Exclusive New Years Eve Review Special: Mahdi Khene – “Don’t Say a Word” Album/LP

It’s no surprise that something amazing could be conjured from an elite musician since he was the age of 14. A troubadour at heart, Mahdi Khene has been traveling from place to place, making his rounds to Maryland, D.C, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Virginia, only to make a full global circle more closer to his roots and find himself back in New York where he often performs his latest Folk/Rock albums and also composes original scores for films and documentaries.

And his 11-track juggernaut, Don’t Say a Word, is insatiable proof that his well travelled and highly skilled self-taught signature sound is a true anthemic payoff of many years honing his craft and well traveled experience. Encompassing a versatile folk sound with a centerpiece of indie rock and 70s-style production calibre, Mahdi blends a multifaceted, multilayered and tightly-knit craft on every track of this record and really showcases his musicianship strengths from many ambitious angles. From undeniably catchy and well put-together clean guitar progressions and carefully mastered multilayered vocals, Don’t Say a Word brings forth a sound that touches on naturally equal parts originality and familiarity; giving the listener a very nostalgic overtone of a very longed-for folk sound that diligently locks in with today’s more modern sensibilities. Each track is consistent, concise, well balanced and really composed. It’s definitely more arranged in a manner of compositions as opposed to your every day songwriting techniques for bands or indie groups.

This album can be considered one unit in its entirety rather than a track-by-track record, very anthemic and direct. A musical piece where you don’t have any need to skip one track. Its consistency and signature style is not only mastered with a fine tooth comb, but executed with a vast array of detail that never outdoes itself. The detailed additives add a perfect amount of intrigue, the intrigue differentiates other folk based acts that may have similarities. But no matter what, always finds a way to stand out on its own.

Don’t Say a Word is not just an album, but one with staying power; where the record stays with you even long after it’s over. If you yearn for that classic 70s folk stylization with today’s modern top notch production value, then this is a must-listen in every regard. Your fandom for Mahdi Khene will be just about instantaneous.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Perdido Nino – “Sparky Magnussen’s Irresponsible Effervescence” LP

No matter what you’ve seen in Vegas or Broadway, I guarantee you haven’t heard a multifaceted and modern show-band stylized record like Perdido Nino‘s Sparky Magnussen’s Irresponsible Effervescence. A hybrid record with spunk, funk, humor, a glistening shower of ridiculously talented musicianship and versatile songwriting techniques that really brings muscle to the hustle, right to the forefront, no apologies necessary. My friends, let me introduce to you your new favorite artist, even if you don’t know it yet.

Comprised of 11 tracks of full throttle rhythmic measures with funky guitar tones, comedic vocal outbursts, jazzy drum techniques and even punky vibes sneaking their way in, this amazingly one-man powerhouse has been a multi-musician since his adolescent years. From the age of 13, Perdido Nino picked up his first guitar and then went straight off to the races. But would definitely not stop there. He would also pick up a plethora of other instruments over the years like piano, drums, bass, and even the sitar. 20 years later, and three albums later, Perdido hits the ground running immediately with his newest effort Irresponsible Effervescence. His fourth record that truly hits the mark and showcases a vast array of his musical facets all wrapped up into one giant record of multi-genre, masterfully crafted measures all doused in multi instrumental solos that are not just finely tuned, but tightly-knit more than anyone could anticipate.

The mood swings some of these songs are quite the delight as well. “Let’s Get Stupid” and “Apple Punch” are like a dozen furies coming at you from all directions and really crank the gain settings to a full 11. These songs don’t just have balance and composure, but also a dangerously fast highway full of twists and turns without any crashes or burns. Irresponsible Effervescence is the type of record that is likely your favorite artist’s favorite record, even if they don’t know it yet. Just give it time folks. This may be Perdido‘s fourth album effort, but definitely not anywhere near his last. Take a listen for yourself and get ready for a tsunami, no matter the musical climate. Irresponsible Effervescence is currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, and several other digital music streaming platforms.


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Exclusive Review: In Your Grave – “Enemy Lines” EP

When it comes to an in-your-face hard hitting rhythm section, blistering guitars and brutal vocals reminiscent of Phil Bozeman similarities, that’s when you know you have something truly special. And that my friends, is Utah County ball busters In Your Grave. A band that not only formed throughout many other members from their respective scene, but a perfect one at that. As far as we see it – these guys are an absolute all star lineup. And amazingly, have only been active for just a year. That’s why our ears couldn’t quite believe what we were hearing.

Looking for heavy? Check. Looking for crushing drum grooves? Check. Blend in some seriously high gained, crisp guitar tones, bone crushing bass parts and fire breathing screams, and In Your Grave is in your radar. Enemy Lines, which just recently released on December 20th, is comprised of five strongly put-together tracks from ridiculously talented band members that delve into heavy territories that draw the perfect line between metal radio rock stations and a stylization that just might make it too brutal. And trust me, that’s a compliment. Intro tracks like “Mushroom Cloud” instantly give you that goosebumpy vibe of just where this track is gonna lead. Its drawn out build up is ominous, visceral and truly encompasses an aura of both curiosity and anticipation at the same time. And by the time the vocals burst in, both ends provide that satisfactory – we are going for a ride and it’s one that is not going to be slowing down anytime soon.

Subsequent tracks like “MKultra” and title track “Enemy Lines” use similar formulas but actually do more in solidifying their signature sound than anything. The pounding rhythm section really carries the band forward and assists with providing that brutality a band like In Your Grave has manifested into; except this time a lot more versatility, multifaceted vocal deliveries and guitar chord techniques have been implemented, adding to the ingredients that have already given this band their own calibre among other bands with a similar aura. But make no mistake – these guys have something going just for them, and will be a very tough act to follow after shows.

Last two tracks “Foundations” and “Establishment” are personal favorites for sure. From anvil-hitting tempo changes, synth parallels and all around additional elements, these two hit just as hard and also add levels of intrigue we hoped to hear at some point. First of all, everyone loves a furious breakdown, and these closing tracks have plenty of that. Secondly, guitar intros on tracks like closer “Establishment” is the kind of garnishment that could easily throw this record into whole new levels; and it does. What begins may end differently but everything in between ties it all together – just like this entire EP does. It’s a brutal set of 5 tracks that grab you by the throat and refuse to let go.

It’s been quite some time since we have actually run into an album like Enemy Lines, but once you take a listen yourself, that same blown-away feeling will commence. It may not be heavy enough for White Chapel, but definitely surpasses Killswitch Engage easily; even though I love both of those bands. You will not be disappointed with In Your Grave and you’ll be kicking yourself in the ass for not discovering them earlier. You can pick up a copy of the EP on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and any other digital music streaming platforms.


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