The “title track” topic is quite fun. The title track is one of those songs that has always left a mark with me. I’m sure many of you out there, like myself, like to really delve into the “why” part of albums. As I mentioned before, these songs seem to have a certain vibe that brings the whole album together. Check out these songs by Nine Inch Nails and then go back and listen to the albums as a whole.
Oh the 90’s, what a great time for music. Just like our parents had the 60’s and 70’s, we had the 90’s. The music and films at the time were totally representative of the changing culture. There were a few filmmakers like Richard Linklater and Kevin Smith that really dialed in on that. One such film which has now garnered a cult following, is Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. Not only was the movie funny and zeroed in on the culture, the soundtrack that accompanied it was pretty damn good. There was one song on it that I will always remember and that was Bush’s “Bubbles.” This song was released only on the soundtrack for Mallrats, though it now can be found on an expanded edition of the bands second album Razorblade Suitcase (which is quite a great album as well). Anyways, check out this song and enjoy!
Bush- Bubbles (from Mallrats):
I was thinking the other day while being nostalgic about the 90’s about all those bands that had “that one” song you heard and thought, “oh this isn’t bad” or ” hmmm maybe I’ll check out the album.” There are tons of those songs that take you back to that time and that is what this new topic is all about.
For the first entry into this, I thought it would be fun to revisit the song “The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe, not to be mistaken for The Verve. First recorded in 1992, the song was later re-recorded and became the band’s breakthrough hit in early 1997. The track reached number one on the Alternative Rock charts along with number 5 on the Hot 100 charts. It’s one of those songs that is instantly recognizable and definitely takes you back over 20 years. I know many of you have heard it and some of you probably have the song on a mix cd of some sort. Anyways, take a trip back and enjoy this 90’s classic.
The Damned Things Are Back!!! The group featuring Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die, Scott Ian from Anthrax, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy have returned with their first new music in 9 (yes 9) years!!! Joining them this time around is Dan Andriano the bassist from Alkaline Trio. This first song released, “Cells” is from their upcoming new album, High Crimes, which will be out April 26 (via Nuclear Blast Records). I loved their debut record when it came out and saw them live and it was truly a blast to see. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this album! Check out “Cells” below!!!
Over the last couple of years I’ve really started getting back into electronic music. Though I’m still a bit picky when it comes to which sub-genres I dig on more. Thankfully I found a band that has all the elements of what I like about electronic music. I’m referring to the band 8mm. Founded by famed producer and mixer Sean Beaven and his wife Juliette, 8mm has been steadily making a name for themselves. You might have even heard some of their music in films and TV shows like “Underworld: Awakening”, “Dirty Little Liars”, “Mistresses”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Nip Tuck”, “Nikita”, “One Tree Hill”, “Shark”, “Cold Case”, “Moonlight”, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” etc. 8mm is more than just great music for soundtracks, they have an element about them that stretches far past that. By combining trip hop, synth wave, and a little pop sensibilities, 8mm stands out among the rest. Their most recent release “Supercrush” has a very cool sexy dance vibe to it with some pop but it also has an edge to it that give it the toughness to be its own thing. Sean’s production work fits perfectly with the vibe of this band. There are certain moments that hark back to his days working with Marilyn Manson on Mechanical Animals. Juliette has a vocal style that is almost Manson-esque at times as well as a little Beth Gibbons from Portishead. 8mm is definitely a band that you should be blasting and having impromptu dance parties with.
If you are not familiar with Helms Alee, you really should be. For more than a decade, with five studio albums, and countless EP’s, Helms Alee has quietly been carving their own path and are busting at the seams waiting to explode. On April 26th, Helms Alee will unleash their fifth studio album, Noctiluca via Sargent House. This three piece band featuring drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis, bassist Dana James and guitarist Ben Verellen are not to be reckoned with. Noctiluca continues the bands tradition of sludgy riffs, lush instrumentals, and soaring melodies. The first single released, also the albums opener, “Interachnid” is one hell of a way to kick things off and get you engrossed in what’s to come on this new journey of an album. Helms Alee has always been the type of band that gives it their all on each release. They have a sort of psychedelic sense to their savage being allthe while, they are able to cut away to parts that really take you places. This new Helms Alee album is anticipated for sure!
Helms Alee- Interachnid:
Back in 2017, Spotlights released their very awesome album, Seismic. I played the hell out of that album too. Now, Spotlights are back with a new full length album, Love & Decay. Picking up where they left off with Seismic, Mario and Sarah Quintero along with Chris Enriquez have delivered a new collection of dreamy shoegazey songs that this time around tinge on the edges of post hardcore and doom, to create a grittier sound. The first song released, “The Age of Decay” is doomy and kind of reminds me a little bit of Isis (the band) on their In The Absence of Truth era. Check it out!!!
Punk music has always been one of those genres that I’ve loved since first listen. It goes all the way back to being about 5 or 6 and hearing the Ramones. From that point onward, I was hooked. There was something about the simplicity of the music that hit home but also the honesty. Granted the latter part didn’t really hit till I got older, I could still sense there was something special about this style of music. As time passed I got more and more into punk music from the Sex Pistols and The Clash. Then 1994 happened and punk music exploded yet again with bands like Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid. It was then that I really delved into what punk music was all about. I then discovered bands like Black Flag, Bad Religion, etc. It was then that I realized the “heavier” side of punk music was for me. So over the years I found myself seeking out those bands that fit that style more. Which brings me to a band I heard a few years ago that has always stood out to me.
Back in 2013 there was an album that came out called Home by a band called Off With Their Heads, and there was something about this record that really left a mark. This band had the whole package, from hard hitting riffs and super punchy bass and drums to the honest lyrics and vocal delivery that made it all believable. Home, Off With Theirs Heads’ third full-length (though it could be considered their fourth depending on if you count the Hospitals record as an album), found the group diving deeper into experimentation without compromising their roots. This album is “real” and it’s grit shows through. When you have songs that tackle topics like anxiety, anger, and self loathing, it’s tough not to feel a connection. There is an underlying sense of catharsis to these songs which makes the end result feel very positive and optimistic. Songs like “Start Walking,” “Shirts,” “Nightlife,” “Focus On Your Own Family,” “Don’t Make Me Go,” “Always Alone,”and “Stolen Away” are not only standout songs but, anthems as well.
Singer Ryan Young has a voice that you feel every word he sings. It’s one of those immediate voices that will stay with you and act as a mantra of sorts. Musically, Off With Their Heads hit you like a ton of bricks. There is a real sense of urgency to the way they play and deliver the songs. You can really hear that on Home. Off With Their Heads are the type of band that has much in common with their punk influences but also bands like Jawbreaker and Jawbox. The realness and honesty (there’s that word again) really shines through in this band. That is something that will always have a lasting effect on those that listen and take the words to heart. Do yourselves a favor and take a listen to this unsung masterpiece and, celebrate a true work of art!
Aaron Harris is a name I’m sure many of you are familiar with, provided you are a fan of the bands Isis and Palms. As the drummer for these two bands, Aaron laid down some of the most haunting and heavy beats in the last twenty years. In addition to his work in Isis and Palms, Aaron has had a successful career as a producer and engineer. He’s worked with bands like Pelican, Deftones, Team Sleep, Spotlights, Jakob, Puscifer and With Our Arms To The Sun. So it comes as no surprise that Aaron, as talented as he is, began composing music for TV, film, video games, and commercials. Working under the name Methodic Doubt, Aaron has created a world that has been described as “downright breathtaking” by Spin magazine. And they are pretty spot on with that. The sounds created by Aaron have a very dark and moody tinge combined with pulsating rhythms, delicate strings, and electronic elements that add the right amount of atmosphere.
On his debut solo album, Dark Energy, you can really get swept away in the sounds. The collection of tracks on the album are the type that are ideal for horror, thriller, and suspense projects. The use of percussion, whether it’s the sounds, pulsating rhythms, eerie textures combined with the abrasive synth work creates this very vivid and spooky soundtrack. Aaron is super talented and it’s not a surprise to see him move in this direction. Now with Dark Energy, more people will get to hear how integral he is to the bands he’s been in as well as why he is sought after in terms of producing.
Last year when Venom was released in theaters it was met with mixed reviews. There was one thing though about the movie that was absolutely perfect and that was the inclusion of Run The Jewel’s on the soundtrack. The duo featuring Killer Mike and EL-P released a track called “Let’s Go (The Royal We)” and it was downright badass. Ever since they released the song, I can’t stop listening to it. I was hoping that it might be included on the duo’s upcoming RTJ IV album but, it seems like it was released just for the soundtrack. Either way this track is fantastic and the beat that EL-P created is “hard and heavy.” So, until Run The Jewel’s releases RTJ IV, this will do just fine!