All posts by Mayor Peach

Baroness – Purple

Brian Furman

Baroness is just…… pretty awesome…..

Their high-energy, pop sensible, Appalachia rock- metal finds new ways to cut a path in even the most saturated markets. Their last record, the brilliant Yellow and Green Records earned them high praise from various outlets, landing them firmly in the spotlight, on 2012 best-of lists, and a throng of followers marching to the swampy, sludge metal.

baroness

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Toadies Concert Review

 

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The Toadies – Photos credit: PJ Kiernan.

Toadies – June 14th – ROC, Madeira State Park, Madeira Beach, Florida

Written By: Brian Furman

Fort Worth, Texas’s The Toadies are alt-rock stalwarts. Their mega-hit “Possum Kingdom” has transcended to rock greatness with their record Rubberneck arguably one of the best of that 90’s era if not of alt-rock entirely. While they have put out great music after Rubberneck, it has largely gone unnoticed unless by die-hard fans…which is a damn shame.

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So… I was super excited to hear The Toadies were added to the 2015 Summerland Music Festival bill which unfortunately has been overlooked as far as the festivals tours go, and has fallen to the depths of deep 90’s nostalgia. Which again, is a damn shame because there were truly rockin’ bands at the festival: Fuel, American Hi-Fi, and Everclear to name a few, all multi-platinum selling artists in a time when that mattered. But The Toadies were the ones that most in attendance couldn’t wait to see, and they proved worthy enough for us all to bake in the Florida heat.

Frontman, Vaden Todd Lewis, still the skinny powerhouse of a singer that melded a high-pitched southern growl with commanding control, sounded as if he walked through a wormhole straight from 1995. The rest of the band followed suit delivering brutal renditions of Rubberneck classics: “Backslider”, “I Come From the Water” and “Possum Kingdom” driving the crowd to ask each other “Do you want to die” in dramatic fashion….with tongue firmly in cheek.

See photos from the show here: The Toadies Concert Photos

 

The band delivered on “No Deliverance” the title track from the album of the same name with both the rhythm section of Doni Blair and Mark Reznicek rocking out as hard as the crowd. “Little Sin” and “Heel” from Hell Above/Stars Below showcased the grossly underrated sophomore album. Lewis and lead guitarist Clark Vogeler never wavering, playing off each other, not with great technical skill but with a mastery of the constant feedback filling the gaps playfully underneath each song.

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The Toadies – Photos credit: PJ Kiernan.

Unfortunately for the crowd, they played a shortened set due to the festival lineup, but were able to include a new song “In the Belly of the Whale” which could have fit nicely as a B-side on Rubberneck. The song seemed a throwback to a slowed version of Texas boogie combined with a Halloween feel that the crowd took quick notice of.
The band all seemed to be generally having a good time with Lewis quipping at one point “We play to 0 people in our hometown of Fort Worth, and we come to Florida to play for 1,000 so we like it here”. “Rattler’s Revival” followed after Lewis told the crowd he felt like dancing and they were going to have to help him. The catchy tune did not feature the brass section on the recording, but the live version wasn’t missing anything with Blair and Vogeler filling in nicely.

They even payed homage to Texas heroes ZZ Top playing the beginning licks of the classic “La Grange” before seamlessly walking the intro, highlight of the set, and fan favorite “Tyler” from Rubberneck, arguably the best song they have in their arsenal. The energy only seemed to ramp up during the last minute scream of Lewis rasping the story of a man breaking into a woman’s house and fumbling to her bedroom commanding “I will be with her tonight” Lewis and the entire crowd chanted the narrative in unison, in the brutal Tampa sun.

It almost felt as if the band was validated by the amount of people that knew who they were, and I find that absolutely astonishing. For those who are reading this and know nothing of the band, go to the local record store and pick up a used copy of Rubberneck. Listen to the record from beginning to end, as a record should be listened too, and then Thank Us in the comments section. It will be well worth it.

Brian Furman

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Here Come The Bots

the bots
 

The Bots – Tour Preview

There seems to be a tag line thrown around in pop culture every 15 years or so that deems “Rock is Dead”.
 

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I heard it during the rise of Hip-Hop…. during the late 90’s early 2000’s when Britney and Fred Durst were dating, and recently with the onset of Dubstep and Skrillex’s rad hairdo. And then, more often than not, the backlash hits and a movement brings everything back to the basics, the fervor of something new dissipates, and the foundation of that blues based music just doesn’t crumble. It happened with the late 70’s punk movement, with the early 90’s Seattle movement, it was there with The White Stripes and The Black Keys showed up, and the rock ‘n roll faithful seem to be coming back to the fold with The Bots.

The Bots are two brothers from Los Angeles, guitarist and vocalist, Mikaiah and Drummer, Anaiah Lei. Their sound crosses boundaries between the snarkiest punk and garage rock, combined with the muddiest blues and soul one could find. As if Bad Brains and Son House were liquefied, blended and force fed to Elvis with a sprig of Isley Brothers.

Their live shows are intense, and frenetic, offering a youthful energy and enthusiasm, touring and gaining accolades with acts as diverse as Blur, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. The Bots began recording and touring at the ripe ages of 12 and 15, and have since been featured in nearly every rock magazine as the next big thing in music. Still in their late teens with 3 self-released albums, they were picked up by Fader Records and released the 4-song EP Sincerely Sorry in 2013.

A string of festival tours including The Vans Warped Tour, Coachella, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, cemented their name on the cusp of something big. In October, 2014 the band released their feature length debut, Pink Palms, to critical acclaim and positive reviews. The Bots hometown paper, The Los Angeles Times, dubbed the record; “a mash of frenetic garage rock and lush indie rock” and I couldn’t agree more.

The Bots are hitting the road this summer support the co-headlining Deftones and Incubus venture alongside Death From Above 1979. The full tour is listed below, and it features the following Florida dates:
8/13 MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre Tampa, FL
8/14 Coral Sky Amphitheater West Palm Beach, FL

Mayor Peach

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SUMMER 2015 TOUR
With INCUBUS, DEFTONES, and DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979

* W/ DFA 1979 ONLY
^ W/ INCUBUS AND DEFTONES ONLY

FRIDAY, JULY 17 *
THE NORVA, NORFOLK, VA

SATURDAY, JULY 18 *
THE NATIONAL, RICHMOND, VA

WEDNESDAY, JULY 22
DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATRE, CLARKSTON, MI

THURSDAY, JULY 23 ^
FIRST MIDWEST BANK AMPHITHEATRE, TINLEY PARK, IL

FRIDAY, JULY 24 *
MERCURY BALLROOM, LOUISVILLE, KY

SATURDAY, JULY 25
RIVERBEND MUSIC CENTER, CINCINNATI, OH

SUNDAY, JULY 26
LAWN AT WHITE RIVER STATE PARK, INDIANAPOLIS, IN

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29 ^
EDGEFEST AT TD ECHO BEACH, TORONTO, ON

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1 ^
BANK OF NEW HAMPSHIRE PAVILION AT MEADOWBROOK, GILFORD, NH

MONDAY, AUGUST 3 *
ALTAR BAR, PITTSBURGH, PA

TUESDAY, AUGUST 4
PNC BANK ARTS CENTER, HOLMDEL, NJ

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5
NIKON AT JONES BEACH THEATER, WANTAGH, NY

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7
XFINITY CENTER, MANSFIELD, MA

SATURDAY, AUGUST 8
SUSQUEHANNA BANK CENTER, CAMDEN, NJ

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9
PNC MUSIC PAVILION, CHARLOTTE, NC

MONDAY, AUGUST 10 *
THE RITZ, RALEIGH, NC

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12
AARON’S AMPHITHEATRE AT LAKEWOOD, ATLANTA, GA

THURSDAY, AUGUST 13
MIDFLORIDA CREDIT UNION AMPHITHEATRE, TAMPA, FL

FRIDAY, AUGUST 14
CORAL SKY AMPHITHEATER, WEST PALM BEACH, FL

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16
BOLD SPHERE MUSIC AT CHAMPIONS SQUARE, NEW ORLEANS, LA

MONDAY, AUGUST 17
AUSTIN360 AMPHITHEATER, AUSTIN, TX

TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 *
PAPER TIGER, SAN ANTONIO, TX

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19
CYNTHIA WOODS MITCHELL PAVILION PRESENTED BY HUNTSMAN, HOUSTON, TX

THURSDAY, AUGUST 20
GEXA ENERGY PAVILION, DALLAS, TX

FRIDAY, AUGUST 21
HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATRE, MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO

MONDAY, AUGUST 24
RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE, MORRISON, CO

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26
SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA

Faith No More Returns With New Album


 
sol invctus band
 

Sol Invictus Returns Faith No More To Their Lofty Perch

Faith No More never really received the due they should have during their height.

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After years of honing their craft with first-singer Chuck Mosely, and then gaining acclaim with genre-refining Mike Patton, Faith No More found themselves a comfortable niche that helped spawn a rabid fan base with little critical acclaim. This shunning of the masses gave the band mad street cred, and paved the way for genre-defining heavyweights such as System of a Down, Incubus, and 311 with similar metal leanings, however, finding ways to work in funk, R&B, and other eclectic tastes.

One would be hard-pressed to find rock n roll kids weaned on the 90’s not citing Angel Dust as a turning point, even if it wasn’t initially accepted. They moved through genres with ease, even devouring cover songs along the way. How incredible was their cover of the Commodores “Easy”? How amazing was the Bee Gees cover of “I Started a Joke”? Faith No More made these songs better, even if they were tongue in cheek, distilled in irony….

Which is what makes their new album Sol Invictus such a milestone. Not all bands are welcomed back to the landscape, Faith No More, however, were sorely missed. There is a glaring hole in rock music that this band fills, whether they like it or not. A form of authenticity that is, and has been, gone…. not misplaced or mistaken, but gone…I believe it to be the lasting effects of the punk ethos….the “I love what I do more than what you think about it” mindset.

And this album is classic Faith No More, the members all original from their 1997 record Album of the Year; It’s energetic, it’s melodic, it’s heavy, it’s funky, it’s avant garde…. There is no other band that could sound like this with so many excellent tracks…. standouts include the first song on the record “Sol Invictus”; beginning with a tender piano until Patton’s lounge singer on LSD croon chimes in.

“Superhero” is a call and return featuring Patton’s acrobatic vocals. An unearthly scream and growl all over the song. Roddy Bottum’s beautiful piano featured over an obnoxious amount of noise.

“Rise of the Fall” would have fit nicely on Angel Dust with it’s Latin sprinkled verse, catchy chorus, and temp changes of which drummer Mike Bordin excels at.

“Black Friday” is a serious pop-song….For some reason it reminded me of Leonard Cohen’s Natural Born Killer Soundtrack offerings, or a Quentin Tarantino end of movie credits tune. I wanted to listen to this song while driving in the desert, clapping my hands along with Patton as we drove under the dirty, dusty sunset. That’s all I’m going to say about it, you’ll just have to listen to it.

“Motherfucker” is a slow riser that really showcases Patton’s rare ability to switch from menacing whisper to room sized chorus with ease.

“Matador” is an anthemic sing-along. Bill Gould using his bass to create a swimming foundation. Jon Hudson’s guitar work is also exceptional.I would argue that this is the best song on the record.

I need to add that the band sounds amazing in their own right. They are cohesive, on point, working as a unit, and bounce off each other naturally… along with Patton and his trademark – non-trademark sound using his voice as an unearthly instrument (see Bjork’s album Medulla for more). Even if you don’t know his direction, you certainly know it’s him. If their recent flurry of late night television performances is any indication, Faith No More are more than prepared to take on another generation and fill that gap currently in rock music hopefully for the foreseeable future, and we should be ready to let them.

Mayor Peach
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Torche – Restarter Album Review

torche

Restarter Album Review

I liken Torche’s music to dredging a swamp full of corpses in tutus…

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Or… Southern Gothic glitter….

Or… Monsters puking rainbows sitting on clouds…. which is appropriately the album art off the previous Torche album, “Harmonicraft”

Whatever vision one has of Torche, the general consensus is that they have found a way to marry the bludgeoning, sludgiest dirge metal, with a toe tapping, head bopping, pop mastery that would hold Katy Perry hostage. I have to admit that my opinion is biased and they have become one of my favorite bands.

Hailing from the swampy madness that is Florida they seemingly, knowingly or not, have invented a new genre dubbed “doom pop.” I’m not one for genres but I am happy about this one, because there is no argument with what bands belong, there is only one…

Torche’s 4th full length record, among their many EP’s, is full of what makes them exciting, forging a road for bloody unicorn metal. A low-end record, that erupts into chaos only to be spun back into a tightly tuned tornado, with sing-along options turned to 11. Restarter is also what it sounds like, a step away from the sing-along of Harmonicraft back to the band’s first down-tuned tempos.

The record opens with the bruising “Annihilation Affair” which could have been a B side on previous record “Hellion” and lurks along on Steve Brook’s formidable, and manly, baritone.

“Bishop in Arms” follows a driving percussion that seems to push the rest of the band to keep up and “Minions” offers a fluid foundation to ride on. “Loose Men” gives us an insight into Andrew Elstner’s guitar work, and the band’s tongue-in-cheek sensibility.

And so on… From “Loose Men” to “Barrier Hammer”, this is the yin of heavy and the yang of happy that is spoken in parallel with Torche. And a void missing in rock and metal music today. Similar bands take themselves, and their metal, way seriously, and sometimes that’s OK. Torche knows that… and they acknowledge it…they poke fun at themselves, and they move on… giving the listener a different perspective, sometimes without the listener even knowing it, which is what good musicians, and good artists, are challenged with doing in the first place.

Mayor Peach

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Periphery Album Review

juggernaut a o

Periphery – Alpha and Omega Album Review

There are so many genres in metal, and with it, a clusterfuck of typecasts: Black metal, Sludge metal, Doom pop, Norwegian black metal….. Norwegian black metal with a cherry on top… everything has to be compartmentalized…..

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The genre known as “Djent” was derived from the sound that you make when impersonating an open bottom string on the guitar…. I will give you a minute to repeat the word to make the sound…. Beavis and Butthead would be proud.

Periphery, a stalwart of that so-called genre,  recently released the double album “Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega” a good name for an album that is ominous in sound, larger than life, and mysterious. Unfortunately a horrible name for Periphery’s newest record.

And that’s not to say I didn’t like it, it just wasn’t a Juggernautic….. It was not “mercilessly destructive”, and will not “crush it’s devotees”…… definitions according to the Oxford Dictionary.

But it was a good metal record, more progressive than anything. What I like about this record was what was hidden on the Periphery of the songs. For every crunching guitar, there was a 15 second jazz lead in. For every Meshuggah-like time signature, there was an Muzak outro…. And this is what surprised me, those changes were effortless, as if the jazz, and the reggae, and the folk had been hidden underneath the original song, flowing just under the radar….

Standouts include the haunting and tension filled “Black Minute”, The almost poppy plus extra hook of “Heavy House” the brutal tech metal of “Graveless”, and the hangover jazz melody at the end of “Hell Below”. Misha Mansoor’s guitar work is stellar on “MK Ultra”.

There are points on the record where vocalist, Spencer Sotelo, sounds like someone stole his ball on the playground… whiny and tinny, which diminishes the overall aesthetic of the record, and reminds me that I was that boy on the playground, but the group is tight, all musicians owning their respected instruments.

Another definition of Juggernaut is “an overwhelming force”, and this definition fits much better with the sound of this overall record…. as many things can be defined as overwhelming… beauty, love, passion…..and are hard to put in a box…

They are hard to compartmentalize…

I fucking hate compartments

– Mayor Peach –

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Puscifer Album Review


Puscifer All Re-Mixed Up Album Review

Puscifer’s remix record, All Re-Mixed Up takes the already superb Conditions of My Parole and turns each song on its end to spit out something completely original, and in some instances, better than Puscifer’s recorded versions.

The 12 songs are remastered, and in some aspects, re-imagined by a number of prominent musicians from Aaron Harris, drummer of post-metal band Isis, to “Baby Got Back” hip hop pioneer Sir Mix-A-Lot. I will admit, that I have never been a fan of remix albums. I will take my elitist stance that I like to hear the songs as they were produced by the original musicians, not someone who has come along to make cheaper and watered-down versions of songs that I might hold dear to my heart. With my opinions firmly set, yet with an objective stance, I listened to All Remixed Up and changed my mind.

It seems that all Maynard touches turns to gold, even if Maynard isn’t pulling the strings. I also have felt that sometimes the only way to review a remix record is to compare it to the mother record, I have also changed my mind on that issue with this album firmly standing by itself, and as a great companion to the original record. These musicians have taken already beautiful, jagged, landscapes and taken them to a whole new level. These songs are extensions of the originals with each remix feeling like a brand new composition.

Standout tracks include the Josh Eustis remix “Monsoons-JLE Motorik Mix” which offers electronic butterflies around a moving, and danceable bass-line. It helps that Eustis is one half of the ambient duo, Telefon Tel Aviv. The moving Alain Johannes mixed “Man Overboard-11AD remix” is a lesson in discomfort. The “Oceans-Green Mussels Mix” happens to be one of the most sincerely beautiful songs in the Maynard James Keenan library. Zac Rae from the rock band Pedestrian offers up a version of this haunting composition that, can be argued, is better than the original. Maynard’s voice floats over a lost piano anchored by what feels like solitude. I am impressed with the idea, and a little disappointed in myself that I did not give this record a fair chance upon hearing of its release.

The metal heads and Keenan elitists that are asking the question of what Puscifer is and how it relates to Tool and A Perfect Circle will be scratching their heads for some time, and I think that might be the point.

Mayor Peach