Sunday, April 27, 2014

Song Of The Week: 4/27/14

Song: "Controlled Mayhem Then Erupts"

Artist: Cave In

Album: "Until Your Heart Stops"

Year: 1998

"Controlled Mayhem Then Erupts" is a song that appears play out like a sci-fi movie. It seems as if it takes place in the future. The Earth has died and humans try to re-populate on the Moon. However, the people make the very same mistakes that caused the destruction of Earth and the Moon is now dying as well. It's really an indictment of the way humans are treating Earth and a doomsday approach to what will ultimately lead to their demise. Cave In, from Massachusetts, formed as a band back in 1995. Guitarist Steve Brodsky and vocalist Jay Frenchette, of Ten Yard Fight fame, were the two main forces that ignited Cave In. In 1997, the band released a self titled 7" through Hydra Head Records. Frenchette soon departed after this release to focus full time on his other band Ten Yard Fight. In 1998, Cave In released "Beyond Hypothermia", which was a compilation which featured the band's previous 7" releases as well as their songs recorded for split EP's. '98 also saw the band release their debut album, "Until Your Heart Stops". Guitarist Brodsky was now the full time vocalist of Cave In. From 1995 till 1998, the band was basically a metalcore band featuring heavy, aggressive riffs and gutteral vocals. In 1999, the band entered their "space-rock" period. Starting with their EP, "Creative Eclipses", Cave In started becoming much more experimental with their sound, much more melodic and atmospheric. This trend continued with their 2000 release "Jupiter". They were starting to be labeled as "emo-metal Radiohead", a label which the band emphatically rejected. 2002 saw the band release the EP, "Tides Of Tomorrow", their last release through Hydra Head Records. In 2003, Cave In signed on with major label RCA and released their most successful album, "Antenna". This album was their most alternative rock sounding album that they released as heard through their singles "Anchor" and "Inspire". This album helped earn the band a spot on the second stage at Lollapalooza as well as the supporting slot for the Foo Fighters European tour. When RCA heard the new material that Cave In was working on, they decided to part ways with the band. Gone was the straight forward, radio friendly alternative rock of "Antenna" and back was the more aggressive, metalcore sound that the band started out with. In 2005, Cave In returned to Hydra Head Records and released "Perfect Pitch Black". 2006 saw the band announce a hiatus. After three years apart, Cave In returned from their hiatus and released the vinyl only EP, "Planets Of Old". This release was made into a cd in 2010 for sale. In 2011, Cave In dropped their fifth full length album called "White Silence". Brodsky has hinted that all future Cave In releases may be focused on digital medium. Currently, their hasn't been much news coming from the Cave In camp for the last two years. They don't seem to be a band that operates on deadlines and what not. They seem to approach music making at their own pace. Cave In has changed their sound quite a few times during their career. They are known to get "jammy" at times, with some of their songs hitting the 8 and 10 minute marks. They are quite respected on the underground circuit, especially in their native Massachusetts.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Song Of The Week: 4/20/14

Song: "Replace You" (acoustic version)

Artist: Silverstein

Album: "Rescue" (Deluxe Edition)

Year: 2011

"Replace You" is a song that appears to be about a relationship that has totally soured. Though the love between the two is undeniable, so much so that you sense they are soulmates, it's the constant years of mistakes made over and over again that seems to be overtaking what love for each other is left. Sometimes the hardest thing to do (breaking up) is the only option in order to move forward from feeling guilty, hurt and unhappy. The acoustic version of "Replace You" was originally released on Silverstein's 2010 "Transitions" EP. This acoustic version as well as a full band version of the song can be found on the Deluxe version of their 2011 album, "Rescue". Silverstein formed as a band back in 2000, hailing from Ontario, Canada. In 2000, they self-released an EP called "Summer's Stellar Gaze". After some line-up changes, the band independently released another EP entitled "When The Shadows Beam" in 2002. It was after this EP that the band signed with Victory Records. 2003 saw the band released their very first full length album, "When Broken Is Easily Fixed". This album featured six songs from their independent EP's that were re-recorded as well as some new material. In 2005, Silverstein appeared to have a more energetic and punky sound with their release of "Discovering The Waterfront". The band started to play some major tours after this album alongside bands such as Aiden, Hawthorne Heights, Bayside and Simple Plan. In 2006 the band released the compilation album "18 Candles: The Early Years". This album featured the band's first two EP's as well as some b-sides, re-recorded songs, acoustic tracks and remixed versions of songs. The band also played on it's very first Warped Tour that year. 2007 saw the release of "Arrivals & Departures". The band toured for nearly a year and a half in support of this album including the band's first stops in Australia and South America. In 2009, Silverstein released "A Shipwreck In The Sand". This album was a concept album about betrayal. In 2010, Silverstein filmed and recorded a couple of shows they played in Toronto for a live cd/dvd release. This release would be called "Decade (Live At The El Mocambo)". After this release, the band officially left Victory Records. In 2011, Silverstein signed with Hopeless Records. Their first release with their new label was the EP "Transitions". This EP featured two new songs that were going to be on their upcoming album as well as three b-sides. That upcoming album would turn out to be 2011's "Rescue". Vocalist Shane Told said that this album would feature tons of screaming and musical breakdowns. In 2012, the band released the EP "Short Songs". This album featured songs that basically were no longer than one minute long. The album also featured Silverstein doing some cover songs, most notably a Green Day song and a NOFX song. 2013 saw the band release their sixth full length album entitled "This Is How The Wind Shifts". In support of this album, Silverstein decided to play the entire Warped Tour. In almost 13 years as a band, Silverstein has released six full length albums, one compilation album, one live album and five EP's. They have also toured relentlessly during that time. They have been labeled everything from post-hardcore to emo to punk to screamo. Whatever, they have stood the test of time and have distinguished themselves as a band that is at the front of the pack, not following behind it like so many similar sounding bands. Currently, they are in full support of their new album "This Is How The Wind Shifts" and if they are true to form, they will probably release a new album in 2015, as they have basically put out a new album every two years.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Song Of The Week: 4/13/14

Song: "Walk"

Artist: Foo Fighters

Album: "Wasting Light"

Year: 2011

"Walk" is a song that appears to be about taking advantage of second chances in life. The song definitely has a positive vibe and you sense the vocalist is rejuvenated by whatever changes he made in his life. He seems motivated and inspired them. Foo Fighters formed as a band back in 1994. Following the tragic suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl began working on some demos in which he played every instrument and sang vocals as well. This demos would eventually be cleaned up and released under the name "Foo Fighters" in 1995. This debut album featured the singles "This Is A Call", "I'll Stick Around" and "Big Me". Grohl enlisted former Sunny Day Real Estate members Nate Mendel to play bass and William Goldsmith to handle the drums, as well as adding Pat Smear as a second guitarist. In 1997, the band released "The Colour And The Shape". Unhappy with Goldsmith's drumming, Grohl recorded all drum tracks for this album, Goldsmith would ultimately leave the band not very happy with Grohl's decision. Former Alanis Morisette drummer Taylor Hawkins joined the band in Goldsmith's place. This second album featured classic Foo Fighters' hits "Monkey Wrench", "My Hero" and "Everlong". Around this time, Smear announced his departure from the band and Franz Stahl, who played in the hardcore band Scream with Grohl, replaced him. While recording 1999's "There's Nothing Left To Lose", Stahl was let go by the band. Grohl, Mendel and Hawkins basically recorded this album as a trio. "Learn To Fly" became the first Foo Fighters single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Former No Use For A Name guitarist Chris Shiflett was added to the band's lineup to replace Stahl. Recording for the band's 2002 album "One By One" turned out to be a very tense period for the band. In fighting amongst band members nearly led to the break up of the Foo Fighters. Grohl was not happy at all with the recordings and decided to go back home to Virginia and re-record the entire album. The new versions of songs such as "All My Life", "Times Like These", "Low" and "Have It All" rejuvenated the band and rid the band of it's past tensions. 2005 saw the band release the double disc "In Your Honor". CD 1 featured all rock songs while CD 2 featured all acoustic material. Singles included "Best Of You", "DOA" and "Resolve". In 2006, the band released it's very first live album "Skin And Bones". This album was to commemorate the band's all acoustic tour in the summer of 2006. In 2007, "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" was released. The first single, "The Pretender", topped Billboard's Modern Rock Chart for a record 19 weeks! The album was nominated for five Grammys, winning two of them. Pat Smear, who joined the Foo's on their acoustic tour, officially rejoined the band, making them a 5 piece. In 2009, the Foo's released "Greatest Hits". This compilation features many signature tracks by the band including two brand new songs, "Wheels" and "Word Forward". In honor of Record Store Day, the band released a vinyl record called "Medium Rare" in 2011 which featured all cover songs. Also in 2011, the band released "Wasting Light". This album was produced by Butch Vig and recorded in Dave Grohl's garage using only analog equipment. This album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts, thanks in part to hit singles like "Rope" and "Walk". The band also released a documentary called "Back And Forth" that very same year. This documentary featured an elaborate history of the band right up to the recording of "Wasting Light". Currently, the Foo Fighters have been hard at work on a new album, in fact, it has been said that they have completed at least 13 new songs. Grohl has hinted that the new album may be released at some point in 2014. Starting out as just a side project for Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters have grown into one of the most successful rock bands in the world. Their music provides a keen sense of melody with an arena rock anthem jolt of energy. Definitely one of the best rock and roll has to offer.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Song Of The Week: 4/6/14

Song: "What I've Missed"

Artist: The Riot Before

Album: "Rebellion"

Year: 2010

"What I've Missed" is a song that appears to be about going through life aimlessly. Every day is a blur and the vocalist is basically oblivious to his surroundings. He seems to be aware of this, but instead of taking a second to take life in, he seems content to just let it pass him by and go on with his monotonous life. The Riot Before formed as a band back in 2003, hailing from Richmond, Virginia. After spending a few years trying to find their sound, they released a variety of EP's, 7"'s and rare tracks between 2005 and 2007, most notably "Horseshoes And Hand Grenades" and "So Long, The Lighthouse". In 2009, the band signed to Say 10 Records and released "Fists Buried In Pockets". 2010 saw the band sign with Paper + Plastick Records and release the album "Rebellion". This album featured the single and music video for the song "Backstage Rooms". In 2011, German record label, Gunner Records released "The Riot Before (Acoustic)". This marked a departure of sorts for the band as they unplugged their instruments for stripped down versions of some of their punk rock songs. Shortly after this release, The Riot Before decided to call it quits as a band. While there was somewhat of a revolving door of band members in The Riot Before, once the core members began to depart, the band decided it was time to pull the plug. In 2012, Say 10 Records started up a Kickstarter campaign to help raise enough money in order to release the compilation, "The Riot Before: 2005-2007". This compilation features all the songs from "Horseshoes And Hand Grenades" and "So Long, The Lighthouse" as well as any material released on splits, singles and bonus rarities. Currently, it appears the book is closed on The Riot Before and there has been no updates on the band since they announced their break-up in 2011. This is unfortunate news for any fans of the band as The Riot Before, in my mind, were a great, unheralded punk rock group. If you take part Rise Against, part Thrice and sprinkle in some fellow Virginians Avail, you'd get something close in sound to The Riot Before. Solid, solid band!