Colonial Heights • November 2, 2017
Maxamillian, a member of the Grayscale collective, demonstrates the versatile freshness of his green tongue on his third release. The production, courtesy of compatriots The Root Doctor and KamAin’tShit along with Millz himself, features vinyl-scratched soul and jazz samples that range energy from mellow yellow to fully amped. Sometimes they master this feat simultaneously. Take “Pomegranted (Abundance),” an empowering, free flowing self-affirmation with a blitzkrieg repetition of the parenthetical subtitle (“I started working. It started coming...I manifested the things that I wanted,”) over ever so gentle electro-harp plucks.
On the devil may care delivery of “Indigoji,” he couplets “Old soul reminiscent Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds” with “She just wanna lick the wrapper until the Starburst” over a hot sax before TMA guests with the burn, “I’m about to teach you fools bad habits. Oh you asthmatic? Here’s a cigarette. Have at it.” The hook sounds like a variation from one on the group’s last terrific release, Sins of a Father. No complaints here—it’s straight fire. Each produce-riffed title and the rhymes contained within highlight the talented wordplay and sense of humor. Millz and company have big plans for 2018 with two more releases on the way. #MakeAmericaGrayAgain
Manassas • November 9, 2017
Le Louvre’s self-titled debut is a sprawling 80s influenced dreamscape that pinwheels between original synth instrumentals and remixes of both classic and contemporary electronic artists. Pop vocal tracks include Sickick’s “No Games” as well as “Reanimate,” originally by Ferry Corsten and featuring vocal artist Clarity. These reworkings blend the original tracks with pulsating notes and beats, helping to generate a slick digital atmosphere. The artist pays a tribute at the altar of Giorgio Moroder with a cover of “Ivory Tower” from The Neverending Story. Four additional bonus tracks, including a tribute to Vangelis’ Blade Runner work, are included upon purchase.
Bizarre Family Drama
Virginia Beach • December 15, 2017
Arms Bizarre constructs a hallowed sanctuary of extended guitar drones and sweeping drums for their beautifully crooned, dour lyrics to take sweet refuge. Vocalist Joshua Webster harbors the melodic melancholy of a Dark Side of the Moon era David Gilmour, but the psychedelic elements are also accompanied by post-punk aesthetics. Take “Said the Daughter,” where driving beat and flowery riffs consecrate an uplifting, almost jaunty vocal delivery. Drummer Jared Fritzinger’s cymbals persistently crash over the shoegaze shores. The instruments’ fuzzy atmosphere falls away near the end of final track “God of Creation,” leaving a haunting choral round to bid you adieu.
Charlottesville • December 7, 2017
Crossroads is an apt title for Will Overman’s new solo EP as he moves away from the full band lineup that has generated a devout following over the past three years. The decision allows him to focus on personal storytelling, regaled with a honey dripped alt-country demeanor that recalls both James Taylor and Jackson Browne. This does not mean that the record is all stripped down acoustic guitar and vocals. “Supernova” strikes a hard pop-rock edge with full backing. The release closes elegantly on “Decatur,” a rumination of lost years and the much needed hope for personal redemption.
Richmond • October 1, 2017
“Tonight’s news is brought to you by Too Indecent. It’s all true because Sean Hannity’s on leave.” Opening with wailing sirens in the rain, this “ripped from the headlines” single delivers a litany of unresolved modern day issues, from police brutality to NFL concussions. Alex Bond’s flow starts with an even pace before the momentum increases to an incredibly dense rhyme scheme in a noble attempt to pack all media and political ills into a four minute track. All the while, Danny DeMarais’ rolling guitar grooves anchor the insanity of the modern world before the sirens return to stake their claim.