Michigan band The Swellers is back on the punk music scene with their latest album,The Light Under Closed Doors. Released under No Sleep Records, the band has put together a track listing that packs a punch and guarantees a few songs to replay in the heads of listeners.
The album opens with "Should", an anthem for the hopeless and the despairing. "I give up, and no, things won't get better" are the first lyrics, setting a tone of submission and contrasting liberation by way of no longer caring. After the depressive mood of the opening song, "Big Hearts", track two on the record, lights a clashingly hope filled fire after a tearing guitar solo lends itself to showcase the band's emotions.
Following the first several tracks, "High/Low", the ballad of the album, adds a more deeply felt pain tangible in every note and chord, from the strain in the vocals to the raw emotion of the guitar solos. This song brings a much needed, more personable feel to the album by allowing the vulnerability most humans must feel at some point in their lives to shine out of every aspect of the music.
Up next was a nod at the band's home state of Michigan. "Great Lakes State" is an upbeat song remembering the band's origins and their ventures as the band started. The vocals on this track are slightly pitchy, but the song overall comes out to be what could a great tune for high energy dancing at concerts.
Then came my personal favorite song on the album, "Becoming Self Aware." The vocals were diversified, the guitar was solid, and the lyrics were driving, yet sad. After a chorus of the loneliness epitomized by being "on the outside looking in", the track closes on a powerful fade out chord. The next tune, "Friends Again (We Can't Be)" is highly repetitive, although very catchy. Yet another guitar solo graces the time between verses, although this solo is probably the most spectacular on the album.
After a couple lackluster tracks, The Light Under Closed Doors ends with "Call It A Night", a track mainly composed of guitar solos, regrets, and a sense of self satisfaction found in the pride the band clearly takes in having released another record. The album is a strong release, although the band could stand to have a little more vocal variety. Fueled by heartbreak, bitterness, and perhaps even a bout of clinical depression, The Light Under Closed Doors is now out for listeners who are craving some good, old fashioned punk.
Reviewed by Vanessa Meschke
We recently caught up with Jenny from the band Blameshift to talk about what they have coming up in the near future! Check it out!
Get their latest album here: http://bit.ly/HDwMCz
Check out the video for the song 'Secrets' below!
Can you introduce yourselves and what you do in the band?
My name is Jenny Mann and I am the singer of Blameshift
How did the band come about?
The band started about 7 years ago in Long Island, NY. Tim, my guitarist and our original drummer were looking for a singer to start up a band. They happened to meet my neighbor when they were looking to move into his apartment that he had for rent in his basement. They never ended up getting the apartment but my neighbor told them about me. I guess you could say the rest is history!
How did you come up with the name Blameshift?
Blameshift is a name we came up with kind of by accident. We had our first show coming up and still couldn't agree upon a name. We decided that since we blame each other for everything, Blameshift would be a very suitable name. As it turns out the word Blameshift is now in the urban dictionary. We like to take responsibility for that.
What has inspired you to keep going in your music career?
The music industry is by far one of the toughest businesses to be in. The thing that keeps me going is the fans. They inspire me every day with their positive feedback and genuine love for what we do!
You're toward the end of a fall tour, how has the fan reactions to your music been?
The fan reactions get better and better as we tour. On this particular tour we have been playing new music and the fans seem to really connect to it. It's amazing to write songs that are so personal to you and then see how people react to them. What is the hardest thing about touring?
The hardest part about touring is being away from family and friends. Being in a full time touring band definitely takes a lot of sacrifice. You must be willing to sacrifice relationships, jobs and regular "life" but the rewards of being on the road make it worth it. If you love making music enough you can make it work.
| |Have any weird fan experiences?
There are plenty. I wouldn't want to mention exact experiences because you never know who will read this. But, the answer is YES...I have weird fan experiences all the time! ;)You're also planning on releasing a new album called Secrets, what was the recording process for that like?
We recorded this album in North Hollywood, California at Grey Area Studios with producer, Erik Ron. He is not only our producer but our mentor, best friend and honorary fifth member of Blameshift. The recording process spanned almost 15 months. The process was amazing though. Recording with Erik is always top notch and a pleasure. You've set up a page on PledgeMusic for this new album, for fans who haven't heard of it can you explain what exactly it is?
PledgeMusic is a site that we are using to take pre-orders for our new album. We started 40 days before the release date (November 5th) with a goal of getting as many pre-orders as possible in order to chart on Billboard Heatseekers. Not only can you pre-order the album through this site, you can also get exclusive merch, memorabilia and content that won't be available anywhere else. It's a really cool way to make this release process a little more personal and get the fans involved! What has been your favorite song you've released so far?
My favorite song that we have written is probably off our new album, "Secrets". The song is called "Wherever It Goes" and is extremely personal to me. I wrote this time in a critical part of my life where everything was changing and I wasn't sure what direction I was heading in. I think that this song appeals to people as a whole just as it did to me when I wrote it. It's a very stripped down song that has raw emotion and takes me back to that place every single time I hear it. I can't wait for the world to finally hear it too!If you weren't in a band what do you think you'd be doing?
I'm not too sure. I think I would still be in music but probably more on the business side. I always thought I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer, manager or agent..so, maybe one of those! Are you planning on any tours in the near future?
We are road dogs so we definitely will be doing a lot of touring in the near future. This tour finished up in mid-November and then we will probably head home for the holidays and pick back up in January.What's your most memorable experience with the band?
My most memorable experience with the band so far is hearing my song on the radio for the first time. I was driving in my car in my hometown and our song came on the radio. I was so excited I had to pull over and call my family. It was definitely a moment I could never forget.Is there anything else you'd like the fans to know?
I always want the fans to know how much they are appreciated and loved. Also, be on the lookout for our new album, "Secrets". It will be officially released on November 5th but you can pre-order your copy in advance at www.pledgemusic.com/blameshift Where can people find your music?
You can also find the band on Facebook www.facebook.com/blameshift
, Youtube www.youtube.com/blameshift
, ITunes www.itunes.com/blameshift
, Instagram @blameshift, Twitter @blameshift, Reverbnation, etc.
Thanks so much =)
With a perfectly timed pre-Halloween release, Mayday Parade's Monsters
in the Closet adds a new, chilling element to the band's usual repertoire.
While nothing is shockingly new, old Mayday fans will enjoy the album's classic sound and casual heartbrokenness. Keeping with their usual artwork, the band continued the man with the umbrella's comic strip. He appears as the hand opening the door of the closet implied in the title for this
Starting up "Ghosts", Monsters in the Closet kicks off with the traditional vocal stylings of lead singer Derek Sanders. Haunted by the ghost of his previous love who won't see to leave him be, Sanders cries out in a pleading way. Released early as a single, the song speaks well for the album as a whole. Themes of love and loneliness are contrasting values the choruses preach to no apparent avail.
Continuing on with the album, verses of heartbroken cries and depressed emotional states as a result of a romantic disaster deeply affect the coloring of the tone for the most part. Again, the classic sounds of Mayday parade's usual complex riffs layered over simple chord changes and steady drums beats create a mature sound with a clashingly fun, almost playful tone at times.
"The Torment of Existence Weighed Against the Horror of Nonbeing" particularly describes the playful tone the band seems to seek in some of their songs. A startling opening of harmonized monosyllabic words lightheartedly introduces a verse of wishful ideas as light as the intro. The chorus of the song hits with a dark and heavy beat and cynical cries of "what's the point, if you have one?" Featured in several other songs, the band effectively uses this contrasting shock to set a tumultuous tone from song to song.
Punctuating the feelings of unrest are comforting ballads opening with piano, acoustic guitar, or strings, which happen to be a new feature for Mayday Parade. These slower songs happen to be some of my favorites on the album. Tunes like "Even Robots Need Blankets" and "Angels" beautifully serenade the listener with the quiet and heartbroken lyrics accompanied by soothing harmonies. Now, these ballads usually follow somewhat of a pattern: a quiet, harmonized
introduction is followed by a depressed verse and somewhere before the first chorus the rest of the band will enter. Now, this isn't a bad pattern for a song. It does make for a monotonous album, however.
This was another great release by Mayday Parade. Old fans can rest easy knowing the band isn't changing much, and new fans can pick up this album and get a good taste of the band's typical sound.
Here are some throwback Thursday photos our intern Jade Cota took of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus back in September!
Pieced together from the remains of decimated band Light This City, Heartsounds is an up-and-coming band with a passion for music and a flair for innovation. They recently released their third full length album from the studio, Internal Eyes. Mainly uptempo and unusually non-depressive, Heartsounds puts a new spin on traditional metal music.
The instrumental portions of their songs lean heavily towards the metalcore genre; however, their harmonizing duo vocalists speak of a strong punk influence. Heartsounds is the perfect combination of the two genres, driving and nearing anger and spitefulness in Internal Eyes without utilizing the demonic screaming most metal bands overuse. At first, it seemed this band was going to be a fresh take on an old style genre mix. After listening to the entire album of Internal Eyes, though, it was apparent the band did not know how to expand on their brilliant idea as the tracks blended together into a similar sounding album that repeated rhythms, patterns, and themes for multiple songs.
On the other hand, unique and complex riffs are a favorite of the band and add variety. Songs open to them, verses are broken to throw in a few solo guitar notes, and portions of songs turn into thirty second solos glorifying electric guitar. All are artfully crafted, tastefully placed, and just plain awesome to hear. The best example of these carefully constructed licks may be in the album's title track, which opens with a quick paced and playful lick. While other solos are commendable on the album, the racing arpeggios repeated throughout the tune stick in your mind for days on end.
Internal Eyes is now available for listening across the world. So, fans of Heartsounds, metalcore music, and lengthy, tearing guitar solos should pick up the album for a reshreshing, although repetitive, take on the traditional music of the genre.
Reviewed by Vanessa Meschke
Check out some photos our intern Alexis took when Tori Kelly stopped in Dallas!
Be sure to catch the last few dates of this tour listed below!
10/17 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10/18 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
10/19 - West Springfield, VA @ Empire
10/20 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts
You Me at Six is currently on their first ever headlining tour in America. I've had the pleasure of seeing them at many different shows, opening for bands like Mayday Parade. This time, there was definitely something different and exciting about it. I got to the venue after doors, and to my surprise, it was already almost a packed house! I saw YMAS at the same venue just a year earlier, and there were about only 50 people there, so I was taken aback, but still excited. Conditions was the first band. I've never really listened to them, but I got really into them, and for an opener, they really knew how to get a crowd going. They're definitely a band I would see again. Then, Cute is What We Aim For came on. Talk about a throwback. They had a lot of energy and it was nice to hear some of my old jams from back in middle school. The whole band had a really great stage presence and were interactive with the crowd. Then came the headliner, You Me at Six! I absolutely loved their set. They played fan favorites, like Reckless and Stay With Me, and they also played some singles from their first album, which was a nice surprise. As always, the band kept the crowd jumping and screaming along. This was the most energetic YMAS show I've ever been to out of the 5 times I've seen them. At the very end, Josh got a bunch of people to sing on stage with him. It was almost like the entire crowd hopped on stage. It was pretty unforgettable. Exciting things are happening for You Me at Six in America! If this tour is coming to your city on one of the remaining dates, make sure it's a show you don't miss!
Everybody has secrets, including Long Island rock band Blameshift. Set to release theirs on November 5th, Secrets will be the second album released by the quartet in the midst of a vigorous touring schedule. Never leaving the road for more than a few months at a time definitely did not hamper the band's ability to record and put out intense songs with great instrumental skills and awesome lyrics and vocals.
Opening with "Set It All Free", Secrets starts with a sense of ultimatums, omens, and conflicting emotions. An instrumental featuring violin and distant vocals, the intro track's complex chord progressions and intense tone set a high bar for the rest of the album to live up to. The seamless transition perfectly brings "The Enemy You Need", track two, up on the queue. When the band hits, the quick beat drives the song almost over the edge, but pulls back just enough as to not sound messy or out of control. The third and fourth tracks on Secrets hint at a sense of loneliness and fire in the lyrics and tone; "Not Enough" tells of being alone and "how you sing when no one is there to listen", and "Destroy Your Masquerade" has a zealous theme of being yourself carried over a classic punk rock beat. The spark brought up earlier manifests itself in a fiery passion for taking a stand that carries from "Destroy Your Masquerade" to the title track.
Number five on the track list, "Secrets" was my personal favorite song for the album. The guitar was unique yet classic for pop punk, the drums hit at the perfect moments, the bass line was spectacular, and the vocals were kicking as always. The lulls in intensity were perfectly timed in relation to the lyrics, which were also spot on for describing the albums's feel. The "tell me all your secrets" of the chorus was stuck in my head for days (I can't say I'm too upset about that fact). The final two tracks on the album, "Revolutions" and "Let Go", respectively, were great songs that kept the idea of "go until you can't take another step" alive. The passion in the lead singer's voice is incredible throughout the album, and a certain life and fire are given to her words by the wonderful instrumentation driving the songs for all seven tracks. "Let Go" has an outstanding guitar intro, and is the perfect song to close the album with. When life "isn't worth the drama, isn't worth the pain", the best option is to sometimes, for lack of a better phrase, let go. The last chords bring the song to a firm end but left me wanting more.
Keep an eye out for Blameshift in the future. With several honors already won, such as Hot Topic Unsigned Band of the Month and numerous media outlets supporting the band's releases, don't think the quartet is going to disappear anytime soon. Check out Secrets when it releases on November 5th.
Reviewed by Vanessa Meschke
Indie punk band Human Parts recently released their self-titled debut album for delighted listeners. A branch off from Against Me!'s bassist Andrew Steward, this band spans genres and generations with its folk sound, throaty vocals, and quirky lyrics. The unique vibe and upbeat tempos give this record a flavor of its own.
Human Parts opens with an almost tribal tune aptly titled "First Impressions". While nothing in particular stood out to me, the song did have a comforting, homey feel and opened the album well. The next couple tracks seemed to be a filler for the album, not allowing much to showcase other than the lead singer's throaty, although pitchy, vocals. "Best Foot Forward" did introduce a new element for the band, however. With the feeling of a backwoods lullaby, the tune opens up in a way I cannot describe other than the music playing while someone gazes at the stars on a crystal clear night in a movie. The twinkling bell parts and washboard guitar are calmly accepting of the depressive lyrics, which remind of how mortal every human is. The serenity is somewhat interrupted by how out of key and harmony the dueting singers are, however. The song closes smoothly, and the next track begins without a hitch. "Call 'Em Off", "The Future Path In the Harsh Bright Light", and "Hi Nice to Meet You" seem to be filler songs yet again, barely differentiating themselves from one another, and cause the album to lose some of its appeal.
"Cliff and Eli", track nine on the album, opens disturbingly with a high pitched child's voice singing about clouds. While the child is only singing for a brief period, the strange solo overall gave me a sense of wariness and alarm that lasted until the last chords of the tune. Fortunately, the next song did not feature any new vocalists. "Tributary" is exactly what it claims to be: a tribute. Instrumentally paying homage to Cliff Burton, the track features electric guitar popping against some curiously strong synth. The transition into the final track was a bit choppy, but that was to be expected with the previous song being an instrumental. "Forget/Delay" was the best song the band could have closed with. The tune sums the entire album up in three and a half minutes: strange comparisons, quirky lyrics, and the same throaty vocals featured in every song.
If you're looking for a new folk band, Human Parts would definitely be one to check out. Give the band some support and check out their debut album!
Reviewed by Vanessa Meschke
The Dance-Punk band, We Are/She Is released their latest album, Name Game in March 2013. The fan funded album from the California based band is nothing but summer songs and great to dance to!
To start off the album, a song called And The World couldn't have been a better choice. It's upbeat and a song that makes you want to dance. The beat behind the song is really great and even though its slightly repetitive its bound to get stuck in your head. This should definitely go on your party playlist.It sounds a bit like a song from a movie at the crazy end of summer house party scene (because every movie has one). At the bridge the song gets slightly slower but overall it has a summery feel to it with different
The second song Voices, starts off with this amazing guitar riff and drum melody. This track reminds me of something that All Time Low would do with a different spin to it. It has some really well written lyrics in it. Voices has a different feel than all of the other songs on the album which really sets it apart making it the stand out track.
The third track, Ricochet, is really repetitive but catchy at the same time. It has an alternative/rock feel to it. The whole song has this kind of guitar meets strings during the chorus which is really nice. The bridge of the song has this cool futuristic sounding thing. After the fifth time listening to this track i was definitely dancing.
Beach Nights is one of those songs that make you want to have a summer romance no matter what time of the year it is. It's kind of falling in love anthem and when it's summer again I'll be sure to keep this song in mind! Honestly, this song should probably be on the Hollister playlist it's fun, and makes you want to dance! This tune also has the kind of futuristic thing going on in the bridge which completely works for them!
Simple Days is slightly slower than the other songs but still kind of upbeat at the same time. The lyrics in the verses are nice but I was hoping for a little more in the chorus. It's really repetitive like a lot of the other songs on this album but again it works for them. Definitely not the best song on the album but it's still pretty decent.
If you want a fun summery album to lounge by the pool with, or to make you feel like it's summer in the upcoming winter months this is the album for you. With it's catchy lyrics and dance-y beats, no doubt will you be singing and dancing along! These are the kind of songs that you will have stuck in your heads for days but but care at all! Although more diversity would have been nice, it's a pretty good second album.
Reviewed by Jordan Chandler