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Album Reviews :: The Burning of Rome, On The Fifty, Yellowcard, Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson, Attack Ships on Fire, and Vulture Kult

Written by: Andrea Janov, CC2K Music Editor

All-3 The Burning of Rome :: With Us out now on Surfdog Records

The first thing I noticed about The Burning of Rome was the fantastic image the band has created, second was the promo track that I first received was titled Ballad of an Onion Sprout, and third is that no one knows how to label their music. All these elements added to the allure of this album and I just had to hear it.

The best way that I can describe their sound is alternative avant-garde and their look is gypsy punk. In addition to the usual guitar, bass, drums and vocals, The Burning of Rome incorporates not only a synthesizer but also a glockenspiel to their sound. From chanting to a carnival drone they make each sound/style their own, somehow fun and haunting at the same time. The most mesmerizing track on the album is The Universe Is Made of Nonsense it is full of chanting and singing along and is so powerfully moving.

Whether they are rebelling or forging their own musical style, there is something intrinsically different about The Burning of Rome, something that can’t be taught, something that can’t be described, but something that can be heard throughout With Us.

They are currently playing dates on the west coast so I have not had the chance to see them live, but if you have the chance, take it, their press release promises, “A crooked timeline somewhere between David Bowie and GG Allin. Each live show is its own rock opera.” Now if that isn’t the promise of a good stage show, nothing is.

You can download of Ballad of an Onion Sprout for free on their bandcamp page or check out the music video

On the Fifty :: Fast Hands, Bad Timing out now on CEN/Sony/Red

Fast Hands, Bad Timing is not only the first EP from On the Fifty, but it is also one of the best album titles I have heard in a long time. Anyway, about the music, it is pop punk, but crooning, but in a good way. Does that make sense? They are tracks that are poppy and catchy, yet that have  great melodic vocals and a ton of substance to them. It will put you in a good mood and make you nostalgic for your own college days.

Blue Roses and The Future are the two stand out tracks on a totally solid album. This is only a five song EP and it excites me for what these guys will do in the future, hell they are still in college.

Check out The Future streaming at AbsolutePunk.


Yellowcard :: Southern Air out now on Hopeless Records

Okay. So I have to admit, I’ve never listened to Yellowcard. They are a band that came around when I was in my super elitist punk is too mainstream now phase and I immediately discounted them. (This from a girl who still counts Nothing Gold Can Stay as one of her top 20 albums of all time.) So anyway, I listened to this album as if they are a totally new group, and you know what, they are pretty damned good.  It is full of catchy songs, that we not overly sugary and great coming of age lyrics. Lyrics that explore heart break, growing up, having the whole world in front of you, and coming into your own. There are songs that take us through the moments of change and lose that look back and say, fuck it all, I survived. Such as, “They say you don’t grow up, you just grow old. It’s safe to say that I’ve done both…But here I am alive” from the super catchy, Here I Am Alive.

Ten is an acoustic track that will settle into your psyche and make you pause, it explores a miscarriage and the questions and scars that linger. But for only a moment before launching into Southern Air, the strongest track on the album. It is a upbeat, rock ‘n roll song full of energy that will have you singing along.

Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson :: Small Changes We Hardly Notice out now on Count Your Lucky Stars Records

Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson is a post-rock band from Norway. I would best describe their sound as an experimental indie hybrid. Small Changes We Hardly Notice is a four song EP that is an excellent introduction to the band. Their sound is calm, haunting, totally beautiful with just a hint of chaos. The strength comes from how organically the vocals and music work together, it would be impossible for one to exist without the other. This is an EP that leaves you with a distinct feeling after it is over, like most of the poetry that I love, the album somehow extends into the silence.

Attack Ships on Fire :: Vegas Soul out now on Squid Hat Records

Attack Ships on Fire’s album Vegas Soul was created to accompany the book Vegas Knockout. The songs are full of energy and intensity with punk rock vocals. Though I have not read the “Vegas Knockout” (yet) I do know that the album uses the same characters and gives them a kickass soundtrack. From the sound and feel of these tracks I have created a gritty slightly blurry setting for the novel (let’s hope that is what the author was going for) that totally intrigues me. That intrigue is totally based on the strength of this album as it stands alone.

Keeping the spirit of collaboration going, The Long Con features fellow Squid Hat Records artist Sandy Moreno from The Gashers and Iconic features Melanie Ash of The Dirty Panties. And I have to admit that Iconic is my favorite track on the record.

I am kind of in love with the idea of a book having a soundtrack, wouldn’t it be a cool trend to start?


Vulture Kult :: Don’t Let Rock n’ Roll Ruin Your Life is available through their website.

Okay, I am throwing in a curve ball this week. Meet Vulture Kult a Canadian two-piece metal band that is keeping the golden age of metal alive and well. And by golden age of metal I totally mean the late 70s/early 80s. Seriously if you dig gritty high pitched vocals (you know AC/DC style) and gnarly chords you will totally dig this album.

Curious? Check out their Bandcamp