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Album Review

OF LIMBO Conjures A Modern Hard Rock Classic With “California Demon” 

If and when your friends tell you that hard rock is dead, steer them in the direction of this band. OF LIMBO will prove them wrong. Fast.

Led by brothers Jake and Luke Davies, OF LIMBO’s new single “California Demon” satisfies every conceivable requirement for a modern hard rock classic. It’s a slab of molten riffage married with well-orchestrated lighter sections whose union never comes off as forced. I’m a fan of how they balance the dynamics of this song to maximum effect because it shows confidence beyond their years. I came away from this performance convinced that, as much as they show us, I believe they are capable of even more.

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The vocals show the same elasticity and confidence. They discharge moments of low-key drama and screaming heights of passion with equal skill. It’s a song that realizes the full potential of its subject matter. Resist the temptation to roll your eyes hearing another hard rock song about making a deal with the devil. Instead, take a listen. OF LIMBO may be treading the path of a timeless story, but they do it with flair and decisiveness that reclaims the subject as their own.

The production flexes impressive muscle. Luke Davies’ guitar attack sounds well-nigh unstoppable and even the transitions between beat your over-the-head riffing and nuanced passages are scorching. All of this is possible thanks to a rock-solid rhythm section that plays hard enough to rattle your sternum. They know how to build a convincing hard rock track from the ground up and the results are masterful.

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It doesn’t mess around either. If you are expecting or dreading some lengthy tune showing off pseudo-virtuosity, sweep your concerns aside. OF LIMBO can play, there’s no question of that, but their first instinct is to serve the song and it serves them well. “California Demon” is all killer, no filler, and wrapping these often thunderous proceedings up in less than four minutes suits the song well.

The video is a perfect fit for the track. It’s obvious that the band and their collaborators put a great deal of thought into the video, rather than making some slapdash performance clip. It highlights the band’s physical interaction with the music as well as offering complementary scenes that further illuminate the song. They’ve enlisted the right actors to help convey the song’s story but thankfully never belabor it with pretentious attempts to shoehorn a narrative around the music. They let the song, for the most part, speak for itself.

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It’s arguably OF LIMBO’s best single yet. The band’s steady ascent from indie act to marquee-level mainstream hard rock band is happening without compromise or diluting their music. OF LIMBO is arriving on their own terms. “California Demon” provides ample evidence for that and practically crackles with the promise of even greater triumphs to come. This is a band that attacks each new song as if it’s their first and they have something to prove. Give this song a chance and they’ll prove to you that they are one of the best hard rock bands working today.

 

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Christian Gardenhire

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Album Review

California King unveils its new rock album with “The Last Lovers”

CALIFORNIA KING

California King, a Brooklyn-based band, has recently launched their new album, “The Last Lovers,” which features 10 tracks that defy genre boundaries. The group, deeply influenced by the Brooklyn Rock scene, has established itself as a critical figure in the Black Rock movement by blending rock, soul, and Afro-Punk elements to create a unique musical fusion.

The Last Lovers” was recorded at a studio in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and is the brainchild of Mike Mills, the vocalist, guitarist, writer, producer, recording engineer, and album mixer. The album explores the theme of love in various forms, from lost to found, spanning from the energetic rhythms of the opening track, “The Last Lovers,” to the emotive anthem “Something Human” and the haunting “I Think I Like You,” showcasing California King’s emotional depth and artistic prowess.

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The album’s lead single, “The Last Lovers,” was conceptualized during the pandemic, capturing the essence of individuals coming together against societal challenges. This track sets the tone for the album as a celebration of unwavering love during difficult times. Notable tracks include “My Desert Heart,” a poignant reflection on yearning, and “Mandala,” an ode to the complex dynamics of love and desire. The album concludes with “Roses,” an advanced single embodying the perseverance required for nurturing enduring relationships.

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California King, consisting of Mike Mills, Howard Alper on drums, Ernest G. D’Amaso on bass and backing vocals, and Asim Barnes on guitar, brings their diverse influences to life, drawing inspiration from the likes of Howling Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, and The Black Keys. Their previous performances at prestigious venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Whitney Museum, and Afro-Punk events have solidified their image as a vibrant group with a distinct, fiercely DIY ethos.

The Last Lovers” is a valuable addition to any music collection, offering an essential listen for enthusiasts seeking introspective charm combined with rock and soul swagger. Each track invites listeners into a rich soundscape of shimmering melodies and evocative whispers, culminating in a profoundly immersive sonic experience.

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CLICK HERE TO STREAM California King’s Album The Last Lovers on Spotify.
CONNECT WITH California King | Instagram | Facebook |

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Album Review

UniversalDice Releases “Slip Away”

UniversalDice’s latest single, “Slip Away,” unveils a lyrical tapestry rich with depth and nuance, inviting listeners to delve into themes of existence, love, and mortality. Crafted by songwriter and frontman Gerry Dantone, these lyrics serve as the beating heart of the band’s musical journey, challenging conventions and prompting introspection.

The opening stanza sets the tone for the introspective journey ahead, with imagery evocative of dawn breaking and the fleeting passage of time. “Wake, for morning’s flung the stone / That put the stars to flight,” beckons the listener to awaken to the transient beauty of existence, reminding us that each day is a precious gift to be cherished.

As the song unfolds, Dantone’s lyrical prowess shines through, weaving a narrative that oscillates between moments of profound melancholy and fleeting euphoria. Lines such as “How sad a heart that cannot ache / Is never drunk with love” resonate with a raw emotional intensity, underscoring the inherent vulnerability of the human experience.

Throughout “Slip Away,” Dantone’s lyricism transcends mere words, offering a poignant meditation on the nature of life and death. The refrain, “Don’t let life slip away,” serves as a rallying cry to seize the moment and embrace the full spectrum of human emotion, even in the face of uncertainty and impermanence.

But it’s not just existential musings that define the lyrical landscape of “Slip Away.” The song also delves into the complexities of love and connection, exploring the transformative power of human relationships amidst the vastness of the universe. “Can you feel the blinding light / That warms us from above?” Dantone asks, juxtaposing the cosmic with the deeply personal in a poignant reflection on the enduring power of love.

One of the most striking aspects of Dantone’s lyricism is its ability to transcend the boundaries of the individual self, offering a universal message that resonates with listeners across cultures and generations. Themes of mortality and meaning permeate the song, reminding us of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of living authentically in the face of uncertainty.

Musically, “Slip Away” serves as the perfect vehicle for Dantone’s lyrical exploration, with its soaring melodies and dynamic instrumentation complementing the emotional depth of the lyrics. The song’s gradual crescendo mirrors the ebb and flow of life itself, building to a climax that is both cathartic and transformative.

“Slip Away” stands as a testament to UniversalDice’s commitment to crafting music that challenges the status quo and prompts reflection. Gerry Dantone’s lyrical prowess shines through, offering a poignant meditation on life, love, and the human condition. As the song fades into the ether, we are left with a lingering sense of wonder and awe, reminded of the beauty and fragility of existence.

 

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Patrick Orr 

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