ALBUM REVIEW: Vox Vocis deliver a progressive journey on “Star Meissa”

Houston-based progressive post-hardcore band Vox Vocis are no strangers to change. The group made a splash in their local scene in 2016 with their debut full-length In the Arms of the Sun, which drew from well-known prog acts like Coheed and Cambria and Closure in Moscow to create a dynamic, densely layered musical journey. Now, two years on from that album’s release, the band expands their reach and broadens their musical vision with the release of Star Meissa, one of the finest albums the genre has produced this year.

Continue reading

Alt-rock supergroup Royal Coda (members of Sianvar, A Lot Like Birds, Stolas) release new single, “Cut Me Under”

Royal Coda may be a new name on the music scene, but the brand new band has 3 members you should likely recognize right off the bat in Kurt Travis (ex-A Lot Like Birds),
Sergio Medina (Sianvar, Stolas), and Joseph Arrington (ex-ALLB). The band, which released their debut single a few weeks ago, is back with another new song in “Cut Me Under”. Royal Coda is also set to release their self-titled debut full-length album on April 27th via Blue Swan Records. You can stream the new song below, as well as pre-order the band’s new record right here.

Continue reading

Joey Rubenstein (Icarus the Owl) Interview

The last few years have been busy for Icarus the Owl. The Portland progressive rock band signed to Blue Swan Records in 2015, and have continued to grow their fanbase while evolving their signature blend of progressive flashiness and soaring pop hooks. Fresh off of the release of their new album Rearm Circuits on December 1st, I talked to singer/guitarist Joey Rubenstein about the album, and what’s next for Icarus.

Continue reading

Hail the Sun continue to push their sound — and grow their fanbase while doing it

(Photos by Deniz Davenport)

In any rock music scene, far too many bands struggle to achieve the delicate balancing act of artistic progression and consistency. Acts are caught in a potentially perilous quagmire: Churn out reliable yet predictably similar albums, and run the risk of becoming stale. Take too big of a creative risk, and the increasingly fickle rock marketplace may abandon your band for the next big thing. Yet in this difficult landscape, few rising bands successfully navigate these pitfalls quite like Hail the Sun.

The Chico, California post-hardcore act got off to a strong start with their independent releases POW! Right In the Kisser! and Elephantitis, immediately establishing themselves with high-energy progressive riffs, vividly intense lyrical themes, and the passionate vocal delivery of Donovan Melero. The band’s steady grind of touring and promotion earned them a growing and passionate following in the post-hardcore scene, and their unique sonic blend began to attract the ears of some in the industry.

The turning point came when the band attracted the attention of Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance. Quickly signing to Will’s label Blue Swan Records, Hail the Sun was set for a make-or-break moment. Thankfully, they delivered in 2014 in the form of Wake, an album that elevated the chaotic intensity of their early work while bringing a greater focus to their progressive songwriting structures. Only a mere three years after the album’s release, Wake is already considered by many fans of post-hardcore to be among the scene’s classic releases.

Despite the pressure of following up such a successful release, Hail the Sun have only continued to grow, both musically and in terms of popularity. After signing to Equal Vision Records, the band released Culture Scars in 2016, which streamlined their sound while still tackling serious themes focusing on the dark undercurrents of “normal” society. And now only a little over a year since Culture Scars’ release, the band surprise released their latest EP, Secret Wars, on November 10. After the more accessible sound of their last album, the band refused to stay stagnant, and Secret Wars contains arguably Hail the Sun’s heaviest and most technically complex songs to date.

And the band brought all of that energy to their just-finished tour with I the Mighty and Good Tiger, including their two dates at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles, on November 18 and 19. Playing to sold-out crowds, Hail the Sun are continuing to prove why they are quickly becoming one of the biggest names in post-hardcore. Catch them opening for Glassjaw in Sacramento on November 26, and opening for Silverstein in the UK this December!