Jay Smooth’s “Ill Doctrine”

HipHopMusic.com founder Jay Smooth recently started the world’s first official video blog and the site has hit deep this week with Jay’s most recent post “Truth, Poest and Money.” After familiarizing myself with the site last week I quickly became a fan. His latest commentary reconfirms my initial thoughts that Jay’s thoughts are well constructed and based deeply within a conscious reality. This episode deals with Oprah’s recent town hall meeting in which Russell Simmons attempts to defend the language and delivery of rappers, suggesting that the creative protection and artistic freedom associated with poets should too be given to rappers.

Jay then suggests Simmons’ motives to financially inspired, suggesting his mid-1990s “horrorcore” as proof (did that project also speak the truth of the poets, he asks). While Simmons claims that many rappers lyrics suggest the truth of their inner voice Jay disputes this citing Young Jeezyand Jim Jones as those who fail to represent reality. Rather, he states, they represent a reality-based fast food product; instead of selling you reality, Jay claims, they are selling you “reality flavored cheeseburgers.” I implore you to check out the episode here and head over to the site for more fantastic commentary.

At Home With History: Jesca Hoop

Jesca Hoop’s voice sounds something reminiscent to that of a sweeter Neko Case on her track “Intelligentactile 101,” with one distinct tone exposing itself throughout the entire song. Growing up as one of five children in a traditional Mormon household Hoop’s tastes and interests were defined by the options given to her by her parents rather than that of MTV, sometimes she was banned from watching. That being said her options were far from limited as she grew, eventually citing everyone from Cat Stevens to Tears of Fears to the Beastie Boys as her favorite artists. Over time her song writing developed out of the murder ballads and church hymns she sung with her family and began resembling something closer to that of her modern influences, including Kate Bush and Tom Waits. “Jesca Hoop’s music is like a four sided coin. She is an old soul, like a black pearl, a good witch or a red moon. Her music is like going swimming in a lake at night,” or so says Waits. He would know as Hoop played an extended role as nanny for his three children.

Kanye West “Stronger” Video

“Stronger” acts as Kanye West’s best attempt at a self-inclusive mashup and in the process he has once again created a relevant image for himself; despite past criticisms, who doesn’t want to hear Kanye rapping over Daft Punk?! At any rate the song stands up, and the video for the track was just released. Now both Common and Kanye have now released two videos for their forthcoming albums which have yet to see the day of (retail) light; I wonder if this marketing tactic would really hold any weight in another genre.

Fight For Your Right To Fight: Socalled

Montreal-based producer/MC Josh Dolgin (aka Socalled) approached his sophomore album, Ghettoblaster, as a sly satirical look at the world around him. Wielding his emotions without caution - the opening line to his “(These Are The) Good Old Days” blasts, “My God’s gonna kick your god’s ass.” He continues the track, likening modern Western society to the apathetic outlook of the crumbled dynasty’s of the Incas and Egyptians Socalled berates, “where man woman and child can all log onto the internet and text message each other from across the house.” “Truly,” Socalled continues with his Original Pirate Material-sounding track (well, if The Streets had used an accordion), “these are the good old days.” The album includes roughly forty contributing artists, ranging from one-time James Brown collaborator Fred Wesley on horns to any number of gospel singers and underground francophone MCs.

The Ether and Aether Experiment Cover Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”

BoingBoing recently pointed out a refreshing interpretation of Gnarls Barkley’s long since stale (most people’s view, not mine) record breaking hit “Crazy.” Primarily performed using the Theremin, musician Randy George, performing under the pseudonym The Ether and The Aether Experiment, constructs a glowing rendition with a fascinating use of vibrato, one which replicates Cee-Lo’s vocals perfectly.

Common “The People” Video

It’s odd to think of Common as a socialist, but after taking some time to look closer at his lyrics for “The People” it’s hard not to think of him as such. Throughout the song his lyrics reflect that of a deeper unsettling feeling, describing his motive in life as one to uplift those around him. Talking to a friend yesterday I realized that I’ve been following Common for almost ten years and throughout that time he has consistently been the voice of power and strength in a sometimes fickle genre. “Sick and tired of bunchin it, I look on the bus at them, when I see them struggling, I think how I’m touchin them.” Going by the thought that you can’t do everything for everyone Common nonetheless continues to offer his words as a pillar for people to lean on, not cash, money or hos for his people to dream on (sorry, it’s the best I’ve got). Socialism may not necessarily be at the core of Common’s message however the idea is far from absent within his lyrics.

The Villains of Verona, The Alarmists & White Light Riot at Fine Line Music Cafe (Minneapolis, MN)

Praising, “this is the best crowd we’ve ever had,” before continuing the night’s set, White Light Riot lead singer Mike Schwandt and his band were faced with a unique set of circumstance this past Saturday at the Fine Line Music CafĂ©. The night’s event was in commemoration of the band’s first full length album, Atomism, which was released this past Tuesday through 50 Entertainment. The surrealness of the evening however came not from the light show or the intense ovation of the crowd responding to Schwandt’s power chord mic checks, but rather it came as a result of the spectacle that the label had made of the band.

While walking down First Avenue, approaching the venue, it was unreal at the turnout of people who waited outside the venue long before the first band was set to hit the stage. But just as unusual as the level of the turnout was, so too was the makeup of the evening’s crowd. Easily distinguished by their 50 Entertainment name tags the bulk of the pre-show mob was made up of attendees who were treated to a listening party earlier in the evening. While the night progressively proved the venue’s 700-something capacity far too small a size for such an event, it wasn’t until after the night’s first set that both the audience size and interaction materialized.

On the advice of a friend I came to the show primarily to see one of the night’s opening acts The Villains of Verona, a garage-pop band from the Chicago-area. Holding true to the acclamation that had driven me to the show the band delivered a powerful exhibition of youthful vitality. Though the set was heavily driven by guitarists E. Hehr and Phil DeSantis the focal point of the performance proved to be singer Rachel Verona who thrust about the stage, harmoniously exercising her tambourine. The set was one of the many unfortunate times where you wished the band was given a better spot, or better circumstances as multiple times Verona unsuccessfully intimated that the crowd should edge closer to the near empty space in front of the stage. Despite the crowd’s unwillingness to comply the band continued its driven act which, as it winded down, unintentionally began sounding like the Noisettes, had the British band replaced its blues influence with that of late 1980s pop.

Minneapolis favorites The Alarmists continued the evening, opening for a much larger crowd which heavily favored its thuddish rock to that of the Villains’ nimble musical presence. Playing a well rounded set of favorites to the obviously enthusiastic crowd singer, guitarist Eric Lovold bounced about the stage with a Cheshire cat-like smile on his face throughout the entire. The night could have very well been billed as a co-headline show as the crowd basked in the well seasoned modern rock act, had it not been for the whole CD release thing. But despite concrete deliveries of some of the band’s best tracks, including “New Romans,” as the set wound down it became overwhelmingly evident that the night was in honor of one band alone.

It was only after seeing The Alarmists three times that my appreciation of the band began to develop and as such it may not be fair to be critical of White Light Riot after hearing them for the first time, in any capacity, at the show. The two sound akin to one another, with the both band’s lineups utilizing the same instruments and styles. That being said it was lead guitarist Joe Christenson’s likeness to Entourage’s Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier) lead me to a strange analogy.

In the HBO series Grenier plays an actor who attempts to find fame in Hollywood. While striving towards a meaningful production, one which he can be artistically proud of, his breakthrough comes as in the form of a big budget commercial adaptation of the comic book Aquaman. While perceived as a successful role in the public eye Grenier’s character could only justified doing the movie as its success would then allow him to pursue roles honest to his vision; it was a means to an end.

The label’s about us page reads, “50 Entertainment strives to be the independent record company of choice for outstanding new artists. 50 Entertainment is comprised of highly successful industry veterans and innovative youth who have realized a path to stay ‘ahead of the curve’ in the ever-evolving music business.”

It’s unfortunate that even with such a mission statement the show carried little evidence validating its claims of an independent nature. Standing in front of me were a group of fans who multiple times screamed “I love rock!” and “Get’r done!” and unfortunately such reactions weren’t uncommon during the night. Common too were aging business casual types further damning Caucasian Americans as they flopped and clapped in the name of dance. And I felt it unfortunate for fans of the band at the show, honest fans who mere weeks ago wouldn’t have had to witness the band in such a frustrating environment.

Full disclosure: a few hours before the show began I unsuccessfully attempted to contact the label, hoping to circumvent the night’s price of admission. I did so with the hopes of saving a buck, but nonetheless happily paid to see a band that proved its chops during its performance; a band that sincerely appreciated the meager attention it was given. I also met members of White Light Riot before the show and was honestly taken back by Schwandt’s friendly accessibility given such an event. Hopefully this is just an overreaction and after hearing more from the band I will be able to appreciate. But as it stands I regret my cheap attempt to befriend the company because through all the spectacle the evening delivered, White Light Riot came to represent something strangely disappointing; Aquaman (but not as a means to an end).

So Loud It’s Live: Leroy Smokes

The current makeup of Leroy Smokes would be hard to recognize if you had seen the group in its beginning. After a decade making music there are few original members remaining as a result of musical differences and label problems. With the release of 2006’s Love, Hustle, Heater on Smokesignyl Productions however the group hopes to finally have found the right combination.

Citing a wide range of influences Leroy Smokes has a little jam band mixed in with a whole lot of hip-hop. Vocalists Buss-One and B. Ruckuslead the way with Friendly Fred (keyboard) and J. Skillz (guitar) backing them up. Rounding out the line up is Hashbrown Stephens (bass), Highstyle Kyle (trumpet/flugelhorn) and Nic Woods (drums). With the band in constant transition mode with its members each of its three releases took several years to release, subsequently all featuring new personnel. That being said Love, Hustle, Theater album won the best rap album award at the recent L.A. Music Awards and the group still remains as one of the final seventeen competing in Bodog’s Battle of the Bands (a competition that includes over seven thousand entrants). Look for a string of local shows in Minneapolis accompanying the release of B. Ruckus’ solo album in the near future.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Is Is”

From what will appear on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ upcoming Is Is EP comes a sensational track, “Down Boy.” The band’s attempt to capture and sustain suspense throughout the live video is becoming one of the key reasons the band has grown on me as like it has. Ever since “Miles Away” I’ve been hoping for another such song that snowballs into a conclusive piece of hidden frustration…and to some degree this song relieves that need. While it isn’t necessarily as hard driving as many of the group’s songs through the song Karen O revives the role of the lovesick outsider caught in a position absent of a remedy - a role she plays like no other.

From a musical standpoint however the slow driving melody that precedes Brian Chase’s beat is quite different from much of what the band has previously released. While atypical for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the sound is quite reminiscent of some solo projects Karen O has been involved with aside from the band. The introduction to her track “Backass” sounds oddly similar (before Peaches blows the track up) to “Down Boy” as does the fantastic “Hello Tomorrow.” For those who may not remember the song it accompanied a 2005 Spike Jonze directed ADIDAS commercial; one of the uttermost brilliant commercials that I can recall as a matter of fact.

While “Down Boy” is as a song a few years old it is nonetheless a prime example of what the band has collectively grown into and it stands as good reason to believe that the remainder of the five song EP will also be fantastic.

Feist “1234″ VanShe Technologic Remix

While I played the role of a mere casual listener when it came to Feist’s 2004 record Let it Die I’ve come to greatly enjoy a variety of the releases included in this year’s The Reminder. With my increased interest I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn a little more about the woman whose music I have come to enjoy and I was greatly surprised by what I found. I, like many others I presume, simply knew Leslie Feist through her role in Broken Social Scene but found it surprising to learn that her musical career was given birth in my hometown. It was in Calgary where her musical leanings came to fruition and for no honorable reason that I can think of I can’t help but feel proud of that fact. From a punk band in the Canadian prairie to an indie pop luminary. Here’s a fantastic remix I received today of her upcoming single “1234.”

Les Claypool “Fancy” DVD Review

It would be nice to think that Les Claypool is becoming more accessible, both personality-wise and musically, but fortunate for his fans he’s not. If anything the Fancy Band is a step in a completely opposite direction from a possible stab for mainstream attention that some may feel he should attempt; again, let’s be thankful he’s gone the way he has. Chances are you’ve heard Les Claypool somewhere these last few years without even thinking about it, whether it be his “Whamola” introduction to South Park or his contributions to Robot Chicken on the Cartoon Network, and again I’m sure that the majority of his fans are thankful all the same that Claypool has defied becoming a household name.

Fancy, his latest solo DVD, is compiled from live footage from his Fancy Band’s 2006 summer tour; all from the fan’s perspective using footage shot from the crowd. Not quite as elaborate as last year’s Primusartumentary Blame it on the Fish, but far more enjoyable and entertaining as a whole.

The scattered performances, shot from Austin to New York, cover not simply tracks from last year’s Of Whales and Woe, but rather projects from all throughout Claypool’s history; the Holy Mackerel, the Frog Brigade and even Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains. While the footage is advantageous in that it captures the live, sometimes unexpected, energy from the likes of Mike Dillon and his xylophonedoing so comes at the cost of continuity. Part of the charm of seeing Claypool (especially so with the Fancy Band) is the spontaneous element of surprise that the band provides and to some extent that is lost in the clip-friendly DVD. Plus, almost to spite itself, the focus was taken far away from Claypool’s infamous washtub bass like whamola which typically creates the most sonic moments of the performance.

If mainstream popularity or accessibility means continually giving into the demands of your fans (again, no whamola?) Claypool will never be either. His songs are difficult, rigid and exactly the type of music that he feels happy making. While this may be Claypool is nonetheless successful in that he provokes his audience, asking them for their trust and for the most part he gets what his vision demands. And after two decades worth of evidence showing that he is popular by his own right Fancy is simply another vehicle for which he demonstrates this.

Guru & Common “State of Clarity” Video

Guru’s recently released Jazzmatazz Volume 4 has received a strange mixture of poor reviews including one such from XXL, “Lacking the legendary instrumentalists, such as Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers, that anchored previous Jazzmatazz projects, Vol. 4 plays out more like a scattershot compilation than a fully realized thematic disc.” Without having listened to the album though it’s hard to believe that a Solarproduced collection featuring the likes of Slum Village, Common, Blackalicious and Damian Marley can be so off the mark. Nonetheless “State of Clarity” continues the trend that both Common and Guru have historically laid down, that being putting their environment into context and idealistically rising above it…well, that and they’re no strangers to the wild funk that illuminates the track.

Shakin’ In The Woods: The Wildbirds

Recently wrapping up production on the group’s debut album with the help of Gred Fidelman (Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Greg Gordon (Oasis) The Wildbirds seem to already have already a jump on things; one might say they’ve already become the most successful band ever to come from Appleton, Wisconsin.

There’s a wild sense of recklessness in the band’s songs which makes a whole lot of sense considering many of them were written in the woods of Northern Wisconsin. Says vocalist/rhythm guitarist Nicholas Stuart, “We’d try to write in the basements and garages of Appleton, where we live, but the cops always came and shut us down.” He continues, “So we’d take a week off here and there, and head up to Matthew’s (Reetz) cabin up near the Upper Peninsula. It’s on a secluded lake, and you have to drive fifteen miles in on logging trails. We’d hunt and fish for our food up there; we didn’t have to touch our instruments if we didn’t want to, and we’d play until six in the morning if we did.” In a time when synth-conducive sounds are every bit a part of the modern rock band as a rhythm section congratulations to The Wildbirds for playing the kind of rock that made rock n’ roll what it is today.

Erick Sermon feat. Vic Damone “Give It To Em”

Def Squad presents the first track from Erick Sermon’s upcoming album, “Give it to ‘Em” has a flow far closer to EPMD than anything I’ve heard from the man in years. “I’m back well rested,” Sermon begins, and after hearing the track one can’t help agree with him. In between likening himself and Vic Damone to the likes of “Mel & Glover” the duo delivers a solid first look at what can hopefully be expected from the upcoming album.

UNKLE “War Stories”

UNKLE’s War Stories, the group’s third album, drops next month and like its predecessors it will feature a rich line-up of collaborators; many including Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Massive Attack’s 3D have already appeared on previous albums . In typical UNKLE fashion however, fresh unexpected faces are added to the mix including The Cult frontman Ian Astbury who sings for the album’s lead single “Burn My Shadow” as well as “When Things Explode.” Stereogum posted the remarkable video some time ago, but it was when listening to the song as a unique piece when it became substantial for me (though the video is utterly breathtaking as well). Look for a small tour of festival shows this summer with a wider tour (hopefully) in the fall.

Akimbo: New Guitarist, Album

Hard driving Seattle-based trio Akimbo will return later this summer with the first of two upcoming albums, Navigating The Bronze. Joining the band recently was be Aaron Walters, the group’s eleventh guitarist in its almost decade long history. Considering that the band, if put in the right context, could pass for a hard driving southern punk group it may seem a little strange that it’s releasing another album on Alternative Tentacles(along side other artists including vulgar-funkist Blowfly, policial-punk icon Jello Biafra and squat-core headliners Leftover Crack). It may be a strange fit, but in a recent interview Walters remarks on the freshness the label offers, “I guess it is fairly cool to have your stuff right next to all the other stuff in their catalog.” Read more of the interview over at Punk News.

Kanye West feat. John Mayer “Bittersweet”

When the buzz started breaking about a possible collaboration between Kanye West and John Mayer many people were more confused than impressed. I can’t help but think Dave Chappelle had something to do with the pair hooking up; lord knows it probably wasn’t Mayer’s stand-up that Kanye was impressed with (though it’s not that bad). The track isn’t as robust as “Stronger” or “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” but it’s still complete and suggests Graduation is going to be fantastic.

Arctic Monkeys “Fluorescent Adolescent” Video

The recently released video for Arctic Monkeys‘ “Fluorescent Adolescent” brings a couple of unusual thoughts to mind. I’ve never been one to have an outlandish fear of clowns but when they’re kicking the bloody hell out of your friends, all the while grimacing, I can’t help but feel like the last thing I want to see today is a set of big floppy shoes approach me. I can’t imagine what the director had in mind when drafting the story board for the video; the setting is almost as though The Warriors continued onto the next generation with only a gang full of clowns surviving.

Klaxons “It’s Not Over Yet” Video

Klaxons recently released a video for “It’s Not Over Yet” from the band’s Myths of a Near Future album; one which still stands up as one of the finest of the year thus far. In the video the group dawns fantastical warrior garb to combat flying 3D triangles which are apparently set on the boys destruction. Hey, it’s the Klaxons, what else would you expect? Be sure to catch the band as it makes its way back across the States this July.

Dungen “Familj” Video

“Familj” offers itself up as one of the most harmonic tracks from Dungen’s recent Tio Bitar release. The song maintains a psychedelic posture reminiscent to that of modern documentarians attempting to recapture history and the video backs up the sounds without disappointing. Possibly the most enjoyable part of the track is the non confrontational battle which the organ continually teasing interuption of the drums. Directed by former Tortoise and El-P collaborator Jon Leonethe video presents an irregular flow of seemingly randomness that, when presented as a whole, is as unique and wonderful as anything you may see today.

There’s A Sound Coming Down: Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir

After taking some time extensively purging my hard drive of one time jukebox necessities I came across The Headstones‘ catalog, one of my all time favorite bands. Having not lived in Canada for the better part of a decade now it had been a while since I had the opportunity to catch up on the group so I decided a trip to Wikipedia was in order. Unbeknownst to me the band broke up in 2003 and in surrounding fallout lead singer Hugh Dillon began a new band called the Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir.

Exploring this information a bit further I was lead to an interview where Dillon discussed his blossoming acting career as well as his new band (for those who are unfamiliar with Dillon he starred in the critically acclaimed mid-ninties punk mockumentary Hard Core Logo which was distributed in the US by Quentin Tarantino). Not only did the interview with The Hour’s George Stroumboulopoulos reintroduce me to a man I’ve been a fan of since my early youth but it introduced me to a new Hugh Dillon, a man reborn. After years of drug and alcohol addiction, he’s clean shaven and looks to be thirty or forty pounds leaner - this new attitude can be heard through his songs: the ones I’ve heard are slower, thoughtful and meticulous compared to his past releases. While it lacks the fury and grit of The Headstones it offers a balance that is found in the freedom that an independent release brings, one that allows Dillon and his new band mates to produce music that is heartfelt, unwavering and unapologetic. And it seems that with or without addiction, a label or the safety of a familiar line-up those are three things that Dillon will always be.

People, Places & Rhymes: Unknown Prophets

Formed in 1997, the Unknown Prophets began as two MCs Big Jess and Mad Son, friends who went to school together in Northeast Minneapolis. A year later the duo added Willy Lose, one of the Cities’ best DJs, to the mix and in doing so completed the group’s lineup. With four albums, an EP, and three solo albums released to date the group has built a reputation for continually keeping busy on new material. Unknown Prophets’ 2000 debut, World Premier, initially earned the group attention in the hip hop community as it featured appearances by Slug and DJ Abilities but its latest, The Road Less Traveled, has earned them national notoriety for being one of the most prolific and proficient acts in the Midwest.

The Polyphonic Spree “Running Away” Video

The new Polyphonic Spree video was just released and it reflects a dearly underutilized method of visual arts. The director Hal Samples took over 70,000 photos over the span of ten days and used the collection to create a still motion effect. Though the technique isn’t new it is given new light when presented as a backdrop to The Polyphonic Spree’s overwhelming soundtrack.

The best example of this visual technique that I’ve seen comes as Sia’s “Breathe Me.” Co-Directed by Sia (Furler) and Daniel Askill the video uses 2500 Polaroids to create a dazzling on screen effect - it is most definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Rasputina “Oh Perilous World!”

Though I myself am not entirely certain on what post-Renaissance rock may mean, it is possibly be the best way of describing Rasputina’s cello-centric brand of arena rock. Having been a fan of the group for a number of years I’ve grown familiar with getting in long winded arguments in which I am forced to confront and explain the reasons for which I enjoy the group’s unique style. And it is with the experience of arguing with many of my friends about the group that I have learned that Rasputina is a sound unto itself, one which cannot be understood until it is heard. As such is the case - I hope you enjoy.

Liquid Flow & Subtle Beats: Big Cats!

Having recently produced the track “Black Out on White Night” for Sage Francis‘ heavily acclaimed new album Human The Death Dance, Minneapolis talent Big Cats! proves that you don’t need the fashionable nonsense in order to create some strict beats. That track in particular underscores Francis’ unique flow while singer Jolie Holland does her best Beth Gibbons; it is liquid and eerie yet it barely scratches the surface of the Big Cats! catalogue.

His recently released eponymous solo disc lends itself to the challenging ear, diversifying with horn driven introspections, break beat teases and a sufficient supply of beats that force comparisons to the landmark Entroducing. How enjoyable a feat, creating music that reminisces to the beat of one of the greatest albums of the 1990s without stuttering or attempting to ever really sound as such. The talent and insight to create a beat is one thing, but the skill to create an environment in one’s mind is something all unto itself - and Big Cats! is such a talent.

Voxtrot: “Voxtrot” Review

My attempts at avoiding the hype throughout the blogosphere surrounding Voxtrot ended last fall when DJ Neverforget aired a track on his Little Radio show - I was unexpectedly surprised as the song (its name slips my mind) was subtle and fantastic. Though my reaction at the time was that of a positive one, I neglected to follow up on the band until the news of the group’s new release. Possibly it was ignorance, possibly laziness, either way Voxtrot went from huge to forgotten within a week. Further more it seemed as though I was not the only one loving then neglecting them around the interwebs. With the group’s recently released debut album however the band looks to solidify its grasp of not simply those with mere slivers of attention spans, such as myself, but a new stronger, wider audience than the band’s previous three EPs catered to.

Initial reaction: it’s a grower; once through the record and nothing reaches out at the listener asking for additional attention or analysis. The second time through however Voxtrot begins to make a lot more sense. Though it’s been a while since I’ve checked the charts I don’t believe that modernized rock influenced power pop is the flavor of the week. That being said it’s never been an unusually offsetting genre that favors experimentalism over its listener either. Voxtrot’s attempt to make good with its listener comes not with that experimentalist outlook, but rather its heart to heart lyrical content. “Brother in Conflict” rings “I wanna drown you in a pool of blood,” its suggestions ringing even harder than the track, one of the heaviest on the album. “I have to lose my idols,” the song continues, “to find my voice;” and with this new freedom the band seems to do what so many others only dream of – they attain their voice.

Not having to settle for a second rate anything is a fantastic accomplishment, and despite awkward comparisons that can be made, Voxtrot niche their own blend of pop rock melodies with manic lyrics. “Every time I close my eyes, I see you in front of me, pretending in a love like this, I have no choice but to put you in back of me,” recalls singer/guitarist Ramesh Srivastava on “Kid Gloves.” It’s this passion that gets most bands by, even in the face of being forgotten within a matter of days. That being said, it’s with lyrics and harmonies such as those in Voxtrot that help bands over the hurdle, making damn sure that those who listen won’t forget any time soon.