Coolest Dude In Sunday School Song #5 “Red Light Boogie”

“Red Light Boogie ” is the fifth installment of P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. and KuroiOto’s “Coolest Kid In Sunday School” fan appreciation leak series. This weeks song Redlight Boogie is inspired by a fan named Valencia, P.H.I.L.T.H.Y covers the feelings you deal with while racing through life to where you want to be. These issues include many of the roadblocks we deal with in life , whether that be red lights or other drivers you have to stay on through this journey we call life.

Download it here or here or listen below

Coolest Dude In Sunday School Song #4 “Taxi”

P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. and KuroiOto missed this week’s Coolest Kid in Sunday School session while attending SxSW, but at least they’ll make it into Bible study. On “Taxi,” P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. covers the Ski Beatz song while encouraging listeners to appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

Download Links:

Year 200X “We Are Error” Review

Year 200X, who are playing Lansing anime convention Shuto Con this Saturday (see Shuto Con’s website for details), are one of the most unique bands to come around in a while. Formed in 2006, the band plays metal-style renditions of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video games tunes from games like Mega Man 3, Ghosts and Goblins, Zelda II and Contra. Year 200x is Tim Lydon (Guitar), Rance Tatroe (Guitar), Tony Oliver (Guitar), Ian Whiters (Bass) and Jake Bryan (Drums).

Onto the review…

I will first say that I have never heard any of the original video game tunes the band is covering. I will judge the music by its own merits. Now, that said, here are the my main points. I love the uniqueness of this concept. Covering some of the classic video game tunes in a metal style is a great and inventive way to not only show your love of metal but your love of video games. The band certainly does both very well. But sometimes concept and the concept’s execution don’t transition well.

The playing itself on the individual instruments is fantastic. The harmony guitars, the killer breakdown, blast beats and the overall epicness are things I really love about this album. There are countless examples of these techniques on this album. The guitar tones on the album are surprisingly diverse on some of the songs. Metal-ified wah a la Kirk Hammett is heard on “Ducktales (The Moon)” and a bluesy and jazzy introduction on “Ninja Gaiden II (Intro)” is excellent. It reminds me of “End Credits” by Opeth. Then there’s the classic, death metal riffage on “Life Force (Level 1 – Level 6 – Boss – Level 3)”. It beats you over the head; really intense. The drumming is also top notch here. Blast beats and lightning quick hits only add to the intensity of some of the takes. The bass, however, is hardly audible (at least to me).

Given that I praised the instrumental performances here, that leads me to my only complaint. I understand that this is a video game tunes cover album, which is why there are no vocals. But having listened to metal with vocals all of my life, I’ve become accustomed to that element always being there. This is not a huge complaint by any means. The instrumental music more than makes up for it. It just bugs me and it takes a little getting used to.

Overall, this album is a unique adventure of 8 bit nostalgia covered in a metallic layer of face-melting  goodness. Pieces like “Mega Man 3 (Title Theme)” and “Ninja Gaiden II (Intro)” are well played, musically creative and show sides of the band that are hard to come by given the content. If you are a video game fan and have played these games, you should definitely check this out. If you like metal, definitely check this out and if you like both metal and video games you must own this.

Coolest Dude In Sunday School Song #3 “Lose Control”

“Lose Control” is the third installment of P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. and KuroiOto’s “Coolest Kid In Sunday School” fan appreciation leak series. In this song, inspired by a fan named Chas, P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. empathizes with listeners who may feel helpless in any given situations.

“Sometimes Life will make us feel like we have no say so in what’s going on, and it’s like we have loss all control. But maybe we’re not even supposed to be the ones in control.” P.H.I.L.T.H.Y

Download here:


Coolest Dude in Sunday School: Song #2 “Church Fans”

Here is song 2 of P.H.I.L.T.H.Y’s Coolest Dude in Sunday School series: “Church Fans”.

A blurb about the song: Michigan emcee P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. and producer KuroiOto present the second installment of their fan appreciation leak series, “The Coolest Dude in Sunday School.” In this week’s song, “Church Fans,” KuroiOto flips a sample chosen by a fan named Venson, while P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. finds his life purpose and combats naysayers.

Want to submit ideas for samples or song concepts, and get name recognition? Contact P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. And KuroiOto on Twitter at @p2dahi and @KuroiOto, or email P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. at

Download the song here:

Bicycle Sunday/Park Jefferson Split 7″ Review

Although I had only heard about this within the last hour, I am going to write up a quick review of this split 7″ from Lansing emo bands Bicycle Sunday (formerly Boleyn) and Park Jefferson. The bands are both working toward funding a physical release of the split. Find out more about that here and while you’re at it, download the tracks (for free, at the bands’ insistence) here:

Onto the review…

The first song here, Bicycle Sunday’s “Do you remember the time you gave me a spoon?”, starts out with some almost post-rock textured guitars that add an almost somber quality to the proceeding lyrics. Singer/guitarist Joe McAndrew sings with a bleak quality, “It started with a smile and ended with your head/On my chest”. I really like the slowed down cymbal crashes and overall drum beat because along with the guitars, they add a sonic embrace of the eerie and the honest when the lyrics are thrown on top of it all. The bass plays a minimalist role here; sneaking along quietly. “My heart/It beats for you” are the closing lines here and the buildup of the song only makes the lyrics all the more appropriate.

Bicycle Sunday’s second offering here, “Nothing was the matter, except me” draws on the same textural elements as the previous song but is a little bit different. Again, the guitars shine but for a different reason. Arpeggios and single note trills revolve like a carousel as McAndrew sings “History repeats/That’s what you taught me/In your bed those nights”. How fitting. The belting, aching vocal is also similar to the previous effort but it’s got a pull to it that makes you ache right along with him. The instrumental breakdown toward the end of the song showcases the band’s cohesiveness. A great effort here.

I have never heard of Park Jefferson, but after taking a couple of listens to their side of this split, it’s pretty obvious that they draw from the same musical gene pool as Bicycle Sunday. That said, their takes are very different from Bicycle Sunday. “One for the road” starts to feel like the multi-layered guitarism of Bicycle Sunday at first, but then morphs into something totally different. At about 45 seconds in, the song changes into a pop-core cocktail of quick and fast hardcore-esque drumming and shouted vocals. I actually think the shouted, gang vocals toward the middle of the song add a surprise element that is very welcome. Throughout these shouted sections, the guitar and bass play minimalist roles, letting the shouts envelope your ear canals.

The second Park Jefferson offering, “Dude, it’s a Saturday” amps up the hardcore intensity. The drums pound away as guitars (that should be overdriven but aren’t) give the song an almost revealing and stripped down quality. I also like the quick pull-off guitar licks; they add to the barrage created by the drums. Shouted vocals are shown here again in full force. The single guitar/voice interlude is a nice touch. Adds the aforementioned stripped down quality.

If there are two bands that deserve a helping hand from you, the caring fans, it’s Bicycle Sunday and Park Jefferson. Do yourself a favor and help them with much needed donations here:

And check out the songs on the split here:

The Coolest Dude in Sunday School

Brought to you by local emcee P.H.I.L.T.H.Y, here is his newest project: “The Coolest Dude in Sunday School”. Here is some info on this new and exciting project:

“The Coolest Dude in Sunday School” is an innovative new leak series and fan appreciation project by  Michigan  Emcee P.H.I.L.T.H.Y.. Each week, P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. and BLAT! Pack producer KurioOto will create a new song based on topics and sample ideas submitted by their thousands of loyal supporters. The kickoff song, “The Coolest,” featuring BLAT! Pack resident DJ, DJ Amir is a  track that covers the struggle to be popular and relevant without losing your effectiveness and yourself.

Download the song here: or here:

We will be following this project as more and more comes to fruition. Stay tuned!

Rants by Ryan Horky: So Adult “Rookie” Review

Ryan Horky is back. Here is a review of So Adult‘s “Rookie”, out of Bellingham, WA (via Cale Sauter’s consistent Lansing press and affiliation with this Washington band I will let this one’s like a friend-of a friend-of a friend scenario).

I might be stretching LMTV’s “gotta be locally connected” review rule a bit on this one. These dudes are from Bellingham, WA, which is about as far away as you can go from Lansing and still be in the contiguous US of A. However, Cale Sauter’s Raptor’s Delight PR company has taken it upon themselves to get these guys some press, and RDPR is local, so that’s good enough for me. Hopefully it will be for LMTV. (If not, you won’t be reading this anyway, so what do you care?) Anyway….So Adult has some serious Replacements-worship going on. The singer sounds very much like a young Paul Westerberg and the songs come across like a much less-talented songwriter’s attempt at apeing P. Westie’s style. (If you see the video for the song “Suburbia” you can see that the lead singer hopped in Doc Brown’s Delorean in about 1992, gunned it to 88 MPH, and ended up in the year 2011. Even his haircut looks like Johnny Reznik in the days before the Goo Goo Dolls left Metal Blade and got a stylist. I have no problem with this. If you’re gonna be in a tribute band, hell, look the part at least.)

Now, you might read these words and think that I didn’t like this tape, but you would be wrong. The songs are generally catchy and well-played. What words I can understand, though occasionally clichéd, are at least not annoying. (I’ll take what I can get these days. We have a real shortage of inspiring lyricists!) It’s a short release that whets my appetite for more instead of boring me with too much. When I say that the dude writing the songs is “much less talented” than Paul Westerberg I’m simply stating a fact that is true for 90% of songwriters ever. It’s not an insult, just a fact. While I would generally prefer bands be original, if someone is doing a good version of something I love I can at least hang with that. (I love those first couple Goo Goo Dolls records where they were basically Replacements Jr.) Worth tracking down for sure.

Narc Out The Reds “…Are On The Run” Review

The second album (or EP in this case) in my “Reviews that I should have gotten to a while ago” series is Narc Out The Reds “…Are On The Run” EP. Released last year on the Good Time Gang label, the lineup featured here is Chris Baratono (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ben Southwell (guitar, backing vocals), John Miller (drums, backing vocals) and Terry Pearson (bass). Also featured are “Men Behind the Curtain” is Isaac VanderSchuur (guitars, backing vocals), Dave Brunger (bass, slide guitar) and Scott Bozack (drums).

Having seen this band live (and recorded a live set by them) as well as continually listened to this EP for the past few days or so, a few conclusions come to mind. First, this band rocks. Hard. Second, the rocking is done in such a way that not only do their monster riffs shine but everything else (vocals, drums, etc) shines equally as bright.

Baratono’s guitar riffs are steady, catchy and pull the songs along just as well as the rest of the band. I do enjoy the little interludes between verses in “…As Hipsters Do” (the band seems to have a thing for ellipses). They add a little diversity and keep you on your toes. I also love the vocal here. At points, I could swear Muse singer Matt Bellamy took over Baratono’s vocal cords. Clocking in at a little over three minutes, it’s something not too far removed from radio-ready rock and roll like Foo Fighters.

“One Dolor Embrace” is my favorite track on this whole offering. It’s rocking riffs and great breakdowns are so chillingly good. Baratono sings “I’ve got a plan/I’ve got a way/I’ve got a plan/You should’ve stayed” as the drums beat away frantically and the guitars squeal. I also love the sneaking bits of acoustic guitars and synth. They add texture and a light-heartedness to it. Around the 1:48 mark in the song, is my favorite moment of the whole record. It just kicks the song in the ass and makes you rock out. Epic.

Acoustic guitars tiptoeing in and out of the rock and roll wreckage seems to happen a lot here. “I Was Evil That Year” is no exception. The synths are more prominent. Baratano can really sing, belting out “I won’t tell if you don’t” with a swagger and seductiveness (given the first verse includes him “taking her home”) that is just great. Again, the chorus is big and heavy. The production here is outstanding. Around the 3:20 mark, the drums are thrust into lo-fi mode and space is emphasized, which seems to indicate (at least to me) a post-punk influence where space is utilized as much as any instrument.

“Trebledust” is a fun song. Danceable and catchy. The backbeat of the drums gets me moving. “The reason I can’t stop/has got nothing to do with love” is crooned out via the backing vocal. Definitely a KISS influence there. At points the guitars have a Tom Morello-esque quirky punch to them. At others points, the Pixies come to mind. The instruments have room to breathe and at exactly three minutes, nothing is wasted.

“Last Shard Of Drama” feels a little like the previous song. The guitars, again, have a Tom Morello-esque quirk to them. Synth is also a good component. It is not directly obvious but it adds depth where some of the previous parts might seem a little stale. I like the passionate harmonies and vocal here, but not necessarily the lyrics. I feel like they were written by a trite, drama obsessed teenager. “I picked you up at eleven-thirty/I got us some drugs and we went to a party again”, Baratono sings.

This is EP is a great way to be introduced to Narc Out The Reds. If you like rocking, heavy riffs with the vocal stamina and bravato of bands like Muse, check this out.

Rants by Ryan Horky: Lenin/McCarthy “Art” EP Review

Here again, is Ryan Horky with a review of Michigan “supergroup” Lenin/McCarthy’s “Art” EP.

Lenin/McCarthy is a “supergroup” of sorts consisting of Rick Johnson and Nathan Cohn (bass and drums for Mustard Plug) and Mario Bourzac. (Drummer for sadly underrated/not rated at all MI group Hell or Highwater and former touring drummer for Off With Their Heads. Guess he knew when to get away from that sinking ship, huh?) They sound a little like NomeansNo, if someone who listened to a lot of Steve Vai was playing guitar. I don’t really like Steve Vai, but believe me, the combination works here. Rick and Nate really lock in as a rhythm section and Mario gets to do his thing on top of that. Even though there are ten songs here, the band is still marketing this release as an EP, because it’s only 20 minutes long. Most of the tunes are actually sub two minutes, which suits my attention span just fine. Each one is almost perfect-short, funny, and to the point. If you’re balking a little due to their ska/pop-punk pasts, you shouldn’t. This is some killer post-punk played by great musicians. Highly recommended.

Return top