Conduit of Humanity – The Zen Cage

One of my favorite indie releases of the last few years was AAA Battery’s Corrosion of Buddha. A cross country, file swapping kind of project, the project held up as an homage to the corrosion of the human spirit. Musically, it was a blend of alternative sensibilities with progressive rock leanings – kind of like Neil Young meeting Tool. AAA Battery’s Fred Jeske rang me up back in June to tell me about his forthcoming project – Conduit of Humanity. It sounded really ambitious – a group of 20+ individuals getting together to create reality bending music that could change hearts and minds. But isn’t that what the best music does? We made plans to get together in Seattle in August at his band’s performance and…my life took a left turn. Instead of catching up with Fred and taking in his band, I found myself driving across the USA on the very same day I had made plans with Fred. Sorry Fred! His new project – Conduit of Humanity – has recently released their debut album, The Zen Cage. And I can tell you, it is an album that lives up to it’s ambitions.

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Death Threat Cassette – Dial M for Masham

Masham

About 3 years ago or so I was sent the debut album by Death Threat Cassette, a 1 man band based out of North Yorkshire, England. I was instantly blown away by the originality on display – a perfect meshing of violence & beauty, 90’s inspired yet modern. It was one of my favorite albums of 2013, and I’ve been patiently waiting for a follow-up ever since. Dial M for Masham arrives unheralded yet once again makes a case for being album of the year. It will feel instantly familiar to those who have heard the 1st album, yet mixes it up enough to rope in new listeners. Lee Pecqueur aka Death Threat Cassette disproves the theory of the “sophomore slump”.

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Dan Florio – Malleability

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The darkness set in around 7:45 last night – the Fall is relentless in its approach this time of year. Rather than lament the summer now gone, it is time to start thinking about bonfires, pumpkin beer, and flannels (I’m in the Seattle area, after all). The perfect complement to those mandatory Autumnal delights is music that revels in the spirit of the season. Some of my fondest memories involve sitting around a fire, listening to friends play songs by The Smiths, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and whatever other tunes are easy to sing along to. Each Fall brings some variation of this bit of nostalgic story telling, but what can I say? A good time was had by all. Records that evoke those feelings can be hard to come by – if an artist tries too hard, it can sound a little too earnest. Off the cuff recordings bring the opposite problem – it can sound a little ragged. Malleability is the new record from Connecticut based indie artist Dan Florio, and it delivers a strong set of tunes in an Autumnal spirit.

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The Lost Patrol – Driven

thelostpatrol

ec·lec·tic

/iˈklektik/

Adjective
Deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

So says some reputable website on the world wide web. In my experience though, this term can come off as damning praise. “Oh, don’t mind him – he’s a bit eclectic”. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure you’ve heard the term in the same way. Not always true, mind you – just my experience. I’ve always been drawn to people, authors, and musicians who embrace an eclectic approach. (True Confession: I love Sandinista! by The Clash). There’s something about the all-encompassing approach that I really enjoy. New York City’s The Lost Patrol are a band that use an eclectic approach to great effect.

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Zephyr Reign – Tempus Fugit

zephyrreign

“Zephyr Reign are a 5 piece Alternative/Rock band from South Wales.

With a list of musical tastes and backgrounds ranging from indie to rock to good old fashion rock n roll the band Zephyr Reign show no limitations with their writing ability and style. With music influenced by bands such as The Who, Oasis, The Clash and The Manic Street Preachers (to name a few) the band mixes alternative rock and classic rock together. The vocals are a mixture of modern and older (Sing your head off ) lyrics that have a definite touch with the real people of today. The band features Geraint Roberts – Vocals/Guitar, Matthew Griffiths – Guitar, Neil Rossiter – Guitar, Gareth Davies – Bass, and Barrie Davies – Drums.”

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