10. Angels – Mayday Parade from Monsters in the Closet
It took a while to get used to Mayday’s new sound after their perfect debut full-length A Lesson in Romantics, but the while was worth it. While there are no refreshing curveballs, Angels is just an amazing song that is just representative of the band’s talent.
9. Violence is Violence (Enough is Enough) – A Day To Remember from Common Courtesy
The one track that convinces me that A Day To Remember can make heavy songs well. An amazing song that got the hype for Common Courtesy rolling and really highlights how versatile the Floridian outfit really is.
8. A Disasterpiece – Palisades from Outcasts
Metalcore has been suffering from a wave of mediocrity and unoriginality—similar-sounding vocals and breakdowns being played over and over again. This breaks it. I like this track a lot because it keeps true to metalcore while experimenting successfully with heavy electronic influences. I lose it every time when the dubstep kicks in.
7. Life @ 11 – A Day To Remember from Common Courtesy
Because just one ADTR track wasn’t enough. Life @ 11 is my favorite track off the new album, which is saying a lot because Common Courtesy was, in my opinion, the best overall album of 2013. This track both reminds me why I fell in love with ADTR in the first place and comforts me that their talent and creativity haven’t burned out yet.
6. hostage – Dangerkids from Collapse
Dangerkids has made an amazing breakthrough. Being called “Linkin Park 2.0,” their songs can be characterized by metalcore with angsty rap influences—not the steamy senseless stuff that Attila screams about. This is probably my favorite track off the album, especially since I really love the chorus on this one.
5. Crooked Young – Bring Me The Horizon from Sempiternal
When it comes to musical direction, Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal really takes the cake. They really stepped it up in this album, particularly in the clean vocals department. Crooked Young is my favorite on the album particularly because of the instrumentals… so, so good. I’m a sucker for classical influences and this is a perfect example of how well they mesh with heavy tracks.
4. Pompeii – Bastille from Bad Blood
This is the one track that got Bastille the global recognition they deserve, and for good reason. It’s just an all-around sublime piece. The background vocals are enchanting and the melody is catchy as hell. There’s also something about that accent that fits with the song perfectly. There’s also a version of Pompeii where they play at the British Museum—an alternative version that is equally powerful, one for which I give my highest recommendations to watch.
3. What I Never Learned in Study Hall – Ice Nine Kills from The Predator
Ice Nine Kills are underrated, and I don’t know why. They are an incredible band with an especially talented vocalist. Their recently-released The Predator is a solid EP that really shows potential. In particular, What I Never Learned in Study Hall has become one of my favorite songs ever. Really.
2. A Love Like War – All Time Low from Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!
All Time Low, with their upbeat swag and their witty lyrics, have never disappointed, and their recent album has been nothing short of spectacular. And they killed it again with the re-release, including new songs such as A Love Like War. Since first listen it has quickly become a staple in my pop punk playlist. The music video is particularly awesome… watch it!
1. Technicolor – Madeon from Technicolor Single
I don’t think a list could be complete without this eargasmic piece. After no original tracks for months too long, Madeon dropped us a massive, six minute long track that just blows all his old work (besides Finale, but that’s my opinion) out of the water. This is just an incredible track that progresses from beginning to end, like a novel or a movie. It tells a story. It’s amazing.
First off can you introduce yourself, the rest of the band and the respective instruments that you all play please?
I’m Evan – I play guitar and sing. Ethan sings and plays guitar, Ben plays bass, and Andrew drums.
So your Demo was released nearly two years ago now, and you’ve just released your debut album summer death, how has the band evolved since your beginnings?
When we started this band, it was just Ethan and I writing songs together – shortly thereafter, Andrew came along and wanted to play drums. We were like that’s pretty tight. Originally, we were writing songs without a bass, not to mention we had both just started using alternate tunings. I think the biggest differences between our early stuff and summer death are the technicality of the parts. We’ve gotten better at playing and we’ve also gotten better at adding dynamics to songs that we wouldn’t have thought of before.
Ethan or I will write a song in its entirety on guitar. Then we’ll show the song to the rest of the band, and we bang it out together. Usually vocals are put in last.
Speaking of your debut release, you recorded it in a variety of different locations, why was the process like that?
We recorded the record all over the place – it was some pretty DIY shit. Our friend Eric Muth, to whom most of the credit goes to for how great the record sounds, hooked us up with East Room Recordings – where Eric recorded drums. Then we just divided up the recording amongst places we had access to – some of it in our (Ethan and I) house, some of it at Ben’s old house (Michael Jordan house), and some at Drexel’s recording studios.
That idea is all Michael from Soft Speak Records. I’m not fully sure why he chose that foundation, I believe that his college roommate or friend suffers from Cystic Fibrosis; regardless, I commend him for his charity. He’s a cool-ass dude.
There seems to be quite a few emotive bands coming out of Philadelphia right now and in 2012 you guys did a split with Modern Baseball titled Couples Therapy. Is there a strong community feel between all the bands?
Absolutely. If you’re in a band and you play in this particular scene in Philly, chances are we’re already friends. I want to be clear on something, though – you don’t even have to be in a band to be friends with everyone in the scene. If you engage with the scene in any way, whether it be going to shows, making art, filming, photographing, etc. you are part of the scene and there is a respect and care for one another that you can’t find in many other circles. I think everyone in the scene would agree that we’re all willing to help one another out, and we’re all stoked on what everybody’s doing.
Third wave, fourth wave, fifth wave; some sort of wave. The whole emo revival thing is just music journalists finally paying attention to a genre of music that was born, died, was buried, and then resurrected from the grave, only to be shot point blank with a shot gun. I think that Marietta is a part of a newer wave of emo music that a lot of people have coined “twinkle.” Emo has grown, mutated, and morphed into so many different things that are so far apart musically but remain unified by the genre- so to answer your question – yes, we are the step-sons of bands like Algernon Cadwallader, Snowing, and Grown Ups.
On the topic of genres, which bands did you grow up listening to, and how did they influence your music?
Personally, my tastes went all over the damn place throughout middle school, high school, and even college. I had a big folk punk phase with bands like Defiance, Ohio and Against Me! Then I became interested in heavy shit like The Jonbenét and Daughters. Then I was really into indie music like The Microphones and Sufjan Stevens; after that I got into new emo through bands like Algernon, Merchant Ships, Age Sixteen, etc. I can’t say for sure how any of these bands influenced me because I would say that any music I’ve listened to, ever-including Linkin Park in 4th grade, has influenced the way I write songs.
Alright, kind of off topic, but are you excited about the new Star Wars movies and perhaps seeing Dantooine on the big screen?
Shit, this is definitely Ethan’s territory. He LOVES Star Wars. I’m sure he’s half excited, half skeptical for how the new star wars will turn out.
Any last words, plans for the future, or something you want to say to your fans?
Thanks y’all! The response to our album so far has been really incredible. We plan on going on tour this winter with State Lines, Old Gray and a ton of other cool bands! Hopefully within the next few months we’ll get to work on something new! Really though – our fans rule. I can’t stress enough how important it is to support local music/local scenes. The fact that kids actually get stoked on us is the coolest thing ever. You guys are cool. You rock.
“I was unhappy for a long time, but now at the age of 28 I’m settling into my own skin and accepting things for what they are. I have my friends and family, my band, and I get to travel the world doing rock shows which is what I love best. I made a world that I can call my own.”
Check out the video for the track below! You can pick up their album Enter Destroyer here.
Four piece outfit Mumblr from Kensington, North Philadelphia play a genre of music that they dub “fuzz punk”. With the stylings of second-wave emo bands such as The Promise Ring and an early Modest Mouse alternative punk feel their track “Puke” off of their upcoming release is one hell of a listen. Rapid distorted guitar strums, clamouring drums, and frantic vocals combined with the refrain, “I don’t know anything why do you lie to me?” is a recipe for distress leaving you eager for more. Mumblr have combined both of their EP’s to be released on a lush red cassette titled White Jesus/Black God via Austin, Texas based Fleeting Youth Records. Stream Puke along with the entire release below and pre-order the cassette and digital album here. Follow the band on Facebook for more information.
The Swellers have been a staple in the punk scene for quite some time now, famous for releasing their incredible 2009 album Ups and Downsizing. The Michigan outfit have been criticized a little on signs that they were following the trend towards pop, but their recent album The Light Under Closed Doors, released just last week, has put those suspicions back in the closet. The Light Under Closed Doors demonstrates that the sound that people fell in love with is still there–and still strong.
The album gives a lot to laud about. As per usual, the new album’s lyrics are just as defining as ever, employing the classic “internal tension and melancholy” theme with catchy hooks, inducing the pop punk-esque ambivalent beauty and angst that The Swellers have expressed so well in the past. The riffs and melodies are catchy and engaging–definitely something worth dancing to (or, for the softcore, bobbing your head to). The juxtaposition between (comparatively) slower, more melody-driven songs like “Friends Again (We Can’t Be),” “Designated Driver,” and “High/Low,” and more gung-ho, in-your-face tunes like “Call It A Night,” “Big Hearts,” and “Great Lakes State” are also great. Even the questionable quality of the album, usually a negative feature on a studio recording, seems to paradoxically add to the album, giving a feeling of homeliness and intimacy, as if the songs were being performed on stage.
To be honest, there really isn’t much that detracts from the album. Those unfamiliar with heavier genres could probably note that the “wave of sound” in The Light Under Closed Doors is overwhelming and too uniform; also, very staunch fans of The Swellers could, imaginably, compare this as still being in the shadow of Ups and Downsizing. However, as long as you’re interested in the overarching punk genre at all, you won’t regret taking a listen to this at all. In fact, you might just be like me and love it.
Standout tracks: “Big Hearts,” “Got Social,” “Call It A Night,” “Becoming Self-Aware”
02. Big Hearts
03. Got Social
05. Great Lakes State
06. Becoming Self-Aware
07. Friends Again (We Can’t Be)
08. Designated Driver
09. Favorite Tune
10. Call It A Night
UK hardcore outfit TRC have recently released a music video of one of their newest tunes, “10,000 Hours.” The song hybridizes vocalist Chris Robson’s rapping with heavy instrumental backing, creating a unique and refreshing blend of sound that all fans of heavy music should consider listening to.
Regarding the video and the meaning of the song, Robson says, “It was great to work with Daniel Broadley again, after the fantastic job he did on “We Bring War.” The tune is about the rule of success being 10,000 hours of applied effort, and was inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s book, ‘Outliers’. No matter what the distraction, we’ve kept pushing on with TRC. 10,000 hours equates to approx. 10 years, which is quite funny because TRC released our first demo 10 years ago. What’s even funnier, was the fact we recorded the band performance scene in the studio where we recorded that very first demo. Everything came full circle. It’s my favourite track off ‘Nation’.”
10,000 Hours is one of several tracks off their second and newest album Nation, produced in tandem with Steve Sears (Gallows, Lethal Bizzle). You can purchase Nation here via No Sleep Records. And while you do that, be sure to watch 10,000 Hours below:
I Surrender Records to celebrate their tenth birthday “wanted to give musicians the opportunity to step outside their stylistic box – no guidelines, no expectations.” The EP is set to drop digitally and on vinyl on November 25th. The vinyl includes 4 color options (red, blue, green, grey) and b-side etching and will be available on their webstore. Stream Anthony’s song called “String Me Along” below!