Sunday, December 27, 2015
Song: "Bike Thief"
Artist: Red City Radio
Album: "Midwestern Hymnals" Split EP w/ Streets Of Thieves
Place Of Origin: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Years Active: 2007-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
I can't find the actual lyrics to "Bike Thief" anywhere on the net, so after careful listening, I think the song is about a broken relationship where the girl has perhaps moved on to something, or someone new and the vocalist isn't quite convinced that she made the right choice. I could be totally wrong about that as it's hard to make out some of the words in the song.
RED CITY RADIO DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2011 - "The Dangers Of Standing Still" (Paper + Plastick Records)
2013 - "Titles" (Paper + Plastick Records)
2015 - "Red City Radio" (Gunner Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF RED CITY RADIO:
Red City Radio formed as a band back in 2007, hailing from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The recording that thrust the band on to the punk rock scene was their 2009 EP "To The Sons & Daughters Of Woody Guthrie". It was upon hearing this EP that the band forged a relationship with Paper + Plastick Records which released the band's debut full length album, "The Dangers Of Standing Still" and their second release, 2013's "Titles". The band would move on to Gunner Records for the release of their latest album, 2015's "Red City Radio". Original guitarist and part time vocalist Paul Pendley left the band before the recording of their self-titled album and was replaced on guitar by Ryan Donovan. Garrett Dale will handle all lead vocals from here on in for Red City Radio. Most recently, the band completed a summer tour of Europe in support of their "Red City Radio" album. Red City Radio offers a brand of melodic punk rock with gritty vocals much like some of their contemporaries Dear Landlord, The Flatliners, Off With Their Heads, Polar Bear Club and Banner Pilot. I would say all of those bands, including Red City Radio, are very much influenced by Hot Water Music. There has been a real influx into punk rock of these types of bands. They are really a breath of fresh air as far as i'm concerned. They aren't so melodic where they are pop punk. They just sit in between of pop/punk and melodic hardcore. Whatever genre you want to call it, it's really good music and Red City Radio is one of the best and brightest at what they do.
TEN RED CITY RADIO SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. We Are The Sons Of Woody Guthrie
2. Two Notes Shy Of An Octave
3. Spinning In Circles Is A Gateway Drug
4. Rest Easy
5. Never Bring A Cup Of Water To A Gunfight
6. Two Out Of Three Ain't Rad
7. A Version Of Events
8. Help Save The Youth Of America From Exploding (Less Than Jake cover)
9. Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads
10. Show Me The Doll Where The Music Touched You
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Song: "Song About A Song"
Artist: The Gamits
Album: "Come Get Some" EP
Place Of Origin: Denver, Colorado
Years Active: 1996-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"Song About A Song" is kind of a tongue-in-cheek song that appears to be about, well, a song! It sounds as if the vocalist is having an argument with somebody else as to how the song should sound, how fast it should be, and what it should be about. In the end, the vocalist is sorry the song is not what the other person wants it to be, but it is what it is. A song about a song!!
THE GAMITS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2000 - "Endorsed By You" (Not Bad Records)
2004 - "Antidote" (Suburban Home Records)
2010 - "Parts" (Paper + Plastick Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF THE GAMITS:
The Gamits formed back in 1996, very much the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Chris Fogal. After performing mostly in the local Denver area, the band released it's first music in 1996 and 1998 respectively with their 2 EP's, "Come Get Some" and "This Is My Broomstick". Their first full length release was 2000's "Endorsed By You". Soon after that the band was signed to Suburban Home Records for their 2004 album "Antidote". After touring to support that album, Fogal decided to take a break from The Gamits in 2005. In 2006, the band released a box set called "Golden Sometimes" which featured all their releases up to that point, including rarities and a live show. In 2009, Fogal decided to revive The Gamits and in 2010, the band released their last full length album, "Parts". Currently, there hasn't been too much news surrounding The Gamits. In 2013, they did a tour of Europe and also released the song "The KGB Are Still Looking For Me" through their Bandcamp site. Other than that, there hasn't been a whole lot of activity involving the band. The Gamits are a pop punk band, influenced by a band like Jawbreaker, but not as gritty and raw, and sounding similar to a band like The Ataris, but not quite as poppy as them. They sound similar to a band like The Lawrence Arms. They never really had major success as a band, though they do call themselves "America's best hidden pop/punk secret"! As I've said before, some bands lead the pack in terms of songwriting and origninality and so forth, while others follow. The Gamits are more in the category of followers. There isn't much that stands out about them. I'm not saying they aren't a good band. I personally think they are. They just don't stand out.
TEN THE GAMITS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Falling Apart
2. Your Love (Outfield cover)
3. Last Of The Mullets
4. Dotted Lines
5. How To Escape
6. No One Cares So Why Should I
7. Take It On The Run (REO Speedwagon cover)
8. The KGB Are Still Looking For Me
9. Take A Chance On Me
10. Somebody's Baby (Jackson Browne cover)
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Song: "My Lion Heart"
Artist: I Am The Avalanche
Place Of Origin: Brooklyn, New York
Years Active: 2004-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"My Lion Heart" appears to be a song about breaking out of the darkness of what your life was and learning to enjoy every moment life has to offer. Once the vocalist got that little spark that changed his outlook on life, he embraced every moment of every day from there on. He realized that before he wasted so much time, so much of his life on negative vibes. Now, he cherishes each new day and has a much more positive outlook.
I AM THE AVALANCHE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2005 - "I Am The Avalanche" (Drive-Thru Records)
2011 - "Avalanche United" (I Surrender Records)
2014 - "Wolverines" (I Surrender Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF I AM THE AVALANCHE:
I Am The Avalanche formed as a band back in 2004, hailing from Brooklyn, New York. Songwriter, vocalist and founder, Vinnie Caruana was already a staple in the New York punk scene as the vocalist for the band The Movielife. After that band disbanded, Caruana created I Am The Avalanche as his new project. The band's debut was in 2005, a self titled release. For whatever reason, the band did not release another album till 2011, 6 long years between their debut and their sophmore effort. Perhaps the wait was worth it as "Avalanche United" was critically acclaimed and it reached #9 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Their last album, 2014's "Wolverines", was a labor of love according to Caruana. A really solid album that reached #108 on the Billboard 200 charts. The band also released 2 split EP's, one with Bayside and the other with The Early November. The band has been featured on several festival tours, including the Warped Tour, Bamboozle Fest and Australia's Soundwave Festival and they have shared the stage alongside punk contemporaries such as Bayside, The Sleeping, No Use For A Name, Senses Fail, Bouncing Souls, The Loved Ones and Brand New. Currently, I Am The Avalanche most recently toured with Saves The Day in support of "Wolverines". Caruana has also played some reunion shows with The Movielife in 2015 as well. I Am The Avalanche seems to take their time between releases so it's unknown to what the future holds right now. The reunion shows with The Movielife could mean that Caruana has some intentions of working with that band again on new material, though that is not confirmed. I Am The Avalanche has it's similarities to The Movielife. Kind of a melodic/hardcore sound with the scratchy vocals of Caruana at the forefront. While The Movielife has the cult status, I think I Am The Avalanche is the more evolved band, especially their last 2 albums. Those 2 albums are some of the best punk rock that has come out in some time. Here's hoping that new material comes out sooner rather than later for I Am The Avalanche, but with their track record between albums, I'm not expecting something new till probably 2017 or 2018.
TEN I AM THE AVALANCHE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Green Eyes
2. New Disaster
3. Brooklyn Dodgers
4. The Shape I'm In
5. Holy Fuck
6. Two Runaways
7. I Took A Beating
8. Conan O'Brien
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Song: "Interstate Love Song" (acoustic)
Artist: Stone Temple Pilots
Album: Taken from VH1 Storytellers
Normally my song of the week comes with a small description of what I think the song is about, the artist's releases and a little bit of the band's history and possibly what's in store for the future. But every now and then, one of these artist's passes on. So, in that case, i'd like to offer a little bit about what Scott Weiland meant to me. When I was about 16, the first band that really hit home with me was Pearl Jam, which to this day is still my favorite band. When Stone Temple Pilots debut album "Core" came out in 1992, I can admit, I was guilty of calling the band a bit of a rip off. Weiland's growl was eerily similar to that of Eddie Vedder and Weiland was also making his best Vedder facial impressions in their video for the song "Plush". Deep down however, I had to be real with myself. "Plush" was a fuckin' great song!! 1994's "Purple" was the game changer with me. To me, this was the album where STP found their sound and style. Weiland himself has said that the band was trying to latch on to the grunge movement with "Core". He identified more with glam rock and even pop punk. He was more L.A. than Seattle. He found his voice on "Purple". And it was not that deep "Vedder" like growl. He was our generation's Bowie. Glammy, yet he explored several different musical avenues with his music. He could be psychedelic, he could be grunge, he could be mainstream arena rock, he could be trashy and he could be soft. His lyrics were often deep, routed in failed relationships and losing battles with addiction. In my mind, Stone Temple Pilots was Weiland's mark. Yes, he did release 2 very good albums with the all star group Velvet Revolver which featured ex- Guns'n'Roses members Slash and Duff McKagan. And he also released very eclectic solo albums. It was STP that made Weiland the star he was. He was an enigmatic frontman. He controlled both the stage and the crowd with his slanky like movements and powerful voice. Years ago, I paid tribute on this site to Tony Sly, frontman of punk band No Use For A Name, and in that tribute I mentioned that there's something to be said for bands and songs that you grew up on. I began following STP at 18 years old. Still trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life and which direction I wanted to go and to be honest, like so many kids, I had no idea. But whatever I did, I was always provided a great soundtrack through it all, and Scott Weiland and Stone Temple Pilots was heavily featured in that soundtrack. Just think back to how trully great their songs were. "Plush", "Interstate Love Song", "Dead And Bloated", "Unglued", "Big Empty", "Wicked Garden", "Trippin' On A Hole..", "Big Bang Baby", "Days Of The Week", "Between The Lines", "Down", "Sour Girl" and so on and so on. There's just so many great tunes by this band. If you can do drugs recreationally, God bless you. When they begin to control your everyday life, they begin to destroy you. Scott had his demons and his constant struggles with drugs and like Layne Staley and even Kurt Cobain, they destroyed him. And that is the tragedy, because he had more songs in him. Songs that would impact people in ways that maybe he himself could not imagine. I only know the man from his music. So my only tribute to him is to still play his music and feel the enjoyment of listening to it. The music world lost another great talent. And while his songs remind me of my youth, his passing acknowledges i'm getting old.