Pink Palms

Written by Hallie Nowak. Posted in Music, Reviews

pink palms

Releasing their debut album Pink Palms within a period in which music can be, at times, deficient in standout creativity, The Bots seem to have a bit of an idea of what they are doing. The Los Angeles duo The Bots is composed of brothers Mikaiah Lei (lead vocals, guitar, bass) and Anaiah Lei (drums, percussion). Having self-released three albums prior to Pink Palms, the spunky L.A. boys have been creating music since they were 15 and 12 years old. While still on the brink of adolescence at 21 and 17 years old, the Lei boys have a mature grasp on what does and does not make good music; decidedly, The Bots focus on what does create an enjoyable listening experience, as Pink Palms is a surprisingly strong debut endeavor for the Los Angeles teens.

According to The Bots’ website, the Lei boys are strongly influenced by Arcade Fire, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and Bad Brains, “to name a few”; this is highly significant, as it marks an era in which up and coming bands are being influenced by the still touring and album producing alternative music staples that are still fresh themselves. The Bots not only borrow guitar riffs, vocals, and lyrical styles from these artists, but also slyly sneak in audial references to other prevalent modern day alternative artists such as The Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Beach House, and even the likes of Sonic Youth and Jimi Hendrix.

Big names, right?

Right. But, mind you, The Bots borrow resourcefully like the emergent artists they are. Sneaking in some bluesy vocals here, turning up the punky, fuzzed distortion of guitar riffs there, and even sprinkling tidbits of Bloom-esque electronic beats from track to track, The Bots create a cohesive soundscape mindful of their favorite genres of music. The standout track from Pink Palms is “All I Really Want”, with the near-frantic spoken words resonant of Daydream Nation, alongside the jarring guitar complimenting Mikaiah’s gutsy vocals.  “Blinded” reminds one of a more juvenile version of “R U Mine?” off of The Arctic Monkeys’ publically acclaimed 2013 album A.M.; once again, not a bad artist to be compared to—especially as a first effort.

When a person normally thinks of a palm tree, he pictures a tall, leafy tree gently waving somewhere near a beach where the sun has begun to set, which casts rays of pastel orange and pink across the horizon and into the ocean’s lapping waves. But when listening to Pink Palms, I picture a small, dingy music club surrounded by cigarette smoking adolescents, a neon pink palm sputtering and buzzing vibrantly above their heads as the club’s emblem. The Bots are an upcoming band of importance for the rising generation of angst-ridden teens growing tired of putting their Clash albums on repeat. While still a minor indie voice in the world of music, The Bots are a glimpse into the near future of what music will become. The Bots have very large shoes to fill for their upcoming years, especially with the title “most likely to succeed”, acknowledged by Rolling Stone Magazine; I, too, am looking forward to what The Bots will bring to the table.


Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes

Written by Hallie Nowak. Posted in Music, Reviews

thom-yorke-tomorrows-modern-boxesThom Yorke is a busy man. Frontman of Radiohead, Atoms For Peace, and prominent solo artist, 46-year-old Yorke (his birthday is today! 10-7) has been involved with the music industry since the late 1980’s and has become a main contender in the now overwhelmingly digitalized world of music. From clumsy grunge imitation on Pablo Honey to the sleek and trembling AMOK, Thom Yorke seems to serve as a restless catalyst for creativity, meandering curiously from the sinister schizophrenic pulsations of Kid A to the lush, atmospheric cacophony of guitars of In Rainbows.

Not only has Yorke experimented with a plethora of sounds and spawned a generation of radio-friendly melancholy piano alt-rock imitations (Coldplay, Keane, Muse), he has continually challenged the sprawling tentacles of both industrious record labels and listeners alike. Although digital music is a convenient format for the general population of music-enthusiasts, piracy latches onto the opportunity of MP3 music, becoming parasitically harmful to musical artists of all genres. Thom Yorke has openly spoken out against this, most famously through the release of Radiohead’s album In Rainbows, which allowed customers to pay whatever price they desired for the album; this proved successful, as it was deemed Radiohead’s most profiting album to date. As a new Radiohead album is set to be released sometime in the near future, Thom Yorke decided once again to experiment with his own material, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by maintaining its monetary value on a site called “Bit Torrent”—the only place the album can be purchased since the release date of September 26th.

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is a recording of eight tracks, straddling the border between EP and full length album, much like its predecessor three years earlier King of Limbs. It costs six dollars, and can only be purchased—as mentioned before—on “Bit Torrent”. Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes opens up with the magnetic “A Brain in a Bottle”, with echoing, looping, layered vocals reminiscent to that of “Feral”. The heavily synth-keyboard operated “Interference” is characteristically melancholy, with haunting vocals done by Yorke himself. Yorke quietly laments “Oh my God, oh my God” on the unusually personal “Truth Ray” which leads into the tribal beats of “There is No Ice (For My Drink)”. And as the album continues, the listener comes to realize that they got exactly what they came here for—no alarms, and no surprises. Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes contain glistening instances of falsetto from Yorke with the level buzzing and whirring of his experimentation with equipment in preparation for a new Radiohead album. While not a standout album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes serves as a satisfactory appetizer and perhaps even a precursor of what is to come from the illustrious quintet, Radiohead. But most likely, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is a false lead and is, in fact, nothing like the upcoming album from Radiohead— predictably unpredictable, once again; which is why Thom Yorke is considered one of the most innovative musical minds of the 21st century, and one of my favorite artists.

To order the MP3 bundle or vinyl package of Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, visit

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