Introducing FOR THE RECORD, a new music column to review locally grown and produced albums. Did your band release an album within the last six months? How about your friend? Your girlfriend? Your mom? We’d love to hear them all. Email us at alt.publication@gmail.com with a link to some of your tracks. Put “for the record” in the subject line.

FICK
Futureshock
Cover of FICK album, Futureshock. Courtesy of FICK.

Released/ April 2
Recorded at/ North Avenue Studio in Orange City
Sounds like/ Mars Volta, Muse, Deftones
Inspiration/ Muse, Tool
Key tracks/ “Hear, Now, Lost,” “Daybreak”
Where to get it/ $7 on their Facebook
Upcoming shows/ May 7 @ 1982; see Facebook for future shows

Guitar, keyboard/ Kyle Fick
Vocals/ Dan Sutphin
Bass/ K.D McClellan/ bass
Drums/ Kellen Chesnutt

Living in a punk- and hipster-driven town, there’s no shortage of local punk or “experimental” bands. In between those popular local genres, discovering serious progressive rock is a rarity. FICK fills that gap. They are a guitar-heavy, post-grunge rock band with metal influences; they have that epic “the word is ending in a cascade of heavy guitar riffs” sound. On the six-track release, soft violin ballads introduce their hefty progressive rock, while eerie minor piano chords weave throughout. Their dark lyrics match their heavy melodies covering alcohol, restlessness, God, and nightmares.

“Our subjects are a little bit bigger than the words themselves. We wanted more over-the-top lyrics so we could connect and relate to more people,” Sutphin said.

Kyle Fick has been playing the guitar for 14 years in addition to playing the piano. Fick is passionate about music and is determined to make room for it while also running his business, Karma Cream.
– Ellen McHugh

Douglas Shields & The X-Factors (DSXF)
Self-titled EP

Cover of DSXF's self-titled EP, released Feb. 2011. Courtesy of DSXF.

Released/ Feb 15
Recorded at/ Black Bear Audio Maul in Gainesville
Sounds like/ The Thermals, old school New Found Glory
Inspiration/ The Weakerthans, the Gainesville scene
Key tracks/ “Beach Volleyball,” “Schwan Dolphin”
Where to get it/ $5 7” or $2 digital download on bandcamp, shows
Upcoming shows/ “Like” them on Facebook to stay in the loop

Guitar, vocals/ Francisco “Kiiks” Santelli
Drums/ Zach Sorensen
Bass/ Randy Reddell

Douglas Shields and the X-Factors deliver fast-paced punk with a folk twist. DSXF, named after an (un)popular transcription service that all three have worked at in Gainesville, have been playing to crowded sweaty living rooms and dark and dingy dive bars to emphatic energetic crowds for more than few years now.

Their new self-titled EP comes out just a year after recording their full-length release, Beerhorse. Beerhorse introduced us to mosh-worthy punk and the new four-track EP refuses to disappoint. DSXF is the straightforward, tightly-packed punk you’ve come to know and love (complete with angsty sing-a-longs by Kiiks) with honest and reflective lyrics.

“Everybody’s in a band,” singer, Kiiks said. “Just hang out at Boca Fiesta all day and you’ll find the music scene,” he said, eating a tempeh burrito.
– Ellen McHugh

To All My Dear Friends (TAMDF)
Transparent Voyages
Cover of TAMDF album, Transparent Voyages. Courtesy of TAMDF.

Released/ March 18
Recorded at/ Black Bear Audio Maul in Gainesville
Sounds like/ Owen Pallet
Inspiration/ Rachmaninoff, Led Zeppelin
Key tracks/ “Japan To Kenya and Back,” “The Book of Tofu”
Where to get it/ $9.99 on iTunes and at Hear Again Records
Upcoming shows/ National tour; see website for dates/venues

Violin, guitar, vocals/ Marc Hennessey
Percussion/ Greg Stull

TAMDF is not your average guitar, bass and percussion band.  Stull and Hennessey mix traditional instruments, guitar, violin and percussion, with technology to create a build-up of layered sound.  Hennessey uses a machine to first record a live snippet of music and then plays it back to record on top of it.  He continues to loop and build upon these elements throughout the track.  The result is multiple climaxes and declines that feel built up and released. Some tracks feature vocals with lyrics by Hennessey, but most rely on instrumental melodies.

“I stopped playing in the orchestra, but I wanted to keep playing. I wanted to do instrumental music, and I wanted to write my own music. I didn’t know how to bring it all together,” Hennessey said. “Then I learned about looping and was like ‘Oh, I can do that.’”

TAMDF weaves sound in unpredictable directions like a soundtrack for a fantasy adventure.The result is Transparent Voyages.
– Ellen McHugh

The Hear Hums
Psyche Cycles
Cover of the Hear Hums album, Psyche Cycles. Courtesy of The Hear Hums.

Released/ Dec. 2010
Recorded at/ Spare/dorm rooms
Sounds like/ Animal Collective, Yeasayer
Inspiration/ Bjork, Huun Huur Tu, Múm
Key tracks/ “Woo,” “Mokom Wolos,” “Forest Vibus”
Where to get it/ Free digital download or $10 CD on bandcamp
Upcoming shows/ Tour kickoff May 5 @ The Lab (see Facebook for tour dates/venues)

Guitar, vocals, electronics/ Mitch Myers
Drums, vocals/ Kenzie Cooke

When the Hear Hums get on stage, they perform a synchronized dance of drums, dials and outdoor imagery to go with their music.

“We try to create an experience rather than [just] a band performing a song,” Kenzie said.

The Hear Hums use drum cadences, distant vocals and an outer-space-like influence to construct something unfamiliar yet charming. Straying away from a traditional “rock band” set-up toward new techniques, including electronic elements, distortion and visuals, the Hear Hums seamlessly blend nature with synthetics.

“[We’re] sculpting a specific world, like an environment or something,” Meyers said.

In between the heavy drum beats, loops and far-away echoed screaming, there’s a message for you to feel, however you want to feel it.

“I think the point of music is to help people relate their feelings and emotions to what you’re doing, relate it to their own life,” Kenzie said. “Like you’re speaking to them through your experiences.”
– Priscilla Bass