Review: The Papercuts - Mockingbird
Review: Over The Rhine - Ohio
Over The Rhine - Ohio (2 Disc): Do we really need two discs of female-fronted country-pop (or is it alt-country?). I think one disc would have sufficed and even with the pairing down would still not see much play. Download Show Me, Suitcase and Nobody Number One / Buy
Review: The Misunderstood - Before The Dream Faded
The Misunderstood - Before The Dream Faded: It's not like any of this is bad, but there are too many blues/pop/rock bands from the '60s and they all sound so similar. Download several tracks / Buy
Review: Maritime - Glass Floor
Maritime - Glass Floor: Pop so sugary sweet, you'll find it hard not to like. Stream clips of the entire album / Download Sleep Around and A Night Like This / Buy
Review: Malady - Malady
Malady - Malady: More chaotic, less grandiose and less forgiving the City of Caterpillar, but an excellent follow-up. Stream clips of the entire album / Stream entire versions of Tongue, Yeah, Well Again and The World Is A Tomb / Buy
Review: Little Birdy - Little Birdy/Big Big Love
Little Birdy - Little Birdy/Big Big Love: Damnit, I don't need anymore female-fronted Pop/Rock in my rotation. Stream four songs off of Big Big Love (The player is in the top right of your screen) / Buy
Review: The Lilys - Better Can't Make Your Life Better
The Lilys - Better Can't Make Your Life Better: This disc won't make your life better either. Stream clips of the entire record / Buy
Review: Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak: I'm not supposed to like Southern Rock, so I'll pretend I didn't like this. Watch video for The Bucket / Stream clips of the entire album / Buy
Review: The Kills - No Wow
The Kills - No Wow: Hasn't blues-punk been done to death yet? Stream the majoirty of the record / Watch The Good Ones Video / Buy
Review: Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power
Review: Hood - Outside Closer
Hood - Outside Closer: I wasn't too fond of their previous disc, but this is really, really good. You won't sing along, but it's so complex, so rich, so deep. Download The Lost You / Buy
Review: Grails - Redlight
Grails - Redlight: Post-rock perfect for a rainy day. No real goal in mind, no destination to reach, it just kind of meanders, but not in a bad way. Download Dargai and Word Made Flesh / Buy
Review: Don Zientara - Sixteen Songs
Don Zientara - Sixteen Songs: There's something really sincere and honest about a man and his guitar. There's something not really honest about an album called "Sixteen Songs" that contains seventeen songs. That aside, this is a good blend of folk with blues and man with guitar. Download Funny Man / Buy
Review: The Decemberists - Castaways and Cutouts
The Decemberists - Castaways and Cutouts: The Decemberists get name-dropped a lot by a lot of people. Now I see why. Download Here I Dreamt I Was An Arichitect / Buy
Review: Death From Above 1979
Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine: It's not as if dance-punk suddenly redeemed itself, it's that this is way too good not to like. Download You're A Woman, I'm A Machine / Buy
Reviews: Consonant x2 Re: Uncooperative Blogger
Consonant - Consonant: A softer side of post-punk is neither interesting nor engaging. Sad, considering this comes from a Mission of Burma alum. Stream clips of the entire album / Buy
Consonant - Love And Affliction: More of the same, perhaps even slightly more bland, than their self-titled. Stream the entire album / Buy
Review: Chin Up Chin Up
Chin Up Chin Up - We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers: This album is very calm and soothing, bordering on refreshing. It just sort of plays in the background, uninhibited without you realizing it's playing. I guess that's a good thing. Download We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers and Virginia, Don't Drown / Buy
Show Review: Bane, Comeback Kid, With Honor, Silent Drive, Hollywood
Preface: I haven't been to a show of any kind in many months, never mind a hardcore show, which you would have to delve even further into my past to discover the last opportunity I partook of to see a hardcore show. In fact, the last show I attended was the last time Bane was in town.
Since that time, it seems as though the Atlanta "Scene" has grown by leaps and bounds. Whereas the last time I saw Bane, they had attracted an older crowd, this time, it was the young folks's turn to represent. And represent they did, coming out in droves to the order or nearly 600 people packing a larger-than-last-time-I-was-there Swayze's in Marietta (a good 25 minute drive from downtown Atlanta).
The recently-remodeled Swayze's is an excellent place for a show (despite it's not-close-enough proximity to Atlanta, which may ostracize many people), though, as to be expected, the sound was not of the highest priority. But, it is nice to have a fully functional all-ages venue (despite the fact that I am of both legal ages). On to the show.
Doors were supposed to open at 7, but did not do so until 7:30. Hollywood was set to take the stage at 8, but ended up being on stage and playing at 7:45 with their entire set finished by the aforementioned 8. They were really good. Each song comes at swinging and I thought to myself how 'punchy' it sounded. The punchiness only lasted about 20-30 seconds per song before they seemed to fall into a rhythm. This was not terrible, but the excellent way each song began made me hope for a little more. I picked up their demo CD (for $1, how could I go wrong?) and had to fight off the advances of one of the members from trying to sell me a t-shirt (I understand how badly you want to sell your merch, but back off. Next time, just tell me to come to your next show instead of pestering me to buy your merch).
By 8:15 Silent Drive was already on the stage and ready to go. Silent Drive is Zach Bane singing and Nick and Pete Bane on bass (I think) and drumes, respectively. I was burned by the previous Zach-fronted Ink Cartrdge Funeral (though, not terribly), so I never even bothered when they announced the formation of Silent Drive, as I had an inkling of what to expect. It was exactly what I expected. Mellow parts, that sound like Incubus, bleeding into hardcore/metalish parts. While I like Zach's voice and the intensity he showed on stage was second-to-none, I just know that I'll never get into their music. (Side note about Zach: I saw him play in his other band, Barrit, what seems like ten years ago. He played guitar and just looked incredibly evil. He didn't really move around a lot, just stood there, eyes rolled upwards and gave the crowd a metal sign, or evil point, now and again. The last few times I saw Bane, he also didn't move around a whole lot, just kind of playing his music. This time, however, he was extremely animated, talking with the crowd, getting very involved and just going nuts. It was refreshing to see).
Silent Drive rapped up by about 8:45 and by 9 With Honor was on the stage. Now, I haven't been keeping up as much on the hardcore scene as I used to and hadn't even heard of With Honor before that night, so I wasn't expecting the kids to get to rowdy. But they did. Singing along, moshing, stage dives, high fives. They were really hard and tight. They reminded me a lot of the Suicide File, whom I am a big fan of. If I had more money, I would have gotten a CD, but I did not.
Another half hour set and it was 9:30. Another 15 minute wait and Comeback Kid took the stage. I had always heard good things about Comeback Kid and they did not disapoint. They sounded like if you took Hold This Moment and It All Comes Down To This (Bane albums) and mixed them together. As Bane progresses (more on that later), some bands will always attempt to capture what they had during that period. Comback Kid were very tight, had the crowd going apeshit (literally, as they hung from the rafters). Crazy sing-alongs, good mosh parts, a complete package. On my way out the door, I picked up their new CD, though I haven't given it a listen as of yet, but look for a review at some point. Something sad happened during the second to last song though. I was thinking about writing this review and I wanted to make a comment about how the media always 'slams' moshing and how brutal and unforgiving it is. What they don't understand is how fast everybody is to pick someone up that falls down. No one stays on the ground long. No sooner did I finish my thought when a guy was carrying a girl that had gone limp during the song. I'm not exactly sure what happened to her, but she was completely dead weight in the guys hands. I was expecting the worse; she had gotten hit in the back of the head and would never walk again, or even worse she had died and I could envision the headline in the AJC: Local Girl Dead After Attending Rock Concert. My stomach sank and it was hard for me (and most of the people on my side of the stage) to get back into the music. I did hear someone say that she was alright, but I'd still be curious to hear what happened to her.
10:15 they were done and by 10:30 Bane was on the stage (note: This was a smoothly run show, as you can see there was never more than a 15 minute gap between bands. I've waited upwards of an hour and a half for some acts). Everybody knew they were going to play some new songs as they have an album coming out in May (note2: When their last album came out, they had copies of the new album almost 2 full months early while on tour. No such luck this time). They played a good mix of songs, though. Maybe 2 or 3 from the new Album, 1 or 2 from Give Blood, 4 or so off It All Comes Down To This and 3 off of Holding This Moment. I love Holding This Moment, so I was pyshed to see Superhero (my favorite Bane song), Count Me Out and the surprise of the evening, Both Guns Blazing (in lieu of the unrehearsed Struck Down By Me). The crowd was weird, as about a third of them had left before Bane had taken the stage (pay $10 and not stay for the main act...I've done it, but if you're a hardcore fan, you can't leave before Bane). The ones that remained did not disapoint. More hanging from the rafters, more crazy pile-ons and moshing. Par for the course for Bane. It's just indescribable. If you ever been up front during Bane, you know what I'm talking about. Somebody also broke the lights and some ceiling tiles fell down during the mayhem (Aaron remarking something about tearing the roof down is metaphoric for a good hardcore show, and he was right).
As I said earlier, it had been a long time since I had been to a hardcore show and I was not let down this night. I don't think I had ever seen so many good hardcore bands share the same stage (festivals aside). Maybe it's a hardcore renaissance (a la '95), or maybe there's just a lot more really good bands out right now. I'm not sure. Either way, it was an awesome experience and I give major props to the guys at Swayze's for putting an an excellent show (and they book a lot of really good shows coming up too, check them out Swayze's Venue).
Review: Cass McCombs
Cass McCombs - PREfection: Each song is a tad different, but they're all held together by a foundation of '60s pop, just a bit slower. It's really, really good though. Stream Sacred Heart / Buy
Reviews: Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes - Digital Ash In A Digital Urn: Deviation from the familiar? Shun it! Or listen to it, cause it's pretty good.
Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning: His accessible album to date. His best album to date. Album of the year, to date. (Just don't call him Bob Dylan)
Stream and Download a bunch of Bright Eyes songs and then Buy them both
Atari - Ten Years Strong Discography: Very solid hardcore in the same style as IME or TYF. Download Face It / Buy
Review: The Arcade Fire
The Arcade Fire - Us Kids Know: The desperation and urgency lacking from their LP. Download I'm Sleeping In A Submarine / Buy
Review: Ambulance LTD
Ambulance Ltd - LP: Broken Social Scene for the shoegazer crowd. Download Stay Where You Are and Primitive (The Way I Treat You) (Sorry you've got to sign up) / Buy
Reviews: Redneck Manifesto x3
Redneck Manifesto - Thirtysixstrings: Post-rock on the edge of greatness (I know, aren't they all? But this one really is). Download Please Don't Ask Us What We Think Of Your Band / Buy
Redneck Manifesto - Cut Your Heart Off From Your Head: Disappointing follow-up. Download Clue Out Puzzles / Buy
Redneck Manifesto - Taj Compilation: Found this while browsing a p2p network. It's a live set in Texas in which the band just piddle-farts on stage and is a gross waste of time. I added all of their 7" tracks to the end of it to make it worthwhile, but those are hit and miss. Download A Live Track / Buy
Review: Redd Kross
Redd Kross - Neurotica: The album that inspired grunge? I doubt it, sounds like to many other 'punk on the inside, pop on the outside' (or is that the other way around?) bands that came before them. Download Neurotica / Buy
Review: Ray And Porcell
Ray And Porcell - Ray And Porcell: Ray and Porcell (of Youth of Today fame) 'solo' and with a drum machine. It's only two songs, but you wish it were more. Buy
Review: Neon Christ
Neon Christ - Neon Christ (Discography): What starts out as a run-of-the-mill punk band from the early '80s quickly progressed into something a lot better. Then they broke up. Buy
Review: Mos Def
Mos Def - Black On Both Sides: Mos Def is very intelligent, which is why I expected more than this mediocre outing. His best output remains when he teams with Kweli (a la Black Star). Stream / Buy
Reviews: Talib Kweli x2
Talib Kweli - Freestyles and Rarities: Why is it necessary to reach EVERY piece of recorded music from a rapper? I deem it unnecessary. Buy
Talib Kweli - Quality: Now I get the hype. Kweli redeems himself on the previously-released Quality where his skills are apparent and he's not trying to sell out (a la The Beautiful Struggle). Stream / Buy
Moonbabies - June And Novas: Not bad, just a little too all over the place. They need some focus, hopefully provided for future releases. Download / Buy
Review: Bloc Party
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm: Not bad, just a little dissapointing following the phenomenal EP. Download (Sorry for the double dip) / Buy
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