All the Pieces in Place in The Mood Manual’s Authentic Tensegrity

Mood-Manual

The long-awaited debut album from Madison-based progressive hard-rock outfit, The Mood Manual, finally lands on May 3rd. Authentic Tensegrity, the result of months of recording, mixing, and mastering, brilliantly displays the band’s talents and well-represents the best efforts of the local scene. True to the album’s title, each element of the band shines at moments and supports in others. This is especially evident in “Gold Mine”, which features a talk box bass solo over driving guitar and drum ostinato, a viola chorus, haunting vocal harmonies, and an ending section of trading instrumental virtuosity. This band exemplifies four talented individuals coming together and creating a greater whole.

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Taking on the Establishment with American Zer0s

American Zeros

Blue-collar rockers, Milwaukee’s own American Zer0s release their debut 6-song EP, “Preamble”, tonight at the Whammy Bar in West Allis. The self-appointed genre suits the band’s simple music with mostly unison guitar/bass riffs and to-the-point vocal lines supported by fast but not overly-fancy drums. With the anti-establishment themes sung through megaphone effects on top of the brutal instruments, blue-collar rock works, but heavy anarchy rock works even better. It’s a beautifully, brutally fun debut from a promising band.

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Pay The Devil | Wrong Side of the River

Pay The Devil - Wrong Side of the River

On April 3rd, Milwaukee “shantygrass” band Pay The Devil will release their debut album, entitled Wrong Side of the River. Over the last three years Pay The Devil has worked hard to bring as much energy as possible to every venue they play, and the goal of this recording was to do the same. The album contains heavy influences of traditional Appalachian string-band music, bluegrass, folk, and punk. Clawhammer banjo kicks off a fair number of tracks including the title-track Wrong Side of the River which tells the story of a night of drinking at Merlefest gone wrong. Banjo player Ivan Eisenberg fills us in on the backstory…

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{ELSE} – Cemetery Dance

Brick-lineup-(logo)-xs

Well, it’s still cold in Milwaukee, so we’re bringing the Dig Sessions indoors for an acoustic set with {ELSE}, featuring Those Who Dig’s own Kent Heberling on cello. {ELSE} normally plays as a 5-piece incorporating tightly-knit and distorted guitars, churning bass lines, grungy keyboards, and searing vocals, but the group slimmed down to a trio and translated those bass lines to cello and subdued the normally fiery guitars.

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Beginning Again with Volunteer

Volunteer - debut album "The World Will Begin Again"

Out of the music city, alternative-pop group Volunteer releases their debut EP, “The World Will Begin Again”. Throughout the 5-song EP, you’ll hear truly epic drumming, dazzling synth arpeggios and powerfully delivered vocals with lyrics that capture a journey of self-discovery. It’s a clean and polished but very exciting album with some airy anthems like the titular “The World Will Begin Again” and more intimate numbers like “Hope”. My favorite is the epic and heartfelt ending track, “Leap of Faith” which adds some simple-but-gorgeous lead guitar lines to the mix. The album is available today and is well worth a listen!

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A Monster of a Track

sleeping dog

Brand new L.A. based Sleeping Dog just released their debut single, “Monster”, and it surely is a beast of a song. Constantly ebbing between subtle lows with intricate clean guitars with half-whispered vocals and full screams with blazing double bass, the song expertly navigates the territory between aggressive hard-rock/metal and more delicate emotional indy. 

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Six Piece Streaming with Vultures

Vultures

Decidedly rocking, but decidedly not a rock band, the UK’s Vultures features three-part vocals, cello, violin, viola, bass and drums as a neo-goth sextet. The band’s multi-national background assembled in London and recorded their wonderfully dark, composed, and impassioned debut album “Three Mothers Part 1″, which is now available to stream and purchase.

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Watching the Nighttime Come – Suz Slezak

Watching the Nighttime Come_Cover Art Suz Slezak

Where did you come from? A few seconds of guitar strumming lead straight into what Suz Slezak does best; break your heart with her voice. The only thing I knew about this album before my first listen was that it was created for parents and children. I admittedly didn’t know exactly what to expect. I personally don’t have any children, I’m an only child, and really have had very little experience with kids in general. If we’re being completely honest, children actually set me a bit on edge. To this album’s credit it makes me want to learn these tunes, and share them with the world.

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