album reviews

Gnarwolves ST

REVIEW: Gnarwolves – ‘Gnarwolves’

Artist: Gnarwolves
Album: Gnarwolves
Label: Pure Noise Records

Let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard for a pop punk band to climb out of the grave that the “Defend Pop Punk” movement has become. A name like Gnarwolves backed up by images of pizza slices and skateboards can either serve as a calling card to invite new listeners into something they already know they’re going to love, or as a warning sign for the bored and weary to stay as far away as possible.

Yet Gnarwolves are more than just another skin-deep act — or at least that’s what one would …

Cold Bones

REVIEW: Bad Luck – ‘Cold Bones’

Artist: Bad Luck
Album: Cold Bones
Label: Tragic Hero Records
Genre: Pop-Punk / Emo

Just as metal is all about brutality and anger, a majority of pop-punk hinges its existence on energetic chorus-lines and nostalgia, which are exactly what Bad Luck are (generously) pouring out on their Tragic Hero debut, Cold Bones. That’s not merely just hinted at on the cover art for the album – it’s practically the message of it. I don’t think there’s any more blatant and comedic way to symbolize this concept of looking back on the past than using a photo …

7 seconds

REVIEW: 7Seconds – ‘Leave A Light On’

Artist: 7 Seconds
Album: Leave a Light On
Genre: Hardcore
Label: Rise Records

Remember back when punk musicians didn’t care to impress anybody but themselves?

Alright, music fans can (and will) argue that punks have always been apathetic towards the opinions of others, but it almost feels like with every passing year, there are more and more bands who make their releases more “radio-friendly.” This isn’t a call-out of today’s music, but more of a recognition of the uncompromising and genuine nature within the music of the past.

Meet 7Seconds: a band who have remained …

68

REVIEW: ’68 – ‘Midnight’

Artist: ’68
Album: Midnight
Genre: Rock, Hardcore, Grunge
Label: Unsigned

Contrary to popular belief, rock and roll music never quite died; it’s more that utterly terrible music wrongfully snatched the spotlight away and called itself rock. Yes, there have been several bands that have sprung up to fight the good fight (and have done a great job at that, too), and while this could very much be focused on the progression of the genre from its early years, it won’t be, because instead, this is about one of the newest bands to “fight the good fight,” ’68.…

appreciation post

REVIEW: The Appreciation Post – ‘Slip Away’

Artist: The Appreciation Post
Album: Slip Away
Genre: Pop Punk
Release Date: 1/21/2014

Sometimes great bands are like old friends from high school. You might not think about them every day, but you know when you do get a chance to catch up that it’s bound to be a good time. Such is my relationship with The Appreciation Post. While they’ve never been constant headline-grabbers, the Boston, Massachusetts band have proven to be a reliable source of catchy, intelligent pop punk, which is exactly what you’ll find on their latest EP, Slip Away.

It’s been almost four years …

A Lot Like Birds Feature

REVIEW: A Lot Like Birds – ‘No Place’

Artist: A Lot Like Birds
Album: No Place
Genre: Post-hardcore
Label: Equal Vision Records

Among the several post-hardcore albums to have been released over the past couple of years, A Lot Like Birds sure did make their mark when they released their 2011 Doghouse Records debut, Conversation Piece. More than simply being just another album that earned praise and appreciation across the board, it helped show that it’s still very possible for a post-hardcore band to remain unique and original in an oversaturated genre. Two years past all of that, the band’s had their fair share of experiences where they’ve …

New Found Glory Kill It Live

REVIEW: New Found Glory – ‘Kill It Live’

Artist: New Found Glory
Album: Kill It Live
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Violently Happy / Bridge Nine

New Found Glory have held a firm footing on the alternative music scene for the better part of 15+ years, and in that time, they haven’t released one live album prior to Kill It Live, and they went all out to do it all in the most fitting way possible with two back to back shows at Southern California’s Chain Reaction venue. Chad Gilbert, one of the band’s guitarists pretty much summed it up on the closing of “Don’t Let Her Pull You …

The Sheds I'll Be Fine

REVIEW: The Sheds – I’ll Be Fine

Artist: The Sheds
Album: I’ll Be Fine
Genre: Hardcore Ska-Punk
Label: Mediaskare Records

“I used to be cool, calm, and collected, now everything upsets me, leaves me empty,” sings out vocalist Mac Miller of The Sheds on the introductory title track of I’ll Be Fine. Just like that, the song sets just the right tone for what’s in store for listeners on the remaining nine tracks of the band’s debut full-length record. Truly, it’s been a long time coming for this young California band, since their 2012 EP, Self/Doubt, The Sheds have shown a strong influence from the …

Relient K 2013

REVIEW: Relient K – ‘Collapsible Lung’

Artist: Relient K
Album: Collapsible Lung
Genre: Pop-Rock, Rock
Label: Mono VS Stereo

Let’s not beat around the bush here: when any band takes more than three years to put out an album with original material, people get skeptical about the quality of it. Introducing several co-writers and two producers to the mix can be seen as a risky move. Last but not least, losing 3/5 of your band members (even if John Warne and Jon Schneck are still “part-time” members) that have been on-board for as much as five years can take its toll on the creative process. …

Living With Lions Feature

REVIEW: Living With Lions – Some Of My Friends Appear Dead To Me

Artist: Living With Lions
Album: Some Of My Friends Appear Dead To Me
Genre: Pop-Punk
Label: Pure Noise Records

One of the realities of being in a band with other people is knowing that there are always going to be outside factors that will influence your  bandmates’ willingness to keep their efforts in at 100%. This is all understandable seeing as how we’re all free-thinking people, but this definitely can dampen a group’s ability to put out the best possible album, which is exactly the case with Living With Lions on their fourth work as a band, Some Of My

Paramore Feature 2013

REVIEW: Paramore – Self-Titled

Band: Paramore
Album: Paramore
Label: Fueled By Ramen

There is plenty to cover with this introduction. I could start by mentioning how it’s been nearly four years since Paramore released their last full length effort, Brand New Eyes. I could say that because of various momentum hits, like the Farro brothers’ departure under the most shocking and inamicable of circumstances, the Tennessee group have become but an afterthought to longtime fans. Haley Williams has even gone on as far to say that this self-titled record is a statement, one that’s not just limited externally to the world, but …

the-strokes_comedown-machine

REVIEW: The Strokes – Comedown Machine

Band: The Strokes
Album: Comedown Machine
Label: RCA
Genre: Garage Rock

If the whole of your research were to stem strictly from the interwebs, one would have to surmise that The Strokes’ new album Comedown Machine was, without question, the worst album ever created in the history of modern music. This, however, is nothing more than a collective hyperbole. The album is not only serviceable, it is better than a majority of the albums released and swept under the rug in this unforgivable industry.

Sadly though, that’s not how the industry works. Often, as an artist, critics place your latest …