Review: CryFace – Suds

CryFace - Suds

CryFace kicks off Suds with “Stone Me,”  which instantly gives you a taste of their influences. With “Favorite Interaction,” things slow down a little from there. The song heavily includes an acoustic guitar. However, it does pick up the pace, showing the versatility that the band employs when writing their songs. If you want an album that brings quite a bit of variety in its songs, this is something you should check out.

It’s clear that CryFace pulls from various types of rock music and blends it so well that this isn’t like anything I’ve really listened to before. You get a tinge of surf rock at times, with some psychedelic rock, but not too much of it. There’s no doubt that this album is guitar heavy, and they use it to their advantage. In “Night of the Living Dead,” there’s a Misfits vibe to me. The subject matter and the tone of the music make it a song that I could see the Misfits coming up with themselves, and that by all means is a compliment.

CryFace closes out the album with a song, “Temptation,” that runs about 5 1/2 minutes. It’s by far the longest song on the album and feels like something you’d possibly hear in the 70s. The overall tempo never really speed up, but the guitars definitely do to give a good contrast with the rest of the instruments. That closes out the band’s debut album and it’s a solid effort.

Overall, the twelve song album runs under 40 minutes. It’s not going to be your typical rock album, but it’ll give you a great blend of various styles of rock. I’m undecided on where exactly I’d place it on my current iteration of my list of favorite albums so far this year, but it’s absolutely at least worth a mention. Rock fans of all kinds should be checking this album out. You can do so over at Bandcamp.

Playlist: HAWKING


HAWKING took some time to put together a playlist of songs that influenced their music. Check out the songs from each of the band members and the playlist below.

Protest the Hero – “Drumhead Trial” (Saul)
This band’s guitar duo have been one of the biggest influences on my guitar style. This track showcases the airtight traversal of technique, dynamic range and interlocking melodic layers they’re known for. Not to mention the guest trade off guitar and vocal sections are a treat.

The Contortionist – “Language I & II” (Tom)
Lush, emotive and heavy soundscapes, plus some of the grooviest and most inventive use of polymeter in modern progressive music. This is the album that taught me a hook can be anything, and that hooks can be as subtle or as obvious as you want. Impeccably composed chord progressions and tasteful arrangement as well. This track is inspiring in its sheer excellence.

Plini – “Electric Sunrise” (Chris)
Lately I’ve been listening to instrumental music and finding melodies outside of vocals. Plini has been very creative on that front. This song especially helped me write the bridge for ‘Catalyst’ as it uses a similar guitar tapping technique as this song.

Underoath – “Writing on the Walls” (Chartwell)
One of the first tracks my sister and I got into when we first started listening to heavier music. Hard hitting, very emotive drummer who sings. This is what I aspire to live up to — ask anyone who’s been to one of our shows. Aaron will always be an idol in how he plays live and on record.

Saosin – “It’s So Simple” (Saul)
This track brings me back to where I started with guitar. I’ve always been a fan of Justin’s lead style and this track exemplifies that combination of dissonant and storytelling riffage I aimed to write a chapter of on Diverge.

Crooks – “Above Me” (Tom)
Lyrically, melodically and thematically a huge influence on my writing for Diverge. Genius tempo changes that inspired us to push ourselves on that front as well, and superb vocal technique that encouraged me to excel there.

Intervals – “Sure Shot” (Chris)
Running with my theme of instrumental artists, Intervals made me appreciate the use of seventh chords and other extensions to make progressions more interesting while still keeping the song high energy and listenable. A nice blend between “pop-sounding” chords and melodies with adventurous progressions was a goal I had throughout writing Diverge. Plus from a production POV, their use of reverbs to transition between songs was something I really wanted to try out.

Periphery – “Prayer Position” (Chartwell)
This track was one of my main influences while writing the drum parts in Diverge. Finding that careful balance between being intricate and not overplaying the part. This song embodies my style to a T.

Polyphia – “Ivory” (Saul)
More on the modern end, their newest album Renaissance was a staple in finding instrumental inspiration before the writing sessions for Diverge. This track is infectious throughout and has a great build up and drop to conclude it.

Kaaris – “S.E.V.R.A.N” (Tom)
Sprinkled throughout the album are lots of Trap-inspired beats. American mainstream hip-hop has been a turnoff for me lately, so I actually wound up being inspired by some French artists I found thanks to Spotify. Kaaris has been the main one though; he influenced some of my lyrics on Diverge as well. French can be a very poetic and inspiring language even when the song’s subject matter could be considered un peu ignoble.

Periphery – “Lune” (Chris)
This song influenced the new album in three ways. One, the orchestral arrangements they composed are incredible. I really wanted to experiment with strings and piano after listening to this song. Two, the quality of recording is off the charts. Everything mixes so well together. Three, they end their album with an emotionally epic song. We decided to end with “Leave You Behind” for this album. Even though it doesn’t sound like Periphery, it was still influenced by them heavily with the placement and arrangement.

Death Cab For Cutie – “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” (Chartwell)
This is the track I will always go back to regardless of what musical phase I’m in. I love keeping ghost notes at the forefront of my playing, and Jason McGerr embodies that style. I will always love this band.

Playlist: RadioBlack


TJ Courtney of RadioBlack took some time to make a playlist of some of the songs he wish he wrote. He wrote a bit about each song and you can check it all out below.

Soundgarden – “Fell on Black Days” – Superunknown

I love the way Cornell framed these lyrics… as if he literally slipped and fell on black days. Its genius because you don’t know exactly which moments or events bring you to that place until you’re there — “How would I know, that this could be my fate.” Particularly chilling given recent events.

Silverchair – “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)” – Neon Ballroom

I think this is one of the most interesting and well constructed melodies of the 90’s. It blows my mind that Daniel Johns wrote this when he was 18. It has a uniqueness and maturity to it that is hard to come by. The key change to kick off the chorus feels like a natural progression of the melody somehow, which is so hard to pull off.

Foo Fighters – “Times Like These” – One by One

I’ve been trying to write something like this ever since I first heard it. Its nostalgic without being cheesy, the chorus melody drops down lower than the verses yet the chorus still feels like a lift. They play with time signatures too without it taking away from the song, which isn’t easy to do.

Nine Ince Nails – “HURT”

Such a dark and haunting melody — apparently Johnny Cash recognized this one as one he wish he wrote too. Doesn’t get any more badass than that.

Stone Temple Pilots – “Creep” – Core

The slow, draggy, bluesy verse builds up to the chorus in such an awesome way. The chorus has a really distinct melody and feel, yet the song still feels cohesive. This is one of my favorites from STP.

Nothing But Thieves – “Tripswitch” – Nothing But Thieves

This is a newer band and I think this song should have been bigger than it was. The subject of the lyrics is interesting — what would happen if all our technology suddenly stopped working… the fact that they made a chorus that feels uplifting out of that subject matter really caught my attention.

Radiohead – “Go To Sleep” – Hail to the Thief

This song gets me amped up and gets my adrenaline pumping as much as anything else out there, yet its a slow acoustic-driven song. That has always blown my mind. My person all-time favorite Radiohead song.

Nirvana – “Heart Shaped Box” – In Utero

Classic Cobain — melodic apathy in the verse, and busts into a huge chorus. This is probably my favorite Nirvana song. I’ve always wished I wrote the line “forever in debt to your priceless advice.” It perfectly sums up people who overstep and expect a pat on the back for giving unsolicited advice…

The Offspring – “Gone Away” – Ixnay on the Hombre

This song captures the feeling of losing someone so well. Dexter’s vocals on this are so great. This is one I’ve often thought about covering with RadioBlack.

Matchbox Twenty – “Bent” – Mad Season

Matchbox Twenty is one band I get a lot of heat for liking — but you’ve got to own up to your guilty pleasures and stand by them! This record is a hidden gem and “Bent” is the best it has to offer. Its on the darker side for them and you can feel serious pain and soul-searching behind the lyrics. The way the pre-chorus builds to the chorus and starts the chorus melody and cadence before the chorus actually starts is really interesting and unique.

Puddle of Mudd – “Blurry” – Come Clean

I’m usually not a huge fan of Puddle’s lyrics, but they got it right this time. I remember the first time I heard it and I wished I had come up with the harmonic guitar intro, and then the rest of the song blew me away.

Our Lady Peace – “Superman’s Dead” – Clumsy

I stick this in the category with RadioHead’s “Go to Sleep,” because the opening acoustic guitar riff immediately gets me amped up. This is Our Lady Peace before being overproduced, with a lot of quirky tendencies that really make the band great in my opinion. I love songs that can be dark without thick guitars and production tricks making them dark… the song is just coming from a dark place. This song accomplishes that incredibly well.

Interview: The Nightmare Police

The Nightmare Police

The Nightmare Police have a new album out this Friday. Check out our interview with them on the album, their future plans, and more.

When the band started in 2014, did you have any idea of where it would go?

None at all, we just wanted to write music that people could relate to and hope that we could exorcise some demons.

Losing The Light is out on June 9th. What was the writing process like for the EP? Who did you record it with?

The writing process was actually the best I’ve ever been a part of. The 3 of us just blend so well together when we write it’s almost an infinite flow of ideas. We wrote 12 songs for this EP and picked 5 to record. We recorded the drums with Brett Romnes and Frank Bones, the remainder was all done with Frank Bones.

How would you say the band has progresses since if only I could…?

We have become more personal and raw. This is us shouting out. Can you hear us?

What do you have planned after the EP is out? Going on tour?

Lots of local shows for now, we just did a short Northeast run  but expect us down the East Coast and the Midwest soon.

Are there plans to work on a full-length next?

Maybe, but you didn’t hear that from us!

Do any of you have hobbies outside of the band? And if so, what are they?

Jesus is a tattoo artist and does amazing work. Joe is a handy man, give him something and he’ll fix it or build it for you. I’m a gamer but a bad one, I should probably stick to music.

Any local bands that you think everyone should be checking out?

Our favorite local band right now is MJT. There are so many great ones on Long Island right now though it’s hard to name them all.

Thanks for your time! Where can our readers follow the band?

Check out our website at and you can follow the band on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram as well as listen to all of our music on digital retailers (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, etc.).

Playlist: Salt Creek

Salt Creek

Salt Creek sent over some songs that have influenced them and their music over the years. Some of the artists include Moving Mountain, Coldplay, and Envy on the Coast. The band recently released their debut EP, Where Strangers Go. You can check that out on Bandcamp and give a listen to their playlist below.