By Ashley Gallagher
Under Atoms is a band from the New England area, so it seems fitting to give them a review with the Super Bowl right around the corner. They are categorized as Alternative Rock, which is evident as soon as you listen to them. They note their influences as artists like Tori Amos and Porcupine Tree. They pulled from Porcupine Tree’s ability to mellow out the rock genre, but kept the influence from Tori Amos as a way to keep 90’s rock in their sound. I would also note the similarities between them and Flyleaf. The lead singer, Heather Taskovics’s, vocals are very similar to those of Lacey Mosley. Their newest EP is called “105 Grams” with just three songs on it, but I feel that these songs give you what the basis of the band is about.
In the first song, “DJ,” it starts with a guitar riff and soft, almost haunting, vocals. As the song goes on, Heather Taskovic’s voice begin to become more powerful as the guitar and drum parts begin to pick up and the rock influence becomes more evident. Though the only thing I feel could be a little different was the fact that the song kept repeating the same sentence over and over again, it became very boring around the halfway point.
“Halogen” is the next song on the album is heavily dependent on guitar. There are ad-lib words and a very prominent lead guitar, but overall it was an easy listen. Unlike the first, this didn’t seem to drag out at much and the vocals came in at the beginning, stopped, and then again, but more powerful later on.
The third and final song, “Demon Wave” was probably my favorite song on the album. The guitars are clean and the drumbeat isn’t overwhelming. This one lyrically and musically stood out the most to me. I saw clear influences from Tori Amos, but also sounds of Flyleaf. The back and forth between female vocal and male slightly reminded me of something you could possibly see on an Evanescence song, but not as powerful as Amy Lee’s vocals. This song was the longest on the album, but it was very lively and kept moving forward instead of dragging behind, so it didn’t feel as long. It felt very entertaining.
All in all, I felt these were a really good three songs and I think that if you like female fronted bands and rock, it is worth a listen.
Champagne Jam 2017
By Ashley Gallagher
I remember being in the middle of Costco on December 16th with my little brother. I cannot even remember what I was looking for or what I was doing, but I remember getting an email saying that I got approved for press passes for Champagne Jam 2017. Champagne Jam is a mini festival in Asbury Park, where The Front Bottoms headline. Asbury Park is where I primarily go to concerts, so it was not new territory for me. What was new territory was concert photography (or should I say, real concert photography.) Needless to say I did not want to mess this up. Not only was it for my first show, but it was for The Front Bottoms. If you are unaware of The Front Bottoms, they are huge in college radio and the alternative/indie scene. They remind me of Modern Baseball, but The Front Bottoms are from New Jersey, so if nothing else, it was going to be a huge hometown show.
There was a lineup of ten bands spread out on two stages. They had smaller bands(Strange Eclipse’ Weakend Friends; The Big Easy; Slaughter Beach, Dog; Delicate Steve) on the Arcade Stage while the bigger names (American Trappist, White Reaper, The Districts, AJJ, and last but not least, The Front Bottoms) were on the main stage. I noticed a trend of bands that had unique sounds, but none felt very out of place when comparing to the headliner. Weakend Friends were very laid back and chill. They were the embodiment of what you think of when you think of indie music. AJJ and The Districts were more similar to The Front Bottoms in that they had a better stage presence than the smaller bands and wittier, more descriptive lyrics.
The Front Bottoms came out and played all of their most famous songs, and some of the less popular, like Au Revior and The Beers. They came out with their festive
Christmas Sweaters and a bottle of Champagne for each member. They also brought a couple on stage and they got to enjoy the concert for the stage on a couch, which I thought was inventive and cool. As for the crowd itself, everyone was really carefree and having a good time. People were dancing in the aisles, on the stairs, and enjoying really good music. Overall, it was my favorite concert over break.
The Academic’s get an A+ on their new album
By Daniel Nelligan
Out of every up coming band I’ve seen this previous year, “Tales From The Backseat” was one of my most anticipated ones. The Academic is a relatively new band from Ireland and are ready to take over the indie rock scene with this new album. The sound from this album is filled with great indie rock as well as many nods towards pop-punk which creates a really addicting sounds. “Tales From The Backseat” starts off with “Permanent Vacation,” which is a great song to start off this album. It’s a great way to introduce their sound while providing a great sing-a-long song that will have you wanting more. They follow it with their single off of this album that you may have heard called “Bear Claws” has already been a solidified hit and gets a lot of plays on Spotify as well as radio air time. The entire way through, you can feel the music is confident yet it doesn’t over step its bounds. My favorite song of this album has to be “Bite My Tongue” which is so catchy you’ll be singing it long after it stops playing. They end the album with “Girfriends” which is an amazing way to end the album, and has to feature my favorite lyrics on the entire album with “she says it hurts, but she’s okay / and can’t she stay with me anyway?” This debut album just makes me excited for more from The Academic.