Sunday, October 30, 2016
Song: "The Salesman"
Artist: Sic Waiting
Place Of Origin: Oceanside, California
Years Active: 2000-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
In an interview with Sic Waiting vocalist Jared Stinson, he commented that "The Salesman" is a song based on the music industry. It's about those who hang around long after their welcome has gone and how everything in music seems to be manufactured. If you happen to be that "flavor of the month", then the industry will push you to the masses but even then, nothing is quite as it seems. Most are torn down as quick as they were built up. Very few achieve sustained longevity.
SIC WAITING DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2005 - Your Name In Lights (CD Baby Records)
2010 - Anchors Astray (self-released)
2015 - Derailer (Felony Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF SIC WAITING:
Sic Waiting got it's start back in 2000, hailing from southern California. Very much influenced by the heyday of Fat Wreck and Epitaph skate punk bands of the 90's, Sic Waiting's released their debut full length album in 2005 called "Your Name In Lights". Taking their cue from a band like Social Distortion, Sic Waiting seems to wait 5 years between their releases. It wouldn't be till 2010 that the band self-released their sophmore effort, "Anchors Astray". They did manage to squeeze an EP between full lengths when they dropped "Vices" in 2012. Their latest full length album was 2015's "Derailer". Most recently, the band has been doing tours of the west coast, first with 88 Fingers Louie, then later on with Pour Habit. As I said earlier, Sic Waiting is very much a product of the 90's skate punk bands, mostly on Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph Records. Those bands were right in my wheelhouse when I was growing up so when I hear a band like Sic Waiting, they immediately spark my interest. As for their sound, they are very similar to bands like Face To Face, Ignite, Rise Against, No Use For A Name and Bad Religion, though not as heavy as Ignite, more on the melodic side like No Use, but Stinson's voice is similar to Zoli Teglas from Ignite. Sic Waiting is an awesome band. My only complaint is the lack of albums. I mean, they have been a band for 16 years and only 3 albums?!! Some of this is due to Jared Stinson focusing on his solo stuff as well. He often tours solo doing acoustic sets or with his side project, Dead Frets. "Derailer" is such a great album that hopefully, Sic Waiting drops some new material a little sooner than 5 years!!
TEN SIC WAITING SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Active Alumni
2. The Salesman
3. Okay, I Lied
5. This Town Is Burning (And I Couldn't Care Less)
7. Lines In The Road
8. The Price Of A Good Night's Sleep
9. Question Of The Season
10. In Compatible Love
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Song: "Matt Gallante's Got It Right"
Album: "None Of These Songs Are About Girls" EP
Place Of Origin: Huntington Station, New York
Years Active: 2000-2007
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
I'm going by the ear test because I couldn't find the lyrics to "Matt Gallante's Got It Right" anywhere on the net. From what I can hear, it seems this song is about living life the way you want to live it without adhering to outside factors that may try to sway you or direct you into which path you should take. Happiness is acheived by doing what you love to do, not by how successful you are. Though their may be people out there who think they know what's best for you and try to steer you in the direction that they want you to go, sometimes you just have to make your own path and follow your own dreams.
LATTERMAN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2006 - Turn Up The Punk, We'll Be Singing (Deep Elm Records)
2006 - No Matter Where We Go...! (Deep Elm Records)
2007 - ... We Are Still Alive (Deep Elm Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF LATTERMAN:
Latterman got it's start back in 2000 in the Long Island area of New York. The band self released the EP, "None Of These Songs Are About Girls" in that same year. 2006 was a busy year for the band as they released two full length albums through Deep Elm Records, "Turn Up The Punk, We'll Be Singing" and "No Matter Where We Go...!". In 2007, the band released what would be their last full length album, "... We Are Still Alive". Citing difficulties with their record label and other conflicts that come with keeping a band together, Latterman decided to pack it in in 2007. In 2011, however, the band did self release a single called "Our Better Halves" which is available for download on their Bandcamp page. They also reunited for a few select shows, including a four date tour of the U.K. in 2012. I'm not sure this will lead to anything in the future for Latterman as most of the band members are active in other projects, most notably Iron Chic, RVIVR and Daytrader. Latterman is a band that features the dual vocal attack of Phil Douglas and Mattie Canino, kinda in the same vein as a Four Year Strong or Hot Water Music. I would say if you are a fan of bands such as Banner Pilot, The Lawrence Arms, Dear Landlord, Dillinger Four or Red City Radio, they you would probably enjoy Latterman as well. At times they can be political and they definitely wear their social concerns and ideals on their sleeve when it comes to content and lyrics. I consider them to be a good band but not great. Perhaps that's part of the reason they lost steam and couldn't hold it together for too long.
TEN LATTERMAN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. There's Never Not A Reason To Party
2. Fear And Loathing On Long Island
3. Water Manes At The Block's End
4. Mumbled Words And Ridiculous Faces
5. If Batman Was Real, He Would've Beaten The Crap Out Of My Friends
6. Too Many Emo Days
7. Doom! Doom! Doom!
8. My Dreams About Not Sleeping Until 3PM
9. Yo, Get Into It
10. I Decided Not To Do Them
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Song: "Dead Wishes"
Artist: Chris Cornell
Album: "Higher Truth"
Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington
Years Active: 1984-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
Chris Cornell himself has said that "Dead Wishes" is kind of a song for the disenfranchised. By taking a look at the lyrics, I see the vocalist is deep with regret over how his life has turned out. Everyone has hopes and dreams or wishes, if you will, about how things will turn out in their future. As you get older, sometimes you feel like you don't know where all the years went. Time seems to fly by so quickly and now you wonder if those hopes and dreams will ever be fulfilled. I don't see the song as all somber however. It seems Cornell leaves glimmers of hope that he still believes some of those wishes will indeed come true.
CHRIS CORNELL DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
1999 - Euphoria Morning (A&M Records)
2007 - Carry On (Interscope Records)
2008 - Scream (Interscope Records)
2011 - Songbook (UMe Records)
2015 - Higher Truth (UMe Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF CHRIS CORNELL:
Chris Cornell is, of course, most famous for being the lead vocalist/rhythm guitar player of Soundgarden whose roots date back to 1984. At the forefront of a burgeoning Seattle music scene, Cornell was the powerful voice of some mesh of punk rock and heavy metal that morphed it's way into a generic term called "grunge". Soundgarden of course would go on, along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, to blow up the face of hard rock music in the early to mid-90's. By 1996, however, the "grunge" movement was starting to get saturated and internal problems within Soundgarden caused them to disband. This allowed Cornell to explore his musical creativity with the release of his debut solo album, "Euphoria Morning". This album definitely showed a softer side to Cornell but it showed that his powerful voice could handle multiple genres, not just hard rock music. Of course, it wasn't long before he was back in the heavy music fray. When Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack de la Rocha departed his band, Chris Cornell stepped in and Audioslave was born in 2001. The supergroup was an instant headliner and in five years, released three hugely successful albums. Cornell was again being pulled by his own creativity however, and he departed Audioslave in 2006. 2007 saw a continuation of his creative juices with the release of his second solo album, "Carry On". In 2008, things got a little weird. Cornell decided to hook up with R & B producer Timbaland and create a soul album, kind of devoid of real instruments. The album sold well, but to his core fans, was a disaster. Cornell is one of the best hard rock voices ever. Even though his solo albums weren't heavy like his work with Soundgarden or Audioslave, they were still based on real instrumentation, not programmed beats. "Scream" is not looked at fondly by his hardcore fans. Cornell did do a few rock re-makes of a couple of songs on "Scream" and their was rumors out there that he might re-do the whole album using real instruments but as of this date, that has not come to fruition. Thankfully, in 2011, Cornell released a live album called "Songbook". Just Chris and his acoustic guitar and it's complete magic. Spanning his entire career, he played stripped down version of Soundgarden songs, Audioslave songs, Temple Of The Dog songs, his solo songs and some covers. This album is just fantastic, showcasing one of the most powerful voices in rock history! More great news is that by the time "Songbook" was released, Soundgarden had officially got back together and were hitting many festivals. In 2012, Soundgarden released "King Animal", their first album in 16 years! Now it's different, however. Now Soundgarden will take time between touring and albums to give the members time to work on their other projects. Cornell did this in 2015, releasing his most recent album, "Higher Truth". As I've said before, for more than 30 years, Chris Cornell has more than made his mark as one of the greatest voices in rock and roll history. He can be delicate with an almost bluesy feel at one moment, then he can let out a gutteral scream from hell in the next. His work in Soundgarden is legendary. That band is often described as a modern day Led Zeppelin because of their ability to write monster riffs and weave through different styles with ease. His one off, Temple Of The Dog, with members of what would become Pearl Jam, is one of the holy grails of the whole grunge movement. Audioslave proved he could write hard rock anthems that were more accessible to the masses than some of his darker work with Soundgarden. His solo material showed that he has the range to handle any genre, whether that's acoustic, blues, country or soul. And, he's also collaborated with many of the biggest acts in the music world including Alice In Chains, Alice Cooper, Linkin Park, Slash, Carlos Santana, Zac Brown Band and Mad Season. Cornell will always hold a special place for me, along with the other Seattle bands, because it impacted my life at an age when I was really finding out who I was. It's really the soundtrack of my youth and I will always love the Seattle bands because of that.
TEN CHRIS CORNELL SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
2. You Know My Name
4. The Keeper
5. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart
6. When I'm Down
7. Thank You (Led Zeppelin cover)
8. Can't Change Me
9. Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince cover)
10. Cleaning My Gun
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Song: "An Outbreak"
Artist: Paper Arms
Album: "Days Above Ground"
Place Of Origin: Adelaide, Australia
Years Active: 2007-2016
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
To me, "An Outbreak" kinda reminds me of the movie "Fight Club". The vocalist appears to be stuck in the mundane, everyday rut of getting up at the same time, going to work at the same time, coming home and repeating over and over again. Ok, maybe it's like "Groundhog Day" too!! Where I say it's like "Fight Club", is that I feel he needs a drastic change to stir up something in his life to spark something in him. He definitely needs change to light a fire under him.
PAPER ARMS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2010 - Days Above Ground (Poison City Records)
2013 - The Smoke Will Clear (Poison City Records)
2015 - Great Mistakes (Poison City Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF PAPER ARMS:
Paper Arms is an Aussie punk band that got it's start in 2007. Right off the bat, the band forged a great relationship with Poison City Records who released all three of their full length studio albums beginning with 2010's debut, "Days Above Ground". 2013 saw the band release their second full length, "The Smoke Will Clear" as well as a split 7" with the band Nothington. The band's latest album was 2015's "Great Mistakes". There are many punk bands who were influenced by legendary bands of the past. Take your pick, The Ramones, The Clash, Misfits, Black Flag, Bad Religion, The Descendents. All great bands to emulate no doubt. There are a slew of bands, however, that began coming out in the mid to late 2000's that clearly are influenced by Hot Water Music. The gritty vocals, the melodies but not so much in a pop way, but in a meaner, heavier way. Paper Arms is a band that I feel falls into that category. Their contemporaries are bands such as Polar Bear Club, Timeshares, Apologies, I Have None, Above Them and Banquets. Paper Arms was a very solid band. It disgusts me that I used the term "was". Too many good bands just don't seem to make it now-a-days for a multiple of reasons and it sucks, especially when you listen to a band that had so much potential like Paper Arms. Unfortunately, the band announced it was breaking up on it's Facebook page and played it's last official show on February 26, 2016 in it's hometown of Adelaide.
TEN PAPER ARMS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Bricks And Mortar
2. Wrong Again
3. An Outbreak
4. Tanks Of Dust
6. Write Us (Blueline Medic cover)
8. In Silence
9. You Don't Speak For Me
10. These Nights
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Song: "A Synonym For Acquiesce"
Album: "Sirens And Condolences"
Place Of Origin: Long Island, New York
Years Active: 2000-present
WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:
"A Synonym For Acquiesce" appears to be about a break-up so bad that it has left the vocalist depressed and possibly suicidal. He is more comfortable being alone, dealing with his pain and emotional scars than he is amongst friends so his rut is deep. Bayside's Anthony Raneri is a very solid lyricist, something that separates Bayside from their contemporaries and the line "So take this razor, sign your name across my wrists. So everyone will know who left me like this.", pretty much sums up what this song is about and the pain she has left him in.
BAYSIDE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):
2004 - Sirens And Condolences (Victory Records)
2005 - Bayside (Victory Records)
2006 - Acoustic (Victory Records)
2007 - The Walking Wounded (Victory Records)
2008 - Shudder (Victory Records)
2008 - Live @ The Bayside Social Club (Victory Records)
2011 - Killing Time (Wind-Up Records)
2014 - Cult (Hopeless Records)
2016 - Vacancy (Hopeless Records)
CURRENT STATUS OF BAYSIDE:
Bayside formed as a band back in 2000, hailing from Long Island, New York. The band New Found Glory actually took Bayside under their wing in the early days after hearing the band's demo. Bayside's first offering to the masses was their 2001 EP, "Long Stories Short". By 2003, Bayside hooked up with Victory Records, a partnership that lasted 8 years and delivered four studio albums, a live album and an acoustic album. The band's second album, "Bayside", was the release that really began sparking interest in the band that led to success, thanks in part to the hit single "Devotion And Desire". In 2005, tragedy struck the band when the van they used while on tour hit an ice patch and flipped. Though most of the band sustained minor injuries, their drummer, John "Beatz" Holohan was tragically killed in the accident. The band wrote the song "Winter", which is on their "Acoustic" cd, as a tribute to Holohan. 2011 saw the band part ways with Victory Records and they released "Killing Time" through Wind-Up Records. This proved to be a one time deal with Wind-Up as the band's next and current label mate would be Hopeless Records, who released the band's 2014 album "Cult", which is the band's highest charting album, peaking at #24 on the U.S. Billboard charts and their latest record, 2016's "Vacancy". Bayside is parts punk, parts pop and parts melodic rock. What makes them really stand out is Anthony Raneri's vocals and his lyrics. He is a solid writer as I said earlier. His vocal style is somewhat unique as well. His voice and his vocal delivery really don't seem to mimic someone else's style. If you did ask me to compare Bayside's sound, I would say they have similarities with bands such as I Am The Avalanche, Taking Back Sunday, The Menzingers, The Swellers and The Early November. Bayside has been a headlining act for quite some time now and they have also appeared at several festivals such as The Warped Tours, Bamboozle Fests and Riot Fest. The band is planning an upcoming Australian tour in November of 2016 to support their latest release, "Vacancy".
TEN BAYSIDE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:
1. Already Gone
2. Devotion And Desire
7. Pretty Vacant
8. No One Understands
9. Sick Sick Sick
10. Carry On