Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pentimento interview

Recently I had a chance to have chat with Pentimento drummer Michael Hansen. If you havent had a chance to check this band out, I strongly suggest you get on over to and check out their new EP "Wrecked EP" If you are into "Where you want to be" era Taking back Sunday and Hot water music, this will be some jams that will get stuck in your head.

So mike...what made you start this project?

MIKE: Pentimento was formed in July of 2010 after the 4 of us sat down together and had a talk about how frustrated we were with where we were at in our lives musically, and how bad we wanted to be involved with a project that was active and actually doing things to push forward. Every project we’ve been a part of (whether it was independently, or a band that different combinations of us were in together) never really went anywhere. It all collapsed due to poor work ethic, shitty dudes, bad attitudes, lack of communication, etc. Once we all sat down and realized that each one of us was as serious and dedicated as the next, we knew we had something special. It was a very exciting time, and those things that initially sparked the idea of Pentimento are still the same things that we look to for steam a year later.

LITSL: Its good to know you are all so driven. Speaking of drive, what are some goals you have for this band?

MIKE: We’ve had a very busy year, but we always try to keep ourselves focused on what’s next. We’re simply looking forward to finishing our full-length this winter, being on the road as much as possible, and sharing our music with anyone and everyone.

LISTL: I like that. Its always refreshing to me to see a band that has no let up in work ethic. Do you have any tour dates coming up?

MIKE: Lots of tour dates coming up! We leave on the 20th of this month for a North East run with our good friends in Heartwell.( ) We’re finalizing our fall schedule at the moment, but all of our available tour dates for August and September can be found on our facebook page!

LITSL: Excellent to know! Can you fill me in on what the song writing process is like? Is it a group effort? Does one person kind of come up with the skeleton of a song and the rest fill in?

MIKE: We use a lot of methods when coming up with song ideas. We definitely make time at practice to jam ideas on the fly. There have been times where we’ve randomly come across a riff or progression or drum idea we can all get stoked on and run with it for a bit. But the way we normally approach writing has changed in a big way with the help of our good buddy Jake Darling. He’s been cool enough to sit in on practices with us and bring his recording gear to our studio so we can demo new songs as we’re ready. A lot of times, I’ll have a skeleton of a song and I’ll lay down the instruments and vocal ideas that I have. From that point, the other dudes give their input and we get to tweaking it and adding other ideas. It’s proven to be a really effective approach. Having the chance to listen to the demos over and over again has really changed the game for us. It’s allowed us to take a step back and hear the songs as a listener, rather than the band that’s playing them. It’s helped us cultivate our sound and try new ideas and really get a feel for things. Having the demos, and the ability to record the demos whenever we feel the need to has been an incredible tool to have and we’re really thankful that Jake’s willing to help us out that way.

LITSL: That rules, Mike. I think one of the biggest things a band can do is take a step back from their music and try to listen to it as a stranger would. Totally unrelated, but what is your biggest pet peeve with the music industry?

MIKE: Cute Is What We Aim For. That is all.

LITSL: I feel ya dude. So if thats a band you hate, then what band would you love to open for?

MIKE: I’m sure the answer to this question would be different for everyone in the band, but if it was up to me - AFI.

LITSL: Sometimes the bands we loved at 14 stay with us forever. Can you tell me favorite show you've played?

MIKE: That’s a tough question. Playing shows at home is always great because we’ve got a lot of incredible friends that are kind enough to support us. Seeing all those people automatically makes it a great time. I’d also say any time we’ve ever played New Jersey, it’s always a party. New Brunswick, NJ is definitely our home away from home, which is kind of cool because that’s where a lot of our favorite bands are from. Recently though, the four of us had a talk about this type of thing and came to the conclusion that every night is great in it its own way. We’re at the point in our lives as people and musicians where we don’t really consider shows to be “good” or “bad” anymore. Sure, some nights we play better than others…and the fact that we’ve been fortunate enough to not have had anything terrible happen (yet) helps in forming that collective opinion.. But in reality, we’re doing everything we can to give our all every single time we get behind our instruments. For as hard as we try to work, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that this is about having fun.. So at the risk of sounding completely cheesy, every show is our favorite.

LITSL: Thats a great point dude. As long as you are working hard, and playing shows with all of your heart I dont see how it could be bad. Im sure it beats the shit out of working a fast food job.

LITSL: I dont see a lot of facial hair in the band. what gives with that? Is your band anti-beard?

MIKE: I wouldn’t say we’re anti-beard. The issue is that ¾ of us can’t grow facial hair. The 4th one shaves regularly so the rest of us don’t feel bad about our hormone disorders.

LITSL: I dont buy it. Tell that dude to grow a beard already so he can establish his dominance over the rest of you. On the topic of touring, can you tell me what your favorite tour food is?

MIKE: Anything that’s free. Or anything cooked at The Pagano’s house. But it’s fair to say that Popeye’s Chicken is a staple on the road. We don’t have that in our hometown, so it’s something we look for when we’re out.

LITSL: Have you stopped at any ridiculous roadside attractions?

: The only thing I would consider a ridiculous roadside attraction that we’ve stopped at in recent times was a White Castle in New Brunswick, NJ. Never again. Once while I was on tour with a different band from Buffalo a couple summers ago, we stopped at a reptile museum. That was pretty awesome.

LITSL: What was label hunting like? What did you do to separate yourself from the pack?

MIKE: I think the only thing bands can do to separate themselves from others is display a strong work ethic. Effort is a big part of this whole thing, and as long as you’re willing to put in the work, doors will certainly open. We originally decided to use the press kit approach to try and gain some label interest, because most labels want to see bands put in the work it takes to create a presentable press kit. It’s a good way to let everyone know you mean business. We used a small pressing company called Kunaki to do a run of 100 copies of the EP, wrote up something to include, and put ‘em in the mail. We sent out about 20 press kits to all the labels we could think of that had artists we enjoyed. At the same time, we’d posted a full stream of the EP on our facebook and bandcamp pages, which is what proved to be the definitive factor for us, rather than the press kits, oddly enough. During the first two weeks of our online stream, we were fortunate enough to have been contacted by several respectable labels, including Panic Records. We all just about pissed ourselves, and couldn’t wait to learn more about what Panic was interested in doing with us. Since signing, the relationship we’ve developed with Panic has been incredible, and we absolutely feel that we’ve made the right choice for Pentimento by calling Panic Records our home.

LITSL: Well Mike, thanks for taking the time to talk! I hear AP is doing an interview with you soon. Ill look for that and hopefully I'll catch you on tour sometime!

Pentimento is:

Singer/Guitar: Jerry Pauly
Mike Hansen: Drums
Lead guitar : Lance Claypool
Bass: Vinny Caito

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Technical problems

I havent posted any reviews in a while due to the lack of stereo. I dont have computer speakers, just a bass amp that only plays music in mono instead of stereo, so I havent been able to give each record I've been checking out a fair review.

As far as records I've heard through only ONE speaker, here is a couple suggestions. When I get speakers I'll do a proper review.

Laura Stevenson & the cans- Sit/Resist

Low anthem- Smart flesh

Wye Oak- Civilian

Yuck- S/t

Panda Bear- Tomboy
Bands Im excited to hear from this year

Against Me!(7 inch, demos from Searching for a former clarity, and possible new full length

Manchester Orchestra(the new single was alright, I hold out high hopes for the full length)

The wonder years(released a new single, possible new full length)

I realize that isnt a very long list of things to check out, so here is a few albums that came out that I dont really like or care about, but some people do

Death cab for cutie, Pains of being pure at heart, and Explosions in the sky all have new releases this year. I care a little more about the later two than the first, but only slightly. I checked out a song or two from Pains' new record and wasnt really into it.

I can never handle Explosions for more than one track at a time. As far as post rock goes, I think of them as the Angels and airwaves of the genre. Lots of delay, predictable, but a really cool sound and a great band to check out if you are un familiar with post rock.

Ill have those reviews up soon :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dead Ringer demo/interview

Album: 3 song demo
Release date: November 2010
Rating: 8/10

Last time I checked, my desk was NOT a time machine. However, when I put the first song off this demo from 90s die-hards and Jersey natives, Dead ringer I found myself forgetting that it was not 1995.

I'm kind of a snob when it comes to music fronted by females. I just think a lot of it is more focused on being girl fronted rather than focused on actually sounding good. Thankfully, guitar player and lyricist of Dead Ringer, Kristia Moya feels the same way and spent time writing songs with great guitar overdrive, and a genuine feel to the songs that is often left out of bands calling themselves "pop punk"

Im excited to see what the band does with these songs. They show great potential to put out a record that should have been playing all day on a Walkman, but will still sound just as good coming from an Ipod.

Guitar player, and lyricist Kristia was gracious enough to do an interview about the 3 song demo.

LITSL: Hello Kristia! Thanks for giving me some of your time. How long did this demo take to record?

Kristia : We recorded the demo back in November and managed to record it all in one session by the help of Kevin Carafa, who filled in on drums and also recorded us, because Dead Ringer started off as only Carlos and myself

LITSL: When you two started writing songs together, how did that process go? Was there a set process or more of a "anything goes" system? Like did it usually start with one of you two writing something, whether its a part to a song, or a whole song? Or was it more of a jam and see what you come up with?

Kristia: Basically, I would write a full song and show him. We would both work on the song and add harmonies together.

LITSL: Did song writing start off acoustically?

Kristia: Yes, I always write my songs on acoustic first. I've always enjoyed being able to play my songs acoustically no matter what genre it'd be. It's also easier for me so I can work out the melody, song structure, and have an organized chord sequence.

LITSL: Did you already know the other members of the band, or was it a little work finding other 90s nerds living around you?

Kristia: It was a little work trying to find a permanent drummer, but we were lucky enough to have, Luis(our current drummer), found us after a posting about us and our demo. He's a great drummer and a genuine guy which is hard to find in a drummer nowadays so we're beyond excited to have him in Dead Ringer.

LITSL: So did you already know Carlos?(bass, vocals)

Kristia: Yes! We've known each other for quite a while now and we were in a band previously called "Exit She Calls". He's also one of my best friends so playing in a band and experiencing this all together with him makes it even better.

LITSL: That's awesome to hear! Its a good thing hes such a fan of the 90s as well. Otherwise you would have to go door to door to see who is watching marathons of The X files or Seinfeld. Do you have an idea of when a completed EP or LP can be expected?

Kristia: We'll be heading into the studio the end of this month to record 4 new songs for our upcoming EP entitled Enjoy The Ride. Gruff Beard Records will be releasing it on vinyl, cassette tape, cd, and digital download sometime during Spring.

LITSL: Do you think its a little frustrating for legitimate "pop punk" bands to get notice in a world ruled by All time low and any band that claims to be influenced by New Found Glory?

Kristia: It can be frustrating, but at the same time majority of the pop punk bands that I'm friends with aren't into All Time Low and what they're all about when it comes to the music industry. You see, when I think of pop punk, I automatically think of bands off of Fat Wreck Chords, Epitaph Records, No Idea Records, Asian Man Records, and etc. It's obvious that these bands don't get as much credit as a band like All Time Low does. But the bands that I've listened to while growing up, in my opinion, have written some of the most honest and passionate songs I've ever came across and others can agree with me. I'm sure that majority of these bands would not want to be in the same place as All Time Low, though. For example, after attending so many shows since I was 12, whether it be in a arena, small venue, or a house show, I can say that attending a house show is my favorite. The intimacy that is exchanged between a band and a crowd is so much more rewarding on both ends. You actually feel like you're a part of it and it is because of that, that makes this DIY scene unique and strong. To me that is being successful in what you do, as a musician, not the money that you make. I can go on and on about this particular topic, but it'd take me days to write down exactly how I feel. Not everyone will agree with me, but this is where I stand.

To be honest with you, I've always been a fan of New Found Glory. It's great to be influenced by a band, especially New Found Glory, but to constantly think of "Oh! I wonder what they'd write." is pointless. How can one claim to be passionate about their music that way? I got into music because it was an outlet for me and I was able to express myself without having to worry what others thought. I understand that every band has different point of views and goals that they set for themselves, but when it comes to Dead Ringer we will always write what feels right to us and as long as it's coming from the heart. I know...corny.

LITSL: I appreciate you taking the time to answer that question so honestly. My impressions of your band are that you put 100% into everything you do, and that is refreshing in a world where a lot of things have become stale and predictable. Any plans for touring?

Kristia: Of course! We plan on doing some weekend tours here and there to support the release of our upcoming EP. Then, we'll be touring in August for a month pretty much hitting up the East Coast and kind of Midwest. We're really excited to be getting out on the road! I absolutely love touring because I get to do three of the things I love: playing music, traveling, and of course...eating.

LITSL: I heard you just finished up a west coast tour. How did that go? Did you get good reactions?

Kristia: I did and it went great! Unfortunately, Carlos couldn't be a part of the tour due to work and also it was scheduled before Luis had joined the band. I was lucky enough to tag along with Greedy Eyes, from San Francisco, throughout the West Coast on tour. I can't forget that their drummer, Evan Deges, and bassist, Cody Bustos, had helped by filling in for Dead Ringer. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have been able to do this and am grateful for that. The reactions we got at the shows we played at were great. I wasn't too sure what to expect before playing the shows and what feedback I'd get because Dead Ringer is still a new band, but at every show we played, everyone was so supportive and open. And because of that, I've met so many amazing bands and people on the tour.

LITSL: Thats awesome to hear you got such a great reception! Thankfully Greedy Eyes was there to lend a hand. Well Kristia, Its been a real pleasure interviewing you. Before we wrap this up I wanted to thank you for taking time to do this and wish you the best of luck with Dead Ringer. But before you go, could you let me know some bands to look out for? Im always looking for bands to review. Also, while you were out west did you stop in anywhere that had food that blew you away? Im a nacho junkie and always am looking for the best. Thanks again!

Kristia: Charles! Thank you for being interested enough to review our demo and interview me. The only band I can think of at the moment that I've recently gotten into are The Transgressions from Wisconsin. They're definitely worth checking out if you're into pop punk.
Being a vegetarian, I LOVE looking up and hearing from others about vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants and bakeries. I came across a handful on the West Coast so I was excited.

San Francisco, CA:
Ananda Fuara Vegetarian
Any taqueria in the Mission area

Los Angeles, CA:
Vegan House

Portland, OR:
D.C Vegetarian
Voodoo Doughnut

LITSL: Thanks again and good luck!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mogwai- Hardcore will never die, but you will.

LENGTH: 53:08
RATING: 7.2/10

  1. White Noise– 5:04
  2. Mexican Grand Prix– 5:18
  3. Rano Pano 5:15
  4. Death Rays – 6:01
  5. San Pedro – 3:27
  6. Letters to the metro – 4:41
  7. George Square Thatcher Death party – 4:00
  8. How to be a werewolf – 6:23
  9. Too Raging to Cheers – 4:30
  10. You're Lionel Richie– 8:29

I was trying to find something to review when I found this record. I had been meaning to check out Mogwai for quite some time, so now I finally have a chance to do so. The album opens up with "White Noise" and I must say, its a fitting title. The album opens up with quiet mumbles which bleeds into the rest of the song. Its a very lonely sound on this song. The background mumbles continue throughout the song and with the lonely vibe set with the music, it gave me an image of being in a loud room with many people in it, yet still feeling alone. The one thing that kind of bugged me though were the drums. To me, they never flowed. They gave the song a jagged feel, it seemed.

The first track made me kind of skeptical. Bands that tend to focus more on instrumentals fall victim to cliches often. Delay on the guitar, big sounding drums with reverb. Its sometimes hard to distinguish the difference between a decent band in the controversially named genre "Post-Rock" and a entirely mediocre record. To me, what it comes down to is passion. Anybody can make an Explosions in the sky(EITS) rip off, and after this first track I was worried that the record might sound like a mix between EITS and U2s' "How to dismantle an atomic bomb"

I cannot begin to tell you the confusion the second track, "Mexican Grand Prix" gave me. Even after hearing the whole record, I dont understand how this song fits the rest of the record. When the song started, I noticed how much the computerized hand claps bugged me. The vocals were obnoxiously auto-tuned for that all too familiar coded sounding voice. To be fair, I am not a fan of the 8 bit genre. For those who are, there are two songs on this record that you may enjoy. Along with "Mexican Grand Prix" the song "George Square Thatcher Death Party" fits the 8-bit vibe. It opens with a catchy fuzz driven bass, and to no shock of my own, a synth. The guitar bends on this song are pretty awesome, they gave me a good distraction from his singing.

Both of those songs were hard to make out, lyrically. I could not find any sites with lyrics at the time of this review. Maybe behind those auto-tuned drenched vocals, there is a message to be heard. After 4 tracks I started realizing that at least to me, the record has yet to establish itself. It doesnt seem to flow.

There are some songs on this record that come off as stale to me. The music is always well constructed. This band knows how to harmonize their guitars very well. The drummer does a good job of keeping the down-sounding songs quiet and not falling to the cliche floor tom sound that Angels and Airwaves made so overdone. It may not be groundbreaking, but the songs are good enough to at least enjoy how real the drums feel.

On the songs "San Pedro" and "Too Raging to Cheers" the band displays an aggressive side. They mix strings in with a very riff-heavy song and pull it off without sounding like a Godspeed rip off.

The song "Letters to the metro" is a stand out track to me. Ominous sounding piano leads into a very low key sounding drum beat. I guess Im really cynical about guitars in instrumental type music. It usually has the same tone and although may be very moving, it gets boring hearing the same crecendos. This song took a turn I didnt expect. Once the guitar started getting a little louder I thought it was time to hit the delay pedal. I was wrong. Great guitar tone, very lonely sounding. What seperated this song from most cliche songs is that I believed this song. The lead work reminded me of the bridge in "Cowboy Dan" by Modest Mouse. This track specifically has the most heart on the record to me.

I wish they had chosen a better closing song. It changed directions too often to keep me interested in the un-avoidable build up of fuzz that would surely close the record.

Overall, this record has some really good, heartfelt moments. It never really established a steady pace, and Im not sure that it really had an "album feel". There is no question that these gents know how to harmonize their instruments. They know how to write leads and solos that actually fit the song and not feel false or cheesy. I am glad I got a chance to hear this record, and I'll probably check out at least a couple songs from their earlier releases to try and find some more honest, moving pieces of instrumental work. This record is amazing one moment, and puzzling the next. But it has enough good moments to make up for the lesser moments.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Matt and Kim- Sidewalks

RATING: 8/10
YEAR: 11/2/2010
  1. Block After Block – 2:55
  2. AM/FM Sound – 3:14
  3. Cameras – 3:32
  4. Red Paint – 3:06
  5. Where You're Coming From – 4:09
  6. Good for Great – 3:50
  7. Northeast – 2:51
  8. Wires - 3:58
  9. Silver Tiles – 3:36
  10. Ice Melts – 3:45
Album available at

Whats that I have in my hand? Is it another late pass? Yes it is. I slept on this record for a while. I am very much a Matt and Kim fan, ever since I saw them on tour with Against Me! in 2007. Since then I have seen them many times live, each show more energetic than the last. The reason I slept on this record was because I knew it would be very cheery sounding, and its winter time. What do these things have in common? I have no motivation to be happy in the winter, therefore don't listen to much cheery music.

But I saw a video of them playing a newer song live and decided to check the new record out.

The album starts off with a very hip hop influenced track, called Block after Block. Not a bad way to start the record. Gets you into the groove pretty quick. This song is not nearly as good in my opinion as the track that follows it, AM/FM Sound. Such a poppy chorus, its really hard to stop your foot from tapping the ground to this awesome party track. Throughout the next couple tracks( Cameras, red paint) it gets kind of easy to blend the tracks together. A little change of pace on "where youre coming from" is refreshing at 5 tracks in.

The song northeast is not like many other songs on the record at all. Much slower, and quite heartfelt. Not just a party jam. Matt and kim apparently decided to re-record a classic song from their self titled release. An updated version of "silver tiles" was an unexpected joy for me. It wasnt as fast as the original recording, it seemed. It has been a while since I heard the original, but I feel like Kim added some new drum rolls that give the song a way more solid edge.

I enjoyed listening to this record, just like I do with other Matt and Kim records. I liked this one a bit more than I enjoyed their release"Grand." The downside of this record is that sometimes the songs bleed into one another where 2 minutes may have passed and you didnt notice a song change. This is by far the best produced record, the drums sound amazing. Kim really let the beats go free on this record. I hear a very strong hip hop influence. Most of the record is hip hop influenced in old school hip hop, especially the album opener. On top of the old school hip hop feel..I'm getting a vibe of Billy Talent meets Fang Island. Matts vocals are so well done on this record, his voice really does sound familiar to Animal Collective's Avey tare. High pitched, but not nasily. Perfect melody. This record is a great pick me up, and even though the songs do kinda bleed into eachother at times..whos to say that an album clocking in at a little over 30 minutes should be anything but a fun dance party?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Love Language- Libraries


RELEASE DATE: 7/13/2010

Brittany's Back
This blood is our own
Summer Dust
Blue Angel
Heart to Tell
This Room

I have a late pass on this record. I was searching around for stuff to check out this week, but amidst my search I found out that Archers of loaf played an un-announced concert opening for the band The Love Language. I was intrigued by the band getting to have Archers of loaf open for them, so I went and checked out their last release, "Libraries"

The album opens well enough, with quite a large, dynamic sound to it. Sort of reminds me of "in the flowers" by Animal Collective. The album changes away from this sound on the 3rd track "This blood is our own." A voice that reminds me of Win Butler from arcade fire sings wonderfully over this sad 50s sounding ballad with a great string section behind the song.

"Summer dust" starts off, and it seems to take the record into a sound reminiscent of Arcade fires 2010 release "The Suburbs" Certainly this record was in need of a more rock centered drum beat, and this song provides a good change in tempo, even if only temporary. However, the piano work in "Blue angel" is definitely worth noting, as it leads so well into a Beatles-esque guitar solo.

Once again, the record gets a huge burst in tempo in way of the track "Heart to tell" Yet again somewhat sounding like Arcade fire, but not enough to be called a rip off. I really was not sure of his voice the first time I listened to this record, but on the second listen through I am growing quite fond of it.

The record seems to stay more on a well moving pace on the second half of the record, which is nice. The record is pretty lengthy, at least it feels like it. Not to say this is a bad record by any means, it seemed to move slow sometimes though.

The first time I listened to this, I didnt think it was anything special, and I cant say that I am the biggest fan of this record. However, it was good enough to warrant a second listen. I found myself remembering parts that I liked and looking forward to a part of a song to come in.

Overall, the record was pleasant to listen to. Echoes of Animal Collective and Arcade Fire are never bad things for a record to sound like, in this authors mind. Sometimes a bit dense, but overall the record has the hooks and melodies to keep you listening to it. Well constructed and well paced. I imagine I will be getting to know this record a little more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kriegshog S/T

ARTIST: Kriegshog

I asked a friend of mine to send me something to listen to so I can review it. I was told to check Kriegshog out, so with no prior knowledge of anything this band has done I checked it out.

The album starts off with a nightmare, literally. The first song is called nightmare and it sure does sound like what somebody in an asylum may be dreaming. Really set the tone for the record.

I was concerned when I saw one of the tracks was longer than 3 minutes.
They must have already sold out....

I'll be the first to admit that this kind of punk is not always my cup of tea. Sometimes I zone out on it. Too fast, too much going on in a song, etc. What sets these guys aside to me is that while I may zone out on it, it pulls me back in for just an over the top crazy aggressive part of a song. Its like trying to not listen to a friend tell a really bad story, but it takes a dark turn and youre suddenly drawn into the story, or in this case the record.

Fans of Cult ritual and Acid reflux are in for a treat, this is for sure one of the most intense hardcore punk records I've heard in a while.

For people that typically dont listen to this kind of music, keep this in mind:

Most things we listen to have structure, emotions, melody, and feelings.

This band has no structure, but you know they are mad about something. I personally cant understand what hes saying, I didnt look up lyrics. But sometimes in our darkest, most pissed off moments the songs we know words to really arent angry enough. So if you find yourself on the road, and you are feeling pissed but dont know why, I suggest this record to you.

At the very least, you will probably piss off anybody stuck in rush hour traffic.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Your skull my closet review

YEAR: 2010


I had heard about this band being from Michigan, and I decided to stop my cynical attitudes towards bands from my state. So often, I am forced to hear Chiodos and Fireworks as great examples of Michigan music.

This was an odd record to hear. To me, it never really set ground. It felt very off-balance, but it seems thats what this band was going for. The audio samples mostly seemed irrelevant to me, but still I did not mind them, they were short and always lead into a song, which is about the only standard thing I noticed on this record.

However, it does need mentioning that the guitar tones were incredible. On the title track, I was a very big fan of the vocalists howls and screams, but not as much as I really enjoyed the guitar tones. For some reason, they reminded me of the tones that an 80s post new wave band would pick. The bass player holds down this song very well. The guitar leads give off a very melancholy vibe.

This album was nothing outstanding or special, but there are worse ways to kill a little time. I cant explain why, but this band sounds like Jawbox was listening to Bends era- Radiohead.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top albums of 2010

Here is a list of the shit Ive really loved this year.

1. Arcade Fire- The suburbs
2. Fake Problems- Real ghosts caught on tape
3. Alcest- Ecailles de Lune
4. Against Me!- White crosses
5. Beach House-
Teen Dream
6- Fang Island- Fang Island
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra- Kollaps Tradixionales
8. Wavves- King of the beach

Honorable mention:
Ceremony-Rohnert Park

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review of fake problems

This is my first real album review that I've actually put thought and several listens into. hopefully its helpful and well written.

YEAR: 2010
LABEL: Side One Dummy
RELEASE DATE: 9/21/2010


1. "ADT"
2. "5678"
3. "Songs For Teenagers"
4. "RSVP"
5. "Soulless"
6. "Complaint Dept."
7. "Done With Fun"
8. "The Magazines"
9. "White Lies"
10. "Grand Finale"
11. "Ghost To Coast"

I was very excited to hear this record today. I had heard the single of "soulless" and to be honest was not that impressed. I was just unsure if that song would be something that just sticks out from the record with its own sound, or if it flows with the sound. I was unsure of what that sound would be. Following up on "Its great to be alive" would be no easy task. That record is upbeat, anthem filled and heartfelt. We all know fake problems knows how to kick out the bangers, but would they do it in the same vein as previous releases?

Thankfully, the answer is no. This record brings out an entirely new sound for the band. This record could have been the soundtrack for the movie "That thing you do!" Not to say these songs are mindless pop jingles, but the over all sound to me at least is 60s pop. Great guitar work as always. Very few bands can set a mood with just the guitar the way fake problems does Going into this record, it seemed that myself and a lot of fans were concerned if this record would be as "fun" as previous releases. "Fun" is relative.

The album starts off with those great huge drums that were part of the intro/outro track of "its great to be alive" The guitar brings you in and almost makes you think of all those photographs you still look at to remember better times. This song reminds us that no matter how boring or stale our lives have become, we just have to keep going on. Fake problems is one of those bands to me that either comes off very heartfelt, or just cheesey . The blink 182 sense of humor and sound this band is rooted around is still there on the back burner, but they have something to say to you to let you know they mean business. "The television is waiting to save you. It would be nice to have a conversation. Tap tap your feet to your heart beat"

The next track "5678" to me, is the weak point of the record. To me it could be a really cool B-side to their previous full length. Sort of the same sound. Catchy, very dance-y. Not a personal favorite on the record, but still a good throw back.

Overall, on the whole record, the guitar and bass are really in sync together. Great hooks. The lead guitar once again sets a great mood. Really a reflective sounding tone with a great twist of 60s pop. Like youre having a conversation with an old friend over a bottle of something warm and cheap and remembering those drives you took when you were younger. The drives that lead to nowhere because you were young and had the time to appreciate things we tend to forget about as we get older.

That seems to be a theme Fake problems brings up a lot on this record. Sometimes its like hes looking in a mirror and hating who he sees in himself and all around because its not what he imagined. The song " The magazines" is a very downer lyrically. Tale of a friend you thought you knew so you stood up for only to realize they didnt care about you. Its a tough pill to swallow, but most of us have swallowed that time and time again.

On the track "Grand Finale" the songs starts off with the lyric " theres still hope for us" Interesting lyric considering the title. What is coming to a close? As so many records before its time, the answer is youth. Looking back at being young and all knowing and knowing it all went away, and the past is gone. The feeling we all come to terms with of not missing the past but being glad its gone forever is really close to home for me, and Im sure most people.

Like all of their records, Fake Problems saves the best for last. "Ghost to coast" is a raw and emotional look at how he is doing after a breakup. Being lost in himself at college and thinking everybody around him is fake, and wanting to give up on everything. It seems that most of the songs on this record deal with a let down in ones self, and people around you but keep going anyway. Its a bittersweet taste left on your tounge when this record is over, and the only remedy is a cigarette by yourself and listening to it all over again.

This record has many layers. It grows on me each time I listen to it. That good ol' Blink 182 sense of humor/wit they are known for, great pop hooks and melodies. But underneath all of that is a very honest look at ones self. Some may say this is not as "fun" as their last releases. As stated, depends on what you call fun. This records lyrics can be ignored(though not advised) and taken as a happy dance-y record. Or this record can be taken as something pure and honest in a time when most music is just gimmick-y. One of the most honest things Ive had the chance to hear in a while, and anybody looking for a friend to talk about that vacant spot on your bed where somebody special used to be can just put this record on, because this band said anything you were going to anyway

Overall rating:


Re-playing ability-

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What a slow year for music.

I could only find 6 records that came out this year that were really that good.

Brand new- Daisy
Animal Collective- Meriweather Post Pavilion
New found glory- not without a fight
Matt and kim- Grand
Dear Landlord- Dream homes
The pains of being pure at heart- s/t

there are two records i sort of checked out, but not enough to know how I feel about them
Lucero- 1372 overton park
Tegan and sara- Sainthood.

maybe they will grow on me.