The World As We Know It
|First Impressions: He Is We - Skip To The Good Part EP
|About a month shy of this time last year, I wrote my first review as a staffer here for - yes, you guessed - He Is We's debut record, My Forever. |
So, when I heard about and received Skip To The Good Part, their upcoming EP, I was incredibly excited to hear it, as I still spin My Forever often.
Sounding just like you'd expect tunes from the adorable Rachel Taylor to sound, the tracks on this EP pick up right where their debut left off. However, what really makes this stand out is the experimentation and greater reliance on piano, most noted on the stunning "Our July In The Rain."
I'll save the rest for my review next week, but fans are sure to love this.
|Tags: first impressions, he is we
|Show Review: Yellowcard, Go Radio, Every Avenue
Yellowcard with Go Radio and Every Avenue – House Of Blues in Dallas, TX on November 13, 2011
Growing up with Ocean Avenue constantly in my stereo, Yellowcard have really meant a lot to me throughout the years. With Paper Walls being a monumental record for them and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes being a wonderful return, the guys continuously prove why they still have such a name for themselves. Therefore, when I found out about their show, I couldn’t wait to attend. Likewise, my love for Go Radio – it was my second time seeing them this year – and Every Avenue made my anticipation for the show grow even greater.
Go Radio started the night relatively early, but they didn’t waste any time. Sticking mainly to Lucky Street cuts, Lancaster and crew tore through the set list. As full of energy and excitement as ever, the band was incredibly entertaining, as expected. Racing through “Kill The Beast” and slowing down with the beautiful “Goodnight Moon” – joined by Yellowcard’s Sean Mackin on violin for that one – Go Radio really killed it. They even played their energetic cover of “Rolling in the Deep,” demonstrating Lancaster’s vocal abilities first hand.
Every Avenue followed with their Southern rock swag. Opening with “Tie Me Down,” the fellow Fearless band were quite a blast live. Other Bad Habits numbers such as “Whatever Happened To You” and the mellow “Only Place I Call Home” proved the skill of vocalist David Strauchman on the stage. The guys were amped up and ready to rock, finishing with the addictive “Tell Me I’m A Wreck” to a crowd belting out the hooks.
After an impressive light show and intro, Yellowcard took the stage. Simply put, the crowd went nuts the whole time, as it was the first tour Yellowcard have headlined in six years. Opening with “For You, And Your Denial,” Yellowcard played over 20 songs – just about a two hour long set. The guys knew exactly what the fans wanted to hear, playing various hits from all their records – and even some surprises (yes I mean you “Avondale”).
“Only One” had the whole crowd absolutely screaming their lungs out with Key, while the poignant “Empty Apartment” and “Sing For Me” – which Key played alone, acoustically – were sentimental and intricate. LP also played an impressive drum solo piece in there, as well. Although being such a long set, Yellowcard never lost an ounce of energy, being as fun and amped up as ever, with a crowd that couldn’t wait for the next song.
Key came into the crowd multiple times, while Mackin, Mendez, and O’Donnell were incredibly amusing on the stage – talkative, friendly, and excited. Older cuts such as “Breathing” and of course “Way Away” were colossal, while the rare “Cut Me, Mick” and new “See Me Smiling” really brought everything together, making the whole show really timeline Yellowcard’s discography in brilliant fashion. The set list couldn’t have been better.
Playing not one but four encores, the guys made it clear that this was a show all about reuniting for the fans – that the band is centered around the fans. Finishing with the huge “Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard could not have played a stronger set or show. The show proved all the more that Yellowcard are still just as young and lively as ever – not that that should be a surprise to anyone.
Easily one of the most memorable nights of my life, I cannot recommend seeing this show any more. From the stellar opening bands to the absolutely monumental performance by Yellowcard, the night was an absolute blast for everyone.
|Tags: show review, yellowcard, go radio, every avenue, fearless records, hopeless records
|The Lack Long After
|I honestly cannot recommend the new Pianos Become The Teeth record, The Lack Long After, enough. The past month that I've spent with it, it's absolutely tore me apart every time I hear it. For me, this is the most emotional record I've heard within the past..x amount of years. Lyrically, it's absolutely heart-wrenching - every word. Sitting here, it still makes me shake. There's something about music, about this record, about heart, emotion, connection...that just stays with you - it gets inside your veins.|
"Just sit down, and let it be, if only today, if only for me,
that day, what exactly were you selling, preach?
It's misery, these screaming dreams, you see, we all gotta get so broken eventually
and most shouldn't strut around with such confidence
because most of the time, your feet are the same whether he's there or not,
and most of the time, my feet were the same whether you were here or not,
and I take it hard, I take it to heart, and it tears me apart
and I get so tired in that 3 o'clock sun,
it grows right on time, right in front of me,
I've seen some days, and in some ways, I'm always in and out of living in the now
but it sheds years when you still smell the cedar,
Explain to me,
I wish I could find a god's teeth to grit them for him
I'd cut off his ears, put them to my heart, he'd hear me break,
I'd make it obvious to see,
show him a face like water frozen over,
a face that's absorbed everything,
show him it was the wrong day,
show him that I've seen my reach,
explain to me,
just sit down, let it be, if only today, if only for me
I've tried to forget what was said after the fact,
I'm talking to my own soul,
I bottle these potent thoughts,
I'm not obtuse anymore,
I'm not talking to anyone,
I'm not a door anymore
explain to me,
honestly, I don't know if I'd believe if you walked right on time, right in front of me."
|Tags: recommendation, pianos become the teeth, the lack long after, music, thoughts
|First Impressions: Pianos Become The Teeth - The Lack Long After
|First things first: it's been a fantastic year for the hardcore scene - or The Wave as referred to by fans. |
Pianos Become The Teeth's upcoming The Lack Long After will be compared to Wildlife for many reasons - the overwhelming emotion, hard-to-stomach content, heartbreak, genre, etc. After first listen, it was hard to take in this one. Kyle Durfey sings/screams with so much emotion it's too much at times, even uncomfortable - in the best way possible, though. The lyrical content on this record is truly heartbreaking, as the tragedy of Durfey's father's death haunts every moment of the record.
This is the album that will change the game for PBTT completely. Fulfilling their place in The Wave this year, the guys have outdone themselves with The Lack Long After. What results is what may be the most intense, tragically emotional record of the year. It will leave you shaking after first listen.
November 1st isn't too far away, and I'm fully confident that fans will be absolutely floored with The Lack Long After. If you love records like Wildlife, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, and Empty Days & Sleepless Nights so far this year, get ready.
|Tags: pianos become the teeth, first impressions, topshelf records
|Show Review: Lydia, Valise, All Get Out, Look Mexico
Lydia with Valise, All Get Out, and Look Mexico – The Loft in Dallas, TX on October 9, 2011
Arriving at the venue, I knew All Get Out were opening for Lydia, which excited me as I’d been casually listening to their debut record, The Season. However, I had not yet heard the other two opening acts: Valise and Look Mexico.
I’d heard part of Valise’s sound check, which made me incredibly interested in their set, as they definitely had vibes of Circa Survive. Sure enough, the guys were rather unforgettable – especially for just an opening band. With their stunning vocals and solid instrumentation, Valise definitely turned heads throughout the venue. The highlight track was the ethereal “Monster,” as the vocalist absolutely dominated the closer. For fans of Circa or Tides of Man, I highly recommend checking out Valise’s EP, Dreamcatcher.
Up next was All Get Out. Having only casually given The Season a few spins prior to the show, I can honestly say I was floored by their set. Full of raw, rapid energy, the guys cranked up the music to full speed and played their hearts out. Channeling shades of Andy Hull, vocalist Nathan Hussey was a powerhouse on the stage. It was all fast and all fun, with All Get Out easily being the most energetic group of the night. That is not to say it wasn’t poignant and intimate at times, as “Let Me Go” was stunning. Better than they are on the record even, this was a band that really knew what they were doing – let alone how to amp up the crowd.
Look Mexico was the last of the three openers. With a sound similar to All Get Out, these guys were enjoyable, although not nearly as memorable as the other two bands. Matt Agrella could definitely hold his ground live, as the show was generally entertaining. However, at this point, the hype for Lydia was built to a max; the crowd was amped and ready to be amazed.
My Lydia fandom is hardly a secret around here, so it’s safe to say I couldn’t wait for their set – not to mention it was my first time seeing them live. It was everything I’d hoped for and more, with the intimate setting, lighting, and rain beating down on the windows creating a truly perfect atmosphere for their set. The crowd fit perfectly with the setting, singing along to every song of the night. Antelman stood alone while he played a stunning cover of “Stand By Me,” which in itself was a wonderful surprise. They played a splendid mixture of all of their material, even playing old fan favorite December cuts such as “December” and “It’s In Your Blood.” Still, for most of us, it was the striking beauty of the Illuminate choices, namely “Hospital” into “Stay Awake,” that were just…dazzling. The intimacy of the set and venue added such texture and atmosphere to Lydia’s set, making the show more than I could have hoped for.
When the show ended, Craig and Leighton stuck around to chat with fans and do signings, making the night all the more personal. From the great discovery of Valise through the final moments of “Smile, You’ve Won,” the night was absolutely spectacular. It’s hard to believe Lydia had been away for a year, as they played to perfection. All in all, it was everything I could have hoped for in a Lydia show and more. I cannot recommend catching this tour more if it comes to a location near you.
|Tags: show review, lydia, valise, all get out, look mexico