Posts Tagged ‘Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire’
It feels like yesterday that I had the pleasure of meeting Shael Riley and Ty Guenley, the masterminds behind the 8-bit indie rock band Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire and their newly-released album Ultimate Songs from the Pit. They had been visiting NYC to get the album mastered a year ago, thus bringing Shael and Ty in proximity to me and each other. This came not long after the Backfire’s success in funding the mastering through a Kickstarter, which gained nearly twice as much monetary pledges as the initial goal. The cash certainly didn’t go to waste: even songs from the band’s previous EP Songs from the Pit feel refreshed and immediate due to Drew Lavyne’s mastering and Ty’s mixing.
Although the process of finalizing and mass-duplicating the CD was long, Shael and Ty were hardly at rest in their music making. As incentive for the Kickstarter, the band recorded cover versions of songs commissioned by those who made large pledges; one such cover, a remake of Shael’s Castlevania homage “Juese Belmont” was posted at OverClocked ReMix. The Double Ice Backfire also contributed to albums that covered “Weird Al” Yankovic and They Might Be Giants. My favorite song from Ultimate Songs from the Pit, “Hobby Model” almost seems like a cover itself, with its refrain resembling that of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”.
Genius loves company, and so the album has a fair number of guests. Fellow chip rocker Brian Mazzaferri of I Fight Dragons shares lead vocal duties on “Bootstraps” while Schaffer the Darklord drops lines into “Publishing Rights”. Additional rhyme-spitting comes courtesy of Mega Ran on “Area Dolls” and Billy the Fridge in “Rarest of Elements”. Ricky Henry, the ‘third-ice’ in the band’s live shows, was responsible for the album artwork. Ultimate Songs from the Pit is available now at Bandcamp for streaming and as a paid download, with the lead track “How to Fire a Gun” as a free single.
As you should all know by now, I have been a huge fan of Shael Riley since quite some time ago. Well ever since then he has started an amazing band known as the Double Ice Backfire who released an impressive album of nerdery and musicianship last year to high praises (like mine). Well they are all set to unveil their first full length album, once again in reference to a certain fighting franchise, Ultimate Songs From The Pit and they need our help to get there.
Now you must be wondering how exactly you can help. Well looks like Shael Riley and band have created a Kickstarter page to help raise the funds to get the album professionally mastered, pressed, and more. As with all kickstarter programs, DIB is offering some amazing incentives for donations, including the power to commission them to cover any song of your choosing (If I had the money I would probably request the likes of Tom Waits, or La Roux at this moment, so if you have the cash, just a suggestion).
The group has already released some amazing covers thanks to this program, so be sure to check out their renditions of Radiohead’s Creep, as well as The Wallflowers’ One Headlight over at the newly revamped shaelriley.com.
Breaking news! Well it would have been if I had gotten this post up earlier, but cut me some slack, it’s Christmas! Anyway, an all star cast of Nerdcore’s finest is out and in the holiday spirit they have released the brand new holiday EP Come Down the Chimney! The cast of this Christmas special includes Billy the Fridge, I Fight Dragons, Schaffer the Darklord, Uncle Monsterface, and Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire.
Be sure to download the free EP before the day is through. Also help out by joining in on the twitter campaign for this album and tweet a link to the download page.
Track listing after the break
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Listening to Shael Riley isn’t like listening to most nerdcore (there is no rapping, for one). The songs, perspectives, and themes he speaks on can apply to a good cross section of nerdcore, yet are not topics often tackled by other artists. Then there is the way in which Shael approaches these topics, from what seems like a very first hand experience on the subjects of love, laziness, and self loathing. Of course mixed in what seems like some heavy handed topics Shael adds a signature dose of nerdy references and a kind of passive aggressive ridiculousness to his songwriting. His first person style of lyric writing can place him into many situations and as many characters. In this album he goes from your enemy, to your conscience, to your favorite game character, seemingly with great ease.
Songs From the Pit is an album that has to be heard to be believed. The layers in the album are something that is hard to sum up in a review (especially with my sometimes limited collection of words). Also I was quickly beaten to the punch when Z of Hipster, Please! posted a great review, so I have to tread lightly, lest I plagiarize one of my heroes to discuss another. Anyway, enough of my excuses, I have to write a great review, and a great review shall be written! Let’s get right into it.
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That’s an unusually shaped album cover…wait! It’s because Shael Riley has released his latest effort on a cassette tape! Shael Riley and The Double Ice Backfire (comprised of Shael Riley, Ricky Henry, Ty Guenly with appearances by Shaffer the Darklord and Jon Titterington) have released Songs from the Pit, and for now it is exclusively available via cassette tape (available via bitpopshop). The album is a rock oriented album covering everything from being a small time musician to an outcast nerd to a Chinese ninja warrior. With catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics and a heavy dose of rocking live instruments this album takes a strong step back into something more reminiscent of 90s rock. A small loss of $4 will get you 1 of 100 numbered limited edition cassette tapes. I have gotten an advance copy of the album and will say that it is definitely worth the price of admission. Just get your old boombox or walkman out and crank that dial, the volume dial, and enjoy!
I will be having a full review of the album soon for those on the fence about purchasing this highly catchy and enjoyable album, so keep an eye out for that as well! Also word on the interstreets has it that some of the songs available on the cassette tape will not be available once the album is available for download or pressed to CD. so keep that one in mind when considering your purchase!