Saturday, September 16, 2017

Song Of The Week: 9/17/17







Song: "Jumpin' Jack Flash"

Artist: The Rolling Stones

Album: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" single

Year: 1968

Place Of Origin: London, England

Years Active: 1962 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Jumpin' Jack Flash", according to Stones' vocalist Mick Jagger, is about getting away from the acid induced state that the band had been in during their previous album, "Their Satanic Majesties Request". From taking a read of the lyrics, to me it appears to be about rising above an abusive past. Each verse paints a picture of someone that has endured pain and struggle and abuse and starvation, but the chorus gives you a sense that he has made it through it and is better for it and he is alright now. Though "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was recorded during the "Beggars Banquet" sessions, the band decided to release it as a stand alone single. The song is their most played song in concert and one of the band's biggest singles of all time!

THE ROLLING STONES DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1964 - The Rolling Stones (London Records)
1964 - 12 x 5 (London Records)
1965 - The Rolling Stones, Now! (London Records)
1965 - Out Of Our Heads (London Records)
1965 - December's Children (And Everybody's) (London Records)
1966 - Aftermath (London Records)
1967 - Between The Buttons (London Records)
1967 - Their Satanic Majesties Request (London Records)
1968 - Beggars Banquet (London Records)
1969 - Let It Bleed (London Records)
1971 - Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones Records)
1972 - Exile On Main St. (Rolling Stones Records)
1973 - Goats Head Soup (Rolling Stones Records)
1974 - It's Only Rock 'n Roll (Rolling Stones Records)
1976 - Black And Blue (Rolling Stones Records)
1978 - Some Girls (Rolling Stones Records)
1980 - Emotional Rescue (Rolling Stones Records)
1981 - Tattoo You (Rolling Stones Records)
1983 - Undercover (Rolling Stones Records)
1986 - Dirty Work (Rolling Stones Records)
1989 - Steel Wheels (Rolling Stones Records)
1994 - Voodoo Lounge (Virgin Records)
1997 - Bridges To Babylon (Virgin Records)
2005 - A Bigger Bang (Virgin Records)
2016 - Blue And Lonesome (Polydor Records)

The band has also released 23 official live albums which i'm not going to list here.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE ROLLING STONES:

When it comes to rock and roll, one of the most argued items is, who is better? The Beatles or The Stones? The Beatles were often perceived as the guys you wouldn't mind marrying your daughter. They wore suits, were clean and their music was almost, "happy". The Stones, on the other hand, were the guys you didn't want your daughter talking to. They were dirty. They were the wrong side of the tracks. The Beatles were heavily influenced by 50's rock and roll. Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The Stones were influenced by the blues, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon. So, regardless of who you thought was or is better, both of these bands are at the pinnacle of rock and roll music, there's no questioning that. Also like The Beatles, The Stones first couple of albums featured mostly cover songs. Vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards began working harder together to form their own musical compositions. "Heart Of Stone", one of their first originals to become a successful single, gave the duo added confidence that they could write hits. In 1965, the band released another orignal song, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", and the band was set to soar. Along with The Beatles and The Who, The Rolling Stones also rode the wave of the British Explosion and became household names in their own country as well as across the pond here in the States. The Stones went through a bit of a psychedelic phase in 1966 and 1967 for their albums "Aftermath", "Between The Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request", perhaps trying to follow what The Beatles were doing at that time. Luckily, the band decided to strip down and get back to their roots in 1968, starting a four album run in four years that is considered the "golden age" of The Stones' career. "Beggars Banquet", "Let It Bleed", "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main St." is simply The Rolling Stones at their best, blues inspired rock and roll. The late 70's scene was shifting musically, with punk rock and disco but The Stones still remained relevant with their 1978 release, "Some Girls". With a shift to new wave in the 80's, this decade would prove to be the most tumultuous for The Stones. A rift between Jagger and Richards which had been bubbling in the late 70's really came to a head in the 80's. There was thoughts that the band was going to break up it got so bad. The two seemed to make amends by the end of the decade the band went on a record setting tour to support their album "Steel Wheels". By the 90's, the releases were a bit more sporadic. They did release two albums in that decade, 1994's "Voodoo Lounge" and 1997's "Bridges To Babylon". It was the touring that really set the bar for The Stones by this point however. In the mid 80's, The Rolling Stones were almost seen as an act that wore out it's welcome, who's time has passed. In the 90's and 2000's, they now became an act that you must see before you die! In 2016, the band released their latest album, "Blue And Lonesome", which is a blues covers album. With all of the members of the band in their mid 70's, they still do massive stadium tours and they plan on releasing an album of all original music, perhaps next year. The band still boasts original lead singer Mick Jagger, original guitarist Keith Richards and original drummer Charlie Watts. Original guitarist and founder Brian Jones left the band after "Beggars Banquet" and drowned to death in his swimming pool in 1969. He was replaced by Mick Taylor from 1969 till 1974 when he left the band. Ronnie Wood, of The Faces fame, joined the band in 1975 and he's remained with them to the present day. Original bassist Bill Wyman departed the band in 1993. As I said earlier, The Rolling Stones are one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all time. Mick Jagger is the consumate frontman and Keith Richards oozes rock and roll. Every decades top bands were probably influenced by The Stones to the present day. For the band's first three decades together, they were literally almost releasing new music every year! An astonishing feat, especially considering how many hit singles were involved in all those releases. Multi platinum selling albums, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, one of the top touring acts of all time and one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Nuff said!

TEN THE ROLLING STONES SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Sympathy For The Devil
2. Honky Tonk Women
3. Gimme Shelter
4. You Can't Always Get What You Want
5. Brown Sugar
6. Jumpin' Jack Flash
7. Under My Thumb
8. Tumblin' Dice
9. Beast Of Burden
10. Angie

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Song Of The Week: 9/10/17







Song: "Rearviewmirror"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "VS"

Year: 1993

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1990 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Rearviewmirror" appears to be a song about breaking free from an abusive relationship. Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder has said that the song reminds him of driving in a car and getting as far away from a bad situation as possible. It's like putting the past in the rear view. The song is connected to the song "Daughter", which is also on "VS". But, in "Daughter", the victim closes the shades, hiding the abuse that she is enduring. In "Rearviewmirror", the victim raises the shades, sees the light, and escapes her abuser. Simply put, one of the best Pearl Jam songs of all time!!

PEARL JAM DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1991 - Ten (Epic Records)
1993 - VS (Epic Records)
1994 - Vitalogy (Epic Records)
1996 - No Code (Epic Records)
1998 - Yield (Epic Records)
1998 - Live On Two Legs (Epic Records)
2000 - Binaural (Epic Records)
2002 - Riot Act (Epic Records)
2003 - Lost Dogs (Epic Records)
2004 - Live At Benaroya Hall (BMG Records)
2006 - Pearl Jam (J Records)
2009 - Backspacer (Monkeywrench/Universal Music Group)
2011 - Live On Ten Legs (Universal Music Group)
2013 - Lightning Bolt (Monkeywrench Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF PEARL JAM:

Pearl Jam came from the ashes of Mother Love Bone and exploded on the Seattle music scene in 1990. The band's debut album "Ten" is a landmark album which has been certified diamond. What does that mean? It means that album has sold massively worldwide! It also propelled the band to superstardom, almost before they knew what had hit them. At the forefront of the grunge explosion of the early 90's, along with bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, Pearl Jam kept the heat on with their next two releases, 1993's "VS" and 1994's "Vitalogy". The pressures of being that big, that fast began to weigh on the band, especially vocalist Eddie Vedder and the band made a conscious effort to start pulling back the reigns. No more videos and less media obligations. They also did a 180 on their next album, "No Code". This was a much softer, more experimental side of the band and really an effort to change it up musically. Battles with Ticketmaster and going into a shell of sorts began to alienate the band from some of it's fans. The band itself was having some inner struggles and wondering if they were even going to co-exist much longer. Luckily, 1998's "Yield" was a return to form for the band. It also marked a full band collaboration whereas Vedder really took over creative reigns on "Vitalogy" and "No Code". From this album on, every band member would contribute to all future Pearl Jam releases. The early 2000's were a bit of a weird time for the band. "Binaural" and "Riot Act" were both good albums but seemed to be lacking something. The band also began offerering their bootlegs from every show available at this time, beginning with the "Binaural" world tour. Their bootlegs continue to be offered through their website to this day. This period also marked the biggest tragedy that the band was a part of, the 2000 Roskilde tragedy where 9 of their fans were trampled to death during their performance. In 2006, the country was becoming more and more split over the actions of the Bush administration post-9/11. The scene was ripe for a band like Pearl Jam to get their creative juices flowing and write what is perhaps their most political album yet, the self-titled "Pearl Jam", sometimes referred to as "Avocado". This album was a breath of fresh air to me. Urgent and hard hitting, an album with a definitive purpose. 2009's "Backspacer" is probably the band's most positive and fun album. The band's most recent effort was 2013's "Lightning Bolt". This album proved that Pearl Jam is still relevant in an ever-evolving music scene. The band also has plans to release a live album/dvd in the fall of 2017 called "Let's Play Two", which chronicles the band's two performances at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2016. Pearl Jam's sound is a culmination of a slew of influences from The Who, The Ramones, Kiss, Neil Young, Dead Kennedys, Pink Floyd and many, many more! Of the 4 major grunge bands to emerge from the early 90's, Pearl Jam's sound always commanded arena crowds. Their music is powerful. Their lyrics personal and emotional. They have influenced hundreds of rock bands who came after them. They are equally comfortable playing arena anthems ("Alive"), acoustic ballads ("Elderly Woman"), punk influenced hardcore ("Mind Your Manners") and groove laced stompers ("Evenflow"). The band takes more time between albums as they tend to focus more time on their growing families as well as keeping busy with solo and side projects, but they always get back together to tour all over the world and their shows are always epic and must see performances that rival Springsteen and the Grateful Dead. I'd say they are overdue for a new album. Perhaps the band will be inspired by their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 or the current political turmoil in the United States and drop another aggressive album with a purpose!

TEN PEARL JAM SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Alive
2. Release
3. Yellow Ledbetter
4. Corduroy
5. Rearviewmirror
6. Go
7. Given To Fly
8. Not For You
9. In My Tree
10. Light Years



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Song Of The Week: 9/3/17







Song: "I Will Believe"

Artist: Oasis

Album: "Supersonic" CD-single

Year: 1994

Place Of Origin: Manchester, England

Years Active: 1991 - 2009



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"I Will Believe" is a song that appears to be about trying to find yourself. Perhaps the vocalist has someone in his life that is keeping him down as well. Though he is in a rut, you sense his hope that one day he will find his peace of mind and believe he can break free of the things that hold him down. "I Will Believe" was actually recorded live in 1993 and appeared as a b-side on Oasis' 1994 cd-single "Supersonic".

OASIS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1994 - Definitely Maybe (Creation Records)
1995 - (What's The Story) Morning Glory (Creation Records)
1997 - Be Here Now (Creation Records)
1998 - The Masterplan (Creation Records)
2000 - Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants (Big Brother Records)
2000 - Familiar To Millions (Big Brother Records)
2002 - Heathen Chemistry (Big Brother Records)
2005 - Don't Believe The Truth (Big Brother Records)
2008 - Dig Out Your Soul (Big Brother Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF OASIS:

Oasis formed as a band back in 1991 but it wasn't until lead singer, Liam Gallagher's brother Noel saw them play that he saw the band as a vehicle to get his own music out to the masses. When Noel joined the band, he became the defacto leader and songwriter. Fast forward to 1994, while the grunge movement was exploding in the United States, Britain was having their own resurgence in the world of pop/rock music. Oasis, along with Blur, would be at the forefront of this movement when they delivered their debut album, "Definitely Maybe". This album entered the U.K. charts at #1 within a week of it's release, making it the fastest selling debut album at that time in U.K. history. The roller coaster continued with their sophmore effort, 1995's "(What's The Story) Morning Glory". This album featured the band's first #1 single in the U.K., "Some Might Say" and on the heels of monster singles, "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back In Anger", has sold over 22 million units worldwide. Though the band was on top of the world in terms of success, the relationship between the two Gallagher brothers was beginning to disintergrate. The band's next album, "Be Here Now" was initially selling big, but sales died down quickly. As the 2000's began, Oasis began dealing with losing band members and the tension between Liam and Noel seemed to be getting worse. Noel was leaning on his bandmates to collaborate a little more and the albums "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants", "Heathen Chemistry" and "Don't Believe The Truth" reflect that. In fact, "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants" features the first cut penned by Liam Gallagher, "Little James". 2005's "Don't Believe The Truth" was a bit of a comeback record for Oasis. Behind the hit single "Lyla", this album has sold over 7 million units worldwide. Oasis would release one more full length studio effort in 2008, "Dig Out Your Soul". While touring in support of this album, a fight backstage between Liam and Noel would turn out to be the last call for Noel. On August 28, 2009 he announced to the world that he quit Oasis and could no longer work with his brother Liam. Noel has since created his solo band, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds while Liam formed the short-lived band Beady Eye and is currently supporting his very first solo album. Oasis was a great band. Influenced heavily by The Beatles, you also hear some Stone Roses, Rolling Stones, The Jam and The Smiths influences in their sound as well. Noel had a knack for creating simple pop songs that sounded huge while his brother Liam had a nasally snarl and rock and roll star attitude that made him be one of the top frontmen in rock and roll. They say sometimes the hardest thing to do is work with family and this was very much true for Oasis. The tension and fights and arguments between the Gallagher brothers would be too much and eventually led to the downfall of the band. On the outside, the band was still achieving success as a headlining act, but on the inside they were imploding. While the new projects the Gallagher brothers are involved in are great, it's not Oasis. Here's hoping these two can come to some sort of peace with each other and they can resurrect one of the best bands in the business. Right now, however, that seems like a pipe dream for Oasis fans.

TEN OASIS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Live Forever
2. Morning Glory
3. Rock'n'Roll Star
4. Acquiesce
5. Lyla
6. Don't Look Back In Anger
7. Go Let It Out
8. Whatever
9. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
10. All Around The World

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Song Of The Week: 8/27/17







Song: "Junkhead"

Artist: Alice In Chains

Album: "Dirt"

Year: 1992

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1987 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Junkhead" is a song that appears to take you into the mind of a drug addict. It's almost like the beginning phase of drug addiction. At first, the pleasure overshadows the pain. Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley has said himself that the drugs used to work for him, now they are working against him. "Junkhead" is the period when they are working for him. Of course, if you listen to the span of songs on "Dirt" from "Junkhead" to "Dirt" to "Godsmack" to "Hate To Feel" to "Angry Chair", you see the slow deterioration of the man from his addictions. The brutal honesty in Staley's lyrics would actually detail his own downfall from heroin. "Junkhead" is the inital high, the initial rush and it's seen as a beautiful thing. The later songs reveal the pain and hopelessness.

ALICE IN CHAINS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1990 - Facelift (Columbia Records)
1992 - Dirt (Columbia Records)
1995 - Alice In Chains (Columbia Records)
1996 - MTV Unplugged (Columbia Records)
2000 - Live (Columbia Records)
2009 - Black Gives Way To Blue (Virgin/EMI Records)
2013 - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (Capitol Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ALICE IN CHAINS:

Alice In Chains formed as a band back in 1987, the second band out of the "big 4" to come out of Seattle, just after Soundgarden and about the same time as Nirvana and just before Pearl Jam. Early on, they caught the ear of major label Columbia Records who signed the band to a record contract. 1990's "Facelift" was the band's debut and thanks to the song and video "Man In The Box", that album would eventually be certified double platinum. By the time 1992's "Dirt" dropped, the Seattle "grunge" explosion was in full force. "Dirt" fell right in line with Pearl Jam's "Ten", Nirvana's "Nevermind" and Soundgarden's "Badmotorfinger". It would become the band's highest selling album, certified 4X platinum! The singles "Would", "Rooster", "Them Bones" and "Angry Chair" were all over rock radio. In 1994, the band went into the studio bearing acoustic instruments and created the classic EP, "Jar Of Flies". In what Cantrell thought was just kind of a throw away turned out to become the first ever EP to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts. That EP would be certified 3X platinum, spawning the classic songs "I Stay Away", "No Excuses", "Nutshell" and "Don't Follow". While Alice In Chains were on top of the world, addictions started to destroy the band within. Bassist Mike Starr was let go from the band after "Dirt" due to drug problems and replaced by Mike Inez. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney were dealing with drug issues and depression, but no one was sinking deeper than lead singer Layne Staley. Heroin was beginning to take a hold of him. The band released "Alice In Chains" in 1995, their last studio full length album to feature Staley on vocals. On April 10, 1996, the band performed live for the first time in two and a half years for the acoustic MTV Unplugged, which would also be released as an album. The last live performance to feature Layne Staley on vocals would be on July 3, 1996 when the band opened for Kiss. At this point, Staley was in the grips of heroin addiction. When his fiancee Demri Parrott died, any hopes of Staley kicking his habit seemed to go out the window. The band managed to get Layne to contribute vocals to two songs, "Get Born Again" and "Died", in 1998 for a box set called "Music Bank", but that was pretty much the last time that Staley would be heard from publicly. He would become a recluse, basically locking himself in his condo and doing heroin. On April 5, 2002, Layne Staley died of a drug overdose. His body would be found two weeks later. Not disbanded, but already on a pretty long hiatus, it appeared that Alice In Chains would be no more. Staley's voice was so important and seemingly could not be replaced. In 2005, Cantrell, Inez and Kinney reunited with several guest vocalists for a benefit show in Seattle. One of those guest vocalists would be Comes With The Fall frontman William DuVall. DuVall toured with Cantrell on his solo tours and performed several Alice In Chains songs in those gigs. While he couldn't ever totally replace Staley, there was definitely a chemistry with he and Cantrell. Eventually, DuVall would be welcomed into Alice In Chains and in 2009, the band released their first studio album in 14 years, "Black Gives Way To Blue". This album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 charts and marked a successful return for Alice In Chains. Tragedy was never too far away from the band however, and on March 8, 2011, original bassist Mike Starr died of an overdose. The band's latest release would be 2013's "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here". Alice In Chains is one of the most influential rock bands to come out of the 90's. While they are considered to be a grunge band, Alice In Chains had more of a metal feel to their music. Cantrell took pride in keeping metal elements in their music as that was his own major influence, Black Sabbath especially. It was such a huge loss to the music world when Layne Staley passed away. He was a major voice of a generation. The way he and Cantrell harmonized their vocals was so unique in that genre of music. Their sound was dark, brooding and heavy. Their lyrical content was heavy and brutally honest. Alice In Chains is just one of the best hard rock bands of all time. It's just as simple as that and it's great that they are still out there firing on all cylinders with William DuVall. As important as Staley was to this band, you cannot deny what Cantrell means to the band either. While I miss Staley, I'm always ready for new material from Cantrell and the rest of Chains.

TEN ALICE IN CHAINS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Would
2. Nutshell
3. Man In The Box
4. Down In A Hole
5. No Excuses
6. Get Born Again
7. Them Bones
8. Angry Chair
9. Again
10. Check My Brain

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Song Of The Week: 8/20/17







Song: "Heroin Girl"

Artist: Everclear

Album: "Sparkle And Fade"

Year: 1995

Place Of Origin: Portland, Oregon

Years Active: 1991 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Been on a little Everclear kick lately! "Heroin Girl" is a fictional story that was inspired by true events that happened in Everclear lead singer Art Alexakis' life. When he was just 12 years old, his older brother died of a heroin overdose. He also lost a girlfriend, who was also addicted, to suicide. As a recovering addict himself, Alexakis describes the feelings of helplessness and isolation that comes with drug addiction. The character "Eshter" who helps the vocalist score drugs, winds up being found dead of an overdose at the end of the song. The line "I heard the policeman say just another overdose" was based on what a real cop said about Art's brother when his mother had to identify the body, obviously infuriating her.

EVERCLEAR DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - World Of Noise (Tim/Kerr Records)
1995 - Sparkle And Fade (Capitol Records)
1997 - So Much For The Afterglow (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1: Learning How To Smile (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 2: Good Time For A Bad Attitude (Capitol Records)
2003 - Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol Records)
2006 - Welcome To The Drama Club (Eleven Seven Records)
2008 - The Vegas Years (Capitol Records)
2009 - In A Different Light (429 Records)
2011 - Return To Santa Monica (Cleopatra Records)
2011 - Extended Versions (Sony/BMG Records)
2012 - Invisible Stars (eOne Records)
2015 - Black Is The New Black (The End Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF EVERCLEAR:

Just after the grunge explosion of 1991 and 1992, there was another emerging alternative rock scene that was about to take off as well. Portland, Oregon's Everclear was one of the pioneers of this next phase of rock music. While their music was rooted in grunge/punk/garage rock, it would be the second single from their sophomore album, "Sparkle And Fade", that would really put Everclear on the musical map. "Santa Monica" was like the car moving upwards on a roller coaster. The band's next album, 1995's "So Much For The Afterglow" would prove to be that same car stopping at the top of the roller coaster. This would be Everclear's most successful album, going double platinum thanks to hit singles like "Everything To Everyone", "So Much For The Afterglow", "Father Of Mine" and "One Hit Wonder". The band's next album, 2000's "Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1", featured Everclear's highest charting single ever, "Wonderful". Now, however, the roller coaster car begins going down the hill. The band released "Songs From An American Movie Vol 2" just four months after Vol. 1 creating a bit of confusion among music buyers. Perhaps, it was an oversaturation. After the band released "Slow Motion Daydream" in 2003, their longtime relationship with major label Capitol Records ended and bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Greg Eklund decided to part ways with Everclear leaving frontman/guitarist Art Alexakis to ponder the future of the band. After doing a successful solo tour, many thought Alexakis might just go the solo route, but he would re-tool Everclear with new members and release "Welcome To The Drama Club" in 2006. It would be six more years till Everclear would release a proper studio album but in that time, they would put out a covers album, a few re-recorded albums and a live album. The band's most recent release was 2015's "Black Is The New Black". As I said earlier, Everclear was definitely at the forefront of the alternative rock scene in the mid-90's. Art Alexakis' songwriting is very clear, meaning that his lyrics are usually literal and not obscure. You can pretty much know what he is singing about without having to look really deep into the lyrics. While some of the themes may have been as dark as the earlier grunge bands, Everclear had a way of making even those types of songs appear "happier" for lack of a better term. They had a keen sense of creating a pop rock song, while giving it some bite with fuzzy distortion. I always looked at Everclear as kind of the Tom Petty of alternative rock. Simple songs. Catchy songs. While their popularity waned from the mid 2000's to the present day, the band has carried on, releasing music and touring. In fact, they've created their own summer tour called the "Summerland Tour" which features Everclear alongside other 90's alternative acts like Live, Sponge and Fastball. I actually would like to see Montoya and Eklund return to Everclear. I'm just not sure that will ever happen as they didn't leave on the best of terms. Still, Everclear is one of my favorite bands and I was really impressed with their latest album, "Black Is The New Black".

TEN EVERCLEAR SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Heroin Girl
2. So Much For The Afterglow
3. Learning How To Smile
4. The Swing
5. Wonderful
6. Santa Monica
7. American Girl (Tom Petty cover)
8. Blackjack
9. Pocahontas (Neil Young cover)
10. Be Careful What You Ask For

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Song Of The Week: 8/13/17







Song: "Detroit"

Artist: Everclear

Album: "White Trash Hell" EP

Year: 1997

Place Of Origin: Portland, Oregon

Years Active: 1991 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

There doesn't appear to be much to the lyrics of "Detroit". The vocalist is "dreaming of a Michigan girlfriend". In a way it seems he is wishing for something he can't have. Maybe, she is just made up in his own mind and he's just longing for something that's not real. Just a dream girl made up in his mind. "Detroit" was one of seven demos recorded during the "Sparkle And Fade" sessions in 1994 but it didn't see the light of day until 1997 when it was released on the EP "White Trash Hell".

EVERCLEAR DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - World Of Noise (Tim/Kerr Records)
1995 - Sparkle And Fade (Capitol Records)
1997 - So Much For The Afterglow (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1: Learning How To Smile (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 2: Good Time For A Bad Attitude (Capitol Records)
2003 - Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol Records)
2006 - Welcome To The Drama Club (Eleven Seven Records)
2008 - The Vegas Years (Capitol Records)
2009 - In A Different Light (429 Records)
2011 - Return To Santa Monica (Cleopatra Records)
2011 - Extended Versions (Sony/BMG Records)
2012 - Invisible Stars (eOne Records)
2015 - Black Is The New Black (The End Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF EVERCLEAR:

Just after the grunge explosion of 1991 and 1992, there was another emerging alternative rock scene that was about to take off as well. Portland, Oregon's Everclear was one of the pioneers of this next phase of rock music. While their music was rooted in grunge/punk/garage rock, it would be the second single from their sophomore album, "Sparkle And Fade", that would really put Everclear on the musical map. "Santa Monica" was like the car moving upwards on a roller coaster. The band's next album, 1995's "So Much For The Afterglow" would prove to be that same car stopping at the top of the roller coaster. This would be Everclear's most successful album, going double platinum thanks to hit singles like "Everything To Everyone", "So Much For The Afterglow", "Father Of Mine" and "One Hit Wonder". The band's next album, 2000's "Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1", featured Everclear's highest charting single ever, "Wonderful". Now, however, the roller coaster car begins going down the hill. The band released "Songs From An American Movie Vol 2" just four months after Vol. 1 creating a bit of confusion among music buyers. Perhaps, it was an oversaturation. After the band released "Slow Motion Daydream" in 2003, their longtime relationship with major label Capitol Records ended and bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Greg Eklund decided to part ways with Everclear leaving frontman/guitarist Art Alexakis to ponder the future of the band. After doing a successful solo tour, many thought Alexakis might just go the solo route, but he would re-tool Everclear with new members and release "Welcome To The Drama Club" in 2006. It would be six more years till Everclear would release a proper studio album but in that time, they would put out a covers album, a few re-recorded albums and a live album. The band's most recent release was 2015's "Black Is The New Black". As I said earlier, Everclear was definitely at the forefront of the alternative rock scene in the mid-90's. Art Alexakis' songwriting is very clear, meaning that his lyrics are usually literal and not obscure. You can pretty much know what he is singing about without having to look really deep into the lyrics. While some of the themes may have been as dark as the earlier grunge bands, Everclear had a way of making even those types of songs appear "happier" for lack of a better term. They had a keen sense of creating a pop rock song, while giving it some bite with fuzzy distortion. I always looked at Everclear as kind of the Tom Petty of alternative rock. Simple songs. Catchy songs. While their popularity waned from the mid 2000's to the present day, the band has carried on, releasing music and touring. In fact, they've created their own summer tour called the "Summerland Tour" which features Everclear alongside other 90's alternative acts like Live, Sponge and Fastball. I actually would like to see Montoya and Eklund return to Everclear. I'm just not sure that will ever happen as they didn't leave on the best of terms. Still, Everclear is one of my favorite bands and I was really impressed with their latest album, "Black Is The New Black".

TEN EVERCLEAR SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Heroin Girl
2. So Much For The Afterglow
3. Learning How To Smile
4. The Swing
5. Wonderful
6. Santa Monica
7. American Girl (Tom Petty cover)
8. Blackjack
9. Pocahontas (Neil Young cover)
10. Be Careful What You Ask For

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Song Of The Week: 8/6/17







Song: "Black Hole Sun" (acoustic version)

Artist: Soundgarden

Album: Unknown ?

Year: Unknown ?

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1984 - 2017



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Chris Cornell has stated that the lyrics of "Black Hole Sun" were really him just playing with words and piecing them into something that he was happy with. He didn't really have a meaning to them when he wrote the song. But, as I read the lyrics, I get a sense that he was thinking about dishonest people and backstabbing people. Perhaps, he's just so fed up in a world that's filled with snakes and cunning people that he wishes for it to be wiped out! The original version of "Black Hole Sun" appears on Soundgarden's 1994 epic release, "Superunknown". This version is an acoustic version that sounds like it was recorded in a studio but I don't think it is on any of the band's releases. Could very well be just a Chris Cornell solo recording also. Not sure when this version was recorded.

SOUNDGARDEN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1988 - Ultramega OK (SST Records)
1989 - Louder Than Love (A&M Records)
1991 - Badmotorfinger (A&M Records)
1994 - Superunknown (A&M Records)
1996 - Down On The Upside (A&M Records)
2011 - Live On I-5 (A&M Records)
2012 - King Animal (Republic Records)
2014 - Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path (A&M Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF SOUNDGARDEN:

When you think of the very beginnings of "grunge" music, this is one of the bands that should immediately come to mind. Before Alice In Chains, before Nirvana and before Pearl Jam, there was Soundgarden. Formed in 1984, Soundgarden along with the bands Green River, Skin Yard, Malfunkshun, The U-Men and The Melvins laid the foundation of the Seattle sound in the form of the 1986 compilation, "Deep Six". Soundgarden would be one of the first bands to sign with underground Seattle label Sub Pop as well. Not to be outdone, or "outshined" if you will, the boys in Soundgarden would be the first grunge band to sign with a major label as their second full length album, "Louder Than Love", was distributed by A&M Records, which the band would have a career spanning relationship with. Now to the good stuff! 1991. Pearl Jam has "Ten". Nirvana blows up with "Nevermind". Laying in the weeds with "Badmotorfinger" is the mighty Soundgarden!! Though they didn't blow up right away like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, their music could not be denied. They were a part of the legendary Lollapalooza '92 line-up, along with Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ministry and the Seattle sound was God! 1994. Soundgarden releases one of the best albums of all time. I didn't stutter. All time!! "Superunknown" with songs like "Spoonman", "Superunknown", "The Day I Tried To Live", "My Wave" and the biggest single in the band's career, "Black Hole Sun", the band was catapulted to multi-platinum status and Grammy Award winning artists. Their 1996 follow up album, "Down On The Upside" wasn't as criticaly acclaimed as "Superunknown", nor as successful, but even among growning tensions within Soundgarden, this album was a killer album. The tensions proved to be too much for the band however and in 1997, the guys decided to break up. In the next 13 years, all of the band members focused on other projects, most notably, Cornell doing some solo stuff then hooking up with the guys from Rage Against The Machine to form Audioslave. Drummer Matt Cameron joined Pearl Jam as an official member while guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Ben Shepherd also kept busy doing their own thing. Much to the delight of their fans, in 2010, Soundgarden announced they were reuniting and headlining select festivals. 2012 saw the band release their first studio full length album in 16 years, "King Animal". This band still had it's teeth no doubt! In 2014, Soundgarden released "Echo Of Miles", a career spanning, three disc album containing most of the band's b-sides and rare tracks. In 2016, rumors were that the guys had about six songs pretty much complete and were working on more in hopes of having a new album out possibly in late 2017 or early 2018. Fast forward to May 18, 2017. After performing a show in Detroit, Michigan with Soundgarden, lead singer Chris Cornell retreated to his hotel room where he committed suicide by hanging. Though Cornell had fought with addiction and depression in his life, he seemed like he was in a really good place. He loved his family. He loved making music. He had so much talent and so much more to give. It's still a bit unreal to know that he is gone. He's one of the most powerful lead singers of any genre, period. He was that good. From his lyrics, you could tell their was a lot of dark in there. Maybe so much that he couldn't get it all out. Soundgarden will go down as one of the most influential and one of the all around best bands of all time. I believe that the early 90's Seattle sound is the last rock music to come out that felt like it changed the world. I'm pretty sure that Soundgarden will no longer exist as a band. Cornell meant way too much to just throw another lead singer in there. Plus, who could they find to replace him? No one has that guy's pipes. Maybe they do something like Nirvana did at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and get some singers to perform with them one last time cuz this band will definitely get in, in fact, they should already be in. I'm hoping the band has a few new songs in the can that surface at some point because we all need more Cornell!!

TEN SOUNDGARDEN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Outshined
2. Fell On Black Days
3. Rusty Cage
4. Pretty Noose
5. Black Hole Sun
6. Slaves And Bulldozers
7. Burden In My Hand
8. By Crooked Steps
9. Bleed Together
10. Birth Ritual

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/30/17







Song: "Waiting For The Sun"

Artist: The Doors

Album: "Morrison Hotel"

Year: 1970

Place Of Origin: Los Angeles, California

Years Active: 1965 - 1973



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Back in 1968 when "Waiting For The Sun" was written, there was a strong sense of unity and peace and togetherness among many of the youths of America. The description of the sunrise at the shore and the communal feel of those who race to the sea to witness it gives you a strong sense of freedom intertwined with the beauty of nature. Like it's signifying a new day, literally and figuratively. Jim Morrison always thought that the youth could take over, just in a pure numbers standpoint. Listen to "Five To One" and you'll get what I'm saying. "Waiting For The Sun" seems like a theme for the youth and their unity in America at that time.

THE DOORS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1967 - The Doors (Elektra Records)
1967 - Strange Days (Elektra Records)
1968 - Waiting For The Sun (Elektra Records)
1969 - The Soft Parade (Elektra Records)
1970 - Morrison Hotel (Elektra Records)
1970 - Absolutely Live (Elektra Records)
1971 - L.A. Woman (Elektra Records)
1971 - Other Voices (Elektra Records)
1972 - Full Circle (Elektra Records)
1978 - An American Prayer (Elektra Records)
1983 - Alive, She Cried (Elektra Records)
1987 - Live At The Hollywood Bowl (Elektra Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF THE DOORS:

The origins of The Doors begins when a young Jim Morrison sang the song "Moonlight Drive" that he had written to keyboardist Ray Manzarek in 1965. Soon enough, the band was rounded out by Robby Krieger on guitars and John Densmore on drums and the legend began. Honing their sound, The Doors became the house band at the famous Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles and eventually were signed by Elektra Records, a relationship that spanned the band's entire career. The band's self-titled debut album in 1967 has gone 4X platinum in the United States alone, spawning perhaps the band's biggest hit, "Light My Fire". In fact, every album The Doors released with Jim Morrison on vocals has gone on to achieve at least platinum status, making them one of the most successful rock and roll bands of all time. Jim Morrison's legend as a fiery and charismatic front man soared to an all new level after the New Haven, Connecticut incident in 1967. Morrison was making out with a girl backstage and both were maced by cops after they were told to leave and refused. The cops, non knowing Morrison was the lead singer of The Doors, faced a verbal lashing by Morrison when the band took the stage. Infuriated, the cops arrested Morrison during the band's performance! Over the next few years, Morrison and The Doors would endure their share of incidents with the local police in various cities. By the time the band's third album was released, Morrison's drug and alcohol problems were starting to affect the band. Though the addictions were making Morrison less reliable, it did not stop the band from churning out hit after hit, "Hello, I Love You", "Touch Me", "Roadhouse Blues", "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm", just to name a few. By 1970, the road was becoming too much for Morrison and the band decided that touring was probably a thing of the past. The group, with Morrison, performed their last live show on December 12, 1970 in New Orleans. The band was clearly firing on all cylinders in the studio however, as the 1971 release "L.A. Woman" can attest to. Shortly after the release of "L.A. Woman", Morrison retreated to Paris with his girlfriend for a much needed hiatus from the band. Tragedy struck on July 3, 1971 however, when his girlfriend found him unresponsive in the bathtub of their apartment. At the young age of 27, the hopes and dreams of a surging band and their captivating frontman were dashed with Morrison's death. The three remaining members of The Doors did release two more albums as The Doors but there was no way the could sustain being a band without someone as huge as Jim Morrison. In 1973, the remaining members of The Doors announced the band was over. Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore did get together to put backing music to Morrison's poetry in a 1978 album called "An American Prayer". They also got together to perform "Light My Fire", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Break On Through" with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam during The Doors' 1993 induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The band also got together with various singers including Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Creed's Scott Stapp for a recording of VH1's Storytellers in 2000. Manzarek died in 2013 leaving Krieger and Densmore as the only two surviving members of The Doors left. The Doors' legacy is unmistaken. They merged psychedelic rock with the blues to become one of the biggest bands of all time. In less than 10 years, the band released six albums that would go on to achieve platinum and multi-platinum status! Jim Morrison is bascially the poster child of what a rock and roll front man should be. Mysterious, sexual and dangerous, front men have been basically biting his style for years after his death and i'm sure will continue to in the years to come. The Doors are truly one of a kind and their music is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago!

TEN THE DOORS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Roadhouse Blues
2. Love Me Two Times
3. Break On Through
4. Light My Fire
5. L.A. Woman
6. Five To One
7. The End
8. Waiting For The Sun
9. The Crystal Ship
10. Love Her Madly

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/23/17







Song: "This One Calls For A Better Title"

Artist: Never Hit Again

Album: "Slow Motion Impact"

Year: 2009

Place Of Origin: Quebec, Canada

Years Active: 2004 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"This One Calls For A Better Title" appears to be about regret. Regrets that you were too prideful to own up to your mistakes. Regrets that you thought only about what was right for you without caring about the feelings of those who were close to you. And, regrets that it is too late for saying sorry to those people. Those who were closest have cut their ties with the vocalist. All he has left is to wish that something, anything, can make his wrongs right.

NEVER HIT AGAIN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2006 - It's Not An Option, It's Just A Wise Choice (self-released)
2009 - Slow Motion Impact (The Albinos Records)
2011 - Sinkers (self-released)

CURRENT STATUS OF NEVER HIT AGAIN:

Never Hit Again's origins date back to 2004. This Canadian band is all about the DIY ethic, self-releasing their debut album in 2006, "It's Not An Option, It's Just A Wise Choice". A few short years later, the band hooked on with label The Albinos for the release of their second album, "Slow Motion Impact", in 2009. For their last full length studio album, Never Hit Again decided to handle the release themselves again, putting out "Sinkers" in 2011. Most recently, Never Hit Again released the EP "Basement Blues" which can be found on their Bandcamp page. Never Hit Again's style is that of a melodic hardcore band. If you are a fan of bands such as Propagandhi, A Wilhelm Scream, Strung Out, DC Fallout and This Is A Standoff, then you would most likely enjoy Never Hit Again. I've said it before in some of my posts, but with bands of certain genres there are those who are the leaders, such as Propagandhi, and then there are those who are followers. I would put Never Hit Again in the follower pack. Good band. Solid band. Just nothing that stands out from the crowd.

TEN NEVER HIT AGAIN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. What I Do
2. Go!
3. Punk Rock Song In E Minor (Fuck You)
4. This Song
5. Superhero
6. Leaves Are Falling Again
7. Alone In A Hallway With Only A Shirt On
8. Don't Believe What This Idiot Says
9. Wine
10. The Headlights & The Hourglass

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/16/17







Song: "Without Me"

Artist: PMX

Album: "Dark Days" EP

Year: 2015

Place Of Origin: Perth, Scotland

Years Active: 1997 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Without Me" appears to be yet another song of a broken relationship. The vocalist has been left by the one he loves. All of his forgiveness doesn't change anything. She took her heart home while shattering his when she left him behind. The sense is the vocalist has been left in a depressed state, clearly not taking the separation well.

PMX DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2004 - Rise And Shine (Milk & Cookies Records)
2013 - The Ballad Of Tony Montana (Bells On Records)
2017 - Unreleased (self-released)

CURRENT STATUS OF PMX:

PMX is a Scottish punk band that had it's origins in 1997. However, it wasn't until 2004 that the band released it's debut album, "Rise And Shine". Generating some buzz in the U.K., PMX landed several opening slots on the European tours of bands such as Anti-Flag, Taking Back Sunday and Propagandhi. Surprisingly, it took the band nearly 10 years to release it's follow up album, 2013's "The Ballad Of Tony Montana". This album is actually just one 25 minute song called "The Ballad Of Tony Montana" and it is bascially the story of the legendary character in the movie "Scarface". In 2015, the band dropped the "Dark Days" EP and most recently self-released a digital album of rare tracks on their Bandcamp page called "Unreleased". As of May of 2016, the band has said that they were in the process of making what will be their third full length studio album. PMX is a melodic punk band that at times seems torn between shifting more towards pop punk, while other times they veer more towards a melodic hardcore style. I'd say if you're a fan of bands like Never Hit Again, Slick Shoes, Down By Fire, Laughing In The Face Of or The Artist Life, then you may enjoy PMX's music. I see them as a good band, not spectacular. It seems in the recent years they have been much more active than earlier on in their career. My jury is still out on them. I'm hoping that their new album will win me over completely but until then, I'll call them a good band but not a great one.

TEN PMX SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Adolesence
2. Oceans
3. Eulogy
4. Pull The Trigger
5. Like Or Share
6. The Ballad Of Tony Montana
7. Enter The Pigeon
8. PMX TV
9. The Epic
10. Dark Days

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/9/17







Song: "I'm Broken" (demo)

Artist: Mark Lind

Album: "Demos"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Charlestown, Massachusetts

Years Active: 1995 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"I'm Broken" appears to be a song about the fear of being alone. By that I mean not having someone to live your life with. The vocalist clearly wants someone to be there for him throughout his life, even till his dying day. Just the thought that he could be alone at the end weighs on him. Definitely another "relationship that didn't work out" type of song with the vocalist left "broken" to ponder the mistakes that he's made. This song would eventually see the light of day on The Ducky Boys' 2011 album, "Chasing The Ghost".

MARK LIND DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2007 - Compulsive Fuck Up (State Line Records)
2009 - Homeward Bound (State Line Records)
2013 - Demos (State Line Records)
2016 - Death Or Jail (State Line Records)
2016 - The Truth Can Be Brutal (State Line Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF MARK LIND:

Back in 1995, Mark Lind and his cousin Jason Messina formed The Ducky Boys. Newcomers to the Boston punk rock scene, their sound caught the ear of Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys who took the young band under his wing. The band endured some turmoil and disbanded in 1999. Lind would then work with his brother Rob, who played in the band Blood For Blood, and formed Sinners And Saints. This band took a slightly different sound compared to the straight street punk of The Ducky Boys. It was much more mainstream. In 2003, Lind and Messina would form a Ducky Boys-like band called Dirty Water which would be a short-lived project as The Ducky Boys would reform that same year. By 2005, Lind decided to work on some extra Ducky Boys tracks and release them as a solo project. Lind would go on to have 5 total releases as a solo performer, two of which featured a backing band that he put together called the Unloved. Those two albums are 2009's "Homeward Bound" and 2008's "The Truth Can Be Brutal". While Lind did have a deal with Sailor Grave Records for some of his releases, he eventually would release all of his albums on his own label, State Line Records. Most recently, Lind is the lead vocalist for yet another Boston punk rock band called The Warning Shots. Their most recent release was 2017's "Tonight". Mark Lind has been a constant in the Boston punk scene. The Ducky Boys are his calling card but that's not to diminish his other bands or his solo material. Lind is like several other punk rock frontmen who have done solo acoustic stuff on the side. Chuck Ragan, Dave Hause, Tony Sly, Tim Barry, Joey Cape to name a few. If you are into Boston punk bands like Street Dogs, Dropkick Murphys, Far From Finished and OC45, then you would most likely enjoy Mark's music and all the bands he's been in. I find that Mark's solo material, and even some Ducky's stuff has kind of a Social Distortion vibe to it. While being punk, it definitely has some Stones-y blues elements to some songs. While I love Mark's solo stuff, The Ducky Boys is what hooked me on his music. I'm also very happy with his new band, The Warning Shots. Great stuff!!

TEN MARK LIND SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Coke & Jack
2. Wasted Years
3. Everything Falls Apart
4. New Year's Day
5. Better Days
6. Wolves
7. Cold Hearted (Son Of A Bitch)
8. Be Your Man
9. An Open Letter To Boston
10. Whatever Road

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/2/17







Song: "Directions Never Hold"

Artist: Arliss Nancy

Album: "Wild American Runners"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Fort Collins, Colorado

Years Active: 2007 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Directions Never Hold" appears to be a song about a relationship that has dissolved for the vocalist. You get a sense that he is lamenting "the one that got away". He looks back on what they had, especially when the relationship was young. How time didn't matter to them, as long as they were together. Sometimes, however, time can make something that was once close start to drift apart. Eventually, she leaves him and he's left to ponder on the mistakes he made and yearn for something that will probably never be.

ARLISS NANCY DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2009 - Dance To Forget (self-released)
2012 - Simple Machines (Gunner Records)
2013 - Wild American Runners (Gunner Records)
2016 - Great Divides (Gunner Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ARLISS NANCY:

Arliss Nancy is an indie punk/alt. country band from Colorado that formed back in 2007. The band self-released their debut album, "Dance To Forget", in 2009 and in 2010 self-released an EP, "Truckstop Roses". These two releases caught the ear of label Gunner Records whom built up a relationship with Arliss Nancy which has continued to this very day. Through Gunner, the band released three full length albums, 2012's "Simple Machines", 2013's "Wild American Runners" and 2016's "Great Divides". Arliss Nancy is often classified as indie punk and I agree with that to an extent. They have a rootsy feel to them, sometimes incorporating alt. country and Americana type rock and roll. I'd say their style is somewhat similar to bands like Onward Etc, The Grizzly Band, Cub Country, The Gaslight Anthem and Chuck Ragan. The band writes good melodic and catchy songs simple and plain. Good, solid band!

TEN ARLISS NANCY SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Both Got Old
2. The Crease
3. Blessings I Ain't Never Had
4. Can't Go Back
5. Wrong Or Right
6. Abacus
7. Don't You Forget
8. Front Seat
9. Vonnegut
10. Momentum

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Song Of The Week: 6/25/17







Song: "Pollute The Youth"

Artist: Fail To Follow

Album: "For The Dead, The Dying, And Those Still Fighting"

Year: 2007

Place Of Origin: Salt Lake City, Utah

Years Active: 2004 - present (?)



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Pollute The Youth" appears to be a song about speaking to the youth of America about political ideals, individuality, rebellion and reform. Youth are impressionable and the powers that be want them to conform to their ideals and fall in line. The vocalist wants to "pollute the youth" to stand up for what they believe in, to protest any form of injustice and to rise up against the powers that be. It's time for the youth to be heard!

FAIL TO FOLLOW DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2007 - For The Dead, The Dying, And Those Still Fighting (Over Giver Music)
2010 - Poisoned By The Lies Of History (self-released)

CURRENT STATUS OF FAIL TO FOLLOW:

Fail To Follow is a hardcore punk band hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. They first broke on the punk scene in 2004 with their self titled EP. Soon, they hooked up with Over Giver Music to release their debut full length album, "For The Dead, The Dying, And Those Still Fighting" in 2007. Three years later in 2010, the band released their most recent album, "Poisoned By The Lies Of History". Fail To Follow is a no nonsense, in your face melodic hardcore punk band. Following in the footsteps of bands like Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, Thought Riot, Good Riddance, Pennywise and Strike Anwhere, Fail To Follow is about rebellion, protest and political activism. Their lyrics are meant to shine a light on injustice and have the back of those who struggle. Supposedly, Fail To Follow was to release their third album in 2011, tentatively called "Failed State", but as of 2017, this album never saw the light of day. The real possibility is that Fail To Follow has broken up. It's been six years since that information came out and really nothing else from the band. No Facebook page or Twitter account so it's hard to get info on this band. If they are all done, it's too bad. Political punk is right up my alley. I love music that has a message and Fail To Follow was one of those bands that definitely wore their ideals on their sleeves.

TEN FAIL TO FOLLOW SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Black Dragon
2. 1000 Fears To Face
3. Losing Sight
4. Poisoned By The Lies Of History
5. Reality's The Killer
6. No More Time To Waste
7. AFPS
8. My Regrets
9. As One
10. One Day

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Song Of The Week: 6/18/17







Song: "Unwelcome End"

Artist: Flag On Fire

Album: "Practically The Best You've Ever Been"

Year: 2017

Place Of Origin: Jacksonville, Florida

Years Active: 2015 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Unwelcome End" appears to be a song about trying to help a friend whose drug addiction has a complete stranglehold on him. The people around him, friends and family, have tried to intervene and get him help but it has been to no avail. Now he is gone sometimes days or weeks at a time while all his loved ones fear that the worst is inevitable. The drugs will eventually kill him.

FLAG ON FIRE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2017 - Practically The Best You've Ever Been (Felony Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF FLAG ON FIRE:

Formed in 2015, Jacksonville, Florida's Flag On Fire quickly jumped upon the scene with their debut EP, "Slack To The Future" on Bird Attack Records. Two years later in 2017, the band released their debut full length album, "Practically The Best You've Ever Been" on Felony Records. Although Flag On Fire is a new band, their sound harkens back to 90's skate punk bands that scoured the Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph Records labels back in the day. They are definitely a throwback to those times. In fact, I'd say that No Use For A Name is a chief influence on Flag On Fire's music. The band even has a little ode to NUFAN's fallen leader Tony Sly in their song "One For The Old Punks". So if you're into bands like No Use, Ten Foot Pole, Enemy You, The Swellers or Implants, then you should check out Flag On Fire. I really like this band and hope they take off in punk circles. Their sound really takes me back to the mid 90's when I fell in love with bands like No Use For A Name, Lagwagon and Pulley. They have the same vibe and energy of those great bands and I, for one, would love to see that sound make a comeback. So two thumbs up for Flag On Fire! Can't wait to hear more from them.

TEN FLAG ON FIRE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. One For The Old Punks
2. Micro Aggression Machine
3. Thunderdome
4. Off The Edge
5. Indestructable
6. #96
7. Bad News
8. Smoke'Em If You Got'Em
9. On The Rocks
10. Unwelcome End

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Song Of The Week: 6/11/17







Song: "Dizzy Spells"

Artist: Crow Bait

Album: "Three Tickle Guys" EP

Year: 2011

Place Of Origin: Long Island, New York

Years Active: 2011 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Dizzy Spells" appears to be a song about being in a deep depression. The feeling of regret and self-deprecation are constantly eating away at the vocalist, causing both mental and physical pain. If suicide is on the vocalist's list of final choices, you get a sense that he is very close to accepting that fate.

CROW BAIT DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2014 - Sliding Through The Halls Of Fate (Don Giovanni Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF CROW BAIT:

Crow Bait formed as a band back in 2011. The Long Island, New York product features members who played in other prominent bands, most notably Halfway To Hell Club and Iron Chic. Early on, the band dropped "Three Tickle Guys", which is an EP. Their first full length album, and actually only full length out to date, was 2014's "Sliding Through The Halls Of Fate". The band also was on a split 7" single as well as a 7" single of their own, "Separate Stations" which they dropped in 2015. Crow Bait is a punk band that champions the DIY ethic. While their songs have some grit and teeth, it is very important to the band to keep melody and hooks prominent in their music. This has much to do with bands like The Replacements, The Lemonheads and Husker Du which all have influenced and impacted Crow Bait's take on music. As for contemporary acts? If you enjoy bands like Off With Their Heads, Polar Bear Club, The Arrivals, Halfway To Hell Club and The Flatliners, they you should check out Crow Bait. They are still relatively new but from the material i've heard from them, there is definitely some promise.

TEN CROW BAIT SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Crow Bait
2. 83
3. Separate Stations
4. The Ocean
5. A Billion Lives
6. Lost & Never Found
7. Searching For My Boots On The Highway
8. Why Don't You
9. Callin' Yer Bluff
10. Pretty Good Things

Monday, June 5, 2017

Song Of The Week: 6/4/17







Song: "Airtight"

Artist: One If By Land

Album: "In The Fire Of My Youth"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Meadville, Pennsylvania

Years Active: 2011 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Airtight" appears to be a song about trying to escape your mundane life and your mundane job and your mundane surroundings. You get a sense that the vocalist has ambitions and goals and in order to achieve them, he has to get out of his current situation. His current situation is holding him back and keeping him down and he has to break away from it in order to allow himself to grow.

ONE IF BY LAND DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2013 - In The Fire Of My Youth (Between The Days Records)
2016 - Nobody Wants To Leave (Paper Box Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ONE IF BY LAND:

One If By Land formed as a band back in 2011, hailing from Meadville, Pennsylvania. Early on in the band's career, One If By Land received support from fellow Pennysylvania punk band, Anti-Flag. In fact, Anti-Flag asked One If By Land to appear on a split single with them in 2014. One If By Land's debut full length album dropped in 2013 called "In The Fire Of My Youth". Some three years later in 2016, the band released their most recent album, "Nobody Wants To Leave". One If By Land is an indie punk band that mixes gravelly vocals over melodic rhythms. If you're a fan of bands such as Red City Radio, Off With Their Heads, Samiam, Run Forever or Nightmares For A Week then you would most likely enjoy the music of One If By Land. This is a band that definitely has some potential if they can keep it together in a day and age where it's difficult to keep a band intact for very long.

TEN ONE IF BY LAND SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Long Time Coming
2. True Blue, Through, And Everything About You
3. The Things I Love
4. The Devil Was Due
5. With Integrity
6. Yesterburner
7. I'm Not Sorry
8. You'll Be Missed
9. Ain't Worth You Time Kid
10. Do I

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Song Of The Week: 5/28/17







Song: "Brandenburg Gate"

Artist: Anti-Flag

Album: "American Spring"

Year: 2015

Place Of Origin: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Years Active: 1988 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

According to Anti-Flag band member Chris #2, he wrote "Brandenburg Gate" about the breakup of the most important relationship of his life. When he went to bring the song to the rest of the band, he was nervous because it was so personal to him that the rest of the band might not totally get it. Being a political band, drummer Pat Thetic saw the song as almost a love song for socialism. Certain socialistic views like universal health care and universal education seem so hard to attain in the States, but Pat said that if you look at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, it used to stand for segregation and conflict where now, it's a symbol of freedom and togetherness. It's a song of hope to him where for Chris #2, it may be more about despair.

ANTI-FLAG DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1996 - Die For The Government (New Red Archives)
1998 - Their System Doesn't Work For You (A-F Records)
1999 - A New Kind Of Army (Go-Kart Records)
2001 - Underground Network (Fat Wreck Chords)
2002 - Mobilize (A-F Records)
2003 - The Terror State (Fat Wreck Chords)
2006 - For Blood And Empire (RCA Records)
2008 - The Bright Lights Of American (RCA Records)
2009 - The People Or The Gun (SideOneDummy Records)
2012 - The General Strike (SideOneDummy Records)
2015 - American Spring (Spinefarm Records)
2015 - Cease Fires (A-F Records)
2016 - Live Acoustic at 11th Street Records (Spinefarm Recrods)
2017 - Live Vol. 1 (A-F Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ANTI-FLAG:

Anti-Flag formed as a band back in 1988 by members Justin Sane and Pat Thetic. Early on, the band didn't look like it was going to sustain and actually broke up but in 1992, they reformed and set about their journey to leave their stamp on the punk rock world. In 1996, they released their debut full length album, "Die For The Government". By 1999, the band's line-up that we see to this day was set, featuring Justin Sane (guitar/vocals), Chris #2 (bass/vocals), Chris Head (guitar) and Pat Thetic (drums). In 2001, the band hooked up with legendary punk label Fat Wreck Chords for two releases, 2001's "Underground Network" and 2003's "The Terror State". The latter album really began crossing Anti-Flag over as it is their highest charting album in the United States. This led to the band signing with major label RCA Records for their next two releases, 2006's "For Blood And Empire" and 2008's "The Bright Lights Of America". Even after leaving RCA, Anti-Flag would coninue putting out stellar album after stellar album. 2009's "The People Or The Gun" and 2012's "The General Strike" through SideOneDummy Records. And of course, the band's most recent full length studio album of all original material, 2015's "American Spring". Anti-Flag is a very active band, releasing material pretty much every one to two years, whether that's full lengths, EP's, splits or live albums. They are also on tour constantly. This year, they are planning to release "Live Vol. 2", they have confirmed a spot as a headliner on the Warped Tour and according to Justin Sane, they may even release a brand new studio album before the end of the year. Anti-Flag plays a brand of punk rock that is rooted in political and social issues. They wear their views very much on their sleeves and are not afraid to take a stance against something that they perceive as unjust. Their contemporaries in punk rock are bands such as Strike Anywhere, The Unseen, Rise Against, Propagandhi and Pennywise to name a few. So if that politically charged punk rock is what you seek, look no further than Anti-Flag. This band is definitely a leader in that movement, not a follower. Anti-Flag is the real deal.

TEN ANTI-FLAG SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. This Is The End (For You My Friend)
2. The Press Corpse
3. Turncoat
4. The Bright Lights Of America
5. Die For The Government
6. Brandenburg Gate
7. Underground Network
8. Broken Bones
9. We Are The One
10. Fabled World

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Song Of The Week: 5/21/17







Song: "Sunshower"

Artist: Chris Cornell

Album: "Great Expectations" Soundtrack

Year: 1997



IN MEMORIAM:

Chris Cornell
1964 - 2017



Man… It sucks to get old. For this week’s blog, I’m not going to get into the meaning of the song or do the regular info I give on the band and what they’ve been up to and all that. This is a tough one. Chris Cornell, one of the greatest voices in music history, is dead. Where to start? When I was a teenager, the bands coming out of Seattle had a huge impact on my life. Oddly enough for some reason, I really didn’t get into Soundgarden right away. Then “Superunknown” came out. What a great fuckin’ album! Immediately, I went out and starting getting all of Soundgarden’s albums. What the hell was I thinking? Soundgarden was un-fuckin’-real. Cornell had the voice of a God. Now, anyone who knows me knows that Pearl Jam is my all time favorite band and Eddie Vedder can do no wrong in my eyes. But even I can admit, as good of a vocalist as Eddie is, he is not Chris Cornell. From Soundgarden to Temple Of The Dog to Audioslave and his solo material, thank God Chris left us with so much material that we can lean on just to hear his voice. But it sucks that we’ll never have new material again. Cornell isn’t one of those artists that seemed like they were just hanging on in the latter part of his career. He was still very much relevant in the music world. Just look at the last Soundgarden release “King Animal” and his most recent solo single “The Promise”. It’s pretty fucked up. We lost Kurt. We lost Layne. It seemed that Chris and Eddie were gonna be around for a long time and continue giving us great music for years to come. And now Chris is gone. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos the last few days. Just capturing some of the powerful Cornell performances. Great videos of the recent Temple Of The Dog reunion tour. Great acoustic shows that really capture Chris at his most raw and emotional state. The great songs. “Slaves And Bulldozers”, “Rusty Cage”, “Say Hello 2 Heaven”, “Spoonman”, “Burden In My Hand”, “Cochise”, “Fell On Black Days”, “When I’m Down”, “The Day I Tried To Live”, “The Keeper”, “Sunshower”, “Seasons”, “Black Hole Sun”, “Birth Ritual”, “I Am The Highway”, “Can’t Change Me”, “Outshined”, Jesus, the list goes on and on and on. I’m sad that he’s gone. I’m angry he committed suicide. It seems so selfish. But, maybe I’m the one who’s being selfish because I want more music from him. Unfortunately, what happened happened and all we can do is listen to his music and watch old videos to keep the man’s memory alive. The death of Mr. Cornell has left all of his fans “feeling Minnesota”.

R.I.P.
Chris Cornell








Sunday, May 14, 2017

Song Of The Week: 5/14/17







Song: "Bad Reputation"

Artist: The Rabble

Album: "No Clue, No Future"

Year: 2006

Place Of Origin: Auckland, New Zealand

Years Active: 2001 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Bad Reputation" appears to be about wondering if the life you lead and the mistakes you've made will ultimately be your downfall. The vocalist is basically praying to God for help or guidance because he's been to the bottom. He wants to know that when his life is over that he makes it to the other side despite his past regressions. The first time you listen to the song, it clearly reminds you of Social Distortion's "I Was Wrong". No surprise as Social D. influenced The Rabble greatly.

THE RABBLE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2006 - No Clue, No Future (Self-Released)
2007 - The Battle's Almost Over (Filthy Lucre Enterprises)
2011 - Life's A Journey (Self-Released)

CURRENT STATUS OF THE RABBLE:

The Rabble was formed back in 2001 by brothers Chazz Rabble and Rupe Rabble. It took five years for this New Zealand outfit to hone their sound before the world got a taste of their music. 2006 saw the debut album by The Rabble, the self-released "No Clue, No Future". The band's second release, "The Battle's Almost Over", featured a collaboration with Mark Unseen of the band The Unseen on the track "The World Is Dead". Mark Unseen really took to the band and almost joined the members of The Rabble to form a new band which never came to fruition. The band, at this time, had it's first tour of Europe. The band's latest release would be 2011's "Life's A Journey". Frontman Chazz Rabble really saw this release as an evolution for the band. Many of his fans however began accusing the band of selling out, especially in his native New Zealand. The Rabble announced they were going on a hiatus in 2013. Chazz would not rule out the band getting back together but that all the members have been focused on other projects, most notably Chazz's other band, "Flirting With Disaster". The Rabble are a band who tends to go all over the place when it comes to style. At one moment they could be hardcore punk, then they can be pop punk. Sometimes celtic punk and every now and again a touch of ska/punk. Chazz has stated that his favorite band is Green Day, so it's easy to see why the band began shifting their sound to a more melodic brand of punk as the years went on. That was most likely the wedge that began turning off some of their core fans as well. As for similar bands to The Rabble? I would say if you enjoy bands like The Unseen, The Briggs, Bombshell Rocks, Far From Finished and Anti-Flag, then you would probably enjoy The Rabble's music. I look at The Rabble as a good band, not great. For me, they change styles even on one album so much that you wonder if you're listening to a multi-band mix cd sometimes. It's great that they're not pidgeonholed into one specific sound but at the same time, it seems to hurt their continuity as a band.

TEN THE RABBLE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. The Journey
2. The Coast Song
3. Carry On
4. Shot Down
5. Seeking
6. Addicted To The Bone
7. This World Is Dead
8. Can't Relate To You
9. Bored
10. Police & Thieves (The Clash cover)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Song Of The Week: 5/7/17







Song: "80 Cents A Day"

Artist: Stray Bullets

Album: "The Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Fortune"

Year: 2004

Place Of Origin: Boston, Massachusetts

Years Active: 2003 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"80 Cents A Day" appears to be a song about poverty in the U.S.A. They show commercials on television about charities for the starving of other countries but nothing to help our own poor people. The vocalist sees the poor and the hungry in his own neighborhood while jobs are being sold to foreign labor for 80 cents a day. Definitely shining a light on domestic poverty issues.

STRAY BULLETS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2004 - The Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Fortune (Fork In Hand Records)
2014 - Ghost Town Rockers (Dying Scene Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF STRAY BULLETS:

Stray Bullets got it's start as a band back in 2003. Headed by vocalist/guitarist Jon Cauztik, the band's first exposure to the local Boston punk rock scene was their debut album, "The Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Fortune" in 2004. Almost as quick as the band formed, Cauztik moved on to another venture, punk/ska outfit the Have Nots. It took ten years for the Stray Bullets to release their sophmore album, 2014's "Ghost Town Rockers" through Dying Scene Records. Nowadays, Stray Bullets is officially Cauztik's main focus as the members of the Have Nots are currently involved with other projects. Most recently, the Stray Bullets released a split with Duck And Cover, The Warning Shots and Blood Stained Brindle in 2017. Stray Bullets play a brand of punk rock that's has some ska and reggae influences much like their idols The Clash. If you're a fan of bands like the Have Nots, Rancid, OC45, The Warning Shots and Operation Ivy, then the Stray Bullets would be a band that would most likely interest you as there are elements of all of those band's styles in Stray Bullets music. I kinda look at both the Stray Bullets and the Have Nots as pretty much the same band with different members other than the constant vocals and guitar of Jon Cauztik. In my mind, both are awesome bands. I'm not a huge punk/ska guy, but Stray Bullets do the genre right!

TEN STRAY BULLETS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Knife For The Pusherman
2. Gone
3. The Anchor
4. Already Dead
5. Sirens
6. Channels
7. Peace Signs
8. P.C.
9. Boy In The Bubble
10. New Prisons

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Song Of The Week: 4/30/17







Song: "Shifty"

Artist: Paper Arms

Album: "Great Mistakes"

Year: 2015

Place Of Origin: Adelaide, Australia

Years Active: 2008 - 2016



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Josh Mann, vocalist of Paper Arms, has said in an interview that "Shifty" was written about his best friend. She has always been by his side no matter what and he wanted to write something in honor of the incredible person that she is to 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 was an Ausralian melodic punk band which formed in 2008. Early on the band forged a relationship with Poison City Records which would last throughout their musical career. In 2010, the band dropped their debut album, "Days Above Ground", and toured an incredible eighteen months in support of that album. 2013 saw the release of their sophmore effort, "The Smoke Will Clear". The band went on an international tour to support this record, opening up for such acts as Strike Anywhere and Chuck Ragan. The band's most recent album, and what would turn out to be their last, would be 2015's "Great Mistakes". Paper Arms played their last official show in February of 2016. Paper Arms brings a melodic, gritty punk rock style that harkens back to bands like Hot Water Music or Face To Face. Some of the band's contemporaries are Idle Class, A Death In The Family, Above Them, How Dare You and Lowtalker. If you are a fan of any of those bands then Paper Arms should pique your interest. I hate when really good, promising bands fold too early. It's the unfortunate truth of the music industry today. It's hard to sustain a band nowadays and Paper Arms is one of the latest to fall victim of the machine that is the music industry. Hopefully this is just a hiatus for Paper Arms and not a definitive end. At least they left us with three above average albums to listen to.

TEN PAPER ARMS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Bricks And Mortar
2. Blackout
3. Snake Oil
4. Wrong Again
5. Tanks Of Dust
6. An Outbreak
7. You Don't Speak For Me
8. In Silence
9. Medicine
10. Great Mistakes

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Song Of The Week: 4/23/17







Song: "Darkside Lightside"

Artist: Ash

Album: "Live On Mars: London Astoria 1997"

Year: 2016

Place Of Origin: Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

Years Active: 1992 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Darkside Lightside" is a song that appears to be about a person that is super reassuring to the vocalist. It's a person that always takes him back to old memories and feelings. Good memories and feelings that that person gave him long ago. The original version of "Darkside Lightside" appears on the band's 1996 album, "1977". This version of the song appears on the band's 2016 live album, "Live On Mars: London Astoria 1977".

ASH DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - Garage Girl (self-released)
1993 - Trailer (Infectious Records)
1996 - 1977 (Infectious Records)
1997 - Live At The Wireless (Death Star Records)
1998 - Nuclear Sounds (Infectious Records)
2001 - Free All Angels (Infectious Records)
2002 - Cosmic Debris (Infectious Records)
2004 - Meltdown (Infectious Records)
2007 - Twilight Of The Innocents (Infectious Records)
2010 - A-Z Vol. 1 (Atomic Heart Records)
2010 - A-Z Vol. 2 (Atomic Heart Records)
2015 - Kablammo! (Atomic Heart Records)
2016 - Live On Mars: London Astoria 1997 (Atomic Heart Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ASH:

Ash formed as a band back in 1992, hailing from Northern Ireland. The band first began creating some noise with their song "Jack Names The Planets" but it was their 1996 album, "1977", that really put the band on the map thanks to the singles "Goldfinger", "Girl From Mars" and "Oh Yeah". That album quickly shot to number 1 on U.K. music charts and eventually went platinum. The band, then a trio of Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray, decided to add a second guitarist/vocalist to the line-up, Charlotte Hatherley. While releasing their next album, "Nuclear Sounds", Ash almost went bankrupt. It was their 2001 album, "Free All Angels", which once again thrusted Ash's popularity, especially in their native Ireland and in England. With singles like "Shining Light" and "Burn Baby Burn", "Free All Angels" also claimed a #1 spot in England and also sold platinum. After 2004's "Meltdown", the band decided to go back to being a trio and split amicably with Hatherley. In 2010, the band decided to release a single every two weeks. This was called the A to Z series, each single named relative to the letters of the alphabet. Eventually, the band released two albums which featured the 26 singles, "A-Z" volumes 1 and 2. At this time, it would also mark the band's relationship with Atomic Heart Records after pretty much spending the first 15 years as a band on Infectious Records. The band's last proper full length studio album was 2015's "Kablammo!" and their most recent release was a live album in 2016, "Live On Mars: London Astoria 1997". The band was touring in early 2017 in support of that live album. Ash broke on the music scene right at a time when Seattle's grunge was king but there was a burgeoning alternative rock movement that was creeping to the surface. Though they're from Ireland, they sometimes get tossed in with the Brit pop scene that was beginning to happen as well. Though they got some love in the United States, especially when "1977" came out, they were a pretty big deal in Europe, especially Ireland and England. Their style is alternative rock with definite hints of pop and at times punk. If you like the music of bands like Superdrag, Everclear, Donots, The Vines and Oasis, then you'd most likely enjoy Ash. Ash is one of my favorite bands, moreso when I was younger, but I still love their music. It's a shame that Charlotte isn't still in the band though. She added a dynamic to the band that I miss, especially her harmonizing background vocals that fit so well with Tim Wheeler's lead vocals. To this day still, when I hear "Goldfinger" or "Burn Baby Burn" I get excited. Definitely takes me back to my younger days getting loaded with good friends!!

TEN ASH SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Goldfinger
2. Burn Baby Burn
3. A Life Less Ordinary
4. Shining Light
5. Jesus Says
6. Starcrossed
7. What Deaner Was Talking About
8. Tracers (featuring Emmy The Great)
9. Cocoon
10. Warmer Than Fire