Sunday, March 27, 2011

Song Of The Week: 3/27/11

Song: "The Reason"

Artist: Hoobastank

Album: "The Reason"

Year: 2003

"The Reason" is a song about coming to the realization that you are not perfect and that mistakes you have made in the past most likely cost you the relationship you had with someone you care very much about. The vocalist cared so much for this person that he's willing to change his ways and become the person she always wanted him to be and perhaps the person she deserves. I get a sense in the song that he is too late and the relationship is over. Hoobastank formed as a band back in 1994, hailing from California. Their style is that of a pop orientated rock band. They draw several comparisons to a band such as Incubus, both in their music and their vocal style. While the band's 2001 self-titled album spawned some radio hits such as "Crawling In The Dark" and "Running Away", it was their 2003 album "The Reason" that really exploded for the band, mostly due to the success of the hit single "The Reason". This song was and is the band's highest charting single, eventually reaching number one on modern rock charts. The band's next two releases following "The Reason" were actually disappointments for the band. Though they weren't all together bad albums for the band, it just seemed they could not cross over with the public the same way "The Reason" did. Perhaps, national radio just decided to move on to "the next big thing" and left Hoobastank behind. Either way, the band is still very much active having released their last studio album in 2009, "For(N)ever". In 2010, the band also recorded an all acoustic album titled, "Is This The Day?". While this album was officially released in Japan, it has yet to be released in the United States for some reason. Currently, lead singer Doug Robb confirmed via Twitter that the band is planning on releasing an album at some point in 2011.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Song Of The Week: 3/20/11

Song: "Days With You"

Artist: Fuel

Album: "Natural Selection"

Year: 2003

"Days With You" is a "relationship destroyed by cheating and lies" type of song. In the song, the vocalist almost puts his love interest on a high pedestal only to find out that her lies and infidelities would be the cause of so much pain and emotional scars for him. Fuel formed as a band back in 1993 and were very much the baby of lead guitarist Carl Bell. Bell handled the majority of the song writing as well as the lyrics for fuel. The band achieved some success riding singles such as "Shimmer", "Bad Day", "Falls On Me" and their most successful radio hit, "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)". They are very much a mainstream rock band much in the same vein as bands like 3 Doors Down. They seem to strive to make that radio friendly, sing a long type of rock music, though they do have times when they try to get a little more aggressive. In 2004, lead singer and original member Brett Scallions left the band. While Carl Bell said that the singer's voice had been giving him problems, Scallions declared that he was not allowed to be a creative member of the band. Bell decided to continue on with Fuel and in 2007, the band released "Angels & Devils" with new lead singer Toryn Green. Green was really just a cheap Scallions imitator and the band definitely lost some of it's luster without it's original lead singer. As Fuel went on a little hiatus, original bassist Jeff Abercrombie hooked up with Scallions and the two went out on tour under the moniker, "Re-Fueled". By 2010, Abercrombie would eventually leave Re-Fueled leaving Scallions as the only original member of Fuel. With a new line-up and after some negotiations with Carl Bell, Scallions was allowed to use the name Fuel for all future endeavors. So far the band has gone into the studio and finished one song called "Headache". Currently, Scallions has stated that he and the band wrote plenty of material while touring and that they should be working on a new album soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Song Of The Week: 3/13/11

Song: "Always There"

Artist: Slick Shoes

Album: "Far From Nowhere"

Year: 2003

You can look at this song from two possible viewpoints. First, if you factor in that Slick Shoes is very much a Christian band, the song could definitely be about God's love for you and, if you completely embrace that love, then perhaps you can realize your full potential as a human being. On the other hand, you can interpret that the vocalist is talking about his soulmate of sorts. This person sees in the vocalist what he possibly does not see in himself and it's her unconditional love that allows him to realize all the good potential that he has. As I said, Slick Shoes was a Christian pop punk/skate punk band that formed back in 1994. The most common comparison for Slick Shoes style of music is probably a band like MxPx. Both of these bands got their starts on Christian label Tooth & Nail. In a ten year span, Slick Shoes would release five studio albums along with an EP and a split with Autopilot Off (Cooter at the time). "Far From Nowhere" would be the last full length album that the band would release. In 2004, the band went on an indefinite hiatus. In 2007, after three years away from Slick Shoes, the band decided to reunite and played several live shows, their last taking place in 2008. The band has said that though they would not tour extensively, they would play some shows and had planned on recording a new album. Currently, the status of Slick Shoes is kind of up in the air. It's now 2011, and as far as I know, the band has not played live in a while nor has there been any news of new material set to be released. The band does have a side project called Sigmund, but their releases have also been rather sporadic the last couple of years.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Song Of The Week: 3/6/11

Song: "Travis Bickle"

Artist: Rancid

Album: "Indestructible"

Year: 2003

This song is based on the main character of the Martin Scorcese directed film, 1976's "Taxi Driver". In the film Robert Deniro plays the main character Travis Bickle. Bickle becomes frustrated and disgusted with the filth and scum that oozes out of the city, especially at night. He grows tired of the junkies, the pimps, the whores and the drug dealers. He wishes all of the filth would just wash away. Ultimately, he goes on a rampage feeling that he is the only one who can rid the city of all of these shady characters. "Travis Bickle", the song, basically sums up the same feelings, sung from the perspective of Bickle himself. Rancid formed as a band back in 1991 from the ashes of the ska punk outfit Operation Ivy. Operation Ivy's Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman remained great friends and formed a number of bands after O.P.'s break-up before finally settling on Rancid. In 1993, the band added Lars Frederiksen as another guitarist as well as vocalist. Rancid was at the forefront of the 90's punk rock revival which consisted of them as well as other bands such as The Offspring, Bad Religion and Green Day. 1995's "And Out Comes The Wolves" would be the album that put Rancid on the map when it came to it's biggest success. Though their roots were in hardcore punk, Rancid wasn't shy about experimenting in different musical genres such as rock-a-billy and reggae. By delving into these different styles, it has led to several comparison to punk legends The Clash. Rancid has released seven full length studio albums as well as appearing on several compilations throughout their career. Their last album was 2009's "Let The Dominoes Fall". After touring to support that album, the band decided to take a bit of a break from Rancid. Though, the band members have plenty of side projects to keep them busy most notably Devil's Brigade, The Bastards, The Transplants as well as Tim Armstrong's solo material. Currently, the only word coming out of the Rancid camp is the possibility of a live DVD set to be released in the fall of 2011.