Sunday, April 26, 2015
Song: "Sarah, Send Your Driver"
"Sarah, Send Your Driver" is a song that appears to be about severing ties with someone who you thought had your best interests in heart, but you found out that they were literally trying to sabotage everything you were trying to attain. The vocalist feels that his goals are to important to him to throw away and he is more confident than ever to keep moving forward to see his dream through. Those who are with him, be prepared to jump on board and move forward. Those who are not, get out of the way and get left behind. Timeshares formed as a band back in 2009, hailing from New York. The band self released a three song EP in 2009, all three songs would later appear on their debut album with slight changes. In 2010, Timeshares released a split 7" with Captain, We're Sinking. 2011 saw the band release their debut full length "Bearable" through Kiss Of Death Records". This album featured the songs "From An Admirer Not Daryl" and "Oh No Not That". In 2012, Timeshares released another split EP, this time with the band Dividers. The next few years were spent touring and trying to get their name out there with the fans. Finally, in 2015, the band released a split with the band Luther, then signed on with punk rock label SideOneDummy Records and released their second full length album, "Already Dead", featuring the songs "Heavy Hangs", "Spend The Night" and "The Bad Parts". Currently, Timeshares is touring in support of their new album "Already Dead". Though the album will be released digitally on April 28, 2015, people can get the cd version starting on May 28th. Timeshares is a young band that is still growing into it's sound. If you're a fan of bands such as The Flatliners or Off With Their Heads or Four Year Strong, you would probably be a fan of Timeshares as they play a similar brand of melodic punk rock with gruffy vocals. This is definitely a band to keep an eye out for.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Album: "Nothing To Prove"
"Unconditional" is a song that appears to be a typical break-up song. The vocalist sees the relationship as something that should be salvaged, that he and her should work together to overcome their differences and imperfections. His love for her is unconditional. Unfortunately, she does not see it the same way and is ready to end the relationship. She cannot deal with his imperfections and is not willing to continue on without him being who she wants him to be. H2O formed as a band back in 1994, hailing from Manhatten, New York. Lead vocalist, Toby Morse worked as a roadie for legendary New York hardcore band Sick Of It All before deciding to put his own band together. After earning opening spots on tours with Rancid and No Doubt, H2O released their debut album, "H2O", in 1996. This album featured the single "Family Tree". In 1997, the band released "Thicker Than Water", featuring the tracks "Everready" and "Thicker Than Water". The next few years saw the band open for a who's who in the world of punk music, bands such as Murphy's Law, Social Distortion, Misfits, Pennywise, Sick Of It All, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and also earning slots on the Warped Tours. 1999 saw the band drop "F.T.T.W.", spawning the single "One Life One Chance". In 2000, H2O signed with major label MCA Records and in 2001 they released "Go". "Go" featured the songs "Memory Lane" and "Role Model", the latter which is one of the band's most signature songs. 2002 saw the release of the "All We Want" EP. Over the next 6 years, the band did little more than tour but finally, in 2008, they released "Nothing To Prove" through Bridge 9 Records. The band made videos for the songs "What Happened" and "Nothing To Prove". In 2011, H2O released "Don't Forget Your Roots". This was a 15 song album of covers of bands that H2O looked up to such as Rancid, Sick Of It All, Social Distortion and Bad Brains to name a few. Currently, Toby Morse tweeted that H2O will have a new album out called "Was Here". It is going to be distributed by Bridge 9 Records and should be released in 2015. H2O is very much an underground band. They came out around the same time as the west coast skate punk bands like Lagwagon and No Use For A Name but they always seemed to be a tier down from bands like that. They have moments of hardcore punk sound but they also blend in some melodic punk as well, almost like a band such as 7 Seconds does. They dropped 4 albums in a 5 year span, then only 1 from 2002 till present day 2015, not counting their covers album. They're a band that is well respected in punk circles, especially in the New York punk scene, maybe just not as heralded as other bands from that era.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Song: "Quick Chek Girl"
Artist: Bouncing Souls
Album: "Maniacal Laughter"
"Quick Chek Girl" is a silly, teenage romance type of song. It's about a guy who drops the papers off to the Quick Chek store and strikes up a relationship with the girl who works there. When he decides to ask her to go on a date with him via a letter, all of a sudden, she doesn't respond and eventually quits the job much to the guy's dismay. The Bouncing Souls formed as a band back in 1988, hailing from New Jersey. After years of performing in the underground scene of New Brunswick, New Jersey, the band's first full length release was 1994's "The Good, The Bad & The Argyle". This album was basically a compilation of the band's EP's they had released up to that point. In 1996, the band released "Maniacal Laughter", featuring classic Bouncing Souls songs such as "The Ballad Of Johnny X" and "Here We Go". In 1997, the Souls caught the ear of famous punk label Epitaph Records who signed the band and released "The Bouncing Souls". Though this album features some classic Bouncing Souls songs such as "Kate Is Great", "Cracked" and "East Coast Fuck You", singer Greg Attonito has basically called it an album of unfinished songs. 1999 was the year where the Bouncing Souls really began to find themselves and their sound with the release of "Hopeless Romantic", featuring concert staples like "Kid" and "Ole!". 2001 saw the band release "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" featuring the tracks "True Believers" and "Manthem". In 2002, the band released the b-sides compilation "The Bad, The Worse And The Out Of Print" and in 2003, the band released my personal favorite album by them, "Anchors Aweigh", featuring punk rock anthems like "Apartment 5F", "Kids And Heroes" and "Sing Along Forever". 2005 saw the band release the double disc live album simply titled "Live". In 2006, the Souls dropped "The Gold Record" featuring the songs "The Pizza Song" and "Lean On Sheena", which was an Avoid One Thing cover. In 2009, to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary, they decided to release four 7" EP's. Most of these songs went on to be compiled on one album, 2010's "Ghosts On The Boardwalk". In 2012, the band released the album "Comet" through Rise Records. This album featured the tracks "Static", "Coin Toss Girl" and "Ship In A Bottle". Currently, there is no news as of yet about a new album in the works but seeing how consistent the band is, I would not be surprised to see something new by the end of this year or definitely by next year. The Souls are a hard working, constantly touring type of band and their influence on punk rock music runs deep. They write infectious, sing-a-long, pogo hop punk rock anthems that fans can't get enough of and that other bands try to emulate, sometimes imitate. A truly great punk rock band and "Kids And Heroes"? Come on, man!! That is one of the best punk rock songs of all time!!!
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Song: "PJ20 Song/Improv"
Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: No Album, performed live at PJ20 Festival, 9/4/11
"PJ20 Song/Improv" is a song that Eddie Vedder wrote backstage at the band's 20th anniversary Labor Day weekend festival concerts at Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin. It's a folksy song, much like Vedder's solo material and it celebrates the fact that they made it through the tough times and the long years and that they are glad they made it when the times got good. Clearly it's about a band that is in a very good place and it's a rare treat for PJ fans. The song was never properly recorded or ever played again. Pearl Jam formed as a band back in 1990, hailing from Seattle, Washington. Bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard were still reeling from the untimely death of Andrew Wood, who fronted their previous band Mother Love Bone. Soon Gossard and guitarist Mike McCready began jamming and invited Ament to the sessions. Dave Krusen was brought in on drums and a demo tape was given to former Red Hot Chilli Peppers' drummer Jack Irons, who intern gave the demo to San Diego surfer Eddie Vedder. The rest is history! Vedder laid vocals to songs which would become "Alive", "Once" and "Footsteps" and Pearl Jam was born! The band was quickly signed by Epic Records and in 1991 released their debut album "Ten". One of the most influential hard rock records of all time, "Ten" has gone on to achieve 13x Platinum status! It spawned PJ staples such as "Alive", "Evenflow", "Jeremy", "Black" and "Release". Krusen soon departed the band, replaced by the short lived Matt Chamberlain and eventually Dave Abbruzzese. Pearl Jam made a name for themselves at this time as a live band, something that they are noted for to this very day. In 1993, PJ released "VS". This album sold 950,378 copies in it's 1st week, a record that was held until 1998. The album featured the singles "Go", "Daughter", "Animal" and "Dissident". The band was on top of the world at this time, at the forefront of the Seattle/grunge musical movement alongside bands like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Nirvana. A lengthy battle with Ticketmaster would almost consume the band however. 1994 saw the band release "Vitalogy". Abbruzzese was fired from the band at this time and replaced by Jack Irons. "Vitalogy" became the 2nd fastest selling album in history, moving 877,000 copies in it's first week of sales. The album featured the songs "Spin The Black Circle", "Not For You", "Corduroy", "Better Man" and "Immortality". The Ticketmaster battle was still going on, limiting the venues with which PJ could play and ultimately killing their tour. Pearl Jam was not happy about the service fees Ticketmaster was charging fans and tried to boycott their venues. It was a battle that almost destroyed the band as their live shows were so much of what they were about. In 1996, the band scaled back their sound and got a little experimental with their new release "No Code". This album featured the singles "Who You Are", "Hail Hail" and "Off He Goes". In 1998, the band dropped "Yield". This album marked a return to form for the band and it also marked a return to the entire band contributing material to a record. "Vitalogy" and "No Code" were essentially Eddie Vedder albums with little contributions from the rest of the band. "Yield" was a full band effort and a breath of fresh air for Pearl Jam. The album featured the songs "Given To Fly", "Wishlist" and "Do The Evolution". Irons left the band at this time and was replaced by Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, who is still the band's current drummer as well as still playing with Soundgarden. The band released their very first live album "Live On Two Legs" this year as well. They also covered the old J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers song "Last Kiss" and released it as a single. "Last Kiss" became the band's highest charting single. 2000 saw the band release "Binaural". Featuring the songs "Nothing As It Seems" and "Light Years", "Binaural" became the first Pearl Jam album not to achieve platinum status. Pearl Jam also recorded each and every concert during their "Binaural" tour and sold them marking the first time that one band had that many albums debut on the Billboard charts at one time, a world record. The band's bootleg series continues to this very day but they tweaked the process by making shows available on their website, either in cd or digital form. 2000 also saw the band endure a tragedy. As headliners of the Roskilde Festival, 9 fans got trampled to death during their live set. This tragedy affected the band very much and made them even question whether or not to go on. Thankfully they did go on. In 2002, the band released "Riot Act". This album featured the songs "I Am Mine", "Save You" and "Love Boat Captain" and was the first album to feature Boom Gaspar on B3 organ. Gaspar is an old friend of Eddie's from Hawaii and has since been on all of Pearl Jam's tours. In 2003, PJ decided not to re-up with Epic Records and decided not to sign with any major label. To fulfill their contractual obligations to Epic, PJ released the b-sides album "Lost Dogs" and a 2004 greatest hits package, "rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991-2003). 2006 saw the band release "Live At Easy Street", released exclusively to independent record stores and they also released the self titled "Pearl Jam" through J Records. "Pearl Jam" was an intense record, a product of society at the time, the Bush administration and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to an aggressive, political record. The album featured the singles "World Wide Suicide", "Life Wasted" and "Gone". This time also marked the first time PJ headlined festivals since the Roskilde Festival. In 2009, Pearl Jam released "Backspacer" through their own label, Monkeywrench Records. An upbeat album by Pearl Jam standards, it featured the songs "The Fixer" and "Just Breathe". 2011 saw the release of the live album, "Live On Ten Legs". It also marked the year that Pearl Jam celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band. They released a documentary directed by Cameron Crowe called PJ20 which also featured a soundtrack. The band also played a Labor Day weekend festival in East Troy, Wisconsin. The PJ20 festival featured Pearl Jam headlining with bands such as Queens Of The Stone Age, The Strokes, Liam Finn, Star Anna and Chris Cornell joined the band for an impromptu reunion of Temple Of The Dog. In 2013, the band released "Lightning Bolt". Featuring the singles "Mind Your Manners", "Sirens" and "Lightning Bolt", this became Pearl Jam's 5th album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 charts. Currently, the band is slated to do a tour of Latin America in the fall of 2015. Pearl Jam is one of the most influential American bands of all time. Their live shows are legendary and their music has inspired several bands to follow. The band is a lot more judicious with their time now a days, mostly because the members all have growing families, but they always find the time to record new music and perform live concerts. Where they used to release new albums 2 years apart, now it's more like 4 years so perhaps a new album may surface in 2016 or 2017, hopefully sooner! They are not afraid to delve into personal subject matter or political and social topics in their songs and are still going strong as they reach their 25th year anniversary!