Sunday, October 26, 2014

Song Of The Week: 10/26/14

Song: "About An Apparition"

Artist: Meriwether

Album: "Make Your Move"

Year: 2005

"About An Apparition" is a song that appears to be about someone who is a ghost, an apparition or perhaps, an angel that comes back to help someone who maybe has the right intentions, but is heading down the wrong path. Though this person ignores him, or probably can't see him, the apparition is persistent and is not going to turn his back on this person. Meriwether formed as a band back in 2003, hailing from Louisiana. In 2004, the band independently released an EP titled "Meriwether". 2005 saw the band sign with GVE Records and release their debut full length album, "Make Your Move". Meriwether would play more than 300 shows in one calendar year to promote this album. In 2006, the band signed with Suretone Records and re-released "Make Your Move" with added bonus tracks. In 2007, the band recorded a new album called "Sons Of Our Fathers" but due to a conflict with Suretone, the album was never released. The album is available for download on Meriwether's bandcamp page. In 2009, Meriwether, now free of their contract with Suretone, independently recorded and released their third album, "Plug In The Snakes". This album featured the single "If You Had Guts, I'd Hate 'Em". The last release from Meriwether came in 2011, an EP entitled "MWBS". Currently, only Andrew Reilley (vocalist, guitarist, founder and songwriter) is still with the band as all of the original members have left to do other things. Reilley has said he plans to continue on with Meriwether as well as do multiple other projects. Meriwether is a band that falls somewhere between pop/punk and alternative rock. The band never really crossed over and had much mainstream success but you can't say they weren't a hardworking band. They toured extensively after their releases, trying to promote themselves as best they could but sometimes the masses just don't gravitate to some things. I often talk about those bands that separate themselves and become the leaders of certain genres, while others kind of fall back in the pack and follow. Meriwether is one of the followers. Not bad music by any means, just nothing to get you overly excited about.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Song Of The Week: 10/19/14

Song: "Youth Overrided" (acoustic)

Artist: Cave In

Album: "Live Airwaves"

Year: 2005

"Youth Overrided" is a song that appears to be about someone who is very old and possibly close to dying. He feels his life has passed him by much too soon and maybe, he didn't totally soak up his youth. At times, he still feels young at heart, but his memory is starting to fade as well as his existence on this Earth. The original version of "Youth Overrided" appeared on Cave In's 2003 album "Antenna". The version I chose for my song of the week is an acoustic version that appeared on Cave In's 2005 live compilation, "Live Airwaves". Cave In formed as a band back in 1995, hailing from Methuen, Massachusetts. The band was formed by vocalist Jay Frechette and guitarist Stephen Brodsky. The band released a demo and several split 7" recordings before hooking up with Hydra Head Records and releasing their self/titled 7" in 1997. Frechette would leave the band to focus his energies on his other band Ten Yard Fight. In 1998, "Beyond Hypothermia" was released which was basically a compilation of all the 7" recordings that Cave In recorded up to that point. 1998 also saw the band release their very first full length album "Until Your Heart Stops". This album was the first to feature Stephen Brodsky on lead vocals. Up to this point, Cave In was pretty much a metalcore band. With the 1999 release of "Creative Eclipses", this would begin the so called "space rock" period for the band. In 2000, the band released "Jupiter". This album continued on with a melodic, atmospheric sound. People began calling the band "emo-metal Radiohead", a description that the members of Cave In whole-heartedly disagreed with. 2002's "Tides Of Tomorrow" EP continued on the same path as their previous two releases. In 2003, Cave In signed with major label RCA Records and released "Antenna". This album saw the band shift gears once again to a more modern rock/mainstream rock sound. "Antenna" would be Cave In's only album to chart on the Billboard 200, reaching #169, thanks in part to the singles "Anchor" and "Inspire". The band earned a slot on the Lollapalooza tour that year, as well as an opening slot on the Foo Fighters European tour. In 2005, Cave In parted ways with RCA and returned to Hydra Head Records. They also returned to their metal roots with the release of "Perfect Pitch Black". In 2006, the band went on a short hiatus. Some three years later in 2009, Cave In returned with the EP "Planets Of Old". In 2010, Brodsky said that the band would be more selective about their touring schedule and that future Cave In releases may be more focused on a digital medium. In 2011, Cave In released "White Silence". This album saw the band delve more into metal with hints of hardcore. 2013 saw the band release the "Untitled" EP, which basically featured three demos of previously released songs. Currently, not much news on the Cave In front. Brodsky does have several side projects so maybe he has just not set aside any time to work on new material with Cave In. This band has went through so many stylistic changes that if you heard them today as compared to what they were playing in the early 2000's, you wouldn't even know it was the same band! Maybe that's what has hurt them on a mainstream success level but in the underground music scene, Cave In is well respected both musically and lyrically.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Song Of The Week: 10/12/14

Song: "Blame It On Me"

Artist: Unwritten Law

Album: "Live And Lawless"

Year: 2008

"Blame It On Me" is a song that appears to be about a relationship where the vocalist has been beaten down emotionally and mentally by his significant other. The verbal assaults, the chastising, the being locked out and let down has come to a head and he's finally ready to set her free and be done with this abusive relationship. This is a live version of the song taken from Unwritten Law's 2008 DVD "Live And Lawless". The original version of the song can be found on U.L.'s 2002 album "Elva". Unwritten Law formed as a band back in 1990, hailing from just outside San Diego, California. In 1992, the band released a cassette demo followed by a 7" vinyl release in 1993 called "Blurr". In 1994, Unwritten Law dropped their first full length album, "Blue Room", through Red Eye Records. This album featured songs like "CPK", "Shallow" and "Suzanne", which are still crowd favorites to this day. The band caught the ear of Epic Records who signed them to a deal. 1996 saw the band release "Oz Factor". This album featured the songs "Denied" and "Superman" and earned the band support slots on tours with Blink 182 and Pennywise. In 1997, the band signed with Interscope Records and in 1998 they released their self-titled album "Unwritten Law". This album featured the singles "Lonesome", "Cailin" and "Teenage Suicide" and earned them a slot on the Vans Warped Tour which took Unwritten Law across North America, Europe and Australia. 2002's "Elva" was the mainstream breakthrough for Unwritten Law. The band steered away from their poppy punk style and went more radio accessible rock and it paid off with their single and most popular song "Seein' Red". That single would reach #1 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. In 2003, Unwritten Law signed with Lava Records and released "Music In High Places", a live acoustic compilation recorded in various places in Yellowstone National Park. 2005 saw the band release "Here's To The Mourning", featuring the singles "She Says" and "Save Me (Wake Up Call)", which would peak at #5 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. In 2007, the band released a greatest hits compilation called "The Hit List", the lead single off of that was the newly recorded "Shoulda Known Better". In 2008, the band signed with Suburban Noize Records and released the live DVD, "Live And Lawless", which was recorded at the Key Club in Los Angeles, California. In 2011, Unwritten Law released their latest album "Swan", featuring the single "Starships And Apocalypse". In 2013, it was said the band was working on an acoustic album and that they would then begin work on a new studio album. Currently, 2014 is nearing an end and there is no news about either Unwritten Law's acoustic album or their new studio album. Perhaps they are still hard at work on them, I don't know. When bands like Blink 182 and Green Day started getting more and more popular it was not uncommon for major labels to seek out similar bands, trying to catch lightning in a bottle and that was the case with Unwritten Law. It wasn't until the band veered away from their pop punk roots and became more mainstream rock that they began to establish their musical identity. The height of their popularity came between 2002 and 2007 and they've been trying to reach that ever since. Unfortunately, they have had trouble maintaining a stable line-up, mostly due to the volatility of front man Scott Russo. "Elva" was the band's masterpiece while most of their other albums failed to live up to that though their "self-titled" is very solid as well.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Song Of The Week: 10/5/14

Song: "Courage"

Artist: Authority Zero

Album: "Less Rhythm, More Booze"

Year: 2012

"Courage" is a song that appears to be about overcoming any adversity that comes your way. It's an uplifting song about someone that continues to be beaten down by life but continues to pick him or herself up and refuses to stand down to anyone or anything. This person defines courage. The original version of "Courage" appeared on Authority Zero's 2007 album "12:34". The version I chose for my song of the week is a live acoustic performance from the band's 2012 album "Less Rhythm, More Booze". Authority Zero formed as a band back in 1994, hailing from Mesa, Arizona. It took the band nearly eight years to finally settle on a line-up before they would release their debut album. Finally in 2002, the band signed on with Lava Records who released their first album, "A Passage In Time". This album featured the songs "One More Minute" and "Over Seasons". The success of the album earned Authority Zero support slots for bands such as No Use For A Name, The Starting Line, Sum 41, Everclear, Guttermouth and H2O. In 2004, the band's second album, "Andiamo" was released. This was a much more politically charged album as shown in songs like "Revolution", "A Thousand Years Of War" and the Wall Of Voodoo cover, "Mexican Radio". 2006 saw the band release the live acoustic compilation "Rhythm And Booze" through Suburban Noize Records. In 2007, Authority Zero released "12:34". As I said before, this album features the single and my song of the week, "Courage". In 2010, Authority Zero signed with Hardline Entertainment, a company co-owned by Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge, and released "Stories Of Survival". This album peaked at #5 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers Chart thanks in part to songs like "Big Bad World" and the anthemic "Get It Right". 2012 saw the second installment of a live acoustic compilation in the form of "Less Rhythm, More Booze". In 2013, Authority Zero dropped their latest album "The Tipping Point". This album features the singles "No Other Place", "Lift One Up" and "Today We Heard The News" which is said to be a tribute to the late Tony Sly of No Use For A Name. Currently, there has been no news of new material coming out from the Authority Zero camp, though they are active, just completing a European tour and having dates set up for a Fall U.S. tour. The band was heavily influenced by groups like Bad Religion, Pennywise and Sublime and you can definitely hear elements from those three bands in Authority Zero's music. They are parts skate punk, parts politically charged punk and parts reggae/ska punk. Authority Zero is big time in my opinion. Easily one of my favorite bands, Authority Zero can be edgy, can rock out or they can groove and they do all of the above the way it's supposed to be done.