist for indie ska band Nifty Tom Fifty has gone up to Nor Cal, become a worship pastor and come out with an appetizing worship album.… Continued →

REVIEW : Fellow - Fellow EP

Artist: Fellow Album: Fellow EP Reviewer: Tyler Hess Sometimes what you expect to happen is the very cause of the opposite action to occur.  In related news, I enjoy both making up my very own proverbs and listening to the same CD over and over again until I can actually find something more than the obvious in a band, at least when I have the time and opportunity.  At first glance, Fellow, an alternative rock band out of Visalia, California has incredibly similar vocals to Flyleaf (minus any kind of screaming), but with a different approach. … Continued →

REVIEW : Blood and Water - Blood and Water

Artist: Blood and Water Album: self-titled Reviewer: Tyler Hess It is always interesting when two seemingly drastically different genres of music are meshed together to form one harmonious piece of art.  It would be like watching a movie that mixes comedy, horror and romance all into one film experience.  Oh wait, they did that in the “Evil Dead Trilogy”.  That was an epic series of films.  I also have completely distracted you from my point.  Blood and Water have famously (not yet, they should be soon though, if I have my way) grafted in their reggae leanings with their pop punk stylings and morphed them into twelve songs of awesome.… Continued →

December 16, 2008

REVIEW : The Atlantic Manor - On The Wrong Side Of A Saturday Night

Artist: The Atlantic Manor Album: On The Wrong Side Of A Saturday Night Label: Do Too Records Reviewer: Tyler Hess Eight. Think about that number. This is the eighth record in eight years for this indie folk country artist that is probably most comparable to Neil Young, yet still hard to define into one simple genre. That is determination and consistency for any band, but especially for one that will probably never have much of an audience. This is definitely one of those things like Mountain Dew, you just have to have a taste for it or you’ll probably hate it.… Continued →

REVIEW : Backdrop: What's Next?

Artist: Backdrop Album: What’s Next? Released: Spring 2008 Reviewer: Tyler Hess Well look at what we have here, another band from Iowa, this time from Iowa City, as Backdrop comes full speed ahead with their alternative rock that they recorded and produced by themselves at home. That is about as indie as you get, so that alone pretty much makes them a good fit around these parts, at least, that is, if they are any good. Taking a simpler approach to music compared to a lot of the bands out there these days that break out with a hundred layers on every song and synthesizers that can get a bit overused, Backdrop’s “What’s Next” is a 3 piece band with catchy hooks matched up with nasally vocals and generally forgettable but workable guitar work and unnoticeable drums.… Continued →

REVIEW : You The Symphony: From Air To Arms

Artist: You The Symphony Album: From Air To Arms Reviewer: Tyler Hess Never have I read so much about one band and understood so little about what they (or their management) are trying to say about themselves as I now have about You The Symphony. Yet, that takes absolutely nothing away from the enjoyable six track piece of rock music that they have provided on their “From Air to Arms” EP. What surprises me the most is their ability to have a cohesive sound on the record, yet I never feel like I’m listening to the same sound twice.… Continued →

December 12, 2008

REVIEW : The Almost - No Gift To Bring

Artist: The Almost Album: No Gift To Bring Label: Tooth and Nail Released: 11/24/2008 Reviewer: Tyler Hess I give up. You win, Aaron Gillespie. You can do anything you want to. The Almost, the brainchild of the backbone of the heart-pounding body that is Underoath has brought us yet another project to sink our teeth into, this time a mere appetizer of an acoustic EP displaying a new song, a Christmas song, a hymn and two new versions of old songs. No, this probably isn’t going to display the new direction that the almost will take whenever they come out with another full length later next year.… Continued →

REVIEW : Here's My Chance - Through The Towns

Artist: Here’s My Chance Album: Through The Towns Released: Spring 2008 Reviewer: Tyler Hess Apparently, there is a scene in Iowa. It makes sense, I’ve just never thought about it. Have you? Well, maybe you should, I’m sure they’d appreciate it. I bring this up, in case your deductive powers are low due to thinking way too much about Christmas shopping, Here’s My Chance brings us their pop-punk sound from Des Moines, a town name I’ve always enjoyed saying, because I’m a nerd. Now that I’ve said too much about too little, are you wondering what they are really all about?… Continued →

December 5, 2008

REVIEW : The Radiance Effect - Wake The Forgotten

Artist: The Radiance Effect Album: Wake The Forgotten Reviewer: Tyler Hess With some bands it is just difficult to translate their music from one format to another. Either they are a great studio band that can’t really put on a show to get the kids’ attention or they are a great live band that can’t fit all their raw energy onto some kind of a cohesive recording. The Radiance Effect is a band that boasts of playing 250 shows a year in a manner that helps them to reach out and touch people’s lives.… Continued →

REVIEW : Awake! Awake! - We've Been Strangers

Artist: Awake! Awake! Album: We’ve Been Strangers Reviewer: Tyler Hess Hailing from the incredibly cool name of a town, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, this band has brought forth a solid effort of alt-rock along the lines of other indie bands that are known around here such as My Epic and Sleep For Sleepers, with vocals that often go into more of a Number One Gun/Kessler/Esterlyn type sound. To tell you the truth, I had so many bands that I wanted to compare these guys to simply because they refuse to stick to just one sound for the entirety of the album.… Continued →

November 25, 2008

REVIEW : Arkeo - Of Clive and Malcolm

Artist: Arkeo Album: Of Clive And Malcolm Reviewer: Tyler Hess Hailing from the mythical state of Hawaii, this progressive alt rock band has come out with a new full length that might push them to the next level. See also: maybe, possibly, could. That is what we in the world of thesauruses call synonyms. I use them as an emphasis. It is usually the little things that help bands go from bad to good, from good to great, from great to amazing. The question that must be answered is what has “Of Clive and Malcolm” done for Arkeo?… Continued →

REVIEW : The Distance Between - Building Bridges

Artist: The Distance Between Album: Building Bridges Reviewer: Tyler Hess First of all, I am not a big fan of incomplete sentences. Sure, it makes you think, but I have enough on my plate these days that it just isn’t something I need right now. That is strike one. Second, I don’t really need any more mediocre alternative rock in my life. This is one genre where you better do it well or stay home. Where does The Distance Between fit in? Well, essentially… By starting off fast, these Californians start off rocky.… Continued →

REVIEW : Death is Not Welcome Here - Death Is Not Welcome Here EP

Artist: Death is Not Welcome Here Album: Death is Not Welcome Here EP Reviewer: Tyler Hess It isn’t very often that I am introduced to a band with the thoughts “hey check these guys out, they basically just broke up”, so it is with a different attitude that I consider this 5 song EP. Sure, the music is the same either way you hear it, but what follows is going to be different. There is no looking forward to the future of the band, wondering what direction they are going.… Continued →

November 20, 2008

REVIEW : Curbsquirrels - We Wish We Knew How To Quit This

Artist: Curbsquirrels Album: We Wish We Knew How To Quit This Reviewer: Tyler Hess A few years ago, there were two relatively unknown bands that came together to produce a split CD called “Composition” on the now defunct “DUG Records” Label. One of them, Last Tuesday, went on to sign with Mono Vs Stereo and record two great albums before calling it quits in early 2007, while the other faded into relative obscurity. That other band was the Curbsquirrels, whom I tried on various occasions to track down over the past couple of years, to no avail.… Continued →

REVIEW : Hazel and Vine - All Together Now

Artist: Hazel and Vine Album: All Together Now Label: Ethos Records Reviewer: Tyler Hess It is time, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, for me to make a blazingly rare outlandishly stupendous statement: This is the worst music I’ve ever enjoyed so much. There. I said it. I had never heard a song from Hazel and Vine before listening to this live show CD, but it didn’t take me very long to realize that this was indie pop rock with vocals that go out of key way too often, music that is pretty simple and lyrics that are at times a bit too immature, creating a sound that is almost impossible to not enjoy.… Continued →

November 18, 2008

REVIEW : Kevin and the Octaves - Hang Your Stocking Start The Rocking

Artist: Kevin and the Octaves Album: Hang Your Stocking Start The Rocking Reviewer: Tyler Hess Finally, the joyous celebration of the uniting two of my best friends, Christmas and pop-punk.  Let us have a riotous good time, shall we? Let’s face it, most of us have heard some songs so many times and so unoriginally and boring that it makes us a wee bit sick.  Some of these songs are my least favorite Christmas songs, yet with the energy and new direction they are taken I find myself shouting along with songs that would normally have me letting out a big fat groan and an eye roll that causes minor earthquakes.… Continued →

REVIEW : The Keep Breathing Tour

The Keep Breathing Tour Featuring: Wavorly The Wedding A Current Affair It was a dark and stormy night.  The Germans were breathing down our necks and we were running out of ammo, food and oh…wait…I got confused because my ears are still ringing.  Well, not so much mine, but probably my girlfriend’s ears.  I’m tougher than that.  However, a life long (sorry, I keep lying, forgive me) dream of seeing the Wedding live.  As in a show, not as in just making sure they weren’t dead. … Continued →

November 14, 2008

REVIEW : Corey Crowder - Gold and the Sand

Artist: Corey Crowder Album: Gold and the Sand Label: Tooth and Nail Release Date: 11/11/2008 Reviewer: Tyler Hess Track Listing 1. Southern Way 2. Love 3. Look How Far We’ve Come 4. Higher Ground 5. Leaving You 6. Helpless Heart 7. Innocence 8. Changes 9. Devils 10. Slow Down 11. I’ve Become Something 12. Lonesome Road Circles. Waves. Roller coasters. What do they all have in common with the music industry? They are all constantly changing only to end up pretty much where they were before.… Continued →

November 11, 2008

REVIEW : Skillet - Comatose Comes Alive

Artist: Skillet Album: Comatose Comes Alive Label: Atlantic Release Date: Oct 21 2008 Reviewer: Tyler Hess Unlike so many bands that have been jumping on the bandwagon of live CD/DVD combos, Skillet hasn’t been around four three or four years, they’ve been around longer than some of our readers have been alive. I bring this to your attention not to dismiss those other bands, but to express how these disks have that “at last” feeling to them. The funny thing, however, is that I feel like it was a good thing that they waited.… Continued →

REVIEW : X Christmas

Artist: Various Album: X Christmas Label: Tooth and Nail/BEC Released: Oct 28 2008 Reviewer: Tyler Hess Call me sentimental, call me a pushover, call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late for Christmas time. Let’s be real for just a minute. Lay down your indie cred and scene points for just a minute, please bare with me. Christmas songs are just different. If you are taking them too seriously, you’re probably missing the point. Christmas is many things to many people, and no this is not a dissertation on the holiday, but it is generally a time for friends and family and letting bitterness go and the music played is generally a genre unto itself in that it is usually some kind of mixture of lightheartedness and/or a time of reflection on what God did in sending His Son Jesus Christ to earth to save us from our sins.… Continued →

November 6, 2008

REVIEW : House of Heroes - The End Is Not The End

Artist:  House of Heroes Album: The End is Not the End Label: Gotee Reviewer: Tyler Hess Rock N’ Roll will never die as long as bands like House of Heroes make sure that the End is Not the End. Terribly unwitty reference to the title of the album aside, the way too long anticipation for the latest release from these guys (followed by the way too delayed review) should not disappoint a single person (unless that person was foolishly wishing failure, which would be just plain mean).… Continued →