Travis Scott – Sicko Mode (Skrillex Remix) Review


Skrillex just guaranteed that “Sicko Mode” will be played at every club, festival and party.

Not too long ago, he remixed Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and transformed it into heavy rotation-track.  The remix feels more like 4 edits on the drums with a remixed middle part that has more of the Skrillex-sound we know. It feels very minimal and that works in this track’s favour because it will guarantee more plays in the clubs for its lack of experimentation. The best part has to be the Jersey Club section that comes in at 4:25.

The Jersey Club section has me wondering if we’re going to hear some Jersey Club collaborations with Skrillex. It would be a smart move and hopefully, he has something in the works with DJ Sliink or even some other producers from the Club community. Skrillex is definitely smart and obviously will benefit from riding this wave, but it feels much more like one of those shout-outs to the culture of Club sound.

The placement of the Club section of Sicko Mode is placed at the end; ensuring that it got the last attention of the listener. Overall, this track was already good and we all have been playing this song multiple times. Thankfully, you can now add to your party playlist an even more uptempo remix. This song will do well with those people who like to dabble in EDM (there’s a difference) and those who like the Heavy Bass, Jungle Terror, Jersey Club and Dubstep elements.

If you haven’t heard the “Humble” remix yet, well you need to. Skrillex has much success with his Rap remixes, and we saw how successful “Wild for the Night” with A$AP Rocky was, So we can only expect even more of this style to come out.

///Victor M.

Discover & Download


This segment is a special article on new music and artists to check out. I will feature submissions and artists that we have on circulation at Sacramento State’s student-run radio KSSU.com. This post will focus on Acid Dad, Fine China, and The Rubens.

Acid Dad:

Acid Dad consists of Kevin Walker (Drums), Sean Fahey (Guitar/Vox), JP Basileo (Bass) and Vaughn Hunt (Guitar/Vox). The upstate New York quartet delivers a Psychedelic Indie Rock sound with Punk elements in their music. Acid Dad’s self-titled release features some amazing music with conflicting sounds. The music starts out aggressive and changes style halfway through. It almost feels as if there were two EPs combined together. Overall the music is great and songs like 2Ci show the indie mellow vibe, while songs like Mistress show that indie punk aggressive sound. Some similar artist styles include Las Rosas, Ty Segal, Tame Impala, and King Tuff.

Fine China:

Fine China offers a nice indie rock sound that uses elements of 80’s pop and modern indie sound. The band is comprised of three members Thom Walsh (Drummer), Greg Markov (Bassist), and Rob Withem (Keyboardist/Vocals). The band originates from Phoenix, AZ. Songs like The Hymnal 1982 offer elements of dreamy synths and aggressive chords that work well together. Then you have songs such as Iron is Your Love, which showcases their 80’s indie rock tendencies.

The Rubens: 

The Rubens is comprised of band members Sam Margin (lead vocals), Elliot Margin (Keyboards), Izaak Margin(Guitar), Scott Baldwin( Drums), and William Zeglis (Bass). Yes, they are brothers and close friends hailing from Australia. The Million Man EP features previously released tracks such as the hit My Gun which has that alternative rock sound that features many elements of aggressive bass and guitar with soft pop vocals. The band plans to continue on their successful momentum to release a full-length album following the Million Man EP. Songs like Hoops give a good taste of the Rubens band we love and enjoy. The songs have that bass and keyboard synth that give emotion to the vocals. If you’re a fan of  The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant, then you will enjoy this band very much.

///RaspadoPapi

The Weeknd: My Dear Melancholy,


The Weeknd just dropped his latest musical project titled My Dear Melancholy, which comes out just in time for his headlining performance at Coachella weekend. The EP’s title shows a possible message towards Tesfaye’s former lover Selena Gomez, with whom Tesfaye had a tumultuous relationship. There are many points being made that the title of songs, the lyrics, and the timing of the release refer to Selena Gomez.

This latest release shows a change from the more pop-centric sounds that we are known to hear from The Weeknd, yet keeps the style seen on Starboy. The sound, in general, keeps a darker R & B sound while keeping a similar style to the Daft Punk produced tracks.

The opening song Call Out My Name sets the tone with lyrics such as “I helped you out of a broken place,” which is possibly a reference to former girlfriend Gomez dealing with a breakup and dealing with Lupus. Then goes on to say “Falling for you was my mistake” which reflects the hurt that The Weeknd felt. The song is currently number 4 on the Billboards top 100.

Tracks like Hurt You have a similar sound to Starboys’ I Feel It Coming and it makes sense. Gessalfelstein and Daft Punk are often collaborators in music, we noticed this in the production credits for YEEZUS album. The sound seems like a transition from The latest album and Tesfaye’s first mixtape.

Every track from the EP is charting on the Billboard top 100 and there is no doubt as to why. Every song delivers a hit with a range of emotions such as regret, anger, sadness, and acceptance.  The production speaks as much as Tesfaye’s words and the credits on this EP include Mike Will Made it, Skrillex, Guy Manuel (Daft Punk), Nicolas Jaar, Frank Dukes, and Gesalfellstein.

 

///BIGTAPATIO

March Mania | KSSU Picks


Recently, CHVRCHES released a cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else” BBC Radio 1’s “Live Lounge”! We totally love this cover and it evokes the same kind of emotion that The 1975 have when performing the song. Head on over to BBC 1’s website and skip to about 2:10:25 to hear the track!

Altered Carbon is an ambitious sci-fi, Bladerunner themed movie. It explores the future without the possibility of death and income inequalities in a dramatized way. Many found this series an underwhelming introduction to Netflix’s sci-fi category. Although we see a lot of potential! It starts off very ambiguous and hooks you until you’re obsessed and eventually have to keep watching to find out what happens next. If you have Netflix, you’re in luck!

Beach House’s has been teasing their new album with two new singles! We love their sound and how they always stay super authentic. They’ve been true to their sound and themes since the beginning. We can always count on Beach House to have the dream pop anthems of the year and be consistent with their releases! The track list for their upcoming album 7 has been released along with a full U.S. tour. Make sure to grab your tickets for the 2nd Bay Area show before they sell out! Listen to their new singles “Lemon Glow” and “Dive”, out everywhere now.

Another Round Podcast with Heben & Tracy covers everything in the media, as well gender, race pop culture from the perspective of Black women! They’re hilarious and incredibly vulnerable and sensitive! They talk about the normalization of mental health awareness in Black families and give people a voice that normally wouldn’t have one. Listen on iTunes podcast app or on Buzzfeed now.

Icarus is a documentary about the doping of athletes and the history behind it. Filmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel sets out to endure a huge scandal in the cycling world. He goes to great lengths to uncover a story of personal experiments, unexplained deaths and Olympic gold medals. Watch on Netflix now!

Another Distraction’s New Album: Fragments


AnotherDistraction-Fragments-AlbumArtHey there folks, I’m DJ Rosie from Film Frequencies, on air Wednesdays from 12-1, and today I am going to be reviewing a brand new album from Another Distraction titled Fragments.
Before I begin, I’d like to put you in the headspace that I am currently existing in. I went out and saw the new Kingsman movie, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Although the film was great I decided to make the fateful decision to drink 48 fluid ounces of Cherry Coke. I assumed that I could handle such a drink. As I have now learned, I cannot.
I got home and immediately felt sick, and then went into a sugar induced coma for five hours. I have now awoken and decided, “Hey, now is a wonderful time to write a review of a loud rock CD!” Let’s hope I was right.
After looking at the CD, there are six songs on it, and after some research, this is an EP released on September 8th, 2017. The total duration of the album is 22 minutes and 3 seconds. Not a bad listen if you’re on your way to work or want to show your friends. I personally don’t have a long attention span, so this length is perfect for me.
The first song is called ‘Direction Define’. The song is about, as I interpret it, someone being isolated by everyone and left to fend for themselves. Through all of it they find themselves, they define their own direction. Something about the tempo of the song makes you feel like you’ve listened to it before, but not in a bad way, it just feels nostalgic. If this first song is any indication of what is in store for the rest of them album, I am very enthusiastic about the rest of this album.
The next song, song two on the list, is called ‘Scene Kid’s Afraid To Leave The Scene’. This song is all about feeling in the moment. The chorus is “Let it go, let it go/ Tell me something I don’t know”. This song really makes you feel in the moment, and reaches out to the scene kid in all of us. I can completely imagine being in the crowd at this concert and excited to be part of something.
The third song is called ‘Use Your Words’. When this song begins, you can tell it is different the the previous two. It starts with a short instrumental, and the words are a lot angrier. It’s a lot of hurt, all about how someone hurt them and comments “It’s easy for you”. This hits notes a lot harder than the other two songs, and shows another side of the band that I am excited to see.
Track 4 is called ‘Betting On Infinity’. It begins with a tad bit of shouting, leaning towards my classic idea of loud rock. That theme continues through the song slightly, but the rest of the song is more similar to track 1 and 2, where it is a sadder, more classic type of punk (and slightly pop, just slightly) rock.
The fifth song is called ‘Where I Reside’, and it begins with a darker tone, with wording that leans towards more emo. There are sections of the song that have just the singer and drummer playing, and it helps pace the song a lot better than if it were to keep a similar pace the whole time. It gives the listener something to break up all of the songs and refocus and regain the interest.
The final song is the one I am most excited about. The title is ‘For the Love of Sarah’. I don’t know why, but I absolutely love when songs have the names of people in them. It has a voyeuristic feel that is very intriguing. It begins very softly, and with the line ‘This is not where I imagined we would be” which I found appropriately ironic, as my first thought when hearing the song was “Is that a acoustic guitar?”, which, as the lead singer stated, isn’t what I imagined in a loud rock album.
And wow, it surprised me. A female singer, who I learned is named Sara Anderson, comes in about a minute into the song. The duet is something I wasn’t expected, but absolutely love. This song is mostly acoustic and not at all loud rock, until about another minute in, and then the rest of the band comes in. It’s such a fun and wonderful song, I definitely wasn’t expecting this but it lived up to the hype that the title set for me.
Overall, this is a great album. Most of it –excluding the last song, that one just made me excited and a bit sad — was very nostalgic for me. About five years ago, this was the exact music that I was listening to and it took me right back to that. In this album, every instrument is very distinct, which is something I appreciate in loud rock. I know that I have listen to other bands where I can’t quite tell the difference between what is playing when because everything is so, well, loud. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to listen to this album and I am so very excited to see what Another Distraction has in store next!

Last Flowers – Love Album Review


a4100428117_10.jpgLast Flowers is a musical band that started up in the year 2010; beginning their musical career with two alternative/indie albums EP One and From A Piano Room. After a 4 year hiatus, Last Flowers has released their third album Love which debuted April 20, 2017. Written and and sung by Benjamin H. Lemons, this new album is quite unique to his works from the other albums.

When I first saw the album Love, I soon became in love (no pun intended) with it. What first caught my eye of Love, was the album cover(the image featured); to the illustration of the man and woman together on the front cover, to the hand-lettering of the title and songs titles on the back, to the color scheme of red and white, to just basically everything of the album was physically aesthetic to me.  It gives off such a beautiful, artsy vibe that reminds  me of the movies 500 Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars. 

I listened to the album in my car mostly because I don’t have own a CD player. I would listen to it on my way to work and on my way to school.The next thing I knew when I was listening to the album, I was entrapped, I loved it. ( Even now, when I am writing this post, I am listening to the Love album for references and still loving it!) The first track, Good Morning, is a poem being with an instrumental background. This caught me off guard because music albums do not tend to do this but nonetheless I really enjoyed it. My personal favorite tracks were 4. Joker and 6. On Your Own; the sounds of the songs and the lyrics made me feel calm and serene.  The song Joker, begins with a piano opening that also reminds me of John Lennon’s Imagine and continues to do so throughout the whole song.On Your Own begins with an acoustic guitar opening, then transitions with Benjamin H. Lemons singing that also brings in the underlying strums of an electric guitar. I really liked this song because it started off very calm in the beginning with the acoustic guitar and gradually builds up to using the electric guitar with drum beats. This song reminded me of the transition from being a boy and becoming a man (a stepping up of coolness or maturity).

The rest of the album was also very lovely with the sounds of guitar and piano being the main instruments of this album which do make a really good combo. Not only was there acoustic guitar, but also the electric guitar and also drums.  This album reminded me of bands such as Sales and Plain White T’s because of the rhythms and lyrics of love. I could see myself lying in bed and playing the album while doing some homework or when I need to just sit and think to myself.

You can check out Last Flowers and have a listen to the Love album on their website: http://www.lastflowersmusic.com/

 

Album Review: Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?


Black Lips’ new album is just like any other album they’ve released in the past 15 years, exciting and very different than any other release out there right now. In Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, they’ve introduced a full time saxophonist Zumi Rosow, while two long-time members, Joe Bradley and Ian St. Pé, left the band. Black Lips’ sound has been altered since the original drummer and long time guitarist have left, but their reckless and eclectic sound has shown itself in this album as well.

Points are given to their attempt of making Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? a conceptual album, but it wasn’t quite executed in a creative and consistent way. Had there not been short interlude tracks that feel like filler songs and no sense of consistency, it would have definitely exceeded expectations. Even though it was produced by Sean Lennon and had background vocals from Yoko Ono, it felt like they were just hanging out; you couldn’t feel their presence throughout the album. Maybe they were just there as a big names to get people to listen to this release?

As a conceptual album, I didn’t feel the vibe of a overarching theme or influence. Most of the tracks had okay vocals, but nothing throughout the album excited me to be a repeat worthy album. I would give “Can’t Hold On” and “Crystal Night” a listen when you first dive into the album. They’re easy listening tracks that had a road-tripping kind of sound but have them in the background at a party as well.

All in all, I didn’t love Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?. It feels like Black Lips need to evolve their sound and change it up a bit. A few songs are worth listening but definitely not my go-to for hot new albums of 2017.

 

 

All In My Mind And All Of The Time: Spoon – Hot Thoughts Review


There have been a number of popular indie rock bands that have been lovingly (or deridingly depending on who you talk to) labeled “dad rock” – a title given to older bands who put out a consistent stream of quality albums that are dependably good (nothing more and nothing less). While bands like Yo La Tengo and The National come to mind (the latter having a full Billboard article written about this distinction), no other band has been carrying this title quite like Austin-based indie rock band, Spoon. Spoon has been kicking for over two decades now, and while their discography hasn’t reinvented the indie rock wheel, all of their albums are still quality listens. With that being said, their new record, Hot Thoughts, is a surprising album. After a successful two decades worth of music, Spoon could have come out with an album like their acclaimed 2014 release They Want My Soul as a victory lap of sorts. However, Hot Thoughts sees the band with a newfound energy and an album that is their most playful, emotional, and experimental yet.

In terms of sound, Spoon has been known for some fantastic grooves (look no further than “Me and the Bean” from Girls Can Tell and “Eddie’s Ragga” from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga), but no groove in their discography has been as danceable as the one on the title track which starts off the record on a high note. The groove, the bells underlying the beat, and the layered sections of instrumentation (such as the violins near the end of the track) is like a kickstart to the heart and shows right away that the band isn’t set on making another conventional indie rock record. This newfound experimentation continues on album highlight “WhisperI’lllistentohearit” who’s first-half features a tasteful, low-key brooding that’s highly reminiscent of Spoon’s discordant “The Ghost of You Lingers.” Songs like “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” and “First Caress” both feature some enjoyable piano-laden rock along with interesting electronic elements that add another layer of variation and flourish to their tried-and-true formula. But none of the tracks here exemplify Spoon’s goal for experimentation as much as the songs “Pink Up” and “Us.” “Pink Up” is a moody slow-burn that features a prominent xylophone melody and flourishes of warped vocal samples from frontman Britt Daniels. On the weirder “Us,” the band sees fit to end the record with a four-minute instrumental jazz track which builds upon the xylophone motif from “Pink Up.” It’s something that you could hear as an interlude in an instrumental post-rock album, definitely not from a band like Spoon. It’s spacey, wild, moody, and gutsy. I was definitely put off at first listen, but subsequent playthroughs definitely helped solidify the song’s place in the track listing.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Spoon purists shouldn’t be put off by the new sounds of the record. There are definitely vintage-Spoon songs such as “First Caress” and Tear It Down.” “Can I Sit Next To You” is an energized Spoon track that sounds like they listened to Rolling Stone’s Some Girls (especially “Miss You”) before they hit the studio. If I had a major gripe with the album, I would highlight “Shotgun” as being a weak song in the track listing, especially since it feels awkward as a transition to the album’s closer. As far as vocal performance and lyrics go, Britt Daniels hasn’t sounds so spirited in years. Whereas frontmen like Matt Berninger from The National find ways to sing without putting too much strain in their voice after years of wear-and-tear, Britt Daniels’ voice is still as dynamic and pleasing as ever.

Spoon is a road-tested band that continues to show that they are capable of staying around for many years more. You would think a twenty-plus-year band would begin to sound drab, but Spoon, with every release, prove capable of putting out fantastic records that sound modern in any age and do so with extreme fervor. I would highly recommend this album to fans and novices alike.

Recommended Tracks: “Hot Thoughts,” “Can I Sit Next to You,” and “WhisperI’lllistentohearit”

Follow Me Into Sweet Fields of Blue: a Tennis Review


Tennis came back last month with there latest album Yours, Conditionally. After a months out at sea, facing nature and the isolation of the vast ocean they’re back at it making dreamy surf pop.

The duo had worked together with Urban Outfitters as they tracked their adventures writing the album out on the high seas. The married couple of Alaina and Patrick Moore along with one other person took to the ocean on a sail boat. The couple have sailed before, often a method in their writing process. The album is the end result of love testing it’s limits against outside forces and inner struggles.

The duo can’t help but make me think back to Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s relationship. Although their love ended with a separation, it’s the brilliant way the two complimented each other that reminds me of the former. I’ve had the privilege of seeing Tennis live twice during their last tour and could feel the love between them from across the stage. It’s easy to see how much they support and encourage one another.

This album is a lot like their other albums, it’s warm and invokes that desire to head to the islands with your loved one. The songs feel like sunshine on your skin the very first day of spring. Alaina wrote this album as the result of her exploring and learning the limits of her love. As a wife, a lover, a partner and a friend she found herself challenging the roles she’s come into. Her marriage has taught her what it’s like to share a life with someone else yet still remain true to herself and be her own person. They’ve become a team but at the same time she understands how necessary it is to still be able to function on your own.

Ladies Don’t Play Guitar was their first release from the album. The song is her reflection on her experiences in the music industry and how being a female musician has affected her. She believes in feminism and how necessary it is for us to stand up for our beliefs and this song came at a time in her life where she’s felt the most empowered.

Other songs like Matrimony and My Emotions Are Blinding and 10 Minutes 10 Years display how her marriage has affected her life and their music. Matrimony was written as a reflection of the day they were married. Lines in the song were thoughts that crossed her mind that day. It’s personal and so incredibly sweet you can’t help but smile and wish you had been invited to their wedding.

Fields of Blue, personally my favorite off the album was inspired by the logbook or as Alaina put it, “her teenage diary”, of their days out on the choppy waters. Her findings came out sounding very stream of conscious and like that of the diary of young romantic. She became inspired by one entry in which she had written, “Follow me into sweet fields of blue”. One can’t help but yearn for their love and the sea all at once while listening to her dreamy, sentimental voice.

It’s refreshing to hear an album so consistent with its theme and quality. Often more and more artist feel like they’re trying to release singles rather than songs that flow together in an album. Yours, Conditionally takes us on a trip and leaves us wanting love and adventure out in open waters.

9 out of 10, oh what’s the use in resisting?

 

Demon Hunter “Outlive”


“Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.” – Dalai Lama XIV

For the band Demon Hunter, the above-mentioned quote defines the message behind their eighth studio album, “Outlive”.

In the three years between their last album, “Extremist”, and this release, the band has gone through their own set of trials and tribulations, yet through all that, the veteran Christian metal act came out of those tragedies an even stronger, tightly threaded unit. Nowhere does it show more than in the songwriting in the album.

Ryan Clark, the vocalist and founder of Demon Hunter, pours out his soul in the opening song, “Trying Times”, a song written about taking a stand and uncovering the truth behind our existence. The opening, which serves as a connecting gateway to “Jesus Wept”, shows the maturity the band has made with each passing album since their self-titled album in 2002.

Patrick Judge, who joined Demon Hunter as the lead guitarist back in 2008, was finally given a chance to contribute as a primary songwriter, and he made the best of it, contributing five songs to the record. If you’re a longtime fan of the band, you can tell the difference in songs like “Cold Blood”, “Cold Winter Sun”, and the single “Died In My Sleep”, where the guitar is among the most technical work in their entire catalog.

The songwriting has also taken a more personal approach for the band, as well. While Demon Hunter has always been known for their uncompromising Christian faith, the band has also grown, welcoming five children into the fold between “Extremist” and this album. The songs “One Step Behind” and “The End” are examples of how parenthood has made an impact on the band and their families. Whereas the former was written as a message from a father to his daughter (Ryan’s daughter, Ryan), the latter speaks of the struggle of being a first-time parent and always being concerned over the smallest thing.

The band also recorded their longest song to date, “Slight the Odds,” which, according to Ryan, they didn’t know whether it would be the closing track on the album until the end. The song, which talks about how the odds are stacked against those who manage to keep their faith strong, is a perfect ending to what is otherwise a cathartic release.

Overall, “Outlive” is Demon Hunter’s most personal and strongest album to date. With no shortage of inspiration for the album, the band stuck true to their roots while enhancing their message of hope and faith. If you are a new listener to Demon Hunter and this is the first album you have heard, then welcome. If you’re a longtime follower, then you will be pleased with the growth that this record shows.

Tracks to listen to: Cold Winter Sun, Died In My Sleep, One Step Behind, Slight the Odds