IN THIS ISSUE:
LEXINGTON MUSIC PRESS No. 9 / Winter 2010 FOUNDER / EDITOR Nathaniel Lay (NL) GRAPHIC DESIGN Chris Johnston UNSIGNED DIRECTOR Mario Trevizo (MT) CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ryan Williford (RW) Rob Harris (Bubbs) Dylan Newell (DN) Ryan Horky (RHorky) E-MAIL / ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org PHYSICAL ADDRESS 37930 Chaptico Road Mechanicsville, MD 20659 ONLINE LOCATIONS www.lmpmagazine.com (Main Site) www.facebook.com/pages/Lexington-Music-Press-dotcom/297171065443 (Facebook) www.twitter.com/lexingtonmp (Twitter) Lexington Music Press (LMP) was created during the summer of 2009. We mainly operate through our website, though we will occasionally release these digital issues.
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NEWS NOVEMBER RECAP
Below, you will find a list of this past month’s most important news posts from our music world:
> System of a Down will reunite for some festivals, including U.K.’s Download Festival > Glassjaw have released a video for the single “All Good Junkies Go To Heaven” > No Bragging Rights have revealed a video for their upcoming new album – http://www.blkheartgroup.com/nbr/illuminator/ > According to a Facebook status by the label, Rise Records has signed some more bands > You can stream the new Ataris 7″ at The Punk Site > Angels And Airwaves will release their Love movie this coming March > There For Tomorrow have unveiled they have a new album being recorded for 2011 with producer Michael Baskette (Story Of The Year, Escape The Fate) > Come December 21st, Asking Alexandria will release a EP/DVD featuring a new song, an old demo, and some remixes. The DVD will feature tons of live footage > The Terrible Things video of “Revolution” is now streaming online > Smoking Popes have announced a new album to come March 2011 > Haste the Day have announced they will be calling it quits after their Feb/March tour in 2011 > Blink-182 have said they will head to the UK on tour next July following the release of their new album > Asking Alexandria will release their remix/electro version of Stand Up And Scream this coming January. But how about an actual new album?! > Blink-182 are said to finish recording by May for their new album. They aim to have it our summer sometime > With their Victory contract complete, Silverstein have found a new label home with Hopeless Records. Come December 7th, the band will release a digital EP (titled Transitions) featuring two new songs
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from their upcoming full length, as well as three b-sides > A Skylit Drive have released the title, date, and cover of their next album. Identity On Fire will hit stores in February. > Bayside have uploaded “Sick, Sick, Sick” to their Facebook page > Unwritten Law will finally release a new record come March 2011 > Eulogy Records have signed Nightlights > Yellowcard‘s new album will be titled When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes > In Fear And Faith have put out their music video for “Bones” > The Decemberists and Linkin Park have released 2011 tour dates > Shores is streaming their new album, ‘Coup de Grace’, over at www.punknews.org > No Bragging Rights have released the cover of their new album, Illuminator, hitting stores in January 2011 > Agnostic Front are returning to the studio to record a new album > Oh, Manhatten has signed with Indianola Records > Cobra Skulls have a new EP scheduled to release January 2011 > Gwen Stacy have broken up > Dr. Manhatten have broken up > Eisley have signed with Equal Vision Records > Underoath are streaming their new album, ‘Disambiguatio’, on MySpace > Enter Shikari have released a new single on iTunes, titled “Destabilise” > Angels And Airwaves will finally release their ‘Love’ movie this coming Valentine’s Day. The DVD will also come released with their last record, also titled ‘Love’, with over an hour of new music. > Vic Fuentes (Pierce the Veil) said that he and Caleb Shomo (Attack Attack!) may try a side project in the future. > Christopher Drew has expressed interest in ending Never Shout Never and replacing it with a rock band.
UNSIGNED SPOTS NATHANIEL LAY’S PICKS
MARIO TREVISO’S PICKS
Location: Northolt, New England RIYL: Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, All That Remains Spotlight: Since 2009, Envy Assured have self released an EP and single, won the Emergenza Battle Of The Bands UK, and played the Taubertal Festival in Germany for the World Final. The band now has an extensive UK tour planned for 2011, and will be working hard on their debut full length for the coming summer. Members: Phil Katamidze (Vocals), Dion Rushe (Guitar), Chris Martin (Guitar), Leigh Sherrard (Bass/Vocals), Kodi Bramble (Drums) Discography: Fulfilling The Darkest Dreams EP (2009), “Shadows And Dust” Single (2010) Main Link: www.myspace.com/envyassured
IN YOUR HONOUR
Location: Bournemouth, UK RIYL: Heights, The Saddest Landscape, Have Heart Spotlight: Since their inception earlier this year, In Your Honour has shared the stage with This Is Hell, Heights, House Vs. Hurricane, and more. Set to release their debut EP late December, the band is poised to strike officially coming into 2011. 6
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Members: Pash Stratton (Vocals), Steve Sims (Guitar), Jimi Laughton (Guitar), Mikey Davies (Bass), Matt Sims (Drums) Discography: In Your Honour EP (2010) Main Link: www.myspace.com/inyourhonourhc
IT LIES WITHIN
Location: Flint, MI RIYL: The Shadow Theory, Atreyu, Destrophy Spotlight: With nearly eight years under their belt already, It Lies Within has seen a lot of success despite not being backed by a label. Highly marked on such sites as ReverbNation and Ourstage, the band has played sold out shows with All That Remains, Walls Of Jericho, and more. Members: Zach (Vocals), Matt (Guitar), Mike (Guitar), Justin (Bass), Torrey (Drums) Discography: Fears Of Yesterday (2009) Main Link: www.itlieswithin.com
Genre: Hardcore/Metal Hometown: Indianapolis, IN Link: www.myspace.com/amarnareign Rocks Like: Still Remains, Parkway Drive, It Dies Today Stream: “Deciever” Spotlight: Amarna Reign is a five piece Christian metal band from the heart of Indiana. As a DIY band, these guys have accomplished quite a lot. In 2009, the band went on to release their latest EP, Atonement. Beyond their attention grabbing release, the band has run through a few US tours. Sharing the stage with bands such as Darkest Hour, Misery Signals, Haste The Day and countless others, Armana Reign is no stranger to big crowds. One listen to their hit track “Deciever” will be more than enough to draw any newcomer in for more. Their blend between hardcore verses, and melodic choruses transitions perfectly, heightening the listening experience.
MARYLIN IS DEAD
Genre: Pop/Techno/Post-Hardcore Hometown: Iselin, NJ Link: www.myspace.com/marilynisdead Rocks Like: Sleeping With Sirens, Chiodos, A Skylit Drive Stream: “Iowa Dollar” About the band: Marylin Is Dead is much more than a six piece post-
hardcore band from Iselin, NJ. They are the combination of various music styles blended together perfectly. Clearly, the band’s influences range from all over the music spectrum. While each song brings forward it’s own unique personality, listeners will find a bit of
subtle familiarity. All together, Marylin Is Dead has created their own sound while experimenting in various music combinations. Some songs carry an emphasis on their post-hardcore aspects, while others shine a light on their synths and tech sounds. One song every new listener will surely enjoy is “Iowa Dollar”. All around, MID is the band you don’t want to miss.
Genre: Hardcore/Experimental Hometown: Bristol, TN Link: www.myspace.com/ alyriamusic Rocks Like: Oh Sleeper, Misery Signals, Before Their Eyes Stream: “Jerusalem” About the band: Behind the name Alyria is a five piece hardcore, progressive, screamo band from Bristol, TN. Not only is the band DIY, they are doing it epically. With a clear knowledge of transitions and style collaborations, Alyria creates an addictive and memorable sound unique to themselves. Currently, their MySpace consists of nine power-house lexington music press 7
tracks. Two tracks that will surely stick out go by the names of “Jerusalem” and “Iwo Jima”. Anyone looking for a real treat should check out “This Song Has A Breakdown” found on sites like YouTube. Watch out for these guys; they truly have the potential to make it far.
SKIES OF DECEMBER
Genre: Metal/Hardcore/Experimental Hometown: Cleveland, OH Link: www.myspace.com/skiesofdecember Rocks Like: We Came As Romans, Stick To Your Guns, August Burns Red Stream: “Atrocity” About the band: Skies Of December is every listener’s victory find. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio is this six piece band consisting of an experimental, hardcore, metal sound. Their hit track is clearly the song “Atrocity”. Not only does “Atrocity” have it’s own video directed by Jason Jendre of the Amira Media Group, it’s flawless. Bringing forth elements of breakdowns,synths, screaming and much more, it’s near impossible not to hit replay countless times. In just one listen, Skies Of December will automatically drive you insane waiting for more content to be released. Watch out as these guys carve out their place in this music scene.
UNSIGNED REVIEWS DISMEMBER THE FALLEN
IN YOUR HONOUR
Score: 8.5 Stream: “Don’t Let Go” Young teens playing death metal? Check. Deep growls? Check. High screeches? Check. On paper, there isn’t much to separate Dismember the Fallen from other genre competitors...that is until you hear their female member back up with clean vocals. Courtney Weisenstein may not pop up often, but when she does, the girl really adds a unique balance to the mix. One of the guys also adds some occasional clean vocals that sound quite good, so the band should really take note of how much this all helps in their sound. As a whole, the growls, screeches, cursing, breakdowns... it all sounds spot on. The band may have a somewhat generic formula, but it plays out in a fashion that is almost unique (if that makes any sense). More simply put, they may not be changing their scene, but they are certainly doing it justice. Structures is five brutal tracks that mix ferocity and beauty in one explosive debut. It’s entertaining, heavy, energetic, and exciting to hear. Dismember the Fallen are proving that age has nothing to do with talent. If they keep this kind of work up, they’ll find themselves signed to a label soon enough. (NL) RIYL: Job For A Cowboy, Black Dahlia Murder, As They Sleep
Score: 7.5 Stream: “Futures”
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In Your Honour
Let’s start off by saying that if the vocal recording had
been done better on this EP, the score would’ve been
higher. Unfortunately, there are parts where the screaming/singing is either coming in too loudly or too softly,
which takes away from the experience. This complaint
aside, the music of In Your Honour is quite entertaining. Like a more hardcore focused version of Heights, the
band keep everything quite large in sound. The screaming sounds painful, which in turn makes it sound more pas-
sionate. The singing is lacking in strength, but it isn’t used much either. Instrumentally, things fall in the category of metal. You have varied guitar riffs and explosive breakdowns, while also throwing in something melodic from
time to time. It’s in the vocals that the hardcore comparisons arise. There are some gang chants, but it’s mostly the energy of the screaming performance that makes
styles and tightened sections of clean vocals, In Your Honour could surely explode in their scene sure enough. (NL) RIYL: Heights, The Saddest Landscape, Have Heart
FISHERKING Forget It
Score: 7.5 Stream: “No Faith In Me” Fast, underground punk – this is Fisherking put simply. Their debut EP is six quick tracks of blistering energy and anger, in the likes of The Unseen or Good Riddance. The first two songs, “Searching For Something New” and “Right Is Wrong” are both adrenaline-juiced and fun, but “No Faith In Me” steals the show with its more reserved approach. The song isn’t nearly as fast as the others, and has more constructed and meaningful feel to it. The next three tracks then return to the aggressive nature the band most exhibits. In short, you know exactly what to expect from Fisherking. That being said, Forget It still manages to be quite enjoyable and fun to play (despite being nothing new). Underground punk is becoming harder and harder to find, so it’s nice to know that bands like Fisherking are still emerging every year from its depths. (NL) RIYL: Good Riddance, The Unseen, Lighten Up
THE SCENE AESTHETIC Brother
Score: 8 Stream: “Never Gonna Let This Go” I went through a phase in early high school where I dropped everything to only listen to acoustic artists. This include Jimmy Robbins, Feeling Left Out, and The Scene Aesthetic mostly. So, in other words, I’m no stranger to this duo. It’s nice to see that years later, these guys are actually willing to re-record the amazing “Beauty In The Breakdown”. Sure, I actually preferred the more simple, original version to this, but it’s still a cool new version of the song. Brother also comes coupled with half poppy tracks and half mature, sweet tracks. The first part of this album is more catchy stuff, including “Beauty In The Breakdown”, “Never Gonna Let This Go”, and “Why Don’t We Try”. Once you get passed these tracks, it’s mostly slowed down for the remainder of the album. The songs are more complex, beautiful, and alternative sounding. As a whole, I personally prefer their catchier stuff, but every artists evolves. The Scene Aesthetic are no longer straight acoustic, so that’s a big change there. There will always be fans like me who prefer the old days, but Brother is still a very good album that impresses the whole way through. (NL) RIYL: Jimmy Robbins, Feeling Left Out, Goot
THE CANVAS WAITING Chasing Color
Score: 8.5 Stream: “Ghosts” Yet another unsigned band that should be larger than they are, The Canvas Waiting have brought us the interesting and beautiful Chasing Color EP this year. In the likes of alternative rock, these guys keep things honest and passionate from track to track. Not only are that, they actually have talent and heart to go places. Songs like “Chasing Color” and “Ghosts” excellently introduce the band to a new listener, while also pulling them into the music right off the bat. The sounds can be simple or complex; either way, they swim around you, putting the listener at ease. Chasing Color is unique in the sense that it can be used as a bedtime album and a daytime album. It has a real feel-good atmosphere to it, similar to that of Third Eye Blind or Brighten. The vocals resemble Anberlin at times, which is also interesting. As a whole, this is a great EP to collect new fans for The Canvas Waiting. Any fan of the alternative rock scene should pick this up without hesitation. (NL) RIYL: Anberlin, Brighten, Abel
MY AIM IS TRUE A Spark, A Fire
Score: 8 Stream: “Shotgun” With a lot of buzz already surrounding them, it’s not hard to see why when listening to A Spark, A Fire. Not only does it all sound very professional, the songs are just as catchy and fun as some of the bands leading this genre currently. You could compare My Aim Is True to the likes of All Time Low, Fireworks, or The Maine, and like these bands, My Aim Is True has the ability to mix punk, rock, and alternative in an enjoyable package. This five track EP brings to mind the early days of Count Your Blessings, so Maryland fans should definitely take a look at these guys. A Spark, A Fire is energetic punk/ rock entertainment. It may not be the best out there, but it is certainly way ahead of the unsigned competition. My Aim Is True will find a label soon enough. Let’s just hope they don’t follow CYB to Standby. (NL) RIYL: All Time Low, Count Your Blessings, Fireworks
one think of hardcore acts. Still, the band does a solid job molding both genres on this EP, making fans out of metal and hardcore listeners alike. With some better recording
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TESTING TOMORROW The Pull
Score: 8 Stream: “Mama Knows” Hard rock may have just found it’s new leader with Testing Tomorrow. This genre has been lacking for several years now, so it’s about time someone came around to change the negativity. Testing Tomorrow aren’t doing anything original or new, but they are showing hard rock fans what this kind of music is all about. In other words, their music does justice. The Pull features five worthy jams, including the favorite “Mama Knows”. You also have the metal-tinged “Olivia”, the haunting build of “Silent Underground”, the more reserved approach of “Universe”, and the well rounded closing track “Hide And Seek”. As a whole, Testing Tomorrow have brought us a worthy hard rock EP that may possibly foreshadow greater things to come for this genre. (NL) RIYL: Godsmack, Framing Hanley, Hinder
sic. I still find it humorous listening to Christian metal bands that scream the whole time while having religious lyrics. Any how, The Rocketboys pull it off quite well, singing in a crooning style as the instruments put you at ease. Of course, not everyone likes this style of music because it is pretty slow moving. Wellwisher is going to appeal to a more mature audience as a result. Speaking of which, the music itself sounds very experienced in the sense that it feels like the band members have been doing this sort of thing for years and years. ‘Impressive’ would be a good word to use. While the first track, “A Narrow Place”, found me best, each of the four tracks offers something interesting and relaxing. Fans of ambient rock should look no further than The Rocketboys for their next fix. (NL) RIYL: Abel, Falling Up, Brighten
RED LIGHT SKY Red Light Sky
THE BLACK AND WHITE YEARS Patterns
Score: 7 Stream: “Perfect” Patterns mixes electro beat, indie, and alternative to create a sound I obviously don’t have much experience with. As a result, it’s hard to compare this band to others of its like. What I can tell you is The Black And White Years feel funky. Their music isn’t all energetic and bouncy as one may expect. It’s kind of like pulled back electronic music with goth overtones. By this, I’m referring to the vocals. I think of vampires when I hear them. I can’t explain why. I just do. As a whole, Patterns does offer up interesting music landscapes to explore. This would be a good album to play if you’re tired and looking for something soothing. The odd thing is that, while soothing, it’s also abrasive at times. Whatever you would label The Black And White Years, they are playing something nontraditional. This isn’t mainstream music you’ll hear everywhere. In other words, Patterns is a unique record, though it is definitely a required taste as well. (NL) RIYL: The Dance Party, Maroon 5, Eightfourseven
THE ROCKETBOYS Wellwisher
Score: 7.5 Stream: “A Narrow Place” Ambient rock is very popular in the Christian scene, but that makes sense considering the lyrical themes of this kind of mu-
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Score: 8.5 Stream: “Face Lift” Remember the old days when screamo was first really emerging on the scene? It was actually more like fast punk/rock with some screeching vocals from time to time. Now and days, it’s actually a lot of screaming and a step under metal at times. Well Red Light Sky sound like they come from the older days when screamo was at its best. From First To Last had released their debut EP, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was still good, etc. etc. Well this six track collection is a flashback to all that greatness. Red Light Sky remain highly energetic and passionate through each track, rather than sound overly rehearsed and polished. This sense of urgency works extremely well for the band. The first track, “Red Light Sky”, is an introduction of sorts, and unlike most, it actually gets you pumped for what’s to come. It is then followed by “Midnight Moves”, a fun song that almost feels like A Day To Remember at times. “Strong Enough” is more punk/rock and fast, “Face Lift” is soaring and crazy, “The Summer Ends” has a more pop undertone to it (think The Maine’s earlier work), and “A Fair Fight” molds all the elements together in one well rounded final track. With some tightening and further territory expansion, these guys could easily become kings. This is one of the best unsigned releases I’ve heard recently. Definitely worth checking out. (NL) RIYL: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Emery, Harp And Lyre
do you ever miss the old “Hop in the van and go” days? I’m sure each has it’s pros and cons. BF: I would be lying if I said I missed that smelly old van. Hahaha. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything though. The van days were some of the best times I ever had and I feel like if you don’t go through that you never really appreciate what you have now. We still keep it pretty simple and stripped down on the road. Shadows Fall are one of the major players in the modern metal scene, and it isn’t just because they fit into any trend. In fact, before heavy music became so trendy and fake over the past five or so years, The Shads were shredding and enjoying their role as a true blue heavy metal band. After a slough of successful studio records, including the latest smasher “Retribution”, it was only a matter of time before a live offering was placed before us. “Madness in Manila” (CD/DVD) is, without a doubt, the finest live recording I have heard since Iced Earth’s “Alive in Athens”. Shadows fall is one of those bands that doesn’t leave all the talent on the studio floor. Their live set is high energy and sheer gnarliness from start to finish. Brian Fair (vocals) was kind enough to chat with LMP about “Madness in Manila”, as well as give us a little glimpse into the future of The Shads.
irst off, the live record sounds fantastic. I haven’t seen the DVD portion yet, but I’m sure it’s just as cool. Good live albums are something that is very difficult to pull off. Are you stoked on how well it turned out? BF: We are really excited about how “Madness In Manila” turned out. The audio sounds killer but keeps the raw energy of the performance and visually it looks huge!! The only audio clitch we ran into was losing the intro section of “The Light That Blinds” from the original tapes. We were going to try and paste the studio version to the track but felt it was too awkward and just left it as is. Besides that I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Why did you choose Manila as the spot to do the live record? BF: The Pulp Summer Slam was such an amazing event and the footage came out so amazing that we wanted to share that experience with the world and our fans. The Filipino metal scene has always supported Shadows Fall and welcomed us with open arms. This was our way of showing our appreciation. I noticed that there is a lack of older material 12
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in the live set. Do you feel as if it is the newer material that defines the Shadows Fall sound more accurately, or is it just a matter of fitting in what you can with the time allowed? BF: It is more of a case of fitting in the songs that we are stoked on playing into the time we are given onstage. We try to mix it up and play at least a few tunes from every record but as our catalogue grows it gets harder and harder to make it all work. We had just finished recording “Retribution” at the time of this show so we wanted to showcase a few new songs. Do you guys use the same gear live as you do when recording? Shadows Fall has such a trademark sound that it sounds as if you just take the studio with you when you play live. BF: We try to use similar gear on the road that we use in the studio but when you are traveling and playing festivals you just make it work with whatever you have available. At the end of the day, we would hop on some wedding bands gear and rock it if that’s what it takes. I’m sure it’s cool to be able to do these huge tours, with nice busses and shit like that, but
Seeing as how you guys spend a ton of time out on the road, do you now have your destinations mapped out for stuff like food and places to party? What are some of the necessary cities and spots to hit when passing through? BF: It is tough to plan anything ahead on the road. It is usually chaos out there. We usually stumble across killer places and good to people to party with. What are, if any, the nightly rituals that you find yourself doing before a show? BF: I run through my vocal warm up from Melissa Cross every night before we go on. Besides that its lots of water and some stretching. Then it’s time to make the donuts. Shadows Fall was on the front lines of what some call the “Metalcore” movement. Over the past decade, the term metalcore went from describing bands playing kick ass melodic heavy metal, to describing bands playing ultraredundant “breakdown” hardcore/death metal crap. Do you even concern yourself with what “scene” you fit into, or are you just out to play some tasty metal music, period? BF: We just play metal. I don’t get caught up in sub-genres. We are influenced by all types of heavy music from old school thrash and death metal to hardcore and classic rock. To me there are only two types of music: good and bad. I’ll let someone else figure out the labels. There is a rumor that you guys plan on heading back into the studio to work on some new material for a 2011 release. Is there some fact to this?
BF: Yup. We have already begun to get some rough ideas together and want to head in the studio sometime in early 2011. We shall see what actually happens though. Until the ball gets rolling it can be tough to set a schedule. It’s been well over a decade since The Shads first started shredding. Do you feel as if you are just now reaching what some could call the pinnacle of your career? How much longer do you think there will be room at the top for Shadows Fall? BF: We have already achieved much more then we ever expected to. We just try and enjoy what we are doing and what we have already done and don’t really worry to much about the future. The music world is a tough place to make a living and it’s constantly getting tougher so we feel lucky to have done it for as long as well have. I hope it lasts forever but you never know how things will go. You have reached a level of success at an early point in your career that some bands never reach after years and years of effort. How humbling is it to know that you have received such tremendous support from legions of devoted fans, even after making small changes to your style here and there? BF: We are very humbled and proud of the support we have gotten through the years. We have always made music we love regardless of the expectations or trends at the time and thank all the people that have allowed us to pursue our vision for so long. Hopefully we can continue to do that for a long time to come. Thanks to everyone worldwide that has made it possible. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope to catch you on tour soon. Cheers! BF: No problem man. We will see you on the road in 2011. Buy “Madness in Manila”!
Interview w/ Brian Fair (Vocals) by Rob”Bubbs” Harris lexington music press
First, tell us the history of the band and how you came to signing with Facedown
Tell us a little bit about your debut ‘Seasons’
Willy: “Seasons” was a mix of material that we’d Blake: Your Memorial got its start four years ago. We written since the band started in 2006. We started self released our first record titled “Seasons” in 2008. recording in late 2007 with Justin Lowe (After the We toured regionally several times and played the Burial), and we went back through all the songs summer festival Sonshine Fest (MN) twice. It was at together and revised a lot of sections for the better. Sonshine Fest 2009 when Facedown approached We wanted to have interludes in between the songs us about working together. We have had friends in and eventually came upon the concept of “Seasons”. bands that have signed with the label and heard Our good friend Justin Weideranders helped us out nothing but great things. in the creation of the “season tracks”. Through a sixth month period, we went from a handful of decent Coming out of Minnesota, were there any locals bands songs to a concept album that we were really excited that majorly influenced you? Outside that state, what about. We went on to self release the album on Aubands have influenced your music? gust 30, 2008 and it currently available only at shows and iTunes. Blake: Coming up in Minnesota we got to watch so many good bands/groups come from the area. Martyr Your new record, ‘Atonement’, releases at the end of November. How does it AD, Nehemiah, Atmosphere, With Dead Hands Riscompare to ‘Seasons’? ing, Brother Ali, POS, just to name a few. Outside of MN, we are influenced by and love Explosions In The Willy: Both records have Sky and Meshuggah. We draw influence their strong points and from our everyday life, films larities, such as we watch, relationships, simithe interludes. family, and faith. We’re
sticking to the interludes because we feel it makes a record complete from first track to the last. It’s not a song for song effort; it’s an album. We’re really into instrumental music so that shines through those tracks as well. One of the things that we feel sets ‘Atonement’ apart is how the song structure has matured since ‘Seasons’. We tried to have more of a verse/chorus structure to keep parts more memorable, but also putting a little twist on that like we did in ‘Endeavor For Purpose’. Some people like ‘Seasons’ is better than ‘Atonement’ and vice-versa. We feel like it’s a natural progression and we couldn’t be more stoked on the way it turned out. Where was it recorded, with whom, and how was the studio experience?
Willy: It was recorded in Kansas City, MO at Ashland Studios. Drums were tracked at Covenant Studios. The record was engineered by Joshua Barber and Kyle Kumer from Ashland. We also brought in Karl Schubach (Misery Signals/Solace) to co-produce and engineer as well. The experience was awesome as we were all pushed for our best effort. We had our good friend Shane Oschner (Hands) come in and lay down guest vocals. Shane is featured on the title track ‘Atonement’ and Karl is featured on ‘Surface’. At this point, your Saints & Sinners Tour is complete. Who did you go out with and how was the tour?
Blake: We went out with Blood Stands Still, Murder Death Kill, Betrayal and Sovereign Strength. The tour was great! We made some really good friends on that tour. So many great hang outs and stories! Next up is the Moshpotatour. Tell us the details for that run, such as the bands you’ll be with, where you’re going, and what you’re hoping to experience through it
Blake: We are going out with our pals in A Plea For Purging. Also on the tour is Within the Ruins and The Plot In You. We will be hitting up the East Coast and Southern states. We are really excited to play new places and go out on tour with our friends! How do you guys usually begin a show? Close a show?
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Blake: We begin the show the same way we end:
we play as hard and as best as we can. We love what we do and why we do it. We want to show that every time we get together to play. What kind of lyrics are used through ‘Atonement’?
Blake: All English lyrics this time around. We didn’t have time for the bilingual release that we hoped for.... Just kidding. The lyrics for “Atonement” are personal, passionate and to the point. They are an insight to daily and spiritual struggle as well as love and compassion. Why the title ‘Atonement’?
Atonement by definition is ‘the experience of humankind’s unity with God exemplified by Jesus Christ’. In our lives we feel that is an answer to our problems. There is a lot of songs on the CD about struggles and short comings in life, and we would not be doing the listeners anything if we just left them with our problems, so by presenting an answer to any problem we can all hopefully move on and put our troubles behind. Describe the cover art and how it ties into the songs of the album
The cover art is based around the title track “Atonement”. The lyrics were written around in the Bible where Paul is talking about his flesh being in constant turmoil with itself. The things he wanted to he did not do, and the things he didn’t want to do he did. The album artwork displays some of that inner conflict. Although it is hard to put such a complex thought into art Dave Quiggle did an amazing job on it! What do you hope to achieve in 2011? What are you most looking forward to from that year?
We’re just looking to keep touring as much as possible. We’ll also begin writing for the next record in between tours. Looking forward to going to new places, making new friends, and having as much fun as possible along the way. Interview by Nathaniel Lay lexington music press
Tell us about the old timer music found at the end of “Calvin Makenzie” JS: Well as I said before, all of our songs are about our appreciation for people coming out to shows and supporting us. That song specifically talks about that, but we wanted to point out Atlanta (our home town) in a way that stood out, so we used this clip that our producer Matt Goldman brought to our attention. I believe it was an actual radio jingle from back in like the 20′s or something ridiculous. What other kind of unique and odd things did you do in these songs? Favorite moments? JS: I enjoyed having the “choir” part at the end of “The City” because we actually had about twenty of our friends come in and do a couple of takes. It is so different when you actually have loads of people singing a part rather then trying to get like four people to do a hundred takes, and fake it sounding like a lot of peeps. This album has a very collective and chaotic feel that is the best work you’ve guys done. Did you approach writing this one differently, recording differently, or anything else that may have made it come out this way? JS: We approached it the same as every record. We just started bringing ideas to the table, but as it started to grow, it started to get a life on its own. This record was completely more impulsive than our other records. Even the “choir” part at the end of “The City” was just an idea that some one
to do these choir style vocals on the end. Where did you record, with whom, and how was the studio experience? JS: Atlanta at Matt Goldman’s studio. He has done everything The Chariot has ever done and probably will continue to do everything from here on. He rules! Needless to say, it was a pleasant experience. What new song will probably become your new show opener and which will probably become the new show closer? JS: Not sure yet. Still testing the waters with the new songs live. I can assume “The City” will end up being one or the other at some point though. Who knows? Which songs are the band favorites and why? JS: My favorite song is “The Heavens”. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I just love how different it is for us. What kind of lyrical themes or stories are explored during this record? JS: This album is all about our gratefulness to everyone that has ever supported us. All the titles of songs that are just names of people are people that have supported us through the years and most all of the lyrics have sort of a “thanks for supporting us” style lyrics. How is the rest of 2010 looking for The Chariot? JS: We are on tour with Cancer Bats and that pretty much takes us up to Christmas. What is planned for 2011? What are your hopes, goals, etc for the next year?
New label, new album, new tours...things are looking good for The Chariot!
ell us about your current tour in Canada. Who are you with and how is it going?
JS: We are out with Cancer Bats and Vicious Cycle. The tour is going great so far. It is a real pleasure for us because we all actually enjoy hearing these bands every night. Once we hit the states, Stray From The Path join up with us. We are also big fans of that band, so this tour rules for us. What’s your touring schedule following Canada? JS: Well we have Christmas, then in Jan. we meet up with Silverstein. In Feb/March, we do a Haste the Day run. After that, we are going to EU/Australia/Japan. That is all we have booked right now, but we hope to keep heavy on the road for this entire cycle. How did you come to joining Good Fight? What happened with your last label? JS: It was as simple as our contract ran up with Solid
JS: We have most of the year booked for us in 2011. January with Silverstein, Feb/March with Haste the Day. Then we go to Europe, Australia and Japan. That takes us up to the summer time. Hope to hit up Warped Tour or something along those lines. We shall see.
State and so we shopped around. At the end of the day, we felt like this was the best home for us. Good Fight really seems to know the world that we live in and so far it has been completely pleasant.
What is it like being a part of The Chariot? Favorite moments? Hardest moments?
What has the band been up to or gone through since the release of “Wars And Rumors of War”?
JS: Best job ever. I couldn’t really be in another band. I wouldn’t know how to act. Favorite moments are the shows. Hardest moments are when there is snow everywhere.
JS: Mainly just staying on the road; all the fun times that come with that. Why is the new album titled “Long Live”? JS: The album has a little theme of just camaraderie and community. We named five of the songs after people that just like our band and have supported us through the years, and so they represent everyone that has kept us afloat. They have all helped us and will continue to help us “LONG LIVE”, so we are forever grateful to each and everyone of them. Everything about the majority of the lyrics and the art work and all of it revolves around our appreciation for the support.
Closing words, announcements, quotes, etc spouted out as we were tracking the song. We were in the middle of recording (the song used to end completely differently) and someone just said, “we should end this song with something epic.” So we started figuring out what that would be. Two days later, we have like twenty of our friends coming over
JS: Thanks so much!
Interview w/ Josh Scogin (Vocals) by Nathaniel Lay lexington music press
Phil has given us. I mean, it isn’t like we’re fuckin’ rock stars or anything. We’re just a band who got lucky and got signed. We still got plenty of work to do.”
THE MANY MISADVENTURES OF BUBBS
Greetings readers. Seeing as how not all of music journalism is sitting around in a room with stacks of records and bowls of weed, sifting through mounds of music to find hidden gems and bands worth writing about, or recording phone calls and transcribing them later, I have taken it upon myself to forego the usual question and answer interview this time and share with you the magic of what happens when an in-person interview turns into an evening of adventure. You see, a lot of music journalists will show up to a show, collect their free tickets/passes and do a short interview with a band before joining the rank and file of the rest of the audience. Granted, it’s sometimes the bands that are in some tremendous rush and aren’t at all too accommodating. However, every once in a while, one goes to do an in-person, and things just go from business as usual, to a bunch of dudes hanging out and having fun. Yes, there are lots of bands out there that aren’t too cool to mix it up with the fans, or the occasional scribe, and treat the ones that support them as equals. One such band is the latest product from Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records, the New Orleans sludge machine haarp (Purposely spelled in lower case for legal reasons). I recently had a chance to catch these dudes on a one off gig in my home city of Pensacola, Florida, and what was supposed to be just another interview, turned into one of the best nights I have had in a while, not to mention one hell of a show.
When I walked into The Handlebar, the Pensacola venue that haarp would be pounding later in the evening, there were a few oldsters from the day time bar crowd still polishing off the last few beers of the day before all the riff-raff started piling in. I put a call in to vocalist Shaun (we’re on a first name basis here, folks. No need for formalities.) to let him know that I was at the venue and was ready when he was. He informed me that they were just pulling up, so I grabbed a frosty cold brew and waited for them to come in and get settled. Shaun came shuffling in a few minutes later with a look of fatigue on his face. “You gotta excuse me, man. “ Shaun says in a thick Louisiana accent “We had a late night last night playing with UNSANE in New Orleans, and I had a bit more fun than I should
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have. I remember singing with those guys and then waking up on Grant’s (Guitar) sofa with no idea how I got there. It was great, but I’m definitely feeling the consequence.” I assure him that it’s not a problem at all and find a comfy spot for us to sit down and chat. I turned on my recorder and we were joined by bassist Ryan, guitarist Grant and drummer Keith. As I began asking my questions, it was a tad obvious that these guys were still very new to the whole press thing. “The music is very desperate and dirty. It‘s very ugly music. That‘s about the best I can explain it.” Shaun says when asked to explain haarp’s sound. “We don’t have any certain direction for our stuff.” adds Ryan “We just get together, write some riffs and start jamming whatever feels right. Turns out, most of it sounds pretty fuckin’ filthy.” The guys in haarp and I talk for a while about the
Work is right. With their Housecore debut The Filth out (This interview was conducted a few days before the release), the band would have a good bit of touring and all of the things that come with promoting a record ahead of them, but for now, they are just a band that needed a gig to fill the time and financial holes between cities. What I find cool about these guys is the fact that they took this particular show on two days notice, with no guarantee. All they wanted was a place to play. That is what it’s all about, people. There aren’t many bands these days, especially ones that can say their directly linked to Phil Fucking Anselmo, that aren’t always looking for the big score. “We’re not gonna turn down a show just because we aren’t going to make a shit load of money.” Shaun says “We’re used to playing those five dollar cover shows. That’s how we grew up, and we don’t see much reason to change that. Besides, just because we‘re signed doesn‘t mean that we‘re makign tons of dough. We‘re still holding on to those day jobs and doing small weekend tours until we can afford to do otherwise. It would be cool to make lots of money, but that isn‘t the reality of this business.”
current state of metal and what separates them from the rest of the pack, which is fairly obvious when you hear them. I tell them that the younger generations are not very open minded anymore and only want to hear carbon copy bands, or uber-technical stuff. “What’s not technical about our music?“ asks Keith (drums) “Just because it might be way slower than a lot of other band doesn’t mean that we aren’t meticulous about writing it. We’re all musicians. We write and compose our songs, just the same as any other band. It just so happens that the stuff we write isn’t supposed to suit the masses.“ This may be true, but the masses would soon be hearing more about haarp and expecting something more than just another heavy band. The four guys from New Orleans quickly went from local favorites to the poster boys for the Housecore Records campaign, with a lot of praise from label founder and metal legend Phil Anselmo himself. When asked how they felt about it, the dudes were more than humble about it all. “Working with Phil has been awesome!” Ryan proclaims “There really isn’t any pressure, as far as him putting us out there on the front lines. He digs the stuff we come up with and the whole label shows a lot of support. There might be a little pressure to keep coming up with more, but were comfortable with the position that
We go on for a while and it starts to look like it would be an easy night of transcribing for me. (As I said before, the guys were still relatively new to the whole interview experience.) Just as I was getting ready to wrap it up and retake my post at the bar, Ryan posed a question to me. “Where can we find some food around here?” he asks. Then, it dawns on me. Pensacola has a monthly, and occasionally bi-monthly, Gallery Night downtown. This is basically an attempt to revitalize the downtown district by offering a very New Orleans style set-up, where bands and artists perform in the streets for crowds of wandering sheep. The best part of it all is, free munchies! Many of the businesses and art galleries offer free grub for those who are passing through, and it was all going down as we spoke. I offer to walk down there with them, as it was only a few blocks away. So, off we went. As we walked, we began to cut up and fool around as if we were old friends. Once the recorder was turned off, everyone became a lot more talkative and we all joked and talked about music, movies and UFC. I asked them what kind of food they wanted to get. “Man, I came here (Pensacola) on vacation a year or two ago, and there was this place out on the beach that served the best hot dogs. I’d love to find a place like that.” Ryan said. No sooner than he said it, I gave him some good news. The spot he was talking about was called the Dog House Deli (one of my favorite spots to grab a solid meal), and they had another location right in the heart of where we were
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headed. After feasting on loaded chili dogs and Zapp’s potato chips, we milled around the downtown area for a while, checking out the music and comparing the occasional Pensacola celebration to a typical evening in the New Orleans French Quarter. (There’s really no comparison. New Orleans is awesome. Pensacola,…. eh.) We even ran into some friends of mine from local metalers, DRAYTON SAWYER. They gave the dudes in haarp some free shirts and said they’d come to the show at Handlebar later on. When we arrived back at the venue, the opening band SINISTRAL, who are also good friends of mine, were loading in their stuff and preparing for the show. Seeing as how the show was booked on very short notice, there wasn’t a ton of people waiting to get in. However, the venue is a popular spot for downtown shenanigans anyway, so they eventually started filing in. SINISTRAL opened up the show with a blistering set and got the small crowd warmed up for haarp. Now, the problem with the Pensacola music scene is this. Most of the people that go to shows at small venues like this are broke ass dildos that complain about paying a five dollar cover, for fear of denting their PBR reserve. After watching several people turn around and leave after learning of a cover, Keith says something that you rarely hear from a signed band, or any other band for that matter. “If people are having a hard time making a five dollar cover, let them in anyway. We don’t care about the money so much as we want to play for some people.” With that said, the crowd doubled within the next half hour. This still didn’t make it a smash, but at least there was a crowd. When haarp took the stage, nobody knew what to expect. There were a few people who remember them from playing with some of our locals around the Gulf Coast region, and I had heard the album, but most were new to this wall of sound emanating from these four gentlemen. While a few of us got up front to rock out, many just stood there and wondered what it was that they were supposed to do. We don’t get many bands like haarp around here, and it was evident by the crowd’s reaction. I, on the other hand, along with a few select others, was having a great time. Since the place wasn’t packed or anything, the already deep pummeling sound of haarp’s super thick tone filled the room with what can only be explained as glorious noise. Shaun abandoned the stage to walk around the bar, and even making his way outside a time or two, to get in the faces of those who seemed disinterested and command their attention. His sickening growls over the bands slow droning sludge might not have had everybody circle pitting, but it didn’t take long for haarp to own that little audience. After what seemed like one continuous ass whipping for forty-five
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minutes, the guys wrapped up and began to prepare for the long trip to Orlando the next day. “I guess that was just the pick-me-up I needed” Shaun said after the show “I was feeling pretty shitty until I ate those hot dogs and screamed it out of me. That was fun.“ As we said our goodbyes, we all knew that this night was more than just another show. We had all made new friends, and since we all were from the same region (Pensacola is only about 3 ½ hours drive from NOLA), it was more than certain that we would be meeting again. I went home with a short interview on tape, and a long night of fun, beers and metal recorded in my mind. Thanks to the guys in haarp for being so genuinely cool. Thanks to Phil Anselmo for having the ear for talent and putting these dudes out for all of us to hear. And thank you for allowing me to share my adventure with you. Until next time, Cheers! (Bubbs)
By Rob “Bubbs” Harris
Recently, Every Time I Die released their new video series, Shit Happens: The Series. This DVD comes with a CD of their last album, New Junk Aesthetic, and continues the wacky journey of the band on and off the road. The DVD comes with an extra 30 minutes not shown online, as well as an hour of extra bonus material. Featuring a ton of episodes (each around 5 minutes in length), this series shows you even more of these guys than you ever wanted to see! Recommended for die hard fans. We had the chance to ask Andy Williams some questions about the episodes, his facial hair, and upcoming plans for the band. Check it out for some laughs and insight! Over what period of time was this series filmed? AW: Literally since Shit Happens the DVD came out. We’re kind of always documenting. I feel like too much would be lost if we didn’t.
super power. I am a super hero, you know.
Who decided what footage was used and what would be trashed?
Do the band antics come naturally, or is there someone who seems to specifically get these antics going for the group?
AW: We all do. Doug Spangenberg, the director, has a lot of say as well. He knows us really well and knows kind of stuff we like and all that. He’s kind of a sixth member of the band in that sense. What are your favorite parts that made it in the show? Favorite parts that did NOT make the show? AW: Umm, God, that is tough. I really liked all the kids’ reactions to the hot sauce, and probably the theme song to the show. John Cambell is great as the narrator, as well. The parts that didn’t make it that I liked the most? I guess it wasn’t really cut or anything, we just didn’t do anything like it, but i really wanted to do something with old shows. Like how much we have changed over the years. We’ve been a band for almost 13 years now. It’s unreal to think about. So we have all went through considerable changes in that time. I think that would have been pretty cool. How does this compare to the Shit Happens original? AW: Well, we used Pantera Number 3 as our template for Shit Happens. I think now we have branched off and did what we wanted to do on it. I don’t think it really translated as well as we wanted, but i am very proud of it none the less. How many times did your facial hair change during all these episodes? (silly question, I know) AW: Hahaha, I can grow facial hair in like a half hour. So I go from mustache to beard and vice versa all over this thing. It’s pretty wild. Most of the footage is like the last 3 years. If you watch Shit Happens the DVD again, it’s like every other scene I have something different. I guess that’s my
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AW: Seriously, none of that stuff is scripted or anything like that. This is all just shit that happens on tour with us. It’s all natural. Doug has a good way of riling us up though. I do have to admit that. If we’re baking soda, he’s vinegar. How was Warped Tour for you all? Favorite moments? AW: Warped Tour was awesome. It always is. I love that tour. I have to admit though, it is turning into something that is breeding crap. Too many iPod bands on it, not enough real bands. My favorite moment by far was getting close with the Alkaline Trio dudes. We’ve all been huge fans for years and now it’s rad we can consider them friends. Also, hanging with Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals and Polar Bear Club was fucking great. They are all great friends, great bands and I’d do every tour with them if i had to. What does the band currently having go on and planned for the remainder of 2010? AW: We leave for a November run with Trap Them and Howl on the 1st. That goes until December 3rd. Then we go to Alaska for 2 shows on the 10th and 11th. Then we are doing our annual Christmas shows in Buffalo on the 27th and 28th. So stoked about all this. We go to rad places and play with rad bands. Then it’s time to start writing our next record.
Interview w/ Any Williams by Nathaniel Lay
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LOSE YOUR EYE
ou guys have just started touring with A Day To Remember, Underoath, and The Word Alive. How has that been in the early stages? SV: This tour has been amazing. Right from the get go, everyone seemed comfortable and had a good vibe about everything. Not to mention the crowds have been making every night a blast. What has been the tour attendees’ reaction to you guys so far? SV: We all feel that this whole tour has just been great for us. We all have similarities in our music that everyone in the crowd can have a good time throughout the entire show. And we also have enough differences to brig out various crowds. So it’s been giving us great exposure and experience. And the crowd has been nothing less than amazing every night. The reaction is phenomenal for us. We’re so humbled when we see people singing along to the lyrics and just really getting into it. I can’t help but smile throughout our entire set. (Haha) I love going to our merch table and really hearing what they think. Talk to them face to face. We’re defiantly a band that loves walking around and really getting to know our fans. With such a huge opportunity presented to you guys, what have you guys done outside of the live set to promote your band?
One of Victory Records’ rising stars is quickly gaining momentum and for good reason. If you haven’t checked out their label debut, We Will Overcome, then what are you waiting for? Why don’t you also check out a live show and chat with the band; it’s what they’re looking forward to most!
SV: We try to do as much as possible to really spread our music and have people hear what we have to say. We found that the best way to do that is to really talk to people, not at them. It’s very easy to dismiss a guy with a bunch of fliers in one hand and a “come to this show!” line that is just repeated over and over. It helps if you take the time to actually have a conversation. Before you know it, you build relationships with people that will actually want to come to shows and keep coming. Then the grapevine starts. You get one person to come to the show that likes it, he will tell his friends, then their friends, and so on and so on. Also, all these social networking sites have been a blessing. They really give us the opportunity to talk to fans from all over the world on a regular basis. Suddenly, people not only want to come to the show for the music, but to hang out too. Taking the time to talk to people really leaves a good impression. We don’t put ourselves on a pedestal by any means. We just hope fans haven’t got annoyed by how much we talk yet. (Haha) You guys recently released a video for “The Body”. Why did you guys choose this song as the next single?
SV: We all love “The Body”. From the get go, it wasjust one of those songs that really stuck out to us. And the lyrics are something that we all strongly believe in. We can’t help but be passionate when we perform that song. And we hope that people are seeing that. Passion can be pretty contagious. (Haha) With lyrics such as “The Body”, we hope that they are really being heard. That it makes people think twice. That’s all we really try to do. Is make people think. We feel that hope and a message of positivity aren’t really being spread as much as it should. We want to show people that there is something more than just existing. That we can all really help each other “live.” Can you tell us in depth what the story in the video is and how it relates to the lyrics of the song? SV: The lyrics for the body basically talk about what the body of Christ has become. People aren’t interested in going to church anymore for fear of being ridiculed. Most people don’t even really see acceptance as a huge virtue in religion. It’s very sad to us that when people think of Christianity, the thought of huge rich churches that have minimal fundraisers for the needy come to mind. Like the church/religion has become more of a business than an experience to get closer to god. Our lyrics “this is the end of all you have become…” are talking about us being sick and tired of it. That we don’t want to put up with it anymore. In the music video, we portray a priest making a “backdoor business deal.” Having henchmen for backup. (Haha) It gives off the vibe that the priest is more like a mafia boss than anything. It seems that he doesn’t care about helping people get closer to god, he just cares about the business front. The money aspect of it all. The young vigilante trying to teach them a lesson represents the people that are tired of it. Matthew 25:40 is the verse he leaves for the priest. Basically saying whatever you do to someone, you’re also doing to Christ. What was it like filming this video and what’s the most memorable moment of the process? SV: Filming the video was a blast. A big plus was that is wasn’t outside in freezing weather like our last video! (Haha) They way we set the conference room up for the shoot was pretty neat. It looked like we trashed the place in a few of the shots. The thing I remember most were all the complaints we were getting. (Haha) We actually shot that in a double tree hotel conference center. So groups of people that were actually trying to get business done down the hall were getting furious. I suppose it was our small way of sticking it to the man!
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You guys released We Will Overcome early this year. What has the reaction from fans and critics alike been? SV: We can’t even express our gratitude towards everyone for really making our first album memorable. The response we have gotten over the past year has just been amazing. We’ve been really surprised and blessed with the fans we’ve gained recently. We were very proud of the work we did and were very anxious to see how people reacted. The waiting process was the scariest time for me. (Haha) Are there already plans to record again, or will you guys be touring some more? SV: We have some tours up on the air. Nothing really official yet. But we do plan on a whole lot of touring so be on the lookout for us. As far as a second album, we have a few things up our sleeves that we’re working on. We’re also are taking December off to write some new material. So hopefully we’ll have something new out by next summer. Last decade was all about illegal downloading, album leaks, and auto-tune. What do you feel will take over
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this decade as the biggest news items and why? SV: Illegal downloading is something that’s hard to stop. It’s kind of a bummer. The whole attitude about stealing has really become a bit ridiculous. People are okay with it now. Everyone has suffered from album leaks. On one hand, it gets the music around and kids can catch on to it a lot faster. Which means hopefully they’ll like it enough to buy merch and tickets to watch the band live. On the other hand, it means physical album sales are becoming extinct, a thing of the past. People don’t care to see the artwork that we’ve put time into doing. Or the “thank you”s inside the booklet. I feel it has taken away from the whole experience of buying a record and opening it to see everything. From the artwork down the the producers name. I find it sad. Thank you taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me. Any final thoughts? SV: I just want to say thank you to all our fans and families for all the support you’ve given us. This past year has just been so great. And we hope to keep going and meeting new fans. We love you all!
Interview w/ Sonny Vega by Ryan Williford
L I A F S E S N SE
Recently you released your new album The Fire. How have the reactions been towards the album so far in terms of press responses?
How was the studio experience with that?
It’s been really good. I think the press has been good. We’ve been getting good reviews. I think the kids like the songs. It’s been pretty successful I think.
Did it all come out the way you guys had wanted it to?
So were you guys playing any of the new songs during your live sets prior to the release? Yep. Which ones were you guys playing? We were playing “New Years Eve”, “Lifeboats”, and “The Fire”. Alright, out of those three, which was the most exciting to start playing? I think “Lifeboats”. Yeah. It’s definitely heavy; big crowd participation. It’s definitely a fun song to play live. Is that the one that has been getting the best responses as well? Umm, that and “The Fire” and “New Years Eve”. I think they’ve all been getting pretty equal good responses. So whenever you guys put out a new record, what is your strategy towards getting the new songs out to the crowd? Do you guys just bring out one or two, or do you try to do an whole tour for the album? Yeah, we try to do a couple at a time. Not overload it because we have so many songs. We know the people want to hear from our other records, so three to four is the most we’re going to play. That’s the most we play off of any record really. Is it hard picking out songs for your set list at this point? Not really, ‘cause there’s songs that you know people want to hear by now. So it’s fairly easy to figure out. We kind of keep it the same but not really. I mean there are always songs that we are going to play no matter what. You just have to. How long ago were you guys actually finished recording The Fire? Uhm, July? The end of July.
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Interview w/ Buddy Nielson by Mario Trevizo
It was good. We had a good time.
Yes, it did. It was stressful, but in a good way. It was done right. We worked hard and everybody feels good about it. When you say that it was “stressful”, do you mean it in a way like the producer pushed you in a way that you’ve ever been pushed? No, I mean, not so much. I mean some people definitely got pushed harder than they have in the past. I kind of pushed myself harder than I have in the past. But, it was good (haha). One thing that I’ve noticed about your albums is that while they follow a certain little theme, while at the same time there are a bunch of different personalities found in each of the songs, all collaborated at once. When you are writing your lyrics, do you just put yourself in different roles? Somewhat, kind of. I mean mostly it’s just kind of reflecting on what’s going on in my life. For the most part. So would you say that a lot of your songs are direct messages or metaphorically speaking? In other words do you speak your mind through situations that you create in your songs? Sometimes. That’s more along the lines of what I do. I kind of create fictional and metaphorical stream of conscious through the song, using the same kind of images. So some songs will have things surround water images, sea images, boats and ships kind of things. Then the next one is going to look like, I don’t know, anything. It definitely seems like with each album, it’s the same type of writing, lyrically. Except with the last two albums, it seems like the songs followed more of a theme. Is that what you guys were trying to do? Definitely. I like records to have a theme. They’re more interesting to listen to, because they are a whole thing, rather than just a collection of thoughts. You get more out of it when you can listen to the whole thing and have a theme. It’s just like when reading a book or watching a movie. It feels like you can get connected to the vibe of the record more if you have a more concrete basis to it.
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No no no no, It’s never like that. Sometimes I do put myself in some situations, but not really. For the most part it’s really stuff that I’ve dealt with. One of the things I saw in your previous interviews, you said how you didn’t like that an artist can talk about a movie but you can’t say anything about music. Or politics. You can know nothing about politics and talk about it all you want. But once you start talking about music and bands it’s not okay. Having been around for quite a while, you guys have played Taste Of Chaos, all of these bigger festivals, Warped Tour. You’ve seen bands come in and out. Yeah. What’s the most frustrating change you’ve noticed that you don’t really respect?
One of your new songs that really caught my attention was “New Years Eve”. In part of the lyrics you say “Hell must be a view of watching everyone you knew.” What exactly did you mean by that? I dunno. I mean the idea of, I really don’t know. I just get really into it. It’s really hard to look back and remember exactly what I was thinking. I think it was mainly just think about how hell isn’t actually really a place but more of a mental state. That it exists in everyone’s life, but it’s not actually a real place. Sometimes it’s situations that are “hell”. One of those “hells” would be dying and watching everybody move on without you like you didn’t matter. Now that would be my thought when I think of hell. As a point of view, I think that that would be something that would be eternally frightening and upsetting. You know? Having followed your band for a while, I get this impression of a sick truth whenever I think about your songs. Mainly because you take the things people don’t want to talk about and put them out there in your face. Sometimes it comes out angry, and sometimes it comes out in deep thought. It makes
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me wonder, what is your perception of life? Simply because you music isn’t focused on one perception. It’s not all angry, it’s not all sad, it’s literally like a 360 view of thoughts. At this point in time, what is your perception? Well it’s definitely more positive than it has been. Period. That was definitely a big thing on the record. Talking about enjoying life, and looking at it glass is half full. That was definitely a big thing on the record. I dunno, that’s just kind of how I think about life. Every record is pretty much like that’s where I am at that point. It’s just collectively all “this is where I’m at”. Everything I’m dealing with, what I’m thinking about. How I feel about myself, how I feel about the people around me. It’s kind of like a census. With songs like “Family Tradition” and anything off of Still Searching, it’s something really relateable to a lot of people living in broken homes and stuff. So are those problems that you’ve dealt with that you are personally think about, or do you put yourself in the situation?
Well, it’s that a lot of people don’t write their own music. I mean that’s definitely the thing. A lot people also, I don’t know.. They like being in a band more than they like making music. That’s like the bottom line. They wanna make money and they like the idea of being cool and in a band. It’s more important to them than playing music. I think that’s the BIGGEST overall change. Because you didn’t used to make any money playing in a band. And if you are playing in a band that is making money, at some point you will cease making money. So in order to be in a band, you really have to enjoy playing music. You have to enjoy the lifestyle, and that’s what you like about it. You can’t just want to be in a band just because it is cool. You will find out very soon that it’s not cool or you are no longer cool. It happens to everybody. That is why people quit bands and bands break up. It’s that very reason.
one ever has a problem with the style of music anyone plays. But it’s the way that people perceive it. Like the whole “screamo” thing or the whole “metalcore” thing. A lot of people find it cheap because of the image of the band, or the makeup of the band, or the substance. I like this style of music. I like being heavy and I like being catchy. It’s the same thing with a lot of these new poppunk bands. They like playing catchy music, but that doesn’t mean you have to be this image driven band. I think that’s one thing, especially with these new bands like Title Fight or Fireworks. They play this really poppy music, but they show that you don’t have to be this image driven kind of gak, multi-colored, throw up shirt band. You don’t have to do that. You can play pop-punk, and it can be cool and respectable. I think that is kind of the role that Senses Fail is playing within our music scene. But really, the only bands still playing THIS style of music are like Silverstein. I definitely agree with that, and they recently just had their 10 year anniversary. Yeah, and same thing with us. We have our 10 year coming up pretty soon. And that’s about it. All of the other bands are done, or it didn’t work out. They broke up, or it just didn’t last. I think that says something. That
Because they do it for the wrong reason. With that being said, you guys have never changed your style for a buck, you guys have never really altered what Senses Fail is all about. So your lyrics are a lot different than what bands put out there. Yeah. What role do you feel like Senses Fail has created in this music industry? Honesty, I can say things that people don’t wanna hear or like. Whether it be in my lyrics or whether it be my opinion. So I just think an honesty to it. That you can be in this type of band and and you don’t have to. No
we obviously have some sort of fan base. I think people like us because we’re honest. So would you say that’s the message that you portray in your music? That it’s okay to be honest and it’s okay to just let everything out?
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Yes, absolutely. Since your 10 year is coming up, do you plan on doing anything special for that? Yes. I would like to do a tour where we play the EP and Let It Enfold You all the way through. Just those two records and we’d play every song. Awesome, I think that’s something a lot of your old school fans have been waiting for. So do you guys have any big tours coming up after the holidays? I mean I would like to tour, but we don’t have anything set yet. I know that we will be going over to Europe for a while, and then right back to the states. So that should be fun. Going back to “life” situations, do you have any false opinions on humans as a whole with the idea that technology is taking over and people are growing desensitized with just living? Ehh, I have no idea, I think it’s all about how you’re raised. I think that’s all it has to do with. If your parents don’t love you and don’t give a shit, you’re probably going to grow up being a shitty person. No matter what age or what time you grew up in. 200 years ago, if your parents didn’t love you and didn’t give a shit about you, you probably would have grown up to be a shitty person. It doesn’t matter about any outside influence. If you were raised to just sit on the internet and play video games all day, you’re probably going to grow into a weird person. I know some of those people, they’re weird. And they’re not very successful in life. The people that were lucky enough to grow up in a good environment and be educated, it doesn’t matter about those other influences. It’s the same deal with people who get addicted to drugs and don’t get addicted to drugs. A lot of it has to do with how they were raised. Otherwise everyone would be slapping dope. Cause apparently it’s pretty cool. Apparently it’s pretty awesome! But luckily some people are smart enough and raised with a different outlook on life. People with one outlook will go one way and people with a different outlook will go another way. I don’t think any social media, or being on the internet is going to make anyone worse or better. It’s the same shit. Instead of dealing with fighting after school, people fight on the internet. You know, in high school or middle school. Instead of calling each other “pussies” and making fun of dudes for hooking up with the ugly chick. Instead of doing that through notes in class, they
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are doing it over the internet. It’s not like it’s any worse, it’s actually probably a little bit better. Because at least now your parents and other people can find out about it. Everything has just gotten a lot less secretive. To be honest I don’t really give a shit because I never had to worry about that, and also I’m not really growing up anymore. Yeah, so you aren’t too worried about it. Yeah, I’m not worried about it. I know that other people are worried about it though. It’s like the same thing as people being worried about 2012 and the world going to end. Do you believe in that at all? I dunno. If it happens it will be pretty cool. I’ll be ready. Straight up, I can dig it. Last question I have, and it may come off as a thinker is. Let’s say that Senses Fail was a dream therapy. So one day, everyone’s senses just failed and they were stuck in a dream. And they ended up seeing three things in this dream that ultimately gave them a better outlook on life. What would be three different occurrences that would create that life changing event? A random act of kindness. I think ultimately looking at violence and watching it affect someone internally, opposed to externally. Meaning, not in some biopic news sort of thing that’s happening somewhere else and doesn’t affect you. Lastly, the negative effects of organized religion on society and people as a whole. Yeah. The reason I asked that is because the vibe I get from you guys is so direct. I feel like if I could create a picture for people to look at, which is your perspective, that could open up some people’s minds. For sure. I think if people realized that, we would probably have a lot less problems. Or at least people would be a little bit nicer to each other.
The acoustic song on Homesick was actually my own personal song I gave to the band because it just felt right. It felt like a great ending to that record. It talked about something that really fit in with what that record was all about. I think it was a perfect way to end that record. The only reason why it was there was because it was supposed to be there, it felt like it should be there. This record just didn’t have that. There wasn’t a song
are still some really heavy songs on this record that I feel like are the best heavy stuff we’ve written. There’s a breakdown on this record where I say “My heart is filled with hate” –
that was an acoustic song that felt right for this record. So I’m not going to go write a song just because I feel like it should be there. If it isn’t there, it’s because it’s not supposed to be there.
That song feels right. It’s not like something is forged or contrived. It was written in a really honest way and I think it really comes off that way. If you don’t understand that, then I don’t really think you’re a Day To Remember fan to begin with. Just because you like one side of our music doesn’t mean you like our band. We’re not just one band. We’re a bunch.
I love that part. JM: Me too, man! I think it was good, it was genuine.
PART ONE OF TWO
Part Two is exclusively viewable on the LMP website – www.lmpmagazine.com Check out the other fifteen minutes of this interview there!
ow was the show tonight?
JM: Well, we haven’t played yet. We’re going to play in the next two hours. It should be good. We do very well in Texas, so I’m looking forward to a good show. I’ve talked to a bunch of people about this new album and some said it was much softer. I personally felt like it was balanced. How do you feel it came out? Softer, heavier, or what? JM: You know, I think it’s a good mixture of both, which is what every A Day To Remember record has been. What people have to keep in mind is it’s a ten song record, not a twelve song record. That’s
why people feel Homesick was a heavier record, but in reality it was the same structured record. It has the same amount, but less songs total. The ratio is still there. There’s three balls-to-the-wall heavy songs. There’s a good two or three that have breakdowns and screaming in it, that are a mixture of soft and heavy parts. Then there’s a few songs that are more just pop songs with heavy parts in them. It’s the same mixture A Day To Remember has always done. We get this every record. It’s just like a wave of hate. A portion of your fans, I don’t know why it is, there’s a portion of your fans that want to not like you. It’s happened to us every record. Even the first album we ever put out, there were people telling us we were sell outs. It’s not anything new to us. It’s the same thing that always happens to us. This record is definitely a Day To Remember record. Anyone who sells any different is just being ignorant. In that same field of thought, did you approach writing this any differently or the same way you always have?
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JM: The same way as we always did. It all depends where we are as people, what we’re going through during that time period of our lives. That’s what it’s all about. We just write songs. Whatever comes out, naturally comes out. We’re not going to sit down and try to do this and do that. A lot of people ask me why there’s an acoustic song on the record.
A moment ago you mentioned haters. I was curious to hear when it came to information being released on this album, what were some of the funniest things you heard from haters and what were some of the more positive things that stuck with you? JM: Well, you know, I haven’t really seen anything funny that haters have said. Anyone who has said negative things about this record is obviously a one-sided fan that just likes us for the heavy songs we do. That’s never been what A Day To Remember was all about. There
Yeah, and “Sticks And Bricks” is a beast opening track. JM: Yeah, it’s one of my favorite ones on the record as well. You mentioned there are fans that only like your music for one side of it. Have you ever heard comparisons to bands where you were like “Where did
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they get that from? Have they ever even listened to us before?”? JM: I mean, people comparing us to other people...I just, I don’t know. I’m never worried about that kind of stuff. We write what we write. We’re happy with what we do. If people compare us to something, then that’s fine. A Day To Remember is A Day To Remember. You can say what you want. We’re one of the older bands that I know of that can do the things we do. We can go on tour with super heavy bands like Parkway Drive and Acacia Strain, then go directly from that tour to a tour with New Found Glory and Crime In Stereo. That just doesn’t happen, bro. We’re a band that can do anything as artists. We draw from four different genres, and we’re really fortunate that our fans are understanding of what we want to do. We’re a really lucky band, to be honest with you. Then on top of all that, we’ve created this thing where we can write what we want to write and it makes sense. It’s a Day To Remember song. Which means we’re never going to be a band that gets stale. As long as I got stuff to be pissed off about, we will always be A Day To Remember, we’ll always be pumping out jams. And other people can’t do that. That’s why we get so much hate. What led you guys to making these silly webisodes you did for this record? JM: Well we did the Homesick Sessions on the last record, and it went over really well. So we did the DVD on the re-release, and people loved that as well. So we decided “let’s keep this thing going”. Like I think this whole video thing we do with our band is another thing that separates us from a lot of other people. People don’t do stuff like that. We pretty
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much have our own little reality TV show almost. It’s like a comedy. It’s something people can watch over and over again. They can show their friends and be like “This band is fucking awesome and they’re funny”. It’s just this whole different level that people can connect with our band, which I think is really important. I never saw the Homesick ones, but I thought these ones were really funny. How did you guys go about writing each episode? JW: It’s actually us and our video guy, Drew Russ. He does all those videos that are funny. He actually just
shot our new music video for “All I Want”, which should be out soon. He does all our video stuff. He’s pretty much the mastermind behind all that funny stuff. He’s a really awesome guy. He’s great at what he does. We wouldn’t be able to do this without him. Speaking of the new music video, is there anything you can tell me about it? JW: Not really. It’s a video that’s about being in a band. It’s about taking a chance and doing something that isn’t all that all realistic, which is being in the music industry. It’s going against the grain and doing what you feel instead of what’s realistic. Just putting yourself out there and going for something. That’s what it’s like to be in a band and that’s what the song is all about. So we got a lot of our friends involved in the video and you see a lot of different cameos from a lot of cool people. I’m excited about it. Back to the webisodes, which was the most fun to make? JW: It’s definitely different for each person. My favorite episode would be the third episode, which is the episode where Sal, our tour manager, is introduced and Kevin has his recording manager. That was a lot of fun to make. Everyone was involved in it and it was really funny. It was one of my favorites out of all of it. When recording this song, which posed the most challenge to record and why?
Now, you guys recorded with Chad Gilbert. Where did you record and how was the experience? JW: We recorded in Ocala, Florida. Our friend, Andrew Wade, me and him co-produced the record with Chad. Andrew actually engineered the whole thing. He is the man. Andrew Wade is pretty much the sixth member of A Day To Remember. We couldn’t do a record without him. We recorded at home. We made it relaxing and took our time. We got to do a little more than you would if you went with someone else. He’s more willing to work really hard on this than a big name person would be. You get involved with these A level people, it’s more just about the money than the actual product. I mean, they care too, but not like this guy does. Like I said, he’s pretty much like the sixth member of our band. He really cares like we do. It’s about what’s best for us and what’s best for him. That’s just a really important thing to have when you’re recording a record. It was a really stressful experience; we probably should have had a little more time to do it. The songs were there; the main problem with the whole process was we were running out of time to get it all done. It took some long nights and a lot of stress, but we got it there and I’m really happy with what we have because of it. Why were you guys running out of time? JW: Things happen, man. It came down to mixing. That was the most challenging thing. We had to mix half the record before the other half ended up being recorded. I had to fly out and sit in on the mixing process with Andrew. He mixed the first four or five songs, we came back home, finished the other songs, and then I flew back up with Andrew to mix the rest of the record. We had this time crunch because of their schedule. They were recording one of these American Idol people. His schedule was kind of limited, so we had to work everything around that. It was really challenging, but we got it done.
JW: The most challenging song on the record was by far “Better Off This Way”. It was the most challenging because this song probably changed more than any song on the record. It was one I had completely wrote before hand, before we were in the studio. I pretty much re-wrote the whole song a good three or four times. Well, not the whole song but parts here and there that just weren’t good enough. When it comes to me and a Day To Remember song, we are never going to put out a song I feel is halfHead to www.lmpmagazing.com now to check out the assed. My goal as a writer when putting these songs other 20 minutes of our conversation! We discuss together is to write a record full of songs you cannot skip. touring, specific songs off the new album, lyrical conThat’s really important to me. This song I felt had a lot of tent, and more! potential to be something really special on the CD. It had a lot of different forms and it took me awhile to get it completely right, and I’m really happy with what we have now Interview w/ Jeremy McKinnon (Vocals) by Nathaniel Lay because of it.
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END OF THE YEAR SPECIAL We had a lot of great albums this year, as well as a large number of impressive debuts from bands we hope will last. We tried to get each of our writers to contribute some End Of The Year lists we hope you take to heart. These are all recommended! Not only should you pay attention to these lists, but you will get to know our staff better by checking out their most memorable moments from 2010. Some of these guys had some very cool stories. My personal favorite would have to be Mario’s seminar session with Kevin Lyman (best known for finding Warped Tour). Check it!
NATHANIEL LAY’S PICKS TOP ALBUMS 1. Pmtoday: In Medias Res 2. A Day To Remember: What Separates Me From You 3. Junior Battles: 7” 4. Abandon All Ships: Geeving 5. Motion City Soundtrack: My Dinosaur Life 6. From First To Last: Throne To The Wolves 7. Four Year Strong: Enemy Of The World 8. Senses Fail: The Fire 9. The Scenic - Bipolaroid 10. American Hi-Fi: Fight The Frequency This was a hard list to make! I know there are many other 2010 releases that occupied much of my free time that I did not mention above. Man Overboard, Anarbor, Ten After Two, Letlive, The Bled, Comeback Kid, The Chariot, and more definitely blew me away this year. It was a good year for music! Some of the albums listed above actually were surprises. For example, while I like A Day To Remember, I did not expect their new album to take me by such force. Abandon All Ships also come from a genre that is very hit or miss with me, so to have their debut to be so damn catchy was unexpected. I actually disliked the new From First To Last record the first twenty or so times I played it. Then it grew on me like an infection. MOST DISAPPOINTING RELEASES Underoath – Disambiguation Sky Eats Airplane – Sound Of Symmetry Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns Escape the Fate – Escape the Fate Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
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Not these were bad albums, but I expected so much more from each. Underoath just didn’t do it for me this year. Sky Eats Airplane went soft. Linkin Park sound like a completely different band. Escape the Fate just became generic and boring. Avenged Sevenfold also went too soft. There were plenty of disappointments this year to combat all the great albums. TOP ALBUM COVERS A Day To Remember – What Separates Me From You The Wonder Years – The Upsides Reissue Woe, Is Me – Number(s) Travie McCoy – Lazarus Rosaline – The Vitality Theory A Bullet For Pretty Boy – Revision:Revise Pmtoday – In Medias Res Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life As They Sleep – Dynasty Alexisonfire – Dog’s Blood From First To Last – Throne To The Wolves Four Year Strong – Enemy Of The World There was some pretty cool covers this year, but my favorites were those more cartoon in nature. This would include Motion City Soundtrack, The Wonder Years, Four Year Strong, Alexisonfire, and A Day To Remember. Still, there were some sweet designs other than these. Woe, Is Me had a really interesting picture that should be examined closely, and the destructive feel of A Bullet For Pretty Boy is awesome to say at the least. MOST MEMORABLE SONGS Pmtoday - “People Are Machines”
From First To Last - “Going Lohan” A Day To Remember - “2nd Sucks” The Chariot - “Calvin Makenzie” Abandon All Ships - “Mega Wacko 2.0” My Chemical Romance - “Na Na Na” Senses Fail - “The Fire” Rosaline - “London Lost Its Fog” Travie McCoy - “Billionaire” Junior Battles - “Roads? Where We’re Going, We Definitely Need Roads” Anarbor - “Gypsy Woman” This Day Will Tell - “Whatever You Like” The Ataris - “All Souls’ Day” Bring Me The Horizon - “It Never Ends” Letlive - “The Sick, Sick, 6.8 Billion” Man Overboard - “Cry Baby” Man Overboard - “World Favorite” Middle Class Rut - “New Low” Motion City Soundtrack - “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” Ten After Two - “Home Edition” Thieves And Villains - “Drunk In Amsterdam” The Word Alive - “Epiphany” Write This Down - “Alarm The Alarm” MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS This year was my first time attending Warped Tour, so that was probably the most memorable event for me this year. I interviewed a handful of great bands, but I do wish I had seen more live sets. I had conversations with Every Time I Die, Breathe Carolina, Haste The Day, and a few others.
I interviewed Craig of Rise Records at least twice. Seeing as I’m a huge fan of his label, it was awesome both times I spoke with him. They were also the longest running interviews I did this year. My most nervous interview was with Jeremy of A Day To Remember for this issue. I was mostly intimidated due to the band’s success, but it was still cool getting to talk with him. I also started writing for Outburn Magazine this year, which has been great. I just wish they did issues monthly instead of bi-monthly. MOST ANTICIPATED 2011 I tried to keep this list to bands I KNOW are confirmed to be releasing new records in 2011: Dance Gavin Dance Polar Bear Club Heights Set Your Goals Silverstein Decoder Jonny Craig Breathe Carolina Blink-182 The Ataris A Static Lullaby Eyes Like Diamonds Vanna The Color Morale
RYAN HORKY’S PICKS TOP ALBUMS Superchunk: Majesty Shredding Darkthrone: Circle the Wagons Wormrot: Abuse Tiltwheel: The High Hate Us Dan Padilla: As the Ox Plows Off!: The First Four EP’s Box Set Bruce Springsteen: The Promise Box Set Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier MOST DISAPPOINTING RELEASES Lots of suck out there, but nothing that I thought would be good ended up being bad. First time I could say that in a long time. TOP ALBUM COVERS Off!: The First Four EP’s Box Set Superchunk: Majesty Shredding Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier
MOST MEMORABLE SONGS 1. “Digging For Something” : Superchunk 2. “Crosses Wires” : Superchunk 3. “Learned To Surf” : Superchunk 4. “The Talisman” : Iron Maiden MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS Dio dying. Nothing else was nearly that important. MOST ANTICIPATED 2011 Napalm Death: These guys have been on an unbroken streak since 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business. It’s so rare for a band to be at the top of their game almost thirty years into their existence, without showing any signs of slowing down. (Literally, in this case!) Anything they put out will melt your face. Mixtapes: The hype level is already getting stupidly
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out of control with these guys, (They’re pretty good, like a much more rocking Lemuria, but they are in no way game-changing) but I think they’ve got one good fulllength in them before they go to shit. Cheap Girls: If this were the 90’s, this would be the year they broke out big. Since it isn’t, this will be the year they put out another good record and tour a lot.
Motorhead: Death, Taxes, Motorhead. Some things are certain.
She Has A Fashion Vice: Stop Talking, Start Sweating From First To Last: Throne To The Wolves
The Plurals: The Plurals are probably the greatest band you’ve never heard of. They’re dropping a full length this coming spring and I think it’s going to be really great.
MOST MEMORABLE SONGS Bury Tomorrow - “You And I” Miss May I - “Relentless Chaos” Halfway To Winter - “Tom Cruise Control” Rufio - “Deep End” She Has A Fashion Vice - “Foghorn Leghorn” Confide - “Now Or Never” In Fear And Faith - “Counselor” Dream On Dreamer - “Chapter: Desired Performance” The Amity Affliction - “I Hate Hartley” Legacy - “Demons”
Cannibal Corpse: Evisceration Plague came out in 2009, so it’s time guys. Grace us with more gore.
RYAN WILLIFORD’S PICKS TOP ALBUMS 1. My Chemical Romance: Dark Days 2. The Sleeping: The Big Deep 3. For Today: Breaker 4. After The Burial: In Dreams 5. Your Memorial: Atonement 6. A Day To Remember: What Separates You From Me 7. Rosaline: The Vitality Theory 8. And Hell Followed With: Proprioception 9. The Devil Wears Prada: Zombies 10. Parkway Drive: Deep Blue MOST DISAPPOINTING RELEASES Whitechapel: A New Era Of Corruption TOP ALBUM COVERS 1. Your Memorial: Atonement 2. And Hell Followed With: Proprioception 3. The Wonder Years: The Upsides Reissue MOST MEMORABLE SONGS 1. “Just The Way You Are”: Bruno Mars 2. “Sing”: My Chemical Romance 3. “Song For The Broken”: Close Your Eyes 4, “Deliver Me”: Parkway Drive 5. “Na Na Na”: My Chemical Romance 6. “Nervous Breakdown”: Hawthorne Heights 7. “All I Want”: A Day To Remember 8. “Take One Last Breath”: Abandon All Ships 9. “September”: Daughtry 10. “Firework”: Katy Perry
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS 1. Attending the A Day To Remember / Underoath / The Word Alive / Close Your Eyes tour and seeing each band except Close Your Eyes live for the first time. 2. Attending the Despised Icon / For Today tour, which turned out to be one of Despised Icon’s last tours. First time also seeing these two bands live. 3. Starting to write for LMP. MOST ANTICIPATED 2011 Set Your Goals - One of my all time favorite pop-punk/ hardcore bands. Their last album was amazing and I have high hopes for the new one. The Ethnographers - A local unsigned indie/rock band that is slated to record an EP in the Spring. Danielle has an amazing voice and the entire band is passionate about the music they play. Lions!Tigers!Bears! - A great new band signed to Tragic Hero Records that is set for a huge breakout year. They should have the album out in the Spring. Hope For The Dying - Just got the call up from Strike First to Facedown, and they were by far one of the best bands on the Strike First imprint. If they continue to build from their EP, these guys will only get bigger. Onward To Olympas - The sophomore release for this North Carolina band should only improve their sound and fanbase as the band makes great music.
MARIO TREVIZO’S PICKS TOP ALBUMS 1. Dream On Dreamer: Hope 2. Bury Tomorrow: Portraits 3. Eyes Set To Kill: Broken Frames 4. In Fear And Faith: Imperial 5. 36 Crazyfists: Collisions And Castaways 6. The Amity Affliction: Youngbloods 7. Before Their Eyes: Untouchable 8. Confide: Recover
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9. Papa Roach: Time For Annihilation 10. She Has A Fashion Vice: Stop Talking, Start Sweating
the ever famous Warped Tour. He was holding a seminar for some group of music interns. Luckily, I was able to sit in on the session. Eventually, he started asking a lot of questions about the Maryland music scene. Considering the fact that I had gone to over 100+ shows in the last two years, I felt eligible to give him some feedback. Before I knew it, I had the whole seminar listening to me, and Kevin Lyman directly asking me for my feedback on things. It was just too crazy since he is who he is. I felt beyond privileged.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS Interviewing Stevo-32 was pretty unforgettable. I had always wanted to meet him since I was in 7th grade and watched the DVD that came with Does This Look Infected?. When I went to interview them in NJ during the Warped Tour, I was scheduled first to do them. But before they came, I started getting requests from other bands to do interviews. By my third interview, I had missed Sum 41. I was super bummed. When I went to go do press in my home state of Maryland, things weren’t looking any better. Luckily, I got a last minute pass from a company I used to work a lot with called Musicbox Entertainment. I ended up getting a quick seven minute interview with Stevo-32 and Cone that day, and we clicked really well. It was one of my favorite moments. At the same date as the Sum 41 Interview, I met Kevin Lyman, the founder of Taste Of Chaos, Mayhem Fest, and
Lastly, I’ll say going to Rock On The Range this year was the craziest time. I luckily got press for the festival and ended up meeting some of my all time favorite artists including: Killswitch Engage, Rob Zombie/John 5, Rise Against, Papa Roach, Puddle Of Mudd, Limp Bizkit, Seether, and the coolest moment was sharing a beer with the boys from Bullet For My Valentine. MOST ANTICIPATED 2011 I’m most anticipating advancements from the following bands: Halfway To Winter Machree Seladora Legacy Before Their Eyes Halocene She Has A Fashion Vice Inlow Oh Romeo! Lakeview
ROB HARRIS (BUBBS)’ PICKS TOP ALBUMS 1: Death Angel - “Relentless Retribution” 2: Accept - “Blood of the Nations” 3: TwoThirteen - “Goregasm” 4: Cee Lo Green - “The Lady Killer” 5: Star One - “Victims of the Modern Age” 6: Jacobi Wichita - “Bonez Malone” 7: haarp - “The Filth” 8: King of Asgard - “Fi’mbulvintr” 9: Poisonwood - “Dark Days Rise” (Demo) 10: The Judas syndrome - “Underneath Blood Skies”
MOST DISAPPOINTING RELEASES Disturbed: Asylum
MOST DISAPPOINTING RELEASES Bad Religion - The Dissent of Man Anything in a genre ending with “core”
TOP ALBUM COVERS Eyes Set To Kill - Broken Frames
TOP ALBUM COVERS 1: TwoThirteen - “Goregasm”
2: Death Angel - “Relentless Retribution” 3: Zuul - “Out of Time” MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS 1: The death of Ronnie James Dio (Rest Well, Metal Master. We miss you so very much.) 2: Interviewing Rob Halford of Judas Priest! (I can now die happy) 3: Doing an in-person interview with Oderus Urungus of GWAR (Both of us in one room is nuts) MOST ANTICIPATED 2011 As far as what’s coming up in 2011, I try not to get my hopes up about anything. You never know what you will get until you get it. I just look forward to another glorious year of great music from all across the board. Thanks for reading the rantings of scribes like me.
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who has an ear for the cutting edge of metal, I bet Phil fits the description, and he has stumbled across a hidden 10 – As perfect as they come gem known as haarp (purposely misspelled due to legal 9 – Excellence, top notch reasons) from New Orleans that take sludge (or whatever 8 – Very Good you want to call it) to a whole new level. You have to be 7 – Good a true fan of this style to really appreciate what haarp do, 6 – Decent, shows promise but they make it hard not to like them, even if you aren’t 5 – Average, nothing special a fan of slow, sloppy mayhem. Grant (Guitars - who looks 4 – Poor 3 And Below – Don’t bother, they’re bad curiously like Bill Moseley from Devil’s Rejects and Wino had a baby.) riffs away while Ryan drills a merciless bass line into your brain. Meanwhile, Keith pounds ferociously WRITERS: THIS ISSUE’S TOP RATED: at the kit, creating a wall of sound from which there is no (Scored 9 or higher) Nathaniel Lay – (NL) escape. Standing in front of that wall is Shaun, the maeAfter The Burial – In Dreams Ryan Williford – (RW) stro of this sickening symphony who takes pleasure of Your Memorial – Atonement Dylan Newell – (DN) ripping your fucking faces off one by one with one of the My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: True Ryan Horky – (Rhorky) most abrasive vocal assaults committed to recording in Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys Rob Harris – (Bubbs) a long while. Much like waves on the ocean, some big, A Day To Remember – What Separates Me some small, haarp’s music goes from one direction to the From You next, tempo to tempo, but either way, it all comes crashHave Heart – 10.17.09 ing down upon you in the end. If you’re looking for breakThe Ataris – 7” downs or catchy choruses here, you are going come up Circa Survive – Appendage with wish in one hand and shit in the other. These guys The Chariot – Long Live aren’t concerned with making music that the kids want to hear. All these dudes want to do is make noise and immerse themselves in their music. This shit is heavy, raw, and not for the faint of heart. Half-time signatures and rumbling tones of distorted aggression never sounded so good. These dudes are like Buzz-Oven, The Melvins and Neurosis’s mean ass little brother. The album is called out in the process? It seems to me that Cold Snap went COLD SNAP The Filth, and [Soft Break] I am wallowing in it. (Bubbs) straight for the sell-out part and forgot that they had to Perfection put out a decent record or two and get a fan base go[MIG Music] ing before putting out half-assed “Roots Bloody Roots” Score: 1 AFTER THE BURIAL rip-offs. I gave it an honest chance, and I’d have to say Stream: “Party” (If you In Dreams that it was one of the most painful listening experiences I want a good laugh) [Sumerian Records] have had in a long while. If you like stuff like MushroomI find it funny that Cold Score: 9.5 head, Psychostick, and Disturbed, you might dig this stuff Snap’s debut full length Stream: “Pendulum” , but I strongly warn against any self respecting metal fan is called Perfection, as After The Burial is back spending their hard earned shackles on such tripe. Sorry it falls far short of anywith their third full-length guys, but I had to give it to you straight. (Bubbs) thing close to it. For one album, in the form of thing, there isn’t a shred of originality in this band. They In Dreams, with a new play rehashed versions of old Korn and Limp Bizzkit vocalist in tow. The new riffs, over redundant techno programming, with a singer HAARP vocalist sounds so much that is obviously stalking Corey Taylor and mimicking his The Filth fuller and fits in a lot betevery move. The lyrical content is absolutely ridiculous, [Housecore Records] ter to the sound the band as evidenced by tracks like “Party” and “Bongo Bong“. Score: 7.5 is going for. You can hear this in the first track, “My FrailI can’t tell you how much I hate these bands that try to Stream: “Here in the ty.” You can also hear that the vocalist has so many difkeep the flame of Nu-Metal alive. Don’t get me wrong; Dark” ferent vocal styles he is using throughout the album. Add there were a few bands from that era that were awesome The latest product of this in with the technicality of the guitars and you have a (Ultraspank, One Minute Silence, Puya, Snot, Kilgore, Louisiana to barnstorm highly interesting and intriguing album for the listener. In etc.), but they were good enough to release an album the heavy metal world Dreams is an extremely diverse album that is not diverse. or two and then drop off the face of the Earth. When will comes from Phil AnTo explain, while the aspects in the songs are diverse, the these guys realize that only Korn, Disturbed, and Slipknot selmo’s Housecore base sound stays the same through the album. It makes can keep doing this stuff, but only after selling completely Records. If there is a guy every listen that much more better as it will appeal to
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more fans this way. The intro to “Pendulum” is one of the best written and executed parts on this record, and the riff used returns in the actual song. “Pendulum” is by far one of the best songs off of In Dreams; it just has that early to middle 2000’s metal feel to it, while including some of the newer metal sounds near the end. It makes for a spectacular song and a great gem on an ever better album. After The Burial just keeps improving in front of our eyes and, sooner rather than later, they will be the next metal juggernaut. (RW)
I THE BREATHER
These Are My Sins [Sumerian Records] Score: 7 Stream: “Destroyer” I The Breather are the newest band out of the Sumerian camp, and instantly you can tell why. The guitars are technical and their tones sound like a few of the other bands signed to this label. Regardless, the guitarists are very talented but seem to be throwing out a lot of what is already out there in one form or another. While These Are My Sins is heavy throughout, it is also melodic (without any clean singing). While the vocalist is fine for what he is doing, the songs all start to sound the same and merge from one to another without much difference at all. With so many other recent options, and this just being an above average first impression, I The Breather may be on the outside looking in. Hopefully the guys get a second chance to impress the masses. (RW)
CONDUCTING FROM THE GRAVE
Revenants [Sumerian Records] Score: 5 Stream: “Path Of A Traitor” Conducting From The Grave is one of those bands that a lot of people in the scene go crazy for. With their sophomore release, the band again showcases that there is a way to be technical and mind-numbingly boring. Song A has the vocals, some breakdowns, and a lot of technical work,
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while songs B-Z have those same things in the same places. Conducting From The Grave are not “sick” nor are they “amazing”; they are just very technical with their guitars, and that does not do much to a listener (unless the rest of the parts are interesting). Revenants is an uninteresting, average album that only gets bumped up due to the technical aspect of their guitar playing. (RW)
Atonement [Facedown Records] Score: 9.5 Stream: “Hope Era” One of the newest members to the Facedown family is also one with some enormous buzz surrounding them. Your Memorial came out of almost nowhere, but has released one of the best late year albums. The best way to describe them is metalcore without the clean singing. The guitarists are incredibly talented and technical that the listener can tell that they are from the Twin Cities scene. The vocalist is impeccable in all aspects of his screams, and makes the album that much better. The standout track has to be “Hope Era” with its fusion of everything the band stands for. The track has great vocals, highly technical guitars, a nice melodic portion, and a heavy breakdown to finish it all out. Atonement is one beast of an album that will leave most listeners bruised, beaten, and wanting more. Your Memorial melts melody, heaviness, and technicality into one amazing cheese dip of an album. The band will surely be able to capitalize off this astounding record. (RW)
Victims Of The Modern Age [Roadrunner Records] Score: 7 Stream: “Earth That Was” In all honesty, this isn’t a genre I’m a big fan of. That being said, Star One surprised me. Victims Of The Modern Age features some cool atmospheric keys throughout, as well as some impressive melodies. The vocalist often brings to mind Dio, which
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will work in his favor. Unlike the metal most popular these days, Star One features very little screaming (there was maybe one time I heard some briefly); this album is primarily clean singing. Arjen has a great voice for this kind of old school metal, though of course there is a twist: the keys play a big part in Star One, which helps separate this release from others of the genre. While “Digital Rain” will certainly be put on ‘repeat’ often, it is “Earth That Was” that shines most from this collection. The chorus soars beautifully and instantly sticks with you, making the listener want to replay it again and again. As a whole, Victims Of The Modern Age will surely win over a lot of fans of this genre. Even people like me who aren’t usually interested in this kind of thing should give Star One a spin. They may just find themselves surprised like I did. (NL)
THE SHADOW THEORY
Behind The Black Veil [InsideOut Music] Score: 5 Stream: “Selebrate” It’s a bit difficult categorizing this album to a genre. Without hearing it, appearances would suggest metal. The band’s name, the album title, the cover art...it all has that genre appeal. However, upon listening to Behind The Black Veil, it quickly becomes apparent that is not really the case. Yes, there are plenty of moments that do pick up to a metal construction, but there is also a handful of time in which this record is slow and atmospheric. Unfortunately, rather than being melodic or beautiful, the atmosphere of this disc is mostly boring. The slow moments are called “slow” for a reason. Even when things are picking up, first heard through “Ghostride”, the music is still lacking a spark. Considering this album was in the works for years, Behind The Black Veil comes out even more disappointing. The Shadow Theory just don’t do enough to keep your attention. Their slow stuff is too boring and their fast stuff is too generic. As a result, this release doesn’t really need your attention. (NL)
Pulse [Metal Blade Records] Score: 8.5 Stream: “Sleep Shake” Before you ask why this voice sounds familiar, let me just straight out answer you. Thomas Giles is the solo moniker of Tommy Rodgers, the lead vocalist, keyboardist, and founding member of Between The Buried And Me. Pulse is his solo debut, releasing February 2011 via Metal Blade Records. If you’re a fan of BTBAM, think of all the music sections without screaming. That general style is what you will find in Pulse. It’s all very atmospheric, theatrical, and impressive. While melodic, it often also has a dark nature to it. The opening track, “Sleep Shake”, instantly becomes a favorite. The chorus is softly catchy and memorable as Tommy sings “My creation / My imagination / I’ve become different now / My speech and thoughts are out”. As the album plays out, you’ll find your slower numbers (“Mr. Bird”, “Scared” ), your more upbeat tracks (“Reverb Island”, “Hamilton Anxiety Scale”), and the bizarre (“Catch & Release”, “Medic”). The latter fits in between these general descriptions. Any fan of BTBAM should certainly check this one out, but do keep in mind it doesn’t have any heavy moments (aside from the bizarre numbers mentioned just a moment ago). This is mostly singing and keyboard work. It’s very cool and very impressive. Tommy Rodgers is a beast. Did I mention he self-produced the record and arranged, composed, and played all the instruments? Well he did. (NL)
A BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY
Revision:Revise [Artery Recordings] Score: 8.5 Stream: “Decisions” The newest release from the hotbed of Artery Recordings is A Bullet For Pretty Boy’s Revision:Revise. “The Deceiver” starts off the album with a kick in the teeth, and even throws in some symphonic aspects into the sound before the soaring chorus. The vocalist is truly talented in both screaming and singing. The symphonic aspects found in “The Deceiver” are also found scattered throughout the rest of the album, and it makes for an interesting listen as it is outside the norm. What makes it even better is that they are well executed and placed timely. “Decisions” features singing that reminds fans of older bands in the
genre. A Bullet For Pretty Boy does not try to reinvent the wheel, but they do what they do better than most bands out there. Out of all the recent releases in this genre, this is one of the standouts and should help propel the band into a great 2011. (RW)
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys [Reprise/Warner Brothers] Score: 9 Stream: “Sing” “More mature”, “mixture of older albums”, “sound changes”. Everyone knows the key phrases thrown around when bands talk about their new albums, and My Chemical Romance has succeeded on all three. Throughout Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, you can hear a very mature My Chemical Romance who has mixed The Black Parade, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, and some new sounds together to change their music into something unique and different from what is out there currently. You will find guitar solos throughout the album, and Gerard’s distinct voice at its best on every track. A lot of critics will cite their sound change and for them not being the “real” My Chemical Romance, but the guys realize that a band has to progress for the good to keep the gift of music alive. Most people would be highly disappointed if this was The Black Parade Part 2. The album is also very balanced with great songs throughout the album, and almost no filler to be found. Danger Days may have just been released, but it is very likely going to be a front runner for Album of the Year with songs like “Sing”, “Na Na Na”, and “The Kids From Yesterday” leading the pack (among many others). If you have enjoyed My Chemical Romance’s last two albums, you will want to marry Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. (RW)
THE SADDEST LANDSCAPE
You Will Not Survive [Panic Records] Score: 8 Stream: “Declaring War On Nostalgia” You Will Not Survive is a mostly a blend of fran-
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tic punk and screamo. It all sounds very chaotic and messy, which works beautifully. The first song, “Declaring War On Nostalgia”, is an excellent opener that closes with some furious shouts that bring to mind the ending of “People You Know” (by Dance Gavin Dance). From there, The Saddest Landscape deliver brutal track after track, all of which sound very gritty. While the style does become a bit tedious about half way through, You Will Not Survive still offers up plenty of memorable moments. The breakdowns and screeches almost resemble those of Thursday at times, which is a hard sound to imitate. This is one of those bands that sound like they go into practice to just mess around and see what happens. In their case, the end results are quite entertaining and destructive. This release should really be heard by any fan of this style. (NL)
THE VERY END
Mercy & Misery [Roadrunner Records] Score: 6.5 Stream: “Rat Nation” First, let’s start by saying The Very End do some things quite well. The screams are reminiscent of At All Cost, while the clean vocals often bring to mind Godsmack (as do the guitars for that matter). Mercy & Misery blend the hard rock and metal pretty well, keeping the key styles where they need to be to deliver something capable of catching your attention. However, once they have it, The Very End don’t do quite enough to make a fan out of you. Once again, this album does feature a solid formula that has won over thousands, but in this day and age you need to go above and beyond to make new fans. The ones you already have may be pleased, but new listeners are more likely to pass you by. As a result, this is an above solid metal release to hear once or twice, but there won’t be much of a reason for returning afterward. (NL)
AS THEY SLEEP
Dynasty [Solid State Records] Score: 6.5 Stream: “To The Republic” As They Sleep are on the heavier edge for Solid State Records. While the
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label does go after a lot of metal acts, not too many of them sound like death metal. With Dynasty, that’s the kind of experience you will be getting. Job For A Cowboy and Black Dahlia Murder fans will likely be attracted to this, as it is bountiful in screeches and growls. In fact, it sounds just like those two bands. There are very little differences in styles. As a result, if you like that kind of thing, you’ll probably love As They Sleep. If you don’t, then turn away now. With these comparisons being noted, let’s actually look more into the music of the album. It’s all performed well. The vocals are infectious, albeit not memorable; we’ve heard this all before. The breakdowns are also pretty standard fare, despite having all the bells and whistles metal fans look for. What it all comes down to is “do you like this style or not?”. There’s little wiggle room with this one. It’s pretty much a “yes” or “no” answer. (NL)
All American Nightmare [Universal Republic] Score: 6 Stream: “The Life” Unfortunately, Hinder is following in the foot steps of most hard rock bands: downhill. We’ve seen it many times before. A radio rock band gets big and then starts going generic more and more with every new release. In the case of Hinder, they delivered an excellent debut that was melodic and hard rock combined. It wasn’t something new, but it was damn memorable nonetheless. Then it was followed with Take It To The Limit. This record strayed away from the lighter stuff and focused more on party anthems. It was a fun record, but didn’t stick with the listener. Now, for their latest collection, Hinder has brought us the generically titled All American Nightmare. Right off the bat, you get a bad feeling. As the cover and title suggest, this album is mostly hard rock. It’s gritty, dirty, and lacking in variety. There’s almost no melody left with the band at this point. There are still some good tracks though, thankfully. “The Life” almost makes the album worth a spin alone. However, the bottom line is this: Hinder has left its roots to follow the bands they grew up on (which means you already know these songs). All American Nightmare is part annoyingly-generic and part nostalgic-reminder. There are songs that reflect their debut, but they’re too far apart. (NL)
A DAY TO REMEMBER
What Separates Me From You [Victory Records] Score: 9.5 Stream: “It’s Complicated” One of the most highly expected albums of the year has to be A Day To Remember’s What Separates Me From You. There was massive build up, promotion, and a huge tour surrounding the release of this new record, but does the final product live up to the hype? “Sticks & Bricks” opens things up on a heavy note that is only rivaled by “2nd Sucks”, as the rest of the album is really poppy and away from what made A Day To Remember a fan favorite. There is always a high risk/high reward factor when a band changes up their sound and/or formula on a new record. There were a lot of different reactions when “All I Want” was released, but the song is written really well and is as catchy as anything found on Homesick. Then you have songs like “It’s Complicated” that are almost a complete change in sound that work really well for them. It would not be surprising to see it as a single in the future. A Day To Remember have almost completely shed their hardcore roots in favor for their pop and pop-punk roots, but that shedding has led to some experimentation for the guys. While What Separates Me From You is not Homesick Part 2, but it is still a great album that is still getting many different reactions to it. A word of advice to listeners, keep listening to the album and it will more than likely grow on you. (RW)
MY TICKET HOME
The Opportunity To Be [Rise Records] Score: 8.5 Stream: “The Opportunity To Be” My Ticket Home went from touring with Myka, Relocate, and A Sequence of Ghosts to announcing their signing with Rise Records in a matter of days. This Ohio band was part of Rise’s 2010 massive signing spree and again showcases why Craig Ericson is the founder/owner of one of the biggest
independent labels out there right now. The Opportunity To Be is a digital only release, but judging by the opening track “Surroundings”, that will not be the case with any of their other releases. “Surroundings” starts out really heavy and then transitions into a greatly sung chorus. The song also features a great drum part twothird of the way into the song. “Desertion” features an effect filled intro that works in its own little way. While the EP is filled with screaming, you would be foolish to overlook the vocalist’s singing. He has a great voice that a lot of vocalists would die for. The band is still pretty new to the scene, but has already released an amazing EP on Rise Records. My Ticket Home will soon be the new Rise staple band, and it is only a matter of time before it happens. For now though, this digital only release should hold people over until My Ticket Home’s debut full-length. (RW)
TEN AFTER TWO
If You Don’t First [Rise Records] Score: 8 Stream: “Home Edition” Rise Records has been on a tear this year with signings and, while it may seem like they are trying to throw a lot of bands on the wall and see who sticks, all the signings have been fantastic and are starting to release their label debuts. Ten After Two has released their EP, If You Don’t First, to the masses. “Behind Locked Doors” starts everything off and showcases the band’s technical guitar work and the vocalist’s great screams and singing. The song is a great introduction to the album, as it contains everything that Ten After Two do well. The band writes great breakdowns and while they do sing, the heavier parts are the best from the band. They seem to really bring it during those parts, and you can tell that the lighter parts are playing second fiddle. If you want a song that has equally great heavy and light parts, look no further than “Home Edition.” With the album being released around the same time as other Rise/Velocity releases and only digitally and through Hot Topic, If You Don’t First has probably not seen the recognition that it deserves. Ten After Two will hopefully make you pay attention between now and their full length debut. (RW)
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Truth Rising [Suburban Noise Records] Score: 2 Stream: “It’s All Over” It’s probably not a good sign for any band when a reviewer’s first thought upon receiving their new album is “these dudes are still around?” But, reviewers have to remain objective. We can’t judge a group based on our preconceived notions about them. Each album has to be given a fresh listen with new ears. Every artist should be given a chance to grow and change. Sounds that you didn’t enjoy ten years ago may be just what the doctor ordered today. It is with this attitude that I popped (Hed)P.E.’s newest offering, Truth Rising, into my CD player. Was my new found (and somewhat uncharacteristic) positivity rewarded? In a word: no. No, it was not. (Hed)P.E. continue to put out the same mish-mash of rap, hard rock, and whatever other flavor they happen to be sampling this week, all topped off with weak songwriting and downright embarrassing lyrics. I’m sure a true fan could show you exactly how the group has progressed since their first major release in 1997, but I’m not seeing it. To me, this is still the “heavy” music that idiots from my tiny hometown get down to. I’d love to be able to point out a “standout” track, or at least a particularly enjoyable sample, (since there’s a sample on damn near every track) but it’s impossible. Truth Rising is just not a good album. Avoid this sucker like the plague. (RHorky)
Coup De Grace [No Idea Records] Score: 5 Stream: “Robin” This release definitely took me by surprise. I know John Massel, the drummer on Coup De Grace, from his work with North Lincoln. I was basically expecting something along those lines—gruff, gritty Midwestern punk rock. Coup De Grace doesn’t even come close to that sound though. It’s really more akin to Low or other “slowcore” bands from the nineties. It also reminds me (in certain spots) of Elliot Smith, especially some of the melodies. If you’re into stuff
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like that, Shores would definitely be worth checking out. I, however, am not really into bands like that, and found the album boring and slightly too long. Try as I might, (and I gave this considerably more listens than I normally would, for fear that I might be missing something) I just couldn’t get into this record. It’s cool to see folks breaking out of their box a little bit, but this record remains snooze-inducing to me. (RHorky)
Will Never Die [BreakSilence Records] Score: 0 or 10 (Depending on whether this is a joke or not) Stream: “Always Go Hard” I’ve been hearing about Brokencyde for while now, and none of it has been positive. Seemingly everyone hates this “band” (I just can’t, in good conscience, consider these guys a real band when they list “fog machine” as a duty of one of their members). I think it was a reviewer in Metal Edge who called them “fucking horrendous”. Now, being an old man who lives in a cave with his records and doesn’t like to venture out into the world of pop culture too much, I have thus far avoided actually hearing a note of Brokencyde’s “music” (Again, not sure I can really call this music with a straight face). So when LMP sent me a list of albums I could review, and Brokencyde was on it, I figured it was time to take the plunge and see what everyone was on about. And yes, this is terrible music, completely devoid of any value whatsoever, especially to a thirty-one year old man. But, lyrics aside, is this really that much worse than most of the other pop music out there today? In an age where Katy Perry is considered to have artistic merit, how is Brokencyde considered the antichrist? All the pop music I hear sounds like it was produced in the same studio, by the same tone deaf engineers, using the same crappy sounding sampling programs, with the same illiterate fools penning the lyrics. At least Brokencyde are writing lyrics that are even dumber than anything else out there. At least they’re saying something (Even if that something is actually nothing). The thing is, if I’m right about these guys, then they’re actually geniuses. Because I think these guys are just fucking with everybody. I think they’re regular guys who just decided to use the instant fame/lowest common denominator culture we have and take it as far as they could. They decided to make the worst possible music
they could, because they knew that if they presented it in a totally outrageous way people would check it out. They’re trying to piss off pretentious critics on purpose. They’re taking advantage of the fact that kids will listen to anything that is rude and has swearing in it to upset their parents, whether it has merit or not. If this is an Andy Kaufman-style joke, it’s a great one. I still don’t want to listen to another note of their music ever, but I totally applaud them for screwing with everyone. If I’m wrong, and this is sincerely the music Brokencyde believe in, and this entire album is done seriously, then this is truly “fucking horrendous”. But if I’m right, kudos to Brokencyde. We need more artists willing to be as absurd as they are. (Rhorky)
BURNING THE MASSES
Offspring Of Time [Sumerian Records] Score: 5.5 Stream: “Resonance Of The Foul” Is it really any surprise that this band is doing what so many others already have? Metal these days is just sad. Burning The Masses sound like so many other bands out there right now. Offspring Of Time is composed of growls, screeches, double bass, chug-chug, and all that shit. All bashing aside, they are doing what they’ve set out to do. This is surely the music they like and it sounds as it should. It’s just a generic genre in my opinion. All these bands sound way too similar to stand out. The formula rarely ventures outside the box, so don’t expect any real “stand out” moments or songs. It’s pretty much standard from start to finish. You’ll know what to expect from a band called “Burning The Masses” and that is exactly what you’ll get. (NL)
10.17.09 [Bridge Nine] Score: 9 Stream: “Bostons” October 17th, 2009 was National Edge Day and the last show Have Heart played as a band. Coming out of Massachusetts in 2002, the band quickly gained a loyal fan base with their
straight edge hardcore music. They first released an album with Bridge Nine in 2006, titled The Things We Carry. Their life span felt short lived, but you have to give them props for going out in style. Their last tour spanned the world and ended with this last amazing show. Properly titled 10.17.09, the live recording features twenty-one tracks that were heard by some 2,000 people during this sold out concert. Fans will be very pleased with this release, and even new listeners will enjoy it. Why? Usually a live album doesn’t impress me, but this one actually lets you feel the energy and passion that was present that night (whether you were a fan or not). You can tell the crowd was very into these songs, as was the band. The vocals may be hard to hear at times, but that’s to be expected from a live recording. Bottom line: Have Heart put on one hell of a final show that can be heard through this recording and watched on DVD now, thanks to Bridge Nine. It’s a must have for fans and a highly recommended release for anyone who digs hardcore. Check out favorites “The Machinist”, “Bostons”, “Something More Than Ink”, and “Watch Me Sink” for sure! (NL)
No Secret Revealed [Bullet Tooth] Score: 8.5 Stream: “Nostra Culpa” One thing that will be said about Affiance is that they certainly sound unique and intriguing. Their vocalist has this voice that brings to mind older Human Abstract music; it’s not naturally high, but he can reach those heights easily when he chooses to (which is quite often on this album). The screaming is a lot less frequent, but sounds great when it does pop up from time to time. If the band hadn’t kept it so much in the background, some of these breakdowns may have come out more explosive. This seems to be the problem No Secret Revealed suffers from the most. Things sound like they’re working up to something extremely large and satisfying, but rarely go all the way. That being said, this album is still quite interesting to play from start to finish. It does a great job in building you up throughout, that’s for sure. The spoken sections actually serve their purpose rather than bore you, and the instrumentals are all very energetic and well constructed. Once again, Affiance are unique. This aspect will surely propel them, even if No Secret Revealed could
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have been more. Nonetheless, it’s still an excellent ten track collection to introduce the band to new fans abroad. They will be a band to watch for sure. (NL)
All Souls’ Day & The Graveyard of the Atlantic 7″ [Paper & Plastick Records] Score: 9.5 Stream: “All Souls’ Day” “All Souls’ Day” actually appeared over a year ago via the 2009 Warped Tour Compilation. The song was addictive, fun, and gritty from start to finish. With this 7″, it’s made all the better by not being edited! While the band actually finished their new album quite a while back, the damn thing still has yet to be released. Luckily, Paper & Plastick are here to ease our pain with this two track vinyl. The second song, “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”, is actually the title track of their upcoming new album. It’s not as fast, and is more alternative like the Ataris’ “The Boys Of Summer”-era. As if we didn’t already have a reason to be bitching for a new record, this 7″ just makes the demand ever higher. This new material is great, so where is the rest. How much longer must we wait?! (NL)
Appendage EP [Atlantic Records] Score: 9 Stream: “Backmask” Following their recent third full length, Blue Sky Noise, Circa Survive have continued to please their fans with a brand new EP (sold both digitally and physically). The album, titled Appendage, features five new tracks: “Sleep Underground (Demo)”, “Stare Like You’ll Stay”, “Everyway”, “Backmask”, and “Lazarus”. If the song “Everyway” sounds familiar, that’s because the acoustic version of the track was a bonus on the deluxe Blue Sky Noise release. Why “Sleep
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Underground” is noted as a demo is beyond us, but the atmospheric opener does a great job in getting things started. It is then followed by “Stare Like You’ll Stay”, a song that has an alternative feel working for it. The acoustic version of “Everyway” had a slight bounce to it, but the full band version found on this EP doesn’t really. It is still a more reserved track in nature, but it relies more on beautiful melody than before. “Backmask” is the most diverse song on the EP, as it builds upon itself with each minute; the drums on this one really stand out above all else. Lastly, “Lazarus” brings things to a close with some almost sleezy feeling instrumentation and sly vocals. As a result, it feels quite interesting and unique. That being said, Circa Survive in general play very original music. Appendage is no different. This is an EP any fan should purchase upon its release. (NL)
Long Live [Good Fight Music] Score: 9 Stream: “Calvin Makenzie” While The Chariot have always showed some degree of groovy, chaotic metal in the past, it’s definitely Long Live that puts them at the top of their game. Right from the start, this album gives you body spasms you’ll energetically enjoy. These songs are destructive, crazy, and full of twists and turns to keep things from ever feeling unoriginal. While most bands of this genre fall into that category of “interesting at first, but tiresome as a whole”, Long Live throws enough at you to keep you thoroughly happy and coming back for me. Whether they’re doing little things, like adding some old-timer music to break up the frenzy (“Calvin Makenzie”), stuttering the instrumental recordings (“The City”), or just turning up the breakdown meter up high (“Andy Sundwall”), The Chariot are successfully keeping each track separate and fresh from one another. This is a great technique not many bands share, so the fact the band pulled it off so beautifully with this album tells you what kind of skills they’ve been hiding. Well they’re out there now for us to enjoy, thank God. May Long Live help The Chariot live long. Corny, I know, but you got to love this disc. (NL)
Disambiguation [Tooth & Nail/Solid State] Score: 7 Stream: “Paper Lung” Having been a fan since the death metal EP’s that marked the start of this band’s career, I have to say this is their most disappointing release yet. Underoath just isn’t the same without Aaron at drums and backing vocals. While the new drummer isn’t the issue, the band’s sound sorely needs Aaron singing alongside the screams. That high and low balance really made all the difference. Without it, the vocals become tiresome very quickly. As a man who lives for the vocal work of an album, this really made Disambiguation hard to get into. Granted, the instrumentals are as impressive as ever. There are some truly magnificent writing to be heard here, but the lack of singing hurts the album greatly. Spencer may try to make up for Aaron’s absence by singing himself, but it just doesn’t work. He isn’t bad or anything, but obviously his singing voice is at the same general level as his screaming voice. There is needs to be a bigger difference between the two to make it stand out properly. Giving this album a 7 is generous for me since I don’t care for it. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt since the instrumental work is great (it makes up for a lot of the downfalls). But without Aaron singing back up, I fear that this is the last time I’ll be playing a new Underoath album voluntarily. (NL)
THE AMITY AFFLICTION
Glory Days [Boomtown Records] Score: 7.5 Stream: “Straight Up!” The impressive thing about this band is just how many damn genres they mold together throughout Glory Days. I mean, “DAMN”, there’s a lot of variety here. While this is awesome, it also causes the album to feel a bit mixed at times. The Amity Affliction are mostly heavy, bringing you chaotic screams and breakdowns constantly. There’s a bunch of screamo and metal elements to be found here, though the band does manage to throw in more than that. The vocals are probably the best part about this band. These guys screech, yell, sing, growl,
and all in between. They don’t seem to have any limits to their vocals! Instrumentally, the band is ever changing the beats and structures. This makes everything a lot crazier (which is good), but also means no real choruses or memorable sections (which is bad). As a result, this album is highly entertaining, but you likely won’t walk away with a catchy chorus or awesome breakdown stuck in your head. Basically, all the best elements of this band also hurt their overall appeal. Nevertheless, these guys obviously have a lot of talent and abilities they love experimenting with. Perhaps down the road they will choose a sound to stick with, and then develop upon it. Until then, Glory Days will do a good job in keeping you busy. (NL)
A Short Collection Of Short Songs [Animal Style] Score: 8 Stream: “Anna Maria” Mixtapes first caught my attention during their split 7” with Direct Hit!. The band has a lighthearted, punk rock vibe to them that brings to mind the sweet sounds of the Juno soundtrack (don’t laugh). These are enjoyable songs that you can’t help but smile at when listening. Granted, I was expecting this album to be a bit more memorable, but it is still very good nonetheless. Out of the two vocalists, it’s the higher pitched one that stands out the most. The parts with this member are the best, though I can’t put my finger on the reason why. Something about that voice is just infectious. A Short Collection Of Short Songs is an entertaining release from a band that deserves attention. Let’s hope they follow in the foot steps of Man Overboard and release a bunch of stuff every couple months. That would be killer. (NL)
TIN HORN PRAYER
Get Busy Dying [Bermuda Mohawk] Score: 8 Stream: “Crime Scene Cleanup Time” This is one of those bands I wouldn’t normally expect to enjoy. They play a Southern
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mix of bluegrass, jazz, and punk on Get Busy Dying. That means you’ll hear banjos, harmonicas, and other instruments you’re likely to find in the farm areas of the states. The thing about Tin Horn Prayer is that they are mostly catchy and oddly entertaining. “Crime Scene Cleanup Time”, for example, is composed of silly lyrics and memorable group vocalizations. There are some tracks that are a bit slower and less interesting, but the majority of songs here are upbeat and fun in nature. I don’t know where these guys come from or how long they’ve been around, but I’m personally looking forward to hearing more of them. Check out Get Busy Dying for yourself; you may just be pleasantly surprised like me. (NL)
Watch The Years Crawl By [Rock City Recording Company] Score: 7 Stream: “America” This release is much welcomed considering Mike’s Tumbledown record was such a failure this year. Arthur, another side project of the MXPX member, is more punk rock and enjoyable to play. Watch The Years Crawl By is the band’s first album in eight years, so fans of the old stuff will probably be charging for this new addition to the discography. It’s all pretty simple and standard, but it does have plenty of catchy and memorable moments to keep it in spotlight. Each passing track has something about it worth hearing, which is a definite plus. There aren’t any real “losers” here, though not every song is great. However, they are at least good. In fact, that is the general feel of the record. Watch The Years Crawl By is good. It’s nothing special, but it gets the job done well. It’s at least worth a few spins from any fan of the genre. (NL)
I SEE STARS
“The End Of The World Party” Single [Sumerian Records] Score: 8 In anticipation of their sophomore record, I See Stars have released their first new single titled “The End Of The World Party”. There is noticeably less screaming, which was a somewhat expected change after losing the vocalist from their debut. The heavier moments that are present, however, sound pretty good, albeit less diverse than what was heard on 3-D. Nevertheless, this is a catchy song that will tide fans over until the next album releases. (NL)
“Revolving Hype Machines” Single [Rise Records] Score: 9
The great thing about this single is it feels more like their old material that made this band so special in their early years. It’s fast, brutal, and angry. Hell, it’s only a little over a minute in length. It probably could have gone longer and still been exceedingly brilliant, but it’s excellent this way nonetheless. If this is a sneak peek of how their next album will feel, count us in. The last release just didn’t do it for us. (NL)
THIS IS HELL
“Rat Race” Single [Rise Records] Score: 8.5 “Rat Race” is exactly what you’d expect from This Is Hell. It’s fast, furious, and energetic punk you can’t help but be attracted to. The record they released this year on Rise was great, so it’s good to see they’re keeping up the work. Once again, This Is Hell have put out something worth hearing. (NL)
“Conflicts” Single [Rise Records] Score: 8 In preparation of their Rise debut this coming January, Decoder have released a single off the record to attract new friends. The band have a unique progressive/posthardcore feel to them that is similar to a mix between Alexisonfire and Pmtoday. It doesn’t sound like everything else out there, and that should really help these guys rise fast. “Conflicts” is mostly even toned throughout. You have one vocalist that yells, and another who sings beautifully. Instrumentally, its very groovy and solemn sounding (even when the one guy is screaming). Overall, this is an interesting introduction from a band we’re looking forward to hearing more of when their debut hits the shelves in a month. (NL)
Bonfires EP [Triple Crown / Run For Cover Records] Score: 9 Stream: “Like Ships In The Night” For fans, this has felt like a long wait (though, in reality, they released an album during 2009). Luckily, the band doesn’t disappoint on this EP. Bonfires is four tracks of that sweet punk/rock goodness these guys are so good at. While it was never a problem to me personally, some friends complained of the singer’s voice last time around. With Bonfires, it sounds like his vocals have smoothed out and improved (so that will be good news to some of you). When compared to their 2009 debut, this EP does
seem a bit less energetic and in-your-face. This isn’t a bad thing, however. The band may have made things more even and sweet sounding, but it still rocks great. Fireworks are kings in their genre and deserve such recognition. Bonfires is another hit. (NL)
PLAIN WHITE T’S
Wonders Of The Younger [Hollywood Records] Score: 8.5 Stream: “Boomerang” Personally, this is a band that has not been on top since their album featuring “Hey There Delilah”. However, Plain White T’s are here to change that opinion with Wonders Of The Younger. This is was a very pleasant surprise, to say at the least. I wasn’t expecting much from this new album, but I was quickly proved wrong. Wonders of the Younger features a good list of sweet sounding tracks that swim around the listener, pulling you into a world that the band has created through some visual lyrics. Some of these numbers are also quite catchy and contagious, such as “Boomerang” and “Broken World”. This album does a good job in entertaining the listener, as well as proving that Plain White T’s still have it in them to bring out all the stops. If you have the ability, do try to pick this one up. If you like alternative rock at all, this one will likely win you over easily. (NL)
Transitions EP [Hopeless Records] Score: 8.5 Stream: “Replace You (Acoustic)” With a new label and album on the horizon, Silverstein has decided to tease fans with this five track EP. Transitions features four new songs, one of which is the acoustic version of a track off the upcoming new record. To make things even better, the band even did a Nine Inch Nails cover! The first three songs - “Sacrifice”, “Darling Harbour”, “”Dancing On My Grave” - all sound quite enticing. The sound falls somewhere between their oldest material and Arrivals And Departures. “Replace You (Acoustic)” is instantly the favorite, though. Silverstein is known for releasing great acoustic versions of their songs, and this one is no exception. I can’t help but question why they don’t just write a fully acoustic record, though. Moving on, the band ends it all with “Wish”, which is a very interesting and entertaining move on their part. Nine Inch Nails is a much different style from their own stuff, so it’s cool to see Silverstein cover the song excellently. Transitions will do its job in holding us over for the new record, but the demand is not absent. (NL)
MINI REVIEWS ROCKY LOVES EMILY – American Dream – Score: 6.5 [Tooth And Nail] This is sugary pop punk, simply put. American Dream is upbeat and catchy, but also sounds like so many other albums of this genre. Rocky Loves Emily will have to step it up next time if they want to make a real name for themselves. AFTER THE FALL – Eradication – Score: 6
[Mightier Than Sword] While appealing at first, Eradication does get a bit old as it plays from track to track. It also doesn’t help that the album is made up of fifteen tracks that sound alike. Still, this kind of chaos is fun for a while.
ANNABEL – Here We Are Tomorrow – Score: 7
[Tiny Engines] This may not strike you as gold, but it is sweet sounding and enjoyable. It won’t come out at you in any way, but still manages to keep your attention throughout. Annabel could become something down the road.
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MONUMENT – Goes Canoeing – Score: 6 [Tiny Engines] Monument’s main issue is their distant vocals. If they were to be brought forward more, they might make all the difference. A lot of this seems more instrumental than anything, which will turn away some. Nothing really leaves a lasting impression either. ONLY THIEVES
– Heartless Romantics – Score: 7.5 [Self Released] At first, this doesn’t sound like much. However, if you actually listen from track to track, Only Thieves really do begin to grow on you. Heartless Romantics has a handful of great tracks here that foreshadow even greater things to come if this band doesn’t give up.
– Keep This To Yourself – Score: 7 [Run For Cover] Mostly heard alongside Balance And Composure, Transit share a lot of similarities with that band’s sound. They play energetic punk that actually molds some frantic rock at times. The mixture easily catches your attention, despite not providing too many memorable moments along the way.
THE FROZEN OCEAN – In Exile - Score: 8 [Come And Live] David Swanson, the mastermind behind The Frozen Ocean, brought together Matt Greiner and Andy Nelson when recording In Exile. The seven track album features excellent instrumentation, atmosphere, and honesty from start to finish. It may appeal more to the older audiences due to its nature, but anyone who respects the art of music should surely love this one. THE OCEAN
– Anthroprocentric – Score: 7.5 [Metal Blade] Complex and intrigueing, The Ocean have released yet another interesting metal release in the vein of Between The Buried And Me. It may not strike us as very memorable or explosive, but it certainly shows a lot of technique and skill from start to finish.
– Dog’s Blood - Score: 8 [Vagrant Records] Their last album may have found Alexisonfire going through a more grunge/hardcore phase, but Dog’s Blood has the band returning more to their earlier work. These few tracks are an entertaining flashback, though the band does incorporate elements from all of their albums along the way. If this is a look into their next full length, count us intrigued.
BANQUETS – This Is Our Concern, Dude - Score: 9 [Black Numbers] In the likes of Junior Battles, Banquets play that simple, yet catchy punk rock that is perfect for road trips. This Is Our Concern, Dude offers up four fun tracks that are enjoyable and easy to get into. WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH
– MMX - Score: 8.5
[Lifeforce] As with each of their previous releases, War From A Harlots Mouth charge in with fast and aggressive thrash/ metal that is overflowing with energy and sweat. MMX is great for when you’re venting, or just have a desire to let loose. It sounds more or less like their other albums, but is that a really such a bad thing?
– Midwesterns: The Hits - Score: 8.5 [Victory] With Hawthorne Heights no longer on Victory, the label has decided to release a greatest hits spanning their career on the roster. This collection features all the best from their few albums with Victory, though the favorites will probably always be the songs taken from the band’s debut. Feeling nastalgic? Hit this one up for some fun memories.
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A Day To Remember, Senses Fail, Close Your Eyes, The Chariot, and more! This last issue of 2010 also includes the End Of The Year Special.
Published on Dec 15, 2010
A Day To Remember, Senses Fail, Close Your Eyes, The Chariot, and more! This last issue of 2010 also includes the End Of The Year Special.