AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: girl in red/if i could make it go quiet

Like any country, Norway has always had many vital and exciting music scenes throughout the decades. While a majority of the artists have not achieved worldwide success, there have been quite a few that have managed to gain different levels of success outside of their homeland. The most commercially successful Norwegian band thus far is A-Ha, but other artists have earned much-deserved commercial and/or critical success including TNT, Bel Canto, Royksopp, Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, and Kings of Convenience. More recently, Norway is well-known for its plethora of Metal bands including Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Burzum, Mayhem, Mortiis, and many others. However, every generation features a new crop of musical voices that resonate with music lovers outside of the Norwegian borders. Most recently, singer/songwriter Marie Ulven has captured the attention of critics and music fans with her musical project girl in red.

Born in Horten, Norway, Marie Ulven first rose to prominence with her girl in red EPs CHAPTER 1 (2018) AND CHAPTER 2 (2019). Her homemade ‘bedroom Pop’ songs focus on queer romance and mental health and have earned her a lot of attention from music critics and lovers as well as from the LGBTQ community. Her social media accounts have a total of 5.4 million subscribers, and she has been named ‘One to Watch’ by The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, and The Sun. The honesty in her music has struck a nerve and, like magic, the music that she created in her bedroom has reached listeners around the world, giving them hope and comfort. Ever since her debut single, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend”, was posted on Soundcloud in 2016, she has grown from strength to strength, maturing as a singer, songwriter, and artist and as a voice for those who still can’t find the words to express themselves. And now, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, she is releasing the first full length girl in red album, which is bound to be her commercial breakthrough.

if i could make it go quiet is an album that addresses many issues, some of them hidden in the shadows and others that bask in the sunlight. And with titles like “Did You Come?”, “hornlylovesickmess”, and “You Stupid Bitch”, it may not be the album you think you needed, but it is an honest and riveting listen. Filled with subject matter that might make some feel uncomfortable, the hooks will draw you in and you won’t be able to deny the album’s charm. Sometimes haunting (“midnight love” and the closing instrumental “it would feel like this”), the album also includes some edgier Pop and Rock fare including “I’ll Call You Mine”, “Rue”, and the aforementioned “You Stupid Bitch”. Opening track “Seratonin” is a perfect gateway track, moving between several different moods with ease. if i could make it go quiet is an album that demands to be heard and certainly lives up to the hype. It is time for girl in red to go global.

girl in red

if i could make it go quiet

available now


While other ground-breaking bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth may have temporarily stolen the spotlight from them, Dinosaur Jr. have become one of the most important American Alternative Rock bands of all time. Originally formed in 1984, Dinosaur Jr. was comprised of J Mascis (guitar/vocals), Lou Barlow (bass/vocals), and Murph (drums). Initially known as Dinosaur, the trio released their self-titled debut album in 1985. Due to legal reasons – there was already a band called Dinosaur – the band changed their name to Dinosaur Jr. by the release of their second album YOU’RE LIVING ALL OVER ME, in 1987. The band were embraced by the critics and began to build a substantial fan base by the time of the release of 1988’s BUG. However, due to tensions in the band, bassist Barlow left just before they signed their major label deal with Sire Records. However, this was not the end of the classic Dinosaur Jr. line-up…

J Mascis and Murph continued under the Dinosaur Jr. name, releasing two more albums – GREEN MIND (1991) and WHERE YOU BEEN (1993) – before Murph exited the band, leaving Mascis as the sole original member. Mascis led Dinosaur Jr. for two more albums before laying the band name to rest after 1997’s HAND IT OVER. In the meantime, original bassist Lou Barlow refocused his attention on his side project Sebadoh and released a series of well-received albums. He also issued several solo albums and releases under various other names as well (Sentridoh, Lou Barlow and Friends, etc.). By the early 2000s, J Mascis began to attend Sebadoh shows and, in 2005, the original trio officially reunited. Two years later, they released BEYOND (2007), the first Dinosaur Jr. album in 10 years and the first to feature the original trio in two decades. The trio has continued to release albums since their reformation including FARM (2009), I BET ON SKY (2012), and GIVE A GLIMPS OF WHAT YER NOT (2016).

Five years after their last studio outing, J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph return with 2021’s SWEEP IT INTO SPACE, an album that embraces and expands upon the band’s beloved musical legacy. Stradling the line between perfection and cacophony, Dinosaur Jr. is still filled with the shambolic charm and excitement that fueled their early albums and their more recent releases. While it is their 13th studio album overall, the band refers to it as the ‘fifth studio album since their rebirth’. Whichever way you want to look at it, this is classic Dinosaur Jr. served up with a side of modern kick-ass! J Mascis still sings with a wounded drawl, sounding both confident and confused but always in charge of his senses. Barlow provides two of the poppiest tracks on the album – “Garden” and “You Wonder” – but J Mascis is no slouch in the hooks department, providing many highlights including “I Ain’t”, “Hide Another Round”, “I Expect It Always”, and “To Be Waiting”. It’s always good to know that when the younger generation is more focused on creating TikTok videos, the old guard knows what we really want – real Rock ‘n’ Roll. Welcome back, Dinosaur Jr.



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Founded in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2004, Escape the Fate is a Metalcore band that has survived an ever-changing musical landscape and remain top of their game nearly 20 years since their formation. Initially featuring Ronnie Radke (vocals), Bryan Monte Money (guitar), Max Green (bass), and Robert Ortiz (drums), the band eventually added Carson Allen (keyboards) and Omar Espinoza (guitarist). The band began touring and recorded a demo, eventually landing a contract with Epitaph Records. By the time they released their debut album, DYING IS YOUR LATEST FASHION (2006), Allen and Espinoza had left the band and Radke followed suite after the album was released. While the band had achieved some success with their debut album, losing their front man cast a dark shadow over their future. But things were about to change. Enter former Blessthefall vocalist Craig Mabbitt and Escape the Fate’s future began to look brighter.

The band released THIS WAR IS OURS in 2008 and it reached #35 on Billboard’s 200 Albums chart. In 2010, their self-titled third album hit #1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart, #25 on the Billboard 20, and #4 on the Rock Albums chart. By the time their next album, UNGRATEFUL, was released in 2013, Max Green was out of the band and TJ Bell stepped in on bass. The band then added a second guitarist, Michael Money (brother of Monte). Two years later, the album HATE ME featured another line-up change: the Money brothers were gone, replaced by guitarist Kevin ‘Thrasher’ Gruff. TJ Bell moved over to rhythm guitar and he and Gruff handled bass duties in the studio. Escape the Fate then released their next album, I AM HUMAN, in 2018. With the release of the album, the band had maneuvered their way through the ever-changing Hard Rock landscape, always with their eyes on the future.

Escape the Fate’s 2021 album, CHEMICAL WARFARE, finds the band sounding fresh, energetic and unafraid to move backwards, forwards, and sideways at the same time. Behind the crunching guitar chords, you’re going to find electronic rhythms, some keyboards, and plenty of soaring melodies. More like an album of emotional anthems, CHEMICAL WARFARE is not a Pop album, but the melodic sing-along hooks are there. And guest performers are there, too – Lindsey Sterling appears on “Invincible” and Travis Barker is featured on “Not My Problem”. Most of the tracks on CHEMICAL WARFARE are fist-pumping, head-banging rockers, but Escape the Fate toss in a few curve balls including the danceable beats on “Unbreakable”, the haunting musical passages that appear from time to time (especially on “Erase You”) and subtle Hip-Hop influences spread throughout the album. The album’s title and cover reflect the paranoia that we experience today, but the music on the album offers an ‘escape’ (… ahem…) from grim realities we face when the music stops playing…





Award-winning Blues guitarist Chris Cain grew up on the Blues. His father used to entertain Chris by telling him tales about growing up on Memphis’ historic Beale Street and constantly played the Blues in the Cain household. Attending his first B.B. King concert at the age of 3, Chris’ future was cemented in stone cold blues. Teaching himself to pay the guitar at the age of 8, he continually honed his craft and was already a professional musician by the time he turned 18. While he earned street cred by playing live, he studied music at San Jose City College, delving into Jazz music and eventually learning to play saxophone, clarinet, piano, and bass guitar. Cain combined his Blues roots and Jazz training and created his own unique sound.

With his distinct guitar style, Chris Cain soon rose to the top ranks of the Blues scene. He released his debut album, LATE NIGHT CITY BLUES, in 1987 on Rock It Records. The album won him four Blues Music Awards and caught the attention of Blues label Bling Pic records. His next three albums – CUTTIN’ LOOSE (1990), CAN’T BUY A BREAK (1992), and SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY (1995) – were released on the label before re-signing to the Rock It Records label. He continued to release a series of acclaimed albums including UNSCHEDULED FLIGHT (1997), LIVE AT THE REP (1998), CHRISTMAS CAIN (1999), CAIN DOES KING (2001), HALL OF SHAME (2003), SO MANY MILES (2010), KING OF THE BLUES (2015), and CHRIS CAIN (2017). Cain then signed to legendary Blues label Alligator Records and began putting together his next album…

Four years since the release of his last studio full-length, Chris Cain releases RAISIN’ CAIN, his most highly-anticipated album yet. The twelve songs on the album are Cain originals that showcase his skills as a songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and guitarist. The songs on RAISIN’ CAIN run the gamut from deep and sweaty bar Blues to joyful, horn-laced blasts of bluesy emotion. Tracks like “Hush Money”, “I Don’t Know Exactly What’s Wrong With My Baby”, “Space Force”, “Can’t Find A Reason”, and “Found A Way To Make Me Say Goodbye” focus in his way of creating music that works its way from the inside out. This is not just a bunch of standard Blues riffs strung together without a thought – this is real Blues born from emotion and feeling. More than 30 years after his debut album, Chris Cain is more connected to the Blues than ever. RAISIN’ CAIN is proof of that.



Available NOW!


Even if they may escape the prying eyes and ears of the rest of the world, every major city in the U.S. has a vibrant music scene. And San Diego, California is no different. While some think of San Diego as Los Angeles and Orange County’s precocious little brother (or sister), the talented musicians that have created and built the SD scene over the decades beg to differ. The city – and surrounding areas – has given us Jason Mraz, P.O.D., Rocket from the Crypt, the Album Leaf, Trees, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Iron Butterfly, Pinback, Unwritten Law, the Penetrators, As I Lay Dying, Joey Harris & The Speedsters, and many others. From local popularity to national (and international) fame, San Diego has been the birthplace of so many great artists. Thankfully, the city still has an exciting musical scene that will continue to keep growing.

The San Diego-based Punk Rock and New Wave scenes of the late 1970s and early 1980s was a particularly fertile time for bands and musicians. However, the city also had a thriving Rockabilly/Roots Rock scene as well. One of the most popular bands from this scene was The Beat Farmers. Founded by drummer/vocalist Country Dick Montana (real name: Daniel McLain) and guitarist/vocalist Jerry Raney, the duo recruited guitarist/vocalist Buddy Blue (real name: Bernard Seigal) and bassist Rolle Love and The Beat Farmers was born. While each of the members had come from different local Punk, New Wave, and Rock bands, the sound that they created in The Beat Farmers was roots-influenced Rock ‘n’ Roll, a genre that would later be called Americana or Y’Alternative. The band quickly built a sizable following, recorded their live set as a ‘demo’ and landed a recording contract with Rhino Records. Their 1985 debut album TALES OF THE NEW WEST was an enormously successful album for the then-independent label and the band. With four songs being played on four different radio formats, The Beat Farmers’ debut set the stage for a successful career for this talented band. They signed to Curb Records for a series of albums, losing Buddy Blue along the way but gaining the equally talented Joey Harris in the process. The Beat Farmers came to an end in 1995 when Country Dick Montana died while playing a live show in Canada. The band’s memory lives on in Raney’s current band The Farmers (aka The Farmers SD).

The Beat Farmers’ influential debut album TALES OF THE NEW WEST has been out of print for years, but the Blixa Sounds label has rectified that situation by reissuing the album as a deluxe two CD edition. The original 12 track album is joined by the live album LIVE AT THE SPRING VALLEY INN, 1983, the very recording that helped the band land their deal with Rhino Records nearly four decades ago. The original album is filled with absolute classics like “Bigger Stones”, “Lost Weekend”, “California Kid”, “Goldmine”, and covers of the Velvet Underground’s “There She Goes Again” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Reason to Believe”. The album remains a timeless audio snapshot and most certainly paved the way for new generations of Americana rockers. The bonus live CD contains a live set by the band performing some songs that would end up on TALES… plus tracks that they would not record elsewhere. The lo-fi sound quality cannot hide the energy, sweat, and joy in the band’s performance and the bonus CD works as a perfect companion to TALES OF THE NEW WEST. If you missed this album the first time around, now’s the perfect time to meet the Beat Farmers!