This week, we press “play” and start the Listening Party with Wilson the Rocker, the brainchild of synth-loving songwriter Evan Hill (perhaps equally known for his work with now-defunct neo-New Wave band Congratulations!). Last year, Wilson The Rocker released Teenage Messiah, a concept album “thematically focused on the transition from teenager to adult.” As you might expect, awkwardness and angst play a major role in the songs, but the album is anything but emo. Instead, it’s a catchy, hook-laden collection of electro-friendly pop songs. We suggest starting with “Between New and Gone,” available on the group’s MySpace page.
Next, we have local symphonic hardcore act Descolada, a band that practically begs for hyperbole-drenched description. The band takes ripping bites out of the art-rock’s dissonance, the fury of punk-metal and emotional urgency of the violin, and spits out dark and weighty songs that are truly epic in scale. And yet, their largely instrumental songs never bludgeon the listener like one might expect. We suggest starting with “Lucker,” an admittedly older song (it dates back to their first home recordings) that may seem harsh at first, but brings the listener on the short version of whole Descolada journey in a little over two minutes. (And, if you like what you hear and think you could keep up, they’re currently looking for a new drummer.)
Closing out this week’s blog, we’re leaving symphonic rock behind and heading straight into chamber music. The Opal String Quartet are, in their own words, “a young, emerging, professional string quartet based in Asheville” and are “passionate about the art of chamber music and dedicated to bringing its magic and intensity to diverse audiences.” What’s not to like about that? We suggest starting with their version of the Turtle Island New Age-music spoof “Waterfall With Blenders,” available on their MySpace page.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these performers by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.
Also, if you’d like to suggest a band for Listening Party, or have questions about the column, visit this thread on our Mountainx.com forums.
— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor