In an age where bands have lengthy rider lists making their demands (NO BROWN M&M’S PLEASE!) and the cast members of the “Jersey Shore” are getting paid thousands of dollars to appear in bars (NO ORANGE ONES EITHER!), one band is making amazing punk rock music for free.
On February 8, Bomb the Music Industry! released Adults!!!: Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!! (Adults! for short), on the donation driven Quote Unquote Records. You wont find this band selling T-shirts on their Web site or peddling their merch at shows. Instead, they have a stencil that they will spray paint on to your shirt.
Adults! is the followup to Scrambles, which was my favorite album of 2009. So needless to say (why say it then?) the 7-song EP had some big shoes to fill.
Well, this EP is great. Period.
Adults! begins with the ska-driven “You Still Believe in Me?” and “Planning My Death.” Vocalist/guitarist/saxophone player/keyboard player Jeff Rosenstock has gone back to what drew a lot of people to the band in the first place. Ska upstrokes and horns dominate these two fast numbers. Laura Stevenson’s vocals really add a lot to this album, especially the powerful “Ba ba ba ba ba” at the beginning of the chorus on “You Still Believe in Me?” This part of the song really reminded me of some of the work Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs did for the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack. It just has that sort of whimsical, playful vibe to it.
“Slumlord” is Rosenstock’s open letter to the landlord of his crappy apartment. The synth work on this track is really great and adds to the song.
“All Ages Shows” is a slow, but powerful ballad about relationships and punk rock music. In my eyes, this song can mean a lot of different things and it can really speak to a wide variety of people.
In a trashed room in 1996.
A fourteen year old punk and in a flash I’m my parents.
And we’ll never know love, ’cause I was too busy talking to my Green Day posters
They never said nothing to me.
“The First Time I Met Sanawon” is the one track on this album I can absolutely not get enough of. I can listen to it over and over. It has a great ska vibe, plus Rosenstock name drops Chicago, which you have to love. The singalong chorus is amazing. It is one of those songs that makes you long for the summer, even though it is about how cold Chicago is.
The EP concludes with “Struggler,” which is an ode to failure. Rosenstock sings “I don’t wanna go outside ’cause I might have a terrible day and get sent home.”
Overall, this EP is a great collection of songs from Bomb the Music Industry! Since this record was made in 5 days, I would be very surprised if this was the last we heard from Rosenstock this year. The fact that this band is releasing such great and creative music on a shoestring budget makes you really think about why bands need a huge label and tons of money to be successful. Adults! was recorded in someone’s mom’s basement and mixed in an apartment. So all of you small bands out there, don’t give up. There’s plenty of room for you to make great music.
As the great band Journey once said:
The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’.
What? Did you think I was going to say “don’t stop believin’?” That would have been lame.
You can download Adults! here. A $5 donation is recommended, but you can sample any of the tracks or download the entire album for free. Also, every time you refresh the page, you get a different album cover, so you can pick whichever one you want.
Release Date: February 8, 2010
Label: Quote Unquote
1. You Still Believe in Me?
2. Planning My Death
4. All Ages Shows
5. Big Ending
6. The First Time I Met Sanawon
Don’t worry folks. I’m still alive. I’ve just been busy.
But, I come bearing amazing news.
The Deftones have released a new song. AND IT’S AWESOME!
We first heard a live clip of “Rocket Skates” last week. But yesterday, the band put up a video with the studio version of the song along with lyrics. Their new album, Diamond Eyes, will be released May 18.
The Deftones are often lumped in with other “Nu-Metal” bands from the 90s. Doing so is a major injustice to this band. They have been releasing great music since 1995. Their heavy music, mixed with Chino Moreno’s vocals create a very original and unmistakable sound. The Deftones have released two platinum records and two gold records, so if you haven’t heard of them, you’re definitely in the minority. Fans of all genres seem to gravitate toward this band.
On a more somber note, Diamond Eyes will mark the band’s first release since their bassist Chi Cheng was in a car accident and slipped into a “minimally conscious” state November 4, 2008. You can read more about that and donate here.
So here is “Rocket Skates.” There is some adult language in the song. So kiddies, put up those earmuffs.
WHOA! I haven’t really heard anything about Circa Survive in a while, but today they released a song off of their new album Blue Sky Noise, which is set to be released April 20.
“Get Out” is an amazingly powerful song that will more than satisfy any fan of the band’s past work. I didn’t think Circa Survive could possibly attain a bigger sound, but somehow they did it on this track.
For those of you who don’t know, Circa Survive is driven by the amazing vocal of Anthony Green. Green’s musical resume is both extensive and impressive. He was with Zolof and the Rock and Roll Destroyer’s self-titled album, along with The Popsicle EP. Green was in Saosin for the Translating the Name EP. After he left, the band got really crappy really fast. He is “The Skunk” in The Sounds of Animals Fighting with members of Finch and the RX Bandits. He has also released a solo album titled Avalon.
After hearing this track, Blue Sky Noise has quickly become on of my most anticipated albums of the year. The album marks Circa Survive’s debut on Atlantic Records. Blue Sky Noise was produced by David Bottrill,who has won three Grammys. Bottrill has worked with Tool, Muse, Coheed and Cambria and Dream Theater, which would explain the big sound.
“Get Out” has really reminded me how much I love this band.
So, enough with the Anthony Green praise. Here’s “Get Out.”
Check out the rest of Circa Survive’s music.
If you haven’t heard anything from Big D and the Kids Table for a few years, you might be surprised to hear their new sound.
This Boston Ska band’s style has gone through some changes over the years, but their biggest jump has been from their 2007 album Strictly Rude to their latest album Fluent in Stroll. Their new sound is a lot more polished and even includes backup singers. But even with these changes, the band still has the grittiness that everyone is used to. I give Big D and the Kids Table so much credit for never staying in their comfort zone. They don’t seem afraid to try anything.
Any fan of ska should give this band a chance.
Check out their music at their MySpace.
Fluent in Stroll was one of the runners-up on my top albums of 2009 list.
Here’s their newest video for “We Can Live Anywhere.” It has a really theatrical feel to it.
Check it out.
Check out the new trailer for Toy Story 3. I’ve watched it about five times. I honestly couldn’t be more excited.
My only beef with it is the beginning when it says “From the creators all these other movies.” How about, “From the creators of Toy Story?” The movie is a classic. Kids today need to learn. Toy Story broke the mold when it came to this kind of animation.
Go see the movie when it comes out on June 18, which just so happens to be my birthday.
New Found Glory and Dashboard Confessional have a lot in common. They both put out albums on the once-iconic Drive Thru Records. They both seem to have been around forever. And they have left an impression on thousands of their fans. So why wouldn’t these two bands get together to record an old-fashioned split?
Well, after listening to Dashboard Confessional cover two NFG classics, I was wondering why anyone thought this was a good idea.
If I gave out grades for albums, Swiss Army Bro-mance would receive a 50%, simply because half of the songs are great and the other half are garbage.
I used to be a Dashboard Confessional fan. Back in the days when it was mainly Chris Carrabba with an acoustic. I dig The Swiss Army Romance and The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most, but once they went to a full band, they kind of lost me. Come on. You have stolen my heart? I’m sorry, but that sucks.
The first two tracks on the album are Chris Carrabba’s take on “All About Her” and “Better Off Dead” from NFG’s self titled album. I figured he would go back his great acoustic sound for this split. Boy, was I wrong. Both feature a whinier-than-usual Carrabba laboring through the pop-punk classics over a cheesy digital drum track and strange ambiance. It was like he got to the studio and realized he forgot he scheduled a dentist appointment and said “Hey let’s hurry this up. I have a root canal in an hour.” Both covers are incredibly boring and have this awful airy vibe to them. You’d swear someone just told Carrabba his entire family died in a car accident. Splits are supposed to be fun, not coma-inducing.
But all hope is not lost. After hearing Carrabba butcher two songs, the album rises like a phoenix. New Found Glory is here to save the day (Not Saves the Day. That certainly would have made a better split). We have come to expect a lot out of New Found Glory covers because of the From the Screen to Your Stereo albums, and they definitely deliver on their two tracks.
The band kicks in with their version of Dashboard’s “Saints and Sailors.” Now this is what a cover should sound like. They stay true to the original structure, while adding their own flair. Tough-guy guitarist Chad Gilbert screams through the bridge, almost as if he’s saying “Hey Carrabba, this is how you do a cover.” New Found Glory’s rendition of “The Swiss Army Romance” starts with the strumming of an acoustic guitar, but then we hear the crackle of a guitar being plugged into an amp. A nice touch to another nice cover.
New Found Glory and Dashboard Confessional both came on the scene in the late 90’s and they have both had a lot of success. The main difference is New Found Glory still stays true to their roots and is releasing great music, while Dashboard Confessional has alienated their fans for mainstream success and a tour with Bon Jovi.
Keep it going NFG. I’ll see you in Chicago March 5.
1. All About Her
2. Better Off Dead
3. Saints and Sailors
4. The Swiss Army Romance