Over the years I’ve come to really enjoy different genres more and more. In particularly, the post hardcore genre, has fast become one of my favorites. There is still the “heavy” elements to the music but, there is an added sense of melody that rings through it. Recently, I came across a band called In Urgency that has really impressed me. They have a bit of a Brand New vibe to them (which doesn’t hurt, especially since I really love Brand New), and a bit of Thrice too. Those two bands alone make for a great basis of inspiration and influence. Armed with a dual guitar and vocal attack, singers and guitarists Chris Anderson and Sam Mountain, create melodic riffs to go along with their soaring vocals. Drummer Javier Caudillo, provides the backbeat to give the music it’s pulse. While bassist Michael Capuano, provides the rhythmic accents needed to fill out the sound. In Urgency has recently released their debut full length album, Painting Parallels, which is a stunning debut full of big hooks, choruses and melody. In Urgency is definitely a band to be on the look out for.
There is something that a lot of bands and musicians “feel” that a lot of people just don’t get. It’s a sensation or a feeling that compels you to keep at it and the creative drive that pushes you to still perform and release new music. This topic is here to highlight the bands that still have that feeling pumping through their veins, and Sponge is a great example of just that.
Sponge was formed in 1991, in Detroit, Michigan by singer Vinnie Dombroski, Mike Cross, Tim Cross, and Joey Mazzola. They released their debut album Rotting Pinata in 1994, which was a big success selling over 500,000 copies. You probably remember hearing the song “Plowed” all over radio and in the cult classic Empire Records. As well as the song “Molly (Sixteen Candles).” Their follow up album Wax Ecstatic, was a bit of a departure from their debut but, it really showed the songwriting abilities of the band. The song ” Have You Seen Mary” was included in the film Chasing Amy. Their next album New Pop Sunday was released in 1999, on an independent label but didn’t get a lot of attention. This would also be the last album to feature the original lineup. Vinnie Dombroski would continue to steer the ship after that album. Sponge would go on to release 5 more albums with different lineups. Their most recent album The Beer Sessions, was released in 2016.
Sponge though, is still out there on the road and rocking audiences. Sure there are people that are there to just hear the “classics” from Rotting Pinata and Wax Ecstatic but, the other songs they have in the setlist are quite rocking. You can tell from watching video of their live shows over the years, that the drive and passion is still in there. It’s quite refreshing to see bands and their members (even if it’s not the original members) still out there doing it for the love of the music and for the fans. Sure the venues might not be quite as big as they once were but, the love and desire is still huge and that’s what creates longevity. Cheers to Sponge for not giving up and still fighting the good fight!
Today Converge announced the release date for their new album The Dusk In Us. This highly anticipated new album will arrive Novemeber 3rd via Epitaph Records. The first song Converge has unveiled “Under Duress,” is full of rage, sludginess and throws it back a bit to their You Fail Me era. You can pre-order the album HERE!!!
When bands record albums they have a tendency to record more songs that don’t show up on their albums. This new topic highlights those songs (B-sides), that the band didn’t put on their albums.
First up is the song “QWERTY” by Linkin Park. I was never really a fan of the band but, I remember hearing this song over ten years ago and thought “Why didn’t they put this on an album?” Instead they switched gears and released the mediocre Minutes To Midnight. Though never officially released, Linkin Park did put this song out on one of their fan club CD’s. So here is “QWERTY” for you all to enjoy.
One of the coolest songs on the debut album from Dead Cross (the new band featuring Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo) is their cover of the Bauhaus classic “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Hearing their version is like hearing the song for the first time again. Mike Patton’s vocals on this song is perfect. The musical arrangement from Justin Pearson, Michael Crain and Dave Lombardo is stellar, Anyways, enough with me blabbing about it. Take a listen for yourself and do yourself a favor and buy Dead Cross’s album!
Over the years, Converge has established themselves as an influential and underrated band. Musically, they are powerful and enigmatic. Vocally and lyrically they are passionate and ferocious. The entire package of the band is approached with a “take no prisoners” type of attitude and it shows in every album they’ve released. Converge are also one of the few bands that seem to get better and better as time goes on just like a fine wine. Recently, Converge released two new songs to wet the appetite of their fans and those two songs are full of what you’d want from Converge. So, with all that in mind here is a ranking of their albums from not their best to the best.
Solo albums can be tricky at times. People expect you to do something similar to the band you are already a part of, and the expectations are often very high. That is a huge conundrum for singers but, when other members branch out and try something else, the results are often quite interesting. Dale Crover, drummer for the legendary and very influential band The Melvins, has released a solo album that is a sharp left turn away from his norm. The Fickle Finger of Fate, the first ever solo album from Crover, is full of interesting melodies and tinges of the late 60’s and early 70’s rock. There is a sheer excitment that comes over the listener as the album rolls on. This solo effort really shows how integral Dale is to The Melvins and all the other bands he’s been a part of.
Dale is one of the most underrated drummers/musicians of the last 30 years. This solo album is an extension of what fans of his already know. He’s made an album that allows him to show another side of his personality and abilities. I for one welcome the change of pace from his “day job.” The elements of pop, psychedelia, experimental, and rock really go deep into the psyche of Dale. Songs like “Bad Move,” “Little Brother,” and “Hillbilly Math,” are great examples of the depth of the album.