It's no surprise that I like Blue Sky Mile, right? I mean, I've verbally tongue-kissed that band numerous times in the past, and a couple months ago, when I was graciously handed an advance copy of their new record, Sands Once Seas, I started geeking out about it right away even though it was still months before the record had an actual release date. So, yeah, I guess you could call me a fan.

But now I can geek out about Sands with some kind of relevance, because it's finally been released to the masses.

BSM's debut full-length, out on Initial Records, was recorded at the Hall of Justice (the very same recording studio owned by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla) and recorded by Joel Brown (who has also worked with In Praise of Folly and the Fall of Troy).

I love Blue Sky Mile because they really pour it on thick, refusing to withhold any amount of emotion or energy. Turbulent waves of drums and bass collide with a frenzy of quick-moving and intricate guitar sounds, and though it feels a little too polished at times, I think it's a great debut (despite what Alternative Press might have said--the magazine has frickin' Simple "sorry I can't be perfect" Plan on the cover, dudes--we can't let it carry that much weight). After all, a band's first record is only the beginning, and if the songwriting on Sands Once Seas is any indication, Blue Sky Mile will continue to expand their sound and hone in on their stronger points (and then they'll take over the rock 'n' roll world).

And if you think BSM sound good on record, it's the live performance that will really convince you of their talent. Frontman Jerry Kansky works the crowd, allowing for many fist-in-the-air sing-a-long moments, while the band storms through song after song sweating (and sometimes bleeding) all over the stage. Sounds intense? Well it is.

To celebrate the arrival of Sands Once Seas, Blue Sky Mile are throwing another one of their infamous CD release parties (remember the ice-cream social fiasco?) at Ground Zero on Friday the 30th. They're joined by friends Kane Hodder, Surrounded by Lions, and Danger:Radio (it's $6 and starts at 7 pm).

And speaking of CD release shows, Roy are still celebrating the release of their new record, Big City Sin and Small Town Redemption, this time with a show at Hell's Kitchen (which is also on Friday, so looks like you're gonna have to choose). The show starts at 6 pm, costs seven bucks, and Minus the Bear and Eyes of Autumn are also on the bill. MEGAN SELING

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