Bless SiriusXM’s Octane station for showing me this group, because WOW. VRSTY [pronounced varsity] is a group from New York that pack a big punch with vocals, riffs, and breakdowns. I alway love it when I get the chance to hear a new group and I am super happy that I was able to hear these guys when I did.

In terms of sound, I spent forever having a total brain fart as to who I was reminded of vocally. When I finally was able to figure out who I heard, I just kind of did that little head nod to myself, sort of like “yeah, I’m gonna stick with them for a long while”. With hints of Telle Smith from The Word Alive and Beau Bokan from Blessthefall, I was able to see why I loved this music from the moment I heard it.

“Massive” played on Octane during a recent drive and I was immediately following the flow of the song. I think it is structured really well dynamically and has one of the best breakdowns I have heard in a while. Plus this song gives me the best image of a call and respond type moment at a show. I seriously want to experience this song live.

After spending the past couple of days listening to the band, I found myself still in love with “Massive” but I am also a huge fan of “Shameless”, “You and I”, and “Stuck In My Brain”. There isn’t a song I have disliked yet, I really enjoy this band and their sound. Plus their videos are super cool to watch and I love the color schemes they use in them.

If you’re a fan of band like Blessthefall, The Word Alive, and/or Crown The Empire, I know you’ll love VRSTY. I already have them added to my playlists and if you’re smart you won’t sleep on them either. Check out their video for “Massive” below and make sure to follow their socials as well as mine. Until next time,

Stay entertained.

VRSTY Twitter / VRSTY Instagram

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Do You Dream of Armageddon?: Great intro to the album. I totally want to hear this in the next fantasy/action fight scene I watch. Someone get on that, or tell me who to talk to about it. It needs to happen.

Black Lungs: This one has some rhythm stuff that I find really interesting and intriguing, in the second verse specifically. “Sure sounds like heaven to me” is amazingly structured and sounds so good. THE BUILD TO THE BREAKDOWN IS IMMACULATE!

Giving Blood: I love the high pitched edit on the guitar and the drums are interesting. Sam’s soft falsetto is super pleasing to listen to. The bridge brings an eerie vibe and almost makes me think of some of the songs off of retrograde by Crown The Empire. Which is not a bad thing at all, considering I think that is their best album. Super good closing on this tune.

Discourse is Dead: A very nice intro to a very HEAVY song. I love the chorus, but I am not sure how I feel about the bridge. There are heavy vocals on flat heavy distortion and it gets a little muddy. I love the choral vocals after that though, that is super nice.

Dead Butterflies: With trumpets? Yes? This is definitely a break from the sounds we have heard on the album before. Still a little bit of heavy backing track with distortion but the brass gives a bit of a breather and a new vibe. Probably one of my top three.

An Ordinary Extinction: Okay Tron….wait this might be my favorite. The intro tease is amazing and I am totally here for it. This is another tune that feels much different from the majority of the songs prior to it. I really like it.

Impermanence: “Those afraid to die will never truly live” gives me chills and might be one of my favorite moments on the album, out of all the songs. This song is gritty and heavy and I love it. I have so many ideas of where this song would fit into different movies and shows and that makes me really excited too. I also love how the tempo picks up for the chorus.

Flight Without Feathers: This one is truly beautiful. I really enjoy it and it definitely creates range on the album. I always look for that in the music I listen to. I think this one really compliments Sam Carters vocal abilities especially with some of the other tunes on this album being incredibly heavy. He does both so well.

Little Wonder: So we are taken back to the techno stuff. I also really like this one. The chorus goes hard and reminds me of Bring Me The Horizon. Post chorus track is super good too and can we just talk about the RIFF IN THE BRIDGE?!

Animals: I have loved this one since it came out so I wont go into details on it.

Libertine: This one is definitely slower and takes us back to some heavy distortion. The bridge on this one is a work of absolute art. I love the mixing of vocals in the ending.

Goliath: My favorite intro on the album so far. The ton in the vocals with Simon Neil works incredibly well. I love the guitars on this song when they don’t feel muddy, they have a solo feel energy wise and I dig that a lot. Plus, the transition to the chorus is great.

Demi God: I lied, this is my favorite intro on the album, probably my favorite group of verses too. The chorus balances harsh and clean vocals perfectly. Dynamics are insane here and I love it. I think this song is the most diverse on the album and definitely in my top three, if not number one.

Meteor: More falsetto, favorite intro backing track, I feel like there could have been more done with this chorus. The track is super intense and the vocals don’t really match that intensity with their pattern. It’s not bad by any means but it definitely isn’t my favorite.

Dying Is Absolutely Safe: Again, another shift from the sounds we were hearing before. This one has a beautiful intro and the soft verse with the harmonies is amazing. I love the use of the acoustic guitar. Vocals on this one are my favorite through the album, for sure.

Overall: I think this album does a fantastic job of showing range in both sound and vocal abilities. The album is balanced between heavy and soft as well as between harsh and light vocals. There are some songs that get muddy and convoluted due to use of distortion on low range notes, and that sort of distracts during those songs. Some songs I feel could have used a bit more energy. In conclusion, I think this was a solid record and it brought a lot to the table, while some of that may not have been my complete cup of tea.

Until next time, stay entertained…

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I am so happy to finally be able to write this post, because that means this mess of a year is almost over. I decided to combine albums and EP’s because there were so so so many amazing EP’s that dropped this year. Most of these could be swapped around and still fit my opinions on them but I made myself rank them. Here are my releases of the year! I know Beartooth released the remastered version of Aggressive last night but I’m still not over how amazing it sounds to talk about it on this level.

*Honorable Mentions are not ranked in any particular order*

Honorable Mention: The Amity Affliction Everyone Loves You…Once You Leave Them

Songs: “Baltimore Rain” “Fever Dream” “Soak Me In Bleach”

  • It was really hard to not have this one as my third place album. This is such an emotional album and Amity is known for that. The breakdowns in these songs are amazing, the lyrics hit you in the gut, and I have always been a fan of Joel and Ahren’s vocals. This is a great album front to back and I will always enjoy it.

Honorable Mention: HAWK, Tolerance’s Paradox

Songs: “Alibi” “Clvrmfkr” “Milage”

  • I am a huge fan of Ice Nine Kills and Ricky is one hell of an entertaining person in general, so I have been a fan of HAWK since they started putting out music. This is such a well put together EP and these songs are all so intense, I am eager to finally get to see HAWK play live. I love this EP and cannot wait to hear more amazing tunes from the group.

Honorable Mention: Yungblud, Weird!

Song: “god save me, but don’t drown me out” “ice cream man” “charity”

  • I’ll link my review to this album right here, but it deserves a spot in the releases of the year for so many reasons. Yungblud is such an important artist and this album is incredibly genuine and true. I enjoyed it a lot and think it’s a solid and unique record. For more of my thoughts you can check out my review of it!

3rd Place: Boston Manor, Glue

Songs: “Brand New Kids” “Stuck In The Mud” “Monolith”

  • This album is absolutely incredible. Boston Manor has one of the most unique sounds in this scene of music and I wish more people knew about them. They create amazingly deep and interesting songs in tons of intriguing ways. This album has songs that are eerie, songs that are fast and harsh, and songs that make you want to sit in a corner and cry. Henry’s voice isn’t similar to anyone else’s in the scene right now and he knows how to make so many different vibes and sounds out of every song he creates. Plus they are amazing live so I am always eager to hear new music from them. I love it and I’m sure anyone who has listened to it does too.

2nd Place: Ozzy Osbourne, Ordinary Man

Songs: “Today Is The End” “All My Life” “Goodbye”

  • I think this album is a great culmination of the sounds that Ozzy is capable of. I was very close to putting this album in the number one spot, as it could easily fit there as well. These songs are true to Ozzy and his character. The fact that he is still wanting to tour and still putting out music after everything he has gone through in his life, this album being as amazing as it is creates a true sense of who he really is. There are songs on here that remind me of No Rest For The Wicked and others that take me back to Black Sabbath days. Ozzy is one of, if not the most influential rock musician still with us today. The fact that we are still getting amazing music from him is truly a gift. I will always take it and will always appreciate it.

1st Place: All Time Low, Wake Up, Sunshine

Songs: “Melancholy Kaleidoscope” “Glitter and Crimson” “January Gloom”

  • This is the one album this year that I fully love every single song on. I found absolutely no flaws in this album and the songs stuck with me both musically and lyrically. This album dropped at a very rough point in my life, and “Melancholy Kaleidoscope” was the first song that I really connected to and my connection to it and the rest of the album has only grown stronger over time. “Can’t be 100 if you’re only giving 95” was something very simple, very obvious to most, but it hit me like a truck. It was a big wake up call for me. Musically, this album is flawless, all the songs are well constructed and get stuck in your head instantly. I will always love this album and I will always stand by the statement that this is the best album the band has put out to date.

What are your releases of the year? Let me know on twitter @/justmenat_ and if you want to hear all of my albums of the year in one place (even the ones that didn’t make the list) check out this spotify playlist!

Stay entertained!

The album starts off a little slower…but only for a couple verses and then we know Yungblud is here and he has a lot to say.

Yungblud has proven through his activism, lyricism, and vocal techniques to be one of the most influential up and coming artists of all time and a key figure in shaping this generation of musicians and fans. His connection to his fanbase is unbreakable and true, with many songs on “Weird!” coming directly from experiences with fans and his fanbase as a whole. Musically, this album covers all sounds and genres while simultaneously never conforming to a solid definition of one. There are twists and turns in every song and through the track list listeners are taken on a journey through emotions, be those happy, sad, loving, or “I want to flail around in a punk pit RIGHT. NOW.”

This album is one of the most raw and real records I have ever heard. In my entire life. It is an open book into the struggles within yourself, within those around you, and within life itself. Songs like “cotton candy” and “strawberry lipstick” are anthems for self-expression and acceptance. Yungblud is very open about his sexuality and expression which is something incredibly valuable. His fans are able to see themselves in him and begin to feel more comfortable with themselves through his music, especially these tunes. “mars”, “teresa” and “love song” are moments more than a song, to which we can hold onto and find comfort in. “quiet in beverly hills” gives us all a real look into Yungblud as a person and what he values in his art and himself. This is vital and incredibly refreshing to see from an artist these days.

“god save me, but don’t drown me out” knocked the wind out of me. Life has not been easy for anyone recently, myself included. This song was a perfect way to sum up everything I think I have been needing to hear and I definitely had a bit of a breakdown over it. I can tell that this song will always have a place with me and I am certain it will always have a place with all that listen to it.

This album front to back is creative, authentic, loving, and thorough. Not to mention musically intricate, vast, and enticing. Yungblud has become a voice for people in this generation who are finding themselves and looking for a new way to be who they want to be. His music and his artistry is impeccable and uniquely his own. “Weird!” as an album is a calling card to all people struggling with their feelings, but in a full spectrum of the good, the bad, and well, the “weird”. Overall, I think this may be one of my favorite records of all time, and it is definitely one of my favorites of 2020. If anything made this hell of a year livable, it’s this album.

Hey guys! I hope all your holiday events went well and lots of love was shared! Back to your regularly scheduled posting!

Everyone has the albums that made their year and the albums that made their decade. While that was originally what I had planned to make this post, I decided that there were certain songs, artists, albums, and aspects that should be highlighted as big parts of the decade for me as well…and why not have some fun with it?
All Time Low: My first concert in the alt-rock/lesser-known rock scene and my first GA show. The guys in All Time Low and the music they provided are so important to my musical preferences and my life today.


Breakdowns: This decade has brought us SO MANY amazing breakdowns, here are some of my favorites.

  • A Day To Remember “Resentment” (2:35)
  • Bring Me The Horizon “House Of Wolves” (1:47)
  • Ice Nine Kills “Thank God It’s Friday” (2:39) and “Me Myself and Hyde” (2:54)
  • Beartooth “Used and Abused” (2:18) and “Censored” (2:34)
  • I Prevail “Deadweight” (2:14) and “Come And Get It” (2:13)
  • Motionless in White “Thoughts & Prayers” (2:22) , “Disguise” (2:22) , and “Soft” (2:07)

Covers: Who DOESN’T love a good helping of Punk Goes Pop? Some of the most memorable covers include…

  • Beartooth “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones
  • A Day To Remember “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
  • Ice Nine Kills “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” by Green Day
  • I Prevail “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift
  • Hands Like Houses “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia

Disease: When Beartooth dropped this record it sort of solidified them as my favorite band of all time. The raw emotion, the intensity of the tunes, the heart, and soul that Caleb Shomo poured into every song, makes for one of the best and most important albums of the decade in general. This album is also one of the most important albums to me personally as well. If anyone needs some music to relate to during hard times, give Disease a listen.


Entertainment: “Rare”, “11:11”, “Crybaby”, “Not Warriors”, LITERALLY the entire album is beautifully written and produced. These songs create a feeling of true love and heartbreak and even make you wanna punch some people in a pit…and by that I mean “Tantrum”…its a bop.

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Features: There are few things cooler than hearing an artist that you love chime in on a song from another artist that you love. Here are my favorites from this decade

  • Tonight Alive ft. Corey Taylor, “My Underworld”
  • All Time Low ft. Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, “Bail Me Out”
  • Simple Plan ft. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, “Freaking Me Out”
  • Pierce The Veil ft. Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, “Caraphernelia” (This one is better than “King For A Day” and I will argue that to my dying day.)
  • Neck Deep ft. Sam Carter of Architects, “Don’t Wait”
  • Ice Nine Kills ft. JR. Wasilewski and Buddy Schaub of Less than Jake and Will Salazar of Finix TX, “IT Is The End”

Gone In Your Wake: Thousand Below is one of the best up and coming bands out there right now and this record solidifies that. The songs are catchy, intense and all-around amazing.

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Headspace: I am not really a fan of issues anymore, but this album will always be a 10/10 record. The bass is so fun on it and Tyler Carter really shines on the vocals in many of the songs. It’s a fun listen for sure.

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Ice Nine Kills: This band is one of the most, if not THE most, creative bands in existence. If you guys know of a band that can put together an entire record based on books and then follow that up with an entire record based on movies and then put on the same intense shows that these guys do…please inform me of them.

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Justified”: When A Day To Remember released Bad Vibrations, I knew the album would have its place in history. It is easily the most diverse and well put together album that the band has created and it brings in EVERY aspect of them as a group. “Justified” makes that album what it is. It’s intense, it’s emotional, it’s really the backbone of the record.

Keep Your American Dream”: I really don’t have anything to say about this song, other than it is probably the best song on Disgusting and I seriously want to mosh to it. I never mosh. It’s that good.

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Lyrical genius: There are so many songs that I could highlight for this but this decade brought some of the most emotional and well-written songs. From tunes like “Clever” by Beartooth to songs like “And The Snakes Start To Sing” by Bring Me The Horizon, listeners were able to hear wordsmithing at it’s peak. The intense music behind the words was great too.
Motionless In White: Motionless In White OWNED 2019. They put out the album of the year and did extensive touring before the album even dropped, then they booked a co-headline with Beartooth to kickoff 2020. Plus they put on amazing shows throughout the decade and totally made themselves icons of the scene.


Neck Deep: The Peace and The Panic was easily one of the best albums of the decade and this bad seriously reinvigorated pop-punk. I sadly haven’t had the chance to see them yet but they’re on my list and very high on it too.

Overthinking”: Coming from the band’s most recent record “Anon.”, this song is easily one of the most important songs of the decade and creates such a unique mix of Jazz and Blues sounding guitar riffs with musical techniques that tie the song to this scene of Rock. It truly is a masterpiece.
Photography: I have been able to grow tremendously in my photography skills this decade and most of that growth has come from this past year. I had the opportunities to photograph The Wrecks, Thousand Below and Waterparks professionally this decade and had so many other great shots taken straight from my phone. Anyone can achieve great shots, all you have to do is try!

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Quitting: I couldn’t think of a word for Q and I know that while many members didn’t necessarily “quit” their bands, this decade had a lot of hiatuses and switching of members. Most recently My Chemical Romance ended their hiatus and Black Veil Brides parted ways with bassist Ashley Purdy. There were many others but I won’t list them all!
Revolution Radio: This solidifies that Green Day wins this decade. It was never debated that this group of guys weren’t afraid to make a statement when there was one to be made. Revolution Radio is just the statement that this decade needed and deserved. Plus the album is full of absolute bangers and the tour was INSANE.

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Set It Off: This decade brought me to one of my favorite bands of all time. Set It Off has been a huge part of my life for the last five years and I have made so many good memories with them and appreciate them and their music dearly.


Tours: I was able to experience SO many good tours this year and I am certain that they all did well.

  • Shinedown “Attention Attention” tour with Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria
  • Papa Roach “Who Do You Trust?” tour with Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves
  • Set It Off “Midnight World Tour pt 2” with Emarosa, Broadside, and Selfish Things
  • A Day To Remember “Degenerates” tour with I Prevail, Beartooth, and Can’t Swim
  • Green Day “Revolution Radio” tour with Catfish and The Bottlemen
  • The Rolling Stones “Zipcode” tour with Ed Sheeran

Unopened Windows”: Cody Carson seems to know how to write a song that gets me right in the feels no matter how many times I listen to it. This song means so much to me and it has gotten me through so many rough nights and continues to do so. My heart goes out to Cody and the boys in Set It Off, as it always does.

Vessel: This album is easily the best album Twenty One Pilots have put out to date. Songs on the album are iconic and all-around amazing. House of Gold and Trees are the two that stick out to me most. My favorite, however, would have to be Guns For Hands.

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Warped Tour: There is no denying that the ending of Warped Tour was a defining moment in music for this decade. Warped Tour was the biggest platform for exposure that this scene had and it allowed for thousands to be brought together in one place for a day of acceptance and fun. This tour was a huge relief for kids and will be missed dearly.

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X: Okay so does anyone ever have anything for “X” when they do this stuff? No? Cool, because neither do I.

Youngblood: 5 Seconds Of Summer have been a part of my life for almost the entire decade. So when I finally found my way back to them with this album I was thrilled with the way it sounded and the new sides it brought out. I absolutely adore this album and this band!

Zero”: When Crown The Empire dropped Retrograde, saying I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. This is easily the best song on that album and I will always love it.

I know that I talk about Thousand Below quite a bit, but since they’re one of my favorite artists out there at the moment it doesn’t make sense for me to not post a review of their most recent record.

The band’s sophomore album “Gone In Your Wake” was released about a month ago. The record follows “The Love You Let Too Close” which the band toured for a couple years, so you could say it had a lasting effect and I can assure you, this new record will too.

 

1. Chemical: This was the first single that the band released for the album and I was excited to say the least. It’s quite the tune to start out with and starts the album with a bang. The chorus is really fun and the art for the single is incredible.

2. Disassociate: This was the second single the band released and probably the hardest song on this album. This tune is an absolute banger and is so fun to hear and experience live. When I saw the band perform it, I could tell that this one was the song that really got the crowd started and brought the energy up. Plus the chorus is incredible.

3. Fake Smile: Hearing this song for the first time had me in tears. We can all, and I mean everyone, can relate to this song somehow. The feeling of having someone they thought they could trust only to have that person begin to make them feel like they aren’t able to be themselves. I think that this song’s message is important and to add to that it gets stuck in your head so easily.

4. Alone (Out of My Head): When I saw Thousand Below recently they played this song before it had been released and it immediately made me stop taking photos and just listen and watch. Then they released the video for it the day before the record dropped and I was hooked. This is by far my favorite track on the album and quite possibly one of my favorite songs ever. The chorus is so catchy and the song overall is something that anyone can relate to in certain times. The song is beautiful lyrically and musically. There are very few songs that I would call flawless but this is one. I can’t find a single thing about it that I don’t love.

5. The Edge Of Your Bed: Feels. All of the feels. But seriously, this is one of the more emotional songs on the album and it really puts the band in perspective for me and hopefully for others as well. This song is a perfect example of how James focuses on the reality of hard times that he has gone through, which allows for the songs and lyrics to resonate with people easier and that is something I respect with any artist. This song also features Michael McGough of Being As An Ocean. His vocals are incredibly smooth and add another dimension to the song, especially since they lead into a harsh replay of the chorus which up until this point had been done softly.

6. Vanish: I think that this is going to be a really interesting song for them to play live if they chose to do so. The chorus is definitely one for crowd involvement and I think that the energy the band has mixed with the energy of the song would really bring a show to new levels. The intro is unique in itself and sets the song up well. Plus the faded vocals leading into the heavier guitar are executed perfectly. I think the bridges and the chorus in this song are the big-ticket items.

7. 171 xo: This one comes in a close second for my favorite tracks on the album. The chorus is super emotional and honestly, this song is so real that it hurts sometimes. Plus the vocals on this song hit differently than the other tracks. The easy flow of the verse to the shorter and harsh chorus is something I truly love about this song.

8. Learn To Lose And It All Gets Easier: There really isn’t much that I can say about this song other than its such a contrast from the previous songs on the album. It really shows the different techniques and routes that the band wanted to bring in. The lyrics are still emotional and sort of heavy but the use of more technical elements is something that they hadn’t really explored before and I think it worked out so well.

9. Lost Between (feat. Marcus Bridge): The transition in the intro is impossible not to sway along to, seriously. I also have listened to this album probably close to 50 times and I think I’ve cried to this song close to maybe…47 times? It really hits you hard, especially on those days when you just sit and think. While I’m not a fan of crying (who is really?), it’s always nice to have a song that you feel gets you and that you can relate to.

10. The Other Side Of Things: This song has an incredibly personal tie to lead singer James Deberg and you can hear it in every aspect of the song. Going through a loss such as the one he did is something that completely alters a life. Hearing the emotion in the lyrics and delivery that this song has, it’s really incredible.

11. Gone In Your Wake: Speaking of crying. The pure emotion James pours into this song absolutely broke me the first couple times that I listened to it. Knowing the struggles that he has faced and hearing this song be almost an episode of closure is something so intense that you can’t help but respect him and honestly just want to give him a hug or something.

 

In conclusion, “Gone In Your Wake” is probably one of the most vulnerable and honest records out there. It’s beautifully put together and there isn’t a bad song on it. You smile, you get your anger out, you cry and you do it all in the time span of 11 songs. Thousand Below are seriously such a unique group of musicians that have firmly planted themselves in this scene and I can not WAIT to see what is next for them, because we all know it will be incredible.

 

Until next time…

 

Everything that I heard about this album was definitely negative. I was a little hesitant to even listen to it, let alone review it, because people made it sound like Bring Me The Horizon took on a pop sound with no good outcomes. Which I learned to be false in many aspects.

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i apologise if you feel something: Right off the bat, I am not digging this one…lyrically it’s alright but sound wise it definitely feels overdone. I completely understand the band wanting to take a new direction, and I’m all for that, but I think this song holds too many components that are all trying to blend at the same time and it just sounds off.

MANTRA: This was the single the band released from the album and I loved it a couple months ago and I still love it now. I like the drum intro with the faded vocals that falls into the harder side of the band. Looking at this song with the previous track the flow is quite smooth, even if the opening track isn’t the greatest it sets MANTRA up nicely.

nihilist blues (feat. Grimes): The opening is actually really nice. The song flows really well at the beginning and its almost soothing. Again, I am not digging the vocals, they feel super overdone and actually to the point where you can’t tell that it’s Oli. The vocals get better in the bridge and Grimes adds a nice element to the song. Overall this is something I could easily imagine in a video game. Lyrically I like this song, but again the overall sound just isn’t for me.

in the dark: This one is actually pretty good. I enjoy the softer clean guitar picking pattern. I like the chorus a lot, you can sense the deep heaviness that the band is capable of in the bass/low guitar part in the back end of the chorus.  I think they did this to get the point across that while the band is taking a new approach and trying new things they haven’t really forgotten what many of the fans like.

wonderful life (feat Dani Filth): Okay a nice intro, it honestly reminds me of Nirvana…like…Bleach era Nirvana. I think this might be favorite song on the album actually. I am absolutely in love with the riffs in this song. Solid 10/10 on this one, and I love the trumpets that come in later. Wow. Banger.

ouch: This one is really odd. Again, I could see this being on the soundtrack for a video game…I am really not a fan of this one.

medicine: I actually really enjoy this one. I think that this sound and vibe work really well with Oli’s vocals. I like the contrast of his vocals with the softer tone of the bridge. This is coming in at a close second to wonderful life.

sugar honey ice & tea: This one is starting out nice too. Definitely feeling this one more. This song is super suspenseful and I love it. This song is definitely a plus for the album, and I think that after hearing this one, we can see that the band really is just getting their foot wet and seeing what all they are capable of.

why you gotta kick me when i’m down?: Even though this song has more of a techno sound, I enjoy it a lot. I think it’s super strong which is obviously the point. I like how the vocals go from almost tired, to soft, to heavy and full. It is a very nice progression and there are also moments in the track itself that lend to this.

fresh bruises: This one reminds me of ouch…odd. This one gets a no from me.

mother tongue: I enjoyed the little snippet that I heard of this song on Facebook the other day and I actually really enjoy the song as a whole.  I really love the bridge/chorus to this song. I really vibe with it. This one is for sure a plus.

heavy metal (feat Rahzel): This one is also a no from me. I don’t think the beatboxing is really fitting, but I like the song lyrically, just not enough for me to fully enjoy it. Love the angst though!

i don’t know what to say: The beginning is really cute and overall I really like it. I really like the vulnerablity in the lyrics and the symphony part. Overall this song is actually quite real and raw when it comes to the feelings you have for somebody and I truly appreciate it.

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Did they miss the mark on some songs? In my opinion, yes. But overall, the good songs on this album are so great that the ones I didn’t like, are pushed to the back of my mind. We also have to look at the album for what it is, new. It’s new for the band and they took a new route that was unconventional and maybe a bit awkward and they made something out of it. That something may not be what most of the fans enjoy, but we have to give credit where credit is due.

 

PS: All the songs on the album are in lowercase with the exception of MANTRA, Sorry if that threw anyone off.

If only I had known how crazy good this band was during Warped Tour. I just recently became exposed to With Confidence and I can say I am actually quite a fan. Very excited to see them live this winter on their co-headliner with Broadside! Tickets go on sale this Friday Aug. 31 so hopefully you can snag some tickets! For now though, lets talk about this album.

That Something This track while it isn’t my favorite on the album is quite catchy. This track opening the album confused me at first but gradually I came to the thought that maybe it was meant to show the bands overall devotion to the record and that they will be able to hold this record dear for years and that their fans will be able to as well.

Sing To Me- Okay, so at first the vocals remind me of Andy Leo from Crown The Empire. I think that my favorite part of this song is the chorus. I love the way that it flows. I think the song is incredibly cute and I also like the addition of the backing vocals. The breakdown into a harsher vocal and then instantly switching to lighter and then back to how it was at the beginning. I think that this is a solid tune and adds a nice softer hearted dimension to the album.

Moving Boxes- This song is always stuck in my head. I think this is also a great track to encompass the overall theme of the album, especially when you consider the music video. I feel that this track is one of the best on this album. It honestly reminds me of  Weezers Buddy Holly with the “These days I’ve been nothing but a burden” line and the progression of the first verse. This song also contrasts the last song and shows a more aggressive view.

The Turnaround- I think almost any album you find nowadays is going to have a track like this, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The track that provokes self reflection within its listeners. The lyrics focus on thinking of what one wants within themselves and why they want it. The upbeat and light flow of the song brings the feeling of ease within ones decision to make something better for themselves. I think that this song could do a lot of good for a lot of people.

Jaded- And again, here is a more aggressive side of the band. A very fast pace, driving beat, about a relationship situation. With the track opening with a strong and prominent bass line, it gives off a very pop-punk feel.  I especially love the acapella line at the tail end of the song, it ties the track back to the softer side the band has shown before.

Better- The band seems to be directly alternating between soft and hard sounds within their tracks as this one is a softer feeling in comparison to Jaded. This track is definitely one of the more emotional tracks on the album and I think that it can also be tied back to be the loathing counter to The Turnaround which could easily be seen as the love of oneself for taking on a positive mindset

Spinning- This is my second favorite track on the album. I love how each chorus closes with a single vocal line and how absolutely adorable the song is. I also love the bridge after the second verse. The backing Woo-hoo’s add an innocence to the song that is absolutely tied back into the first part of the records title. This song is one I listen to at least once a day and the romantic in me has not one ounce of shame in that.

Bruise- There are very few albums and I mean like, maybe three, where my favorite song is a sad song. There are now four. This was the first song I heard off the album and was the one that made me feel this album was worth a deeper look. I love everything about this song. It’s pure emotion, it’s beautifully executed and worded, it made me cry the first two times I heard it and it brings me close to tears even when I listen to it now. This is also, in my opinion, the loathing counter to the previous track. I could go on and on about how much I really love this song but I will spare you all from that. Just listen to it, if you won’t listen to the whole album at least listen to this song.

Pâquerette (Without Me)- Again, another softer take. Also, this song is incredibly adorableThis song is one that takes the ever present idea of having to watch someone you once loved become a better person than the one you were with. It shows that while relationships do end sometimes it was for the better and it is easier to accept that things change and people do too than to be bitter about something you may have lost. I think this song is very mature content wise and I respect it.

Icarus- I think this is the loathing counterpart to the previous track. I am beginning to see the theme within the title and its correlation to the album title. I like the idea that the band went with. This track however is my least favorite on the album, I think it is a little too edgy and angsty for me.

Dopamine- I like the sound and flow of the vocals in this song. The melody and all that is great too but I think the vocal work stands out in this one. I think it was a great break from the seemingly musically focused other songs. I enjoy the song in general but I think that it is definitely stronger lyrically and vocally than musically.

Tails- I wish that this song hadn’t been left to close the record. It is a fantastic song and actually my third favorite on the album, I just wish it would have been sooner in the album. I always find myself humming the chorus to this one. I think it is a very confident song and I think it also ties in with The Turnaround. This song seems to be a much more confident take on it.

Overall: Some of the songs on this track are softer and lighterhearted, symbolizing the feeling of love. Either the love of something, a feeling, or of someone. Then the other half of the tracks are easily seen as a loathing of all of the previously listed things. Then to have Tails close with “Think love and loathing is all I’ve got, sometimes I think it’s all I want” one could say that signifies that means that the feelings are either love or hate and that Jayden wants that changed but that he also is uncomfortable with the change. Or it could be literal, meaning that he poured is heart and soul into the album and deeply desires everyone who listens to love it as much as he does, because he feels its contents reflect all he is, therefore all he has.

Take the album how you will, but overall I give this album a 9/10. I think that it is by far one of the greatest albums the scene has gotten this year and will be a presence here for a while. Whether you like the band or not, the music is good, it’s REALLY good.

 

 

 

Up until now I had been working on my project presentation and gradually adding to this post as I could. I presented yesterday and received a 95%! I am so happy with how everything turned out and I can’t wait to continue my blog for years to come. Now that my project is finished, I will be back to posting regularly!

If I have not shown it enough through my blog, I am a huge fan of Waterparks. When they released their new album I was expecting nothing but good things, and after listening to the album in all, I understand that good is a complete understatement.

 

“11:11”: This is one of my favorite songs on this album. I like how the first part of the verse is sort of choppy and then goes into a smooth progression of vocals. I enjoy the into/bridges between the chorus and the verses, the techno parts. I also really enjoy the chorus, it is something I find myself screaming at the top of my lungs each time I listen to this while driving to work. I also really like how the song ends on a softer note.

“Blonde”: Oh my guitars. I absolutely love the way that the guitars are featured in this song. I also really love the sound of the you’s in the choruses. I find this song getting stuck in my head quite frequently. I also want to take a second to highlight the part in this song where Awsten uses a harsher vocal, I think that it really adds to the punk vibe the song gives off.

“Peach (Lobotomy)”: The whistles at the beginning are really cute, and I think that the gradual addition of a harsher sound leading to the chorus is a really nice growth. I also like sound of the “let me go down” lines. I really enjoy this song.

“We Need to Talk”: I really think that this song is one of the most vulnerable ones that I have heard in a while. I think that the message behind it is strong and well thought out. I also like the softer sound and how it flows with the sound of the previous songs.

“Not Warriors”: This song really adds a story line to the album. I also find this song getting stuck in my head a lot. I like the chorus and how it has the backing vocals following the main vocals. I also like how the first verse was a softer feel and the second verse grows in intensity. I would definitely put this song on the same level as 11:11 for me. I also really enjoy the music video for this song as well!

“Lucky People”: When you mix this song with the video and the Awsten Knight puppy dog eyes, you’re lying if you say you don’t want to cry. I love the feel of this song and I also love the higher notes. I think that their soft feel does wonders for the song. I also love the progression of the acoustic guitar. I really like the “cupid sent me on a mission” line.

 

“Rare”: This song is 100% my favorite song on this album. I love the high notes in the chorus and the soft sound of the vocals mixed with the harsher sound of the guitars. I also really love the ending of the chorus. I really think it was a unique route to make the chorus sound softer and then end it with a harsher vocal. I think it definitely worked in the bands favor.

 

“TANTRUM”: This is one of the most unique Waterparks tunes I have ever heard, hell maybe one of the most unique songs I have ever heard, and I truly love it. I absolutely love the “We don’t know you, you don’t know we” line. I think that this song was incredibly pertinent to the band and I respect that immensely. I think that the idea with this song is incredible and the band put it together wonderfully. It is intense, it is raw, and it is fantastic.

“Crybaby”: This song is also incredibly unique and while it may not be my favorite song ever, this song proves just how good of a band Waterparks truly is. These guys know how to show diversity in their sound and that is something I think takes a band from just a band, to an artist.

“Sleep Alone”: I think I might get this one stuck in my head the most. I really enjoy the “You’re the blue print to my stupid sounds” line. I also really enjoy the flow from that to the chorus. Overall, I think that this song was a great way to end an album. It is a mix between the happy sound brought by tunes like Blonde and Peach, and the harsh sounds brought by songs like 11:11 and TANTRUM.

 

Album Rate: 9/10

  • I think that this album was incredibly well produced and thought out. I truly enjoy at least one part of each song, if not every song. I am absolutely thrilled with the quality of this album and I cannot wait to see some of these tunes performed live. If any of you have the chance to go to Warped tour this summer, take some time to catch these guys, and trust me you won’t regret it!

 

On Feb. 24 I had the pleasure of witnessing New Politics Lost in Translation tour with Dreamers and The Wrecks. This was my fourth time seeing New Politics, my third seeing The Wrecks, and my first seeing Dreamers.

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The Wrecks opened the show with the signature fire and energy they always have. These guys are one of the greatest bands I have ever experienced in my life. They perform with such passion and energy, their songs are so catchy and well written, and they blend so well on stage. They are surely a driving force in the music scene and I know the sky is the limit for them. Every chance I get to see them, I am more thrilled than I was the last time. I never know what exactly to expect, other than a damn good performance.

The Wrecks were followed by a band called Dreamers. They had a similar vibe to The Wrecks but they weren’t as energetic on stage. They gained some momentum however when the lead singer came out into the crowd. Overall the sound was good and many of their songs had well developed lyrics, they just weren’t really my type. I definitely respect them as artists however.

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Finally, New Politics took the stage. I was excited to see them headline for the first time and I was definitely not disappointed. They put together the perfect set list to keep the energy going at all times, the vocals were exceptionally good, and they encompassed songs from each of their albums. I always enjoy a show that brings new and old songs together. It was also a great feeling to see so many people there to support these guys. I saw them for the first time in 2014 when they played Kansas City’s Red White and Boom festival with Fall Out Boy. They completely captivated me, however many of the people there were not paying much attention to them. Then to see them now, with a pretty big crowd and so many people singing along, it was such a heartwarming feeling. I will always recommend people to see New Politics any chance that they get.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show. I felt that it was a great show for The Wrecks, who are a band that is gaining momentum each day in this scene and deservedly so. I also felt that it was a great show put on by New Politics and that they are also gaining fans by the day, and I truly hope that all the bands on this tour continue in their artistic ventures, because they are truly great musicians.

Okay, I am sure you all realize by now that I am a HUGE fan of The Wrecks. However, I will say that I am never one to claim a band is just SO fantastic unless I truly believe it. So, when I first found out that the band was releasing new music, I was beyond excited. Hearing it in full, I am absolutely in love with it. Let’s get into this…

 

Figure This Out – First off, I rarely if ever like songs with the subject matter of this one. This song however is open and raw, mix that with the melody that is just so catchy and damn am I hooked. I have this habit of imagining songs being played live and you better believe I can see this song being played to a crowd with everyone jumping and singing at the top of their lungs. You get to the end of the song and the consistent drum just sets it all in, and then the very last line of the song going to the softer tone ties the ribbon on the perfect gift.

 

James Dean – The guitar and the way the vocals in the first verse are shorter and choppy adds to vintage feel of this song. Follow that into the harsher chorus that is still sort of choppy at first, this whole song screams teenage rebellion and I love it. Not to mention that these guys know how to stretch and mess with their sound, therefore adding to the diversity of their music especially in this song. Solid 10/10 for this song.

 

Way With Words – Back to the ability to completely change their sound and vibe between songs, wow. This song is much softer than the first two, but as I have seen this song live two times now, I know just how into it the crowds get. Having songs like this that still bring energy to a crowd add to the greatness this band has. I also want to highlight the vocals in this song, Nick Anderson has one of the most unique voices I have heard and he demonstrates his how diverse his voice is in this song and as someone who also sings, I have so much respect for him.

 

Panic Vertigo – I really enjoy the chorus of this song, and I also enjoy how the bass and drums are more prominent in this song. Overall I think this song is something that the band put a lot of thought into and I respect that greatly. Falling back to the vocals once again, Anderson demonstrates his amazing range. The feel of frustration that I feel this song is trying to express really manifests itself in the ending bridge with the “What the hell do I know?” line. Overall this song is definitely one I think many people will appreciate in the time to come.

 

Revolution – This song definitely started off differently than I would have expected. I love the softer sound in the beginning but we can feel the raw emotion coming in the closer to the chorus we get. It all comes into full effect in the chorus and it really is empowering. This one also makes me think of what a crowd would be like if this song was being played. I can imagine everyone screaming this song at the top of their lungs just due to the energy it gives off. This song isn’t my favorite ever, but I am still a fan

Hey baby, here are those songs we wanted from Blessthefall! These guys are back with a powerful punch and I am definitely digging it!

When I caught news of the band switching to Rise records, I was eager to see what was coming next. Then one could say we were ‘Blessed’ with a release date for their next album “Hard Feelings” arriving on March 23, 2018, and a killer new song by the name of Melodramatic. All this only to be followed by ANOTHER killer tune titled Wishful Sinking! And what is that followed by? The band announcing they will be supporting Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria on the second leg of their US tour!

Melodramatic is a song that gives the feeling of a Blessthefall show right through your speakers. The riffs and the driving chorus already have me headbanging harder than usual. The video for this song, gives a slight show of the neon theme that we can see on the album cover as well. Breaking stuff is also a large part of this video. Speaking of Riffs Wishful Sinking fulfills every guitar players dire need. The theme for this video seems to also allude to the broken harshness of the album, even playing off the melodramatic video, (highlighting broken glass and spiders, along with some live show scenes). I would also like to point out that this song would be a killer song to open a show with, I can just imagine that intro and the lights coming up on those guitar riffs. I get chills just thinking about it!

Then these guys embark on the massive “Defy” tour with Of Mice & Men. Playing huge shows each night won’t stop there however, as these guys will also be heading out this spring with Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria. Hey Midwest readers, they’re hitting Wichita May 10th, don’t miss out!

Overall, I am SO excited to hear the rest of “Hard Feelings” and see these guys on tour. I can’t wait to see what all they have up their sleeves.

 

Melodramatic Music Video