Tag Archives: tantric

Tantric’s new album, Mind Control, is incredible

It’s pretty rare when a band pumps out albums in back-to-back years. It’s even more rare when it’s a band that I like that does that. Well, Tantric has delivered with Mind Control, the reconstituted band’s followup to The End Begins, released last April.

The End Begins was a second debut for Tantric, which had a whole new backing band with only Hugo Ferreira remaining from the original lineup. I liked The End Begins, but I could tell at times where I would miss former guitarist Todd Whitener’s licks and harmonies. (Whitener’s harmonies were incredibly apparent on the underrated After We Go album, and you could tell he was missing on The End Begins.) It was a band in adjustment, getting a fresh start.

Mind Control strikes me as a much more cohesive effort. It’s a heavy, aggressive album — and a coming of age for this new Tantric. You really feel the aggressiveness in tracks like “Coming Undone” and “Kick Back,” which is my favorite song on the album and is quickly cementing itself as one of my five favorite songs this year (the chorus is simply incredible, triumphant-sounding). Hugo Ferreira sings in ways I’ve never heard him sing before, with an aggression and grit perfectly suited for his baritone, and it’s great.

I didn’t think the guitar work on The End Begins was anything too incredibly special, which was a letdown after hearing Todd Whitener’s work on two albums (and the unreleased Tantric III songs, which were all aborted after he left the band). Joe Pessia, Tantric’s guitarist (and friend of Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt) completely stepped up his game on Mind Control, though. In fact, he absolutely kills. For crying out loud, there’s an instrumental on this album called “Intermezzo.” I haven’t heard an instrumental on a modern rock album in a long time, it seems like, and Pessia just totally makes it work. I completely dig that, as it seems like introducing an instrumental piece seems like such a gamble these days.

This album deserves to be heard and deserves to make it big. This incarnation of Tantric has bonded, figured each other out, and put out a damn good rock record. Go get it at Amazon MP3 for maximum compatibility, 256-kbit, DRM-free goodness.

Stuff I’ve liked lately — the October edition

Back in July I put together a little list of “stuff I like.” It’s been a few months, so I think I’ll do another round.

  • FriendFeed Real-time. It’s friggin’ amazing is what it is. This launched a few weeks ago and it has helped increase my FriendFeed usage substantially. It partially fills the void that losing Twitter IM has created. I like to take the mini-window and stick it in my Firefox sidebar (a trick I picked up from Scobleizer at ConvergeSouth). Try it, it’s fun!
  • Qik on BlackBerry. I nearly cheated on my BlackBerry last week with an iPhone because of iPhone’s Qik capability (despite the fact that you still have to jailbreak it), but BlackBerry reeled me back in with its superior e-mail management, and Qik’s announcement of BlackBerry compatibility sealed the deal for me. The BlackBerry Bold is out on AT&T on the 4th — and my equipment discount eligibility begins the same day. It’s as if they timed it just for me. :) Qik is another one of those technologies I became quasi-obsessed with after seeing it in action at ConvergeSouth.
  • Pandora Radio. Being without my music library at work for a couple weeks has turned me back on to this service, and it’s utterly amazing how effective it is at picking what I like and finding similar music that I really dig. The record companies and broadcast industry are crazy for trying to kill this off, because I’m primed to buy a whole lot more music now than I ever would have if not for Pandora.
  • Tantric’s new single “Fall Down.” The song was originally recorded for the shelved Tantric III album; the III version contained a cameo by Nappy Roots, and I was lucky enough to grab an MP3 before the III stuff was scrapped. Tantric re-recorded the song with the new band, and I must say that it is a lot tighter now. I’m still a bit cool on the remake of “The One,” another Tantric III song that was recut for The End Begins, but “Fall Down” nails it. (I am REALLY BUMMED that I didn’t get to see Tantric when they were in Goose Creek last week.)
  • Internet Explorer 8. I am extremely impressed with the rendering work Microsoft is doing in the new IE. There are still some bugs and things that need improvement (and I’m bummed that MS is squandering an opportunity to push forward with CSS3 here), but IE 8’s new standards compliance mode brings IE’s rendering fidelity right on par with Firefox, Opera, and Safari moreso than at any point in IE’s history. Kudos to the IE team for the good work they’re doing.

Of course, this is just a short list of a lot of things. I like a lot of things on a regular basis, and you can keep an eye on my individual “likes” on FriendFeed.

What have you liked? Sound off in comments!

A random jumble

I torture Twitter so much with my rapid-fire randomness these days. It’s amazing that I have as many humans as I do actually following me because I get so random and off the wall there with things. So, I feel it’s only fair that I take some of this randomness to the blog for a change.

  • I should’ve gone out singing last night. Wild Wing downtown does a pretty good karaoke night on Thursdays. Only problem? They don’t have any songs by Tantric. My range is right between Hugo Ferreira and Todd Whitener, so Tantric is pretty much perfect. On my birthday, I settled for Days of the New, which I do pretty well with, but Tantric has an energy you can’t deny.
  • Had a pretty decent severe thunderstorm roll through West Ashley earlier, and of course I snapped a few photos of the onset. The cloud was wild as it approached (didn’t get my camera in time to get that shot) — it was very much like those spaceships in Independence Day.
  • I’m slowly chipping away at a new look for this place. I’ve started over about three times now. That work won’t be wasted, though, as I usually find a way to take the best aspects of each design and meld them together. The goal in the next revision of the site is simplification: I’m cutting a lot of deadwood, recategorizing every post (that will take a while), and a lot of other stuff. It’ll be nice, though; I suspect it’ll be the biggest revamp we’ve seen here in a long time.
  • Not sure who to vote for in November now after the FISA Obamination. My tirades against telecom immunity are well-documented here, and it just blows my mind that Obama voted for that bill. It’s a complete breakdown in principle that I wasn’t expecting from him at all, and this is really teetering on the edge of deal-breaker for me. Barack Obama’s just another politician now, and you know, I’m looking for more than pandering and broken promises for a change. He’s going to have to work very hard to win my vote back. (No, I’m not going McCain, either.)
  • A lot of people have brought up how Clinton voted no on the FISA bill. While that’s admirable, Obama was still the better pick for the party based solely on Clinton’s baggage. However, I can’t help but wonder what John Edwards would have been able to do had the media given him 30 seconds of attention.
  • Regardless, part of me feels a little had. This episode is a good reminder that with very few exceptions, there is very little separating the Democratic and Republican agendas. How much more do we have to take before third parties become viable in this country?

Enjoy your Friday, folks!