- Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
- Converge – The Dusk In Us
- Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
- Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3
- Queens of the Stone Age – Villians
- Kendrink Lamar – DAMN
- Slowdive – Slowdive
- Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence/Not the Actual Events
- LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
- Harnessing the Sun – Ra Honey
- Spy Convention – Tidal
- The National – Sleep Well Beast
- Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
- Poewer Trip – Nightmare Logic
- Code Orange – Forever
- Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven
- Idle Shades – The Time is Now
- Myrkur – Mareridt
- Mutoid Man – War Moans
- Godflesh – Post Self
- Depeche Mode – Spirit
- Pallbeart – Heartless
- Roger Waters – Is This the Life We Really Want?
- Downlows – New Fun Places
- Spoon – Hot Thoughts
By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
Artist: Idle Shades
Album: The Time is Now
Release Date: 3/3/17
For nearly a decade, Youngstown punk outfit Idle Shades have been carving a unique niche across the scene and beyond. With several high-profile performances across the region, opening for national acts such as The Atom Age, Koffin Kats and former Misfits leader Michael Graves to name a few, the punk power trio have successfully won over a wide audience that’s continually expanding. By delivering a classic Punk sound with hints of Alternative and Post-Punk influence ever-present, they have latched onto and perfected a much-varied sound with broad appeal. Now, heading in 2017 at full throttle, Idle Shades are ready to unleash their sophomore full-length album, The Time is Now!
With a knack for infectious hooks, and a sound encompassing the strongest elements of 90s So-Cal Punk, combined with the occasional bouncing Psychobilly rhythms or The Damned-esque Post-Punk atmosphere, Idle Shades truly stand apart not only among the Punk scene, but the greater regional scene as well. The Time is Now is proof of this. It’s a collection of 12 meaty tracks that clearly indicate a band not only owning their finest qualities found on their debut, Picture Perfect, but pissing all over what made them great before, and taking it up several notches.
The Time is Now is a cohesive yet varied collection of material from a band continually reaching new creative peaks. Opening with the rousing “Prove Me Wrong,” a driving yet sparse riff leads the verse before building into a massive hook-heavy chorus. From there, the somewhat gothic sounding riff of “Dream” opens one of many of the album’s standout tracks, full of thumping bass, slick riffs and more massive hooks.
From there, tracks like “Listen,” “Worst in You” and lead single “Greater Picture,” find Idle Shades in familiar territory, combining personal and heartfelt lyrics, accompanied by a sonic attack that drives the point straight to the listener’s gut.
By The Time is Now‘s mid-point, more shining gems surface. “Problems” features a mean riff with a slamming rhythm, while “Walking Away” and “Turn and Run” provide more Punk fury, with… you guessed it… more hooks that will stick with you for days! The album concludes with the driving “Moving On” and climactic “Losing Hope,” were vocalist/bassist Angelo Scordo sings a message of urgency: “We never really take the time for the things we need the most, for the people, time keeps passing by and can’t help but start losing hope, until it’s too late.” This type of urgency concludes a general theme found across The Time is Now.
All in all, The Time is Now is the sound of band not only feeling comfortable in their own skin, but taking themselves to new heights. Idle Shades have successfully delivered an album that not only engages the listener, but demands repeated listens as well. It also feels like a natural progression for a band on a trajectory. Standout tracks include “Dream,” “Worst in You,” “Problems” and “Losing Hope.”
Physical copies of The Time is Now will be available Friday, March 3, as the band will be taking the stage at Cedars West End in Youngstown, OH for it’s official release party. An early digital release can be purchased and streamed via Idle Shades’ official Bandcamp.
By Frank Meyers (Opinion Nation)
I just got a chance to sit down and take a listen to Idle Shades recent album release Picture Perfect. and I first want to say way to go guys. The Idle Shades are one of the few bands still around that I remember from when I first started going downtown to local shows. I have plenty of memories watching them open shows for Johnie 3, who as we all know is no more. I can honestly say that over the years they have done a great job at fine tuning their material and working their way into their own little thing. Their live shows are high energy and non stop rock, so I was anxious to see how that transferred over to CD.
From the opening chord on the first track, “Leaving Me Behind,” to the final chord of the 11th track, “Tomorrow,” Idle Shades put together a very tight and great sounding record of straight up rock and roll. The music is upbeat and energy driven, the vocals are very fitting for what they are doing, and the lyrics are well written and for the most part give the feeling of real thought and a sense of sincerity to some extent. There are moments in a few songs where I can catch a slight reminder of old school Bad Religion vibes in there, which I really enjoyed. All around this album was worth the wait.
I am glad to see that another great band from Youngstown has put out some take no prisoners rock and roll and didn’t conform to anyone else’s standards but their own!! The music scene in Youngstown is looking up people, and the Idle Shades have been working their asses off for years now and are a big part of what is going right in it, and Picture Perfect is definitely an album that is right there at the top and will be in my playlist for years to come. So, I just want to say thanks to the band for their hard work they put into what they do for our listening pleasures!!