Thursday, October 22, 2009

currently at the atticus tour with a previously bad reviewed band "lets get it"...i now understand why his vocals were behind ears bleed

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lets Get It - Digital Spaces

Now, if you've already read my blog before, and you know this band, you know how this review is going to turn out. Honestly I can't even form enough words to make this blog long enough. In fact, I even feel like I am wasting my time here.

This band sent me a friend request on Myspace saying how they're on the Atticus tour this year and they saw that I liked Vanna and wanted me to give them a listen.

I was like cool, most of the bands on the tour this year are pretty awesome in the first place so I'll give them a listen.

They have their music player set so that you have to click the play button before it starts playing the music. Their banner had their pictures and there is an African American guy in the band, I was like cool, I love when bands can break the whole race barrier.

Well all I really have to say is what the fuck. I hate these kinds of bands.

Mostly synth, and I can't even tell what instruments are being played mixed in with it, if they are at all. The voice sounds dumb and is definitely behind some sort of synthesizer itself. Whats the point? Take away all your garbage bullshit synth and play your instruments. Maybe its because that band wouldn't be good without it? Has to be if I can barely hear the actual instruments.

I am not impressed by any of the songs, they're not catchy, the voice sounds retarded (it may be decent and normal sounding without distortion tactics).

All in all, don't even both checking out this band, but do if you like shitty talentless music. Well maybe there is talent there...but you can't tell, synth makes everything (and possible talent) sub-par sounding.

Album: 1 out of 10 zings

Message to band: Lose the synth, let the vocals be clear cut without fucking synthing and distorting, or break up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Her Death and After - Demos

It seems I get more and more legit band requests on my myspace every day. While I am glad that I am finding more bands worth the time to listen to and even review, I still get hit with the frequently horrible band that shouldn't be around, or at least shouldn't have posted a song on myspace until they could have had a better recording quality. Seriously, a quick note to all those bands starting out - I know you want to get your music out there and share it, but it shouldn't be a live session in your drummer's basement, which is recorded with a Rock Band mic hooked up to a laptop with Audacity set up to record.

All that shit aside, a band named Her Death and After added me on myspace. Although I usually don't like band names that pertain to death and such, and it usually turns me away from listening to them, I figured I would give it a shot. Holy shizz up the spout, I am glad I did not skip of these guys.

Killer vocals in each and every song, that are absolutely solid. The vocalist has great diction and is easily understood. Both clean and growls are smooth, and the two vocals mix well together, as opposed to some bands that have the two ranges of sings and screams clash, they seem to be complimenting each other and actually harmonizing.

And let me state, the breakdown at the end of "I Stand Corrected" near made me piss myself. Absolutely beautifully constructed and put together, nothing sounds off beat or poorly put together. In fact, none of these songs sound half assed. To me, it sounds like if they had a problem while writing one of these songs, or something didn't sound right to them, or not good enough for their standards, they may have gone back and re-wrote part of the song just to make it shred all the better, that or they are just that good.

Seriously, every song I have listened to by these guys is absolutely solid. From breakdowns to sing alongs, these guys cover a lot of ground. Quite honestly, I wish they already had a CD I could put into my car's player, or even a digital album to download onto the eyePod.

Who would I recommend these guys to? I would say fans of A Day to Remember, On the Last Day, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, Vanna, Catherine, Machinemade God, Silverstein, A Skylit Drive, Alesana...and so on.

Her Death and After demos - 10 out of 10 zings

Message to band: Honestly, I think you guys are on a whole nother level than I have been hearing lately. You guys can shred like no one else. This is why I gave you my first 10 out of 10. Very comparable to all of my favorite heavy bands, and have a lot of potential to grow as a band and make something of what your passion is, and I honestly hope you guys do. The only other band/album that would get 10 out of 10 is ADTR's "Homesick" (which I have yet to review), and Silverstein's "Discovering the Waterfront" (my favorite album of all time). Seriously, keep it up, and don't give up. You guys have amazing potential.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Memory of Mayhem - Demo

Again, it has been a while since I have updated, my apologies. All that bull aside, I think it is finally time for a new review! And since the last review of a demo album/unsigned band went so well, I figured I would try it again. Now remember, I'm not going to review an unsigned band just to slam them, so of course this will be a recommendation!

As I rarely check my myspace anymore, my inbox gets filled with tons of garbage bands that I usually don't even take the time of day to listen to because they fill their request message with smiley faces and "we will love you forever" type things. If you stoop to that low, as to begging, you must suck.

In any event, Memory of Mayhem sat at the top of my request list, and I figured I should give them a check, since the band name is obviously predicting carnage.

I was a little let down that I would only have one song to judge them on, usually not a good sign. Nevertheless, I hit the play button and was instantly captivated. The intro sounds like something from War of Ages, beautiful lead guitar riffs, killer double kicks, but not over done.

As I've stated, I am a big fan of breakdowns, and seeing as how the breakdown in the near beginning of the song is repeated many times throughout the song, amazing, and its not a shitty sounding one either.

Vocals are fierce, I can't put my finger on what it sounds like, its pretty much its own sound. The clean vocals are decent, nothing to swoon over, but it doesn't exactly sound like shit either, better than most. The best part: you can understand both screams and clean vox. And I do love the gang vocals nearer to the end.

Only complaint about the one song is it seems a little long/repetitive after a while. Either way, I am looking forward to hearing more from these guys.

Demo: 8 out of 10 zings.

Message to band: lets hear more from you guys! I'm sure you are working on it. I've played this song more than once.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Its Been a While but Its Time for a Rant

So, it has been a while since I last updated or posted a review, but I wanted to take this time to rant about something as opposed to reviewing something.

It seems more and more common these days that bands are experimenting with synth, all be it from just keys or just plugging their vocals into some sort of music composed on Garage Band while in there room on the MacBook.

I have no problem with progression, and bands experimenting with different aspects of music, but what is with this new fad of every genre having so much synth inputted into it?

We are starting to cross the line from indie/experimental and progressive/powerpop into just plain old techno. Seriously, there is no difference in between what "bands" like Brokencyde, Millionaires, and Breathe Carolina are doing.

I remember when synth was used to add awesome parts to songs, when keys sounded dark and provided mood and power to the song.

There is no point to listening to "indie" or "pop punk" bands that only produce their beats and shit using synth. What the difference between listening to them and say, Britney Spears? Ill tell you, they're 16 year old boys who girls think are "hot". A complete and utter waste of time. Maybe someday they'll step out of their limo and show you their junk with their mini-skirt wearing trans-gender-confused selves.

All I am hoping for, is that this fad will be like boy bands were in the 90s (in which they are practically the same thing).

While I am at it, what the fuck is up with bands synthing their voice as well and using distortion filters on them? Do they suck that bad that not even a normal equalizer will tone their voice to something that won't make your ears bleed? (not that their filter helps that any)

All I am going to leave this at is, people need to realize this isn't talent. You really have no idea how hard bands who don't use these cheesy ass techniques work at making their music sound so amazing, and how they have to work with each other to create great music.

These bands, who know who they are, need to quit while they are ahead. We're tired of your not-quite-good-enough techno and your far from perfect vocals.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Four Year Strong - Explains It All

When I heard that Four Year Strong's new album was not contain any new material, I was a little disappointed. They have an amazing talent to write catchy music. So again, when I heard that it was going to be a 90's cover album, my brain was a little divided. I mean, I grew up in the 90s, I was there for the birth of web-tv, the birth of cable internet, I was old enough to understand the Clinton scandle, I was just getting into music when Kurt Cobain passed, I was a child of the 90's, and I was excited to hear the musical memories of mine were going to be covered by one of my current favorite bands almost (and in some cases over) a decade later. At the same time, I was upset there wasn't any new tunes.

The first post of any song off their album was the cover of Absolutely (Story of a Girl) and I didn't think that it was well done at all. I mean, I could tell they wanted it to sound like older style covers. Back when punk covers were punk, not highly-tuned and very well mixed tracks. I thought the drumming was horrid, and the instrumentals were sloppy at best.

But a few weeks later they posted the cover of "Semi-Charmed Life", and I was enthralled. Back when I first heard of Third Eye Blind, and I first heard this song, I found out my sister had the album. I snuck into her room and grabbed the cd (which, by the way youngin's, back in the early 90's, cd's were actually about twice as thick, and still can play in the early version cd players,) popped the cd into my playstation, plugged headphones into my 13 inch tv, and played this track over and over. Needless to say, this was giving me a glimmer of hope for the rest of the album.

Then, I saw the track list. Give me a moment to say, friggin amazing choices! From the first track on the album ("So Much for the Afterglow", formerly by Everclear), to the last song ("She's So High"), I was jamming the entire time! And a little FYI, "So Much For The Afterglow" was also the first song on the Everclear album as well, which is cool. I always thought it was a perfect intro song. Continuing on, the cover of "Ironic" is simply mind blowing. I still can't get over the fact that they covered "Roll to Me", it was one of those monumental songs of the 90's, and I am glad that it was covered!

The bands covered are everything from Sugar Ray to Alanis Morrisette, to Smashing Pumpkins. All in all, Four Year Strong did a great job of encompassing a lot of great musical sides of the 90's and bringing it into one album that hopefully kids these days will be able to relate to.

After "Roll to Me" is "Fly", in which features Travis from Gym Class Heros, always a good choice with "rap" parts in songs. Let me just say this cover is very well done. Like I said, at no point during this album do I stop jamming and enjoying myself. The album ends with "She's So High", which I hate to say was one of my favorite songs of the 90's, the only song I wish was done that wasn't was "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

Album: 6 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: The reason the rating is so low is because you should have at least thrown a couple of originals on there as bonus tracks or something. I am also one of those people who think Nirvana should never be covered. There are also two covers that don't make me rock out as hard, and the album isn't a constant, meaning I'll probably skip a couple of tracks when I listen to it. Lets hear some originals dudes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gamma Pulse - Demos

I wanted to take some of my time and my writing and write about some bands that I find/that find me. Be it on myspace or opening at a show, I figured some of these guys deserve a review, especially the good ones! So here I present to you: Gamma Pulse.

Between the time I have been spending transferring my old skate videos of me and my friends onto DVD, and the time I have spent getting addicted to facebook games such as Pixel Ranger, I am still on the scout for good new music, as it seems hard for me to find new bands to get into.

I know a lot of you are probably like me, and get tired of the constant flood of bands trying to add you on myspace, just so that maybe someone else that visits your page will see their "thank you for adding me" comment. Let me just say, these guys sent me a request with a down to earth message attached to the request. For some reason, something pulled me to their page, so I gave them a listen.

All I can start off by saying is holy shit. Absolutely amazing. They only have three demos up on their page, but they all completely rocked me in a different way. Once again, as I said in a different review, this band actually seems to contain everything I like in heavier music. Honestly, I don't even know how to review them, I really am just that stricken for words.

Each song (as I cannot choose a favorite because each of them are as equally awesome as the next. "Stranded", "Blueprint for Escape" and "Heart I Hold" are each brutal songs. Very strong guitar parts, and when I say strong, I mean strong. Very interesting, and sometimes a bit technical of riffs. Infact in "Heart I Hold" there is an increasingly fast guitar riff that almost reminds me of the old Mighty Morphin Power Rangers riff, except 10 times more powerful and ready to melt your face off.

The drumming is sick. Full of double kicks and perfectly planned crashes and drums rolls. The drumming during the breakdowns are not over done, neither is the guitar and the vocals. Once again I don't find myself thinking "there should or shouldn't be singing during this part."

Now, I don't know how many other songs these guys have written, but to me, these demos sound like amazing, simply put together songs.

Oh, I didn't even touch the vocals. Do you like clean vocals that aren't high and whiney? Do you like amazing screams that you can understand and not wonder "what the hell is being sung, it sounds like 'wakka wakka wakka' "? Do you like growls and scowls that make your bones rattle? If you do, don't look any further, I can guarantee that you will be in awe.

All in all, for what I am assuming (since I don't know much about this band) is the band's freshman Demos, I am simply stunned by the ability these guys have to make an a song, and most likely an album, work so fluently.

Honestly, in my opinion, Gamma Pulse is for fans of bands such as Vanna, Bury Your Dead, As I Lay Dying, Still Remains, August Burns Red, UnderOATH, and so on. Yes, they really are comparable to this bands.

Demos - 9 out of 10 zings.

Message to band - Dude, just keep killin' it. I don't know how else to put it. There were only one or two instances that were very short that bothered me, but I am sure its due to the quality of the demo production. Nothing to be ashamed of, honestly, get an album out there, by far will raise to the top as one of my favorite bands.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

August Burns Red - Constellations

When I started going to shows, they pretty much entailed what ever genre of music my friend Chad wanted to go to. Back then he was into pop-punk as well as hardcore and metal, and yes, even some rap. Although we never did go to any rap shows, even though they were discussed. It was because of him I really started to go to more and more shows.

Aside from my first two shows being relatively bigger/more well known tours (Ska Is Dead and Warped Tour), the next tour that Chad thought I would enjoy going to him with was the tour in which Killswitch Engage and From Autumn to Ashes tour with 18 Visions and 36 Crazy Fists. This was actually the first time I had seen this type of show/heard this music live.

Back between its transitional phase, we went to see this show at the venue in Syracuse, NY called Club Tundra (both before and after it was called this, it is known as The Lost Horizon, one of the most legendary venues in the nation, also with a lot of history.) And needless to say, I loved the show, I love the atmosphere, I loved the energy. All considered, I was enthralled.

Over the years, I have been very picky over my hardcore/metal (whatever genre you want to call it, and what ever sub-genre you classify all these bands as. Either way, its fucking intense rock music that most don't dream of listening to.) I knew that I liked smooth breakdowns, open stringed usually, and more melodic than chaotic instrumentals.

When I first heard some songs by August Burns Red, I have to admit I was not a fan. I really did not like their music all too much. Yes, I would rather listen to them then say Lil Wayne or Kenny Chesney or Coldplay. However, as all of my friends started to like August Burns Red more and more, I decided I would give their new album a shot, and once again, I was surprised.

From beginning to end, this album contains almost all aspects of metal/hardcore that I do enjoy. They take some liberties in which I understand they try some new things. During the song "Ocean of Apathy" they actually slow it down for a minute and play what almost sounds like a jam band type riff.

A lot of their guitar playing sounds very technical, or if you will "math" like. It sounds very well constructed and like they did not want their new album to come out sounding another recently reviewed band seemed to have done. The vocals are very powerful and very well placed in time. At no point do I ever think "he shouldn't be singing, I want to hear this riff" or even like I have though before "why are there vocals over this breakdown, it would have been brutal."

Thats another point, the breakdowns in this album that do exist, aren't over-done, or lame sounding. They don't pump them up either, where the bass gets deep, time slows down, and you think "oh shit here it comes," only to be let down.

All in all, this album is absolutely solid. Check it.

Album: 8 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: Although this may be the first album I like from you, I completely respect experimentation and growth as a band. This album is solid, keep with following what you feel will make yourselves happy, and fuck the fans and public. After all, its your band, its about your music and your musical talent, not about what people want to hear.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage

Ever since I was a fan of metal/hardcore, there were a few bands I had always known about and had known of their music, or liked their music. Those bands included: Haste the Day, Everytime I Die, As I Lay Dying, Comeback Kid, and Killswitch Engage. Now, I cannot say that I have always been a huge fan of Killswitch (like I am of other bands, and have every song memorized), but I do know quite a few songs, and thoroughly enjoy them.

So when the new album was released, I immediately picked it up, and popped it into my car cd player. And off the bat, I can honestly say, I was impressed. The first two songs, I was in a mood to jam and hear some amazing lyrics and smooth instrumentals I had always associated with Killswitch Engage. However, as the cd progressed...a weird thing happened.

At this point let me say, this is going to be a short review, and you will soon find out why.

As the album progressed (meaning track 3 and so on), there didn't seem to be any defining sound, unique riffs, or insanely identifying lyrics. I started to actually get bored listening to this album. Actually, in the middle of the album, there are a couple of songs in which have instances (or mostly), drop the abrasive metal drumming and go into an older punk style of fast drumming.

Now, I am not adverse to punk music/drumming/etc at all. Infact, punk is how I got into the hardcore/metal/indie I am into now. I started off listening to Rancid, Transplants, Sex Pistols, NUFAN, Bodyjar, Operation Ivy, Dead Kennedys, Suicidal Tendencies, The Unseen...and so on.

When it came down to this album containing what I was looking forward to, I was let down. The vocals are still right on, and I enjoy the sound of them, but it just didn't seem to match up this time for me.

Album: 4 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: Just keep on thrashing and producing, this is the first album that I didn't like that much. Maybe its just my warped brain, or maybe the effort going in dropped, I'm not sure.

P.S. I fully intend on blogging more frequently, now that so much personal things I had to take care of are out of my way.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Earth Crisis - To The Death

In my few day hiatus away from blogging, I enjoyed my anniversary, gave my brain some time to thing and digest. Returning, I decided to take on something closer to me. Earth Crisis after years of being apart have gotten back together, and of course when I heard that, I was pumped. Being from Syracuse, and a strong believer in what the band believes in as well, this is something I just needed to do.

This more than likely is going to be a short review, I don't have a lot to say about the album. Well, that is a lie, I have a lot to say, but no words to form what I want to say.

From the start, the album promises powerful vocal overhaul, a bit more vicious compared to older Earth Crisis. It also promises strong instrumentals and a dynamic that you just could not find from anywhere else besides those tormented souls that have to reside in Syracuse, NY.

In Syracuse, the majority of us like a few things. We like our hardcore loud, we like our brotherhood, and those who are edge are very proud to be. Even if someone else is not edge, our brotherhood and sisterhoods bring us together for the love of hardcore and doing something that we believe, not only in this moment, but forever will be important, and a great way to send a message.

Earth Crisis once again hits on this album with all of that. Powerful vocals and brutal instrumentals continuously have you rocking and thrashing about. Some of the lyrics portray the straight edge and vegan life style, yet is not overwhelming and "do this or you fucking suck" type of song.

I love the intro to the song that says "The weapons of drugs and dealers kill more in months and weeks than Al-Quida victims, for the cartel's greed", this is simply a great lead into a great edge song. This song actually makes me feel proud to be who I am, and where I come from. Just a great song with a great message. Imagine one song saying everything you want to about the wrongs of society and drug use, etc. This song does that for me, and it should open up your eyes too.

All in all, this album delivers the whole way through, and you just need to listen to it to be able to appreciate it.

Album: 9 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: Keep it up, seriously. You are the only reason that makes it cool to be from Syracuse, fuck the orangemen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

All American Rejects: "When the World Comes Down"

For as long as I can remember, I have always been an AAR fan. In 2003, when I first heard their Self-Titled album, I was enthralled. The catchy tunes and the beautifully constructed lyrics and instrumentals, amazing. So lets start there, shall we?

The self-titled album held such classics as "Paper Heart" and "Swing Swing". This was the first dose of music from this band that America was subjected to. Needless to say that it was very well picked up by a mass public, as it hit the radio soon after. The songs may have been a bit "choppy" with lyrics and instruments, but their idea was there, and very well put together, and loved by many, including myself.

It seemed like for two years or so after that release, they toured but kept low and wrote another album as well. Until in 2005 when "Move Along" came out. This album was powerful and again had very well put ideas together. From the lyrics to the instrumentals, the album progressed and flowed together a bit better than their previous self-titled album. This album gave us such songs as "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret". Once again, AAR hit with catchy lyrics and a great tune for everyone to rock out to.

Now, when I heard that AAR was releasing an album around the same time FOB was releasing their new album, I was kind of worried that FOB's release would have sheltered AAR from getting their album in the light as much as it may deserve. I remember thinking that people would just listen to FOB's and not AAR.

When I first picked up "When the World Comes Down", I hadn't even listened to a single from the album yet, so I wasn't knowing what to expect. But the opening track "I Wanna" just sucked me in from the beginning. "Falling Apart" and "Damn Girl" deliver the same catchy tune and lyrical type that I was used to, be even showed more progression since their previous album "Move Along".

I can admit, I love "Gives You Hell", the first single from the album. It is very catchy, very great tune, and a song lyrically I think all of us can identify with at some point or another. The next two songs "Mona Lisa" and "Breakin" kind of tone the album down a little, but still keep it catchy, and give the album a little bit of a darker feeling, more emotion seems to flow through these songs.

"Another Heart Calls" is in my opinion one of the best ballads ever written, it is right up there with "If It Means A Lot To You" by A Day To Remember. The lyrics and emotion flow from both the male and female voice in this song, and give it a very connective feeling. I even found a video on youtube of two girls singing along in their bedroom to the song, absolutely loved it!

To sum up the rest of the album, it is a bit toned down from the first half. The songs are still good, but make me want to get up and boogey less. The album never really loses its touch on reality or on the emotions that the band portrays in each of its songs since the beginning.

Album: 8 out of 10 zings

Message to Band: I completely respect how you have gone about your "fame" or music business. I actually like how you seem to disappear for a few years and keep low, something that a lot of people seem to forget, and stay in the light for too long, and it makes them weird. Keep up the amazing tunes!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Burden of a Day: Oneonethousand

So, my wife being from Southwest Florida, I have always been into finding bands from the Tampa Bay/Sarasota area. One day my search brought me to a Christian metal/hardcore band called Burden of a Day. I loved their EP, and followed them closely. After only about 2 months of listening to them, I read that they were writing a new album, so again, I kept a close eye on this.

The first song off the album, "Remember", was released as a single on their myspace. I noticed right off the bat that there was more singing in this album, and the vocals were a lot more crisp and clear. Nothing to complain about, his voice is a very nice asset to the band's sound. The instrumentals still sounded strong in this single, as well as the screams.

When the album was first available, I immediately downloaded it. I have to start off by saying, they very smartly and artistically mixed their screams and clean vocals. The clean vocals gives songs a bit of a poppy feeling to it, and makes the songs a bit more catchy than their previous EP had sounded.

Clean vocals on this album remind me a bit of Bedlight for Blueeyes, and I thought that their vocals were amazing as well. Not whiney, not too deep, and certainly doesn't sound like the vocalist is struggling to make his pitch.

The scream vocals on this album remind me a bit of The Devil Wears Prada and A Static Lullaby. Once again a band hits another good note and has their rough vocals easily understood. I cannot tell you how much I it when I cannot understand screams.

Lyrically, this album is a hit. I don't find it hard at all to connect with what the band is trying to convey or say in the songs. Instrumentally, this album is clean and has some very interesting riffs in it.

This album is one in which I do not skip and tracks, and once again I have found an album hard to rate portion by portion or song by song. The whole album delivers and I urge you to listen. If you like to sing along to your music, if you like to thrash, if you like to just jam out, if you like gang chants, I HIGHLY recommend this album.

Album: 9 out of 10 zings

Message to Band: Keep on progressing as a band, and find the sound you like, or you have in mind. Personally, I am a big fan of Christian harcore/metal, so please keep up the good tunes, and you'll go places.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vanna gives A New Hope

The way I found out about Vanna was actually boredom with the music I currently had in my music library. I was at Best Buy and just decided that I needed some new music, and I wanted to try and listen to a new band. When I usually did this, I started at A and made my way towards Z. This day however I went from Z to A, and Vanna was not all to far in. Their release from Epitaph "The Search Party Never Came" had a "comparable to bands like" sticker on it, and Every Time I Die was on there, along with some other bands I liked, so I decided to check it out.

I got into my car, and listened to the whole cd on the ride home. I was not sure what to make out of it, since they had quite a different sound. After a while, the cd grew on me immensely and I knew that I loved Vanna.

When their second CD curses was released, I was enthralled that they were releasing new music. "Curses" was an ok album, I was not swept off my feet by it, but I liked it. I found myself singing random parts of some songs and having them stuck in my head like "I don't wanna see you fall apart..." -continues to sing-. my favorite part of the whole album was actually the intro to the album.

Now...when I heard that Vanna was releasing even more music, I was kind of undecided as to whether or not I was going to check it out. I was a huge fan of "The Search Party Never Came" and didn't care all too much for "Curses", but nevertheless, I picked up the album.

"A New Hope" has been in regular circulation into my car's cd player ever since I have first gotten the album. I love the intro song, and the mix of screams and vocals are the most well mixed out of all their albums. There are only 2 songs in which I usually skip which are tracks 5 and 8.

A lot of these songs are catchy. You can understand his screams as well, which I find to be a very important of heavier music that has screaming, be it screamo, hardcore, metal, etc. The singing voice is also very enjoyable. I can garuntee that if you give this album a listen, you will definitely enjoy the lyrics, and find yourself singing them regularly.

Honestly, I know in my previous blogs I try to review album song by song, or portions of album in chunks. However with this album I can't do such a thing. The album remains strong throughout the playout of the tracks. Each track delivers powerful and mindblowing vocals, through screams and sings.

Album: 8 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: Keep up the good work. Your progession as a band has done nothing but astound me. I hope to hear more music from you guys soon, and I hope that you stay true to yourselves.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"A Shipwreck in the Sand" is More of a Salvage

Let me be the first to say, I love all Silverstein albums. However as the band has progressed, they have experimented a little more and more each album, and get a more and more definitive sound with each album produced. This band is definitely one of the best at producing what music they feel like producing, and Shane does an amazing job of writing about what he feels.

When I first heard When Broken Is Easily Fixed, it was easy to say I was in love. I believe that album did not leave my car cd player for over 2 months. Within the first week I knew every song and sang along loudly. That album seemed to fuse all aspects of music that I liked, and still do. The correct timing of screams with vocals, heavy and light riffs, etc, beautiful.

So when their next album "Discovering the Waterfont" came out, I was excited, and learned that whole album within a week as well. I can't say that the album didn't leave my cd player, but most of my favorite songs come from that album, including "Call It Karma" and "My Heroine" and for the longest time "Smile in Your Sleep" was my favorite song, until "My Heroine" grew even more on me.

Needless to say, when I found out that Arrivals and Departures was in the making, I was pumped. "If You Could See Into My Soul" was an excellent song. However, I felt like I didn't connect with a lot of songs on the album, and it made me less interested. The instrumentals on a lot of songs didn't appeal to me either. I am not saying I don't like this album, but it definitely got the least play time out of all of them.

Now, when "A Shipwreck In The Sand" was announced, again, I found myself salivating at hearing Shane boast his amazing vocals. The single "Broken Stars" was an amazing single in my opinion with some classic Silverstein signature in which the screaming is powerful and kicks in at the end, when, in my opinion, the passion of the song is strongest.

So when I first gave the album a listen, the first three songs were signature Silverstein, and I loved the guest vocals on "Vices". I was a big fan of on "18 Candles" album how Shane had WiL from Aiden guest sing in "Bleeds No More" and thought that they should definitely have more guest vocals.

Over the next couple of tracks, the album takes a little bit of a lighter turn. Still as passionate, and still sending a great message as do the other songs. Shane did a great job writing so that the emotional connection to the songs could be felt. Then, the album takes a heavy turn once again for a couple songs.

Those few songs in the middle of the album come out of no where with a powerful punch. I give a lot of credit to a band who has never really had a breakdown per-se in a song, into having two in an album. I am not saying they were very moving breakdowns, but they were good. When I first heard them, my heart lept out of my chest. I would love to see Silverstein produce a couple more heavier songs like this...maybe even a bit heavier.

The final songs in the album end the album nicely. I don't feel like there should have been more songs added, or that some songs should have been taken out. The album was the perfect length and no song made the album awkward. The album flows nicely together, and its not too heavy, its not too light, the vocals don't have "whiney" parts, nor do they have too deep of vocal parts.

This album for me, reasserted why Silverstein is my favorite band. They again showed their progression and ability to write and produce amazing music.

Album: 9 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: Keep on doing what you're doing. I love Shane's ability to write, I respect everyone else's ability to play amazingly (Billy, Josh, Paul, Neil). Stay true to yourselves, and I will always love you guys, and so will your fans.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Punk Goes....everything

I figured this was a much needed review, as covers are a very big part of the punk/hardcore/etc industry and world.

Every Punk Goes...album has produced good covers, from Crunk, Pop, 80's 90's and yes, even Metal. I am always willing to pick up a Punk Goes... album from Fearless records, because more often than not, there is always a good listen.

Punk Goes Pop 2 is the newest release from the line of albums. I have to admit, I don't really listen to the radio all too much, so I don't even know a lot of "pop" songs I guess you could say. Most of what I do hear is from commercials, or have seen bands covering on youtube.

This album actually had a bunch of songs I already knew though. The bands range from the electronica-indie type deal, to some metal.

First off let me say that the choice of songs on here was an amazing...well...choice. My only complaint is enough with the Britney Spears covers already. Baby One More Time has been covered more times that my extended family has fingers and toes as it is. But, the cover of Toxic is quite alright. I believe its the first cover I have heard of it as well.

The only two songs I have to give a thumbs down to are Baby One More Time by August Burns Red and Icebox by There For Tomorrow. It seems August Burns Red tried a little to hard, or it just wasn't the right cover choice for them. And There For Tomorrow didn't interpret the song at all and it still sounds very R&B.

All in all, the best covers are by far those by Silverstein (apologize) and A Day To Remember (Over My Head), purely for the fact that they interpret the song, change it up a little bit, but don't over do it. After all, if you are covering a song, it should be something you connect with, and not struggle with. Bayside is in a close third place to all those.

I really don't have much to say about this album, it is quite good. All I can say is give it a listen.

Album: 8 out of 10 zing.

Message to band(s): covers shouldn't sound like you struggled with them...if you hear it and it sounds like that, rethink your choice. Also don't just karaoke it either.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Am Ghost: "Those We Leave Behind"

Ever since the release and my first discovery of this band, I have been a huge fan of their music. We Are Always Searching was an amazing first album, probably one of the most distinguished sounds I had ever heard from a newer band, especially for one of their first major releases. The music style, the exchanged between dark male voices and a beautiful female vocal with violin was the most amazing thing I had heard for a while.

When Lover's Requiem had been released, a freshman album was followed up by a very strong sophomore album. I have to say I was very pleased and very enthused with the quality of the album. The re-make of a couple songs on We Are Always Searching were very well done. The soft songs, the heavy songs, the ballads, the connective lyrics. Everything was very well put together, and yet again was another album that I did not want to skip any tracks on.

So when I heard interviews about the new album being "the darker album" and "one of the most lyrically connected" to the lead vocalist's feelings about what he has been feeling and going through in the past couple years, I was pleasantly awaiting a listen. When "Bone Garden" was released on myspace, I was very pleasantly surprised and content with what they had written and decided to release.

On first listen, I was expecting the type of intro they had, as they have used similar types of intros on their past albums. The album starts off great, with strong instrumentals and strong lyrics, and continues to stay that way throughout the entire album. The violin and key parts never conflict and create and ear-ache, mind-confusing tune. The arrangement of every song is very clear, and riffs are easily understood, as are the lyrics, even during the screams.

I agree with what was said, the lyrics portray a very dark image. Granted the fact that the instrumentals were always kind of a mix of a lot of genres, the dark guitar, almost dark metal sounding, throw a great feeling of musical confidence from the band. It almost seems effortless for them to create great songs and makes it very easy to feel like you can connect with the band.

Honestly my only knit-picking would be to give us a little more screaming, I love his passion when he screams. I also would not mind a little more double kicks on the drums. I can't complain about that all too much though, as their musical arrangement and technique is amazing for I Am Ghost.

This album is one in which I only skip a couple songs on the album. Not because they're not good songs, but because I don't connect with the lyrics. It is very rare in which I find an album where I don't skip tracks, so being that I like every song, is a good sign. I also would not mind a couple more breakdowns. I am a sucker for open-string bass riffs and slow drumming with crashes.

For the most part, I could keep listening to this album over and over, and couple probably memorize all the lyrics within a couple days if I did so. I Am Ghost is one of those bands who are just themselves, and I love them for that.

Album: 7 out of 10 zings.

Message to Band: Ignore what I say and keep doing what you're doing. Your progression into what this new album has become was amazing. I have a feeling your next album will melt my face off.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Sleeping - What it Takes...

I need to start off by saying, the whole time this album was in production and they were writing/in the studio, I was very excited. I was a huge fan of Questions and Answers, so needless to say I was greatly anticipating what The Sleeping's new album would contain.

My hopes had been supported by an amazing single release on their myspace. "Bomb the World" kept the band in check with a sound resembling Question and Answers with a little new punch to it with a little more keys involved in the song. The frenetic pace of the drums and the calm vocals at the beginning, turning into more and more power as the song continued gave me hope for the rest of the album.

So needless to say when the album was released, I was eager to give it a listen. My first impression with the first track was, I was in for a bit of of a ride. The keys were still a major part of the song (as I could tell they may have been more involved from the single they had released on myspace). However, as the tracks played on, I noticed that the keys seemed to have take predominance over the strings.

It sounds like the rhythm started to come from the keys instead of the strings, a concept in which I was not entirely going to give the cold shoulder to, after all, I am all for innovation and experimenting. However, as the album passes through track after track, the keys and guitar seem to mix, and seems to distract from the strong vocals that the singer is capable of. At some points, it almost sounds too mixed to make out a rhythm or riff at all.

It is not a totally bad review, I totally dig the slower songs, the ones that sound more like ballads. They are really well formed, and have great connecting lyrics. I do find the drumming on this album to be outstanding, even though in most parts it seems to be drowned out by the keys and "noise guitar", as I dub it when you can not distinguish between random strumming and a definitive riff.

Those instances in which I can hear distinguished riffs, and amazing keyboard parts separately and not misharmonized, I enjoy both. I also enjoy the parts in which the band allows the vocalist to showcase his rough but assertive vocals.

Although the instrumentals for the most part bother me, lyrically, this album really hits.

I have to say, I am quite disappointed with this album, although not quite as much as I could have been if there weren't a couple slower songs in which had really good lyrics.

Album: 4 out of 10 zings.

Message to band: The riffs and music stylings with "Believe What We Tell You" and "Questions and Answers" were a lot more catchy, and a lot funner to rock out to. Uncomplicate yourselves, don't focus so much on experimenting, especially through a whole album. Keep it simple, with a few complexities, and make it easy on the ears to pick up on enjoyable things.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Folie A Deux: A Madness Shared by Two

I figured I could start this blog by describing what is going to be in it, but I could not just sit and wait to start this. So on that note, lets jump right in, and I'll let you all figure it out as we go.

As you could probably guess, first up on the chopping block is the band everyone loves to hate, or hates to love, Fall Out Boy, and their most recent album "Folie A Deux"

Lets start off with the beginning, Fall Out Boy brings something very poppy and catchy, very good tune, and catchy lyrics of course. But as the album progresses it seems to lose its power, or its musical flow. The energy of the album seems to burn off in the first couple of songs, with a try for redemption, yet failed, later on.

This album yet again finds more synth and instruments that the band themselves does not even play. It reminds me a little bit of some late 80's or 90's pop rock. The instrumentals that the band does play, is greatly dumbed down, even since their last album (Infinity on High). This is not to even mention that since the first "well received" album, with each release, the instrumental playing seems to slide as well.

The lyrics take a little bit of a hit as well. It seems with more and more acceptance into public eye and "progression" as a band, their lyrics become more and more like every song on the radio and less about their joy. Many songs on this album revert to old songs and old times of being a band, and partially of how they don't seem to have liked where this is starting to veer off into.

In the early days, before the "Joe fro" and before Pete went all femme on us, there was background screaming (a lot in Take This to Your Grave, and some in FUCT), the drumming was insane, and there were fast paced guitar riffs that resembled some of their hardcore backgrounds as well. Have we all forgotten that Pete was once in a band with Tim McIlrath (lead singer of Rise Against) in which Pete was the lead vox (and yes, he scrame, check out Arma Angelus, who was also signed to an amazing record company for metal/hardcore - Eulogy Recordings).

I hate to say this, but it needs to be said. With each album, Fall Out Boy progresses and shows us great musical range, but with each album, their music is dumbed down and becomes less and less interesting to listen to. I can admit that they have catchy tunes and catchy lyrics, but it isn't an album that even if I liked one song on it greatly, that I wouldn't skip any songs. They once said in an interview on their DVD, that they were going to dress up their music, and Fall Out Boy music was always going to be Fall Out Boy music, and I have to disagree. I feel like they changed themselves for the money, and that they don't stay true to themselves.

All I can say is this, I used to love them, even designed a tattoo or two based on their lyrics. But where were you all when Fall Out Boy played with Acceptance on a nationwide tour in 2003 and entrance fees were about $8? Oh yeah, thats right, you were in 4th grade. Young ears are easily persuaded by media and peer influence.

Bands that go down this road, tire themselves out. Fall Out Boy's on stage performance looks so routine, it looks like they don't want to be there, and it looks like they don't enjoy playing many new songs from the past 2 albums. Find performances from 2003 or 2004, their attitude looks so much different. Look what happened to Good Charlotte, they were the "Fall Out Boy" when FOB was just getting started. GC got tired of how "sold out" they were and started writing songs about how they don't like where they are, and then tried to lay low.

To anyone who disagrees, to each their own, but Fall Out Boy needs to shape up and remember their roots. I have to say, when I first heard "Thriller" by them, I was excited and hoped they were going to incorporate a little more heavy riffs and everything into their music, something like Four Year Strong or New Found Glory started to do recently.

Album: 3 out of 10 zings.

Message to band: bring back some of your old roots. I think old and new fans would love to hear some pop-punk/core fusion.