Sunday, February 26, 2012

Song Of The Week: 2/26/12

Song: "When Love Comes To Town"

Artist: U2

Album: "Rattle And Hum"

Year: 1988

"When Love Comes To Town" is a blues song from the band U2 which features blues legend B.B. King on guitar and vocals and was recorded at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis, TN, the very same studio where Elvis Presley's early recordings were made. The song itself appears to be about finding one's faith again, whether that's faith in God, faith in love or faith in life. The vocalist seems to be recognizing his past sins or mistakes but sees his future as being much brighter now that he's found love or faith. U2 formed as a band back in 1976 hailing from Dublin, Ireland. At the time, they were heavily influenced by the punk scene and bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols. However, they seemed to find their niche more in the new wave sound that was happening in the early 80's. Even at that time, U2 seemed to distinguish themselves amongst the rest of the bands that were out at the time. You sensed something special about this band early on. Soon, it was apparent that U2 was going to become one of the biggest bands in the world. They have released twelve studio albums to date. Highlights include 1987's legendary "The Joshua Tree", 1991's "Achtung Baby" and 2000's "All That You Can't Leave Behind". That's three major albums in three different decades that always kept U2 relevant in the music world. Their list of singles read like a greatest hits or greatest songs of all time. Just some tracks include "I Will Follow", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "New Year's Day" , "Pride" , "With Or Without You", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" , "One" , "Mysterious Ways", "Beautiful Day", "Vertigo" and "Where The Streets Have No Names". Those are just a few of the many songs in the U2 arsenal that so greatly affected those with a passion for music. It's songs like those that helped U2 sell more than 150 million records worldwide while winning 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band to date. In 2005, U2 was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in their first year of eligibility. The amazing thing about the band is that it still features it's original line-up of Bono on vocals, The Edge on guitar, Adam Clayton on bass guitar and Larry Mullen Jr. on drums. That is trully an accomplishment in this day and age of ever-changing band members in rock groups today. Even now, U2 is one of the biggest and most influential rock bands of all time. Currently, U2 always seems to be embarking on record setting tours between releasing new material. In fact, they just completed a major world tour but there is no news on whether they are working on a new album as of yet. I'm sure we'll be hearing from the band in the near future.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Song Of The Week: 2/19/12

Song: "Emily"

Artist: From First To Last

Album: "Dear Diary, My Teenage Angst Has A Body Count"

Year: 2004

"Emily" is a song that has been said to have been written by former From First To Last frontman Sonny Moore about his girlfriend. It's a song that appears to be about how their relationship has become long distance, mostly because of the constant touring that a band does. But to Moore, she is the beacon of light and the strength that keeps him going and leaves him yearning to be by her side again. She makes everything around him and about him right and he can't wait for the day that he is back with her again. From First To Last formed as a band back in 1999, hailing from Georgia. When they recorded their first EP, 2003's "Aesthetic", Phillip Reardon was their vocalist. By the time of their debut full length, 2004's "Dear Diary, My Teenage Angst Has A Body Count", Sonny Moore would be added as the band's new lead singer. That album and 2006's "Heroine" was probably the most famous line-up of From First To Last. They began to develop their screamo/post hardcore sound with Moore featured on vocals. Performing these songs began to really put a strain and a stress on Moore's vocal chords however. Several tours had to be cancelled due to Moore's condition and eventually he would have to have some surgeries to correct his vocal chords. By February of 2007, Moore decided to leave the band. The strain on his voice was just too much for that style of music. The band decided to push on and founding member, guitarist Matt Good decided to front the band. Ironically, when Good originally formed From First To Last, he was going to be the lead singer, but he wanted to focus more on being just the guitarist. He felt just a frontman could connect with the crowd better. Good was a solid vocalist as well as shown on the band's next two albums, 2008's self-titled and 2010's "Throne To The Wolves". Though both were solid efforts, I believe many of the fans of the band missed Sonny Moore as the vocalist. All in all, for eleven years From First To Last would create four full length studio albums as well as an EP and they toured relentlessly during the years. In July of 2010, Matt Good sent a message to fans of the band saying that From First To Last was going on an indefinite hiatus. Currently, the members of the band are focused on several side projects though Good has not yet closed the book on From First To Last. He told fans that the band has been and will always be his life and to not count out the band working together in the future. They just needed some time to step away from it for a while.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Song Of The Week: 2/12/12

Song: "Night Train"

Artist: Bouncing Souls

Album: "Anchors Aweigh"

Year: 2003

"Night Train" appears to be a song about a relationship that must part ways in order for both people to move forward in their lives. Sometimes when you're chasing your dreams, your partner in life might feel more like an anchor to you than someone who is pushing you to attain your goals. Sometimes, as much as you love and care for that person, you have to sever ties in order to fulfill your dreams. The Bouncing Souls formed as a band back in 1987, hailing from New Jersey. The band received much support in the New Jersey college scene when they were just starting out. College radio really backed the band in those early years. The Souls were all about fun and having a good time with their brand of punk rock. Many people credit them with being the band of the "pogo" punk fans because at their shows, the fans would often jump up and down as if they were on pogo sticks!! The best years of the band in my opinion were between 1999 and 2006. In that seven year span, the band released four punk classics, "Hopeless Romantic", "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", "Anchors Aweigh" and "The Gold Record". I think that the bands songwriting, musically and lyrically, really developed strongly over those four albums and is a major reason why the band is so heralded and respected among punk circles today. The Bouncing Souls are a tireless band. In twenty four years as a band, they have released eight studio albums, twelve EP's, six live/compilations and two dvd's. All the while, they have toured constantly and relentlessly, always staying true to themselves and the fans that follow them. Few bands can stand the test of time the way the Bouncing Souls have and still remain relevant. Few bands also can last as long as the Souls have without crossing over with huge success. They were never a band that caught the wave like a Green Day. They were more just the constant cog in the punk wheel, almost like a Pennywise in that they were crucial without having the huge waves of mainstream success. Currently, the Bouncing Souls are on tour with Boston stalwarts, the Dropkick Murphys. They are also writing new material for a brand new studio album which they hope to release in 2012.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Song Of The Week: 2/5/12

Song: "Red Sky"

Artist: Thrice

Album: "Vheissu"

Year: 2005

On the surface, "Red Sky" literally appears to be about being out at sea on a ship with an impending storm approaching. The storm is so bad that you sense the ship and all that are on it are going to be swallowed by the sea. On another level, the song appears to be about how powerful mother nature is and how fragile human life is. It's damn near impossible to harness mother nature. When she is at her most extreme and most intense, we are just mere pawns in her game. She can swallow us in her sea or her dirt and our bodies just become a part of her in death. Thrice formed as a band back in 1998, hailing from California. In 1999, they self released their first EP entitled "First Impressions". This would lead to them earning a record deal and making their debut album, 2001's "Identity Crisis". Thrice would establish themselves in the early 2000's as a punk/post hardcore band with songs that were fast and aggressive yet not sacrificing a good melody. With the release of 2002's "The Illusion Of Safety" and 2003's "The Artist In The Ambulance", Thrice established themselves as headliner material and a top notch band. In 2005, the band decided to change their style up a bit and became much more experimental. This style is shown most on their 2005 release "Vheissu" and their ambitious concept efforts, 2007's "The Alchemy Index Vol. 1 + 2" and 2008's "The Alchemy Index Vol. 3 + 4". When it came time to record their next album, the band decided they wanted to kind of get back to their roots a little bit and make a more upbeat album. That album would turn out to be "Beggars" which was released in 2009. In 2011, the band released their seventh studio album entitled "Major/Minor". Thrice is a very active band. In twelve years from 1999 to 2011, they have released seven full length studio albums, five EP's, two compilations, and one live cd/dvd all while touring extensively. Lead singer Dustin Kensrue even found time among all that to record a solo album and do some solo tours as well. Currently, their were some rumors as to Thrice possibly going on a hiatus in 2012, but Kensrue was quick to point out that the band was not breaking up, just taking a break, probably for the first time since the band's inception. The band, however has just signed on for a Spring/Summer tour which is slated to begin in May of 2012 so there will be no signs of a hiatus anytime soon I guess.