Sunday, July 29, 2012

Song Of The Week: 7/29/12

Song: "The First Of Me"

Artist: Hoobastank

Album: "Every Man For Himself"

Year: 2006

"The First Of Me" appears to be a song about not selling out. It's about staying true to who you are and staying true in your art. It's about not conforming to what other people want or expect of you, it's about creating something that you are proud of and something that you stand by, whether that something is profitable or not. Better to be the first of you than be the next someone else. Be original. Hoobastank formed as a band back in 1994. They are from California. As a young band, Hoobastank shared the stage often with fellow band Incubus, perhaps this is why the two bands are often sited as having a similar sound. In 1998, Hoobastank self-released the album "They Sure Don't Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To". This album garnered the band interest from Island Records who would eventually sign them. Hoobastank's major label debut, 2001's "Hoobastank" would prove to be a very successful album, thanks to hit singles like "Crawling In The Dark" and "Running Away". This album would reach #25 on the Billboard 200 album chart as well as hitting #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. In 2003, the band released "The Reason". The title track of this album would prove to be Hoobastank's most successful single, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. At this stage of their career, Hoobastank was big enough to be headliners on most of their tours. Success would elude the band rather abruptly however. Their 2006 album, "Every Man For Himself" was considered a failure for the band. None of the singles really charted at all and the band clearly found themselves at a crossroad. Though the band really focused on making their next album, 2009's "For(N)ever", their most creative to date, The downward trend would continue for the band. They went from "The Reason" going double platinum, to "Every Man From Himself" going gold, to "For(N)ever" not even achieving gold at this time. The band would have to continue on relying on it's die hard fan base, which still rally around the band whether at shows or supporting their music. In 2010, Hoobastank released an acoustic album entitled "Is This The Day". This album, oddly enough, was only released in Japan with no date given for release in the U.S. as of yet. Currently, the band has released a new single called "This Is Gonna Hurt" in May of 2012. This is to be the very first single off Hoobastank's new album entitled "Fight Or Flight" which is scheduled to be released in August of 2012.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Song Of The Week: 7/22/12

Song: "One For The Razorbacks"

Artist: Green Day

Album: "Kerplunk"

Year: 1992

"One For The Razorbacks" appears to be a song about trying to win the heart and hand of a girl who has just come off a painful break-up with someone else. He knows he's not perfect or anything like that, but he's trying hard to win her over. She's just finding it too hard to get over the lies and mistrust of her previous relationship. Green Day formed as a band back in 1987, hailing from Berkeley, California. The band started out on small label Lookout Records, which released their first album, 1990's "39/Smooth" as well as their second album, 1992's "Kerplunk". While the band was formed by vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt, it was on "Kerplunk" that the band rounded out it's line-up adding drummer Tre Cool. In 1994, Green Day caught the wave of the punk revival movement, signed to a major label, Reprise Records and released the hugely successful album "Dookie". "Dookie" was a monstrous success for Green Day, selling more than ten million albums in the U.S. alone. Suddenly, the music world began having major interest in the Green Days, Offsprings, Rancids and Bad Religions. Punk was once again vital. Green Day's next two albums, 1995's "Insomniac" and 1997's "Nimrod" weren't nearly as successful as "Dookie" but still achieved double platinum status. 2000's "Warning" had people wondering if Green Day had finally run it's course as a band. It had it's moments, but continued a downward trend of record sales for Green Day. In 2003, Green Day were preparing to record an album which was titled "Cigarettes & Valentines" but all the master recordings were stolen leaving the band wondering if they should scrap the entire project. The stolen recordings actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Green Day however, as the band would begin to work on their most ambitious project to date, 2004's "American Idiot". "American Idiot" gave Green Day a whole new audience of younger fans as well as bringing back the older ones. The album was a rock opera. Green Day was becoming a band closer resembling The Who than when they used to be more like The Ramones. "American Idiot" would sell more than five million records in the U.S. In 2009, Green Day released their eighth studio album, yet another ambitious concept project called "21st Century Breakdown". Where Green Day started out kind of snotty, slacker punks, now they were writing songs which were geared towards social and political issues. All in all, Green Day has sold more than 65 million records worldwide, making them one of the biggest rock and roll bands out there today. Their success has also earned them five Grammy Awards as well. Currently, Green Day is about to release three albums in a span of five months. "Uno!" will be released in September of 2012, "Dos!" will be released in November of 2012 and "Tre!" will be released in January of 2013.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Song Of The Week: 7/15/12

Song: "A Lotta Nerve"

Artist: Allister

Album: "Before The Blackout"

Year: 2005

"A Lotta Nerve" is yet another song about a relationship that has run it's course. In fact, to the vocalist, it has come to an abrupt end, that perhaps, he didn't quite see coming. To the girl however, she basically reeled him in with lies, took his heart through dishonesty, used him for whatever she wanted to take from him, then left him like a bad dream!! You can sense his attitude is like, wow, you gotta lotta nerve to treat me this way bitch!!! Allister is a pop punk band from Chicago, Illinois that formed as a band back in 1996. Their style reminds me of bands such as Sugarcult or the Riddlin' Kids. They're punk, but with a pop flare. Allister was one of the first bands to sign with the now popular punk label, Drive-Thru Records. In 1999, they released their debut album, "Dead Ends And Girlfriends". It was the band's second release however, 2002's "Last Stop Suburbia", that sprung the band from the underground and began to garner some success. With radio friendly singles "Radio Player" and "Somewhere On Fullerton", "Last Stop Suburbia" actually reached #9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. In 2005, Allister released their third album, "Before The Blackout" which included a cover of a Japanese pop song called "Shima Uta" which was released on the Japan version of the album. The band sang the song in Japanese. This song, along with a few other covers of Japanese songs which appeared on the 2006 EP "Guily Pleasures" led to Allister becoming extremely popular in Japan. This would lead to several tours in Japan and that country really became like a second home for the band. In 2007, Allister decided to go on a bit of a hiatus due to the fact that vocalist/guitarist Tim Rogner and his wife just had a baby and he wanted to stay close to his family. Allister would reunite in 2010 however. They signed a new record deal with Universal Japan and released their fourth studio album, "Countdown To Nowhere". Along with the band's four full length studio albums, they also put out five EP's during their sixteen year career so far. Currently, as of March 2012, Allister began working on what will be their fifth studio album. In May of 2012, Rogner stated that the new album with be called "Life Behind Machines" and it will be tentatively released by the end of summer in 2012.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Song Of The Week: 7/8/12

Song: "Clavicle"

Artist: Alkaline Trio

Album: "Damnesia"

Year: 2011

"Clavicle" appears to be a "love at first sight" type of song. From the very first second the vocalist laid eyes on this girl, he was totally taken by her. He was also almost afraid to approach her. When he finally got up the nerve to talk to her, he found that she was very much interested in him as well. Just a total punk rock love song!! The original version of "Clavicle" could be found on Alkaline Trio's debut full length album, 1998's "Goddamnit". The version I chose was released on 2011's "Damnesia", which was a collection of Alkaline Trio favorites re-recorded acoustically. The album was released to celebrate the band's fifteen year anniversary. Alkaline Trio was very much at the forefront of the Chicago punk scene when they formed back in 1996. Guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba formed the band and a year later, bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano would join the band, giving them their distinct two vocalist sound. It was really in 2001, with the release of their third album, "From Here To Infirmary", that the band started creating a real buzz, thanks in part to the hit singles, "Stupid Kid" and "Private Eye". In the years following, Alkaline Trio would build on that success with each album thereafter beginning with 2003's "Good Mourning", 2005's "Crimson", 2008's "Agony & Irony", which would reach as high as #13 on the Billboard charts and 2010's "This Addiction", the band's highest charting album to date, at #11. Alkaline Trio's style is kind of a skate punk, but definitely has a lot of gothic elements to it. Their lyrics could be very dark almost inspired by death, blood, heartbreak and addictions. The bandmembers are also very active, whether recording and touring with Alkaline Trio or with one of the many side projects that they are in. Dan Andriano formed The Falcon with fellow Chicago punker Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms. He also recently just completed a solo album under the moniker Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room. Matt Skiba, along with recording and releasing solo material, also formed side projects like Heavens, which released the album "Patent Pending". Heavens featured more of the electronica side of Skiba. Skiba also just recently recorded an album with Hunter Burgan of AFI and Jarrod Alexander of My Chemical Romance. That band is call Matt Skiba And The Sekrets and their style is very similar to that of Alkaline Trio. Currently, the band and it's members are just continuing to be very active. With the release of "Damnesia", Alkaline Trio also went on a tour celebrating fifteen years as a band. Plus, the solo projects continue to keep all members very busy.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Song Of The Week: 7/1/12

Song: "Princeton Review"

Artist: Team Sleep

Album: "Team Sleep"

Year: 2005

"Princeton Review" is a song that appears to be about a relationship that is frozen. It just isn't going anywhere. This is mostly because of things that happened in the past that they seem to not want to bring up and argue over, but those things are inevitable and they keep coming to the forefront. Whatever indiscretions or any sort of broken trust stands out in the relationship like an elephant in the room. It will never cease to be in the past, therefore the relationship is stuck in a rut. Team Sleep formed as an official band in 2000, hailing from Sacramento, California. The band is a side project and creation of Chino Moreno, who is the lead singer of the rock band Deftones. Moreno, along with his friend Todd Wilkinson, would often get together and dabble in working on some music, even before Team Sleep was officially a band. In fact, the two had no intentions at first to release any music or even perform live, they just enjoyed playing music together. The two men began working with DJ Crook, who performed on the Deftones song "Teenager" which appeared on the band's "White Pony" album. DJ Crook provided Moreno and Wilkinson the beats for which Team Sleep would perform over. Unlike the Deftones chugging guitar sound and hard driven rock edge, Team Sleep was much more based in atmospheric, electronica, almost like trip-hop, vastly different from Moreno's rock roots. The band would feature several artists who perform on various songs, including Rob Crow who provided vocals along with Moreno on "Princeton Review". Their debut self-titled album was originally slated to be released in 2003, but the project was scrapped due to Moreno being unhappy that most of their demos were leaked on the internet before the release. The band would re-work most of the material, changing most of it for what would finally be released in 2005 to the public. In 2007, Team Sleep was said to be working on new material for their second album. Moreno went on to say that new material would not see the light of day until 2010, he also stated that the band may possibly release free EP's of songs that the band would promote on their MySpace page. To this date, none of this material has been released. Currently, according to a 2012 interview with Moreno, though Team Sleep has not worked together for some time, they are, in fact, still very much alive. Right now it's just hard finding time for the band between his commitments to the Deftones as well as his newer side project called Crosses.