Saturday, May 17, 2014

Crash Of Rhinos – Distal

I haven't posted in awhile. And this post was kind of egged on by a conversation I had with a friend last night. Apparently he was a follower of the old Listen To This Once blog I used to write for and I unknowingly, along with at least one other contributing writer to that blog, turned him on to music he really enjoys to this day. We didnt know each other at the time. But now are friends, and our bands are friends. So it was a really, strange but cool thing to hear about. And made me feel like writing for my somewhat neglected music blog.

Last night I was driving home from a amazing show my friends Del Paxton played for the record release for their EP “Worst Summer Ever” on Secret Audio Club and I wont lie, I was drained. haha. I had worked a full work day and, to make sure I got to the show on time, I drove straight from work to the show. Stopping only to get a bite on the way to Ithaca. WORTH IT! haha. Being as tired as I was, I obviously didn’t want to listen to jazz or post rock or anything like that. This record was the first thing that came to my mind. It got me thinking about the past and made me a little sentimental.
I discovered Crash Of Rhinos on a British music message board. I was on a search to see what the members of the band Spy Versus Spy did after that band disbanded. I did get some leads. But within that was mention of these guys. At the time, they had just released this album. So I immediately checked them out. I was obviously not disappointed. Coming from the recommendation based off of Spy Versus Spy, I thought I knew what to expect. Which is essentially, something sort of like a more post hardcore influenced Braid. I wont lie that their name being taken from a Magic: The Gathering card didn’t hurt my interest. haha. It’s a amazingly fitting name given the set up of the band. Two guitars, two basses, drums, and all of the members singing, often simultaneously. The opening song of this record “Big Sea” starts so heavy, and then somehow, gets even bigger and heavier. haha. One of my all time favorite record openers. This album is filled with everything from intricate beautiful sounding guitars, complex time signatures and incredible drumming, to just heavy rock out parts. The songs in general, are longer than say a Braid or Mock Orange. Which keeps in line with Spy Versus Spy. One of my favorite things that Crash of Rhinos do on this album that they sadly did away with on their follow up is the gang/group vocals. It is so rare to have that in a band that is not some bullshit punk/hardcore crap. And being from Syracuse, NY I know a thing or too about bullshit punk/hardcore haha. One of the main things with putting this album on when I was tired and fighting off sleep is the promise that I could blast this album in my car and yell at the top of my lungs and feel a strange connection to what's happening with the recording. Its like any good album you really love and care about. And it having the group vocals to start have it set up almost right from the get go to have that special feeling.
This band broke up recently. For me, it was personally crushing. They put out their follow up to this record, “Knots”(which you can download in my Best of 2013 post), out on Topshelf Records here in the states and I really thought they were poised for amazing things. “Knots” got a shining review from Pitchfork. That record, while more polished, etc. is so good. But I really feel like this album is the top. Amazing songs. So many different kinds of songs and feelings occur when I listen to this release. There are very few albums that come out that have this kind of power. If you haven't heard this band, and more specifically this album, you need to do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a amazing record start to finish.
Download The Album Here
Buy it if you like it!

Labeling of past blogs

I am trying to go through and label/tag past blog entries that i didn't initially. The ones that I wanted to do the most were the numerous "Best of's" from over the years. Issue is, blogger SEVERELY limits the amount of tags/labels I can do. So in the instances of the Best of posts, not all the information I would like to be there, is or can be tagged. I do apologize. I am trying to make the tags/labels the best i can given the restriction of 200 characters in total. ouch!