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Point of Reference, The Orange Constant’s sophomore studio album, manages to surpass their very clean and professional release from August: Live at Sit-N-Spin Studios. This is an experimental thread that takes you off the beaten path through one person’s experience of the album, we hope you enjoy. Oh and stream the album while you read by scrolling to the bottom and playing the Bandcamp plugin.
“Float” – The softly spoken intro built on Andrew’s melodic guitar entrenched upon syncopated drum & bass over the high end organ hum. The sound swells into the crest of a high and beautiful wave till it hits that place where water finally breaks and rolls back. Broken by Lee’s technically pleasing drum paradiddle queued on top of hi-hat breaks as Andrew sings softly painting a lyrical painting with gentle strokes accompanied by classy piano.
Nick’s driving guitar and Chris’s key breakdowns are reminiscent to an old PGroove styling, back when they were still a Statesboro/Savannah area jam band. Like “walking in place” or “sun dog” the band jumps into another inversion that lands them in a positive pocket of good vibrations; including eloquently phased lyrics cherried atop, completing the sweet sundae-like song that even includes perfectly placed electric hi-hats sprinkled in. For those of you not streaming the album from the bottom of the review while reading, hopefully you can imagine this all around perfect intro track.
“Something we can use” incorporates well used horns and percussion that diverts from the typical funk or jazz sound that normally goes hand in hand with brass. Instead they bring it back to an early 90s era, post grunge-back to basics rock structure that will remind some of the relaxed rockers with, Cake.
“Sir Martin’ is by far my favorite Track on record due to shear ingenuity, truthfully original structure, and intimate passion that can be felt emanating from the band whilst making a legitimate connection to the listener.
The title track “Point of Reference” leads with Tyler’s multi-step bassline that does a little more than walking. Singing about 441 which is near and dear to many of our hearts, brings back nostalgic memories that float about through the brain like the ebb & flow of this tune. Whether you are Jack Kerouac, a touring a band, or hell just been on a road trip through GA then you will be able to relate to this intentful track.
As your body acclimates to the dreamy blanket that whooshes through your ears, be weary; there is a sharp turn ahead. The car derails, only for a moment, and drops you into a Mad Hatter trip down into a deep dark K hole only to lead back into a place of content because “the stars will guide you”.
“Ego Chatter” comes in hot, hitting a funky intro with building horns and would be an absolute treat to see live. The verse kicks in with a backing reggae vibe and is given the signature TOC treatment with washes of dark paint pallets providing more character than your typical ska, irey, or dub song.
“Red Ryder” struts in packing a GA Southern twang that is served with a healthy helping of psychedelic breakfast with Syd. The down tuned mood gets entwisted in a somber dead confederate sigh; with their last breath they squeeze out a scream for a single sip of drink. The final drop of water drips onto the desert dwelling of Morrison, as the keys are surpassed only by the vocal echoes throughout the cave for one last rebel yell before the light sinks beneath the earth. Rest in peace Red Ryder.
The Orange Constant formed in August 2012 and quickly made a name for themselves in Statesboro, GA. Now, The Orange Constant resides in Athens, GA and performs in venues all over the Southeast and continues to grow their fan-base with their contemporary yet vintage rock sound. TOC recorded their debut album, Time to Go with Grammy nominated producer John Keane (REM, Widespread Panic) which was released June 19th, 2015. Time to Go garnered praise from many publications, including Relix Magazine, who included TOC in their “On the Verge” column in the October-November 2015 issue. In addition, they have played on bills that include Perpetual Groove, TAUK, The Mantras, and Atlas Road Crew. TOC won the 2016 Flagpole Athens Music Award for best “Jam/ Funk”. Their second LP Point of Reference, out in March 2017, demonstrates their urge to break genre restrictions and find a sound to call their own.
The album was recorded at Chase Park Transduction in Athens during October – December 2016 with Drew Vandenberg (discography includes of Montreal, Mothers, Kishi Bashi), and was mastered by Joe Lambert (catalog includes Animal Collective, Local Natives, The Black Crowes).
Containing songs written over a span of four years, Point of Reference displays a striking maturity in TOC’s songwriting. Compared to their debut album Time to Go, this release embraces more risk taking in the studio, fueled by Vandenberg’s experimental leanings. Although TOC has been labeled a jam band in the past, this release demonstrates that they are more likely to be inspired by 70’s AOR and contemporaries like My Morning Jacket than Phish.
Be Funky. Be Present. Be You.
#keepMILLYfunkyRead more "TOC’s Point of Reference // Gonzo Review"
ABV and Greg Mike‘s crew has cemented themselves into the leaders of Atlanta’s contemporary art scene since the birth of Drink & Doodle back in 2011. Their methods and mediums may not be as clear cut as MODA, but the shear attention to detail and connection to the community sets them apart. From the first time you step foot inside the doors, you can pick up on this creative vibration that is permutating off the artists amid their process through the air and reverberating off the walls. Taking in all of the color and style into your visual spectrum is quite exhilarating whether it is your 1st or 40th visit because the lineup and art collections are constantly changing and reinventing themselves.
12 artists create new work from 7-10 that goes up for silent auction throughout the night. Free and Open to the Public!
Colin Sims (@colinsims)
Diego Penuela (@diegoillustration)
Janice Rago (@janiceragoart)
Michael Mauldin (@mauldin_art)
Ted Murphy “Spooky Toons” (@spookytoons)
Travis Smith (@13_robots)
Running into Wolf at Terminal West is how I originally heard about the art happenings going on at ABV. I had always seen and heard about Greg Mike’s works going on throughout the city, but Wolf notified me about all the other artists going through ABV from local to world renowned international.
To give you a little background, Wolfdog was born and raised by a pack of wild wolves in the deep forests of Madison, Wisconsin. After a 4 year trek south, Wolfdog ended up settling in the Old Fourth Ward district of Atlanta, GA. With a expertise in all art forms visual, Wolfdog spends his time creating new works that push the boundaries of all things creative. From Graphic Design to Fine Art, Wolfdog has worked with over 200+ brands on various projects. When he’s not in the cave, Wolfdog lends his creative claws to ABV’s design studio or heads out to collect new tattoos.
Another one of my favorite rising artists is Big Teeff who drew the new Wall Rat Crew shirt you can see below. I grabbed one and you can too if you visit the gallery in Studioplex off of Auburn Ave in person. If you would like to discover more work by Big Teeff check out his IG.
“A BETTER VIEW” Winter group exhibition at my gallery, ABV. 60 artists from around the world will be showing new work in ATLANTA, many who have never shown in this market. The Winter Collection .
Born and raised in Connecticut, childhood trips to NYC in the mid-’80s exposed Greg Mike to the creative potential of reinventing public spaces through art and design. Always obsessed with the boundless energy and crisp line work of iconic American mid-century cartoons, by his early teens Greg began using the walls of his native state to fuse these two passions together. Mixing the take-no-prisoners bombast of classic NYC street art with the eagle-eyed precision of mass market illustration and animation has been his goal from the beginning. Further inspired by his deep involvement with skate culture and his intersections with the fashion world, he has become known for pieces that incorporate vivid explosions of incandescent color filtered through a Surrealist Pop Art perspective. Populated by gleefully twisted characters, his world is unsettling, mischievous and uniquely captivating.
Currently based in Atlanta, GA, Greg Mike is the founder and creative director of ABV AGENCY / GALLERY, a multi-platform studio specializing in branding, apparel design and visual production. A hub for Atlanta innovators, ABV also functions as a gallery exhibiting artists from around the world, highlighting emerging talents alongside globally recognized names.
Here is a link to Greg Mike’s latest print:
Whether its street art around town or desinging badass music venues like Terminal West, ABV is your one stop shop. No job is too big or small – they have made logos for bands like Modern Measure and created installations for Global Brands including Heineken. Their ability to continually create fresh, powerful creative ventures while incorporating local artists is the backbone to their success. Click here for ABV’s website, check out this video recap, and go visit ABV at their next event!
Stay Funky my Friends,
#keepATLfunkyRead more "ABV’s Drink & Doodle Vol. 40"
Kilroy Kobra is an up and coming 10 piece alt/indie/world jam rock band based out of Atlanta, GA. With so many members, it’s no wonder that there would be such an amalgamation of genres and sounds. They’ve recently released their first LP entitled, Man of the World, and might I say it has quite a […]Read more "Atlanta’s Kilroy Kobra Talks Life, Facts, and Man of the World"
It is always a treat to catch a set of Voodoo Visionary around town, but last Friday at Aisle 5 was an especially mesmerizing night. Not only was it their Sophomore Album Release Party of Off The Ground, but there was also a silent auction benefiting a friend in need whose house was burnt down […]Read more "Voodoo Visionary Album Release Party @ Aisle5"
It’s always an amazing experience to be able to connect with the variety of people that make up Atlanta’s creative identity. As a grassroots effort, THE LAB brand was founded by artist, fashion designer, certified Yoga teacher and Georgia native, Lindsey A. Barnett. Representing a message of strength, truth and freedom and rallying for love, […]Read more "Live @ THE LAB With Lindsey Barnett"
It’s gonna be too late for Thanksgiving and it’s too early for Christmas. So get together with some friends and make them your new family at the greatest non-holiday holiday known to humans…. A Festivus For The Restivus! Ego Aside’s Cover of Nirvana: Honey Hips Jamboree: Live performances from: THE SAGAS https://www.facebook.com/thesagasmusic/ HONEY HIPS https://www.facebook.com/honeyhipsmusic/ […]Read more "Fetivus for the Restivus // The Landfill EAV"