Everything But The Kitchen Sink
The Brazen Youth
by Dean Scordilis
It’s hard to pinpoint what genre The Brazen Youth play; some of their songs are extremely poppy, some are atmospheric, and some get uncharacteristically heavy, so if you’re the type of person who feels the need to categorize and sub-categorize every band you hear, be prepared for some cognitive dissonance. This Connecticut-based duo’s music sounds as if Sigúr Rós, The Music Tapes, and Plain White T’s were thrown into broth and left to simmer. They have accomplished a lot musically, creating interesting pieces that would put a four-piece through the ringer.
“Alright” is the name of The Brazen Youth’s main single, and unlike the other eclectic tracks made by the duo, this one is a not-so-standard pop ballad. With a chord progression akin to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the song starts out with a mellow, almost somber feel, before turning into a poppy, swing-driven groove. It’s a relatively simple song and might not have all the bells and whistles that their other tracks have. “Alright” is still very much The Brazen Youth’s brainchild, with little accidentals and hints of their style. You can find them at facebook.com/thebrazenyouth and reverbnation.com/thebrazenyouth.
Old Ride, New Body
by Dean Scordilis
Swell Daze are the kind of band that goes to a city, raises hell, and leaves with only destruction on their tail. While this doesn’t sound like a compliment, it very much is. The four-piece have effortlessly fused punk, jazz, and classic rock, creating an edgy, yet melodic sound that is nothing but pure rambunctious energy. Though unsigned, Swell Daze has managed to gain steam, with songs from their self-titled ending up on Bravo, Discovery, VH1, MTV, MTV2, NASCAR, etc. What’s been described as a “DIY effort” on the band’s Facebook page is most definitely paying off.
One of the biggest songs from the eponymous EP is “Hooked,” a catchy, heavy take on classic punk rock. It’s a tune of dichotomies, swapping between minimalist, percussion-heavy verses, and over-the-top pop choruses, complete with whoo-ing melodies and hey-ing harmonies. At just under three minutes, it’s the perfect length for a punk-influenced song, ending with a buildup to a final chorus. With an infectious repertoire and contagious spirit, Swell Daze has taken the old, beat-up jalopy called “punk rock” and gave it some well-needed bodywork. You can find them at facebook.com/swelldaze and reverbnation.com/swelldaze.
Pop With Substance
We The Ghost
by Dean Scordilis
Imagine this: a group of musicians taking the best parts of modern pop music, finding a way to play them live, and turning them into amazingly coherent songs. Sounds pretty cool, right? You have We The Ghost to thank for that. The band’s instrumental lineup includes a violin, djembe, keyboard, and acoustic guitar, as well as standard electric instruments, and therein lies their secret. Most pop songs employ synth strings, or overly-processed sounds from the next hot producer’s FL Studio cutting board. Vocalist Beau Tyler shows versatility, switching between angelic melodies and hip-hop singing with masterful flow, all while keeping a welcoming, smooth-as-butter voice.
“Come Pick Me Up,” one of the band’s lead singles, is a pop ballad with some extra oomph, such as setting listeners up for a standard four chord song, but switching it up last minute with a sustain. In another nice change-up, the bass is given lead for the second verse; while it’s not a technical spectacle, bassist Calvin Berkenbile stays in the pocket the entire time, which is a feat in and of itself. As for the choruses, Beau Tyler and violinist Jocelyn Rowland share two-part vocal harmonies which sound absolutely heavenly, especially when the violin and electric guitar come in with their own duets. You can find them at facebook.com/wetheghost and reverbnation.com/wetheghost.
To submit your music go to ReverbNation.com Opportunities and search Aquarian Weekly – deadline April 3, 2015.