Welcome to the Bulls Radio Music page! The Bulls Radio Music covers all the music news around USF and Tampa area. Listen live on Bulls Radio daily for music news updates.
On-Air (813) 974-9285
Office (813) 974-4906
West Virgina heavy metal band, Byzantine, returns to the metal scene with their fourth album, self-titled, Byzantine. A mesh of the best parts of bands like Meshuggah, Lamb of God, and Pantera seems like a winning combination in the making. Formed back in 2000, Byzantine focuses on the thrash beats and feeds the occasional progressive beat or classical breakdown that keeps their originality intact. In fact, when the band first started they wrote songs with the help of a BOSS drum machine since they hadn’t found a drummer yet. Byzantine’s members are Chris Ojeda (vocals and rhythm guitar), Tony Rohrbough (lead guitar), Michael Cromer (bass), and Matt Wolfe (drums). Byzantine likes to explore different musical structures in their songs and each song provides a different feel on the album. Having started in West Virginia, Byzantine has kept itself isolated from any influences in mainstream metal music. Their isolation has kept them focused on their individual work and being as original as possible in songwriting and instrumentation.
Each song on the album has a unique section to it that makes it very memorable for the listener. The first track, “White Light Shall Never Penetrate”, has a little boy recite the alphabet with a bass solo in the background followed by a nine second metal scream. Two very contrasting elements that have a bit of a shock factor to it when first heard. The song “Efficacy” has very clean and clear acoustic guitar that intertwines itself with the heavy riffs in the intro and breakdown parts. “Forged In The Heart Of A Dying St” has a great opening with intricate fretwork that has a bit of power metal control. During the guitar solo is an off rhythm progressive beat that is very groove driven. “Posthumous” begins with a reverse guitar intro and surprisingly has great singing vocals that most thrash metal songs don’t include. The vocals were very unexpected and showcased Ojeda’s talents that expand more than just screams. “Posthumous” would be regarded as the ballad yet remains a fairly flowing tune tempo-wise.
To say that Clutch is a veteran group in the music industry would be an understatement. The band was formed back in 1990 starting in Maryland and has released 10 studio albums. Clutch even owns its own record label now, called Weathermaker. In addition to that, the band has released a couple live performance DVD’s for sale. Their most recent studio project, Earth Rocker, has a laid back sound with iconic vocals headed by Neil Fallon. The other members of the band include Tim Sult (guitars), Dan Maines (bass), and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums and percussion).
From the get-go the first band that comes to mind for comparison is Electric Six, mainly due to the nearly identical sounding vocals. The instrumentation has elements of southern rock, funk metal, and hard rock. The song “Unto the Breach” has a Motorhead feel with an uptempo and aggressive feeling vibe with plenty of wah-wah on the electric guitar solo. The title track, “Earth Rocker”, is like a time capsule to Electric Six’s “Dance Epidemic” tune. “D.C. Sound Attack” begins with a bluesy intro featuring the harmonica and has a groovy cowbell rhythm. A real change of pace is on the song “Gone Cold” with Fallon singing a Johnny Cash type ballad. The simplicity of the song makes it very memorable. Earth Rocker would be considered unbearable if the listener had a phobia of a constant ride cymbal and a hatred for pure rock.
Clutch has a solid album on their hands and it goes to show that having experience as a band can really aid in tailoring a band’s sound. The arrangement of different music styles keeps the record fresh and enjoyable throughout. Look for Clutch to perform at the State Theater on May 9th.
It’s a difficult task to stand out in the metal scene, usually a band has to venture into other genres and incorporate musical ideas that will be innovative. Amaranthe does just that not only on their new second album, The Nexus, but as a staple of the band’s identity and sound. The combination of three different singers makes for a very unique way of each vocalist playing off of each other and developing an unpredictable array of verses. The melodic metal band infuses a little pop element into their songs with catchy choruses but maintain their heavy side with growling and great instrumentation. The band is made of Elize Ryd and Jake E (lead vocals), Andreas Solveström (growling vocals), Olof Mörck (guitars and keys, Johan Andreassen (bass), and Morten Løwe Sørensen (drums).
The album includes a wide variety of tempos and electronic elements in each song. The slower pop-ballad “Burn With Me” features the vocal talents of Elize and Jake while “The Nexus” and “Theory of Everything” are the more power metal and fist pumping tracks. “Theory of Everything” has a great breakdown in the middle of the sing that is perfect to head bang to. The synthy-pop tune “Electro Heart” is a change of pace with the playful vocals of Elize being the focus. The song “Mechanical Illusion” is a real highlight on the album. From the intro being frequent throughout the background as well as the groovy guitar riff and the extremely sing-along friendly chorus, it is the epitome of Amaranthe’s vision as a band. All the elements are present and executed flawlessly. It just goes to show that metal music doesn’t have to be 100% screaming and lyrics that can’t even be understood or translated. The clean vocals of Amaranthe make their music more enjoyable and relatable even with the difficult task of balancing three vocalists on a consistent basis.
Amaranthe is currently touring across Russia, Japan, and making their rounds across Europe from Sweden to Finland. There have been no plans for them to tour in the U.S., but hopefully that can change as their popularity grows.
Iron & Wine, the solo project of Sam Beam, began in a time where The Shins and Band of Horses, and any other band that would have fit on the Garden State soundtrack, with understated yet filled to the brim with emotion songs, was the typified sound in the indie world. The singer-songwriter genre isn’t exactly what it used to be, at least not when Iron & Wine was the it-band for that sound, most notably on Our Endless Summer Days (2004). Since then, while still understated, the music performed by today’s singer-songwriters has less to do with acoustic guitars and more to do with synthesizers and Pro Tools.
2011’s Kiss Each Other Clean shifted Beam’s musical direction from the introspective style of his albums up to The Shepherd’s Dog (2007) into something a little more assertive. On his latest album, Ghost On Ghost, he has crafted an album matching the flair of his 2011 release with the bedroom nature of his previous efforts. The music here is some of the strongest to date on an Iron & Wine album. “Caught in the Briars,” begins the album with a jolt of feel-good energy, carrying with it an undeniable hint of nostalgia. “Joy” is perhaps the most aptly named song on this album, with Beam professing his love to his wife through the song. “Low Light Buddy of Mine” and “Singers and the Endless Song” harken back to his work in the previous decade, and both feature two of the most beautiful melodies found here. Also important to note is the fact that Beam’s vocals are the strongest and most soulful they’ve sounded to date, as he his performances recall the powerful nature in which Jim James takes ownership of each My Morning Jacket song. Lyrically, Beam is at the top of his game as well, and his compositions are getting stronger by the minute. The closing punch of “Lovers’ Revolution” and “Baby Center Stage,” with the former being a jazzy, free-spirited joy ride, and the latter one of the most heartbreaking songs in his catalogue.
Throughout the album, Beam hits new heights that seemed unimaginable a few short years ago. On Kiss Each Other Clean, Beam seemed to be fighting for airtime amidst a more filled out sonic display. Here he uses the more complex arrangements as a companion to some of his strongest melodies, at least rivaling such classics as “Naked As We Came” and “Boy With a Coin.” For an artist many would have said had reached his peak years ago, Iron & Wine proves that there is a lot left in this tank, and that is what makes this such a triumphant return.
Olympia, Washington has been responsible for some really amazing music. Bands such as Beat Happening and The Microphones have helped to establish Olympia as a highly respected city with a rich musical history. With such a rich musical history, it should come as no surprise that Milk Music are making such great music. Milk Music consists of Alex Coxon (guitar/vocals), Charles Warring (guitar), Dave Harris (bass) and Joe Rutter (drums), and together these four guys are making some of the most interesting music out there right now. Their new record Cruise Your Illusion has proven to be one of the best listens of 2013 so far.
On Milk Music’s previous release, the fantastic Beyond Living EP there were thrashing drums, driving bass and fuzzed-out guitars, which led many people to compare Milk Music to bands such as Dinosaur Jr. or Soundgarden, but those comparisons seem a bit lazy. Milk Music has taken components of that kind of guitar driven music, but has melded them into their own unique sound. With their new record Cruise Your Illusion, Milk Music has expanded their sound and added some diversity that really fits them well. The second song “Illegal and Free” is a great example of this new sound. It has the characteristic fuzzed out guitar, but instead of being a fast punk song it instead keeps a pretty steady pace that feels more like a rock and roll jam then a punk song. Alex Coxen has a great ear for vocal melodies, and these new songs give him much more room to explore his vocal capabilities, which has been absolutely great. Like on the song “Dogchild,” which has a bit of a country feel to it, features Coxen singing some really great melodies as well as some fantastic instrumentation. The slide guitar that goes over the fingerpicked guitar is a totally different sound for Milk Music, but they nailed it. The best example of this mellow side of Milk Music is definitely the closer “The Final Scene.” There are beautiful backing vocals as well as one of Coxen’s best vocal performances to date. Not to mention that the song is an eight-minute masterpiece that perfectly ends a really solid record. The new territory that Milk Music is exploring has been great, but they have not forgotten their punk roots. Like the song “New Lease On Love,” which features some really energetic instrumentation. Especially during the bridge where the band locks into this awesome groove that almost forces your body to start moving. Right after this track they segue right into a definite highlight not only of the album, but of 2013. It is not surprising that Milk Music decided to use “Cruising With God” as their single, because it is undoubtedly one of their finest movements. The guitars sound absolutely amazing and the way Coxen yells his lyrics perfectly fits this song. The way Coxen screams and yelps right before they go into a guitar jam really helps bring character to this song, and helps it feel more visceral. The best song of the album though, has to be “I’ve Got A Wild Feeling.” It has some of the best guitar work of the last decade. Every note seems to be perfectly pieced together. Not to mention that Coxen absolutely nailed his vocal delivery on this track. The drums and the bass are locked in together to provide the perfect backdrop for the guitars to absolutely shred. I really have not been this excited about guitar driven music in along time, so it is refreshing to see Milk Music bring revive this kind of music in such an exciting manner.
With Cruise Your Illusion Milk Music have expanded and refined their sound, and they have never sounded better. Coxen has considerably expanded his vocal range and it has brought a whole new life to the band. The production on this record is also fantastic. Everything is clear and mixed well, but the production also has captured Milk Music’s raw and visceral sound, which is incredibly important for a band like Milk Music. Definitely one of the best records that 2013 has offered so far, make sure to check this out if you have a chance.
The much anticipated album by Disturbed frontman David Draiman is here. Teaming up with former Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo, they formed a new side-project band and incorporated electronic and industrial metal sounds into one. The band consist of Draiman, Lenardo, drummer Will Hunt, and guitarist Virus (Andre Karkos). Although it isn’t Disturbed on the cover, it feels almost as a new Disturbed album since Draiman’s lyrics and vocals are so recognizable and memorable. From his iconic “yows” and “hoo-ha’s” it is clear he hasn’t missed a beat with his songwriting and singing ability after taking a break from Disturbed.
From the get-go the album starts with an industrial metal feel having chugging riffs and pounding double bass. The song “War of Lies” is a great comparison to past Disturbed tunes since it is very evident that the first verse is almost identical to the same notes and layout as Disturbed’s hit song, “Droppin Plates.” Guest appearances are aplenty on the album from Halestorm’s Lzzy Haze on the slower ballad “Close My Eyes Forever” to Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows on the song “Haze.” “Haze” begins with a monotone M. Shadows that leads to Draiman’s identifiable “yow” scream into the chorus and the breakdown utilizing Draiman’s whispers as heard from the Disturbed cover, “Shout 2000.”
If the fact that Disturbed was taking a hiatus for awhile felt unpleasant, then Device’s self-titled album will be sure to help fill that void of “what has David Draiman been up to?” Unfortunately Device has already completed their Florida portion of their tour with Gemini Syndrome and Nonpoint, but the band is coming back up to Jacksonville on April 28th for the Welcome to Rockville Festival.
It is always disappointing to watch a once great artist lose the artistic vision they once possessed. Bands such as Weezer or Green Day that released classic albums like Pinkerton and Dookie have not been able to consistently release good material, but have instead completely changed their musical output, which has left old fans heartbroken. It seemed as if David Bowie might have fallen into this same category after he released albums such as Hours and Black Tie White Noise, but his new album The Next Day will certainly put this notion to rest.
The Next Day starts off strong with the song “The Next Day”, which draws a resemblance to the fantastic opener “The Speed of Life” on Bowie’s 1977 album Low. The song features some fantastic instrumentation that builds towards a wonderful chorus that proves that Bowie can still write an amazing song with a powerful chorus. Definitely the best opening track that Bowie has had in a long time. The next song “Dirty Boys” stumbles in an almost drunken manner with some of the weirdest instrumentation on this album. The saxophone line is really odd especially when mixed with the strange minimalist guitar. The song definitely seems like it would fit better on a Tom Waits album, but David Bowie pulls it off. The next song is the single “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and it is definitely one of the finest moments of The Next Day. The production on this track is phenomenal. The acoustic guitar sounds crisp and clear as Bowie delivers a wonderful vocal harmony. When the string section kicks in later the song begins to really come together and showcase the wonderful songwriting.
The next track to really standout would have to be the other single “Where Are We Now?” This song definitely has the most beautiful instrumentation on The Next Day. The dramatic piano that opens the track does bare a resemblance to Bowie’s early hit “Changes”, and it is over these piano chords that Bowie delivers his most intimate vocal performance on The Next Day. “Where Are We Now?” is proof that Bowie can still write an emotionally rich ballad and can deliver it with plenty of gusto. The next track “Valentine’s Day” features some of the strongest songwriting on the album, particularly the chord progression that has a wonderful guitar riff played on top that perfectly accentuates the mood of the song. The track “I’d Rather Be High” is another highlight of the album, though it might not be as instantly enjoyable. The real charm of this song comes with the chorus. In it Bowie sings, “I’d rather be high/ I’d rather be flying” in one of the albums best vocal melodies. The odd guitar line that comes in periodically throughout the track might deter some listeners from this track, but for others it will undoubtedly become one of the most memorable parts of The Next Day. The only track to really feel stale is “(You Will) Set The World On Fire”, which features some really cheesy electric guitar and the worst songwriting of the album. On other tracks such as “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” the shiny production does a favor for the song by setting a strong atmosphere for the song, but eh over production on “(You Will) Set The World On Fire” is probably the worst thing about this track. This track feels like it would have translated much better with a more raw approach than such an overproduced cheesy sound, but despite these problems it is hardly the worst Bowie song.
It is great to see David Bowie return with a record as strong as The Next Day. It really does feel like some of this material could have been written during the golden years of Bowie’s career and with some great production this album stands out as undoubtedly the best new material Bowie has released in almost 30 years. There is no doubt that The Next Day hardly stands up against Bowie’s greatest albums such as Low or Station to Station, but it does stand on its own and is definitely worth a listen regardless of whether you are a fan of Bowie’s earlier material or not.
When a band releases a record of diverse sounds it can really go one of two ways. Sometimes it feels uncreative and weak, because it seems as if the band is working with sounds that they have not been able to use well, or it can become the greatest asset of an album. Earlier this year The Men managed to release a fantastic record New Moon that featured many different styles of music and it worked well, because The Men took different styles of music and made it their own. On Merchandise’s new EP Total Nite they have taken multiple different sounds and melded them with their own style and the result is magnificent.
Right away the EP starts off with Merchandise experimenting with new sounds. The opener “Who Are You” features a harmonica, which actually works surprisingly well to bring a fresh feel to this song. The guitar is drenched in reverb and distortion and it sounds fantastic and the bass sound is great. The vocal delivery from Carson Cox is terrific, and yet it might be his least memorable performance on this release. This song is considerably shorter than the other songs and thus feels as if it is done before it has had a chance to really stick in your head, but it is a wonderful opening track nonetheless.
The next track “Anxiety’s Door” is probably the best that Merchandise has ever sounded. The first fifty seconds of the song is spent building up to the tremendous guitar riff that comes in and continues on until the verse. The verse is where Carson Cox delivers one of the most memorable vocal melodies of the year thus far. The acoustic guitar in the background sounds great especially with the steady bass line and drums locked in together to form the backbone of the song. The song then swells up for the epic chorus that is sure to stick in your head weeks. The next song “I’ll Be Gone” is the slowest and most intimate track of Total Nite. Merchandise has always managed to fit a slower intimate song on their records, for example on their debut record Strange Songs (In The Dark) there is the extremely intimate song “What Was Left Behind” which features only a droning guitar and Carson Cox singing. Then on their next record Desire there is the song “Satellite” which features only a piano and Carson Cox singing, and on Total Nite “I’ll Be Gone” is a terrific song that really helps give this record a more diverse feeling. The track features some wonderful synth work as well as a very interesting lead guitar riff that has some sort of effect on it that kind of makes it sound like the lead guitar in David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Perhaps the greatest part of this track, though, is the lyrics that Carson Cox sings that deal with wanting to get away from people, which is the perfect subject matter for a sorrowful ballad such as this. The next track “Total Nite” takes the record in a completely different direction. It is by far the loudest and most abrasive song on this record and it might also be the most intriguing song as well. It starts off with some distorted guitar chords being played fast, which builds up to a part that features a saxophone and some really dissonant guitar. This song is definitely one of the hardest Merchandise songs to digest. The song is 9:20 and it is packed full of musical ideas many of which are loud and dissonant, so do not expect this song to be as easily digested as the rest of Total Nite, but what it lacks in accessibility it makes up for in abrasiveness and energy. Definitely one of the finest moments in Merchandise’s discography. The last song “Winter’s Dream” is a slower song that fits perfectly at the end of this record. It starts of with an awesome bass line that functions as the backbone of the entire song and then an assortment of various sounds begin to layer on top of the song as Carson Cox delivers yet another fantastic vocal harmony. The guitar on this track is absolutely phenomenal. It sounds like something that Robert Smith would play on one of The Cure’s records and it ends up being some of the most beautiful guitar work that has been played on anything that Merchandise has ever released.
With Total Nite Merchandise has experimented and diversified their sound and it has resulted in one of the best records of 2013. The production on this album is fantastic and has helped to bring Merchandise’s work to another level. At its core, though, Total Nite is just a phenomenally written record. Merchandise has always had great songwriting on their records, but Total Nite shows that they are able to write a wide variety of different types of songs and succeed with all of them. This is definitely my favorite record of 2013 so far and is highly recommended.
Be sure to go watch Merchandise play a free show at Mojo Books and Music on Friday April 19 with the band Gun Outfit from Olympia, WA. It’s sure to be a great show!
For Today is a metalcore band out of Iowa . They Starting out as one the heaviest Christian metal, the bands path has since gone in a completely different direction. With their new EP Prevailer one can see a lighter, hardcore style come out of the otherwise devastatingly heavy metal troupe. The groups choice to slow down, though criticized by some, is actually an incredibly good move by the group, and if one was to look at their whole catalogue and listen to everything from Ekklesia to Prevailer, it really does show the true, fiery scope of the band.
Hailing from the state that brought us bands like Slipknot and Stone Sour, For Today comes from a different direction than the typically dark depressing Midwestern metal bands. One of the most avidly Christian bands in the Metalcore scene today, For Today consists of Ryan Leitru on lead guitar and clean vocals, Brandon Leitru on bass guitar, David Puckett destroying the drums, and Mattie Montgomery as lead vocals. The newest member of the band is Sam Penner on rhythm guitar, and Prevailer is his first record with the band.
There are four brand new tracks on this record with the first single being “Flesh and Blood”. The whole album has a descending feel to it, where each track feels a little slower than the previous. The trend is subtle, but can be picked up until you reach track four, “Open Heaven”. The songs are less heavy than their previous works as well with almost every song having a clean singing piece somewhere within the tracks. The surprise on this album is the acoustic cover of “Fearless”. Yes, that is right For Today finally did an acoustic track with Mattie doing the singing. Its honestly one of the most beautiful acoustic songs to be heard in a while just proving even metal bands have soft sides.
Now, it can be said that For Today has ‘sold out’ by doing this softer album, but give it a chance. The EP is actually really good and deserves its recognition as another step in the arc of the band’s career. The EP also comes with a DVD that catalogues the band’s history. The DVD is rather entertaining and contains a lot of heart-warming and interesting bits of history. Over all the EP is a wonderful addition to another great bands catalog, and leaves their audience to crave for another full length release.
Jon Davidson, frontman for the alternative pop band Crown Point and most recently the hard rock band Silversafe, is taking a step into a new direction for his solo career. His third solo album, Tip of the Iceberg, is an electronic/indie/alternative blend project. Having grown up in Michigan, Davidson now resides in Portland, Oregon after living in Israel, Austria, and Russia. Davidson’s songs have been played on over 275 FM stations and he has shared the stage with the likes of Puddle of Mudd and Saliva. He has toured in 45 U.S. states, six Canadian Provinces and five countries. He has even helped produce albums worldwide for other artists and even worked with Jeff Johnson (Nickelback, Default) and Sony Australia’s Russell Stafford on cowriting some songs. Davidson’s popularity really grew when he made appearances on E!, ABC, NBC, and FOX stations. His music has been played on MTV shows and even in some feature films.
The album starts very strong with a wide variety electronic sounds in the tune “Firefly” that is very much like an Owl City song, minus the filtered vocals. “Cost of Love” has an acoustic guitar and bells being the primary instruments with the occasional kick drum that sounds like Finger Eleven’s famous hit “One Thing.” The songs “Automatic Heart” and “More” have a more acoustical base with no electronics with “More” having just Davidson singing acapella backed by just himself on harmonies. The highlight of the album is on the self-titled track “Tip of the Iceberg” that has a great diversity of electronic sounds and rhythms being featured on the synthesizer. The chorus has that catchy “lala-lalala” that can be seen as a great live track and fun enough to sing along to. Overall, Davidson’s album stays away from those common instrumentals seen on electronic albums and tries to give value in full length songs that feel to have been created to be more fulfilling for the listener rather than short brief songs just to lengthen the album time. is