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Nov 21, 2017







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Souvenir Driver, Souvenir Driver (High School Records)




Tribulance, The Aftermath of Lies (self-released)
Arizona metal quartet whose stated aim is a big-deal blend that leans toward thrash, but only as it applies to the core of established headliners, from Judas Priest, et al. to the more modern leanings of the Sevendust/Disturbed set. Making the sounds of Disturbed listenable to people who don’t watch wrestling was one thing that made me pick this out of the feed; my hope was that this might be a nu-metal act with musical panache to match their surprisingly palatable look (not that these guys do makeup and whatnot, but they’ve at least adopted a post-hip-hop/goth chic in their clothing that’s a huge improvement over all the other Baby Judas Priest bands, who must have access to a 1980s time machine in order to get all that spandex). Bottom line is that they get the job done, in spades: singer Michael Vidal turns from Halford to Hetfield on a dime over some pretty freaking respectable riffs that range from Sevendust to Megadeth, and in the meantime, none of it sucks. Mission accomplished, delighted to say. A
 — Eric W. Saeger




Souvenir Driver, Souvenir Driver (High School Records)
CD REVIEWS: May 18, 2017

05/18/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Souvenir Driver, Souvenir Driver (High School Records)

Fourth full-length from this Portland, Oregon, bliss-pop foursome, of whom Blur’s Alex James is a fan. This is a bit more upbeat than their previous records, which isn’t to say it’s an upbeat record, just one that’s less of a downer, though not less full of gravitas. Leadoff tune “Swans” lazes out of the gate with a half-hearted guitar arpeggio that makes you think of Sonic Youth, singer Nate Wey employing a Smashing Pumpkins half-whisper, but the whole thing slowly builds, louder and louder, into a shoegaze-as-math crescendo that’s quite effective and agreeably melodic, all as Wey’s voice starts wigging out in full peal. “Sunsets,” as upbeat a tune as ever they’ve done, is a brisk dance skip-along that blends Joy Division and The xx, if you can picture that, which you could with half an effort. The best part is this band’s non-reliance on gimmickry for the sake of such — these dudes are like early M83 with a tolerance for radio.





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