Tremaine Album Review

For this heavily anticipated new album Trey Songz comes back with a pretty solid album named Tremaine. Tremaine is an album Trey Songz wanted to show the listeners that he is still one of the best if not the best R&B artist in the game today. Trey Songz expressed in his interview with the Breakfast Club that he named his first track on his album named Playboy because of his current situation with women. He explained that being at the stature that he is in he feels that he can not trust a woman with his heart because, there is always more calling and does not fill the urge to be committed in one relationship.  The interview with the Breakfast Club he discussed his issues with Nicki Minaj and simply put he felt that it was weak on Nicki’s part to get at him for no reason over the allegations claimed in the Shether song. Once the interview was over the anticipation of this album has gone up. There are 15 total songs on this album. I will review the once that are highly recommended to check out and listen to on rotation.

#2 song- Come Over: This song is one of the best songs on this album that brings fans right in to show exactly why Trey Songz is one of the best in his group. A must download with great vibes, hooks, and chorus throughout the whole track.

#5 song- Playboy: A song with context and understanding where Trey Songz is coming from I feel that this song is a great song to listen to in certain moods. I enjoyed the sound the message of the song and Trey Songz delivered well on this track.

#6 song The Sheets…..Still: To me this best song on the album, with how great he switched up his flow and how smooth his voice changed talking about the experience with the woman in the song definitely makes this a favorite song on the album to me.

#10 song 1×1: This song instantly is a summer vibe song that could be a great radio song to play. Nice vibes and high upbeat rhythm to this track makes you want to vibe. Highly recommended song for those looking for a summer jam.

#12 song: What Are We Here For?: One of my favorite songs on the album that is an instant radio play. With the beat and rhythm this is a quality track that will be played a lot more in the summer.

Review Score: 7/10 Very solid album that will be played from time to time.


Sage The Gemini brings the winter to Sacramento

indexThe NorCal hip hop scene is amongst the most passionate in America, and no one knows that better that Dominic Wynn Woods, otherwise known to the public as Sage the Gemini.

A native of Fairfield, Sage the Gemini is prepping to bring his “West for the Winter Tour” to Northern California this month, with stops in Petaluma, Arcata and Sacramento. And for Sage, he sees this as a chance to makes this a big house party with him and all the hometown faithful.

“It’s amazing to be close to home,” Sage the Gemini said. “You always get the best reactions from people who know you. You kinda feel like Michael Jackson.”

While Sage is used to performing in front of his friends and family, he’s going to be bringing some new tunes to the stage. In December, he dropped the single, “Now and Later” from his upcoming sophomore album, “Bachelor Party”. In less than a full month, the single garnered over six million views; part of it was due to a unique marketing strategy that included a Snapchat filter for the song when it was released.

The tune, which he describes as one of his favorites, is an example of how Sage the Gemini has grown since his first album, “Remember Me”.

“Sometimes you gotta be catchy, and you gotta tend to people’s imaginations,” Sage said. “I’ve noticed that when you do that, it seems to get the job done. The Snapchat filter played a big part of it. When we released it to radio, it was just the right timing.”

While Sage the Gemini has been known for being one of the most unique artists out there due to his work ethic, he gives a lot of credit to his label, Atlantic Records, for giving him the creative freedom to pull off what he sees in his head.

“I’ve been working with this label since I was 18 years old,” Sage said. “We’re fully connected with the way they work, and they give me the space to do what I need to do. It’s like going into a classroom with the same friends from last year.”

Since his career took off in 2013 with the release of his first single, “Gas Pedal”, Sage the Gemini has become a nationwide success. And while he knows how to separate his stage persona from real life, he admits that it’s still something he is getting used to.

“I still don’t realize who I am sometimes,” Sage said. “I’ll be in Chuck E. Cheese attending a friend’s birthday party, and people will be like, ‘Oh my God’. I tell them, ‘I know, I’m too big to be in the ball pit’, and they’re like, ‘you’re Sage the Gemini’. It’s crazy.”

Coming back home for the “West for the Winter Tour” is special to him, especially the Sacramento stop, where he will be performing at Ace of Spades.

“Ace of Spades is my number one venue,” Sage said. “When I hear I’m performing there, I get excited. It always sells out, and they know every song. It’s like a hip hop ray of black waves.”

The “West for the Winter Tour” comes to town on September 23 at Ace of Spades.





Board on the Blog: Meet Randy Chen!

randy-1-web-180x270Paying it forward. This phrase is most appropriate when describing Randy Chen, a senior Finance major at Sacramento State. Each and everyday, Randy works hard to lead a bright future not only for his family, but his friends and peers. Randy wears many hats as a student leader on campus. He serves the brotherhood of the co-ed professional business fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi as the Pledge Educator, and he represents over 30,000 students as the ASI Vice President of Finance.

To this lighthearted, ambitious, and slightly germophobic libra, the quote, “Faith can move mountains,” means that you can achieve much more than you think you could if you believe in yourself. As Randy put it himself, “The possibilities are endless if you have faith in yourself.” This statement is a true reflection of the mindset that Randy brings to the table in everything he aims to accomplish. Whether it’s through juggling his positional responsibilities and his academic demands, or through presenting to student leaders on how they can optimize their Dollars for Organizations and Clubs resources, Randy is able to stay focused on what is most important to him–leaving a good example for others while giving back.

As Randy describes, “I feel very fortunate to be where I am today and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. I hope to make everyone who believes in me proud.” This is a key component in the goals that he hopes to achieve during his term as an executive on the ASI board. He aims to make Sac State students proud by serving them to the best of his ability. The legacy that he hopes to leave behind is to be a role model for future student leaders on campus. If he could make an impact on at least a handful students’ lives by inspiring them to lead in their own ways, he would achieve his ultimate positional goal.

In Randy’s role as Vice President of Finance for ASI, he acts as the ultimate steward of student dollars that are being spent on behalf of ASI related activity. His objective is to make students across the entire campus aware of the all the scholarship opportunities that ASI provides so that students an obtain monetary resources to help elimate financial stress while complimenting their academic progress. He has seen first hand how the power of giving back to students can impact their lives academically and personally.

Randy is a driven and caring student that truly cares about students and his family. “My goal in life is to be able to care for my parents and family when I am older. They have sacrificed everything to provide me with the life that I live. They have supported and pushed me to be the person that I am today. I plan to provide them with all the opportunities that they have provided for me.” I guess you could say that paying it forward is Randy’s bread and butter. 

Get to know Randy better by stopping in the ASI Government Office during his office hours which can be found at If you are interested in getting involved in the work that Randy is doing as ASI Vice President of Finance contact him at!

Stay tuned for the next Board on the Blog!


Board on the Blog: Meet Andrew Michaud!

andrew-1-web-180x270As Sophocles stated, “If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: ‘Thou shalt not ration justice.’” The meaning of this quote plays a large role in the life of Andrew Michaud. As a student pursuing his Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Sacramento State, Andrew is passionate about making positive changes in the world around him, but most importantly, he strives to make the necessary changes to benefit the whole. Not only does he dedicate his work to helping those in need, but he also serves graduate students as the ASI Director of Graduate Studies.

This East Coast Swing dancer, jazz music lover, and Jitterbug groover, is much more than just an exceptionally hard worker–he’s also a terrific friend. He tends to welcome each new person he meets with genuine kindness and care. When working on projects in the ASI Government Office, Andrew is known to provide invaluable advice and thoughtfulness when a board member needs assistance or a second opinion on a topic. Andrew is always there to lift up a friend.

As the Director of Graduate Studies, Andrew’s main goal is to continue to build the connectedness that graduate students feel to one another and the campus community. He has been working towards this goal in many aspects including his contributions in improving institutional policies that govern the graduate studies program at Sac State as well as working to cultivate a sense of belonging among graduate students in various campus settings. The work that Andrew has been dedicating himself to stems from his ultimate goal of positively impacting individuals and contributing to the equity of peoples.

Aside from being a rock star student advocate, Andrew changes lives of ex-convicts each and every day. He helps introduce a brighter future to formerly incarcerated individuals as an instructor and mentor in the Ascend re-entry program. This program helps stop the cycle of crime by giving these adults the tools and the drive to connect to a productive and lifestyle. This work takes patience, perseverance, and compassion towards other human beings. It has been proven to change people’s lives and give them hope that they might not have known existed. These are all of the traits that Andrew exemplifies.

This Gemini is a strong ally to students, and an inspiration to so many of his friends and colleagues. When asked what legacy he would like to leave behind at Sacramento State, his comment was, “A legacy? I wouldn’t want to leave one. A legacy implies being remembered; strangely enough, I don’t want to be remembered. I want to ensure graduates are never overlooked, but I don’t need credit for that. When credit is given, people see that achievement as beyond their abilities. I want people who come after me to try harder and go beyond what I’ve done.”

Andrew is a person worth getting to know by any and all means. He sheds bundles of happiness, wisdom, and strength on the world. Visit the ASI Government Office during his weekly office hours to get to know him better yourself, and for him to get to know you!

Feel free to email him at or visit to see when his office hours are!

Stay tuned for next week’s Board on the Blog!


Board on the Blog: Meet Taylor Myers!

taylor-1-webWith a larger-than-normal personal space bubble and an empowering view on the world, Taylor Myers breaks the mold in many aspects of her life. Not only is she a female conquering the male dominated field of Engineering as a Civil Engineering major at Sacramento State, but she also represents her classmates and peers as the ASI Director of Engineering and Computer Science, or ECS for short.

Upon swearing in to her not so new position on the ASI Board of Directors, Taylor got straight to work within improving resources and connections with her students. “I would like to be a resource for all of my constituents.  A resource they feel comfortable talking to about their experiences, so that I can represent them to my best ability,” Taylor mentions. Her work ethic and commitment to addressing the needs of her students is a strong quality of Taylor’s.

Although Taylor is a tremendous student advocate, she’s also an all-around great person to surround yourself with. Her obsession with Taco Bell and her commitment to never using swear words makes her a pretty darn good influence (I mean who doesn’t like a cheesy gordita crunch every now and then, right?)

To reach her ultimate personal goal of being a successful design engineer and/or construction manager, Taylor has laid out some of her future targets she hopes to hit. A short-term goal of Taylor’s is to obtain an FE certification (Fundamentals of Engineering) as well as a CCM certification (Certified Construction Manger).  One of her noteworthy long-terms goals is to obtain a Masters in Science with a focus in environmental engineering on top of earning a PE (Professional Engineer) license and a GE (Geotechnical Engineering) license.

If she could leave one legacy here at Sacramento State, it would be in the Geo-Challenge team on campus. “It a small group that often gets over looked, I have worked really hard to change that and I hope that the work is recognized and continued after I am gone.”

Her favorite quotation is, “I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” –Ayn Rand.

Taylor is always trying something new and hoping to travel to new place and to gain new experiences. She might bite her nails when she’s nervous, and she might not get the words right when singing a song, but she sure is a powerful young lady that is working hard to make a difference.

If you would like to get involved with the work that Taylor is doing on the ASI Board of Directors, feel free to reach out to her via email at or visit her during her weekly office hours! She is here to be support ECS students.

Stay posted on Taylor’s work throughout the year by liking her facebook page “ASI Engineering and Computer Science Director or by looking at the ASI website





Interview: Joomanji’s Amir Oosman

JoomanjiAmir Oosman is a drummer, producer, engineer and manager for the hip-hop/soul group . He and the Los Angeles-based band are currently touring California, recently playing at Sacramento State’s Wednesday Nooner series, in support of their most recent album “Manj.”

Speaking with Oosman, we covered the origin of Joomanji and his place in the band and the music world.

Emiliano: Has drumming and production been a life-long pursuit for you or is that something you started with Joomanji?

Amir Oosman: As far as drumming goes, that started earlier in life. Probably around when I was 12. I started on a drum set and basically played in school groups through college, and Joomanji was actually one of my first passionate projects. It’s a band I pieced together with a couple of other guys I went to school with. Them being, Robert Finucane on keys and Jonah Christian who is also a keyboard player/beatmaker. The three of us formed the group in undergrad during – Jonah and myself – our sophomore year.

On the production side of things, Jumanji actually influenced me to produce. I didn’t actually start producing till a little later on when I was maybe 20 or so. I started to learn some more programs on the computer, Jonah put me onto Ableton and then in grad school I made a point to take a lot of engineering classes for ProTools and started engineering sessions for other bands. It now has come to a point where it’s great that all three of us can contribute production, engineering and mixing, as well as the compositional side of the music.

E: What do you think it was about Joomanji specifically that made you so passionate?

A: I think it was just very different for me. I just started to get a little bit more comfortable in my own skin as a drummer and Jonah and Rob both opened my ear up to hip-hop, soul and funk. Rob has a really incredible taste in the classic 70’s type of music and Jonah has a really great variety of Jamaican music/90’s hip-hop music that I’d never heard, including producer J Dilla, The Roots and Erykah Badu. There was all this music coming my way between the two of them that I really gravitated towards.

The way we really started was Jonah had his beat tape with maybe 10 or 12 beats that he had made through the course of high school and college and I had never heard anything like it. So, we started to preform them live as a trio around our college and then just slowly added musicians and singer. The core knit of the group was just this organic, grass-roots, ‘let’s just try stuff, let’s just experiment.’ Nothing forced, just everything natural. That’s why I think we’ve stayed together this long and that’s why we continue to feed off of each other and influence each other. It’s a big part of why I think the group works well together.

E: You guys also tour around California as Joomanji correct?

A: Yeah, definitely.

E: When you’re on the road, what are you guys listening to in the car when you’re together?

A: Recently, on the car ride up [to Sacramento], we had been listening to the new Kendrick Lamar “untitled unmastered.” We try to circulate something new as well as old playlists that Rob puts together or something that Jonah might have put together. Classic tracks, like Jill Scott or Erykah Badu. Most of the time on the car rides, if there is a new record out, we try and grab that and really engage ourselves. I remember a few tours back when “To Pimp a Butterfly” had come out, by Kendrick Lamar, we all quietly listened through it top to bottom and it was interesting to experience it all together, you know what I mean? You all kind of talk about your experiences with your first listen. It’s fun and engaging to see how everyone else reacted to it.

E: Do you think that helps inspire your passion in music when it becomes a more communal experience?

A: Definitely. That’s a huge part of why we respect each other so much; we’re open to each other’s critiques and each other’s opinions verses being closed off. We all care about each other and want to know how everyone thinks and how everything effects each of us as far as the music goes, and writing goes and shows go.

E: On Joomanji’s most recent album, “Manj,” you guys worked with Carlitta Durand of the Foreign Exchange on the song “Divided.” How did that collaboration come about?

A: That was all through Jonah. He had found a channel to reach out to Carlitta, maybe through a mutual friend online and she responded to the track and fortunately enough recorded on it. That was a unique collaboration where we broke out of our shell and went for some guest artists.

The entire record, “Manj,” that full length you can see track-to-track there is a lot of different vocalists and that really showcased – there’s a cohesive sound but there are a lot of different vocal arrangements going on around the production and around the instrumentation. We still kind of keep that hip-hop, jazz, soul vibe going on throughout but tying it all together with different vocalists is still a challenge. We still work with a lot of guest vocalists, but now when we tour we’ve really honed in on Lindsay Olsen and Austin Answan as our vocalists. It makes people identify with the group a little easier now that we have a core group.

E: Do you have a favorite track off of “Manj”?

A: Honestly, my favorite track off that album is “Around the World.” It’s always kind of been, mainly because of the way we recorded it. The experience of writing and recording that track was definitely something I won’t ever forget.

E: Could you explain that experience?

A: Basically, Jonah came down to LA to visit me, before we had all moved permanently down to Los Angeles, Austin and myself were going to school at the California Institute of Arts. Basically, we were in the studio; I booked out an entire weekend just to see what we could come up with. Jonah came through and we just started fiddling around and he just started playing this piano line, and we looped it, and then I went and recorded a few drum lines over each other. The sketch of the track was there, we kind of took some breaks but we didn’t really leave the studio.

The real magic had happened when we found this loop Jonah had done in Ableton of live instrumentation. I called Austin over and he wrote a really great hook and a great verse and it kind of just started turning into cold calling musicians, like, “Hey, I want sax. Hey, I want flute. Cool, I went to school with someone who did that. Do you know anyone who speaks Portuguese or French? Do you know any keyboard players, bass players?” It was one after another and it turned into this twenty hour session where every thirty minutes were just like a big party. People were coming in to add to the track but in their own unique way. It really ties in with the song.


Joomanji has “a multitude of new music” coming within the month of April and over the summer, which can be found on their Soundcloud and Facebook pages. KSSU

The English Beat: Right On Time With Dance, Love, and Unity

Friday night, 1980s college radio darlings, and ska legends, the English Beat played to a crowd of nearly 1,000 fans at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood, Colorado. The show was a non-stop dance party that kept everyone moving and grooving (some were even skanking).

The English Beat works the crowd into a dance frenzy at the Gothic Theatre, May 22, 2015.

The English Beat works the crowd into a dance frenzy at the Gothic Theatre, May 22, 2015.

The new English Beat line up is incredibly tight and never (you see it coming, don’t you?) misses a beat. From Dave Wakeling’s soulful storytelling and King Schascha’s high energy toasting, to the wailing sax, precision drumming, bouncy keys, and first rate bass and guitar work, there is just no standing still.

The band played classic Beat songs, opening with “Rough Rider” and skillfully working through other favorites like “Tears of a Clown,” “Twist and Crawl,” “Save It For Later,” and “Whine and Grind.” General Public tunes like “I’ll Take You There” and “Tenderness” were also included, along with a few songs from the forthcoming album Here We Go Love.

The new songs were fresh and lively numbers that fit nicely into the English Beat tradition. The sound was clearly identifiable as the band’s trademark brand of ska, yet Wakeling’s pop sensibilities gave the tunes a modern and contemporary sound. The Beat’s music is as relevant today as it was back in 2 Tone era, ska revival days. College radio and commercial, “alternative” stations would do well to reintroduce the band and incorporate the new material into the rotation. Legions of new fans would inevitably follow.


A non-stop King Schascha and Dave Wakeling keep the crowd jumping.

Before the show, I had the chance to sit down with Dave Wakeling and discuss the band, the new album, college radio, and a few other topics.

Dave, thank you so much for being here.

My pleasure…

I first heard your music in 1983 and fell in love with it. It was discovering the likes of the Beat, and other punk, ska, and new wave music that eventually led me to book bands and even help start a student-run radio station while in college. The station, KSSU (Sacramento State), will be 25 years old next year.

Fantastic…and a lot of college radio stations wound up carrying the flag, didn’t they? ‘Til the ‘80s became like a golden oldies option.

I.R.S. (the now defunct record label) didn’t play the top 40 marketing game, so college radio was very important to us. We were number one in the college charts, but we were jealous as hell of all the other bands roaring up and down the top 40.

A number of the ‘80s bands have been deemed one hit wonders and some people have focused on how much hair dye they used. The result was that many of these bands became marginalized as goofy, golden oldies types. I think the English Beat wound up retaining its legitimacy by not being over exposed.

Congratulations on the forthcoming album. It’s great that it was crowd-funded through Pledge Music. Previous English Beat themes have been both political and social. What topics can we expect from the new album?

Thank you…you can expect similar themes, but with a newer sound. The goal is to make a record that doesn’t sound like an English Beat record would have sounded then. The new album is called Here We Go Love. It’s about love as a theme, maybe something tangible and it’s also about how life goes on. New songs include The Love You Give…lasts forever even when you’re gone and How Can You Stand There?…when all around you is a lie or how can you stand there and not dance to this irresistible beat of life? Dance and war are conflicted…perfect. We’ve also tried to be a little scurrilous!

What do you want the new and prospective Beat fans to know about you and the band? What would you say the English Beat stands for? And, don’t tell me love and unity.

Basically…at the end of the day, it’s a dance band. We have always been a dance band. It’s about fun and having a good “knees up.” But, we’ve always been about love and unity.

Late night show appearances can be powerful for new and reemerging bands. Any plans?

“Yes, let’s do it! We’ll do them all!” [laughs]

He then asked me to call Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel to get him an appearance. I suggested Saturday Night Live and he agreed to all of them. Jimmy, Lorne, Jimmy, are you guys in?

You’ve had songs included in soundtracks in the past and many of your contemporaries from that era have been featured in recent ads (Pogues, Clash, Depeche Mode, etc.). Any plans to pursue the licensing realm?

I’ve always thought Save It For Later would be great for a pension or a retirement fund.

Feelings on Spotify, Pandora, other streaming services?

NONE! [laughs] No…really, I do think they are great from a music discovery perspective. It’s amazing to me how young people find music these days. They can really drill down into music on the internet. It’s very different from the days of going to the record store to find out what the cool kids were listening to.

On cancer charity events:

Dave talked about the recent An Evening Celebrating the Who event with Pete Townshend, Eddie Vedder and others. The event was a charity benefit for the Teen Cancer America Organization.

The English Beat has supported a similar charity in the U.K. called Teenage Cancer Trust by contributing music to special compilations and releases.

Dave expressed his interest in doing a combined, online benefit for both charities, where he, Townshend, and Vedder could conceivably perform songs from each other’s catalogs (including Save It For Later). “Maybe we each perform three songs…Pete can do four [laughs]. We could do it as a half hour online thing and we could back each other.”

Pete? Eddie? Sounds like a great idea.

On the state of ska:

“One of the things with advancing years is that you forget the things that don’t fit in with your own, employed legacy. I thought I would be more optimistic. I thought that the hippie, punk, tech revolution would have advanced the cause…I thought ska was the stairway to heaven…a platform for social consciousness. I don’t know…I’ve become a bit more fatalist.”

Dave certainly doesn’t come across as a fatalist on stage. In fact, he does a fantastic job of still being an optimist through his shows, where he keeps dance, love, and unity in the spotlight.

Final thoughts:

Dave’s life-saving advice for young ska bands: 1) Don’t fly in small planes, 2) Don’t hot tub alone, and  3) Don’t do “Capri Sun” (or any other fruity beverages) alone.

He would also like a portable hot tub for touring. This could be a great sponsorship opportunity!

The English Beat plays Ace of Spades, in Sacramento, Friday, June 19th.

Jim Bolt is one of the Founders of KSSU the radio station we’ve all grown to know and love.

The Big Three Albums Coming Soon


The weather is getting more and more intense everyday just like the new music currently being produced by August Burns Red, Veil Of Maya, and Like Moths to Flames. All three bands have announced that they are going to release a new album between May and June. Also, all three have released on YouTube, under their labels’ channels, a song from their new albums. Are these guys in cahoots, or are us metal fans just blessed? Probably both, but in the end I got to buy three albums in the very near future.

First off, we have Like Moths to Flames who released a debut single on April 6th titled, “Bury Your Pain” from their upcoming project “The Dream Is Dead” which has an unspecified release date. “Bury Your Pain” has everything you would expect from LMTF; clean vocals, heavy breakdowns, assertive lyrics towards a targeted audience, and the over feeling of wanting to sing along and jump with the band. I mean, the song is still good, but it sounds like all their other stuff.. The good side to this is that you can always rely on LMTF to put out good stuff. The bad side is that it could potentially get played out or get old real quick. We will just have to wait and see what happens when “The Dream Is Dead” is released.

Up next we have August Burns Red, who published the song “The Wake” on April 13th from their upcoming album “Found In Far Away Places” which will be released on June 30th. As you may or may not know, ABR’s last album “Rescue & Restore” was pretty light-hearted and had some Christian Worship influences in it. “The Wake” is heavy, dark, and similar to the way that ABR sounded before their last album. With references to disasters inside of the bible and impending things to come, “The Wake” is like a rhino; strong and flattening out the competition. I am so ready for this next album to come out already that I have listening to “The Wake” everywhere I go with my shoulders and chest puffed up. It makes me look a constipated bear, which is pretty brutal.

Last but most certainly not least, Veil of Maya has released three songs: “Phoenix” (January 1st), “Mikasa” (March 23rd), and “Teleute” (April 13th) all from the upcoming album “Matriarch” which will release on May 12th. VoM is famous for their technical skills along with deep, guttural vocals. The band currently released a Breaking Bad parody video called, “Breaking Bands” which explains that the vocalist is starting to do cleans and multiple ranges of vocals while the guitarist is switching up his style. So far, all their songs released are amazing. The vocals are on point while the guitar playing and drumming reminds me of a mixture between old VoM and Born Of Osiris. Veil of Maya took a risk, and I 100% believe that it paid off.

To hear some of these bands and other craziness, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesday mornings at 8 only on

Below are the links to some of the new songs mentioned in this blog.

Album Review: “Lost Isles” by Oceans Ate Alaska


is a metal-core band the United Kingdom with a unique taste. Some flavors of Djent, Thrash, Death, Pop Punk, and even Electronica float around in this UK Combo. When I first listened to Oceans Ate Alaska, they were a scene/emo kid band performing the class “screamo” music with open note breakdowns. This album “Lost Isles” has been a metamorphosis for Oceans. They started out as puny, long-haired caterpillars and evolved into fire-breathing dragons. Here’s my take on “Lost Isles”.

The intro, “Four Thirty Two” is an instrumental with some radio and television broadcasts on natural disasters playing in the background. Great work done in this song, piece and also in the instrumental interlude. The pure talent and raw sound during these pieces show how the band has progressed in accordance to music theory. Tempo changes, experimental tuning, drum variety, all sorts of vocals (both clean and screamed), and of course some master guitar shredding amplify this bands talent ten-fold. You can tell how much work they put into this album just by these pieces alone.

But wait! It gets even better. Oceans Ate Alaska released three tracks before the actually full length release date, which was February 24th. These songs are “Blood Brothers” (Lyric video), “Floorboards” (Lyric Video), and “Vultures And Sharks” (Music Video). One thing you will notice is how thick the accent is coming out of the front-man. It works really well because with the knowledge of where these guys came from, you can match up the style with the accent. With technical drops, crazy good melodies, and use of techno in the background (but not overdone) made me so excited for the release of the full length. Maybe a little too excited because I listened to “Blood Brothers” about five times a day for a week.

Other songs worth mentioning are “High Horse”,”Linger”, “Entity”, and the debut hit “Lost Isles”. “High Horse” is heavy as frick and is similar to Attila’s lyric style. Basically, we are better than you and will hurt you if you try to take us down. With a little bit of Djent influences, this song made me sweaty and flexed out while just sitting in class, which probably made it uncomfortable for the shy girl next to me. “Linger” and “Entity” cannot be fully appreciated without deciphering the lyrics. I will not ruin the surprise, but your mind will be blown. Also, “Linger” as both clean and distorted guitar throughout, which is strange for metal, but it worked out fantastic! Last but certainly not least is “Lost Isles” which is pretty much everything I have just written, but precisely placed together in one masterpiece. I feel like this should have been on the last song on the album just to give listeners those last tears of joy and bliss before popping the album out their car radio.

To hear some new stuff from Oceans Ate Alaska and a variety of other bands, go listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” on Tuesdays at 8 o’clock!

Thanks for reading, DJGingerbeard out.

An Easy Class Is Not Always the Best Class


Here I am, drinking a homemade mocha, thinking about which class I should write for as my “Favorite Class” this semester. I have some pretty laid-back classes due to either a fantastic professor or easy material. However, there is one class that is quite strict and has a lot of work. A class that students take just for a GE requirement. A class that people either laugh or dread at (unless you major in it of course). This class is THEA 9: Appreciation of Acting.

I took Drama/Theatre all throughout high school. I enjoyed it, but never pursued it into college. In this class, we cover the basics of acting while also studying up on well-known productions, techniques, and actors. From the first day we were required to stand in front of everyone and “state our business” (name, major, favorite food, etc.). From then on we signed a contract that says if we are caught using our electronic devices in class, we will receive an automatic “F” for the whole course. At first I died a little bit in my heart, but then quickly realized that Brazo, our Professor, is doing this so we actually stay focused and participate in class. This is good because some of the material we zoom quickly through and we also get participation points in class. Another “strict” policy Brazo enforces is that if we are over ten minutes late, we are marked absent. After 3 absences, we are dropped from the course. The lesson is pretty obvious do not be late.

After getting homework every class, mandatory performances, and presentation projects this early in the semester, I realized that this is probably my favorite class. Maybe my brain turned backwards, but I think all this work and focus in the classroom is actually helping us students become living breathing people who can us critical thinking as opposed to sitting in others classrooms like zombies and regurgitating material we have memorized onto a test that we will not remember three weeks later. THEA 9 is turning out to be a challenging course, but in an entertaining sort of way. Like Brazo says every class, “I do not just give out A’s. You have to work for them.”

Thanks for reading my post! If you want to hear a variety of metal/loud-rock/punk/pop-punk/djent music on my show, tune into Tuesdays mornings at 8 o’clock!!!

Signing off, DJGingerbeard