Exclusive: Life On The Sideline EP announcement, music video premiere

Since releasing Honesty Is A Dying Breed two years ago, Life On The Sideline has remained active on the road and is now ready to unveil its upcoming EP, Never Settle. To kick things off, we're premiering the music video for the band's new single, "Echo", which tells the sad story of a young girl reminiscing times spent with her deceased partner. While not a pop punk song per se, it's as catchy as one with an infectious chorus that you'll inevitably get stuck in your head. The band's sound could be compared to that of Transit's and The Early November's. Fans can pre-order the EP on iTunes and CD here, before it's released on June 7th. […]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Aviator - "Head In The Clouds, Hands In The Dirt"

Release InfoAviator - Head In The Clouds, Hands In The Dirt
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Record Label: No Sleep Records
Pre-order: Digital, CD, vinyl

Over the course of four years, Massachusetts outfit Aviator (featuring members of Long Lost) has steadily curated a back catalogue of minimal material with short EPs and split releases, encouraging audiences to salivate with the next small serving. However, Aviator has finally unveiled an extensive body of work in the form of debut LP Head In The Clouds, Hands In The Dirt.

Opener “Pipe Dreams” is indicative of the core sentiment at the root of the song. The beginning appregiated chord prompts an image of rivets in water. Vocalist TJ Copello’s voice is revealed as the cause as his raspy, shaking presence rears its head from the waters. At the brink of exploding, Copello declares “All that I’ve learned with any certainty, all plans are subject to change” in a sombre register expressing the severe case of being “...caught between a childhood dream and responsibility”. Aviator opens the record with an acknowledgement of the issue of acting on "mature change" when the need is realized.

“Weathervane” displays an indie influence within the verses, where Copello’s demeanour bears a resemblance to Dan Nigro (of As Tall As Lions fame). “Weathervane” is eerie, prompting a sterile blend of sounds to listeners and is a prime example of where Aviator enthuses melancholic twangs of indie and alternative rock with its distinct grasp of hardcore.

The first single, “There Was A Light (It Went Out)”, which pays homage to The Smiths classic “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”, is a highlight on the record where the percussive pounds provide an unsettling wall of support for Copello as his resonance trembles with fury. The fourth track, “Dig Your Own Grave And Save”, is where the clarity of the production on the record pushes Aviator. Under a new clearer light, the album matches the clear-cut, yet-muddy resonance of Ross Robinson’s work on At The Drive In’s seminal effort, Relationship Of Command. During the bridge, listeners are shown a mirror image of the dire and tense moments of “Quarantined” and “Enfilade”.

“Forms (Les Feuilles Mortes”, which initially appeared on the January 2013 live EP, has been revamped from its distorted initial form. On this new version, the latter half of the track will force you to grab your arms to subdue the goosebumps as it sinks into the disparate sonic paths of melancholia.

On this record, Aviator has successfully bridged both the mellow and abrasive elements of its style, however with better control. On “I Had Myself In Contempt”, vocalist TJ Copello and guitarist/co-vocalist Michael Russo produce a barrage of snarls that are short and punchy to comply with the blasts of the track. “Head Noise” is easily the shortest song on the record and pervades like a small wisp of smoke. Copello attempts to recount the images within the figurative "rabbithole" that he alludes to. “Head Noise” thins out, finally leaving you to wonder if the short burst of euphoric angst even existed. On “Bipolar Vortex”, an elaborate sense of the macabre is evident, hidden within folds of the shuffling rhythm, which prompt visuals of a tragic novella, where a protagonist is being chased by an intangible force.

“...But I Wont Be There” is where the band is swayed by the narration of Copello as he laments of scenic images and constructs the objects of the world (sun, autumn air, clouds) as substitutes for human yearning. The sadness is accentuated by the intangible existence of these objects, which can never be grasped. Copello states “It seems that everyone wants to feel the sun, but no one wants to leave the comfort of their beds” -- the great human longing.

Head In The Clouds, Hands In The Dirt closes with “Fever Dreams”, the epilogue to the opening track. On “Fever Dreams”, a reprise of the chorus melody is resurrected during a jazz-influenced mid-section. From a pedestal of enlightened thought as he reflects retrospectively on the pitfalls of being an individual of apathy as a result of not acting on the necessity for change when it is presented, Copello screams “While we waited, our lives were taking place, we sat idly by; each day passes” as the last words before the plug is pulled, signalling the close.

1. Pipe Dreams
2. Weathervane
3. There Was A Light (It Went Out)
4. Dig Your Own Grave And Save
5. Forms (Les Feuilles Mortes)
6. I Hold Myself In Contempt
7. Bipolar Vortex
8. Head Noise
9. ...But I Won't Be There
10. Fever Dreams

RIYL: Lacuna by Caravels, Relationship Of Command-era At The Drive In, An Autobiography by Old Gray


More reviews by Aaron Akeredolu