Sunday, September 30, 2012

Song Of The Week: 9/30/12

Song: "The Art Of Sharing Lovers"

Artist: A Static Lullaby

Album: "A Static Lullaby"

Year: 2006

"The Art Of Sharing Lovers" appears to be a song about infidelity. The vocalist seems to have finally reached his breaking point being exposed to her lying and cheating. For his own peace of mind, he has to end this relationship, in fact, by doing so, he actually feels like he's cleansed himself of all the impurities and lies that she was drowning him in. From California, A Static Lullaby formed as a band back in 2001. Their style is that of a post-hardcore band with a little infusion of some metal elements. From 2001 to 2002, the band created a few homemade demos and toured wherever they could to get their name out there. They eventually signed to a small label and released their first full length album in 2003 entitled, "And Don't Forget To Breathe". After opening up for such bands as AFI, My Chemical Romance and Brand New, A Static Lullaby drew the interest of major label Columbia Records. Columbia would release the band's second album, "Faso Latido" in 2005. The album drew mixed reviews and the band eventually would be dropped by Columbia. Enter Fearless Records. Working with Fearless was a breath of fresh air for the band and it showed in their 2006 self-titled album. This album was the band's most focused effort and probably the high point of A Static Lullaby as a band. In 2008, the band would release it's fourth studio effort entitled "Rattlesnake". Even with the constant touring and the consistency with which they dropped albums, A Static Lullaby never seemed to get over as a band. Sometimes in music, a wave of bands start coming out that incorporate the same style, and as a result, only a few seem to shine brighter than the rest. A Static Lullaby seemed to just fall in line with the rest. They're solid but nothing spectacular. By 2010, most of the band members began focusing much more on side projects or even just gearing up for new projects. The band began becoming a revolving door with people joining and leaving. In 2012, it was finally announced that A Static Lullaby were breaking up, in fact, they played their very last show in Indonesia on July 7, 2012. Currently, it appears the book has closed on A Static Lullaby.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Song Of The Week: 9/23/12

Song: "Shaking"

Artist: Sugarcult

Album: "Lights Out"

Year: 2006

"Shaking" is a song that appears to be about two people who get together, basically for the sex. They both have their own relationships as well as seeing even more people on the side, but they are drawn together because the sex is so good. Definitely a "sex buddy" song! Sugarcult is a band that formed back in 1998. They are from Santa Barbara, California. I guess you could say their style is that of a pop punk type band, somewhat in the same vein as a band such as Jimmy Eat World. In 1999, Sugarcult dropped their debut album, "Eleven" which was followed a year later by "Wrap Me Up In Plastic". It was their third release, 2001's "Start Static", however, that really started to garner the band some attention. Thanks in part to singles such as "Pretty Girl", "Bouncing Off The Walls", "Stuck In America" and "How Does It Feel", Sugarcult started getting a buzz as well as started to get some higher profile tours. Several Sugarcult songs were also featured throughout the movie "Van Wilder", which also helped increase the popularity of the band. In 2004, the band released "Palm Trees And Power Lines", which featured even more hit singles such as "Memory" and "She's The Blade". This was probably the height of Sugarcult's success as a band. At this time in their musical careers they also earned a spot on the 2004 Warper Tour. The band went on to release a live album around this time as well. In 2006, Sugarcult released their fifth studio album entitled "Lights Out". After touring in support of "Lights Out" and basically spending ten years of their lives together as a band, it was announced in 2009 that Sugarcult would be taking a hiatus. In fact, between 2009 and 2011, Sugarcult would only play a few one-off shows and a join a couple of major festivals but their was no work on a new album and for that matter, not even any conversation about new material. Currently, their really is no new news regarding Sugarcult's status as a band. Members of the band have refuted any rumors that they have officially broken up, but really, the only thing they've done in the past couple of years is play a show in 2011 at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their album "Start Static".

Monday, September 17, 2012

Song Of The Week: 9/16/12

Song: "Wind In Your Sail"

Artist: Lagwagon

Album: "Let's Talk About The Leftovers"

Year: 2000

"Wind In Your Sail" is a song that appears about a man who basically lives his life hoping and wanting to see his ex fail. He wants her to be miserable, to be in pain and to feel how it is to be hurt. The man feels this way, because this is what she did to him when she left him. It's a spiteful and vengeful song. As badly as he treated her, in the end, he'd always crawl back to her. Now he's hoping that she gets treated the same way, and she tries to crawl back to him, seeing how wrong she was. "Wind In Your Sail" was originally recorded in 1995 during the "Hoss" sessions. It originally appeared on a Bad Taste Records compilation titled "Quality Punk Rock". Hailing from California, Lagwagon formed as a band back in 1990. Quickly they caught the ear of Fat Mike from NOFX, who signed them to his punk label Fat Wreck Chords and in 1992, Lagwagon dropped their first album "Duh". In 1994, Lagwagon released "Trashed" and at this time, they began feeling the tug of major labels who were cashing in on artists such as Green Day and The Offspring. Lagwagon decided they preferred staying in the underground, only making their relationship with Fat Wreck stronger. From 1995 to 1998, Lagwagon would release three more albums, "Hoss", "Double Plaidnum", and "Let's Talk About Feelings". The band would take a little bit of a hiatus at this point to focus on several side projects, most notably were Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, which is a punk rock cover song super group featuring Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape and NOFX frontman Fat Mike, also, Cape formed a band with former Lagwagon drummer, Derrick Plourde called Bad Astronaut. Plourde left Lagwagon after recording "Hoss" in 1995. Lagwagon resumed activity in 2002, releasing the album "Blaze". The band would spend more time between releases once again as Cape would hook up with No Use For A Name frontman Tony Sly to release an all acoustic split album. In 2005, Lagwagon recorded and released the album "Resolve" under heavy heart. The album is an homage to Derrick Plourde who committed suicide that year. 2008 saw the band release an EP titled "I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon". After this release Cape would go on to really focus on his solo career, which consisted of him playing acoustic songs, even some old Lagwagon songs that he reworked on acoustic guitar. Cape would go on to say that while Lagwagon is not broken up, he doesn't foresee any new material being recorded with the band. Perhaps a song here and there but not a whole album's worth of material. In 2011, Fat Wreck announced it would be re-issuing expanded editions of Lagwagon's first five albums on cd, vinyl and digital download. The albums can be purchased individually or can be bought as a box set entitled, "Putting Music In It's Place". Currently, Lagwagon has been touring in the United States as well as Europe and Asia. It seems that the band isn't the focus of Cape's creative energy like it once was, however

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Song Of The Week: 9/9/12

Song: "11:11"

Artist: The Black Maria

Album: "A Shared History Of Tragedy"

Year: 2006

I may be wrong about this, but after reading the lyrics to "11:11", i get a sense that the song takes place at the scene of a car accident in a desolate area. It appears that one person is trying to comfort and console the other, promising to be there for him or her, all the while knowing that both have little time left to live. With lyrics that refer to blood on the backseat and roads paved with glass, this to me describes the car accident. "11:11" could be either the time the accident occurred or the time they both died. The Black Maria is a post-hardcore/alternative rock band hailing from Toronto, Canada. They formed as a band back in 2003 and quickly were signed to Victory Records. There is not a whole lot of history regarding The Black Maria. They dropped their first full length studio album "Lead Us To Reason" in 2005. Behind the single "Betrayal", The Black Maria achieved moderate success, enough to be asked to join some successful tours and to open for some more established artists. In 2006, The Black Maria released their second album, "A Shared History Of Tragedy". This album proved to be even less successful than their debut. The Black Maria seemed to be one of those "tweener" bands, I like to call them. They would share the stage with punk acts such as MxPx, The Distillers, Rise Against and Alkaline Trio and at other times they toured with more alternative rock acts such as Stone Sour, Queens Of The Stone Age, Chevelle and Taproot. Maybe by not totally fitting into one scene or the other ultimately led to the demise of The Black Maria. I'm not sure if that's the case, but it just seemed like their audience didn't quite branch out with the band. Regardless of style, I always thought that both of their albums were pretty solid. In 2007, The Black Maria decided to call it quits, though terming it as an "indefinite hiatus". I suppose by saying that, it leaves the door open to possibly get back together. Currently, it's now 2012, a full five years since the band announced their hiatus, so I would safely say that The Black Maria is officially no more as a band.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Song Of The Week: 9/2/12

Song: "1000 Times A Day"

Artist: The Early November

Album: "The Mechanic, The Mother, And The Path"

Year: 2006

"1000 Times A Day" is said to have been written by The Early November frontman, Ace Enders, for his wife. The song is a little love song that talks about how he and his future soulmate and wife first met in 8th grade. It tells how the relationship was an on again, off again type of relationship where sometimes they didn't even speak to each other for years at a time, but they never stopped thinking about each other and ultimately, despite any problems that they had to deal with, they both felt it was better to deal with them together than to deal with them alone. The lyrics of the song really read like a love letter from a husband to his wife, a reflection of how their love has grown to what it is today. The Early November, from New Jersey, formed as a band back in 1999. Early in their career, they caught the ear of punk label, Drive-Thru Records, who signed them to their label. In 2002, the band released two EP's, "For All Of This" and "The Acoustic EP". With a buzz circulating around the band, both from touring and the release of their EP's, The Early November would release their first full length album in 2003 entitled, "The Room's Too Cold". For their next project, an ambitious concept, three disc album called "The Mechanic, The Mother, And The Path", vocalist Ace Enders nearly suffered a nervous breakdown from the pressures being put on him by the record label, the fight to keep the project as true to his vision, without compromise and several delays of the release date. The album basically is a story of a young man, his past and how he got to where he is today. The third disc basically wraps the story up, featuring the man speaking to his psychiatrist with some musical interludes. Despite the friction and tension that surrounded "The Mechanic, The Mother, And The Path", it turned out to be the band's highest charting album, reaching #31 on the Billboard 200 charts. Despite this success, The Early November decided to go on an indefinite hiatus in 2007. For the next four years the band members embarked on various solo projects. Luckily for fans of the band, in 2011 The Early November would get back together and perform a handful of shows. This ultimately would lead to getting back in the studio and working on a new album. Currently, The Early November signed to a new record label, Rise Records, and released a brand new album in July of 2012 entitled "In Currents". The band will be touring in support of their new album throughout the rest of 2012 most likely.