ANTISUN GREY Presents | A Brian Franklin Review
1The Roundup

Here's the first of my Bandcamp music Roundups! I'm no music critic, so you won't find any detailed criticisms on the artistry of these albums. But you'll get a layman's attempt at it!

ASD by A Skylit Drive

I was looking for some balls-to-the-wall, head-banging rock with someone screaming, and these guys delivered. The album brings back happy memories of Papa Roach for some reason. I love the melodic quality to all of the tracks. They seem to be designed for radio, with most of them clocking in around the magical 3 to 4 minutes, but each track is memorable with enough variety to keep attentive listeners interested.

I’m biased to any album that has that combination of rock and screaming (a la Linkin Park, Papa Roach, et al) but the other elements – production quality, passion of the singers, the wonderful guitar riffs – make this a must have album in my books.

Revolution by CloZee

This is album is just 5 tracks, you might reason. But every second of it is worth your time. I’ve never heard of CloZee before, but she has produced some incredible music here.

There are elements of electronica and glitch with orchestral arrangements inspired by Middle Eastern, Indian and other musical traditions that I’m too green to pick out. Each track is dense, with lots of intricately layered sounds and themes that flow throughout the album.

This certainly feels like an artist at the top of her game, presenting just a tender sampling of her musical prowess for us to enjoy.

Novallo II by Novallo

The funkiest and…strangest album I’ve heard in a while. Which is great, for it sets it apart from pretty much anything I currently have in my collection. It’s progressive metal with beautiful and ever-changing melodies and with a crooning-screaming-jamming lead singer who you do not get bored listening to.

Each track is upbeat and multifaceted and will keep the attentive listener plugged in to all. The instrumental arrangements are top-drawer stuff. The production slick. I wouldn’t have thought that a singing voice practically dripping croon sung over aggressive guitars and drums could work, but it does, and it is awesome.

Vox Populi 3 by Several Artists

The third annual compilation of Retro Promenade artists and music makes me wonder where the heck I’ve been the other two years. This is great retro music, here, and a fantastic sampling of many styles and inspirations.

Whether it’s pop or synth or electronica, I felt like I was listening to an awesome soundtrack from an equally awesome 80s film. I love retro music but mostly have been listening to instrumentals. Vox Populi 3 is a great introduction to the vocal side of things, so to speak.

RNDM by Mega Ran

I love rap. At its core, it’s heartfelt poetry put to beats drawing on musical traditions developed by West African and Caribbean storytellers. Mega Ran has produced a deeply personal and well-produced album. His lyricism is flawless. He draws upon videogames and his life with finesse. So we get lines like:

I’m Superman in Injustice, I’m Alex Mercer in Prototype / overhyped, you know the type

And...

And what's the joy in being the broke dude who kept it real, / Can't change the community when you can't pay your bills

A juxtaposition of gaming and blunt real-life that I was not expecting and hadn’t encountered before. The album is at once introspective and fun. Even his guest rappers are top-notch. Check this line from Wordburglar:

Woke up from cryo-sleep in a sommnambulator / exposed to gamma rays, may grow antlers later / horny in space, business as usual

Science fiction spun out into vortex of fun. RNDM has been a great addition to my rap collection.

All in all a good collection of music that won't bore or get old too soon!

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