Stereo-Type Unleashes Their Demo

Stereo-Type logoStereo-Type is officially releasing their demo tonight at The Haven Lounge.  Earlier this week, Rose was given a sneak preview of the demo, and we happily took the opportunity to give it a listen and review.

What we like about Stereo-Type’s sound is their ability to combine the best elements of garage, pop, and skate punk with hard rock beats, and an added dose of grunge for good measure.

The demo includes 5 tracks; “You Know Who You Are”, “I’m a Weirdo”, “Universe”, “Insomniac”, and “Look”. 

Rose’s picks;  “You Know Who You Are” with its nice kinda crunchy lead in and great lyrical content would probably be the first to make radio waves;  “Universe” does a nice job of featuring Brian’s drums, and Nate’s bass.  But Rose’s top pick is “Look”, the final track on the demo that brings on the harder edge punk and grunge with a touch more angst than the first five tracks.

While they are a self described punk / hard rock band;  categories with a zillion different sub-genres, Stereo-Type doesn’t exactly fit into any of the identified molds.  That’s exactly what’s great about their music.  They’re not trying to be like anybody else, and are effectively non-stereotypical. Stereo-Type demo release

There are several punk influenced bands in the world that have firmly entrenched themselves in our heart, but not so much in the local scene.  Stereo-Type, however, has definitely put themselves on the top of Rose’s bands to watch list.  Stereo-Type is; Victor Vincent Oath, Brian Topps, and Nate Gould.  Check them out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/njoystereotype 

(N) the Studio – with (N)ception

 

Cover Art by Bo Bradshaw, Brilliant Engine

Cover Art by Bo Bradshaw, Brilliant Engine

Several months ago, Nikk-Uh Brown extended Rose an invitation to sit in on the recording sessions that will produce (N)ception’s first full-length CD,  “Letters of (N)tent”‘; and we were thrilled at the chance to do so.  Although scheduling has been tricky and not as much time as we’d like has been spent in the comfy confines of Alpaca Ranch Recording Studio with the band; the experience has been an honor, an education, and a first for Rose.

Day 4 in the Studio:  On arrival I was greeted with a big hug from Snowflake, and then it was right to the heart of the studio where Chris Short and Fish were fine tuning the drum tracks.   While Chris continued his work, the band took a few minutes to chat with Rose about the progress of the recording20140119_165036.

Nikk-Uh noted that things are taking a bit longer than they’d hoped with the majority of the first four days spent on drum tracks.  Although it’s an arduous process, with still about another 40-50 studio hours to go, he feels great that they are taking the extra time with Chris, making sure every detail is right.   The end result should be a 15-track CD… almost a double set.   The band credits Chris for the knowledgeable direction he’s provided on each track – making some small adjustments as well as some pretty major ones that the band didn’t anticipate, but are confident have made the songs better than ever.    

20140124_190117Chamo added that it is important to the band to appeal to a larger audience, so for continuity some songs had to be restructured a bit.  One song originally began as an 8 minute track, but has been shortened and improved to just five minutes in length.  The goal for “Letters of (N)tent” is to get their music out there and heard on national radio.  

Flake interjected, “people are going to hear some big bad ass changes to just about every song”.  He is confident there will be attention and airplay on larger stations like Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal.

Fish and Nikk-Uh agreed that while the band is admittedly taking some of the typical steps to reach the masses in marketing and promoting the recording, they will stay true to themselves and to (N)ception’s unique sound.    20140119_165008

Once the the drum tracks were complete, we took a break outside the studio with Nikk-Uh and Fish where the conversation turned to the business of being a band.  Nikk-Uh discussed some of the processes the band is going through on the legal and financial fronts to ensure a long and healthy life for (N)ception.   The topic may not be as exciting as the music, but a good education on being business savvy in a pretty brutal industry.  Be assured, these guys know what they’re doing.

Nception opening for sevendustAs if the band’s schedule for the first part of the year isn’t crazy enough with the release of the CD slated for late Spring; they’ve also had a pretty stellar show schedule; including a show with  NonPoint in January and a three city (Tampa-Orlando-Jacksonville) tour with Sevendust in February.

Back inside the studio, Flake and Chamo were working on an acoustic version of “No Heroes”, 20140124_185812with talk that the song may be the CD’s power ballad and final track.  In Rose’s opinion, this song has amazing potential as a ballad. We will see if “No Heroes” becomes ballad or band song.

Day 6 in the Studio:  Had a chance to stop by Alpaca Ranch Recording in the final hours of the session on Day 6. When we arrived, Chamo and Chris were nearly finished with the guitar tracks.  This bit of time with the band was spent in relax mode,  just chatting … mostly about “off the record” stuff, but nonetheless an invaluable insight into what makes (N)ception tick.  Rose even got to sign the Kastell bottle with the band to commemorate the occasion (an honor and a privilege indeed!) 20140124_204519

Flake was very vocal this evening.  As he talked about the band’s success in North Florida. you could feel his honest appreciation for how well received they are there.  Most notably the Jacksonville area, where the fans always pack out the venue to see (N)ception.  With regard to their January – February shows, Flake expressed how unbelievable it still feels to play on the same stage and be recognized by bands like Sevendust, whom he’s personally been a fan of for years.  

OOOOOOOOOO

A couple of weeks ago, with just five songs left to finish recording, and with the excitement building for the CD release;  the ever amazing, Nikk-Uh took time to chat and give us this impromptu interview and update on the progress of “Letters of (N)tent”:

Nikk-Uh: We should be wrapping up vocals this week, and then we go into mixing!!!

Rose:  You must feel like you’ve traveled a long road to get to this point … but you’re almost there!

Nikk-Uh: Yeah, we’re still trying to make the release by the end of May, though it is going to be tight.

Rose: Do you have a release show and party in the works?

Nikk-Uh: We have a tour up to Canada in the works, haha!  We are about to sign with a new management company, and the booking agency will be taking care of our full summer East Coast tour.

Rose:  Starting in Canada… nice.  Do you have a following up there? And a jacket?  It is a little further north than Jacksonville, you know!

Nikk-Uh: Well, we will start in Florida and work our way up and back around.  I told her (the new manager) I wouldn’t accept the deal for anything less then 3 months on the road straight off the album release.

Rose: Three months is a good long tour. You will definitely recruit tons of new “(N)cepticons” along the way.  :-D

Nikk-Uh: That is the hope, especially playing outside of Florida on 95% of those dates.

Rose: So, back to the CD… what is your overall feeling about the progress?

Nikk-Uh: I feel that once we get through the mixing process this is going to be one of the most solid albums from a local band that has been released in a long while.

Rose:  With the amount of work and creative effort you guys have put into it, and with Chris at the helm in the studio…. “Letters of (N)tent”  promises to be that and more.

Nikk-Uh:  That is what we are aiming for.  I mean, I want it to be done and over with so we can hear the final product, but we all know that takes a little time.  We have clocked in close to 200 hours on this album.

 Rose:  How many tracks will it turn out to be?

Nikk-Uh:  15, we might add an intro we might not… it’s still up in the air and what time will allow.  Did you see the promo shots?

** Nikk-uh sent me a sneak peek of some of the still unreleased promo shots.  “Letters 0f (N)tent” will be covered and accompanied by the art and photography of Bo Bradshaw, Brilliant Engine.  Rose can’t post the pics here…you will just have to wait to see them **

Rose:  Out of the 15 tracks, which song will be the first single?

Nikk-Uh:  We want to record all of them before we decide. We have a great concept for a music video, just gotta put it together.

Rose:  Ah… good thinking. This may not be a fair question… but what are your favorite tracks? And why?

Photo by Bo Bradshaw

Photo by Bo Bradshaw

Nikk-Uh:  One of my favorites thus far  after hearing the raw version is “No Heroes”.  That is a song that we had struggled with for a long time, but I just kept pushing the issue to Flake.  We shelved the song like 4 times and finally got the formula for it, but then when we hit the studio with it we had to change it again and made it even better.

Nikk-Uh:  ”Equalizer” is a big one for me too, it was the last song to be completed for the album and it was another song that we had kind of shelved and came back to and made an amazing song off of it.

Now to play live.. it’s “Demigun”.  It’s the song that gets people moving and from a stage prospective.. that is what I like to see most!

Rose: So if a song just isn’t coming together… you find that putting it away for awhile and then returning to it later gives you guys a chance regroup and make it better. Which leads to me to ask , what’s the secret to the chemistry between the band members?

Nikk-Uh:  In a way yes.  Ummm, the way the songs work mostly is one of us, either Chamo or myself, will come up with a main riff and we will kind of feed off that. The other way the music process works is if Flake comes to us with a vocal idea or melody and we work around that. We don’t have a specific way to tackle a song. Between Chamo and I we try to get a good structure of the song before presenting it to the band, or if Flake writes the part we structure the guitar parts around his creative input and feed off that for the full song.

 Rose:  How do you feel that working with Chris has contributed to the project?

Nikk-Uh:  The beautiful thing is we all write.  Chris has been that 3rd ear that took the songs that we have known so long and help make them fresh again even to our ears.

Rose:  Chris seems really dedicated to getting the best out of the band and onto the recording.

Nikk-Uh:  I agree.  As a producer its a reflection of his work so he doesn’t want to put out a mediocre product. It represents him as well. 

Rose:  Nikk-Uh, many thanks to you, Chamo, Fish, and Flake for allowing Rose to be a little part of this amazing project.  And also to Chris Short with Alpaca Ranch Recordings for being a gracious host whenever we dropped by.  Looking forward to the release date when we can finally get our hands on a copy of “Letters of (N)tent”.  

The Birth of 2014 – at The Haven

 

New Years Eve at the HavenRose’s 2014 arrived on a cold and rainy night without even the traditional midnight kiss …..

Sounds depressing, right?   Well, before we go off on our tangent….we do wish everyone we’ve ever known, past, present, and future all the best in 2014. 

But really, what the hell happened to Lucky 13?  Turned out that Rose really didn’t accomplish any of the objectives she’d set for herself.  2013 took a few twists and turns, and had some unexpected encounters that threw us off track a bit.  Some of these obstacles were good (some were quite devilishly enjoyable) and some just sucked.  We can only hope that they were all necessary detours laying the foundation of a path to better things.   What we learned  from 2013 is that we’re still learning, and must continue to steadfastly fight the demons that continue to rear their ugly heads.  Be it our limited knowledge of technology, that temporarily hinders the progress of this website; or the more personal emotional complexities of Rose’s inner world…. the shit just keeps on coming.   The long and short of it, we have to “Get the fuck over it!” (Good advice gleaned from Auditory Armory’s “Phantom”)    20131231_230145

And get over it we did;  at our favorite place to hang… The Haven, with Maniacal Mojo’s  ”A Night of Friends”.   No one here cared about the cold and the rain as we kicked the old year out the door and ushered in the brand new 2014.  

This show offered something different; a blend of that which we have come to know and love with a new energy and vibe.  By that we mean a night that brought together Auditory Armory, Familiar Sin, EarthFall, and Madeline Sonya in a most unexpected way.    The seasoned artists broke away from their usual elements to perform some 20131231_234033amazing sets with Ariel Hope and Madeline Sonya.  It was like looking through a kaleidoscope and seeing all the colors blend, transform, and change into new shapes and patterns.  

**Earthfall**

This was the first time, we’ve had the opportunity to hear Earthfall, a female fronted project still in it’s early stages.  Currently, Dale Stump and Dennis Burns are lending their talents to the project.  Sure, Ariel Hope is cute and bubbly, but more importantly she’s an amazing and powerful performer (and she rocks the pink pixie haircut with a vengeance!) This is no flash in the pan pop princess.  Ariel’s got grit and backbone…. stemming from a healthy lineage of rock, jazz and blues.  Check out her music at http://earthfall.bandcamp.com/track/wont-be-broken-li  

Photo by Noah Coffman Photography

Photo by Noah Coffman Photography

 **Madeline Sonya**        

Beautiful and graceful… she could be the prom queen.. but lucky for us she has chosen the path of vocalist and musician.  Madeline’s beautiful voice is spot on in her cover of “The Swan and the Minotaur”, from England’s Ruby Throat.  For a really beautiful listening experience, play Madeline’s cover of “The Burden is Mine.. Alone” simultaneously with the original by Green Carnation.  It’ll bring you to your knees!  Madeline, you have no idea how Rose envies your siren-like vocals and talents on the keyboard.  Madeline played her original “Shallow” for us this night, check it out on….https://www.facebook.com/madelinesonya

20131231_231829

 **Auditory Armory**

It was really good to catch up with Auditory Armory to end 2013 and begin 2014.  Their 7 song New Years Eve set, included 6 new songs 20131231_231818from their upcoming CD, plus “Phantom”.  Their set was exceptionally fun and energized. Much as we loved “Anomaly” (our most played CD of 2012) we are excited to see this band of four extremely talented individuals progressing into a more complete package.  Their new work is really a collaboration of all members, and  with more input from Dennis, Oscar, and Justice, the music is profoundly harder edged.  We are eagerly anticipating a new Auditory Armory CD this year. 

**Familiar Sin**

20140101_004727In past “Opinions” we have applauded Familiar Sin for their raucous good time party attitude; but, we have been a little remiss in those earlier comments. It was not until we witnessed Familiar Sin deconstructed and jamming with the other bands on a variety of songs, that we came to fully appreciate the immense talent that C.J.,Chris, Josh and Caveman possess as individual musicians and vocalists.  We listen now to Guitars n’ Guns with more educated ears, able to hear each band member’s unique contribution to the total sound.  Whether it’s inspiration from the West Coast, the deep South, or right here in Florida; reflecting styles from Tool to Pantera, we are damn glad that all the pieces came together to give us Familiar Sin.  ”Guitars n’ Guns” can be heard at Rose’s house often, and we plan to see more Familiar Sin in the new year …. (Does that make Rose a frequent sinner?)  20140101_004712

So after contemplating the alternating successes and failures of 2013 for the first 15 days of 2014; we have decided it’s just best to look forward and not back, take baby steps if we have to, and leap forward when we need to.  Appreciate the good stuff and learn from the bad stuff.  As Corey Taylor so eloquently put it:

“Because in the end, everything we do is just everything we’ve done”

 

 

**Roses “Most” List for 2013**

(once again… this is only the list of  ”"mosts” that are okay to put in print.. :twisted: )

* Most played CD/EP’s of 2013:  Born From Ashes debut CD and Meka Nism’s “Dance at the End of the World”

* Most played single songs of 2013:  Familiar Sin’s “Martyr” and Auditory Armory’s “Witch”

* Most interesting “first time” experience:  Deicide at The Orpheum

* Most unique moments:  Tie – being bitten by Tony Blakk and being slashed by Michael Myers                          20131101_231327            20131025_215644

* Most anticipated show:  Born From Ashes CD Release at The House of Blues

* Most favorite place to hang out:  Yeah… no surprise here – The Haven!

* Most “educational” show: F.I.L.T.H’s CD Release show… LOL 

* Most listened to new band of 2013:   Sons of Ragnar

* Most unbelievably over the top show:  It’s a three-way!  Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie and Trans-Siberian Orchestra

*Most surprising moments:  Being gifted with Earthday Birthday tix for our birthday, Nine Inch Nails for Halloween, and TSO for Christmas!

 

Thanksblackturkeychanukahgivingfriday – WTF? 2013

PennsylvaniaFallFoliage If you are off work today and plan on shopping or dining out; remember to show a little patience and courtesy to those who are at work making it possible for you to catch those sales and not have to cook for yourself.  Chances are they’re not making that much, if anything extra for working today.  In recent years, we’ve been told that we have to be there and open for business on those few days a year that used to be reserved for staying home with family and friends.  And if we’re a little cranky… it’s probably because we’d rather be off today too.

Special thanks to those who are working today because they have chosen one of the noble professions that are necessary 24/7, 365 days a year… military, emergency medical, law BlackFridayFeatenforcement,  firefighters …

Rose refuses to participate in all this Black Friday, and now Pre-Black Friday shopping mania.  We will NEVER understand the need to purchase stuff so desperately that you will risk your life and limb to grab that “sale”.  WTF?  It’s JUST STUFF!!  There is nothing in this world that Rose needs so badly that she will be found in ANY store this Friday.  Nope, probably not even 7-11.   If we are going to get our bones crushed, we’d rather do it in the mosh pit … where at least there’s good music!

First ThanksgivingAnd the more we think about this wicked turn of events whereby stores, dining establishments, and theme parks simply MUST be open to make more money on Thanksgiving Day, the more repulsed we are by the society that feeds into this frenzy.  And the more I think our present and past are really the same.  People are as greedy to acquire things now as they were to acquire land and resources back in the early days when the natives were naive enough to help the Europeans who sailed across the big pond to obliterate their wild asses.

Oh sure, we tried for many generations to make Thanksgiving a nice quiet day at home.   You had to have it all together the day before, because you weren’t getting shit on Thanksgiving day … everything was closed.  What you had was the Macy’s Parade, Football, a good meal, and you simply had no choice but to put up with the family for the whole entire day.

Are we thankful? … yes, very.  Thankful to wake up in the morning with a home, family, friends, good health and good music around me.  Are we going shopping to Macys-Paradebuy irrelevant crap that we don’t really need?  Hell no!  Are we going out for dinner?  Hell no!     We have to go to work…..

In light of all this, we decided to re-post a portion of our turkey day opinion from a few years ago.  

November 29, 2011 by rosesopinion

In the aftermath of Thanksgiving, we’ve decided to reflect for a moment on this most honorable, yet hypocritical holiday. This writer would much prefer a discussion on the post-Halloween rotting pumpkin corpses on the front porch or the ritual New Year’s burning of the Christmas tree in the backyard…..but alas, it is the week after Thanksgiving…..and this is my two cents worth of bullshit on the subject:

Rose did not partake in the annual gorging on too much food and drink, and laying about watching football, mindlessly proclaiming her “thanks” for all the things she’s acquired in this life. Instead, we worked and watched people, and thought about all this sappy, pre-meditated thankfulness.

The original holiday was a celebration of abundant harvest and harmonious relationship between two newly introduced cultures. Awwww……such a nice idea. Ironically, the lovely dinner party would be followed by three centuries of forced submission and near extinction of the indigenous peoples at the hands of the imposing foreigners they once hosted.   

Thus proving two things; (1) We are all inherently part good and part evil, and (2) There is nothing tangible that can not be lost or taken away from us.

Wherever it is that we all go from this dimension, I’m sure it’s not going to matter how much stuff we owned, how much money we made, or how important a title we held.

***

And by the way, Rose and her Damned Opinion are back (and more frightening than ever) after a few months to regroup and gather our scattered little thoughts.   So, be on the look out for more … soon!  Wishing everyone  a Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Chanukah and whatever else you want stay home and celebrate!

 “In the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done”.   Corey Taylor

Labor Day Weekend 2013

Rosie_the_Riveter

We could not let this Labor Day post go by without a nod to one of our all-time favorite inspirations –“Rosie the Riveter”.  Although the icon is the culmination of many different women, “Rosie” has been revered for nearly seven decades now.  Her image of beauty and strength rocks many a tattooed arm.  Some see her as a historic symbol of WWII, and some as a symbol of feminism.  To us, she embodies the strength of the human spirit…. the metal it takes just to survive day to day and do whatever you have to, to get the job done ….  Cheers to you, Rosie!

So here we are nearing the end of September, and Rose is just now recovering from an amazing music filled Labor Day weekend…. we hope everybody had as much fun as we did.  Our long holiday weekend started out Friday night with Maniacal Mojo‘s line up at The Haven; where we caught Stone Clover, Familiar Sin and NerVer.

 Stone Clover was  our surprise band of the weekend.  This band, completely new to our ears, seriously kicked ass with a touch of classicStone Clover old school flair.  In doing a little investigating we didn’t find a plethora of  info on the band themselves, but did find some pretty cool videos on their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Stonecloverband?fref=ts.  Rose is partial to “Devil’s Reservation” (Rose’s blue eyes can’t disguise her Papa’s blood).  The band has got a few shows lined up in preparation for Biketoberfest, and is currently working on new music.  We think we will be hearing a lot more from them in the near future.  Stone Clover is; Kevin Swadley, Scott Mills, Jimmy Pace and Jonathan Stewart  

20130830_232308And then there’s Familiar Sin….. The band that tempts you like that box of chocolates or bottle of wine that you know you just shouldn’t open, ’cause once you do… you won’t stop until you’ve consumed every last bit.  Guess that’s how the sin begins!  But all transgressions aside… Familiar Sin is an amazingly talented band, with a huge sound that hits you like a freight train and a live show that completely engulfs the senses.   “Guitars and Guns” is one of the best CD’s released in 2012, with “Martyr” and “Nowhere” being Rose’s personal favorites.  We’re looking forward to see what’s next from Familiar Sin.

NerVer… there is nothing we don’t like about their down to earth, kick -you- in- the-head style.  Casey Daniels, Jason, Marshall and CodyMacNerVer Bullfighter deliver no frills, no fuss…… just straight up great music with catchy riffs and gritty vocals.   “Bullfigher” was released earlier this year, and is one awesome CD from start to finish.  Rose’s pick “Kings Will Fall”.  https://www.facebook.com/NerVermusic   

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BFA Cover

On Saturday 8/31/2013, Born From Ashes had what will probably prove to be the most epic CD release party this year.  And why not when you’ve got a line up as stellar as SoulSwitch, Traverser, and Leaving Haven, along with hundreds of  loyal BFA fans in the house.   The excitement of the legion who have eagerly awaited the “official” release fueled the band’s energy, and gave rise to their most epic performance yet.   Check out Rose’s preview of the CD in our post from July 1, 2013. http://rosesdamnedopinion.com/2013/07/

When we arrived at the House of Blues, Leaving Haven’s drummer Benjamin was already into his crazy drum solo, playing along to some not-so-metal tunes.  What’s that you say?…. well, it’s  entertaining as hell and showcases this drummer’s talents perfectly… and Rose enjoyed it, a lot.  This band has come so far so fast since the first time I saw them at the Haven nearly two years ago.  Since then, they have tightened up and polished their sound, and have opened for some pretty major bands.  The band’s current line up seems to be the perfect formula for them; Michael Strippoli – Guitar; Luke Melsenti – Guitar; Madison Macko- Bass; Benjamin Melsenti – Drums… and we can’t wait to see where they go from here.

Traverser at HOB 2 8-31-2013Traverser busted out an incredible light show, adding the perfect visual to their already well refined atmospheric sound.  While their cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” kinda makes you want to dance  Traverser at HOB 1 8-31-2013(even the glittery disco ball was included); the final song inspired the eruption of a proper mosh pit to wrap up their set.   Listening to “Redshift” again while writing this blog…. and have found ourselves somewhere between head banging and meditating under the influence of the hard driving, yet smooth and seductive “Singularity”, “Vericose”, and “The Turning Machine”.   

SoulSwitch at HOB 8-31-2013And what’s the perfect way to end a completely off the hook night? … with the indomitable Soul Switch, of course.  This band never seems to deplete their super high energy level, as evidenced by a great set including BFA’s Paul Mahoney on a song or two.  The release of their EP “As it Seems” in January 2012, solidified the band’s position as a cornerstone in the Florida hard rock scene.  Time and time again, we have heard other band members use SoulSwitch’s sound or show as an example of where they want to be with their own bands.   We can’t imagine that there is anyone reading this post that does not know SoulSwitch, but just in case you’ve been living in a cave and have not yet checked them out… visit their Facebook page, look for the “Saving Me” video, and get out to their next show.   

 The following weekend was another crazy good time with F.I.L.T.H.’s release party.   The evening’s debauchery kicked off with an appearance by the infamous Bob Dobbs, and included stellar performances by LoveJuice, and MekaNism.  Stay tuned for our next “opinion” on this and more…….

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