Live in The Atrium
Mylets, Icarus The Owl, The Modern Life
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 16 and over
"Stolas are a supergroup composed of pure talent. What makes "Living Creatures" exceptional aren't just the technical prowesses, but the fact that these guys are having fun. Beneath the riffs and poignant lyrics, are dudes simply have a good time recording. It is easily identifiable as well as satisfying to attach to. Because they're having fun, we the audience can dive right in and feel comfortable. "Living Creatures" doesn't hold your hand, allowing you to immediately accommodate its rhythm. If you've followed their studio updates, you see them all cranking out tunes and working hard, but more importantly enjoying the company of friends. They aren't trying to break records or sales, just put something out that's based on the comradery. Ironically, what we get are ten tracks laced with metaphors, powerful vocals, ingenious songwriting, and bouncy yet hardcore riffs. "Living Creatures" flirts with empowering material as well as ambient tone, capitalizing on both.
If you're familiar with DGD and A lot Like Birds, you should feel right at home here. But comparing Stolas to them isn't fair since each has their own sound and patterns of writing. Nonetheless, Stolas have crafted a lofty ride. Songs designed to hit with a punch (Destroyer) do justice on the cortex, while others take cues from the likes of Deftones (Medusa). But even comparing Stolas to Deftones is unfair, their unique sound and engineering are difficult to pin down. Stolas sounds like...Stolas. But the hidden gems are surprising to discover. Moments of soft ambitions collide with some scathing crescendos (Our Last Night on Earth). Their trickery is what's captivating - gestating speed and thrash licks, transitioning into well placed calm sections (Time & the Sun, Destroyer). These moments are heavy, yet evocative(similar to the way Deftones operates) - huge heavy moments propagated by dreamy, transient sections.
The list of guest appearances adds even more substance to "Living Creatures." Stolas designed these songs to play to the strengths of the particular vocalist. They're appropriate for the tone of the record as well as signatures. As if they said, "Okay, We need the sound of Kurt Travis for this section because his voice can carry the tone." They're not used as filler or simply to say, "Hey this dude is on here." Jonny Craig's delivery in "Panic" should have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, while Tillian's on "Year of the Light" demands a boisterous sing along. Donovan Melero's incredible pitch in "Circuit Theory" is nothing short of perfect. The crescendo of "Captured Light" is enhanced with Cory Lockwood, capping off the record with one final barrage.
It's rare nowadays to find truly creative lyrics. More often than not, they are a shallow entity of records. That's not to say bands aren't electric and get the blood pumping. But truly thought provoking lyrics are somewhat of a lost cause. Stolas interweave clever lyrics, metaphors, and stark imagery to adhere to the overall narrative. Each song is a component of a larger picture. Sometimes large geographical locations serve as metaphors, or ghosts become haunting phantoms that inevitably force change. Each track is laced with some illusion to further the idea of a "Living Creature." There is a heavy convergence at the end of "Captured Light" that resolves the arc of the entire album.
Carlo, Sergio, RJ, and Jason worked hard to give fans something they could sink their teeth into. "Living Creatures" is a dense, enjoyable listen with moving lyrics. Sonically, the ten tracks provide enough content to consider their structure and art form. Ladies and gentlemen, "Let's Pull The Strings...""
Under the moniker Mylets, Henry Kohen takes on the roles of several musicians at once. The wunderkind guitarist who, at 17, became the youngest artist signed to Sargent House has since established his reputation as an awe-inspiring and agile performer, playing across North America and Europe multiple times over the past couple of years.
Dancing across multiple guitar pedals that line the stage, Kohen also sings and lays down guitar loops while simultaneously tapping out beats on a drum machine. Nothing is pre-programmed. Every note played is as organic and fallible as its performer. Kohen's physicality and presence is captivating on stage, but what's even more impressive is that his songwriting talent is equally as vast and varied as his multitasking skills.
Arizona is the defining work of a masterful tunesmith. Despite their complexity, the songs are never disrupted by the intricacies running beneath their hyper-infectious pop structures. Kohen operates his equipment like the conductor of a small orchestra, summoning fully realized melodies from his devices. "I put in a lot of effort to make every single word and note of each song as deliberate and concise as I could," Kohen explains, "rather than throw out an unintelligible overflow of information."
Album opener "Trembling Hands" is a massive, hook-heavy anthem driven by layers of churning guitars and distortion that stirs somewhere between the throaty verses of Broken-era Nine Inch Nails to the hymnal anxiety of a Cloud Nothings record. The title track follows with a cascade of syncopated guitar arpeggios setting the stage for a reverse-reverb soaked vocal harmony that chimes like something off of U2's Unforgettable Fire. And, that's the beauty here: Mylets appeals to every listener, not just other musicians. Kohen understates his unparalleled and highly specific skills and instead forces the emotion informing his music to the forefront. This ability is what makes the songs on Arizona command repeat listens.
Mylets first came to Sargent House's attention with a series of self-released solo EPs, much of which were remastered and compiled on the label's 2013 release Retcon. Around that time, Kohen relocated from Columbus, Indiana to Los Angeles, residing at the artist-friendly Sargent House all the while working intensively on prepping Arizona material for the studio. In the interim, Mylets also toured extensively on different continents with And So I Watch You From Afar, TTNG and Emma Ruth Rundle. "Because of the range of time spent writing, it was very important for me to capture the concepts of creative and personal growth within the songs on the record," Kohen says. "I recorded the album twice under very different circumstances in 2014 and on the second round of studio time, I left with a product that I felt was as true of a representation of what was initially in my head as I could have created."
Arizona will be available everywhere on LP, CD and download via Sargent House on April 21st, 2015.
Icarus The Owl
Icarus The Owl is an alternative rock band from Portland, Oregon, formed in 2009. The band is known for their frequent time signature changes and tap-guitar lines in otherwise sing-along pop songs. Without the help of a label, the band was able to distribute their full length debut album, "The Spotless Mind" in stores such as Hot Topic and other independent retailers across the nation. The band has also licensed music and appeared on MTV programming.
To date, Icarus The Owl has booked themselves on 15 national tours, each averaging 7 weeks in length, Including an appearance on the "Kevin Says Stage" on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour. Throughout these tours, the band has shared the stage with The Ataris, The Story So Far, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, We Came As Romans, Becoming The Archetype, Protest The Hero,The Dangerous Summer, Maylene And The Sons of Disaster, Hail the Sun, Stolas, Artifex Pereo, The Orphan The Poet, Envoi and many more.
In 2012, Icarus The Owl released their 2nd full length album, "Love Always, Leviathan". The band received favorable reviews from popular websites such as Altpress.com, Absolutepunk.net, Sputnikmusic.com, and more. Alternative Press described the band as, "technical pop-rock based out of Portland, Oregon who bring an uncharted amount of technicality to the genre. Equal parts ferocious guitar lines and infectious melodies, Icarus are sure to surprise at every turn."
In 2014, the band released their self-titled third album, recorded by Kris Crummett (Sleeping With Sirens, Dance Gavin Dance). The band also embarked on a tour of Europe and three national tours, including the first Blue Swan Records Tour.