Animal Collective – The Painters EP

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RIYL: Black Dice, Deerhunter and of Montreal

Recommended Tracks:

Track 1 – “Kinda Bonkers”

Grade: C+

Review By: Sean Lynch

Animal Collective have come up with The Painters EP to follow up 2016’s Painting With. The four-track EP is composed of songs that came along during the recording of Painting With, and gives a sense for what was going on during the recording process. The EP serves as the band’s first since Monkey Been to Burn Town in 2012.

The title of the first track of the album “Kinda Bonkers” captures the essence of the song. The mixture of synth and drums carries a sporadic vibe to set the backing layer of the song. Both Panda Bear and Avey Tare add vocals to the song and add to the easy-going sound of the song.

The cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ song “Jimmy Mack” is full of energy. The song, which became a staple for some dates during the 2016 tour, adds some punch as the final song of the EP. The fast paced tempo of the beat is matched with a heavy bass sound. The lead singing is also lively and matches the pace of the backing beak.

The EP gives a sense as to what was happening during the creative process of Painting With. Similar to what Flume has given us with the Skin Companion EP series, The Painters EP takes a look into what could have happened on the album. While there is nothing groundbreaking from this project, the EP is fun and gives fans a chance to peel back the layers and see what went into the creation of Painting With.

Single Review: Imagine Dragons- “Believer”

Review by Matt Mackenzie

RIYL: Kings of Leon, WALK THE MOON, Foster the People

Grade: A-

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It’s nice to hear something new from Imagine Dragons, and Believer is the new material that fans will appreciate. Without anything new since their 2015 album Smoke and Mirrors, this little comeback will definitely result in positive things and most likely bring some new fans with it. Believer has use of the drums, allowing the listener to hear them through the entirety of the song. It sets a mood of seriousness through this usage and honestly makes the song wonderful. The mix of vocals with background guitar through the chorus amplifies the intensity of the song for the brief parts, which makes it so catchy. I found myself humming the chorus beat at times after listening to the song. If this is what we can expect from Imagine Dragons in the future, sign me up for a copy of their next album. I’ll be waiting impatiently for it.

Concert Review: Isaiah Rashad at the Waiting Room 1/24/17

Review By: Sean Lynch

Isaiah Rashad preformed the fifth stop of his tour at the Waiting Room in Buffalo, NY on January 24. The 22-city trip, named the “Lil Sunny Tour,” marked the first time Rashad has come to Buffalo to perform. Rashad is joined by Jay IDK and Lance Skiiiwalker on select dates.

To open up the show, Jay IDK came out on stage in a peculiar manner. With a Ronald Regan mask on, IDK began to rap Acapella to the enjoyment of the crowd. IDK built up the energy in the crowd with “God Said Trap(King Trappy III),” but also got introspective and deep through the somber song “She Blocked Me.” The crowd fed off the energy of IDK which led to the formation of a circle and mosh pit towards the end of the set.

After a break in between sets, Rashad came to the stage and preformed a nice balance of material from Cilvia Demo and The Sun’s Tirade. Hits from Rashad’s album and mixtape including “4r Da Squaw” and “Heavenly Father” were mixed in with B-sides like “Banana” and “A lot.” The crowd rapped along with to all of the songs without missing a bar, no matter what was being rapped.

There was a constant flow of energy as the sold-out crowd bounced around and rapped along with Rashad. In some parts of the show, Rashad had to stop and remind people not to crush each other because the crowd moved so rapidly. Rashad also threw water bottles into the crowd mid-show to help people cool down from the blistering heat in the venue.

Rashad finished up the set with the playing of fellow TDE member Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” as he dapped up members of the crowd in the front row and walked off the stage without an encore.