EP Review – Pyro Fighter (Self)


EP Review – Pyro Fighter (Self)

Released: May 2010

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

Pyro Fighter. Photo courtesy of the band.

Pyro Fighter’s bio states that they are “a renegade trio of tron-pop cut throats known for luring, capturing and permanently trancing their audience through a perfected formula of auditory and visual manipulation.” Although I have never seen them live, the music suggests that this statement is true.

Originally from Columbus OH, Dany Mellette (Commander), Billy Arnett (Enforcer #1) and Patrick Stockhausen (Enforcer #2) have very recently moved to Chicago IL and are being managed by Crystal Bishop at EarCandy Chicago. Pyro Fighter were on the club and party circuit in Columbus and caught the attention of Grammy Award winning Italian DJ Benny Benassi. With the aid of local rave lords DJ’s Carma and Attak and the influence of local photographers and bloggers, the hype led to an all out take-over of the city of Columbus.

In just under a year after Pyro Fighter came into being, the group caught the attention of MTV and had their song “LMFAO” selected to be featured on the Season 2 premier of the smash hit show “Jersey Shore”. Five million viewers turned that song into a YouTube sensation as well as on iTunes and SoundCloud.

The bands’ music is power dance pop, trance music and is futuristic in its sounds. Starting out with the song “Honey Shot” it has a good melody, trippy sounds and good layers in the song itself. Dany’s vocals fit the song perfectly in a monotone way which gives the song balance. “I’m The One” has a good beat, melody and is vocally performed well. I like the effects and layering and this is just a good dance track. It could lyrically be about “the” one or just the one for a good time? That would be up to the listener. “La Lemon Drop” is an interesting song as it has a rock vibe within the dance feel to it. The effects and layering are very effective in pulling that dance feel out of the song. The melody is well developed and the structure of the song is well built. Lyrically, this song has a dual meaning and it’s left up to the listener to interpret what that might be. The remix of “LMFAO” is choppy electronic beats and effects, stuttering, stopping and moving on a warped melody. It has a slow weird break in mid song which only adds to the slightly warped sound throughout the song. “Play Stop Rewind” is a straight forward dance track which is upbeat and in minor keys which gives the song a kind of futuristic feel. I like the robotic effects on the vocals, the trance like quality on the breaks and fast repeat vocals within the song. The layering is particularly effective in harnessing all those sounds and mixing them about in a pattern that has a good melody and structure to begin with. “So Good” has a softer beat which gives it a fuzzy kind of quality to the overall sound of the song. It’s not slow but has a different time signature which gives it that fuzzed out feel. The melody is catchy, the vocals sound sweet while singing about kissing and has a happy vibe. The final song “You’ll Never Know” has a really cool heavy beginning and then heads into a fast, headbanging dance track and all out assault, or so it feels like that. It has bits of marching sounds, a dreamy quality to the melody and kicks it with the faster dance beats. I really like how the band utilized the time changes within the song.

Even though this material is almost a year old, it sounds as fresh as the day it came out. If you like dance music and trance/electronica, this is one EP you want to get and comes highly recommend by this writer. You can find the music on the band’s website and the link is at the top of the review.

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Show review – The Architects – Neon Trees – My Chemical Romance


Show Review – The Architects, Neon Trees and My Chemical Romance

The Ford Center – Vancouver BC Canada, April 2 2011

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

MCR take the stage at the Ford Center. Photo by Jade Sperry.

Last night’s show was probably amazing to most of the teenagers that were there.  I witnessed hysteria, crying and screaming from some of the most rabid and loyal fans to a band that I’ve ever seen, and I remember that from the Projekt Rev tour from 2007 – although it’s toned down a lot more since then.

The Architects were up first to warm up the crowd which they did well.  They had some good energy, good stage presence and they seemed to really dig the crowd.  In fact all 3 bands were really into the crowd, saying  “Vancouver, you are a good looking crowd” .  Their songs were performed very well and they left the stage after a 30 minute set.

Neon Trees took the stage and just went head first into their set like ducks to water.  This is a really good band.  The drummer, Elaine Bradley, really impressed the hell out of me with how well she kept the timing of the songs live.  I could only stand and stare in awe quite frankly.  Tyler Glen really has a great stage presence and was born to be a frontman.  He reminded this writer of Jared Leto from 30 Seconds To Mars in his showmanship, drama and style onstage.  If you get a chance to see this band live, I highly recommend that you do.  You will not be disappointed.

Gerard Way marching across the stage. Photo by Jade Sperry.

And finally, at 940pm PST, MCR took the stage and began the night with “NaNaNaNa” to which every single teenager went absolutely insane.  One thing I should say is that there were also some older folks in the audience (50+) that were there either with friends or their kids.  That was really cool to see.  And the audience for the most part was well behaved even in the midst of their hysteria that MCR were really on the stage in front of them.  Gerard Way gave this show a lot of emotion, sweat and energy to the kids in the crowd, thanked all of us for having the patience to wait for the new record and generally seemed to really CARE about the audience which not a lot of mainstream big acts do.  Frank Iero and Ray Toro really got into the show with the way they played their guitars, and Mikey Way was all cool and hip with his bass playing.  They did a lot of tunes for this show, new and old, and all of them were performed at a high level of energy and done very well.  I also liked the stage setup for this tour because it’s stripped down and looks bare.  The lighting was well done and chaotic which added an  apocalyptic feel to the whole show.  And the V shaped lights behind the drummer were awesome.  Just a note:  there are a lot of strobe lights for this show so if that bothers you, be warned.  There were a few teens next to me that had to leave because of that factor.

As I left the show and drove by the theater 20 minutes after the show ended, the 2 tour buses in front of the venue were swarmed with fans getting autographs and that kind of thing.

Thanks to the bands that played last night and thank you also for the music you play.

Filtered shot of My Chemical Romance with blood red lights in background. Photo by Jade Sperry.

EP review – Jimmy Con – Drama


EP Review – Jimmy Con – Drama

Released: 1 April 2011

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

EP cover for DRAMA. Photo courtesy of the artist.

This is no April Fool’s Day joke. Jimmy Con of Chicago’s Ghosthouse has released his new EP Drama. Electronic trance music with some fantastic beats. Vocals that are toned out to emphasize the beats of the music. Classic beats done in the ’80’s old school DJ style with some samples. I can totally envision a crowded club dance floor with the people dancing up a storm, arms in the air. Jimmy also has Ear Candy Chicago (Crystal Bishop) helping him to reach his vision in becoming a big name artist. The future is going to be bright for Jimmy Con me thinks.

Track listing:

  1. Drama
  2. Fly Away
  3. Heat of the Night
  4. White Tiger
  5. Yjodaly
  6. You’ll Never Know (Pyrofighter remix)

On first listen, what stands out in the big picture of this EP is the timing of the beats and vocals within the melody of the songs themselves. And how well the echo, effects and layering of the songs are – well built, solid and kicking it. Starting out with “Drama” this is one cool and classically built song. Structured well with great timing, it just flies out of the speaker at you. This song is a favorite in my collection as of right now. I like the beginning of the song, soft shouting in the background with great effects and how it kind of sounds like cleansing water flowing over you. It has a positive, upbeat vibe to it that is consistent throughout the song. “Fly Away” has more of a sonic feel to it much like the movie “Trainspotting” had. Fast moving beats and effects all melding into one fusion song that moves like a train going mach one. This song does have some lyrical structure as well that is light and fun which matches the mood of the song. “Heat of the Night” has a deep bass beat as the backbone to this track. With good timing and rhythm within the song, lyrics fit the bill perfectly and that’s what the song calls for. Jimmy’s instincts in what plays good for the song will serve him well in the future. The fourth track “White Tiger” is this writer’s favorite song. This track starts out with spacey, trippy trance beats and effects with a soft crowd clap in the background. The beats rise above that chaotic sound into a psychedelia trance beat that makes you want to get up and shimmy around your living room or office. Good drum beat effects punctuate in the right areas of the song which again shows good instincts with what sounds best for the song. “Yjodaly” sounds like it’s from another planet for some reason. I guess the vibe of this song brings that vision in my head. I can imagine a space shuttle-like trip with this music as the background music – “spinning on the vintage side” and “you’re alive” – makes sense to me. The vocals are done well and fit the song perfectly. The final song “You’ll Never Know (Pyrofighter Remix)” is straight up dreamy beats, minor tones and layers of happy dance melodies and gets spaced out which makes for a nice break towards the end of the track.

The download of Drama will be available for FREE until Monday April 4. You can get it here.

EP Review – Ghosthouse – Fashionably Late


EP Review – Ghosthouse – Fashionably Late

Released: March 1, 2011

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

Jimmy Con and Chuck. Photo courtesy of the band.

Ghosthouse is a Chicago IL project headed by the infamous Jimmy Con and his tasty beats. Jimmy is a singer/songwriter who makes some mighty fine beats and has dance tracks that are infectious and classy. Original beats, sampled beats mixed with original beats and old school beats make for a fine four song EP. The track listing is as follows:

  1. Private Dancer
  2. Analog Man
  3. I’m Not Your (Stepping Stone)
  4. Comearound

Fashionably Late was produced by Jimmy Con with his musical partner in crime Chuck. They equally share production credits as well as writing the tracks except for a cover by The Monkees.

It was mixed and mastered by Graeme Williams at Dr.Caw Studio in Northbrook, IL. He is their most trusted engineer as nobody is more intuitive when it comes to working with the infamous Ghosthouse gang. Crystal Bishop and her company Ear Candy Chicago are an integral part of Ghosthoue’s success and future plans. Besides managing Ghosthouse, Crystal also manages a group, Pyrofighter, that you should check out as well. (Ghosthouse did a remix for them that went to #1 on Purevolume). And the good news – Ghosthouse is currently in production for the follow up to this EP.

Starting with “Private Dancer” which from the get go sounds like a classic 80’s dance track in the vein of Prince and Sheila E – but only in the beats and music. The lyrics are reminiscent of making public scenes of affection, taking it off and being a private dancer for someone for that one night. I like the way the song flows, the vocals really suit the song and the timing is bang on. A good lighthearted dance tune about a night of passion. “Analog Man” has an awesome funky groove that is on the skank and dirty side. So good. I really like how intuitive Jimmy and Chuck are when working on the beats and timing of the vocals in the layers of the song. Speaking of “the power of the toolbox” and being an analog man who has the power, the touch and the total package. Skank and dirty indeed! Swagger also goes a long way for the hipster in this song. Covering the 1960’s song from The Monkees, “I’m Not Your (Stepping Stone)” has a good opening that doesn’t really seem to sound like the song until it hits the chorus. Impressive. I like the original fresh beats in the verses of the song which only hint at the original melody of the song. Vocals are done well and come in at the right times. The final song “Comearound” is a ballad that is wrapped in deep beats and vocals. This song actually feels like velvet coming out of the speaker its that good. Good timing, vocal and harmonies, this song has a soft sweet melody under all those deep beats. I also like the real passion in the vocals in this song. Well done Ghosthouse!

The Stick – EP Review – Fight Mode


EP Review – The Stick – Fight Mode

Released – September 30, 2010

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

EP cover. Photo courtesy of the band.

The Stick are an electronic/trance/rap project from Vancouver BC and the 4 song EP is produced rather well. The track listing is as follows:

  1. Fight Mode
  2. The Grand Kowloon
  3. Pseudo Breaker
  4. Let Us Eat

At just under 2 minutes, the title track “Fight Mode” begins with some cool keys and when the voice comes in under the keys, it totally sounds like its underwater. Great opening for an electronic song! And the vocals get more layered into the music as the song flows very well until the fade out. “The Grand Kowloon” has some interesting sounds within the music and the song itself has some good time changes. With lyrics like “police say please/keep the peace” indicating that they don’t want to do that for the neighborhood where the rapper lives. This is very reminiscent of our society in today’s world. “Pseudo Breaker” opens with some funky electronic sounds with very good rap vocal structure coming right out of the speakers at you in a soft kinda laid back way. Speaking of “getting the scene” and “playing it safe” can be taken in many ways. I like the “mystery” in the vocals and how they are delivered and performed, especially towards the buildup at the end. “Let Us Eat” has a really cool groove and gets more layered as other sounds come into the song for the first minute and a half. The vocals sound far away which gives the song a good overall effect. Lyrically, it has nothing to do with food.

You can download the EP free from the link above and it would be well worth your while to have this EP in your collection if you like rap, electronic music with a trace vibe to it.