Pop punk band Yellowcard have been considered by many to be one of the most iconic pop punk bands of the new millennium, their powerful melodies and catchy choruses taking the country by storm. The same people almost all agree that their 2003 album Ocean Avenue is their most memorable work; songs such as Only One, Breathing, Back Home, and (of course) the title track itself topped the playlists of our childhoods. And to celebrate its 10 year anniversary, the band have decided to release a “re-imagining” of all thirteen Ocean Avenue tracks in a new acoustic album–a piece of art that invokes both nostalgia and innovation.
One of the most impressive features of Yellowcard songs has always been the inclusion of the violin (thanks to Sean Mackin), a long-considered classical instrument that meshed perfectly with the band’s modernized songs. Ocean Avenue Acoustic continues to masterfully use this amazing instrument, from the strong notes in the beginning of Believe and in the chorus of Breathing to the much more reserved but equally impactful tunes in Only One and Empty Apartment. All in all, the violin that got us loving Yellowcard in the first place does not disappoint in the new album and continues to add strength to each song.
Regarding the songs themselves, Yellowcard manages to create a new breed of intensity in some of their more explosive songs. The sound of the acoustic Way Away is just as enormous as its older counterpart, but in a different way; while there isn’t as much overwhelming noise that highlights pop punk, the speed and brawn of the acoustic instruments evoke a sense of desperation and excitement that is just as empowering as the feelings received from the original 2003 version. The same can be said for Miles Apart, Life of a Salesman, View From Heaven, and Ocean Avenue itself. And on the other side of the spectrum, emotionally riveting tracks such as Only One, Back Home, and Empty Apartment have become even more moving. Their softer melodies paint the message of their songs, whether it’s loss of love or the falsity of an expectation, in a way that feels even more genuine and true than before.
Holistically, Ocean Avenue Acoustic takes thirteen amazing songs and alters their sounds to make dissimilar but equally powerful songs. Not only do the songs lend heavy doses of nostalgia and remembrance for the songs that help define a decade, they feel refreshing and new when one listens to them. Overall, this album, being both the same and different as the groundbreaking album ten years ago of the same name, deserves a rating equivalent to the original Ocean Avenue.
Standout Tracks: “Back Home,” “Only One,” “Empty Apartment,” “Breathing,” “Miles Apart,” “Ocean Avenue”
01. Way Away (Acoustic)
02. Breathing (Acoustic)
03. Ocean Avenue (Acoustic)
04. Empty Apartment (Acoustic)
05. Life Of A Salesman (Acoustic)
06. Only One (Acoustic)
07. Miles Apart (Acoustic)
08. Twentythree (Acoustic)
09. View From Heaven (Acoustic)
10. Inside Out (Acoustic)
11. Believe (Acoustic)
12. One Year, Six Months (Acoustic)
13. Back Home (Acoustic)
Regarding the piece, Madeon wrote, “I’ve been working on it for a while. My goal was to tell a story through dance music using a longer structure than what I’ve done before.” You can stream it via Youtube or Beatport, or you can listen to the embed Soundcloud below:
Along with the news of the album came information on a new tour, where Mayday Parade will be headlining the Glamour Kills Tour 2013. Considering the dates of the tour ensue the release of the new record, you can probably expect new songs to be performed live!
OCT. 11TH FREEBIRD JACKSONVILLE, FL
OCT. 12TH MASQUERADE ATLANTA, GA
OCT. 13TH ROCKETOWN NASHVILLE, TN
OCT. 15TH AMOS SOUTHEND CHARLOTTE, NC
OCT. 16TH THE NORVA NORFOLK, VA
OCT. 17TH BEST BUY THEATRE NEW YORK CITY, NY
OCT. 18TH THE ELECTRIC FACTORY PHILADELPHIA, PA
OCT. 19TH STARLAND BALLROOM SAYREVILLE, NJ
OCT. 20TH BALTIMORE SOUNDSTAGE BALTIMORE, MD
OCT. 22ND WEBSTER THEATRE HARTFORD, CT
OCT. 23RD HOUSE OF BLUES BOSTON, MA
OCT. 24TH LOST HORIZON SYRACUSE, NY
OCT. 26TH THE INTERSECTION GRAND RAPIDS, MI
OCT. 27TH ST. ANDREWS HALL DETROIT, MI
OCT. 29TH BOGARTS CINCINATTI, OH
OCT. 30TH HOUSE OF BLUES CLEVELAND, OH
OCT. 31ST HOUSE OF BLUES CHICAGO, IL
MAR. 28TH THE TROUBADOUR WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA
NOV. 1ST THE RAVE MILWAUKEE, WI
NOV. 4TH THE SUMMIT DENVER, CO
NOV. 5TH IN THE VENUE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
NOV. 7TH EL CORAZON SEATTLE, WA
NOV. 8TH THE RIO VANCOUVER, BC
NOV. 9TH WONDER BALLROOM PORTLAND, OR
NOV. 11TH SLIMS SAN FRANCISCO, CA
NOV. 12TH ACE OF SPADES SACRAMENTO, CA
NOV. 13TH HOUSE OF BLUES LOS ANGELES, CA
NOV. 14TH HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM, CA
NOV. 15TH HOUSE OF BLUES SAN DIEGO, CA
NOV. 16TH HARD ROCK ON THE STRIP LAS VEGAS, NV
NOV. 17TH THE MARQUEE PHOENIX, AZ
NOV. 19TH HOUSE OF BLUES DALLAS, TX
NOV. 20TH HOUSE OF BLUES HOUSTON, TX
NOV. 21ST BACKSTAGE LIVE SAN ANTONIO, TX
NOV. 26TH SIDEBAR THEATER TALLAHASSEE, FL
NOV. 27TH THE ORPHEUM TAMPA, FL
NOV. 29TH HOUSE OF BLUES ORLANDO, FL
NOV. 30TH REVOLUTION FT. LAUDERDALE, FL
Metalcore band Ice Nine Kills has released a live music video of The Coffin Is Moving, a song off of their most recent EP The Predator. Footage from the video is all taken from the band’s concert at Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, New York.
Regarding the music video, vocalist Spencer Charnas noted, “With this video we really wanted to capture the experience of seeing us live right from the front row. The band delivers very high energy performances and we wanted to convey that to the virtual world.”
The members of Ice Nine Kills have a long summer ahead of them; they will participate in The All Stars Tour, starting from July 19, with acts such as Chelsea Grin, Every Time I Die, Iwrestledabearonce, and Capture The Crown. The band has also recently performed in the 2013 Vans Warped Tour.
Nations Afire, an ensemble composed of music veterans from the groups Rise Against, Death Stereo, and Ignite, have recently released their debut album, The Ghosts We Will Become. No stranger to their music scene in California, the rock band seeks to spread their sound to a national–and global–level.
And perhaps that goal isn’t without reason either; with strong riffs and vocalist Nik Hill’s powerful, rough vocals (somewhat reminiscent of less nasal-y version of Alter Bridge‘s Myles Kennedy’s singing voice) that blend together well, nearly every song in the album possesses the headbanging energy people want. The songs without the hard rock gusto are no slouch either, instead choosing a more emotional approach, from comparatively heavy Nine Lives to entirely acoustic Even The Blackest Heart Still Beats.
Certain parts of the album, however, are weak. “I am an army coming through/I am a zombie over you/I can’t believe it, I want it so bad” in I Am an Army feels almost half-assed, and the opening line “And the wolves cry out again” in Wolves’ chorus seems to always drop the energy of an otherwise consistent song. Another issue with The Ghosts We Will Become is that it sounds too similar to the punk rock and hard rock scene. The beginnings of I Am an Army and One Perfect Day, for example, sound just like an intro from a song by Rise Against. The lyrics also read similar to Rise Against or Anti-Flag. Although the sound itself is more than satisfying, there aren’t any curve balls or segments that stand out as unique, which makes the album sit in the shadow of already established bands of the same genre.
Nevertheless, as a band’s debut album, The Ghosts We Will Become is a very strong start, and it is a positive indicator of Nations Afire’s talent and where it can go from here. As long as the band continues to develop their own sound and find its niche in the wildly popular rock genre which they jump into, it will no doubt end up in the spotlights.
Standout Tracks: “Occams Razor,” “Even The Blackest Heart Still Beats,” “Pick Up The Pieces”
01. I Am an Army
02. The Ghosts We Will Become
03. Nine Lives
04. One Perfect Day
05. In Absentia
06. Occams Razor
07. Even the Blackest Heart Still Beats
08. Pick Up the Pieces
09. Break Your Fall
10. The Legacy We Leave
11. The Concussionist