Month: July 2018

Album Review: Birds In Row- We Already Lost The World

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There are bands in every genre of music that take a left turn thus creating something that stands out and is extremely impactful. Within the hardcore or post hardcore genre, there are countless bands but the ones that I’ve always been drawn to are the ones that take a chance and create something that is full of vigor and vision. Birds In Row are one of those bands for me. One their new album, We Already Lost The World, Birds In Row take a darker, slower and moodier turn without losing the fierce and ferociousness that they have become known for over the years. Musically they have really evolved into a band that understands the importance of what is best for the song. Vocally and lyrically, they are sending a message through the words and performances.
I’ve had the time to sit with this album and it has really become one of my favorite albums of the year. There is something truly moving about the way this album flows and sounds. It has a vibe that is similar to that of the Refused’s The Shape Of Punk To Come, in that it’s impactful and leaves you wanting to start the album over as soon as it’s done. Starting the album off with “We Count So We Don’t Have To Listen” is one hell of a statement. As the songs continue with tracks like “Love Is Political,” the very emotional “We Vs Us,” and “Remember Us Better Than We Are,” the deep and dark “I Don’t Dance,” as well as the very mature “15-38,” and the moody yet explosive “Fossils,” it just goes to show that Birds In Row have something that needs to be said and the way they went about it is devastatingly beautiful.
We Already Lost The World is one of those albums that will leave a mark on you. The sheer intensity that comes out of each song and performance is astounding. Birds In Row are a band that not only have captured a real essence of “post-hardcore,” they have created a new blueprint for the genre.
Overall Rating: A

Birds In Row- We Already Lost The World:

 

Birds In Row- I Don’t Dance (Video):

Memorable TV Performances: Beastie Boys on Letterman

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Oh 1994, you were such a great year for music. So many legendary albums and songs came out at this time. And the live shows and performances are some of the most remembered as well. This topic of memorable TV performances has countless numbers of great bands performing great songs on late night shows. One of my all time favorites is when the Beastie Boys performed “Sabotage” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman had always been a big supporter of rock bands and heavier bands, and this performance from Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA was legendary.

Check It Out!

Beastie Boys- Sabotage (on David Letterman 1994):

Live Review: Neurosis, Converge and Amenra at The Fonda

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There are certain bands that when they come through town you have to go see live. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen them or if it’s your first time, it’s imperative that you be there. Especially when you have a tour line up as special as Neurosis, Converge and Amenra. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Neurosis and Converge many times before, and now I finally got the chance to see Amen Ra. Tour packages like this are not only astonishing but they leave those in attendance in a state of awe and some inspired to create. There is a reason why all three of these bands have reached the “legendary” status. Their live shows, songs/albums, and general approach to their fans makes it all worth while.
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Band Of The Week: Visitors

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When you are part of a genre such as post hardcore, it can be at times hard to stand out from the pack. Luckily, Visitors have carved out their own little path. This Salt Lake City based band have an album called Crest, that is deep and full of substance. Crest is also a album that acts as a continuation of a concept and storyline they introduced in the previous release, 2017’s EP Vortices, A Foreword. Visitors have the post hardcore sound on lock but they also incorporate bits of prog and ambience, thus creating a grandiose sound that is full of energy. The 9 songs that appear on Crest, flow the way an album should. Songs like “Pollyanna,” “Sea Of Limbs (A Diminsher),” “Apoplexia,” “Monachopsis,” and “In Whole (Encased)” are among the stand out tracks. The best way to describe Visitors is, imagine if Circa Survive/Saosin and Glassjaw were put in a blender and then topped off with bits of Deftones and At The Drive In (In Casino Out era).

 

Visitors- Crest:

 

Visitors- Pollyanna:

 

Visitors- Apoplexia:

Cover Song Comparison: The Smashing Pumpkins vs Bush- Landslide

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It’s really fun to listen to different cover songs and find the one that you really dig. Most of the time the original is the best version but, every now and then, a cover comes along and takes the song in a different direction. One song in particular is Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Over the years many bands have covered it. One group that actually did a great version of it was the Dixie Chicks. Natalie Mains voice is the perfect compliment to Stevie Nicks. Then in the rock world bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Bush have put out versions. Personally I really like The Smashing Pumpkins version. Billy Corgan brings a vulnerability to the song that was there in the original.

What cover do you like best?
The Smashing Pumpkins- Landslide:

 

Bush- Landslide:

 

Dixie Chicks- Landslide:

 

Fleetwood Mac- Landslide:

Guest Guitarist: Tom Morello

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Tom Morello is one of the most innovative guitarists of the last 25 years. I’d dare say he’s up there in terms of style and influence with the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and countless others. There is no denying he has a unique style and a distinct sound. So it’s only natural that when you hear him play, you know it’s Tom. Over the years Tom has quietly lent his talents to a plethora of other bands and artists. Here are a few the gems he’s guested on over the years.

 

RUN DMC- Big Willie (from Down With The King):

 

Cypress Hill- Rise Up (from Rise Up):

 

Linkin Park- Drawbar (from The Hunting Party):

 

Device- Opinion (from Self Titled):

 

Travis Barker w/ Rza, Raekwon and Tom Morello- Carry It (from Give The Drummer Some):

 

Prodigy with Tom Morello- One Man Army (from Spawn Soundtrack):

 

Primus- Electric Uncle Sam (from Antipop):

 

Primus- Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool (from Antipop):

 

Bruce Springsteen- Jack Of All Trades (from Wrecking Ball):

 

Bruce Springsteen- This Depression (from Wrecking Ball):

 

Class Of 99- Another Brick In The Wall (from The Faculty Soundtrack):

 

 

Memorable TV Performances: Rollins Band on Saturday Night Live

611yCidDk5L._UX691_The other day I was thinking about all the great live performances I’ve seen on TV. There were so many awesome moments on shows like Saturday Night Live, MTV, scattered awards shows like the Grammy’s, MTV Awards, American Music Awards, etc. The list goes on. I thought this category would be really fun to look back on these great performances and go back to a time when rock music was at the forefront of the world.

Let’s start this off with something out of left field. Back in 1997 on Saturday Night Live when Pamela Anderson was hosting, I believe it was to promote the movie Barb Wire, Rollins Band was the music guest. They performed “Starve” off the very underrated album Come In and Burn. The entire band absolutely crushed their performance and I’m sure left those in the audience a little scared.

 

Rollins Band- Starve (on Saturday Night Live):

Band Of The Week: Gyre

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Honesty is something I look for in bands. What I mean by that is, when I’m listening to a band, I want to be able to hear the true conviction in their music and words. A lot of bands I’ve heard over the years really just half ass it and don’t put their all into it. You can tell when you listen to those bands. Recently I came across a band that stays true to their convictions and their attitude shows through their music. I’d like to introduce you to Gyre. This three piece band from the NY/NJ area is quite a bright spot. Their music is heavy rock with splashes of prog, groove and a touch of thrash, all of which makes for a grand listening experience. Gyre have released three previous EP’s and have now put out their first full length album entitled Shared Visions and it’s ripe with all the rock you’d want and need. I like to think of it as a great album for a long drive and just escaping the world. As a three piece singer/bassist Ian McCarthy, guitarist Juan Soaz, and drummer Pablo Carpio have carved out a little niche for their blend of heavy rock. Shared Visions is definitely one of the best albums of 2018 and it deserves your attention.

 

Gyre- Shared Visions:

Great Music Videos: The Smashing Pumpkins- 1979

 

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It’s a shame music videos aren’t made like they used to be. Gone are the days of proper budgets to make a great video and the narratives that came along with the video have disappeared as well. Granted there are still a few directors out there that have been able to capture the essence of yesteryears. One video I will always remember fondly was for The Smashing Pumpkins song “1979.” Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Jane’s Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers), really honed in on what Billy Corgan wrote the song about and the end result was something beautiful. It’s also crazy to think that this video is now 22 years old. My head is spinning just thinking about that. Here’s a piece of cool trivia that you’d find interesting. The video for the song “Perfect” from their Unsung Masterpiece, Adore, is a sequel to the 1979 video, and involves the same characters who are now older.

 

The Smashing Pumpkins- 1979:

 

The Smashing Pumpkins- Perfect:

End Of Album Songs: Led Zeppelin

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Some of the all time best end of album songs have come from Led Zeppelin. They really knew how to pick best song to end their records. Each and everyone they picked has this perfect element of everything they just gave your from the start of the album. I have my favorites like “How Many More Times,” “When The Levee Breaks,” “The Ocean,” and “Tea For One.” Led Zeppelin were masters of their craft and these songs help to show that.

 

How Many More Times (from Led Zeppelin I):

 
Bring It On Home (from Led Zeppelin II):

 

Hats Off To Roy Harper (from Led Zeppelin III):

 

When The Levee Breaks (from Led Zeppelin IV):

 
The Ocean (from Houses Of The Holy):

 
Sick Again (from Physical Graffiti):

 
Tea For One (from Presence):

 

I’m Gonna Crawl (from In Through The Out Door):

 

 

Wearing and Tearing (from Coda):