https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3BS-6MzT7Y In this industry, working together is the only way to survive. In order for that to happen, two people or groups of people need to unify and align with a common goal; easier said than done. In a time when hard work is taboo and ego powers are an industry, we always hear about “those artists”. You know, the bands that “take themselves seriously” and “work hard”. Then you have the artists that literally sacrifice their own time, comfort, and selves to be in this industry. Have you met Scarlet Canary? To prove my point, I would like to take you to a show at the Bancroft on a cool San Diego fall evening in Spring Valley, CA. The Blondetourage tour was in town with Scarlet Canary and City of the Weak. After enjoying a warm Budweiser with The Beast next to Maggie Mounds, I learned again of what sacrifice, unity, and teamwork is really all about. Due to tour vehicle troubles back in the Midwest, tour mates City of the Weak had to pull the plug. They called to Scarlet Canary and divulged the bad news. “We took their phone call very serious” said Hannah. “We pulled over and discussed what to do in the van for nearly an hour”, she added. Scarlet Canary collectively decided to turn around and go get City of the Weak; 7 hours in the opposite direction. They downsized and shared equipment, they very intimately shared space in an extremely cramped minivan, and found how hard it was to be cost effective with sharing hotel rooms and finding places to stay because they had now doubled their pack. Both startup bands, City of the Weak and Scarlet Canary, put on a solid show considering the environment they chose to put themselves through. It seemed like both bands were in good spirits and seemingly having a great time translating to a fun environment for heavy music lovers. “This is probably the most fun tour I’ve been on”, stated Rolltide before the show. It showed in Scarlet Canary’s performance and personalities. Scarlet Canary displays leadership in an industry that lacks it. They set the bar for what it takes to be in this business and the sacrifice that comes with it. Scarlet Canary represents all that is good in rock 'n roll musicians. I am proud they are a Dirtbag band and urge you all to check them out at a live show or on social media, itunes, and Spotify.
I jump-started my Friday morning by rushing out the door for work. I was still dreary, and in a bit of a haze from the show I had gone to the night before. When I got on the road, I received an email asking me to review the new single from Dirtbag artists, Dear Abbey, entitled: Parasite. Given the condition I was in at this particular time of the day, I was unprepared for the musical kick in my ass that was about to be delivered. This track busts through the doors with a driving guitar lick, led in by a full-band hulk smash. Right off the bat, I hear a fat, pumping, pulsing kick drum. It cuts right through the heavy guitar rhythms/soaring lead like a fresh blade. This song has gotten my attention; I am wide awake now, and we haven’t even hit the first verse. So the band pulls back a little; a tight, crunchy rhythm takes over, and out pours the beast himself, Jeremy Hunter. In an era of such steep uncertainty for hard rock, a strong, male-fronted act is exactly what these times call for.. and Jeremy Hunter delivers. The verse builds perfectly into a catchy hook, followed by an expected and appropriately-placed interlude. From here, the rest of the track writes itself. The above mentioned sequences repeat, and we are taken into a majestic and curious-sounding bridge, which incorporates some neat guitar sound effects. The chorus then plays out two more times, and the song hits its abrupt finish- the lead slowly echoing off into the distance. Although I could feel the punch in this song, I could almost predict what was coming next. This song would make a perfect push for radio play. Parasite is hot, it’s heavy, and is guaranteed to blow the lid off your brown-bottle flu. Another woe often overlooked in hard rock these days is accessibility
I first spoke with Jeff Jones via the Dirtbag Clothing facebook page. He mentioned Never Buried was currently writing some killer new music in the studio. That’s what all of us musicians think while we are diligently chipping away at our art and craft under the microscope. Its all killer to us, but what will the fans think? It was unusually warm in San Diego the morning Jeff sent me a new track titled Novocaine. I put my extremely hard and uncomfortable apple earbuds in and opened the sound-cloud link at 7am as I waited for the metropolitan trolley to take me to jury duty. I pushed play on my phone and was immediately and delightfully greeted by a tightly knit, heavy and riffing guitar, something similar to Killswitch Engage. I’m ok with this because KSE is a favorite band of mine, one of many. The entire instrumental arsenal of Never Buried sonically punches the listener in the face at 0:11seconds with a mean and definitive groove transitioned by synchronized and punchy footwork including cymbal chokes. The crunchy, gritty, and aired out vocals of singer Chris Frost enter at 0:34 seconds; a modern metal track standard. Heavy and to the point, Chris Frost drives the point home during the verses and gives the listener a melodic hook during the choruses all while keeping it heavy and hooky. There I am standing a few feet from the trolley tracks staring at the sun getting higher in the sky and warmer on my face, bobbing my head and tapping my foot to the full, layered and rhythmic guitar tones Novocaine has to offer. The trolley pulls in front of me and the door opens. I step onboard and sit down in the seat, just as Novocaine enters the bridge of the song. Good timing too. I had to tame myself a bit at this point because I wanted to air drum, and scream, and play air guitar right in the other passengers’ faces; but I held back. I enjoyed the bridge, clearly designed to take me away for a bit using clean and full guitars with a little grit for texture to get the job done. The drums slow the groove and the clean frosty vocals come back melodically singing and building into a monster scream. This transitioned my attention into a smooth and smoking guitar solo lasting until the music breaks and the carved out throaty bass guitar introduces me to the final portion of the song. I don’t know if the band did this on purpose but I feel like every band member got a bit of the spotlight during the bridge. Good sharing kids. The band digs in during the heavier ending of Novocaine. The energy feels like they are giving it everything they have together, united in aggressive groove, looking at the light at the end of the Novocaine tunnel. This is where the percussion section of Never Buried gets a special shout out. Specifically for a great performance song wide and the energy that is delivered on the way out the door with intricate double bass work and snare shots for days. This is a great song. The groove of this song is nothing new, but makes me want to hit repeat. I am curious to see if these guys can reproduce the same sound live, but most importantly, the same energy? I expect to hear some good things in 2016 from Never Buried. If you are ever in the South Texas area… please check these guys out http://www.facebook.com/NeverBuried. I would easily pay $20 to hear this band in its full glory with a beer in my hand or from the pit, whichever you fancy. It’s official. My brain has been numbed by a special type of Novocaine; the Never Buried kind. NOVOCAINE song click here Dirtbag Smitty (4 out of 5 horns)