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Album review: Riala - Be Here Be There

The first track of Riala’s recently released debut album, Be Here | Be There, is immediately reminiscent of the kind of emotional math rock that made bands like Circa Survive so beloved. The vocals, passionate and echoing, mirror the strengths of the instrumentals and resonances that make this band so unique. Feeding my nostalgia for the sound, I dove in headfirst and listened as the track “Aether” gave way to “We Need More Land,” which led to my personal favorite track, “Poseidon.” This lengthy 7-minute song builds to an anthemic explosion of instrumentals around the 5-minute mark that will unavoidably cause some head-banging.
The rest of the 7-track album carries on with the band’s enjoyable mixture of atmospheric rock instrumentals (similar to Explosions in the Sky at some points) and the kind of shoegaze sounds that are impossible to sit still to. The eerily distorted track “Sun Blinks Out” melts into the final track “Captain (Dredge),” which is arguably the loudest in terms of intensity. It proves to be a perfect closer for this expressive album.
Riala consists of Nick Turner (guitar/vocals), Kalo Hoyle (bass guitar), and Morgan Greenwood (drums). The group met at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and has joined their similar talents and interests to create this electric debut album. Be Here | Be There was recorded at Element Recording Studios where the album was engineered, mixed and mastered by Kansas City’s Joel Nanos, who has proven to be quite successful in various aspects of the music industry. Riala’s album as a whole is no exception to Nanos’ abilities. The album is incredibly moving and dark in all of the best ways. If given the opportunity to catch them live, do not miss out!
--Lindsey Alexander

Lindsey is a writer who loves live shows, Reddit, and really good tacos. 

Sonic Posse provides a resource for student musicians

There was Bassoon Club and the Society for Trombonists.
But what about rock and roll?
UMKC transfer student Hannah Copeland asked herself this question while combing the university’s Student Involvement website. She was looking for a group that supports the kind of music you wait in long lines for, cram yourself into basements for, and go out every week searching for like it’s your job. With no such organization—but undoubtedly a niche for one—Copeland and her friend Kevin Coon founded Sonic Posse: a UMKC student music collective.
Sonic Posse exists as a resource to unite the talents and passions of local musicians and fans at UMKC, as well as the KC community. The club plans monthly concerts and puts together compilation albums every semester. Sonic Posse continues to gain momentum by holding weekly meetings to plan concerts and discover up-and-coming talent.
At Sonic Posse’s very first concert on Friday, December 6, an attentive crowd huddled together at FOKL Center—partly because the DIY venue was literally freezing cold, but mostly because of the music.
UMKC music therapy student Tarissa Keating kicked off the show with eclectic renditions of acoustic pop songs. After her set, Keating beamed at the warm applause she received from playing her first ever “real show.” Singer/songwriters Max Griffith and Tornado Head (Joshua King) carried on the show with their own original music. Though the first three acts were acoustic soloists, each show was a refreshing reminder of just how diverse sounds can be depending on who holds the axe.
Making certain every minute was filled with quality music, K-ROO student radio DJs Laura Hopp and Brian Will spun vinyl between acts, the familiar vinyl crackle warmed the air. Closing the evening was post-rock band Riala. The members’ Conservatory background shined through with their talented use of instrumentation along with a spirited stage presence.

Sonic Posse meets every Monday to discuss its next monthly event. To gather more campus exposure, some concerts will be held at UMKC; others in various Kansas City venues. Copeland has made plans with City Ice Arts for an outdoor music festival in May 2014. For this event, Sonic Posse aims to create a lineup of popular KC bands and talented UMKC student bands. If you have any questions or suggestions about Sonic Posse, send them an email at sonicposse@gmail.com or catch them on their Facebook page 

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