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Chiodos - Illuminaudio First Impressions
09/20/10 at 08:10 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
First Listening Impressions

Chiodos - Illuminaudio

Illuminaudio is the track that was released in the initial video, that got everyone stoked for the new tunes. Nice and slow, sets the stage for what's to come.

Caves starts out with heavy drums, so deep and full sounding. This is the first display of Brandon's range on the album, going from his impressive deep screams, falsetto, and harmonies. If anyone was to replace Craig they found the right guy, he can sing like a champ. I could see this being another single down the road.

Love is a Cat From Hell
Love is a Cat From Hell is my leat favorite out of all the songs, but has some sweet guest vocals from Vic (Pierce The Veil)

Modern Wolf Hair
Modern Wolf Hair is another solid track. It's been out awhile so everyone has their thoughts on it already.

Notes in Constellations
Notes in Constellations is a perfect name for the song. A big sound, more experimentation from the band, moving away from the typical post-hardcore sound that they have stuck too. Think of what Dance Gavin Dance did with Happiness but well executed and that's this song.

Scaremonger is fast and in your face. Some impressive screams from Brandon here, still expanding their sound. Also ends with some pretty cool vocal effects, again something new to the mix which rolls perfectly into the next song.

His Story Repeats Itself
His Story Repeats Itself has some signature Hale lines, backed by fierce keys. Brandon's falsetto really shines in a few spots in here. Signature piano lines seem really dominant in this track, one of the main things that made me fall in love with Chiodos in the first place.

Let Us Burn One
Let Us Burn One doesn't really stand out that much until Hale comes in again with his fast picking, reminiscent of old times. Some orchestrated vocals leading to a heavy breakdown, biggest one on the album so far.

Hey Zeus! The Dungeon
Hey Zeus! The Dungeon has the most "Chiodos" sound off the bat. Everything about it sounds like it could have been pulled off BPB. Song is basically a kick to the face. Pretty cool when Brandon drops the word Ghost and its layered over ghastly vocal harmonies. Thought there was a pretty big build up that didn't lead to a huge breakdown, little dissapointed, but it works.

Stratovolcano Mouth
If you were wondering what happened to Thermacare, Stratovolcano Mouth is the new version of it. Lots of screams, heavy from the get go. OKay, this has the breakdown I wanted. Damn that was heavy. Still like Thermacare better, but damn, that was a breakdown and a half. Maybe just because I'm use to hearing Craig's vocals on it, but that was nasty.

Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together
Next is Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together. The one song that has been out for awhile. Still think this was a great single choice. A solid mix of everything Chiodos brings to the table. Features everything that has made Chiodos stand out above every other band in their genre.

Closed Eyes Still Look Forward
Brandon's voice sounds great on this track. Slower to start, piano keys are slowly getting heavier. Electronic beats and soaring vocal melodies, this is really promising. Never really picks up, stays pretty chill, but keeps a sweet closer vibe and brought to an end with a tickling of the keys. Perfect way to end a heavy in your face album.

Even though the essential piece of the band is gone, they found the next best thing. And even though Craig has been the spotlight of the band, Illuminaudio proves that the band can hold their own and they all bring something unique to the table. There is a reason this band is one of the biggest names in the scene and they don't seem to be going anywhere. Musically they have progressed and everything is top notch, it just leaves you wondering how things would be if Craig was still there. I guess we have to wait for the DRUGS record to compare, but until then this will treat everyone just fine.
Tags: Chiodos, first impressions
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First Impression: The Young Veins - Take A Vacation!
03/25/10 at 10:40 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Where should I begin with this one? I realize Ryan wanted to go and make his retro, Beatles inspired music but reality needs to slap him in the face because there is a difference between incorporating an influence and letting it dominate your music. When they released their first song through Spin, I was kind of caught off guard. It was faster and upbeat and showcased a good spot musically where the band could have some success. Granted, the lyrics were lacking and Ryan's voice is definitely less than stellar, I was willing to give them a shot. I wish I had gone with my initial instinct. Take A Vacation! is nothing but a pain to sit through as an album. At first you get what you expect, a modern band influenced and making retro music, but once you get 3 or 4 songs in? NOTHING CHANGES. The album is the same damn thing from front to back. Now musically there isn't anything wrong here, although it sounds like the scraps from Pretty.Odd. Ryan's voice is far too weak to even carry half of these songs. The lyrics are at most laughable, comparing to a 5th graders diary. For example, "Other Girl", "Don't wait around for love, You're not what he's thinking of/ When he's with the other girl, don't bother waiting up cuz he, he's not where he's suppose to be/ When he's with the other girl, When he's with the other girl."

I really don't know what to say about this album other than if you want a weak Pretty.Odd. then have at it. If you are a fan of Urie's vocals and liked the different areas Panic! explored on their last album then stay away from this.
Tags: First Impression, The Young Veins
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