Cincinnati's Phratry Recordshas a reputation for teaming up with artists who embrace the seedier side of music. Many of the bands on their label [Ampline, Mala in Se, Knife the Symphony, Smoke Signals..., Swear Jar, etc.] engage in highly-aggressive, effects-and-noise driven music that some critics pigeonhole as 'post-punk.'
Listeners unfamiliar with the band State Song will probably be surprised to find that this band shares the same label. However, even those who are familiar with State Song will be floored when they get their first taste of Sleepcrawling.
If you enjoy earth-shattering rhythms, dark and soulful melodies and heavy blues-metal with a bit of Seattle grunge tossed in for flavor, then I strongly recommend that you check out Cincinnati's Valley of the Sun and their album Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk, from Fuzzorama Records.
Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk is the first full-length release from the band and follows on the heels of two very successful EPs, 2010 and The Sayings of the Seers. Talons picks up right where Sayings of the Seers left off with epic-length pieces rife with driving riffs and adroit changes in both tone and rhythm that display great talent and attention to composition and dynamics.
Like a bad-for-you woman, sporting tattoos and an eyebrow-piercing, the kind that you might spy across the bar - it was love at first sight for me and Black Planet. In truth, there is very little about Black Planet and their 5-song EP Female Hysteria that is not completely adorable and endearing.
Anyone who has ever seen a live show at The Comet in Northside knows what a close, tightly-packed and intimate audience the venue often generates. That is where I received my introduction to Lousiville's Anwar Sadat. As the band set up their drum kit and amplifiers that were almost as tall as I am, I knew that I was in for a show that would fill the room with sound. The band was brought to town at the invitation of Cincinnati's Gazer, who also invited their friends Mardou to join the bill. What resulted was an entire evening of magnificently loud and powerful music.
It's Good to Be Back, the first full-length release from Cincinnati's The Vains, is an album created by struggle, tempered by compromise and forged in defiance.
Fans of Social Distortion, Bad Religion or even The Gaslight Anthem should stop what they're doing and go grab a copy of It's Good to Be Back, not only to help support the local music scene, but simply because it is a great album performed by a damn fine band.