Sunday, January 29, 2012

Song Of The Week: 1/29/12

Song: "Sunday Drive"

Artist: The Early November

Album: "For All Of This" EP

Year: 2002

"Sunday Drive" appears to be a song where the vocalist fears that his relationship with his girl is coming to an end. You sense that the girl has started seeing someone else but has yet to break the news to him. He gets the sense that she is not being totally honest as well. The break doesn't seem to be an abrupt one however. It's almost as if she is letting him down slowly, and he is letting himself get dragged down slowly without much of a fight. It seems he wants it just to end, yet he is holding out hope that she comes back to him. The Early November is a pop punk/emo band from New Jersey that got it's start back in 1999. In 2002, the band released two EP's, "For All Of This" and "The Acoustic EP", which lead singer, Ace Enders, basically recorded himself with his acoustic guitar. These two releases were followed by their debut full length album, 2003's "The Room's Too Cold". The band's most ambitious effort, however, was 2006's "The Mother, The Mechanic, The Path". This album found The Early November taking on the concept album and it was the band's highest charting album on the Billboards. After touring in support of "The Mother, The Mechanic, The Path" into 2007, the band decided to take a bit of a hiatus, though they did not rule out getting together to do small tours or shows in the future. Vocalist Ace Enders stayed busy with some side projects most notably I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business as the other members of the band also concentrated on various projects themselves. In September of 2011, The Early November reunited for their first live appearance since 2007 at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA. Currenty, The Early November has signed to Rise Records and have confirmed that they are working on new material which they hope to have released sometime in the Spring of 2012.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Song Of The Week: 1/22/12

Song: "West Girl Scout Road"

Artist: The Starting Line

Album: Unreleased Track

Year: 2000?

"West Girl Scout Road" is a song that appears to be about how sometimes life moves way too fast. Though the future may look bright, there are times you want to reflect on the recent past or savor the present moment. Life is just moving too quick for the vocalist to take the time to appreciate it the way he would like to. "West Girl Scout Road" has been said to be one of the very first songs that The Starting Line wrote as a band. It was not released on any of their albums but may have been put out around 2000. Hailing from Pennsylvania, The Starting Line formed as a band back in 1999. After gathering some buzz from some early demos and some live shows, the band signed a deal with punk label Drive-Thru Records. In 2002, TSL would release their debut album "Say It Like You Mean It". They would establish themselves as a pop punk/emo band with this release. In 2003, the band followed up their debut album with the release of an acoustic EP entitled, "Make Yourself At Home". This EP would feature an acoustic version of the band's song "Best Of Me" which would arguably be their best song, as well as the track that attracted the attention of some major labels. The band agreed to a deal with Geffen Records and in 2005 released "Based On A True Story". This album showed an angrier side to TSL. Mostly this was due to the disgruntled relationship the band had with Geffen. The record label was adament that the band just recreate "Best Of Me" or try to imitate the successes of fellow punk bands such as New Found Glory. The Starting Line would rather just grow and evolve as a band and see where that takes them. Safe to say, the Geffen relationship would only last one album. TSL would be signed by Virgin Records in 2006 and released the album "Direction" under that label. In 2008, it was decided that TSL would take a bit of a hiatus so that all the members could focus on other projects they had going on at the time. The thought was that The Starting Line may reconvene in 2011, either just doing tours but potentially working on new material. However, the band began playing a few shows as early as 2009. Over the next few years, the band would play various shows and festivals but never fully committed to an all out reunion. That was until May of 2011 at the Leeds Music Festival when TSL frontman, Kenny Vasoli, announced that the band had been working on new material and even previewed a new track to the audience entitled "Luck". Currently, the assumption is that The Starting Line are working on a new album for future release but this has not been confirmed as of yet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Song Of The Week: 1/15/12

Song: "Over You"

Artist: Acceptance

Album: "Phantoms"

Year: 2005

"Over You" is a song that appears to be about a relationship gone sour. These type of things are common themes throughout music, no matter genre or time period. There will always be songs about crumbling relationships. In this particular song, you get the sense the vocalist didn't want the relationship to end like this, but he can see it's just a hopeless pursuit of something that just is not going to work out. Ultimately, he sees the writing on the wall, that this relationship is doomed and that he should just get "over it". Acceptance was a band from Seattle, Washington that formed back in 1998. They would release two EP's that would garner them the attention of some major labels before finally releasing their first and only full length album, 2005's "Phantoms" on Columbia Records. The band's style was that of a pop punk/alternative rock type band much in the same vein as bands such as The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus or The Academy Is. Acceptance seemed like they were a band to be reckoned with when "Phantoms" came out. Their songs were very well crafted, lyrically and musically, and they seemed to be well on their way to future successes. Their song "Different", to me, was one of the best songs to come out in 2005 and is still one of my favorite songs of all time. Unfortunately for fans of Acceptance, by the summer of 2006, they decided to call it quits, mostly due to lead singer Jason Vena deciding that he wanted to give up the rock star life and return to one that was more normal. Since the break-up, the other band members have worked on various projects, most notably Chritian McAlhaney joining Anberlin to be their guitarist. In 2010, Jason Vena appeared on his first musical project since Acceptance when he provided vocals on the song "The Healing" by the band Ivoryline. Perhaps this may be the spark that gets Acceptance thinking about making music again. All fans can do is hope so as currently, there does not seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel on an Acceptance reunion.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Song Of The Week: 1/8/12

Song: "You Must Be Bleeding Under Your Eyelids"

Artist: Blindside

Album: "The Great Depression"

Year: 2005

"You Must Be Bleeding Under Your Eyelids" is a song that appears to be about a relationship where one of the people is suffering major depression. The woman in the song seems to be extremely depressed. Though, she is very beautiful, she does not see herself that way. When she looks at herself she sees all of her scars. She's ugly to herself. The man seems to not know what else he can do for her. Her sadness is hurting him because when he sees her, he's almost awe-struck by her beauty. He just tries to be as supportive as he can fully knowing that he may never be able to help her get out of her funk. Blindside is an alt. rock/post hardcore band from Sweden that formed back in 1994. Their style reminds me of bands such as Papa Roach, P.O.D. and Chevelle though they may be a tad more experimental than any of those bands. Blindside has a very tight relationship with P.O.D. in that P.O.D. gave them their first break plus both bands are very influenced by their Christian values. The band released an EP and two studio album with not much success early on. It was the band's third release, 2002's "Silence" that proved to be the highpoint in their musical career. The band gathered a much bigger following thanks in part to singles like "Pitiful", "Sleepwalking" and "Caught A Glimpse". Blindside would stay very active between 2002 and 2007, releasing three albums and an EP during that five year span while also embarking on several tours. After releasing the "Black Rose" EP in 2007, the band went on a small hiatus. It took Blindside four years to finally release their sixth album, 2011's "With Shivering Hearts We Wait". Currently, Blindside continues to perform live to support their latest effort and are showing no signs of slowing down as a band.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Song Of The Week: 1/1/12

Song: "Gravestones" (acoustic version)

Artist: Hawthorne Heights

Album: "Skeletons" (Summer Tour Bonus Track)

Year: 2010

At the beginning of "Gravestones", the song appears to be introspective. The vocalist is looking at himself and the world around him and is not necessarily happy with what he sees. As the song moves forward to the second verse, you get a sense he's talking about the memory of bandmate Casey Calvert who passed away in 2007. You can feel his loss and see that it seems still hard to believe that he's gone, even a year later, but he also says that with each song that Hawthorne Heights writes after his untimely passing, Calvert's spirit is fully alive in their music. Hawthorne Heights formed as a band back in 2001, hailing from Dayton, OH. Before forming Hawthorne Heights, lead singer J.T. Woodruff was in a band called A Day In The Life. Many people say that A Day In The Life basically changed their name to Hawthorne Heights but Woodruff was the only band member from A Day In The Life to be in Hawthorne Heights. Either way, under the HH moniker, the band would eventually sign to Victory Records and release their debut album, 2004's "The Silence In Black And White". Thanks to the singles "Ohio Is For Lovers" and "Niki FM", the band began gathering a steady following. The band's next release, 2006's "If Only You Were Lonely" would debut at #3 on the Billboard Charts and the single "Saying Sorry" would be the band's most successful. 2007 would be the band's hardest year for obvious reasons. Long time guitarist and backup vocalist Casey Calvert died on the band's tour bus due to a bad chemical reaction to prescription drugs. This impacted the band heavily and on their follow up albums, 2008's "Fragile Future" and 2010's "Skeletons" there are several songs that deal with the passing of Calvert, both directly and indirectly. "Fragile Future" would be the last album Hawthorne Heights would do for Victory Records while "Skeletons" was a one shot deal with Wind Up Records. In 2011, the band formed their own label called Cardboard Empire Records. Currently, Hawthorne Heights plan on releasing a trilogy of EP's on their newly formed label starting with "Hate", which was released in August of 2011. The band has also said that they will perform small North American tours after the release of each EP.