After only a couple listens thus far, I'm incredibly impressed with The All-American Rejects' upcoming record, Kids in the Street. It really demonstrates Tyson's skill as a pop-rock front-man more-so than any of their other releases. At this point, I'm calling it the best pop-rock album of the year thus far - and it will probably keep that title very well.
Look for my review near the release date, March 26th.
Pop Punk The Vote Tour: Man Overboard, Handguns, Seahaven, and Candy Hearts – House Of Blues in Dallas, TX on February 25, 2012
As a huge fan of Man Overboard as they’ve grown over the past few years, I was amped to catch them on their Pop Punk The Vote headlining tour, as I’d never seen them live before. Adding Seahaven and Handguns to the lineup only peaked my interest more. Rapid and lively, the sets were all short and to the point.
I missed Candy Hearts unfortunately, only catching their last song. Fans seemed to be enjoying them though, so catch them if you get the chance to.
Up next Seahaven took the stage. Admittedly, Winter Forever sort of fell by the wayside for me last year due to the myriad of other killer albums released around that time, but their set definitely made me realize all the hype around them was valid. Simply put, they were loud and raw. Vocalist Kyle Soto absolutely commanded the crowd, taking full control. The slick guitar work and paced drumming added to the energy, making the set unforgettable. Think of a more intense Manchester Orchestra meets…Brand New and Balance and Composure. The guys definitely amped the crowd up, proving why Winter Forever received raving reviews.
The youngins in Handguns followed. Playing a nice lengthy set, they pretty much played nearly every song they’ve recorded thus far, only having a couple EPs to go off. As a result, fans were able to hear all of their favorites, with tracks like “My Own Captain” and “Fingers Crossed” really standing out. The young Taylor Eby really proved himself as a frontman, confident, talkative, and raging with energy. Handguns will definitely be something to be on the lookout for this year, with their full-length record due out this summer.
And then came Man Overboard. Although a lengthy number of songs were played – about 15+ or so – their set was a fast one, as the defenders of pop punk didn’t waste much time with banter – they simply played.
Racing through all the favorites, Man Overboard didn’t stop for a breath at all. Opening with “Montrose” into “Rare” and “Real Talk,” they knew what fans came to hear – and delivered just that. However, there were some surprises – the full band “Dear You,” “Dreaming,” and “I Like You” come to mind – making the idea of voting for their set list all the more appealing. The boys encored with the unexpected “Night Feelings” and “She’s Got Her Own Man Now,” making the night end on a solid note of pop-punk. As one of the most talked of pop-punk groups with both Real Talk and Man Overboard, they were true to their motto and cemented their name in pop-punk with their life show.
The show was a fun, energetic, lively night full of bands that simply wanted to play loud and fast. I highly recommend catching this show if it comes near, as Man Overboard’s headlining set has something for every fan, with openers Handguns and Seahaven – and on select dates Daytrader – making it all the more enjoyable. Catch MO on Warped Tour this year, as well.
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.
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, Yellowcardtook 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.
Today we are premiering the acoustic version of "Heralds" by Wolves At The Gate. Head to their AP.net Profile to hear it. The track will be on their upcoming re-release of We Are The Ones on November 15th via Solid State Records.
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."