Exclusive Review: Versus Me – “Continuous” EP

Article by: Justyn Brodsky & Dave Welsh

With the countless amount of bands and artists in today’s indie scene, signed or unsigned, they’re all aiming to climb to the top of the Spill Your Guts agro crag (if you grew up watching 90s Nickelodeon, then you know exactly what that is). But all that aside, the music industry has never been more competitive for the up-and-comers, especially after the discontinuation of the full-summer runs of the holy grail of indie band-designated traveling music festivals, the Vans Warped Tour, after 2018. But a band like Versus Me, who began hitting the ground running several years ago and comprised of passionate musicians that put every cell of their body into their music, have been part of the Warped Tour scene heatwave and everything in between, and yet have easily stood out among the masses, with or without the push from others in the scene. Basically, these guys are 100% DIY til they die; where no matter where they end up, they created their own destiny and manifested it all on their own, with blood sweat and tears. All of this passion in the energetic, metalcore-driven outfit comes to fruition in their most recent 13-track juggernaut “Continuous”, which released this past September.

These tracks are not only unwaveringly in-your-face, but as tight-knit as can be. It’s orchestrated chaos with more than enough melody to keep it in a mainstream-worthy spectrum. The verses are just as much ambient and ominous as they are gripping and unrelentingly earth shattering. All topped off with dynamic interludes, EDM touches in many bridge measures and breakdowns, and a plethora of musicianship factors that are brought to the forefront through top of the line production techniques. The vocals share dueling duties of both crafty melody measures and high power screaming that never outdoes itself in any way. And let me point out – VM does not use the scream factor just for the sake of it. You can tell this band knows there’s a time and place for everything, and with screaming making or breaking the divide, these guys get it right just about every time and conjure a sound that is both edgy and marketable. Rabidly high gained guitar swells, chugs and mid throttle riffs pan out perfectly on both sides of the mix and completely hold together the punchy textures that the rhythm section holds down throughout every high energy chorus and breakdown.

One of the most notable factors of “Continuous” is its versatility and multifaceted nature. You hear the same band playing throughout the duration of this record, but hear something different in more subtle ways rather than obvious ones; separating them from an “experimental” sound or aura that can throw the record completely off. This album is a great serving of many metalcore-edged components, but have so much more going on with their distinctive detail, post production touches, and just altogether a unity of energy, passion, musicianship, dynamics, and everything that shows you exactly how a band stands apart from anything else you’ve ever heard. And that’s exactly what you’ll hear with “Continuous”. You’ll have a very difficult time picking a favorite song from this record, and once you listen to this anthemic record from front to back, you’ll understand exactly why.

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Press Release: Florida Industrial-Rock/Metal Outfit New Dilemma Gears Up To Release Their Highly Anticipated EP “Is Your Story Over” In June

Article by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Dave Welsh

Florida’s music scene has some serious competition on the heavier side of the Rock field. New Dilemma, hailing from the Orlando metropolitan area, gears up to release their highly anticipated EP “Is Your Story Over“, and they are truly not messing around.

Your story may be over, but New Dilemma‘s has only just begun. The heavy Rock-Industrial outfit has conjured up a signature sound that is not only multifaceted, but versatile as well. Their high gain in-your-face guitar riffs with earth rumbling grooves and intricately crafted vocals are not only melodically ambient and powerful, but also share equal parts originality and familiarity as well; giving their audience a taste of something different yet identifiable. The band boasts a frantic-like energy on each track that is reminiscent of late 90s/early 2000s greats such as Orgy, Chevelle, Shinedown and others of a similar caliber. However, New Dilemma, while adopting elements of the earlier heavy eras, have also put the perfect modern touches into the cog of the machine that makes an EP like “Is Your Story Over” a complete standout of its kind.

The likability factors of this record are endless, but it’s the relentlessly bone shattering grooves, full-on guitar onslaught, melodically heavy projection in the vocal techniques and electronically-infused textures that make each track from New Dilemma‘s record completely unforgettable and mind boggling. This is the type of record where it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, and you won’t find yourself skipping over any tracks whatsoever.

“Is Your Story Over” officially drops on June 26th, but there will be many teasers to come before then. The anchor single “Playing Victim” will be dropping along with an official music video sometime over the next couple months, as well as other album teasers. New Dilemma is active on social media, has developed an insatiable buzz in their hometown music scene and is building the anticipation in every possible way. The band has kept themselves under wraps very effectively, but are ready to explode onto the market when all is unleashed.

Be sure to follow New Dilemma on all of their platforms to keep close tabs on what’s to come, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for June 26th when the EP officially drops. You have no idea what you’re in for. This is a band you’ll be bragging about to all your friends because you discovered them first.

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Artist Review: Katie Veltri – “Catch Me” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Bringing acoustic grooves and rhythmic Blues to the forefront with sensual vocal techniques that speak to the soul, recording artist Katie Veltri encompasses new ambient territory with her newest single “Catch Me”.

“Catch Me” is definitely catchy. It’s a timeless track with jazzy guitar chord progressions that really facilitate the anthemic vocal melodies to make each measure really count. Katie‘s voice is tender, natural, and really puts emphasis on how she projects every line of her clever lyrics this song has to offer as the track plays out. The guitars also have a spiciness and aura that brings a true uniqueness to the modern rhythm this song blends in. It shares a classic feel while still embracing a modern take on today’s more versatile pop-infused genres.

Put simply, this song is very hard to dislike. It has very powerful vocals that shine bright in the forefront. Katie‘s voice not only has an impressive range, but also projects a multifaceted nature as well that really showcases her talent very effectively. “Catch Me”, accompanied by a lyric video, is a song that shares equal parts originality and familiarity – it has that classic signature sound that you’ve come to know and love throughout many years, as well as today’s more notable mainstream edge that resonates with more modern music styles. Katie Veltri will definitely reel you in with “Catch Me”.

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Artist Review: Alpha Circle – “Sweet Talking Time” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Alpha Circle is no stranger to our platform. Their debut single “Circles” received considerable acclaim and praise among our readers and music community at large. The song has launched their career in a way that has gotten the band to hit the ground running and garner the attention of Alt/Rock fans from all walks of life. With their new subsequent single, “Sweet Talking Time”, Alpha Circle proves that they continue to set the bar higher each time they hit the studio.

This Alt/Rock piano-driven track is more anthemic than anything. Reminiscent of early 2000’s Coldplay releases with touches of Mae and Copeland’s “You Are My Sunshine”, Alpha Circle have once again utilized a very collective and innovative signature sound that is prioritized by above average songwriting structures and melody choices; especially with the vocals. This ballad-like single is subtle during its verses with a charming and soothing lead vocal melody that immediately engages the listener’s undivided attention. All building up to a chorus that ties the song together in a way that reminds you that Alpha Circle puts their songwriting skills high on the priority list and proves that it’s all about the song structures rather than production theatrics – which gives them a true identity of the band’s authenticity and natural talent.

“Sweet Talking Time” portrays lyrics that delve deeply into the song’s subject matter at hand, but not to the point of attempting to be poetry. The lyrical narrative really drives the aura and emotional plea the music provides and really demonstrates a parallel between the music and lyrics altogether. The piano intro really sets the tone on this track and carries significant weight throughout the song’s duration,

Once again we have impressive work coming from each band member that holds a key to the group’s solidified sound and musical aura. The chord structures are full and composed to fruition with an impressively tightly-knit rhythm section that has complimentary bass lines that are smooth and perfectly maintained by the skillful drum parts that are both simple and effective. It’s a vast array of emotions coming from each element the group puts together and in the end, hones a craft that puts Alpha Circle far beyond your average Alt/Rock group. Their indie approach and straightforward production value perfectly demonstrates the band’s ability in this song as well as natural talent as a collective unit.

“Sweet Talking Time” is a triumphant follow-up single and truly adds to Alpha Circle‘s direction as a group. Each release they’ve put out has strongly showcased the band’s ability as both songwriters and performers as a whole. And if you enjoyed their previous single, this one will definitely get you even more invested into them. If Alpha Circle keeps this kind of momentum going, then they will be seeing big things on the horizon. No doubt about it.

Listen to the single:

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Artist Review: FRND CRCL – “Famous” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

It’s refreshing when a band like FRND CRCL hits the scene to remind us that melodic pop/punk is still alive and well. This articulate quartet of professional musicians not only have a solidified signature sound that is raw and melody-driven, but relentlessly fun and energetic as well. And their newest single “Famous” demonstrates their ability perfectly.

Accompanied by a colorful official music video with some clever meme-themed editing, this song launches into a dangerously catchy chorus that will have a very hard time leaving your head. Combining an indie pop-punk sound reminiscent of genre juggernauts like Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, Neck Deep and others of a similar caliber, FRND CRCL hones a unique style that is memorable, personal and elegantly crafted. The four musicians blend diligently and really showcase a type of self-awareness that most bands lack nowadays. Despite the song title, this band is humble and doesn’t portray an arrogance that leads you believe that they’re out just to chase fame. These dudes have fun with what they’re doing, and this song sends that vibe pretty much instantly.

With a pounding rhythm section, crunchy guitar chops and dual vocal melodies at the forefront throughout the song’s duration, “Famous” sets the bar high for the band and really delves into the band’s ability to write a catchy riff with melody choices that fit like a glove. The verses have a punchy groove and really gives you that rare feeling of intrigue when it comes to tightly knit songs angled more towards the newer era of pop-punk, but still maintains that wit and charm the genre has been known for since it started exploding back in the mid-to-late 90s. Overall, FRND CRCL puts forth a balance and composure that showcases each member’s influence in the band, conjuring a solid rock sound that sustains both originality and familiarity. “Famous” from the very first listen will be very difficult to get out of your head: and will stick with you long after it’s over.

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Artist Review: Wolfe Black – “Runaway” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

When it comes to natural beauty, unwavering talent and insatiable passion for her craft, Wolfe Black is quite the trifecta. And it really shows on her newest atmospheric single “Runaway”.

Originally hailing from the landscapes of Australia, Wolfe Black has been establishing her musical foundation in the Montreal music scene in Canada, and so far has hit the ground running. Armed with this first single, a regional buzz and word of mouth, Black has been laying down the groundwork for big things in her horizon and “Runaway” is direct evidence of this.

Drawing a nostalgic reminiscence to award winning artists like Enigma, Sia and those alike, Black really focuses on bringing forth an atmosphere that is magical and musically sensual. Her vocal range is showcased very diligently and shines bright on every element this song conjures up throughout the duration of this single. Her melody choices are effective, her vocal approach is authentic and natural, and the overall production value of this song really shines the spotlight on Wolfe Black‘s signature exotic sound.

This is not only a song, it’s an emotional journey; one of those tracks that you can feel as it plays out. Black has one of those voices that can guide you, and she really takes the lead on this fresh single from start to finish. Another important component of this song is the consistency; there is a vibrant edge that touches on melodic swells, subtle simmers, as well as buildups that never let you down. It has a structure that is more adventurous than it is formulaic; which gives it the charm it needs to retain the staying power all hit singles should possess.

This is not your average single, and Wolfe Black is not your run-of-the-mill Pop singer. She truly breathes life into her music and harbors a passion that immediately draws you in. “Runaway” is one of those songs that will soothe the body, the mind, and remind you that you can get lost in the moment at any time. Just close your eyes and let this song absorb into you – you’ll see (and hear) exactly why Wolfe Black is an artist to be keeping an eye out for.

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Artist Review: Leaving Zero – “Get Your Body Moving” & “Coming Back For More” Singles

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Some bands know how to grab you by the ears from the very first listen. They say first impressions are the most crucial ones, and can make or break a career when attempting to launch. In this case we have Memphis-based Hard Rock quintet, Leaving Zero, who immediately has hit the ground running.

For a band just starting out with their first two singles, these guys are an absolute mind blow. Their first single, “Get Your Body Moving”, does complete justice to the song title. It’s a heavy concoction of frantic guitar progressions, fierce tones, a heavyweight rhythm section, and a masterful vocal approach that steers the track into mid-to-high range ferocity. Drawing reminiscence to influential rock bands like Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Stone Sour, Leaving Zero combines many versatile elements that deliver up a signature sound that is recognizable and original in their own right. Chris Autry’s vocals are authentic, full of attitude, and really delves into the band’s overall artistic merit as the cog of the machine. With a dangerously catchy chorus at the centerfold of the song, “Get Your Body Moving” does exactly what it advertises.

Moving on to their subsequent single, “Coming Back For More”, we get the same punch and precision as the predecessor, but this time with a more driving tempo and upbeat key signature. This one has a little more adrenaline but sustains the same amount of charm as the first single. Focusing more on the technical skill set of the drums and guitar work at the helm, this tightly fit track is comfortable like a leather glove and never lets up on the insatiable energy. Autry comes out swinging once again with more tasty vocal melodies that soar through each verse and reach a climactic feat by the time the chorus shows up. It’s a perfect follow-up to the last track and continues to showcase the band’s signature sound and each member’s influence on the overall execution of each song.

One of the most notable factors of these singles is the high quality production value. For a band honing their craft with a prominent hard rock sound in this modern era, the pre and post production is beyond the norm and exceeds expectations for a band just starting out. It sets the bar high for the band, and they are more than ready to reach those heights very few bands in this era really do. Both of these songs have mainstream potential and Leaving Zero is definitely a band I can see labels taking an interest in.

I’ve been in many bands for the last 23 years, and this is the type of group I’d love to write/jam/perform with. And trust me…I’m picky. Leaving Zero is just starting out, but not without a bang. Fans of this band will be impatiently waiting for a full length album, just like we are. You won’t regret giving these guys a listen.

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