New Music’s Cheap!
Technology’s made music pretty accessible these days. These days few factors limit the temptation to torrent and download. However, if you are looking for free or cheap music through a legal venue, then rest assured that some artists will at least encourage your legality. Recently I found two wonderful artists practically giving away their music. Perhaps they just want to get their music out there for the sake of it, perhaps it just makes more sense to rely on live profits and use free music to generate profits. Either way, nowadays more people are making music than ever and plenty of them release it for next to, or actually, no price. Anyhow, if you take a look you’ll find plenty of cheap music out there, but here’s just a quick surface glance at two artists you may want to check out.
1. Mystery Skulls – EP
Right when the first song of the EP, “Amazing” hits, you know largely what you’ll get. This band might not set the world on fire, define genres to come or cause some grander revolution. These tracks are simple and easy but they do not pull back. The Bass thumps out a rhythm and the rest of the music falls into a tremendous groove. The EP really takes off on the second track, “Money”. The synthetic beat ramps up gradually from a guitar riff paired with a single undulating ‘unce’ into a falsetto groove matched with vocals echoing from on high. Just before the chorus hits, the music sinks low briefly before expanding into a larger sound. The track climaxes to an almost absurd and over-stylized synth pop glory before it plummets into a calm valley filled with whispering voices and a tamed bass beat. It shoots back out at towards the end and easily creates the most dynamic and ridiculously over-stylized song on the album.
Mystery Skulls so embodies and hypes this sensation of synth pop that I almost want to throw it out, but something about the boldness of all that style makes it almost hypnotizing. The following tracks “You” and “Beautiful” do not measure up to “Money” but they emphasize some of the variability Mystery Skulls has in them. All off the songs on the EP follow a similar style and structure, but the addition of piano in “Beautiful” certainly mixes things up. When everything concludes on “Brainsick” I had to admit there was no way this music did not seem worth the asking price of 1 dollar. Sometimes it gets repetitive, and bit into its own pomp, but you could do worse with a dollar. It sure beats four gumballs or giving that waiter an adequate tip. What’s more, you can follow this up and coming Dallas band via their tumblr. They post up demos and new tracks pretty often.
2. The Isosceles Triangle – The Isosceles Triangle
If all those anime theme songs, irritating vocaloid programs and saturated J-Pop hits have made you lose faith in Japan, then here’s a band that ought to restore it. The Isosceles Triangle fits their name quite well. They are a progressive rock, instrumental trio coming out of Tokyo with notable instrumental talent pulled together by incredibly clean composition and a strong creative force. The first track, “4 parts of 1” demonstrates their capacity to create an interesting beat that rotates through different speeds and sounds while maintaining continuity. They create seamlessly fluid music that does not overstress any instrument, something particularly rare for bands with talented instrumentalists. Their song “Spy Theme” ushers in a heavy bass line that holds down the rhythm with the drums so the guitar can create an eerie and intriguing solo that really does illicit a sense of excitement and mystery that belongs in any spy theme.
The cool composition brings in a jazzy feel that smooths out the whole track and brings the idea together. Instrumental acts often fail to put a sense of tone behind their music, something vocals can usually provide with more ease. Too often instrumental groups create a wash of heavy hitting sounds that, while it still might please the listener, often fails to hit an emotional chord or an interesting theme. All of The Isosceles Triangle’s tracks resonate really well, to the point where the titles of each track seem to make a lot of sense, despite having no words to explain them. “If I think Of…” layers on so much slow bass and plodding drums that when the guitar comes in with a layer of smoky solos, it all feels intensely nostalgic and sentimental, as though something from important from the past really was coming to mind again. The Isosceles Triangle turns out to be an excessively generous shape, too, charing you exactly zero dollars for its album. Naturally, the band probably wants you to pay a bit more, and they sure deserve at least five dollars for such an exceptional album, but as it stands, you can get it for free!
These are just two bands providing great offers to their listeners. In the modern era, with low overhead and so much competition not only with other musicians but with illegal downloading, music’s a buyer’s market. Go out there this Christmas break and find some good deals, it is a lot easier than you think!
By Austin R Ryan