Guest Blog:: Gentlemen Hall Talks Record Store Day
Written by Gentlemen Hall vocalist, Gavin Merlot
My entire existence growing up in Cleveland was centered around listening to music. Music was my purpose. I had long hair, wore flannel, had ripped jeans. I idolized Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan, and various other alternative rock gods. All of the music I had was purchased from “C D Game Exchange” in Shaker Heights, Ohio. After school I would make a B line to the store and wait for people to bring in stacks of used CD’s to exchange, which would give me first dibs. Me and a few friends would wait hours to scoop up the newly exchanged cds. One of my favorite memories was paying $5 for “Tiny Music from the Vatican Gift Shop” by Stone Temple Pilots. The jewel case was all smashed but the cover art was so intriguing that it felt brand new. I skateboarded home as fast as I could, popped the CD in, and became obsessed with what I to this day consider one of the most underrated rock albums of all time.
Review:: Twin Forks | Twin Forks
Fans of Dashboard Confessional will love former DC-frontman Chris Carrabba’s new venture into Americana and folk rock with Twin Forks. Formed not too long ago, in 2011, Twin Forks beautifully combines male and female vocals, and essentially brings us back to American roots - with a modern twist, of course.
While the band released an EP in 2013, this is their first full-length, debut album. Twin Forks the album has a handful of upbeat, catchy tunes and a hint of banjo-type twang that surprisingly doesn’t bother me… and I’m typically not the biggest fan of anything with twang. But the other portion of the album is a soft, almost romantic
Review: Dirt and Dust | Stop Dead
For his third release, Stop Dead (side project of This Century’s Ryan Gose) steps out from behind the drum kit and grabs the microphone once again. Diverging from the pop/punk of This Century and tackling a more indie-rock sound, Gose’s work with Stop Dead illustrates his diverse skill set.
The short EP – which is four songs, totaling just over thirteen minutes, is enjoyable throughout its entire stay, as short as it is. Taking the Ace Enders via I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business’ Gold Rush route and recording vocals and instrumentals on his own, Gose delivers a performance that impresses
Show Review: The Reunion Tour 3/28
The Reunion Tour Featuring:
Set It Off
We Are The In Crowd
Candy Hearts started off the night to a slightly slow start. They received a quiet welcome to the stage from the audience, perhaps because they were the least well known of the bands on tour. Lead vocalist, Mariel Loveland seemed a bit nervous for the first few songs of their set, but eventually she began to loosen up and the crowd did too. For the last song of their set they asked for the audience to sing a line from the chorus and they cheerfully sang along until the end.
Next up was State Champs, a pop punk band from Albany, NY. The energy was brought as soon as they hit the stage.
Just a week or so ago, Pounders released their new single “Separate Ways” over on Soundcloud! Fun fact? The track is up for FREE download and it’s freaking awesome!! Take a second to listen to the track above.
To download the song, click here!
Review:: Eagles In Drag EP | Eagles In Drag
Side projects are a touchy subject for some.
On one hand, fans sometimes see a member from a band venturing off into some other direction, causing them to worry about the future of the initial group.
Then, at the other end of the spectrum, a side project can be a blessing - an artist’s chance to momentarily reinvent their sound, to blow off some steam in a new arena, to reignite their creativity and bring a new life back to the main project (which is why I’m constantly thankful for The Horrible Crowes, but that’s another story). Here, we have the latter.
As a whole, Eagles in Drag - which is built from The Maine’s John O’Callaghan and Jared Monaco, Eric Halvorsen (ex- A Rocket to the Moon) Trey Nickelsen, and Ryan Gose of This Century and Stop Dead, takes the members’ various musical backgrounds and styles and compresses them into a mix that’s heavier, darker, even psychedelic at times, and a good way’s away from anything we’ve heard from their main projects.
Within the first seconds
Show Review:: Illuminate Tour 3/22
Golden Sun was
Review:: The Deep End | iTCH
Following the encouraging reception of his Manifesto EPs, the release of his debut full-length is a crucial step forward for the UK’s iTCH. His time spent fronting the now-deceased ska/punk group The King Blues built him a reputation for his social consciousness and his no-holds-barred attitude, and while he may be performing a new genre, his fierceness and intensity are completely intact.
What makes The Deep End such a triumph is the way it fearlessly takes on its challenges. Each song divides the album into a dozen individual segments which could exist on their own, but still succeed as a whole. The start of each new track brings the start of something totally different, and the pleasant surprises continue throughout.
While his individual efforts are exceptional, the collaborations written here are even grander.
Show Review:: The Art of Tour 3/25
Photo by Caitlyn Willard
No one ever expects a Tuesday night to be anything more than JUST a Tuesday night. Things change, however, when one of your favorite bands decide to play a venue near you. And then of course, your Tuesday night gets a million times better.
This was one of the first shows in quite some time where I actually got to the venue early enough to catch every single opener – and I was so glad that I did. Walking into Starland Ballroom, there was already a huge crowd formed when openers, The New Royalty, took the stage. We actually interviewed these guys about two years ago (which you can see here). The New Royalty aren’t new to performing in front of large audiences
Interview With:: Spencer Sutherland
Most people would be familiar with you through your YouTube videos, but it’s almost as if you’ve appeared out of the blue. How did you first get into making music and performing for people?
Thanks so much for having me! Ever since I can remember, I’ve always like HAD to be singing. No matter what I would be doing, I would be singing! In high school, I didn’t want a regular job, so I literally called hundreds of restaurants around my hometown to see if I could sing there. I played at countless Mexican, greek, Italian and carryout restaurants, and sometimes didn’t get paid! It didn’t matter though, just as long as I was in front of people! I got an opportunity after I graduated high school, to audition for a woman who is now my manager, and 5 days later she let me open for Big Time Rush in front of 20,000 people! Ever since then, it’s been a ride!
Speaking of your YouTube videos,
Review:: Nothing Ordinary | East of Eli
Nothing Ordinary by East of Eli really is nothing ordinary at all. Nathan West’s debut album under his project, East of Eli, is asalute to all those folk heroes before him. It really has been the most soothing album I have listened to in the longest time. This is the perfect album for winding down after a stressful day or falling asleep to. Sitting here and writing this late at night, it sounds amazing,
Review:: Happiness Is | Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday have been busy.
New record label: check.
New album: check.
New lineup: well, not technically, since Nolan and Cooper rejoined the group for the last album, but whatever, we’ll say “check” for that, too.
The album starts with the brief minute and-a-half “Preface,” an instrumental introduction which I played on my first listen-through then skipped over on every listen hereafter. There’s nothing wrong with it, and some people enjoy those short openings on albums, but they just aren’t my thing. The quick overture leads directly into the album’s first single, “Flicker, Fade,” which features everything we’ve grown to love and appreciate from Taking Back Sunday over the last decade – Adam Lazzara’s whimpering, but strong vocals, instrumentals that are both rough yet polished, and a chorus that will make a crowd scream.
What makes the great tracks here truly great is the way they outshine the rest. The outperforming that happens on a handful of occasions gives
Interview With:: Lydia
Photo by Dirk Mai.
It’s mid-March - the 18th, a Tuesday, to be exact.
I’m sitting in Providence, nearing the tail-end of a very hectic working vacation. I have an interview slot with the guys from Lydia in Boston in a few hours, set to talk all about their current Illuminate tour. As I sit in the living room of my brother’s apartment, packing my camera bag and tying up loose ends, I unexplainably fell sick and asleep. And that, I mean in the most literal forms – I got sick and fell, I ended up asleep, and I have no explanation. But things happen. So, being the great guys that they are, what was meant to be an in-person chat turned into a phone call.
So, now it’s near the end of March – the 25th, the next Tuesday, to be exact.
The band, made up of vocalist Leighton Antelman, bassist Matt Keller, and lead guitarist Justin Camacho, is in southern Florida, preparing for another sold-out night. Their 30-date headline run has made stops nationwide with fans coming out to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the acclaimed Illuminate. Though the tour was initially planned for the previous fall, Antelman told us that they chose to push it until early 2014, so both the tour and the music could get the attention they deserve.
“It’s an album that, to us, deserves special attention. It’s been nuts – the fans are so passionate about this record, and the openers have been great, too, and the whole tour itself has just been crazy,” he adds.
While the songs may be the same, the story is different this time around for Lydia.