Rapid Fire Reviews – 3/9

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Inner Temple – The Games We Play

I guess post-grunge is still a thing. Out of Pennsylvania booms Inner Temple, an alternative rock band that blends sludgy distorted progressions with throaty howls from Dustin Schumacher. Being a two song attack, the music borders the line of old school Smile Empty Soul and arena rock form the 90s, droning through progressions with heavy sounding patterns. The lyrics are emotionally charged, wandering through questions of how to continue forward with life and not give up. This is only a preview of what is to come, but if you enjoy heavier music, keep an eye out.

Score: 6.8/10

Mr. Bones – Bites

Tragically lighthearted yet effective at being depressingly fun, Mr. Bones playfully create music that is for the melancholy. It’s hard to describe being miserable in a lo-fi/garage band, but the constant whales and monotonous vocals from the Portland group cover that issue. “Do you Want To Feel Alright?” is a track that asks that very question. It’s like looking through a window of shining optimism but being on the rainy and gloomy side of it. Yet, with all of the distress, the songs have a bounce to them, calling people to chime in and express their feelings. It’s hard not to have a sense of charm when listening to the upbeat “Bad Drivers Of South Carolina,” or “Aerostar.” What makes Bones so efficient with it’s delivery is the moody atmosphere of the vocals. Whether in unkempt unhappiness or in a questioning fit of pity, they cut through with testy lyrics that read out of a diary. 

Score: 8/10

Dead Stars – Bright Colors

Fuzzy and warm, Dead Stars keep the garage rock theme with their pop beats hiding behind the buzzing distortion. Opening track “Calm Punk” sets off the mood with its title and audible presence. Bright Colors really is a calm and focused record. Channeling slacker rock like that of Colleen Green with personal lyrics, the New York trio make great use of their strengths in bringing each mid tempo song to life. Throughout this, the band rely on catchy melodies to break up the droning music,  “Stay Here” does just that while also showcasing the beautiful dynamic change the band plays with. The verses are soft while the chorus is muddled with guitars and a mid range vocal delivery to slice through the buzz. Closing track, “Oh Well,” is a treat for making it through the entire record, being the longest and most focused track on the LP. It intelligently shifts through different dynamics while being beautifully repetitive, allowing for listeners to latch onto the lyrics immediately. 

Score: 7/10