Videos: Lazarus Wilde - "The Aftermath, Pt. 2"

Kenny Collette has spent a great deal of his musical career fronting numerous bands has lived in various states on both coasts. Those life experiences have culminated into his solo endeavor under the moniker, Lazarus Wilde. Formed in 2015 the project has served as a creative outlet for Collette outside of his work in bands such as Victory Dance and Franchise, the latter of which are currently hard at work on their next release.

The mark of any true singer-songwriter is one that bears their soul in an honest, heartfelt way. Then again, such naked vulnerability can be deemed off-putting by the uninitiated. In a musical landscape often steeped in insincerity, it's often uncomfortable when somebody pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to look at ourselves and the world at large in a different light. What I learned from watching the video for "The Aftermath, Pt. 2," the lead single off of Lazarus Wilde's self-titled EP, is that our personal growth is often bred from conflict. While we presumably grow wiser as we emerge triumphant from our personal ordeals, there is definitely a cost to those victories The art direction the accompanying music video perfectly captures the inner turmoil most of us face on a daily basis with clever symbolism and an effectively minimalist approach. What makes Collette's songwriting so refreshing is that he acknowledges the fact that while we fight to keep our personal demons at bay, they are as every bit a part of us that cannot be ignored.

The self-titled EP is available now via Cardigan Records and can be purchased here. On 9/27, Lazarus Wilde will be performing a free acoustic set in Tallahassee, Florida at Fire Betty's Arcade Bar with Naked Animals and Brighter Poet. Details for this show can be found here

Videos: Amarionette - "Get It Right" (feat. Kurt Travis)

With a rigorous work ethic that is only rivaled by the intensity of their music, it's no wonder that Amarionette has amassed such a dedicated fanbase. Since forming in 2010, the Las Vegas-based band have recorded 3 well-received EPs plus a self-titled full-length in 2013. Amarionette have garnered a steady following over the years with their internet presence and touring, opening for prog-rock favorites Animals As Leaders and From Indian Lakes. In April 2016, the band signed to Esque Records and began recording their sophomore LP entitled Repeating History

"Get It Right" marks the third single off of the upcoming album. If you're unaware of Amaronette's style, here's what you're in for: lightning-fast licks, thunderous bass grooves and drumming that is both heartfelt and precise. Quin White's dynamic vocal register may recall similar acts within the genre such as Coheed & Cambria or Circa Survive, but Amarionette are assuredly in a class all their own.

Repeating History is set to drop on August 12.

Videos: Sum 41 - "Fake My Own Death"

This is a very strange time for music. It's 2016 and I've seen posts in my news feeds regarding new music from Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Yellowcard and now Sum 41. I spread a generous portion of snark on the top of my initial comments before quickly reminding myself that these bands were a huge part my life a little over a decade ago.

I wouldn't be quick to refer to Sum 41 as Canada's answer to Blink-182 (that title belongs to Gob). However, their place in the pop punk pantheon was cemented after a string of popular releases: All Killer, No Filler (2001), Does This Look Infected (2002) and Chuck, released in 2004. The latter album proved to be a turning point in the band's sound, trading stories of frat-boy antics for social consciousness. Deryck Whibley may no longer be the snotty brat that he once was, but he's endured quite a bit since their heyday: Divorce, health scares and several lineup changes.

Whereas New Found Glory were heavily influenced by their hardcore roots, Sum 41 were quite vocal about their love of 80's metal during their formative. Then again, it seemed as though every heavy band in the mid-2000s were simultaneously reminded that Judas Priest and Iron Maiden were very popular once upon a time, but I digress.

In gathering my thoughts, I realize that I no doubt come off as very negative towards Sum 41. I assure you that this is not my intent, though I must be honest with myself: I've never looked to them for any deep reflection or social commentary. Chuck may have been the summation of a near-death experience in the Congo compounded by frustration with Bush-era politics, but that album felt like the logical closing point for the band. There didn't seem like there was anywhere else for them to go, musically. 2007's Underclass Hero served as something of an epilogue, but ultimately found itself lost in a world that was saying farewell to the pop punk boom of the early aughts.

If their career to date is any indication, subtlety often eludes Sum 41. If Chuck was the band's call to action against a system of corruption, their new single and accompanying video for "Fake My Own Death" is possibly seen as a disapproving finger wagging at a world too preoccupied with Snapchat filters than societal issues. The video sees the band under attack from popular memes and emoji. It doesn't take a Mensa IQ to comprehend the point made by the imagery, but the on-the-nose tone borders on an aging hipster railing on against "those goddamned millennials with their iPhones and Facebook."

Thankfully, the music more than makes up for this low point. I can honestly say that Sum 41 haven't sounded this intense since 2004, more than likely due to the return of guitarist Dave "Brown Sound" Baksh, who left in 2005 to form his own band. I truly believe that Baksh is the true driving force behind what makes Sum 41 stand out among their peers. "Fake My Own Death" crackles with an energy that had laid long dormant, but time will tell if the anger and vitriol is as well-directed. Until then, I can honestly say that I'm glad to see them back. Sum 41 may not have been the smartest men in the room, but they've definitely been one of the most entertaining. 

13 Voices will drop on October 7, 2016 via Hopeless Records.

Videos: Vox Vocis - "Breathe"

Texas-based progressive rock trio Vox Vocis have spent their six years tenure as a band crafting complex hooks and rhythms in the vein of The Mars Volta and Coheed and Cambria. Formed in 2011, originally under a different name, the transition to Vox Vocis' also came with the the idea to become a concept band. 

2014 saw the release of The Winter EP. At the time, Vox Vocis performed as a four-piece: Tim Brown (guitar/vocals), Zach Burton (drums), Alejandro Nunes (bass) and Alex Vaquera (guitar/vocals). With the inevitable generation of solid buzz within the scene, Vox Vocis (sans Tim Brown) have outdone themselves on their debut full-length entitled In the Arms of the Sun

The album's concept is explained by a blurb on their Bandcamp page:

The first full length by Vox Vocis, featuring the tale of Cadence and Anacrusis Casso as Ana takes experimental drugs to cure her deafness.

Like many concept bands before them, the band's lyrics and themes draw inspiration from real-life situations as well as the storyline. The lead single, "Breathe," recounts a story of lost love: 

"Near the end of writing the album, I had ended a not so great relationship. My job at the time afforded me a lot of time to myself, and I was able to sit in my own mind and work through where I was emotionally. ‘Breathe’ was the result. It’s a picture of the ups and downs that come along with holding someone up to an ideal and putting them on a pedestal. The reality isn’t perfect, and disappointment will breed anger and resentment."
--Interview with Music Creates Us

"Breathe" is an testament to Alex Vaquera's impressive songwriting. His dizzying fret work, coupled with Nunes and Burton's off-kilter time signatures, crackle with a maturity and depth that defies their age. With such a remarkable debut, Vox Vocis are bound to make a big impact in the Prog community and beyond.

In the Arms of the Sun is available in both digital and physical formats here

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Adrian King

Hey, folks! My name is Adrian King, formerly the co-host of the geek-related comedy podcast Adrian & Atlas Have Issues. I've given my show a "gritty reboot" of sorts, but I'm still dedicated to bringing you engaging and often hilarious podcasting goodness. Being a geek isn't just about comic books: it's about loving whatever it is you're into. Comedy, films, music...I'll cover it all! So sit back and enjoy a brand-new podcast with even more "Issues" than ever before!