Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Jamie Yorke from Blame Bilston

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking to the time to talk with Critical Mass Jamie. For anyone new to your band Blame Bilston, can you give us a little history on the band and how you got your start?

Jamie Yorke: We roughly started back in late 2011 after I left my other band to focus on a more Punky/Alternative rock sound, which then slowly just progressed into a few live shows and from there we had more than enough songs for an EP, which latter on became our first EP called "Puke".

CM: The bands new album "Ta Ta For Now" has been released. Is this the bands first release? Or is there more material out there?

JY: Well as I stated before we released an EP titled "Puke" which has a slightly heavier sound to it, however if anyone's interested it is also up on our bandcamp page for free download. We've also released a single in preparation for the album, " How Are You?" which also featured a few non album tracks and a cover of "Snuff" by Slipknot, which is also available for free download.

CM: When it comes to song writing, is it a band effort or is there one primary songwriter in the band?

JY: All of our songs are written by me and then I bring them to the band, we jam them out and then if anything needs tweaking, we work on it.


CM: What are some of your personal musical influences?

JY: I'd have to say this is a tough one, because there are so many bands that have influenced me. However I'll try to limit the amount I'll say. Nirvana has to be the biggest influence on my music, just that raw sound and capturing the moment, to me that's what music is all about. Otherwise, Alice In Chains, Foo Fighters, Smile Empty Soul, I could list thousands of bands for you and we'd be here all day!

CM: Has the band ever gone out and toured around Europe? Or have the gigs just been local so far?

JY: Currently no. At this moment in time we're just practising and trying to get everything to sound perfect and then the plan is to do a "mini" tour round the uk over the course of several months.

CM: Once this album drops are there plans for a tour?

JY: As I stated before we're planning on going on a "mini" tour round the UK, however since the album was recorded we have numerous new songs, so we're going to see what happens from there and just keep playing a few local shows, testing the waters so to speak on how people react to the songs.

CM: Will we be seeing any more material this year? And comp tracks or 7" singles planned for this year?

JY: Well, we're thinking of recording another album, the tittle of which is all still up in the air. However we've recorded a lot of new demo's and so I think this year at least, 3 or 4 singles, another album and possibly an EP.


CM: Is there a website you wanna plug? Where we can get up to date news on new releases, gigs and merch?

JY: At the moment, we don't have any plans for a website as we're just trying to get a reputation on facebook and then maybe invest in a website. However all of our releases can either be found on YouTubeBandcamp and our Facebook page. With regards to merchandise we have been discussing it and just going through a few designs, so hopefully (fingers crossed) we'll have some merch out over the course of the next few months.

CM: Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass, Jamie. I'm super excited to see what the future holds for Blame Bilston. All the best to you in 2013! Thanks again.

JY: No, thank you! And remember go check out Infested Records!

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Music Reviews: Ulysses Cannon - "Ulysses Cannon"

    Ulysses Cannon play rock n roll with some real dirty blues mixed in for the hell of it. When I was contacted by the band for a review, I was a little put off by the name. I know, you can't judge a book by it's cover or crazy band name...but DAMN, was I surprised when I heard this 6 song self titled EP. It's full of soul and passion. It just oozes with heart and soul.

    Kicking things off is "Self-Induced Coma" with it's harmonica, tapping drums and light chord strum, it's easy to see this band was born to boogie. It quickly gains speed and power with amazing guitar riffs and rough and tumble vocals. Man, it's been a while since I've heard good old dirty blues like this. It'll get you out of your chair shaking your money maker in no time!

    The band, Mathew Stone (vocals/rhythm guitar/keys), Hiro Suzuki (lead/slide guitar), Chris Lavas (bass) and Matt Olley(drums), not only bring the blues to an explosive climax, they also have a soft side. And they show that on "Holding On". This amazing boogie woogie jam about working hard to make a better life for yourself...this just SCREAMS Black Crowes, which I think is just fine! I love the Crowes and I LOVE what UC does here. It's a song full of promise. It's just a beautiful song that you have to hear for yourself...don't take my word for it. Nothing I will say can do this tune justice.

    "She's In Control" is a bad ass blues jam complete with bottle neck slide and a South Side attitude. The blues drips off this track like in mass quantities. This is modern day blues that make me happy to be a blues fan. It's definitely a modern day spin on a classic style. It's part Muddy Waters, part early Almond Brothers, beefed up with ALL attitude! Damn right these New Yorkers got them blues hot and heavy.

    To say this band caught me off guard is being kind. This band knocked my socks off with their style, passion, power and intensity! Don't let the name fool ya...this IS the real deal! These 6 songs are just a teaser of what greatness is waiting up ahead. I see nothing but big things coming for this band.
    Go to the bands Bandcamp page and download the EP for free. Trust me when I say, if the keep putting out quality music like this, you won't be getting it free for much longer!

    4 ½ / 5 stars

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Interview with Cody Biroth from Explicit Bombers

    Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass, Cody. I appreciate it. For anyone new to Explicit Bombers, can you give us a little history on the band and how you got your start?

    Cody Biroth: Well it all starts back in 2009, Dan Harness(Vocalist, Bass) David Harness(Drums, Vocals), and Tyler Brooks(Lead Guitar, Vocals) formed Explicit Bombers after having numerous other bands of different genres. It started off as a three piece, faster, more aggresive sounding hardcore punk. After Dan's songwriting starting melodic, due to his music influences changing, it resulted in wanting a more "full sound." So Dan recruited me as a second guitarist, and I now am a "co-vocalist" added as well.

    CM: The bands latest album "The End Of The World" is out now and available on Infested Records (shameless promotion). Is this the bands first release? Or is there other material out there?
    CB: It is our first full length, but we have released 3 EP's beforehand. Two are available at But no one is not available and no one else should have to listen to that ever again.

    CM: Who are some of the bands musical influences?

    CB: Several punk bands of many genres are obvious ones. But the ones that stuck out to us as a band are groups like NOFX, Bad Religion, Rise Against, The Offspring, and Green Day. We all like a lot of pop punk and Fat Wreck style bands, but different genres are there too. For Example Tyler likes several types of metal, I like classic country and blues, and Dan goes as far as R&B and Hip-Hop.

    CM: Now you guys are still young, but you play out quite a bit. Outside of Michigan where are some of your favorite places to play?

    CB: We actually only toured once two summers ago. But we are planning to tour AT LEAST once a year as of 2013. we've only played in Ohio, Wisconsin, and some town outside of Chicago. Wisconsin definitely liked us the most, so by default they win!

    CM: As far as songwriting goes, if there a primary songwriter in the group? Or does everyone contribute in the creation of the music?

    CB: Dan, who is lead singer and bassist. He writes just about everything. He's ridiculous with any musical instrument he plays. We all have songs we have each written, but Dan definitely is the one to take credit for 99% of our songs. But when he shows us a song, we will all put our criticism into it and add or remove bits and pieces here and there. I'm doing this interview because I wanna steal the spotlight for once, ha ha.

    CM: Will we be seeing any new material in the new year?
     CB: Yes! January 5th we are recording a 4 track EP titled "50%" Which includes two old songs re recorded and two new songs, serving as a teaser for our upcoming full length. That will be released sometime in February or March, depending on mixing.
    Our full length we plan to record late summer. it's gonna have 12 tracks including the two from the EP. The name of the album is still in the air. We are very excited to release this album and it will be easily our best work as of late!

    CM: Is there a website you gutys wanna plug where we can get up todate news on new releases, gigs and merch?

    CB: Oooo, advertising! Lemme give you a list!

    CM: Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass, Cody. It's great to see a young band with so much potential coming out of the midwest. All the best to you in 2013!

    CB: Any time Chris, it's been a pleasure! Thank you, as well for interviewing me! One more thing I'd like to add is if anyone reading this has any other questions, would like to book us, or would like to know our favorite sex hotlines, contact Dan Harness at

    Once again, thank you Chris and to all that are reading! Stay true and keep to your scene!

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    Music Reviewes: Nifty Breed - "Keep Quiet"

    Kurt Cobain may have commit suicide 19 years ago. But you wouldn't know it after hearing Nifty Breed's new album "Keep Quiet" (out Jan. 8). It's full of Cobain style throaty vocals and distortion laden guitar crunch. This album would have been perfect back in '93. Not that it's a bad album for current times. It just has a dated quality to it.

    "Bag Of Bones" kicks the album off with a heavy beat and a screaming guitar riff. It's a great opener for this album. It's dark and almost creepy in it's approach and feel. It has grunge stamped all over it, as does "Faraway Places" with it's wha wha sound and chugging riffs. I like this tune a lot. But between the vocal and guitar effects it's a busy song. Maybe too busy for it's own good. But you can't take away from the musicianship of these 4 guys.

    Singer/guitarist Matty Marcus has a good voice with just enough range to carry the songs. He's not overpowering the songs or struggling to keep up. This is definitely the perfect vehicle for his style of singing and playing. The way Marcus and guitarist Alex Ainbinder play off each other is very impressive. Neither take over by showboating. They have a concise way of playing that compliments each other without going overboard. Again, it's the perfect mix for the style of music they're playing. And drummer Jordan Satargot and bass player Brian Conners are the glue that holds it all together. Nifty Breed are a tight group of well rounded players.
    You can hear the bands musical influences on songs like "Pins & Needles" and "Bug Spray". This band must have ate up mass amounts of Nirvana and Silverchair in their youth. The bite, power and passion come through in the songs and lyrics. Keep Quiet isn't a bad record if you're wanting to revisit a time long since passed, when wearing your heart on your sleeve and the less is more style of playing actually meant something. Like I said earlier, this would have been a perfect album back in the early 90's. But who Nirvana before them, this may be the kick in the ass the music industry NEEDS right now. If there was one album that would open the doors to quality music and close the door on shitty teen pop and pre packaged boy bands, this would be the album to do it.
    4 / 5 stars

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Interview with The Dead Tricks

    Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass gang. I really appreciate it. For anyone new to The Dead Tricks, can you give us a little history on the band and how toy got your start?

    Jiv: Thanks for having us! NYC is a small place…to us. The Dead Tricks all came from separate paths that crossed randomly at just the right time. We converged in dank studio basements, dive bars and filthy hallways throughout NYC and found that we all share the same undying commitment to playing this music that we love…while sharing many of the same vices. Our connection was volatile and undeniable from the start; it continues to surprise us, snuffing out any chance of a dull moment.

    CM: The bands most recent release "You Should Have Worried About It" is just a barn burning no bullshit record. Is this the bands first release?

    Manya: Yes, and thank you! These songs are the building blocks that shaped TDT, they are the glue that brought us together as musicians and taught us how to work together. And apologies for any barns that were harmed as a result of this musical fire, but we can't promise it won't happen again...

    CM: The EP was produced by Mike Gallo from Agnostic Front. Being an old school AF fan myself, I would have been a bit star struck. What was it like working with Mike?

    Lorne: I’m a big Agnostic Front fan, too. It was very meaningful to get the opportunity to work with Mike. The process felt really natural, Mike intuitively understood our music and our band dynamic. He was a pleasure to work with and he’s just really, really talented.

    CM: I know the bands about ready to release a new single. What can you tell us about this single? How does it hold up to the EP?

    Lorne: After recording that EP I remember walking around at dawn in a daze, sort of distraught, thinking I could never do anything better than that EP. But you can’t judge creativity that way. You just dig deep and move forward. That’s what we did with these new songs. Stepping back, I can say the musicianship is stronger, more unique, and we didn’t feel confined by any preconceived notions of the band or of what punk should be. We just did what was authentic, what moved us.

    CM: Who are some of the bands musical influences?

    Lorne: Lords Of The New Church, The Damned, New York Dolls, the Dead Boys, Hanoi Rocks, the Ramones, the Misfits, Jumanji, the Stooges, David Bowie, Discharge, Crucifix, Rolling Stones

    CM: When it comes to songwriting is it a group effort? Or is there a primary songwriter for the band?

    Jiv: The songs at their root derive from me or Lorne, or a combination of both. We bring forth full songs, parts, pieces, etc. but no matter how much or little of a song is written, it always comes to life and takes on its true form in the studio with everyone playing it. Sometimes a good amount of tweaking gets done in studio with the full band and sometimes the brunt of it will be done in pre-production at my makeshift apt. studio. We’re always out for the best end product and work great together. We make use of the different ways we contribute to their fullest potential.

    CM: Has the band ever taken the show on the road in the past? And will we see a tour of some sort in 2013?

    Manya: Our travels have brought us to the far reaches of Boston, Albany, Connecticut and the infamous New Jersey (hey that's pretty far for us New Yorkers!). This upcoming Spring / Summer though is looking to be the perfect time for us to start hitting some major road and head all over the country.

    CM: Will the new single be the only release this year? Or are there plans for more material later on in the year?

    Jiv: The Despicable Summer/Serf single starts off the new year. We are in a heavy songwriting phase right now; we have about 6 new songs in the works. We’ll be playing new material live by March and plan to have a full release later in the year.

    CM: Is there a website you guys wanna plug where we can get up to date news on the new single, get merch and show updates?

    Manya: That would be our facebook page, all updates, streams, releases and show dates go through there. We're working on getting our online merch store up and running by the end of the month, like us on to get it all in one place.

    CM: Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass. I see nothing but great things coming for the band this year. Thanks a million.

    Manya: Very thankful and excited. Thank you!

    Lorne: Thank you!

    Jiv: Thanks guys! Should be a good year, 2013 is a cool fuckin’ number. 

    **Editors Note**
    You can stream the NEW single by The Dead Tricks, "The Despicable Summer", on the bands SoundCloud site. The CD single will be released on Infested Records in the coming days. So stay tuned. This is gonna be a smash!