Category Archives: Music

Joey DiCamillo and Kevin Sardy of Batten Down The Hatches Speak Up.

Now this is a pretty long intense interview with NJ locals Batten Down the Hatches, so I’m not going to bother with an intro, just read up and enjoy. If you wanna go give them a listen yourself, links for their Facebook and assorted what not’s are down at the bottom. Enjoy.

Sam Acevedo: So first off, you guys just played a show with I Call Fives and Major League, how does did it feel sharing a stage with bands that big?

Kevin Sardy: Honestly, it feels amazing to even get the chance to share a stage with those guys. Not only because they’re great musicians and artists, but also because they are such cool guys and such big inspirations to myself, as well as all the other guys I’m sure.

Joey DiCamillo: There’s a bit of a story behind that show.  East Coast Killer Productions was getting a show together for We Still Dream and Challenges at our local VFW, and I Call fives wanted to hop on. We were invited to play that show (it being our hometown and all) however about the same time, Nick from major league hit me up about getting them a freehold date on the same day. Needless to explain I hit up the booking company and we combined both lineups into one big ridiculous event.  We couldn’t have been more stoked! it was such an awesome night, Actually playing on the same bill as I Call Fives was a first for us, and every time we play with Major League its ALWAYS a good time.  To round off everything our good friends in Giants at Large were on the bill too, and we got to hang with those characters again. Everyone in all the bigger touring bands were SO down to earth and cool to us. Mike from IC5 even took the time to show me stuff about his gear after the show!

Sam Acevedo: Batten Down The Hatches has started generating a real fanbase and following in Jersey, what does it mean to you guys to actually have fans?

Kevin Sardy: To me it’s not as if we have fans, it’s like we have friends that are joining us and pushing us to be better at what we do and come out with bigger and better things.

Joey DiCamillo: Honestly, Kevin said this best. It’s like we have a ton of friends that come out to support us in doing what we love, and continually give us motivation to do so. having anyone go out of their way for us is such an awesome, indescribable feeling. I’m never going to get used to anyone telling me they know my band or downloaded our music. We couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that helped us get to where we are today.

Sam Acevedo: Which has been the band’s favorite show so far? Best show story?

Kevin Sardy: Personally I couldn’t pick just one. Our release show for See This Through was incredible, our first trip out to Connecticut to play with our good friends in Casting Call was incredible, Philly with all our friends out there has been incredible too. There’s just too many to pick from, all were fun!

Joey DiCamillo: Dude … There’s a bunch I’d like to share about everything involving last minute lineup miracles, to having it feel like hurricane harbor on your body because the basement we were playing in was easily over 100 degrees, Fahrenheit that is. I definitely have one story that I’m never going to forget though.Over the summer, days before our E.P. release, our friends in Giants at Large needed a show in Freehold. We were planning on throwing a backyard show at my friend Alyssa’s house. As it would happen though, the day before the show was supposed to happen the weather called for a definite chance of rain. So LITERALLY the night before, I called up our good friend Katherine and asked if we can use her really nice, large, and particularly well furnished living room to host 5 bands and about 40 kids. Hysterically she said yes, and we all came over early that morning to move EVERYTHING out of the way. It was beyond a great time, house shows like that are ALWAYS a blast we played with no pants on, and this was probably the first show that kids new the words to our song too and went hard. Crowd surfing in a living room is something you don’t forget. Our boy Drew even filmed the whole thing from ABOVE us on a little balcony, here’s a link to the video!

Sam Acevedo: I can see on your Facebook that you have some out of state shows coming up, can you tell us more about those?

Kevin Sardy: I cannot wait to get out of Jersey and extend our fan-base. I haven’t traveled much before the band. I only went to NY and Philly and Rhode Island before the band came into my life so it’s pretty much obvious I’m stoked as hell to go make some friends in North Carolina, Virginia, West Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and upstate N.Y.

Joey DiCamillo: We’re always trying to play out state as much as possible, and hit the road hard on some weekenders. Our good friends in first Things First hit us up in Janurary about doing a weekender or two, and now somehow we have pretty much all of March booked up! Besides the first weekend that we’re going out with our dudes in Galleries, every date will be with First Things First, and Random Holiday will even be joining us for the last weekend! We’re  so excited to be out on the road with good friends, and can’t wait to play/hang/rage everywhere. We’re thinking about calling it “March Madness” and will have a poster up soon with all the info and a somewhat clever graphic! We hope to make a bunch of awesome new friends, and crash on your floors and stuff.

Sam Acevedo: “I Build Igloos Not Relationships” has over 4k plays on Facebook, what’s that song about?

Kevin Sardy: That’s for Johnny to say, I can’t wirte lyrics for the life of me. I don’t know how he does it.

Joey DiCamillo: It’s about building fortified structures out of packed ice and snow instead of forming nuturing bonds with other individuals. Most notably ones that screw you over. And that take your lunch money.

Sam Acevedo: A lot of bands aspire to be where BDTH is now, playing out of state shows, sharing the stage with bands like I Call Fives, do you have an advice for bands just starting up?

Kevin Sardy: Don’t do it to be “big.” Do it to have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re in the wrong field yanno? Do something because you love it and believe in it.

Joey DiCamillo: Dude, we’re all just kids playing and doing what we love to do. Me and Bryan have been in bands since like freshman year of highschool and playing out since sophmore year. We’ve always looked up to everyone that we were so fortunate to share a music scene with, and back then and even now, more than ever I’m taking the time to talk and listen to other bands about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Some of the most important and most constant advice we always heard was “keep playing” I’m always passing that lesson down to everyone and anyone we meet that’s a little younger or less experienced. The only thing I’ve ever been completely honest and sure about in my life is the love and desire to play music. I just followed what I loved and wanted to do it to every extent that I could. All of us actually used to be in bands that we felt nobody truly cared about, and that were just in the scene with a bunch of other more experienced dudes. But all of us “kept playing” and here we are answering all these questions because you truly care about all the things our bands been doing!  I never thought we’d be here, however I do believe that that transition for us holds a greater metaphorical lesson within itself about getting to where you want to be.

Sam Acevedo: Now you guys played a backyard show not too long ago in Perth Amboy, now that you’re playing bigger shows would you ever consider doing it again?

Kevin Sardy: Hell yeah! Perth Amboy kids treated us like family and plan on playing there again soon. You also can’t forget about the house shows in Freehold, Asbury, and Hamilton. House shows are sometimes better than venued shows, as long as everyone is respectful of where they are.

Joey DiCamillo: HELL YES! Dude, we always love playing backyard shows, and espicialy Buddha’s backyard! Kevin was totally right where he said everyone there treated us like family and it was such an awesome time. We’re totally looking forward to the next one, we’ll always be down to play and hang with the Perth Amboy crew!

Sam Acevedo: Finally, do you have any big upcoming plans, shows, album releases, merch or anything like that you wanna let us know about?

Kevin Sardy: Well I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say, but we recently put up a bigcartel. We’re also releasing a 3 song EP very soon. At the moment it’s called “Beginnings.” We plan on putting out a sweet live shot shirt designed by Brianonymous Merch Design. This summer we’re going to be putting together a Blink-182 tribute show, and this is on the down-low, but we’re planning on playing lots of out of state shows over the summer on something called a tour.

Joey DiCamillo: Oh man do we ever! Okay so first off we got a new E.P. dropping in about 2 weeks or so (we ALWAYS say that, but this time for real). We had a lot of silly delays and stuff, mostly cause Adam didn’t take his laxatives prior to recording. It’s called “Beginings” its got three new songs, and some freaking killer artwork done by our boy Kevin Gomez. We’re thinking about throwing in some extra surprises and stuff but you’ll see when it drops! We also just launched our bigcartel site to now sell all of our merch online! We will personaly send it out in the mail and spray Kevin’s perfume on it, so don’t sleep on ordering! And finaly definitely keep an eye out for all of “March Madness” dates, as well as the second round of the break contest on march 11th! If everyone makes it out then we can add Bamboozle to the next list of upcoming plans!

Sam Acevedo: Any final words or shout outs?

Kevin Sardy: I would like to make a few shout outs to some good friends of mine, starting with NJ-TownProductions. He’s a phenomanol photographer and videographer and does some amazing work. He’s been with us from the start capturing almost every moment along the way. He’s worth hiring and will not disappoint. Secondly I would like to shout out to all our friends who are no longer with us. Boardwalks and Sky Harbor. Our best friends. We will forever miss you guys. Lastly, I’d like to shout out to all the bands that are helping us out, Giants At Large, Casting Call, Major League, Coming Clean, Galleries, This Time Around, Touchdown Boy, and Natives. All of these bands are definitely worth listening to and everyone and anyone should check them out. Other than that, thanks for picking us to be interviewed! It was fun and I would gladly do it again!

Joey DiCamillo: Well considering that I’ve already shouted out and listed almost all of our friends bands in another interview, I’m going to have to shout out our boy’s who were in Sky Harbor and supposed to be filling the second half our E.P., we’re brothers for life and everyone should check up on what they’re currently doing music wise, and we definitely have to shout out our boys who comprise our immediate crew who help us with EVERYTHING whether its moving gear, running the merch stand our filming and taking photos of every step along the way. You guys know who you are. And most importantly we need shout Dunkin’ Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate, and our amazing hometown crew for some of the best fucking times ever and helping us get where we are today. We hope anybody reading this makes their way out to show and gets to experience what we’re talking about!

There you have it, Batten Down the Hatches don’t seem to be slowing down at all, make sure you check them out this March as they tour around the east coast. Later.

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Defend Atlantic City Live Review.

So I went to go see Neighborhoods, True Things, Handguns, and Man Overboard in Atlantic City yesterday. I didn’t expect too much out of Neighborhoods and True Things, I had already seen Handguns before so I knew what to expect, and with all the hype around MO I was really excited to see what they’d be like live. So this is how it went.

Neighborhoods, honestly I can’t do a fair review of their performance because half way into their first or second song some guy got knocked out, and I helped carry him outside and look after him until paramedics arrived. They weren’t exceptionally heavy enough to merit that kind of thing happening, some kids just like to hate mosh and crowd kill. From what I did see though, they were great, awkwardly tall, but great. No big slip ups, and a great frontman, I didn’t get to see their whole set though, so that’s all I can really say.

Surprisingly enough Handguns took the stage before True Things, and just like the last time I saw them, it was awesome. The thing about a Handguns show, is that Taylor is the shit, greatest frontman I’ve ever personally seen live. The amount of energy he can draw out of a crowd is ridiculous and he’s just so personal with everyone, taking peoples hats and smiling the entire time he’s on stage.

True Things went on next and I was completely caught off guard. I had no idea what to expect, but the reaction they got from the crowd, the energy and movement on the stage, it was all there. I did hear a slip up here and there from bassist/vocalist James Corbi, but considering how much he was moving around while singing, it’s completely passable.

Headliner time, the big dudes, Man Overboard. So these guys hop on stage and after taking a bit to set up and get things rolling, they get to it. Now I had never seen them live and my only impression of them or their fans was from their music, so I didn’t expect the 20,000 kids that flew over me as soon as Zac started singing. The crowd was absolutely insane, but MO themselves, I gotta say, I wasn’t impressed. A lot of musicians have this problem with being an energetic frontman and playing an instrument at the same time, but both Nick (MO) and James (True Things) had no problem hyping up the crowd and playing while Zac really fell short. The other problem I had with them was that their replacement guitarist didn’t really do anything, it was like a Zac and Nick show and it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Overall it was a great show though, tons of fun, I’d recommend anyone go see Handguns or True Things anyday, Man Overboard not so much, and I really need to check out Neighborhoods again because from what I saw they were putting on a good show, but I just couldn’t see enough, later.

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An Interview With Alex Vazquez of Weigh The Wind

Alex Vazquez former drummer for Sky Harbor, Shout Out the Crowd, Jack the King, The Worst is Yet to Come, and who knows what else, recently let me in on some details about his reunion with Weigh the Wind and fallout with Shout Out the Crowd. Check it out.

Sam Acevedo: So why exactly did you and SOTC split?

Alex Vazquez: (After a quick laugh) Well shit between me and John’s mom… she was bad mouthing me behind my back… you can just say the band and i “had our differences.”

Sam Acevedo: Wow the last thing I was expecting was someone’s mom being involved. After the breakup what put the idea of a reunion with WtW in your head?

Alex Vazquez: Well it wasn’t just me. It was Joel and Jenna as well. Jenna and I were gonna start a side project punk group, but Joel wanted to start jamming again. We then came up with the idea to start up again. Also with a fourth member (Jorge) on lead guitar.

Sam Acevedo: So you guys finally got that second guitar you wanted, has it changed your sound at all?

Alex Vazquez: Absolutely. He definitely gives us that fuller sound we’ve been looking for. Jorge is honestly the most talented guitarist I’ve ever jammed with. Not only has he come up with excellent leads in our new material, but he came up with leads for our old EP as well.

Sam Acevedo: Speaking of new music, what kind of stuff can we expect out of WtW and when do you think you’ll have it up on Facebook?

Alex Vazquez: Well we’ve definitely matured in our sound. We haven’t necessarily changed it, we’ve just become more well-rounded as a group. Expect the same catchy choruses in the new material, but also expect the music to be much more intense. We’re planning on releasing a full length, but we’re not sure when at the moment. We’re still writing and prepping for shows.

Sam Acevedo: Going back to BrokenSound for that? (BrokenSound recording)

Alex Vazquez: Actually, we’re not sure yet. We’re thinking of going to Vince Ratti, who recorded The Wonder Years’ concept album “The Upsides”. He’s a really chill dude, and I’ve worked with him before so we’re hoping he’s available when we’re ready to record.

Sam Acevedo: Wow, that’s pretty intense, sounds like a decent bit of cash too. last question, do you guys have a set date for the reunion show or any ideas of where you want it to be?

Alex Vazquez: Honestly, Vince isn’t that expensive. He’s very fair with his pricing/payments as well. In terms of a reunion show, we’d like to get something huge set up, but we don’t know when and where. Hopefully before April since we’re dying to show the world our new material.

Well there you go, you can follow Weigh the Wind here, and stay posted for follow ups and more interviews with local bands headed your way. Later.

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“Our fans define us.” – Chad Gilbert

I recently read an old article on AltPress where Chad Gilbert talks about Pop-Punk not being dead and what it means. Over all it was a great essay, but one line struck out to me more than anything. “Our fans define us.”

As soon as I read it the little voice in my head turned into Patrick Stump singing “Make us poster boys in the scene, but we are not making an acceptance speech.” Then it turned into Handguns and told me that they aren’t a Pop-Punk band, despite what their 16,000+ fans on Last.FM say. Then it was Gerard Way calling emo “fucking garbage.”

I guess it’s a difficult concept to submit to, after all New Found Glory has been around for over 14 years and it took Chad this long to realize it; but I think it’s something that every band should come to grips with. Without fans, bands are just 5 dudes hitting shit, trying to impress a wall or deafen themselves or something. I get where Gerard Way and the members of Handguns are coming from though, I used to think I was in a Pop-Punk band and if anyone said we were CrunkCore I probably would have been at least a little offended, so their defense of themselves is completely understandable. But in the end Chad is right, if you have 17 million fans and they all say you’re a Christian Folk Metal band, then I guess that’s what you are, genres are just names after all, and without those 17 million fans you wouldn’t be able to live your dream, so you owe it to them to call you whatever they want.

At the end of the day, being in a band is about playing the music you love, call it whatever you want but I play what I want, and I like to think that’s how most musicians out there work. So if you’re in a band, don’t complain about what someone calls you, the only reason they’re calling you anything is because they’re listening, and that’s exactly what you wanted.

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Rise Against Over The Years.

Over the past 13 years Chicago based Rise Against have pushed 6 albums, 4 EPs, 2 splits, and 1 demo; along with a million compilations and 7 million soundtracks. Essentially, they’re as everywhere as a punk band can be. But over 13 years a band’s sound can change and mature and distort until it’s something completely different, (see My Chemical Romance). I guess punk is a bit different since there’s such an anti-establishment aura surrounding it, so maturing can often be mistaking for “selling out.” Now, the question at hand is, has Rise Against sold out? Well, let’s see.

Rise Against - The Unraveling

April of 2001, Rise Against releases The Unraveling, on Fat Wreck Chords. Punky, lyrical, aggressive yet contemplative, everything a Rise Against record should be. Tim was screaming about friendships, religion and things close to his heart, it was powerful and personal and just all around amazing.

Fast forward 2 years, replace a guitarist, and you have Revolutions Per Minute, still on Fat Wreck Chords, still essentially the same album. The songs are a bit longer, a little less punky, but for the most part it’s hard to tell songs on one album from songs on the other. This is the base of Rise Against, these two albums make up the foundation for what the band stood for at the time, and is ultimately what their newer releases are all compared to. Along with the slightly longer songs, the band also changed lyrical content, songs are still about religion and the general struggles of life, but now the world of Rise Against, has a much more clear antagonist, government.

Rise Against - Siren Songs of the Counter Culture

After the release of Revolutions Per Minute, Rise Against switched labels to Dreamworks, which was absorbed by the Universal Music Group, so they ended up releasing Siren Songs of the Counter Culture on Geffen Records. Siren Songs of the Counter Culture was the bands most successful release at the time, and it’s not bad. In the process of getting RIAA gold though, the band lost it’s punk edge, they were still a punk band, but that heavy 80s underground punk influence got lost somewhere between “Blood to Bleed” and “Give it All.”

The Sufferer & the Witness was Rise Against’s 4th album and it continued to run in the same direction that  Siren Songs of the Counter Culture did. Less punk, more radio, but interestingly enough The sufferer & the Witness has some of the strongest lyrical content in the entire Rise Against catalog. Overall, the trend thus far is that Rise Against started as a hard, heavy, fast, and intelligent punk band and transformed into a more radio friendly, less punk,  less personal, and more “wordly” band, interested in politics and humanity above all else.

Rise Against - Appeal to Reason

Appeal to Reason. This is it, this is the album that essentially started the Rise Against-is-selling-out bandwagon. If you check out the Sputnik review of Appeal to Reason and scroll down, you’ll see recommended albums by the reviewer, pretty much a “sounds like” section, and hidden among NOFX and Bad Religion you’ll find Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters, that’s what this album is compared to, which isn’t bad in itself, Foo Fighters rock, but they ARE rock, Rise Against WAS punk. The super radio friendly album topped Siren Songs of the Counter Culture in sales and ultimately had old school Rise Against fans asking, “Where’d the soul go?”

Finally we come to Endgame. This album, like The Sufferer & the Witness, polishes the sound of the album before it. So much tot he dismay of early Rise Against fans, The Unraveling sound seems to be gone for good. More rock, less punk, more radio, less soul; but did they sell out?

No, they didn’t. They’ve always been an introspective and intelligent band. They always wrote about the struggle of people and their oppressors, religion or politics. Over the last 13 years they’ve just focused more and more on those points and on Tim as a lyricist. There’s only so much room on a song and if you’re going to say a lot with words, you’re going to say less with guitars, that’s what happened with Rise Against. So no, they didn’t sell out, they grew up, and I miss The Unraveling more than anything, and I don’t much appreciate Endgame, but you can’t fault a band for growing up.

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Man Overboard, Handguns, Neighborhoods, True Things: Defend Atlantic City

Just got my tickets to Defend Atlantic City. SO stoked, see you guys there, expect a review of the show the day after.

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5 Surefire Ways to Run Your Band … into the Ground

Being in a band is tricky. It’s like being married to three or four people, in most cases sweaty guys with a million clashing ideas all pertaining to, “What do we do next?” So for those of you joining your first band or starting your first band or what have you, here’s a list of twenty things to NOT do next, in no particular order. Enjoy.

 

  • Don’t Rush. I know this list is in no particular order, but this probably carries the most weight. See when you rush things in a band, you stress yourself, you stress your band mates, and you cause a huge load of problems. Music is a creative outlet, not a machine pumping out singles for starving hipsters, and your band mates are people not robots. If you rush it, you’re only asking for trouble, if it takes your band a year to write a song then that’s what it takes, the world will still be around when you put it out. Outkast said it best, “…the day by day rule can’t be too long….”
  • Don’t Bitch About Money. For some ungodly reason it costs at least one or two hundred dollars to get a CRAPPY recording of just ONE song in some guys basement. For some ungodly reason if you don’t sell enough tickets the day of the show you need to pay the venue tons of cash just to play. For some unholy, villainous, disgusting reason WaWa coffee is not one dollar all year round. Add some rent, phone, car insurance, equipment repairs, new equipment, girlfriends, pets, Etc. Etc. And money becomes a huge issue, so don’t bitch about your tambourine player not having enough to cover his practice room fee, it’s always going to be tight until you open for Motley Crue, that’s just the way it is, be patient.
  • Don’t Be A Dictator. Every band has a leader, that’s how things work. Someone always checks the emails, someone always sets up the shows, someone always has all the contacts. Always remember though that every band mate you have is completely capable of managing a local band, it doesn’t take a lot of work, only dedication. So don’t put yourself or anyone else on a pedestal, a band is a home, and no one likes being looked down upon in their own home.
  • Don’t Compromise. Okay, I know this one kind of sounds a little weird, but trust me on this, as soon as you start compromising your musical beliefs for the benefit of four other dudes, you’re doomed. Think of it like this, Johnny joins a band named Dead Baby Murder Junkies, but he really wants to play in a band like Sunshine Flowers and the Spunky Monkeys. He’ll stay in DBMJ and put out an album or two, play a bunch of shows, and slowly die inside until he explodes and leaves the band to do what he really wanted to do in the first place. It’s always better when everyone has their heart in the same place, that way no one is hindering the band as a whole by questioning whether he even wants to be there or not.
  • Don’t Fake It. If you love music, play it because you love it. If you’re up there on stage for any other reason you’ll be lucky to make it anywhere, you aren’t in Avenged Sevenfold. Don’t do it for a girl, or money, or blah blah blah blah blah, do it because you love it. End of story.
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Norma Jean – Meridional

So I was suffering from a case of musical ADD yesterday, and while I was jumping from album to album I stumbled upon a pretty heavy band named Norma Jean. From what I know, these guys are pretty intense. So I decide to sit down and take a listen to their 11-track album Meridional. Well here it goes, 67 minutes of someone yelling at me, let’s do this.

It’s been 10 minutes and I haven’t played the first track because I can’t seem to figure out what’s going on in the album cover. An elephant giving birth to a human through his trunk? Another elephant taunting some wolves with a jellyfish? I am SO confused.

Opening track “Leaderless and Self Enlisted” started strong, I dug the first verse and the chorus is an awesomely catchy and strong mix of yelling and singing vocals. After that first chorus though, the song seemed to go downhill; essentially adding 2 more lines to the first verse and then running through the whole thing again. For all it’s crazy riffage and heaviness, this song really just kind of sputters out and leaves only that catchy chorus stuck in your head.

“The Anthem of the Angry Brides” is the next track on the album; extraneously, I accidentally read it as “The Anthem of the Angry BIRDS” the first two times I listened to it. At 2:33 this song was over before I even knew it started, and when you consider the hyper-spastic mathcore-esq guitar work, that’s so hard to focus on, you get a song with so much going on it just zooms right past you; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a listen. From the bass intro (unexpected) to the ever-so-fancy guitar this is definitely a passable track.

“Bastardizer” in my opinion is a lot like “Leaderless and Self Enlisted” in the sense that it’s utterly forgettable with just one or two saving graces. In this case that saving grace is an out-of-the-blue punky drum intro, that lasts all of 3 seconds. The outro of the song should also get an honorable mention because it is pretty original, other than that though, I’ve already forgotten everything about it.

Okay here we go, song five, “A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse” one word, three syllables, BEAU-TI-FUL. This song has everything that every other song was missing, it’s understandable for one, and feels like it has more structure than the others. It also stays true to what Norma Jean seems to be all about, it still has an awesome lead and the lyrics still don’t make any sense to me, but I know that in this song there’s more of them, so at least there isn’t so much repetition and a lot more: “They provide their nectar and then I am released. I am a grain of sand underneath the floor and so far out of reach, but I am safe from harm. Against this shelter they are always hammering, against these ears they are always deafening.” whatever that means; and the breakdown at the end of the song is more than heavy enough to do it’s job, overall, my favorite song so far.

Interlude time, “Septentrional” is about a minute and a half of white noise that sounds like ocean waves, and about half way in it’s accompanied by some chanting that I can assume was really awkward for their producer to record. Other than that, not much else to it, moving along.

Track seven is titled “Blood Burner” so I know before I even start it to prepare, since it’s probably going to melt my face.

Turns out that it did melt my face, but in the end, that’s all that it did. There’s no two ways around it I just don’t like this song. It doesn’t contribute to the album musically, I still don’t have a clue what they’re talking about, and it’s just not a track that sticks in my mind for any reason whatsoever, other than being a track that doesn’t stick in my mind.

Take everything I said about “A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse” multiply by two and you have “High Noise Low Output” I wouldn’t be able to fit all the praise I feel this song deserves onto this post. The big difference between “High Noise Low Output” and “A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse” is that the former seems geared more towards fans of more complex music, on the account of the random start-stops and drum and guitar technicality that “A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse” doesn’t have. Regardless though, both songs are at this point the best on the album.

“Falling from the sky, day one. You never learned to fly. Falling into the ocean, day seven. You never learned to swim.” I start the review of “Falling from the Sky: Day Seven” with lyrics from the song because I can actually tell you what it’s about and I think that deserves some lyrical homage. This six minute masterpiece is the albums necessary down tempo tune all about how some atheist is going to hell because he doesn’t believe in God “Your death will bring you all the answers that you’ve been looking for.” Personally I don’t believe it, but it’s still a well written song, lyrically and musically, and a breathe of fresh air from all the yelling and loud noise on the rest of the album.

“Everlasting Tapeworm” is another song just like “Basterdizer” it’s easily forgettable with the exception of some odd, but good, lap steel guitar work in the verses. That’s really all there is to it. On to the last track in this hour long journey.

“Occidental” is an instrumental outro to the album with some gibberish spouted here and there, and honestly, I’m relieved. As for the song itself, I don’t see it’s purpose in the album and maybe if I could make out what that gibberish is then the track would be more significant, but I can’t, so so much for that.

Overall, I thought I liked this band, turns out that they write the kind of songs I would love to hear at a live show, fast, strong, yelling, all that good stuff. In Album form though, it just doesn’t have the same affect on me. Most of the songs are forgettable and it’s hard for me to tell them apart from each other, I can’t understand the lyrics and when I look them up I still don’t understand what they mean. It seems like the songs are just like the album as a whole, forgettable, with a few gems that all in all, can’t save a broken album.

Go Steal: 

  • A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse
  • High Noise Low Output

Go Kill With Fire:

  • Blood Burner


[Note]: I still have no idea what’s going on with that album cover.

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Anthony Raneri and More Cover Nirvana

Anthony Raneri – About A Girl

For those of you who don’t know, Anthony Raneri of Bayside recorded his own piano driven version of Nirvana’s classic “About A Girl” off of their first album Bleach. It’s part of a tribute album released last October that I recently found out about, so I know it’s pretty old, but it seems to be somewhat under the radar. The artists involved are pretty much all over the place, as far as genres are concerned; and the album itself is hit and miss, some of the songs are a little hard to track down if you’re just used to using YouTube as your only source for music so I suggest pulling out the Google machine and maybe trying Sound Cloud or what have you.

Tracklist:

  • Dutch Masters – Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Mewithoutyou – In Bloom
  • Civil Twilight – Come As You Are
  • Story Of The year – Breed
  • Hawthorne Heights – Lithium
  • Finger Eleven – Polly
  • Will Daily – Territorial Pissings
  • Maps & Atlases – Drain You
  • Murder By Death – Lounge Act
  • Pitty – Stay Away
  • The Album Leaf – On A Plain
  • Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s – Something In The Way
  • Anthony Raneri – About A Girl
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Bomb The Music Industry!

Bomb the Music Industry! What can I say, I love them. I’m completely gushing right now but there’s a point to this. BtMI! is the kind of band that I think, on some level or another, every musician should idolize. If it’s not for their 10$ or under and all-age-shows only policy, then for their business skills, and if not for that then for their musical skills, and if not for that then for their lyrics I mean these guys do it all. They make their own shirts, record, produce, and distribute their own albums, they even set up a record label and made a home for musicians with their same DIY mentality, these guys are, in my eyes, the Messiah of Punk Rock or at least the DIY scene.

I keep saying “these guys” and “they” but technically BtMI! is a musical collective and the only “real” member is Jeff Rosenstock (Ex-The Arrogant Sons of Bitches).

Anyway, aside from being a 100% DIY band, Jeff brings a new meaning to the term “band-fan openness” (mainly because I just made it up). Aside from updating the band’s website, which is actually just a Tumblr account, with such honesty as:

“Although no one has called us out on this, we have been playing a handful of shows that a bit more expensive than $10, the most recent of which is a show with Das Racist on Long Island. We don’t plan on making a habit out of this, and we will ALWAYS fight tooth and nail to make our headlining shows $10 or less (I think in one case in Toronto last year, it had to be $13 or it couldn’t be all ages.)

In all honesty, we’re just making sure we’re still doing things that are interesting to us. Headlining shows all the time can get olllllllld and I think all the higher priced things we’ve been playing are all pretty unique circumstances, and things we’re excited to be a part of. We also always try to set up something cheap (or free) in those areas around the same time as the pricier jump-offs.

So fear not. We’re only continuing our trend of selling out in small increments. Can’t be perfect.”

Jeff and the rest of BtMI! also post a synopsis of each of their albums right there on the website, where you can also download them, for free. As if that wasn’t enough you can even find a little paragraph or two on each individual song from each album, sometimes it’s only the songs lyrics but other times Jeff tells you exactly why he wrote each song and exactly what they all mean to him. I mean that’s nuts, complete insanity to me, I’ve never heard of a band being so upfront with their fan base, and I can only assume it’s paid off for them.

BtMI! runs Quote Unquote Records entirely on donations, the label supports his own band and a number of other notable acts including Laura Stevenson and the Cans who’ve been growing steadily for a while now and have even been mentioned in AP magazine a few times.

In the end I just need to give BtMI! a huge shout-out because they’re just a great band, and you should really go check them out if you haven’t. You can legally go download all their music for free on the band’s website, don’t forget to throw them a donation and keep the DIY ball rolling. Thanks in advance.

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