Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Are you perspiring from the irony or just sweating to these lyrics?

This week’s band Cute is What we Aim For comes from the same power pop or emo-pop movement in music that launched the careers of such bands as Paramore, Panic at the Dicso and that little know band Fall Out Boy. The band was formed in 2005 by Shaant Hacikyan, Dave Melillo and Jeff Czum and they were signed by Fueled For Ramen while they were still in high school.
From 2005 until 2008 the band would release two albums, “The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch” and “Rotation”.

Once again Cute is What We Aim For offers something that other bands do not. While some may argue that they are simply a boy band with instruments, one only has to listen to their songs to hear that they are very talented music and lyric writers. Their songs cover every topic from love, to sex, to dealing with the music industry but in a very mature and well-crafted way. Their songs and lyrics speak for themselves, just have a listen to their song "The Curse of Curves" (the song that inspired this week's blog title) and you will see for yourself. 

Unfortunately after the release of Rotation the band split up. There has been a great deal of speculation to why this happened but it was recently revealed that it was due to Shaant Hacikyan’s drug problems. Recently, Hacikyan announced he would be continue to release music under the Cute is What We Aim For name while the other members formed Nocturnal Me. A new album is expected in the near future and last year Cute is What We Aim For played at St. Catharines very own S.C.E.N.E Festival. 
Take a listen to one of the songs released after the band's break up "Next to Me" below.

Hear more from and learn more about the band online at MySpace

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sing me something sad, soft and delicate or loud and out of key. Sing me anything.

This weeks band is one of those bands that some may know of mainly because of their connection to a much more popular band, Taking Back Sunday. Straylight Run came about after John Nolan (singer/guitarist) and Shaun Cooper (bassist) left TBS. The band was rounded out by drummer Will Noon, and Nolan’s sister Michelle DeRosa. 
Take a listen to "A Slow Descent" the song many fans feel is about the deterioration of Taking Back Sunday. 

Straylight Run never reached the same level of success as TBS but they gained a great deal of popularity, especially among fans of TBS who felt that the band was not the same without Nolan’s lyrics. Like the other bands I have blogged about Straylight Run is a band that has something to offer musically and lyrically in terms of substance. Their songs cover topics like the stress that comes with fame, the fear of getting older, marriage and love and battling alcoholism and other internal demons.

Take a listen to one of my favourites, "Try" 

The band would release two full length albums and four EP's from 2004 until 2009. Michelle Nolan left the band in 2008 to purse other things. Unfortunately it looks like Straylight Run may not be making any new music in the near future as Nolan and Cooper have returned to Taking Back Sunday. However, you can still hear them play some of the more popular Straylight songs live and they have both never closed the door on the band reuniting in the future. Luckily I was able to see the band when they played one of their last shows a few years back in St. Catharines and had a beer with the Nolans. Unfortunately I did not take a picture, something I regret very much.

Check out Straylight Run's MySpace and Facebook pages to hear more from and learn more about them. 

Here is a video I took at a recent Taking Back Sunday concert with John Nolan and Adam Lazarra performing Straylight Run's most popular song and the inspiration for the title of this week's post, "Existentialism on Prom Night" (I apologize for the sloppy camera work) 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

And I wonder which song they're gonna play when we go...

This week’s band, The Gaslight Anthem has a significantly different sound than the two previous bands I have blogged about. Music critics describe the band’s sound as being influenced by bands from the New Jersey punk scene, from which they come, such as The Misfits and the Bouncing Souls. While some critics suggest a similar sound to one of the band’s idols Bruce Springstein, there is not a whole lot of similarities in terms of sound. The Gaslight Anthem released their first album “Sink or Swim” in 2007. Their follow up “The 59 Sound” was released in 2008 and was followed by the release of “American Slang” in 2010.

So as always the question is, what is it about this band that makes them stand out from other bands?  Again the answer comes down to the purpose of this blog, the search for bands that offer substance and something beyond contemporary pop music. There really isn’t another band to compare The Gaslight Anthem to because their sound is so much different than many of the bands out there. Their songs cover topics such as love, growing up and losing a loved one. One of my favourite songs “The ’59 Sound” (the song that is the inspiration for the title of this post) that you can listen to here, deals with the loss of a childhood friend and the feeling of guilt that comes along with it. 

Check out the bands website, or their Myspace to hear more from the band. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

And these are the words you wish you wrote down, this is the way you wish your voice sounds

This weeks band is one that I am extremely excited to share with people. Brand New comes from the same Long Island independent and hardcore music scene that brought out bands like Glassjaw and Taking Back Sunday. In fact, Brand New’s lead singer Jesse Lacey was an original member of Taking Back Sunday until best friends Lacey and Taking Back Sunday’s John Nolan had a falling out. Brand New formed in 2000 and released their first album ‘You’re Favourite Weapon” in 2001. They would release three more albums, “Deja Entendu”, “The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me” and “Daisy” over the next ten years.  

(Watch the video of Brand New's "Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't" to hear the inspiration for the title of today's blog.)

Brand New is a band that refused to take the route that many of their contemporaries did. They never risked the integrity of their music in order to conform to some sort of image that was expected of them by major record labels. With each album Brand New continues to develop their skills as musicians and songwriters. Jesse Lacey does the majority of the lyric writing with songs covering topics from love, to death, to the existence of god. He is able to craft words in a way that few other lyricists are able to. Brand New's musical talent and songs speak for themselves. I have posted some songs from the band that I feel stand out but they are all worth listening to. 
Take a listen to one of the band's more thought provoking songs, "Jesus". 

(On a side note, I always find it amusing to tell people about the drama between Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. Listen to Brand New’s “Seventy Times Seven” right before you listen to Taking Back Sunday’s “There’s No ‘I’ in Team” and you will see the “Emo” version of music industry “beef". You can listen to the Brand New song below).