Sunday, October 25, 2015
Song: "Keep Us Alive"
Artist: The Briggs
Place Of Origin: Los Angeles, California
Years Active: 2001-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"Keep Us Alive" appears to be about holding true to your beliefs. The vocalist is trying to say that he and those who are close to him live their life by a certain code and there is a pride that goes along with following that code. Though life has brought some struggles, he has perservered through those obstacles all the while staying true to who he is and not sacrificing what he believes to achieve what he wants out of life. Looking back, the vocalist feels he's made it successfully in life because he has remained true to himself and his beliefs.
THE BRIGGS' DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2001 - "Is This What You Believe" (Northeast Records)
2003 - "Numbers" (Disaster Records)
2006 - "Back To Higher Ground" (Drastic Plastic Records)
2008 - "Come All You Madmen (SideOneDummy Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF THE BRIGGS:
The Briggs were a project put together by brothers Joey and Jason LaRocca as far back as 1999. Originally they went under the moniker I Decline but by 2001, the changed their name to The Briggs. The band hails from Los Angeles, California. The Briggs' first two releases featured a street punk style much like that of the Dropkick Murphys or the Street Dogs and even some Rancid, especially Rancid side project the Devil's Brigade. Jason and Joey LaRocca both shared vocals on these albums, which featured gravelly vocals. As they got to 2006's "Back To Higher Ground", Joey began to be more featured as the main vocalist. Also, while remaining street punk, The Briggs added a little celtic punk style to their sound as well, none moreso than with their song "Madmen" from their 2008 release "Come All You Madmen", which featured celtic punk legend Ken Casey from the Dropkick Murphys on guest vocals. Over the years The Briggs have shared stages with the likes of the Dropkicks, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag and Flogging Molly to name a few. They have also participated in four Warped Tours. The band went on a little hiatus after 2008 as vocalist Joey LaRocca (aka Joey Briggs) focused on some solo acoustic material, but in 2012 they got back in the studio and released the single "Panic". Most recently, the band released a self-titled EP in 2015 and embarked on a west coast tour with 7 Seconds to promote the EP. The Briggs are kinda like the west coast's answer to celtic/street punk from the east coast such as Dropkick Murphys or the Street Dogs. The band really began to find their sound on the "Back To Higher Ground" album and perfected it on "Come All You Madmen". "This Is LA" is a punk rock anthem in Southern California, so much so that it is even played at the beginning of Los Angeles Kings hockey games. There's no news yet as to whether they are working on a new full length album but they have been active on the touring circuit promoting their 2015 self-titled EP.
TEN THE BRIGGS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. This Is LA
4. Broken Bones
5. Devil's Playground
6. We Got The Neutron Bomb
7. Song For Us
9. Bored Teenager
10. Who Would've Thought (Rancid cover)
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Song: "The Asylum"
Album: "From Hell...With Love"
Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington
Years Active: 2003-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"The Asylum" appears to be somewhat straight forward. It's about being locked in a mental asylum. You get the sense that the vocalist feels he is not insane or sick but is being made to be by the doctors in the asylum and the medications that they force him to take. He is being drugged as well as being abused, physically and mentally so, perhaps before he went in, he was dealing with some problems, but after he went in, the asylum has began to drive him totally mad. It has made him feel totally worthless as a human being.
AIDEN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2004 - "Our Gang's Dark Oath" (Dead Teenager Records)
2005 - "Nightmare Anatomy" (Victory Records)
2007 - "Conviction" (Victory Records)
2009 - "Knives" (Victory Records)
2010 - "From Hell...With Love" (Victory Records)
2011 - "Disguises" (Victory Records)
2011 - "Some Kind Of Hate" (Victory Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF AIDEN:
Aiden formed as a band back in 2003. After releasing "Our Gang's Dark Oath" in 2004, Aiden caught the ear of label Victory Records and the two formed a partnership that would span the band's career. 2005's "Nightmare Anatomy" proved to be the band's definitive album, both critically and monetarily. With hit singles such as "The Last Sunrise", "Die Romantic" and "Knife Blood Nightmare", Aiden was officially on the map. Aiden is a band that seems to be working non-stop, whether that be releasing music or touring. From 2004 till 2011, the band dropped 6 studio full length albums, 1 live album and a few EP's. Your talking new music from a band literally every year! The band also toured relentlessly, whether supporting other acts, headlining their own tours, or joining some festivals, most notably the Taste Of Chaos tour, Bamboozle Festival and the Warped Tour. From 2012 to 2014, Aiden took a short hiatus so frontman Wil Francis could focus on his side project William Control. In 2015, longtime bassist Nick Wiggins decided to leave the band, leaving Francis as the only origninal member of the band left. Currently, Francis has decided that Aiden will release one last album which is due out on October 30, 2015. This self titled album will be offered as a free digital download as a thank you to all the Aiden fans out there who stayed loyal to the band over the years. I expect a farewell tour will follow the release of the album before the book is closed on Aiden as a band. Aiden is very much influenced by goth/punk or horror/punk, in fact, The Misfits and The Damned are probably the band's 2 biggest influences. Their musical style is definitely derived from those influences and their lyrical themes are often of dark content, often dealing with pain, sorrow, depression and overall mental distress. I'd say the contemporary band that Aiden most resembles is AFI. I would say Aiden is not nearly as tight or accomplished as AFI however. Where AFI and a band such as My Chemical Romance might be at the head of modern goth/punk, Aiden is definitely lumped in with that crowd. Not a total follower, but not quite at the front of that musical movement either. Say what you want about Aiden, the fact is, they left the masses with a lot of music in a short period of time.
TEN AIDEN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Knife Blood Nightmare
2. Die Romantic
3. We Sleep Forever
4. Scavengers Of The Damned
5. Cry Little Sister
6. I Set My Friends On Fire
7. Walk Among The Dead
8. Broken Bones
9. Crawling Up From Hell
10. One Love
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Song: "Idle Idylist"
Artist: Tim Barry
Album: "Laurel Street Demo 2005"
Place Of Origin: Richmond, Virginia
Years Active: 2004
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"Idle Idylist" appears to be about not succumbing to a certain perception that's ingrained in people from the time they are younger that they have to get the "best" jobs to be able to buy the "best" things for yourself. Sometimes being happy in life doesn't have to be summed up by what material things you have or how good your job is. If your job is starting to strip you of who you are as a person or starting to change who you wanted to be, then maybe that "good" job ain't so good after all. It's really about appreciating the simple things in life and not letting your job or material things define who you are as a person.
TIM BARRY DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2005 - "Laurel Street Demo 2005" (Suburban Home Records)
2006 - "Rivanna Junction" (Suburban Home Records)
2008 - "Manchester" (Suburban Home Records)
2010 - "28th & Stonewall" (Suburban Home Records)
2012 - "40 Miler" (Chunksaah Records)
2014 - "Raising Hell & Living Cheap: Live In Richmond" (Chunksaah Records)
2014 - "Lost & Rootless" (Chunksaah Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF TIM BARRY:
Tim Barry has major cult status in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. It all started for him back in 1990 when he joined Richmond hardcore band Avail, originally as the drummer but soon to take over on vocals. Though the band was king in it's hometown, they didn't quite attain success on a national level, though they were highly respected in hardcore punk circles. While in Avail, Barry and the band released 6 full length albums along with several EP's and live releases up until 2002. Avail hasn't released anything since that year and has only played live dating back to 2007. From 2004 till the present day, Barry has been focusing on his solo career, which is based on rootsy, acoustic style folk music, very much Americana. It's music that is more influenced by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams or Johnny Cash than by his old hardcore punk roots. Barry's lyrical themes often reflect those of the poor man or the drifter, going from town to town, just his guitar on his back, playing songs and singing about his travels. It's about struggle, simplicity and about appreciating what you have no matter how small or insignificant it might be to someone else. I'd say Tim Barry and Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan were kind of the first of the punk rock frontmen who decided to pick up the acoustic guitar and experiment with folk music. Now you find a ton of them taking the same path from The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon, to Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, to No Use For A Name's Tony Sly, to Lagwagon's Joey Cape and several, several more. You can find several of these artists joining together on Chuck Ragan's Revival Tours, which Barry has been a frequent participant in. I'd say of all of those artists, Barry's music has the most outlaw country feel to it. I'd also say that while the other artists' main bands are far superior to their solo material, though I'd put Ragan's solo stuff very close to his Hot Water Music stuff, Tim Barry's solo material, in my opinion, clearly overshadows his work in Avail. I think he found his comfort zone with his solo acoustic material and though he still isn't having major success as an artist, he gets by with his relentless touring and stays active releasing new material every two years or so. Currently, Tim Barry is most likely on the road somewhere supporting his latest release, 2014's "Lost & Rootless". After years of releasing albums through Suburban Home Records, Barry has hooked on with The Bouncing Souls label, Chunksaah Records, and has been with them since 2012. If you are into country music the way it was supposed to be played, like outlaw country along the lines of Johnny Cash or real Americana folk like Woody Guthrie, then Tim Barry should be right up your alley. It's funny how a punk rocker can make rootsy music about struggle and living cheap while the big, mainstream country artists sound more and more like bubblegum pop stars. The battle between what's real and what's fake!! Mr. Barry is a real artist for sure.
TEN TIM BARRY SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Avoiding Catatonic Surrender
2. Thing Of The Past
3. No News From The North
4. Idle Idylist
5. Driver Pull
6. Shed Song
7. This November
8. The James
9. Dog Bumped
10. Lost & Rootless
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Song: "The Blues, Mary"
Artist: Brian Fallon
Place Of Origin: Red Bank, New Jersey
Years Active: 1997-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"The Blues, Mary" is a hauntingly beautiful song. To me, it appears the song is about two people who are from different worlds so to speak. The vocalist was raised in the streets and had to fight and claw and labor and steal to get by in life. It seems it's "Mary" who has sparked something in him so profound that he dreams of learning to love and to compromise and to be compassionate. It's possible he doesn't think the relationship could work with his "over the rainbow" reference. It seems that he thinks that's just a dream, but he holds on to that dream tight because deep down, i think he wants to change for her because she makes him feel something that he's never felt. This song is unreleased as of now, but may show up on a soon to be released Brian Fallon solo album.
BRIAN FALLON DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
*with No Release:
1997 - "The Coffeehouse Sessions" (Mean Little Man Productions)
*with Surrogate McKenzie:
1998 - "Surrogate McKenzie (?)
1998 - "Songs To Grow Up To (?)
2000 - "The Six Degrees Of Separation (?)
*with Amping Copper:
2000 - "Amping Copper"
*with Brian Fallon/Cincinnati Rail Tie:
2004 - "The American Music EP" (?)
*with This Charming Man:
2005 - "Every Little Secret" (?)
*with The Gaslight Anthem:
2007 - "Sink Or Swim" (XOXO Records)
2008 - "The '59 Sound" (SideOneDummy Records)
2010 - "American Slang" (SideOneDummy Records)
2012 - "Handwritten" (Mercury Records)
2014 - "Get Hurt" (Island Records)
*with The Horrible Crowes:
2011 - "Elsie" (SideOneDummy Records)
*with Molly And The Zombies:
5 songs released and available online.
CURRENT STATUS OF BRIAN FALLON:
Brian Fallon is a talented singer and songwriter that is best known for being the frontman and rhythm guitarist for the New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem. From 1997 to 2005, Fallon toiled around with several different bands and projects, trying to settle on something that suited his style and where he wanted to go musically. When he formed the band This Charming Man, this was really the spark that led to finding his sound. Out of the ashes of that band came The Gaslight Anthem. Though they got lumped in with punk rock, I don't necessarily see The Gaslight Anthem as a punk rock band. Fallon does have some punk rock influences no doubt from New Jersey's own The Bouncing Souls to Hot Water Music and band's like Brand New as well. He is also heavily influenced by artists such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones. So if you mesh all those artists together, you might churn out something that resembles Gaslight's sound. Fallon is adept at writing anything from anthem rockers, haunting ballads and blues driven tracks. For what seems to be a pretty upbeat guy when interviewed or when interacting with audiences, Fallon can write some pretty dark music. His most personal recordings were probably done with his side project band The Horrible Crowes. Fallon is also a fan of Americana music, like Dylan or Johnny Cash. He formed a short lived project called Molly And The Zombies which released 5 songs online that showed off his root-sy side. Currently, as of September of 2015, Fallon has confirmed that he is working on a solo album, no news yet as to when it will be released. As for The Gaslight Anthem, the band is currently on a hiatus. Being that the band is really Fallon's main vehichle for his music, I don't think that they will break up, perhaps they just needed a break from each other to recharge the batteries and work on other projects. Brian Fallon is probably most associated with Bruce Springsteen when it comes to his music. Probably because of his scratchy, passionate vocals, storytelling lyrics and the fact that he's a Jersey boy! I can see why The Boss can see a little of his younger self in Fallon and the two have become friends and even performed with each other at each of their band's shows. Hopefully, Mr. Fallon keeps on cranking out the tunes, no matter what project he decides to do it for because he has a voice and a passion for what he does that shines through with each recording and performance.
TEN BRIAN FALLON SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. The '59 Sound (The Gaslight Anthem)
2. Bring It On (The Gaslight Anthem)
3. Here Comes My Man (The Gaslight Anthem)
4. Great Expectations (The Gaslight Anthem)
5. Behold The Hurrican (The Horrible Crowes)
6. American Slang (The Gaslight Anthem)
7. Tumblin' Dice (The Rolling Stones cover) (The Gaslight Anthem)
8. The Blues, Mary
9. Mae (The Gaslight Anthem)
10. 45 (The Gaslight Anthem)