Monday, August 29, 2011

Song Of The Week: 8/28/11

Song: "Ay"

Artist: Flaw

Album: "American Arrogance"

Year: 1997

"Ay" is a song that appears to be about the determination and sacrifice that it takes in order to achieve success or fame. Sometimes while on this journey, you begin to find out who your real friends are and who are those that are just trying to ride on the coattails of your success. The latter seem to fall by the wayside if things are not working out for you. "Ay" is the first song off of the debut album from Flaw entitled "American Arrogance". This album was only released on cassette, independently by the band. Flaw started out as a band back in 1995 and they tried to ride the wave of the nu-metal, post grunge scene that was beginning to emerge at the time. The band's highlight of their career was their major label debut, 2001's "Through The Eyes". This album would award the band a slot in the 2002 Ozzfest tour. Success did not last long for Flaw however, their next release, 2004's "Endangered Species" was a flop. Inner turmoil and dissensions amongst band members would eventually lead to cancelled tour dates and an abrupt break-up of the band. By 2006, some members of Flaw began to kick the tires on a reunion. In the last five years, Flaw has been nothing more than a revolving door of band members and in-house fighting. The only constant in the band during this time was lead vocalist Chris Volz. In 2009, the band did manage to put together enough material for release called "Home Grown Studio Sessions". This would be a digital release that, once again was independently released by Flaw. When the band tried to pick up the pieces and go on the road to support this album, all of the old skeletons started raring their heads again and most of the dates were abruptly cancelled. Currently, while not officially disbanding, it's pretty safe to say that Flaw is pretty much a defunct band. They just can't seem to work together as a cohesive unit.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Song Of The Week: 8/21/11

Song: "Goodbye Forever" (acoustic version)

Artist: Alkaline Trio

Album: Recorded during a live acoustic session in London.

Year: 2005

This song appears to be a relationship type song where the man is letting the woman go. This is not an angry break-up between the two, but he just feels that she can not grow or blossom into the person she wants to be by staying with him. He is content to watch her from afar and is somewhat happy for her even though he is letting go of one of the best things he's ever had. The original version of "Goodbye Forever" appeared on a 1999 EP called "I Lied My Face Off" and was later put out on a 2000 compilation entitled "Alkaline Trio" which featured the band's early recordings from EP's and various rarities. Alkaline Trio broke onto the music scene back in 1996. They are part of a tight-knit Chicago punk scene that also features bands such as 88 Fingers Louie and The Lawrence Arms. Alkaline Trio features the dual vocals of guitarist Matt Skiba and bassist Dan Andriamo. Their style could be considered skate punk with a definite appeal to goth themes. Many of their songs revolve around drug use, depression, death, sorrow and failed relationships. That tends to lend itself to the band's gothic punk feel. Alkaline Trio has been around long enough that their influence is widespread amongst punk circles. They are also a very hard working band, having released eight studio albums, two compilation records, as well as various EP's and split cd's during their fifteen year musical career. Skiba and Andriamo also have put out solo material as well during breaks from Alkaline Trio. Skiba formed a band called Heavens which released one album, as well as releasing more music as a solo artist, most recently 2010's "Demos". Andriamo meanwhile has just released a cd in 2011 under the moniker Dan Andriamo In The Emergency Room. Currenty, Alkaline Trio released an album entitled "Damnesia" in July of 2011. This album is basically an acoustic album where the band reworked some of their previous songs in a stripped down format. The band's last studio release with all new material was 2010's "This Addiction".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Song Of The Week: 8/14/11

Song: "So Cold"

Artist: Breaking Benjamin

Album: "We Are Not Alone"

Year: 2004

At first glance, "So Cold" has an apocalyptic feel to it. You get a sense that the vocalist and his companion are watching the streets clearing out, the death and the destruction and the only thing that feels alive to him is her touch. Breaking Benjamin lead singer, Benjamin Burnley has said that he drew inspiration for "So Cold" from the movie "28 Days Later" because of it's feeling of desolation. "So Cold" is one of the band's most successful singles reaching #2 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts and staying in the Top 20 for 37 weeks. Breaking Benjamin formed as a band back in 1998. Their style is mostly mainstream rock, perhaps they could be considered post-grunge. They remind me of bands such as Three Days Grace and Seether. From 1998 to 2010, Breaking Benjamin has released four studio albums. In 2010, the band had to cancel a bunch of tour dates due to the health of lead singer Burnley. Also, turmoil and dissention began to creep up amongst some of the band members as well. Burnley wound up firing long time band members, Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski due to them remixing the song "Blow Me Away" with out consulting with Burnley first. This incident has also led to legal action with Burnley suing Fink and Klepaski for some $250,000. Currently, though the band is in a state of turmoil, Burnley has said that he is going to continue on under the Breaking Benjamin name once he hires new members. The band is also set to release a greatest hits album in August of 2011.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Song Of The Week: 8/7/11

Song: "Save You"

Artist: Hot Rod Circuit

Album: "Reality's Coming Through"

Year: 2004

This song appears to be about trying to save someone from themselves. At first it seems you care so much for that person that it hurts you that you can't change them for the better. By the end of the song, however, you get the sense that the vocalist has come to grips with the fact that he is just faking himself into thinking he can actually save this person. He's grown tired of trying as well. Hot Rod Circuit formed as a band back in 1997 originally under the name Antidote. They only released one album under that moniker before changing to Hot Rod Circuit. Hailing from New Haven, CT, Hot Rod Circuit began creating a buzz through various college radio shows back in the day. Their underground feel lent themselves to becoming staples on various college radio programs. Soon some big labels came calling and the band signed with Vagrant Records and would release their most successful album "Sorry About Tomorrow". The song "Save You" would be on the follow-up album to "Sorry About Tomorrow", "Reality's Coming Through". Hot Rod Circuit has a very indie feel to their music. They are not all the way punk, as well as not being over the top pop. They seem to gravitate somewhere in the middle there. They kind of remind me of bands such as Jimmy Eat World and Sugarcult. After releasing one more album, "The Underground Is A Dying Breed" in 2007, Hot Rod Circuit decided to call it quits. Lead singer and chief songwriter, Andy Jackson went on to form the group A Death In The Park in 2008 which released an EP and are hoping to have a full-length album out eventually. Jackson also worked with former Taking Back Sunday guitarist Fred Mascherino on a project titled Terrible Things. That band would release one album before Jackson decided to depart in 2011. Also in 2011, Hot Rod Circuit have decided to get back together to perform at Krazyfest in Kentucky. It is not known whether this will lead to a full out reunion or not, but Jackson did not close the door on new Hot Rod Circuit projects for the future.