, , , , , , , , , , ,

The year’s end approaches and thus the compulsion to mention best-of’s.  I’d like to title this Best of 2011, but I really can’t since Resonance began mid-year in June.  So I’ll say Best Rated Resonance releases.  Out of nearly thirty EPs and albums reviewed these five received perfect scores.

Her Vanished Grace: ‘See the Moon’ — Dreampop Luminescence
Steady and powerful, Her Vanished Grace is a power dream pop band based in New York City.  Together since 1991, Nance and Charlie Nieland, Maria Theodosiadou and Billy Loose create a terrain of sweet melodies and noisy guitars that define Her Vanished Grace.  ‘See the Moon’ does well in pointing out the goal, setting forth, and sustaining the journey.

Rival Sons: ‘Pressure & Time’ — Raw Soul Revival
Rival Sons is blazing with passionate blues-driven music; they are a modern day take on what made Zeppelin and company truly classic rock.  Already, Rival Sons and their June 20th debut, ‘Pressure & Time’ (Earache Records), have gotten Classic Rock Magazine nominations for best of the year.

Sound of Cancer: ‘No Vampires in Gilroy’ — hauntingly beautiful groove
Layered with hauntingly beautiful melodies, dysphonic distortion, and elaborate choral harmonies woven around ominous soundscapes, Sound of Cancer’s debut, ‘No Vampires in Gilroy’ combines Alexx Calise’s love of blues, jazz and grunge, and Dennis Morehouse’s penchant for all things dark and disturbing.  Dark and compelling, soulful and reflective, ‘No Vampires in Gilroy’ is an incredibly fitting release for autumn. 

Today the Moon Tomorrow the Sun: ‘Wildfire’ — electro-fuzz rock
This Atlanta group’s spontaneous experimentation has been dubbed “indie-electro-fuzz rock.”  Though several tunes involve elements that could easily aggravate – continuous sporadic buzzing, rusty swing simulation, bleeping musical ringtones – the dance beats keep you moving. Each song is dynamic enough that these quirky sounds contribute to the overall experience, rather than distract.  These twelve tracks present intricate lyrics backed by a fuzz dance groove.

Voletta: ‘Soft Focus’ — industrial shoegaze rock
There’s a moment in the dim light of dawn when we first open our eyes and remind ourselves who we are, where we left off yesterday and what we have planned for the hours ahead. This is the moment captured by Voletta in their second EP, ‘Soft Focus’ released October 20. This two piece band from Philadelphia mixes fuzzy industrial vibes with floaty shoegaze soundscapes. ‘Soft Focus’ is smooth, powerful, sparkling…like water gliding over rocks, polishing the rough edges, showcasing the inherent beauty within.
*Voletta’s ’Soft Focus’ EP is available for free download at bandcamp.