Category Reviews

More Than a Friend, Less Than a Lover – Summer Underground

By: Ryan Tubbs

Built on heartwarming memories and heart braking moments, More than a Friend, Less Than a Lover is Summer Underground’s latest release and man, oh, man does it hit you right in the feels. This indie duo—Grant Carey and Chrissy Sandman—possess that special singer/song writer touch that leaves you thinking of happier and simpler times.

This new album from Summer Underground is raw and genuine; you can hear them sing from their hearts and you can hear their natural, pure talent in every note and every pitch. While the guitar and drums throughout the album were recorded in a studio in Ligioner, PA, every single other musical instrument or vocals heard in the album were recorded throughout the country in various bedrooms, basements, apartments and even hotel rooms.

This isn’t a Hollywood, auto-tune using band looking to make millions of dollars; this is an authentic duo doing what they love to do and allowing others to enjoy their success along the way. Every single song is an original written solely by the band and you can hear it in their reminiscent voices and melodic beats.

Whether you’re lounging on the sofa or cruising cross-country, this album is a go-to for anyone looking for a loving and warm batch of songs to put them at ease or bring hope for the future. The entire album relies on themes such as love, misery, hope and self-discovery, bringing you that sense of “home.”

Summer Underground isn’t looking to suck you in with catchy, repeated lyrics and ear-shattering beats, they are looking to make you fall in love with their poetic, meaningful lyrics and raw, natural guitar riffs and piano notes. More than a Friend, Less Than a Lover is a must-have album for anyone who’s a fan of happy-go-
lucky, yet heartbreaking music that’ll leave you thinking of the one you love.

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P.O.S. – Chill, Dummy

P.O.S is straight out of Minneapolis, Minnesota with a crazy genre bending sound. I first heard him when I was roaming around on MySpace. He had a great song called ‘Never Better” that was so different, full of percussion and vibrant guitar riffs. This album has the same, different sound. Much more mainstream as you could say, for this guy.

The first song on this album “Chill, Dummy” definitely comes off very alternative and punky. The smoothly transitions to a more old school hip hop beat with some pretty clever bars. Instantly showing you his diversity. I feel he can gain many new fans and keep the ones that have been around. The third song “Bully” caught me off guard. It continued the trend of hip-hop with sounding like a weird combo of Tyler the Creator and Royce Da 5’9. Weird in a good way. Killer flow. “Pieces/Ruins” comes in with a sharply produced beat, very simple beat sustained by some solid bars. The second half of the album is a little less hip-hop and more punk alt. However, that’s what I like about this guy and why I think he has stuck around.

Overall great album has so many different flavors and appeals. Everyone should check this out and I’m sure you’ll find a song that you can vibe with.

By: Drew Thomas-Del Grande

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Fuck 12 Since 1492 – War Of Icaza

By: Vall Floresfuck 12 since 1492

Decolonizing and reclaiming  is War Of Icaza’s image. War of Icaza is a band that does not follow the standards nor likes to fit in. Their music varies from Hip-Hop to punk to metal to rap. They are a group of native artists with different racial backgrounds, but the group is from Northern CA.

This 17 song album titled Fuck 12 Since 1492 defines what resistance through music truly means. WIth songs like Nazi’s Had A Badge Too, Agua Florida and Protect & Swerve.

A little background on why the album is titled Fuck 12 Since 1492, well 12 is a number that refers to law enforcements. In the year 1492, Christopher Columbus’ voyage took place and here is where Columbus invaded land and enslaved people which he brought back to Spain.

This album is pro POC (people of color), pro womxn, and values culture. In the song Melanin lyrics like, “Brown mamas, this is for my black mamas..Embrace your skin, embrace your features, fuck the media we are perfect creatures,” acknowledges the beauty within POC. On a similar note, No More Mayo, “My momma used to say,”Jerry, you know that we got to dress white,” I said fuck that shit momma I’m wearing ponchos every night. I’m brown, proud and loud.” Here the vocalist of the band explains a reality many brown families experienced when trying to assimilate with American culture.

With the degrading of people of color especially with Trump’s election many want to scream, protest and let out their anger this album is a great medicine for that. It also alludes to many of the struggles ongoing today for instance, the Dakota Access Pipeline affecting many indigenous tribes, as well as the BlackLivesMatter movement, and other POC struggles.

War Of Icaza’s latest work is different from all their other previous albums and you can hear that in their beats, which are raw and unapologetic. They’re different. Each member offers distinguishing elements that make this album far from the ordinary. Different genres, are creatively mixed to create what I like to call: activism hip hop. We can hear these sounds in songs like Trap It Up and Masa Masa.

“This government never loved me,” a famous line in Xinga La Chota that expresses the injustices within the system.

War of Icaza incorporates indigenous language: Nahuatl, within their music and song titles which goes back to the theme of decolonizing. This album is looking at the role the new generation of activists play through a hip hop lens that demonstrates how revolutionaries proudly share their roots and their history.

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