Tunage Magazine - Reviews
 
With hypnotic guitar solos, earth-shattering drumwork, a bassist who's great with his hands and a voice of gold, Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects couldn't get any better. The band consists of Ivan Mihaljevic on guitar and vocals, Marko Karacic Karo on bass and Alen Frljak on drums. This eclectic rock band hails from Zagreb Croatia and have already released two albums to this day.

Upon playing the first track on their latest album, Counterclockwise, we are greeted with a mysterious introduction that doesn't prepare us for what's about to come. "Build Your Destiny" is the groundbreaking track following the introduction. This song kicks you harder than you've ever been kicked before. The stunning instrumentals are capable of completely blowing your mind. Some of the elements in this track are totally unexpected, like the out-of-the-blue yet totally awesome bass solo near the end. It's clear after the first track that we are in for a ride.

Songs like "Driving Force" and "Gift of Life" are instantly uplifting in an interesting way. "Time Travel" is an instrumental song that showcases the talents of each member in this trio. The album closes strongly with a truly technical track called "Eclipse" and slowly ends with "I Am." The last few seconds of the album are reminiscent of the introduction we hear in the very beginning, providing a sense of familiarity and a new experience ending.

After fully embracing all nine tracks of Counterclockwise, it is apparent that Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects are beyond masterful. Each and every note played by this trio seems to be better than the last. If you're into bands like Avenged Sevenfold and System of a Down, you'll definitely find yourself diving into Counterclockwise.

Listen to their entire album for free on SoundCloud and make sure to give this amazing band a like on Facebook.
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/ivan-mihaljevic
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/imandse
 
Brace yourself for Wize-Fool. With memorable samples and an unforgettable flow, Wize-Fool shows that collaboration is key. Upon listening to the first track of his album La Army of La Muertos Vol. 2, we hear the recognizable track of "Eyes on Fire" by Blue Foundation. Throughout all the tracks, there are countless artists that Wize-Fool features himself with: Skrillex, Jim Morrison, James Brown, Tupac, Kurt Cobain, and many more. The variety of genres that are crafted into this album bring diversity and something different from all the other artists who have the ability to sample their idols.
 
Wize-Fool has the capability of giving an intimidating approach that puts him on the top of his game. Although Wize-Fool could be considered tough, he finds a way to provide a balance between hardcore and just alright. The beats that he uses in his music are fiery and totally upbeat.

Not only does Wize-Fool create music, but he directs music videos as well. Upon watching the music video for "Daddy" by CA$H, we see that the video is directed by Wize-Fool himself. With a dramatic approach and various visual effects, the viewer sees that Wize-Fool can pull a chord on your heartstrings by finding the right way to present the music in the most effective way. There are various other videos that Wize-Fool has been a part of as well on his YouTube page.

If you're into hearing your favorite songs with a new twist, Wize-Fool is right for you. Many producers around the globe could learn something from Wize-Fool, and that is to never be afraid to express yourself through your favorite music. It's apparent that Wize-Fool is inspired by many genres and many artists; who would have known that a guy like him would dig the stylings of Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston? Variety makes all music interesting and Wize-Fool proves that he is the definition of variety.
 
What makes hip hop personal? It seems that in 20 Nickelz' case, it's the lyrics and the way you spit them out. 20 Nickelz is the group of Tone Touch and Momentum. Tone Touch was born and raised in Walterboro, SC and Momentum was born and raised in Chicago, IL. Both artists represent Virginia Beach, VA and their hometowns. The music of 20 Nickelz is personal, cool, and very hip hop. 20 Nickelz' explosive new mixtape, Choppers & Triplebeams Vol. 1: Valentine's Day Massacre, dropped on February 28th, 2013. This new release consists of 24 brand new tracks that equally represent the talent of Tone Touch and Momentum.

Each song sounds like a new experience. "All Together (Featuring Earleybird)" is a mellow, personal song that is reminiscent of family and friends. A great song that changes the pace of the mixtape is "Back 2 Back," a track that really revs you up and makes you feel totally badass. "Back 2 Back" truly represents the face of rap music today. "The Big One (Featuring J-ONE)" has a melody that you could never get out of your mind along with an ear-capturing female singer oohing and ahhing in the background. The flow of Tone Touch and Momentum is undeniably fresh and definitely top-notch. J-ONE is featured on multiple tracks, proving that 20 Nickelz should consider adding a new member to the mix.

"Diamonds (Featuring Silentmind)" is one of my personal favorite songs off the mixtape. This song has a great guitar lead throughout the track and rapping that sounds like some of your favorite artists like Tupac and Kid Cudi. You would think that the song "Bad Bitch" would make you feel like a bad bitch, but the song is relatively mellow yet subtly intense due to the lyrics that are rapped in a really badass tone. "U Don't Want That" is placed in a very wise spot near the end, closing the curtain before the last track "Ask Ya Self" bids goodbye.

As mentioned earlier, the lyrics throughout the entire mixtape are well thought-out and very original. These guys represent their hometowns and the way they grew up when they were young until the age they are now. The best part about 20 Nickelz is the fact that you won't hear an imitation of another artist on their mixtapes; these guys are completely original. Check out the mixtape here: http://www.datpiff.com/20-Nickelz-Choppers-Triplebeams-Vol-1-Valentines-Day-Massa-mixtape.456020.html

Written by Jordan Mafi
 

Collisions and Near Misses: Dream Lik I Do

          The day has finally come, K Sera has released the first single to their highly anticipated debut album, Collisions and Near Misses. If you haven't picked up their single, "Dream, Like I Do" I highly urge you to open up you iTunes and give the guys some love and support, because this single has definitely earned it.

         This is just the beginning of something beautiful, my friends. K Sera is picking up momentum and this upcoming album is going offer that brilliant collision you have been waiting for.
One of the greatest things about K Sera is that these guys keep growing and maturing as musicians with each EP they throw out, and now with their full length album on its way, they're taking the time to show you what they've got.

"Dream Like I Do" has a video game style melody playing over the lyrics, giving a playful idea on what they really mean with Collisions and Near Misses.

What makes this song so powerful is the massive build up in the instrumentation that starts fright from the beginning. You can definitely here the creative influence from The Dear Hunter's Casey Crescenzo in the final mix of this song. The thoughtful collaboration gave the music a fresh chance in showcasing the elements that we've come to love about K Sera.
Element 1:
Mike Caswell's wicked pipes. Ever since The Machinist EP, Caswell has been delivering falsettos, great range, and most importantly, amazing enthusiasm. You get all of this again in "Dream, Like I Do". He still has that seamless transition between his shouts of  "could you set yourself on fire" to the lullaby like chorus of "They don't dream at all, they don't dream like I do".

Element 2:
The guitars and driving bass! The new guitar licks are tearing a new hole in the universe. The guys have definitely evolved since their first EP. The tremolos and the syncopations from the guitar, Jordan's agressive bass guitar, are great thunderous support to the singing in the song.

Element 3:
Dustin's drumming. Enough said. He has powerful drumming skills that you don't see as often in many bands anymore. Not once in a K Sera song has he been simply a background beat to the melody. No, he marches to the beat of his own drum and it's simply awesome. In "Dream, Like I Do" your attention is drawn to his fast rhythms and driving beats. This guy is a beast.

Element 4:
There is no 'I' in team. Something that made K Sera always work was the collaboration between all the band members. Each clearly has his unique strength. Still, there is no competition for attention, rather a seamless collaboration in making the most euphoric and might I add, badass sounds that they can come up with. It's an orchestration and even Ludwig Van Beethoven would say, "Damn, that was awesome".

Element 5:
The lyrics. "Dream, Like I Do" has to be one of K Sera's most memorable songs yet while still avoiding the horrific "pop" syndrome. Throughout the release of previous EP's, K Sera has challenged listeners to become the best human beings they can be, with thoughtful lines and song titles ("We Were Thinking of Evolving", "Don't fade away", "Go build yourself up, I'm so proud I know you", and a personal favorite, "If you find yourself walking through hell, hey kid, keep walking till you find your way out"). "Dream, Like I Do" isn't any different. They're still as encouraging, and what is more, they have that fight in them that we love so much.

Keep up to date on all things K Sera at their facebook page. You don't want to miss what they have in store for you.

What's your favorite thing about "Dream, Like I Do"? Let us know in the comments below!

 Written by Deanna Trombley

-Tunage
 

SIN CITY GAMBLERS REUNION SHOW

Let's set the scene. 
          
          It's the Saturday before Halloween, and oddly enough it's a particularly ghoulish and spooky evening. I approach Giovanni's Bar expecting a show just like any other; one with loud music, drunkards, non-stop moshing, and maybe because it's that time of year there will be a few lame costumes plucked from the sales rack at a Party store. However, I entered the doors to find a bloodied wolf with a very authentic Little Red Riding Hood on his arm, the charmingIy creepy Frankenstein's bride, and a devilish circus ringmaster to end all ringmasters, and I thought to myself... OH HELL YES. Nothing can make a Halloween reunion show better than when the audience takes celebrating to a whole new level.

          Sin City Gamblers are the reuniters, and about damn time! Having been separated for years, the band finally pulled together to have one last mind-blowing hurrah, but they couldn't do it alone. Playing along side the gamblers was Wargo, the one-man-band of acoustic punk rock at its absolute finest, Dead Television, a shitty, always out of key garage punk band (I can say that, it's my band), and The DeadNeks, a face-melting punk/psychobilly mixture with up-right basslines and vocals like golden gravel.

          Wargo and The DeadNeks, without a doubt, always put on memorable performances, but of course, the stars of the night were Sin City Gamblers. They played a 70 minute set of flawlessness: amazing tune after amazing tune after amazing tune. The MOST amazing part, however, was that Sin City's guitarist, Erik, broke his wrist just moments before playing while moshing to Dead Television, and he still played the best guitar of any band that night.

         Most bands get a little sloppier and a little lazier as the night goes on, so I always expect to see musicians lose some of their drive throughout the set, but not the Gamblers. They only seemed to get better, louder, and faster as the show continued. Towards the end of their set they did their most popular song, aptly named, "Sin City", which was easily the performance with the most conviction and soul I've seen in months. Then, to wind things down, they finished with a few definite crowd pleasers. They covered The Ramones, Dropkick Murphys, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Lastly, they covered "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion, which was the most remarkable way they could have left the crowd, because there's no other reknowned song in punk rock that emits such comradery as that one does.

          I'd love to tell you to check out Sin City Gamblers, but sadly this was only a reunion show, for they are no longer, but you'd be missing out if you didn't take a minute to check out Wargo and The DeadNeks. You can find them on facebook, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Thanks for reading, and happy Halloween!

Written by Laura Sullivan

- Tunage

 

Mumford & Sons: Babel

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Mumford & Sons is back, and this time my friends, they’ve come back with the same rustic bang that made us fall in love with them in the very beginnings of their musical work. Babel was just recently released this passed Tuesday on September 25th and expectations were met.

          The album starts with the self-titled song, “Babel”, going straight into a direct and hopeful feeling tone that is screaming, “Did you miss us?”  Yes, we did.  Here’s the thing: if you at all liked their previous album, Sigh No More, I can promise you that you’ll love this album just as much. It’s all there: the poetic “cynical idealist” lyrics, the exciting banjo licks, and driving rhythm that inspires you to keep going. My favorite lyrics from “Babel” that contain the spirit of Mumford and Sons are:

“You’ll build your walls and I’ll play my bloody part, to tear, tear them down”.


         This is just a small piece of their brilliant lyricism. Another perfect example would be the hit single, “I Will Wait” that creates a gorgeous hopeful chant to hold close to your heart.  The instrumental style has remained pretty close to their previous work, having that signature Mumford and Sons sound that is easy to recognize, even if you haven’t heard any of their new songs. This band has to be one of the greater pioneers in bringing folk back to the forefront of the music world. Much like Johnny Cash and many other folk band legends, this band is best known for their well-written lyrics. You can tell time was spent in putting real meaning into the words of the songs, making them sound more like poems in sing song form than just a regular tune. This is a golden quality found in some of the best folk bands, just like Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” there’s something more meaningful in the words than just having the simple old “Things are hard but I’m going to get back up” type of lyrics.

          Speaking of proper folk band influences, another highlight in this album is the song titled “Reminder” with the very Jonny Cash-esque low melancholy singing in the beginning with the classic walking bass and simple guitar strumming rhythm.  This ballad is a great breather from the pace of the previous songs. The lyrics are dark and romantic just like Johnny Cash’s better-known work, giving another salute to this amazing genre.

          One of the more different sounding songs is “Broken Crown” because of the more ambient sounding guitar playing. While they stay true to their signature style, this song has a soaring sound that brings the keyboards out more to the front of the song instead of being a supportive role to the guitar playing. It has an epic feel because of the instrumentation, making what would be a proper soundtrack to an equally epic show, perhaps Game of Thrones? It definitely is a song that makes you want to march on a Scottish field in a battle for a powerful king.  If that’s not exquisite imagery painted by the mixed sounds of a well-formed song, I don’t know what is.

          These songs are all just a small taste of what Mumford and Sons has to offer in this new and highly satisfying album. It’s great for the die-hard Mumford and Sons fans as well as people new to the genre and the band. I give this album a huge thumbs up and I recommend you go check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mumfordandsons?fref=ts
Official Site: http://www.mumfordandsons.com/
Purchase on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mumford-sons/id307699986

Written by Deanna Trombley

- Tunage
 

Fun. Concert Review
We Are Young...

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You’re young, you’re full of life, you’ve got ambition, kid, and nothing can stop you. You know that exact feeling I’m talking about, don’t you? I have got to say, I’ve been to plenty of concerts, but watching Fun perform at the Wiltern in Hollywood on a Friday night gave me one of those reassuring and defining moments that I’m quite capable of standing on top of the world. If I could sum up this show in one word it would be this: uplifting. Just for the heck of it, I decided to look up the definition of said word, and I have to say, it’s spot on to what this show had to offer.


up·lift·ing   [uhp-lif-ting] 
adjective
  inspirational; offering or providing hope, encouragement, salvation, etc.: an uplifting sermon.

          I’m pretty sure you’ve heard at least one song by Fun (unless you’ve been living under a rock or your name is Gollum). It’s become a bit of an anthem for our generation: “We Are Young”. However, if you haven’t heard any of their other songs, I would highly suggest it. Nothing can put a bigger smile on your face than the lyrics to “Be Calm” from Fun’s first album, Aim and Ignite. 


 

Daycare Swindlers Show Review

Are you at that age when you feel apprehensive about entering a pit because you know you're going to feel it in the morning? I, myself, often feel that way. I'll be at a show and see a mosh pit beginning and I'll think, 'ALRIGHT! LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!' Then, right as I'm about to take my first blow I say to myself, "Dear god, what have I done?!" Well, recently, I had the privelage of opening for Daycare Swindlers and that feeling went right out the window.


 
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This one's for the fans of alternative, grungy, good old Rock-n-Roll. Hailing from Poway, CA comes Monkeys in Space. The band formed in December of 2008 with one main goal-- to spread the badassery of rock, of course. The band members consist of Johnny Rukkus on guitar and vocals, Jeremy Vara also on guitar and vocals, Scott Szikla on bass, and Jason Dean on the drums. Sweet riffs and a truly awesome solo make its way throughout the seven tracks on this EP titled Flying Under the Influence. Monkeys in Space represent all that is Rock-n-Roll. They're totally grunge, groovy, and sound like a mix of awesome bands. You're in for a treat with these guys.

It has been said that rock is dead, but Monkeys in Space prove that this cliché is far from the truth. The dudes in this band show listeners everywhere that every aspect of rock is alive and it is proven in this EP. With grungy and groovy tunes, MiS reel in the listener with no hesitation. "Supermodel Suitcase" is totally and completely the highlight of the EP. Raspy vocals and groovy guitar make the song so unbelievably rock, it almost hurts. These guys make it obvious that they know rock and they know how to replicate it in the best way possible.

Grunge is the word that I'd use to describe the band's overall sound. Each track has its own grungy moment that reminds the listener of bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains. Although I would describe them as a grunge band, MiS are most definitely not limited to that label. Their vibes seem to be infinitely multifarious. The genre of the EP morphs throughout each track which is a fascinating thing to capture when listening to an album. If you're into grungy music with a pinch of alternative and a boost of rock, this band is for you.

          Monkeys in Space can be compared to many notable bands such as Foo Fighters and Muse. Johnny's vocals are so much like Dave Grohl's with a twist of personal flair. It'd be absurd if a fan of rock couldn't hear the comparison between this band and many other popular alt/rock bands. This makes MiS much more prone to positive exposure with the rock scene. For all we know, they could open up for a Grammy award-winning band and get a standing ovation while the crowd asks, "Who the hell are these guys? They rock!"

          Once the end is near, you won't want it to end. The guitar work is truly impressive and those lyrics and vocals are 100% badass. The number one thing that can be said about this EP? Rock, rock, rock. It couldn't be more simple than that and that's the beauty of it. Upon listening to Monkeys in Space, the listener will reminisce those true rock bands that made their way to the top by making music that is just like the tracks on this EP. It's safe to say that MiS is going somewhere. Download this and I guarantee you won't be sorry. Rock on!

Rating: 8.5/10

Listen to: Whiskey Kings, Supermodel Suitcase, and Scream

Sounds like: Foo Fighters, Muse, and Rage Against the Machine


- Tunage


Written by Jordan Mafi
 
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Are you in to ponder the oddities and simple pleasures of life or just smoke a bowl and relax the night away? Listen to Dayfade tonight. In this all-new beat tape, Vol(you)(me) 1, the listener will experience the sounds of life interpreted by Devin McGuire, the man who is behind this city's upcoming face of hip hop. The sounds of Dayfade are easy-going and totally chill. The many beats are usually slow and utterly relaxing, yet the tracks are very concise which brings variety to the beat tape. Dayfade is the face of true hip hop around SD and shows it well in all of these tracks.

          Dayfade's beats are best described as chill. To be in the zone with these beats, you gotta close your eyes and just take it in. When the first track begins to play, the first element that is noticeable is the soothing vibe. Each song eases you in and it is almost sedating. The smooth beats of every track lulls the listener into a new state of mind. It's evident that Dayfade's goal is to bring you into a fresh mood and become one with the music.

           An element that is redoubtable in this beat tape is the fact that Dayfade can produce such short and sweet tracks yet still grab the listener's attention. The tracklist is a whopping 21 tracks, but the variety of each track is undeniable. The exciting thing about this beat tape is the fact that the listener doesn't know what to expect of the next track. Some songs are chill and calming and others are upbeat and groovy. The short runtime of each song disables the listener to be bored with a song. Although almost every track is this way, the last one is a four-minute tune to leave you feeling good vibes.

           The main reason this beat tape should be respected and listened to is the fact that it is true hip hop. There's no judging, no opinions, and no offense in any of these beats. Dayfade shows that hip hop is almost unspoken in a sense that it can be respected and understood by just a mere beat. For hip hop lovers and newbies alike, these tracks say something. A track could be telling listeners to think deeply about the world around them or even just to kick back and chill out. The latter is the greatest way to enjoy this beat tape for sure.

           With the right state of mind (and even with the wrong one), these beats can speak to a longtime hip hop fan one way or another. There's nothing like killing all your stress with a great beat tape to listen to and resonate with. Dayfade mixes it up with these repetitive yet pleasantly catchy songs by getting to the point without dragging out any beat. These tracks are killer for a late night in, a kickback with your buddies, or playlist when you're completely stoned. Take a listen and become one with hip hop.

Rating: 7/10

Listen to: I Can Make Love

Sounds like: A unique composition of music that cannot be compared!

- Tunage

Written by Jordan Mafi