Thursday 24 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Dear Diaries

Dear Diaries

A new Oklahoma City band pushes for a gigantic sound and spectacle as it prepares for a big U.S. tour.

Matt Carney December 14th, 2011

Modern Rock Diaries with Chrome Pony
8 p.m. Friday
VZD’S Restaurant & Club
4200 N. Western
$8 advance, $10 door

It takes a pretty confident band to tour before it’s even released a record.

It takes an even more confident band to do so in a foreign country.

Modern Rock Diaries is that band. The Oklahoma City act’s confidence comes from the painstaking effort put into its debut EP and the overwhelming light show that matches it.

“I’ve always been big on the idea that, you know, the music should blow you away, but the visual side is really important,” singer/guitarist Brantley Cowan said.

“We’ve spent seven to eight months on lighting cues and programming.”

Such an enormous undertaking may seem like overkill, but the gargantuan scale of the band’s debut, “Great Western Civilization,” demands it. Each of its five tracks buzzes to life with layers of quirky, breathing keyboard chords tethered to forceful, mid-tempo rock beats. Cowan’s vocals — often backed in unison by others — and lyrics range from fed-up and angry to wistful and even reminiscent of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill.

Modern Rock Diaries taps into Arcade Fire’s “Funeral”-era gritty grandeur, and tosses it around in an a big, synth-laden swirl similar to much of M83’s current work. Cowan cited producer Jarod Evans of Norman-based Blackwatch Studios as a major influence: “He became an extension of our group, and it was a really good fit.”

For such lofty musical goals, Cowan’s lyricism is immediately accessible and unpretentious, leaning populist in a time of recession, when corporate employment often seems to treat people more like automatons.

“I think there’s a lot of people — more than any time in the last 70 years, since the Great Depression — who are having to make a lot of difficult decisions and having to make a lot of changes in their life with the state of the economy,” he said. “There’s a lot of personal experience in [the album], but it’s really just touching on what a lot of people in America are going through right now.”

The group toured Europe recently, playing historic venues in Ireland and London. Closer to home, Modern Rock Diaries currently is gearing up for a U.S. tour of 20 to 25 cities, and Friday night’s show at VZD’s is its last in the metro until that tour is finished.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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