Album Reviews: Forever Came Calling, Flobots, Dikembe, and The Fake Boys

Okay guys, so here is the deal. I am super lucky to get so many press releases and albums in my email every week. Even though I totally love getting all this music, and I listen to every single album I receive and Google every single band that sends me a press release, I don’t have the time to write review on all of them. Ever since I became the music editor, I have been trying to figure out a way to get press on more of these bands, especially the bands that I know are good, but that I just don’t have the frame of reference to give a solid in-depth review (I am not an expert in all genres). My solution is to dedicate one week a month to multi artist article. On the first Saturday of each month, I am going to give you a rundown on all the music that could have been lost, but I think that you guys would dig and should hear

Forever Came Calling :: Contender out on Pure Noise Records

It seems like CA was the birthplace of pop punk and CA natives, Forever Came Calling are continuing the tradition. Contender is so high energy and upbeat that it is impossible to sit still while listening to it. I am always a fan of albums where you can hear the passion of the band coming through every element andContender is just full of those elements. The pop punk vocals paired with gritty guitars and the sections of ground singing is phenomenal. Even though my personal favorite song is track 3, Harbours, the album gets better and better song by song.

 

Flobots :: Circle in the Square out on Shanachie Records

The Flobots are not a band that I would typically review, but there was no way I could resist this album. If I had to describe Circle in the Square in one word, it would be, eclectic. Their unique blend of rap, rock, gospel, pop and even a Broadway sound is not only infectious but it also has a distinct message. I haven’t gotten the same vibe since the Crass/ Chumbawamba mainstream crossover, this a collective of artists who are using music to convey their message (as opposed to putting a message in their music).

From rap with soothing chanting behind it to tracks that sound like a Broadway company recording to riot songs each track has its own sound to go along with its distinct message, and they are catchy as hell. I warn you now, that the title track, Circle in the Square will be stuck in your head for days.

In addition to recording music the Flobots also own and operate a nonprofit in their hometown of Denver, CO. Through Flobots.org  and a community Space in Denver they give  young people the tools to make a difference in themselves and in the world. Regardless of your musical taste, there is something special about this group of musicians and what they are trying to accomplish.

Check out the super fun music video for Circle in the Square.

 

Dikembe :: Broad Shoulders out on Tiny Engines.

Dikembe released their debuted EP last year to an amazing reception, and their first full length, Broad Shoulders is is receiving the same reception. One of the most successful pre-orders in Tiny Engines history it will soon have to go into a second pressing.

Self-recorded and mixed this album has something for everyone. Broad Shoulders infuses so many elements of the different subgenres of punk, from emo to pop punk to some hardcore chords in order to create a super unique sound that is hard to categorize.

The record has a great range of sound and vibe from the first track that is calm and haunting track to heavy guitars paired with a pop punk voice. My favorite track is We Could Be River Rats, it has a great energy and instantly makes me feel like I am in a mosh pit in the late 90s.

 

The Fake Boys :: Pig Factory out on Animal Style Records

I was hooked on this album the second that it started. The gritty opening chords and the harsh voice that comes in is simply irresistible. The Fake Boys’ sound is hard to put your finger on, there are elements of pop punk mixed with hardcore and metal guitars and bass. In addition to the harder edge to the music, there is also acoustic section in The Best Post and Hi Friend is a straight forward rock and roll track, and Don’t Liveis hooky as hell. This mixing of styles really makes this listener feel as though The Fake Boys are never constrained by style or sound and allows their creativity and unique sound to really take the center stage.

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