Nov 16


SFD Review:


The kid named Cudi isn’t afraid to label himself “Mr. Rager”, “Maniac” or more nostalgically [his birth name]: “Scott Mescudi”.


Kid Cudi’s sophomore album Man on the Moon II had a lot to live up to considering previous mega-hits like “Soundtrack to my Life”, “Day N’ Nite”, “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Man on the Moon”. However, on The Legend of Mr. Rager, we’re not only invited into Cudi’s previously rapped-about dreams, but into his daily reality as “Mr. Rager”. The entire album is darker, and more musically adventurous than Man on the Moon - The End of Day (2009); incorporating various syncopation and instrumental elements to diversify his sound. An overall ominous, eerie tone emanates from each track, slowly but steadily ushering us along for the evolution of a “Cudi Revolution”.

The “Cudi Revolution” translates into a solid album, keeping some of the same Cudi-esque trademarks [think oo-oohs, grumbles/growls, and near-wailing sounds] with new insight into the somehow hazy yet focused Cudi state-of-mind. Of course there are multiple stand-outs: “Scott Mescudi vs. The World”, “REVOFEV”, “Marijuana”, “The Mood” and “Maniac”. Those that choose to skip out on the album [mistake!] will appreciate commercial tracks like “Mr. Rager”, “Erase Me”, and “Mojo So Dope”. However, here it is most critical to discuss the tracks that seem to create artistic progress for Cudi on his newest artwork. If nothing else, appreciate something has simple as the song titles. Each are carefully named to aid the listener in the dark journey of Cudi’s evolution.

The album opens up with the upbeat “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” featuring soulful Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley, proclaiming that “we can meet on the other side, this is our journey into the horizon”. Strategically placed first, the track immediately hooks the listener into Cudi’s lyrically displayed dark psyche, without exposing it fully.

“REVOFEV”, appropriately referring to “Revolution of Evolution”, alerts us to “wake up” and questions: “Where will you be for the Revolution?” For those lyrically- unappreciative folks: sit back and enjoy the passionate build-ups and break-downs, complete with snare drums and violin drama.

Quite possibly the best track on the album, “Marijuana” is not your typical party head-banger or commercial Cudi song. Instead, it gives a fresh new trance-like vibe that engulfs the listener. A dramatic choir element is added throughout, practically placing Cudi’s lyrical Mary Jane anthem on a pedestal; the almost-holy force that brings a man back to earth. As taken from Cudi, the track truly gets “all up in your blood”.

“The Mood”, while not particularly diverse, holds true to the Zone that Cudi so often refers to being lost in: a slightly passive, but deeply intuitive state of mind that instantly captivates anyone if allowed. The steady, pleasantly monotonous beat also has an eerie, ominous overtone.

The final most significant track aptly named “MANIAC” [appropriately in all capitals], is one of the most unique jams on the album: the possessed female voice repeats the same phrase [referring to a black hole!], setting the tone for the highly unusual track. Cudi raps, “I am the maniac - I am the ghoul - I’m in the shadows in the corner of my room” -- fully capitalizing on his self-proclaimed title as a lost, manic soul. “MANIAC” is also expertly produced with a multitude of sounds waffling in the background, slowly luring us in.

Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon II - The Legend of Mr. Rager is a successful documentation of the Cudi mindset. Although some have grown tired of his dreary self-depiction, it can be argued that Cudi has portrayed this dark image under an entirely new light. Avid Cudi fans will not be disappointed.

Read More

Oct 19


SFD Review:

Sleigh Bells at SOhO! {Concert Review}

Author: calia


The ragin' Brooklyn rock band Sleigh Bells made their way to the SOhO Music Club last night in Santa Barbara, and had their Californian fans wanting to rock out all night with their amazing and hardcore set. With only one album out titled "Treats," fans last night were begging for more and more musical treats from the rock hard duo after their set ended. As the crowd was raving for an encore, the lead singer Alexis Krauss mentioned, "I don't know if you guys have noticed, but, our album is only thirty four minutes long." Although short, their set was surely awesome. Not only was every song on their album played, but Alexis and Derek (the lead guitarist) really had the crowd riled up and rocking out, as all rock shows should be! It had been a while since I had been to a show quite like this one. There was screaming, sweat, and some moshing here and there. Mainly just eccentric head-banging and dancing took place throughout every song, which made the experience even better. As small of a venue as SOhO may be, it seemed as though Sleigh Bells were performing for thousands. Their energy within every song exceeded all expectations, and made it one hardcore and kickass show.

Opening with "Tell Em," and followed with "Infinity Guitars" which is my personal favorite, it definitely did not seem like there were only two people on stage. Yes, it sounded THAT awesome! Alexis and Derek were both interacting with their fans during the entire show. Diving into the crowd, dancing with the crowd, and just plain rocking out with the crowd during every single song. After getting their fans a little more rowdy, they decided to slow it down with "Rill Rill." At that point, I couldn't even hear Alexis' voice anymore, the entire crowd was singing along, including myself. Her voice sounded even better than the record, and Derek's guitar skills had my eyes spinning. Their musical chemistry is one that most certainly connects.

Sleigh Bells is making their way down southern California, heading to Costa Mesa tonight and LA tomorrow! So if you're in that area and are craving a good head-banging and dancing time, definitely try to make it to their show! More tour dates can be found on their MySpace page here Can't wait for their sophomore album! Sleigh Bells are well on their way to the top!

Read More

Aug 24


SFD Review:


Throughout the last decade, I have ventured to hundreds of concerts and music festivals, some great shows, some not so great shows. During this time I have created a mental list of everyone I absolutely must see before I die. At the very top of my list is Dave Matthews Band. Even though they tour almost every summer, I unfortunately, have never had the privilege to see DMB - I’m either too late to buy tickets or in the wrong city at the wrong time. So, Dave Matthews has been on my concert radar for years, and this past Saturday I finally was able to catch the band live in concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California. Even though the Verizon Amphitheater and venues similar to it (i.e. the Hollywood Bowl) are probably my least favorite due to their massive size - the sound quality projected by this extremely talented band probably topped my favorites list when it comes to overall concert experiences. They kicked the night off with “Minarets” a low key song to get the crowd's attention and then jumped right into their jam band sessions with songs like “Shake me Like a Monkey” and “Funny the Way It Is” from their latest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. A few of the highlights from the show included the 1995 single, “Satellite,” and the amazing light and video show that accompanied all of their songs. But the light and video show that became especially apparent was during the song, “You Might Die Trying,” from the 2005 album, Stand Up. The flashing black and white video images appeared on the LED monitors in some kind of ripple effect that gave the crowd the illusion that they were spinning away with the band or at least that we were all trapped inside one of those incredibly groovy lamp shades that spin and create images on the walls around them. Just when we thought the night was winding down, Dave came back on for an acoustic, encore performance of Pete Seeger’s, “Rye Whiskey.” He was then accompanied by the other band members and finished off the night with the classic DMB jam, “Jimi Thing,” complete with an instrumental battle between Dave on guitar and Boyd Tinsley on violin. BigWhiskeyThe sound quality of the concert was amazing, better than any DMB album I have ever purchased. The lights and video show were unbelievable (however, Muse at Coachella might be tied with DMB for the light display), so needless to say - I can now die happy. Check out DMB's latest studio album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, I promise you won't be disappointed. Click here to view the setlist from August 21, 2010

Read More

Aug 17


SFD Review:

Root For RuinLes Savy Fav’s long awaited follow up to their 2007 Let’s Stay Friends has been on the horizon for some time now. LSF has strategically upped the anticipation for their fifth studio LP, Root For Ruin, by releasing the single 'Let’s Get Out of Here' this July, followed by the release of the album’s multi-angle mirror/red fishnet cover art and complete track list.


RFR Tracklist The album, officially out on September 14, has not-so-unfortunately leaked, as the wily indie band has acknowledged. They’ve handled the inevitability with humor: “OK, so you got our leaked record. At least now you know how awesome it is. We're sure you really just are desperate for a way to pay us for the thing.” Since, the band decided to push up the release of the album, which is now available exclusively on iTunes.


The record is the product of the band working closely together with little outside input.


“With our last album, we wanted to cavort around the world and try some freaky stuff,” said vocalist Tim Harrington in a press release. LSF’s Seth Jabour adds, “with [Root For Ruin], it turns out we enjoy making love with one another more than with a group of strangers.”


2007’s Let’s Stay Friends remains Les Savy Fav at their best, offering chaotic and urgent punk with catchy hooks. After hearing Root For Ruin, you could categorize it as a transitional period for LSF. The abrasive noisy punk of old, meets the rock pop of new. Root For Ruin fits firmly in the latter genre. The opening track ‘Appetites’ and the most recent single ‘Let’s Get Out of Here’ are driven and simplistically catchy, making themselves instant shout-alongs. ‘Dear Crutches’ switches the mood to be more relaxed and well thought out.


Indie album review blog, Misc. Music, describes Les Savy Fav as having a talent for “making well crafted [songs], appear to be accidental streams of thought or just jamming sessions…or in other words, truly genius.”


The band is planning to tour in the fall, so keep checking back for tour dates and updates. Ironically enough, the website is nearly bare, with content only posted to redirect you to one of their multiple alternate sites. For the most exhaustive content, visit their page on Frenchkiss Records here.

Les Savy Fav 2010
Read More

Aug 06


SFD Review:


Awash with the memories of they're travels, Mineral Stills album "Visions" seems to encompass a travelers log placed on top of a rising mix of indie, blues and southern riffs. It is not for the most part an abstract album, far removed from the psychedelic digital atmospheres prevalent today, Memory Stills have produced an album raw and analog. The first highlight of the album comes in the form of a down and hell bent southern riff in "Keep It On The Level". It races along with images of the underbelly of society, pretty great vibes. Another highlight is the contemplative and exploratory "Sea of Trees". An inspiring account of a journey beneath pines, the muffled sound of snow is accounted for in lyrics like "frozen trees, evergreens, covering the moonlight as you slip away, out before anyone knows" and conjures up images of a silent escape discovering the Sierra Nevada mountain range. "Visions" as a whole seems to be quite a personal album, a call to free experience. It doesn't aim to be revolutionary in technique or musical process but it has the possibility to connect with the listener in a positive manner. I would say their sound has many contemporaries, which is not a bad thing in any sense, and they're song writing prose has the advantage of simplicity that lets listeners into the bands experiences.

Album Rating: 6/10

In terms of their online and social media presence, I'm afraid I can't find any evidence of their prominence. The bands album site, run through Band Camp, doesn't have links to any of their own social media profiles. A quick search of "Mineral Stills" does bring one to their site but no social network links are to be seen besides Last.FM which provides no bio or even images of the band. The Band Camp site offers a way to "share" an album track which does encourage the proliferation of their music but it is rather ambiguous on the site and the simple "share' drop down link doesn't stand out. They're website is essentially just a merchandise vehicle. The only MySpace I could find for a band called "Mineral Stills" is a defunct band from Texas. They're Band Camp site seems intent on the advantage of online retail however, offering options to consumers to pay what they choose for the album (as long it is more than $5 for the album and $.50 per track which is very reasonable) and giving plenty of links to do so. With just a few hours of social networking development, Mineral Stills could establish a much stronger online presence, giving the opportunity to expose more people to their music and, as they put it, get more revenue which "goes directly toward making more tunes." Some improvements would need to be made to elevate their presence beyond it's current clumsy state.

As a side note, they have an excellent album booklet which you get as a bonus with the purchase of "Visions." The booklet contains some pretty amazing photography of road trips taken decades ago, a really great compliment to the music which really helps connect the vision of the album to the viewer. This product could be emphasized in different forms and compliment the site in a more effective way.

Website Rating: 5/10

Social Rating: 3/10

Overall Rating: 4.7/10

Visit Them Online: Mineral Stills Last.FM

Read More

Aug 03


SFD Review:

WildTrapezeBrandon Boyd of Incubus recently released his first solo album. Here, we review "The Wild Trapeze," along with, as we like to do, his websites and social media presence.





Read More

Jul 30


SFD Review:


If you were to take apart the Mystery Jets archive, you'd find influences unique to each of their first two albums. For their third, Serotonin, they bring on the elements of classic Eighties pop music to the melodic front. The album, produced by Chris Thomas (Sex Pistols, Pulp, Roxy Music) sees the guys from Eel Pie Island turn over a glossy leaf and churn out an album that rises and falls in idyllic fashion. Contrary to their critically hailed "Twenty One", featuring the unforgettable single "Two Doors Down", Mystery Jets hide most of their off beat quirks in favor of a more majestic mix of harmonies and echoed notes. Along with sounds of the Eighties showing influence, they also turn to ELO, 10cc & even Fleetwood Mac for direction. Some might say they are on the verge of being cheesy with some of the new songs but in the mind of this humble reviewer that would be a bit pre-mature. They seem to be purposefully going to a simpler structure of pop, one that highlights common points we all encounter. That is not to say that the songs found on "Serotonin" aren't well crafted or interesting but instead that the charm of the record is in it's indulgence of straightforward pop of decades past.

"Show Me the Light" for instance, balances that melodic line with a showing of their dance inclinations, propping up a quick beat and a great synth bass line (a la Friendly Fires) to combine with their chiming guitars and harmonized vocals. It has been prompted by some that Mystery Jets are in line to inherit the Brit Pop thrown, once held by the likes of Oasis and The Cure. That is one hell of a statement and with the release of "Serotonin" the Mystery Jets have taken some heat through comparison. Criticism is found to be revolving around the over-saturated aspect of the record. Mystery Jets might have more gloss on this album but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The songs of love lost are some of the strongest on the record, with "Melt" being the best of the bunch followed closely by the melancholy "The Girl Is Gone." The greatest songs though, no surprise here, are about the adventures put into rhyme of the bands' good times with controlled substances. The title track "Serotonin" tries hard to give the illusion during the chorus of singing "Sarah Tonin", but the lyrics “I felt like I was floating / But now I'm coming down off you so hard” give for a pretty obvious reference to E. "Dreaming of Another World", their lead single, hits with reference to some other substances while standing as one of the best tracks on the album. Overall, "Serotonin" moves like a majestic pop record, a bit sugary at times, but running strong through the end.

Have a listen to the whole album for yourself:

Here at SFD, we also like to have a look at the manner in which an album is placed in to the public light. I remember checking one of my favorite blogs and suddenly seeing a stream of links to other sites all with the "New Mystery Jets" headline. Turns out that before their lead single was even announced they had offered on their website the album track "Flash A Hungry Smile". This wasn't some bonus B side, it was the band giving away one of their stronger songs for free long before the album was released.

The free track give-away is not all that uncommon in the music industry these days, but giving away a potential single was a strong commitment to fans. It wasn't a "hey I haven't fallen off the face of the earth" reminder to the bands core fans, but a method of making sure the band was jumping off on the right foot to get momentum building up to the release. Core fans were prompted by the site to sign up for the mailing list (which I have happily done since) but it was surely understood that the bulk of the attention received from fans would be from those who regularly check up-and-coming music websites hungry for new material.

It has turned out to be a strong play for the Mystery Jets, getting more attention than ever and garnering more plays each day. Back to the album itself, I stand by the idea that the Mystery Jets have updated a time capsule here. The idea of creating an album to sum up a period in time, and to execute it with emotional strings attached and in a modern way is really difficult to do. I think the Mystery Jets have done so in spades with their 3rd album Serotonin.

Rating: 8/10

Pick Up "Serotonin" Here

Check Out Them Out On:




Read More

May 31


SFD Review:

Any Port In A Storm DIRTY HEADS Review by Marc B.

Huntington Beach natives The Dirty Heads have a new album out, and they want you to hear it. They pulled out their bag of tricks for this one, and the end result is a colorful mix of heavy, pissed off hip-hop and light, acoustic barefoot jams.

The obvious, breakthrough hit-and-a-half is the catchy love story “Lay Me Down” featuring Rome of Sublime. According to my father, “Rome was the only one with any talent.” I disagree. They’ve all got talent. The Dirty Heads have that raw, barefoot, pissed off talent that’s harder to see than Rome’s smooth, vanilla ice-cream vocals.

The album’s harder edge is exposed on tracks like “Hip-Hop Misfits” and “Sails to the Wind,” both with an almost Eminem quality. They’ve got the hard stuff down, ready to go. But it’s important to remember that most of these songs come from barefoot, latenight jams. This sound is well documented and really comes out on tracks like “Stand Tall” and “Rains it Pours.”

My personal favorite is their opening track, “Neigborhood.” (Listen to it in the player below!) It’s a screaming theme song for the southern California beach bum. Combine that with the remake of their original hit that made them local favorites, “I Got No Time,” and you’ve got Core fans will be pleased to know that it sounds just like the original, just better in all the right ways. New listeners will find this track incredibly catchy, and funny. “You say you get more pussy than a gynecologist”.

Dirty Heads’ album “Any Port in a Storm” combines genres into a surprisingly pleasing recording throughout, its worth a listen. Have a listen. Do it.

You can scope the album on iTunes or Amazon.

Check out some tracks from the album:

Read More

Apr 14


SFD Review:

Congratulations MGMT. Initials that became a topic of daily conversation on radio stations and music blogs everywhere in 2008. The band formerly known as The Management went from a small electronic Indie band to a global Indie phenomenon over the course of a few months. Their debut release "Oracular Spectacular" was met with huge success by international audiences courtesy of their wildly popular first single off the album called "Time to Pretend" which according to Wikipedia was featured on five television shows and three feature films in the year 2008 alone. At the time, Time to Pretend was admittedly one of the most fun, energetic, and innovative songs I'd heard in years. Sure enough the song started popping up everywhere and the band was tracked down, researched and sought after by the general public and musicians alike. Before they knew it the Band was opening for Music Industry giants like Radiohead and Paul McCartney, and receiving awards for their wildly popular recordings and performances.

As a fan of the music I found it almost magical that the band would receive so much wild and rapid notoriety from all channels of the media, the pubic, and the industry. Everyone wanted a piece of MGMT. In various interviews about their influences, it was obvious that the band's most potent influences came from the likes of Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin, the typical drug fueled rock gods of the 70's. For me at the time this was a big red flag. A band of kids, singing about how much they want to be famous and do drugs (Time to Pretend lyrics). Abbreviating their band name before getting famous and talking about how much they love the seventies. Their first batch of music videos from oracular spectacular were no less than "trippy." Featuring wild shroomy fairy parties (Electric Feel), primitive kaleidoscopic bonfires (Time to Pretend), and horrifying monsters stalking a baby (Kids), So what comes next? Worried? I am.

MGMT recently fell prey to the digital age, their new album, "Congratulations" leaked online around the 19th of March. The album is currently streaming for fans on their website The streaming page reads quite honestly, "Hey everybody, the album leaked, and we wanted you to be able to hear it from us. We wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn't make sense to anyone but us." I'll get back to their online presence in the next paragraph. Their first *single from the new album, "Flash Delirium" was released on March 9th and is now accompanied by a music video that streams from their website. Flash Delirium is a musical description of momentary hallucinating and paranoia. And the music video is a visual representation of this assumingly drug induced disorder. At the end of the day you go with your gut on music reviews, and I must say that when it comes to Congratulations my gut has been about as unsettled as the album's themes. Congratulations is now available everywhere, and I must say that after a few more listens the album is beginning to grow on me. There is still a chance that the album will fall by the wayside in comparison with the band's more popular past exploits. However it must also be said that an album can be brought to life on stage. So if MGMT can manage not to creep out their fans too bad, and not get too high to perform or think, the album could be a huge success. Listen to the band talk about their album on NPR
Something interesting that I love about this band is their website. is not particularly complex or even tech stimulating. However their page backgrounds and banners are 100% designed by their fans. One of the benefits of being a stoner-friendly band is that you have an army of stunning visual artists who are willing to work for you free. MGMT takes advantage of this by allowing anyone to submit their fan art to be added to the site, and their standards for professionalism in design are lax and welcome to even to casual doodlers. All posted content fits in some way or another to the Band's image. Their druggy image allow them to mismatch logos and banners without really confusing their brand, which is great for brand awareness and fan loyalty. Their simple online presence is shockingly effective and inviting, and I give them a thumbs-up on their fan-built brand and website.
You can listen to Congratulations here.

*The band did not want to release the album with any specific “single� in order to encourage fans to listen to the whole album. Although Flash Delirium was the first song to be released off of Congratulations.

Like what you read? You can read more posts by Justinglenndavis

Read More