Let’s go All-In on All In Moment’s Self-Titled Album

ALL IN MOMENT1.jpg
[All images by Christine Trimarco]
Tired of New York-based cover bands? All In Moment could be just the group you need!

Formed two years ago in a Staten Island basement by fraternity brothers Chris Scott (Vocals), Dave Cohen (Guitar), Michael Funk (Bass), and Dan Luczak (Drums), All In Moment is a hard rock band that will be familiar to fans who frequent the tri-state area scene, now with a change in the lineup with the addition of Luke Lewis (Bass).

All In Moment enjoys producing tracks that challenge the normal themes of sex, drugs, and materialism that we often hear in modern music, instead focusing on ideas they feel are important to communicate to their audience. Their self-titled album, released in June 2019, features a broad array of ideas and musical themes that reflect the group’s wide range of personal influences.

The first track of All In Moment’s self-titled album is titled “Before the Bombs Drop.” Inspired by Rage Against the Machine, the song discusses today’s turbulent political landscape in a classic metal style. The influence is clear in the driving instrumentals that begin the track; stormy percussion and snaking guitar riffs lead us into clearly-delivered lyrics that ask “Who are these people that we’re choosing” to lead us? Perfect for fans of Rage Against the Machine, Green Day, and Anti-Flag, this politically-charged anthem is a powerful way to begin the album.

“Haunt Me” employs haunting, high-pitched guitar riffs paralleled by rolling, deep basslines to create a sense of duality in the instrumentals. Although I wish the vocals were a bit more forward in the mix, the balance between high and low is wonderfully done in this track, making for a full-feeling listening experience. “Haunt Me’s” phrasing is also well-fit to the rhythms in the instrumental, allowing the song as a whole to flow smoothly from beginning to end. Small details like the bass fills at 4:30 and strategic cymbal hits throughout the track add a lot to the mix, solidifying “Haunt Me” as one of the strongest tracks of the album in my book.

“Unstoppable” is the heaviest track of All In Moment’s self-titled album. Based on the theme of feeling so powerful that nothing can stop you (hence the title), the song is energetic and filled with classic metal-style instrumentals. Shaking waves of cymbals and shimmying guitar lines weave their way through the drawn-out vocals, chugging along through each measure in between. The main breakdown of the track emphasizes the screams and spaces between the notes that makes metal such an interesting genre to listen to.

The next track, “From Chaos Comes Clarity,” is a great follow-up to “Unstoppable” in terms of musical themes. A bit lighter, but faster and full of groove, the track is one of my favorites of the album for the way its energy, off-beat phrasing, and instrumentals interact. The lyrics of “From Chaos Comes Clarity” reflect on the idea that sometimes you have to lose it all in order to truly find yourself: “Sometimes we all gotta fall / To find ourselves / From chaos, from chaos, from chaos comes clarity / From chaos, from chaos, from chaos comes clarity / I turned to drugs and alcohol to fill this empty hole / I’ve become a lot colder to all the people I know.”

ALL IN MOMENT.jpg

“For You” is the track of the album that holds the widest appeal in terms of genre. Twinkling guitar notes and comparatively soft vocals tell a timeless story of a girl over well-placed kick drum and bass rhythms: “I don’t know what it is / About you, is it your pretty face? / Maybe the way you laugh, I know it’s made me want to dance…. / If I could, you know I would / Give you the world.” Although markedly different from All In Moment’s other tracks with more of a pop rock feel, “For You” has a lot of potential to be a fan favorite, and maybe even a track that introduces new fans to All In Moment’s heavier tracks, and heavier music in general.

“Refuse the Call” pays tribute to HBO’s Game of Thrones in its themes of familial betrayal. Beginning with haunting vocals soon joined by intense, rhythmic guitar lines and heavy bass notes, the track brings the album back around to All In Moment’s heavier style in dramatic juxtaposition to the previous song. The emotion in the vocals echoes that of each piece of the instrumentals, aggression and a sense of betrayal present in delivery and tone as strongly as it is in the lyrics. “Refuse the Call” is an effective track for storytelling and emotive energy.

The bassline at the beginning of “Oblivion” is attention-catching right away. Right in the pocket and effective at setting the tone of the track, the bass is used as more of a melodic instrument than a rhythmic one, which is always a refresher. Although the phrasing of the vocals of “Oblivion” could be mixed up a bit—nothing is truly emphasized when every word is dragged out—their rhythm flows well with the instrumentals, which really take the spotlight in this one. That being said, the chorus is well-done on all fronts, and definitely catchy in its simplicity.

“Not That Far Away” is the first song All In Moment created together, but the final one of the album. The song incorporates some of the softer guitar themes of “For You” to kick things off, soon to be set off by driving rhythms and aggressive staccato notes as we move along farther into the song. “Not That Far Away” is impressive for a first song, and does well placed last in the album for its inclusion of familiar themes from almost all of the previous tracks.

Connect with All In Moment:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Spotify

***Like the majority of my reviews, a submission fee was charged for this post.***

 

 

It’s No Surprise that Wasting Moonlight’s New Single is a Hit!

It’s no surprise that Wasting Moonlight’s new single is a hit! The four piece alternative rock band based out of Freehold, New Jersey was founded in 2018 by Brandon Glovich(Vocals / Rhythm Guitar) and Luciano Catuogno (Bass), soon joined by Joe Smith (Lead Guitar) and Dominick D’Aversa( Drums) that November.

wasting moonlight.jpg

[All Images by David Garcia]

In November 2019, the group took their next big step with the release of a music video for “No Surprise,” the introductory track of their debut album, Honestly, I’m Just Angry, which was released December 21, 2019.

The video’s organic aesthetic is highly complementary to the track’s clean, honest rock vocals. With the camera’s positioning and smooth movements throughout the video, it feels like fans are at a show, watching Wasting Moonlight perform live.

“No Surprise” is definitely a track that would shine in a live setting; its catchy, classic instrumentals provide a solid backing for clean, clear vocals, making it easy for fans to follow along with the lyrics (“You take my hand / Guide me to the river / Watch me drown now / I can hear the voices serenade me….). Like most good rock bands, every piece of the puzzle works together to make the track solid as a whole, but each has their own individuality when listened to carefully. In the case of “No Surprise,” the complementary guitar tones were the first detail that caught my attention. The full-feeling rhythm guitar sets a solid foundation, twining with the growling bass to allow the lead guitar its time to add the perfect ratio of climbing riffs into the mix.

The rhythm section was also solid: The measured cymbal hits and energetic kick drum throughout the track blended well with the bassline. Although simple, the bass part does a good job at bridging the gap between rhythm and melody and plugging the gaps in the guitars with well-placed fills.

WASTING MOONLIGHT .jpg

As the song progresses through its 2:30 running time, the decay of the band in the video does, too! The little touches are what truly matter in a music video, and the gory makeup being layered on is definitely a great way to make a relatively simple performance into something unique and special for the band’s audience.

Perfect for fans of classic, alternative, and punk rock music, Wasting Moonlight’s single is sure to be a crowd-pleaser when played live, or even over the radio.

Connect with Wasting Moonlight:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
BandCamp
Spotify

***Like the majority of my reviews, a submission fee was charged for this post.***

Best of 2019!

The new year is approaching, and with it comes new music. But how can we celebrate all of this year’s awesome releases while making room for next year’s?

By discussing the best overall singles, EPs, and albums of 2019!

In order to be eligible for any of the below categories, the piece must have been previously featured or reviewed on this blog during 2019, and have qualified for one of the quarterly “best of” prizes. One artist may not win multiple categories, even if they qualify,  but will be bumped up to win the higher-ranked category.

Without further ado, here are my best of 2019!

Best Music Video of 2019: “Tunnelvision” by Marley Wildthing

The music video for “Tunnelvision” is one that I would want for my own music! It is the perfect aesthetic match for the audio, too: “The song and video for “Tunnelvision” serve to “describe depression,” but also to show others who may be struggling that “There is always [a] light at the end of the tunnel!

The music video was produced by a team of Czech and Slovak professionals, [and] the visual mind and organizing force [behind the] video was David Dougles, who developed the script, directed, designed the sets,” and edited the final video.”

See the original review of “Tunnelvision” here!

Catchiest Song of 2019: “Kill Yourself” by The Cold Year

I just couldn’t stop listening to this one, even after finishing the original review! “Scratchy, swinging delivery makes the track incredibly catchy within just the first round of listens. Funky percussion and perfectly-executed phrasing are combined with just the right amount of guitar and bass in the mix to make “Kill Yourself” unforgettable even without the lyrics coming into play, although they add just as much to the track: “Take me from the people / Take me, break me / I ain’t worthy of your time / Waiting, laying / Thinking ’bout wonderful ways to die.” When the tongue-in-cheek lyrics are combined with the impossibly funny video, the track is somehow improved even further! “Kill Yourself” is not a track you want to miss.”

See the original review of Prey for Me here!

Best Bassline of 2019: Temporary Cemetery by Raid the Quarry

Raid the Quarry’s entire album is full of bass parts to be proud of. Their bassist proves that the talent is in the details, and definitely knows what he’s doing around a bass. The basslines of tracks like  “Liars and Thieves” and “The Return” enhance the tracks tenfold, making Temporary Cemetery an album that wouldn’t be the same without the low end.

“‘Liars and Thieves” keeps the momentum of “Swing for the Fence” while incorporating the clear, clean guitar tones Raid the Quarry specializes in. The bouncy, fresh guitar lines married perfectly with impressively steady basslines in a way that reminded me of Gaelic rock’s pressing force, particularly at the four minute mark until the final few bars. In terms of basslines alone, this song is technically striking. Although the part may sound simple at first listen, each note in the swinging rhythm is perfectly defined, unfaltering. Even with the addition of a few classy fills, I never lost sight of the bassist’s intentions for the piece. Hats off to you for this one, Mr. Farnsworth!”

See the original review of Temporary Cemetery here!

Most Creative Artist of 2019: Bishop LaVey

When I first saw Bishop LaVey perform at Jim’s Basement in Burlington, Vermont, I had no clue what “Doom Folk” meant, but I was rightfully intrigued. Bishop’s creativity in his songwriting, persona development, and performances is unparalleled.

“The guitar picking at the beginning of “Romulus” brings a flighty feel to the song before it quickly deepens and slows through plodding, resonating notes as the vocals enter. The heaviness of the instrumentals brings extra emphasis and focus to the lyrics and the dynamic storyline within them: “Well, I was born up on the mountain / And they’ll drown me in the lake / Well, I breathe in Armageddon / And they’ll die for my mistakes / If my body is a temple / Well, then it’s seen some better days / So you can throw me from this hilltop / I see no sacrifice in vain / Now I am coming home / You’ve seen how I / I stand alone….” The character that Bishop takes on is one that we get to know well through the lyrics’ twists and turns, and it is a sonic pleasure to do so—In fact, “Romulus” is one of my favorite songs of the album.”

See the original review of Bishop LaVey’s latest album here!

Most Impactful Artist of 2019: A Sunday Fire

In terms of social media presence, A Sunday Fire is hard to beat! Besides the usual promotion of their shows, merchandise, and music, A Sunday Fire uses their Twitter account to spread a sense of community and acceptance in the DIY scene as well as in marginalized groups. Just like in their music, A Sunday Fire strives to make a difference via reaching out to their listeners and fellow musicians on social media to encourage them and make the community stronger.  Don’t believe me? Check out their Twitter or listen to their music to let them brighten your day!

“‘A Mexican Love Story” is a wildly appropriate song for today’s political climate at the United State’s borders. With aggressive instrumentals and undeniable energy, the track really makes a statement even without the lyrics. With the addition of words, “A Mexican Love Story” doesn’t pull punches from the first line: “Lock all the kids in a cage / Maybe throw away the key / Maybe you can build a wall / Build up insecurities / We walk the streets and we don’t feel safe / Land of the free, the USA.” In a time where many people don’t have the common decency to care about human rights issues, songs like “A Mexican Love Story” are essential to help turn the tide.”

See the original review of A Sunday Fire’s album, An Open Letter, here!

Best Single of 2019: “No Place for People Like Us” by Opposite Box

“No Place for People Like Us” was one of my earliest reviews, but the track has really stuck with me despite all of the other music I have listened to in the interim.

“I loved the mix of styles showcased throughout the song; nothing felt out of place despite the wide range it covers. In the first four minutes, I felt the seventies come to life in a burst of jazz, but when this faded into a more stylistic progressive portion, I was equally as intrigued. I loved the heavier, swaying tones of the bass guitar that faded into the wide, sweeping synthetic tones towards the halfway point of the track as well.

When “No Place for People Like Us” picks back up after its intergalactic interlude, the tones blend seamlessly once more and the energy somehow increases, like a boost button was pushed. I didn’t want the song to ever end.

I would truly love to witness this being played live.”

See the original review of “No Place for People Like Us” here!

Best EP of 2019: Haven’t Found It by Elizabeth P.W.

Elizabeth P.W. blew me away with her sweet vocals and clear emotion in every track of her debut EP, Haven’t Found It. Elizabeth’s commitment to helping others makes her music even more powerful.

“In 2018, Elizabeth decided to turn her debut single, “Anyway” into a “fundraising and awareness campaign to fight rare mutations of Cystic Fibrosis” with Emily’s Entourage, a non-profit.  “‘Anyway’ is performed by two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes (Grease, Cinderella, Bandstand), Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening, Significant Other), Christy Altomare (Mamma Mia, Anastasia), Javier Muñoz (In The Heights, Hamilton) and Sarah Levy (Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek).”

Between all of her other endeavors, Elizabeth still actively freelances as a trombonist, ukulele player, and music educator.

Clearly, Elizabeth is no stranger to the music industry, and it shows with her debut EP, Haven’t Found It….

“Emily Waits” showcases Elizabeth’s array of musical abilities, especially her knack for storytelling as she takes us on an adventure through Emily’s life: “Emily wants to feel free / To travel out west to where she’s meant to be / If she just had time….” The lyrics roll off of Elizabeth’s tongue with silky smooth intonation, gliding above the masterful instrumental parts in a way that leaves them pleasantly separate enough to be enjoyed as a package, or even individually. Although “Emily Waits” has a certain sadness to it, Elizabeth manages to give all of her songs a hopefulness, even as they describe situations that should be without hope.”

See the original review of Elizabeth P.W.’s EP here!

Best Album of 2019: Gibberish by Flagman

Flagman was definitely one of my favorite artists of 2019 thanks to their debut album, Gibberish. Everything about the record was impressive, particularly its Les Claypool-level basslines, which were some of the best I have heard in my time as a musician or music writer.

“As a whole, Gibberish is an extremely professional, well-recorded first album. If I had not known it was a debut, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. I am thoroughly impressed with this record, and if you don’t listen to it, you’re definitely missing out!

The first track of the album, “Headache Talking,” is like the powerful thrust of a rocketship lifting off to space. It leaves no room for gentle introductions; we’re all-in right away. The driving drum lines work to effectively drive the guitar and basslines forward underneath strapping vocals.”

See the original review of Gibberish here!

Artist to Watch Out For in 2020: RAGS AND RICHES

I was thoroughly impressed by both records I reviewed for RAGS AND RICHES, but also by their other releases, particularly their 2019 debut, “Speed of Sound,” which racked up some unsurprisingly impressive stats on Spotify and YouTube.

This band is doing everything right. Between their unapologetically powerful sound, uniform aesthetic, and skilled marketing and branding, RAGS AND RICHES should be held up an an example for modern-day bands everywhere. Many artists don’t take promotion or aesthetics seriously, but RAGS AND RICHES brings both to the next level. Their business-savvy nature and musical talent make RAGS AND RICHES a band to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond, because they definitely have the momentum to go far in the industry.

Check out my reviews of RAGS AND RICHES’ Arrival and “Not a Stranger“!

Best Artist of 2019: Tie Goes to the Runner

From my very first listen, I knew Tie Goes to the Runner would be one of those bands that just stole my heart. Their music has that special something that demands to be felt with every listen, and that is why they are my Best Artist of 2019!

“Overall, I am beyond impressed by Tie Goes to the Runner’s self-titled collection. In fact (and I don’t say this lightly), they have become one of my new favorite bands just from listening to their music for this review. Their sound reminds me of a lot of other groups that I love—From Indian Lakes, Boston Manor, Glass Lungs—but at the same time, they remain utterly unique. I listen to a lot of music, so it takes a lot for a band to really stand out in a way that makes me add them to my daily listening. If you try out just a few artists from reading my reviews, you won’t regret it if Tie Goes to the Runner is among them….

“Thru” comes with the inspiration of preparations for a trip on the Appalachian Trail. “While the band was writing and recording TGTTR: A Self Titled Collection of Songs…CJ and Keith were preparing to thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Thru-hiking [involves hiking] an established end-to-end long-distance trail with continuous footsteps, completing it within one calendar year. The 2,200 mile trail starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ends at Katahdin in Maine. The band released the album and played their [pre-hiatus] show on February 23,2019, and CJ and Keith began the thru hike in Georgia about three days after that.”  To celebrate the end of their hike, “the final video for…’Thru’ will be released on August 1st, right before they come back home.”

Besides its incredible origins, “Thru” is an incredible ending to Tie Goes to the Runner’s self-titled collection. The instrumentals are fun and crunchy, but still utilize the spaces between notes to create a sense of movement within every measure. The vocals are pushed more into the forefront in this track, but there are still an abundance of little details within each instrumental part that the song would still be interesting without lyrics. With the lyrics, a whole other level of depth is added to the song. Phrased beautifully, the words describe elements of CJ and Keith’s coming journey: “I don’t love all that I see / A world filled with hate / With dogs who have acquired a taste for only other dogs to eat /I think I’ll make like a leaf / And go live in the trees / At walking speeds I’ll be running from society / Look at me now.” While the lyrics discuss the serious problems of today’s world, they have a sense of humor about them that makes the track palatable at any level of analysis.”

See my full review of Tie Goes to the Runner’s self-titled record here!

Interested in seeing more of this year’s talent? Check out some of my seasonal Best Of lists below!

Best Albums of Winter 2019!
Best Singles of Fall 2019!
Best Singles of Summer 2019!
Best Albums of Summer 2019!
Best EPs of Summer 2019!
Best Albums of Spring 2019!

 

 

 

 

Best Albums of Fall 2019!

It’s that time again! I’m excited to announce my favorite music of the season, highlighting some of the musicians that deserve recognition the most.

While I can only include my top three albums, please know that if your band/your favorite band wasn’t included, it does NOT mean they lack in any way, it just means that the field is so competitive that only the best of the best (in my opinion) can be considered.

Everything about these submissions was analyzed, from the production of the song as a whole to the quality of each instrument and vocal part. Without further ado, these are my top three Albums from Fall 2019 submissions from September-December, excluding singles:

3. Prey for Me by The Cold Year

“The introduction to “Kill Yourself” features light, classic rock-inspired guitar picking and boomy, deep bass parts that aren’t afraid of moving to the forefront. In this track, the group’s jazz roots really come into play within the vocals. Scratchy, swinging delivery makes the track incredibly catchy within just the first round of listens. The combination of funky percussion and perfectly-executed phrasing are combined with just the right amount of guitar and bass in the mix to make “Kill Yourself” unforgettable even without the lyrics coming into play, although they add just as much to the track: “Take me from the people / Take me, break me / I ain’t worthy of your time / Waiting, laying / Thinking ’bout wonderful ways to die.” When the tongue-in-cheek lyrics are combined with the impossibly funny video, the track is somehow improved even further! “Kill Yourself” is not a track you want to miss.”–Pray for Listeners of The Cold Year: Their Latest Album is Killer!

2. I am the Atom by Bishop LaVey

“The guitar picking at the beginning of “Romulus” brings a flighty feel to the song before it quickly deepens and slows through plodding, resonating notes as the vocals enter. The heaviness of the instrumentals brings extra emphasis and focus to the lyrics and the dynamic storyline within them: “Well, I was born up on the mountain / And they’ll drown me in the lake / Well, I breathe in Armageddon / And they’ll die for my mistakes / If my body is a temple / Well, then it’s seen some better days / So you can throw me from this hilltop / I see no sacrifice in vain / Now I am coming home / You’ve seen how I / I stand alone….” The character that Bishop takes on is one that we get to know well through the lyrics’ twists and turns, and it is a sonic pleasure to do so—In fact, “Romulus” is one of my favorite songs of the album.” —Bishop LaVey is The Atom

1. Escape Route by Through the Motions

“‘Voyeur” was released on September 19, 2019 as Through the Motions’ debut single, but it also appears on Escape Route. The track begins with driving guitar lines and rhythmic percussion that keep everything steady for the drifting vocals. Out of all the songs on Escape Route, “Voyeur” has to be my favorite thanks to its lyrics: “You’re the lighthouse to guide me home / In my head when I’m all alone / You’re the frequency coming in clear / Saying don’t worry baby, I’m right here.” Although the lyricism is there in other songs, there’s something special about “Voyeur’s” writing as well as its phrasing. Combined with flowing-yet-rhythmic instrumentals, the delivery of the lyrics creates something truly special.” —Review: Escape Route by Through the Motions

What were your favorite albums from this quarter?

Best Singles of Fall 2019!

It’s that time again! I’m excited to announce my favorite music of the season, highlighting some of the musicians that deserve recognition the most.

While I can only include my top three singles, please know that if your band/your favorite band wasn’t included, it does NOT mean they lack in any way, it just means that the field is so competitive that only the best of the best (in my opinion) can be considered.

Everything about these songs was analyzed, from the production of the song as a whole to the quality of each instrument and vocal part. Without further ado, these are my top three singles from Fall 2019 submissions from September-December, excluding EPs and albums:

3. “Constellations” by Heavenly Faded

“‘Constellations’ begins with a building of tension in the guitar and percussion lines. Rhythmic, methodical riffs make way for the classically indie-rock vocals, which are perfectly suited to the unassumingly powerhouse instrumentals. The bassline, albeit not at the forefront, is well-suited to the track, working with both the guitars and the drummer to create a balanced mix of rhythm and melody through the track’s twists and turns. Even throughout tempo changes and during less-saturated sections, every beat obviously matters to every member of Heavenly Faded; measures are clearly planned and practiced to create a semblance of effortlessness that makes for easy listening. The work put into the single is clear even to the untrained ear throughout every dip and sway of the song.” —Heavenly Faded’s New Single Shines Bright

2. “Heart Beat” by Marble House

“Overall, “Heart Beat” lives up to its name: A lifeblood-shaker of a song, the track is perfect to dance to. The track was mixed by Aaron Bastinelli in Brooklyn, NY, and mastered by Joe Lambert in Jersey City, NJ. Described by the band as an “epic, fast-paced indie rock critique of modern hookup culture,” it tells a story that many listeners are likely to understand all too well. While the beginning of the song tells a story of “two people who will end up in bed together by the end of the night,” it widens into “commentary on the impersonal blur that is contemporary dating.'” —Brooklyn Band Rocks Down the (Marble) House With Latest Single, “Heart Beat”

1. “Not a Stranger” by RAGS & RICHES

“On their social media, RAGS AND RICHES touts the track as a song “for anyone struggling with self doubt.” Their message is that “you are not alone in this fight” and you need to “push through the negative thoughts holding you back” so you can “just learn how to fly.”  This message echoes the love and positive vibes of their last track, and it’s easy to feel the band’s pure connection to these messages in “Not a Stranger,” too.

“Not a Stranger” begins with the intensity listeners have grown to expect from RAGS AND RICHES. Heartbeat-like pounding and buzzing electronic beats lead us into a quieter, melodic instrumental section before the vocals come in. The waves of intensity matched with calm, xylophone-like rhythms and interesting percussion throughout the track create the perfect party song, but also something that’s fun to listen to when working out or just relaxing.” —RAGS AND RICHES are Far From Strangers to this Blog!

 

What were your favorite tracks this season?