Artist: Manic Diffusion
Song: “Mr. Badd Guy” (from the CD Orange Rhymes)
Heard By: Lincoln Lee, Fashion Valley
I thought it was good. It’s not my type of genre, but I liked the solos, the riffs, and the bass lines. It’s one of those songs that you could probably play on Rock Band. It’s contemporary rock, but you can tell there’s a new twist on it. They used a drum machine or mixer, which I like. It has a good melody. I liked the bridge a lot. The vocals could have been played up a little more. You can see a Red Hot Chili Peppers [influence] with the fluctuations of the vocal tones and how [the singer] tries to belt it out. For an independent group, they’re really good, but I don’t know if they’d hit platinum or gold.
Artist: The Ambassador
Song: “A New Season” (from the CD The Ambassador Presents...)
Heard By: Jimmy Russell, Ocean Beach
That was pretty good. I’d describe the style as a mellower, West Coast reggae, leaning more toward Long Beach Dub All-Stars as opposed to Sublime. There were a lot of different glimmers of percussion. It sounded as if there were some bottles in there getting hit by some sort of apparatus. The bass was really loud, which was good; it played around a bunch, kind of like the Specials. They would do really well in the beach area. I’m not sure how mainstream it would be. That would be a good song for drawing...maybe while under the influence of something mellow.
Song: “Rise of the Beast” (from the CD Rise of the Beast)
Heard By: Melissa Meyer, South Park
I thought it was okay. It kind of lost me toward the end. It was as if they were trying too hard. The only other death metal I know is, like, Burzum and that kind of stuff. This is, like, California death metal/screamo shit. Their breakdown was kind of like in hardcore, where you have your slow breakdown movement. Vocally, they kind of switched it up. It went from creepy, low Goth vocals into screamo stuff. They had a good rhythm going on. Everything was crisp and clear, so I’d say it was recorded well. I think death metal has almost a cult-like status, so it’s hard [for bands like this] to break through, but I can see them having somewhat of a mediocre college-scene following.