You Know The Drill have released a new single titled “Snake Eyes,” the lead single off of their upcoming EP, “Selfhood.” I loved their debut EP, so I was ecstatic to hear new music form them. This song starts off with a great vocal hook in the intro, leading into the verse, full of energetic instrumentation. The melodies are catchy and get even better as the song continues, especially during the chorus. Something else that stood out to me about this track was the dynamics and overall songwriting of it. The song gets softer for a bit, then, the next thing you know, the band picks the pace back up again. As well as that, Joey Fleming from In Her Own Words has a feature on this track, and does a good job on his part, showing off his talent as a vocalist. Speaking of vocals - the vocalist of this band puts on a fantastic performance all throughout the song. Overall, I loved this track. It’s a fantastic lead single and I can’t wait to hear the full EP.
Favorite Tracks: In Gloom, Starlighter (Echo, Utah), The Suicide Mile
Hawthorne Heights have been a band for quite some time. They could arguably be one of the staples in the emo and post-hardcore scene from the early 2000s, and are a band that still get plenty of recognition to this day. The band are finally releasing their extremely highly anticipated record, titled "Bad Frequencies," the first full-length full of new music since their 2013 release, "Zero." This is a band I've heard plenty about over the years, so I was very excited and curious going into this record, and I was very impressed by it. The opening track "In Gloom" starts out with a very soft intro, led by piano and soft guitar - a great way to start the song and the record - followed by the opening lines: “Life goes so fast. We’re all just a blurry photograph taken with shaky hands. We’ll burn out too soon, spending our last few years in gloom.” After that, the track quickly becomes a hard hitting ballad. There's just so much power and emotion throughout this track, from the vocals to the instrumentation, and the chorus is pretty catchy. This is honestly one of the best opening tracks for an album that I've heard in quite some time. "Pink Hearts" is a bit of a slower track with some pretty interesting guitar parts, especially in the beginning. The intro in "Crimson Sand" is full of energy, while the chorus consists of memorable melodies. "The Perfect Way To Fall Apart" follows suit with the pounding drums driving the track, impressive guitar parts, and the great vocal style and vocal melodies in the pre-chorus and chorus. The instrumentation and added screaming on these two tracks remind me a of the darker sound that the band created on their older work. "Just Another Ghost" is another slightly darker track, with lyrics like “I used to be stronger, the silence is longer, now I’m the bitter one" and some screaming included during the bridge. The title track, "Bad Frequencies" is one that really stood out to me. It's a softer track both vocally and instrumentally, and the laid-back tone of it is what makes it so unique. "Skylark" is a change in pace, being a bit more upbeat. As far as the vocals go, the performance and vocal style on here reminds me of some older music in the emo and post-hardcore subgenres. The softer instrumentation in the verses really lets the vocals shine. "Edge Of Town" has a pretty simple intro, but it's still memorable regardless. The song is just a lot of fun to listen to, with the catchy rhythm and interesting melodies. "Starlighter (Echo, Utah)" has some emotional verses with great vocals, and the melodies all throughout the track are fantastic. (Sidenote: This song honestly could have made a pretty great opening track as well.) One word you could use to easily describe "Push Me Away" is dark. The instrumentation is a lot darker, as well as the lyrics (“Pull the stitches from our skin, the scars show who we are” and "This lonely road that leads to home may lead us to our death" being a couple examples). The chorus on here is, once again, slightly reminiscent of their older work, with so much emotion in the vocal performance. One of the most emotional tracks on the entire record, however, is "The Suicide Mile." It's another softer track, which already made it contrast from a lot of this record, but another thing that really stuck out to me was the emotional and honest lyrics, such as “My life is spinning around in circles; it’s like I’m wasting my time with dead end streets and concrete dreams" and “The demons in my head keep me alive." The vocals on this track are amazing as well, especially the shouted vocals in the bridge. "Straight Down The Line" is a softer track with some cleaner guitar tones used during the verses, but also a hard hitting chorus with a great blend of singing and screaming and a more aggressive bridge with some impressive lead guitar parts. "Pills" already feels like a great album closer right from the beginning. The vocal style on here is great, and the echoing “woah”s in the background add more to the vocals in the verses. The chorus on here is another solid one, full of memorable melodies. Overall, I loved this record. I was very impressed by a lot of these songs and feel like this is a record I will be coming back to time and time again.
Favorite Tracks: Epic & Colegram. Nonsense, Jump
Punk rock band Fall Flavored have released their debut record, titled "180." When I listened to this record, I was very surprised and impressed with quite a lot of these songs. "Epic & Colegram" has an interesting intro that drew me in instantly (try to say that three times fast.) The drums on here are insane and the vocals are impressive as well, especially in the second verse. "Mountain Of Rage" has interesting instrumentation, especially in the bridge, and a fantastic vocal performance full of passion. "Nonsense" starts off as a slower track, sort of resembling a ballad, but has a huge chorus with great composition. "Character In A Role Play" has some very impressive instrumentation, and a nice pre-chorus that leads up to another great chorus. "Runaway" has some darker instrumentation in the intro, which I loved. It is one of many tracks on this record that shows off the punk rock influences of this band's sound, from the vocal style and performance to that dark instrumentation backing it up. "Sleep" is one of the catchiest tracks on this entire record, from the guitar parts in the intro to the melodies in the verses. The vocal performance on this track in particular really stood out to me as well. "Can’t Be Beaten" has some very impressive guitar parts all throughout, especially the solo that absolutely blew my mind. "Stuck In Life" is one of the best tracks on here as far as the vocals go. The vocal style that this band's singer uses in his amazing performance on here really stands out, and the melodies in the chorus show off his vocal range. "Courtesy Of Boris" has so much energy within its darker instrumentation. The bass and drums in particular stood out to me on this track and I found those parts to be very impressive. If you thought that this track was full of energy, just wait until you hear the closing track, "Jump." In addition to that, the track is incredibly catchy and includes another impressive guitar solo. Overall, I really liked this record. I was impressed by quite a few of these songs and by the energetic punk sound that this band has.
Favorite Track: Stuck In A Daydream
This Crooked Home have released their debut EP, "Distance." This is a band whose name I had heard before, so I was excited to check out this band and see what they had in store on their debut release. "Stuck In A Daydream" has some interesting guitar and drum parts, especially in the intro. This song is a perfect example of the band showing off their unique sound and mixing different styles together. The instrumentation kind of reminds me of some post-hardcore music, while the vocals lean more towards pop punk. The chorus on here is fantastic and undeniably catchy, and the vocals throughout the entire song are great, but only get better as the song continues. "Hold My Own" gives the rhythm guitars the spotlight in the beginning. This song is one that definitely shows a lot more of the pop punk influences in this band's sound. The vocal performance on here is great, and the vocal harmonies in the chorus add more to it. "Out Of Reach" shows some different vocal styles, which I found pretty interesting. Some other highlights of the track include the impressive chorus melodies and well-written lyrics (“I don't want to believe that this is all I can be, but at least I'm standing now”). "Nowhere Left To Hide" is more of an upbeat track, but also a darker one, especially as far as the instrumentation goes. The melodies on here are pretty good as well, but even better in the beginning of the following track, "Never Learn." In addition to the memorable melodies, this track has some great lyrics (“I'm standing on my own while everyday this weakness grows, but I am not alone”) and an incredible bridge that really stands out. Overall, I really liked this EP. I was very impressed with a lot of these songs and really like the unique sound that this band has.
Favorite Track: Predictable
Crossing The Limits have released their debut EP, titled "Perserverance." I enjoy the style of music that this band plays, so I was excited to check out their music, and I will say this: "Perserverance" is a strong debut. The opening track "Won't Settle" is instantly memorable, from the melodies to the guitar parts. It's a pretty upbeat track, full of energy from start to finish, especially in the anthemic chorus and powerful bridge. "Predictable" has some pretty impressive guitar parts as well, but yet again, the chorus on it is definitely a highlight, especially with the incredible vocal performance during it. Not to mention that this song also has some pretty good lyrics (“I won’t be sorry for being myself”)."Reverse" has an intro on here that stood out to me quite a bit as far as the composition goes. It also has some extremely memorable melodies all throughout the track, but that’s something you’ll hear quite a lot of throughout this entire EP. “Chaos” comes in strong with a huge intro full of energy and passion. The composition on here is pretty interesting as well, especially in the catchy chorus. Right away, “My Own Way” feels like it’s going to be a great closing track, and it definitely is. The bridge on here is definitely one of the best parts of it, mainly because of how well it builds up as it goes on. The bass and drums on this track are also pretty interesting and stood out a little bit. Another thing that stood out about this track in particular was one of its lyrics: “We lose ourselves sometimes, looking for things that we can’t find, you’ve got time to turn your wrongs into rights.” Overall, I really liked this EP. I think it’s pretty impressive for a debut release and that a lot of these songs are very well-written and just memorable tracks in general.
Favorite Track: An Open Letter
Luke Rainsford has released his latest EP, titled "I Don't Deserve To Be Loved." The EP starts out well with the opening track, "Looking For Your Ghost." The vocals have so much emotion right off the bat (which is something you'll hear plenty of on this EP), and so do the honest and detailed lyrics, such as "- “I always tried to find the bright side when I think about your bedside as I held your hand for the last time and I start to just break down." The song was written well, to the great melodies found there. "I Can't Keep My Promises" has an interesting guitar riff in the beginning and has a bit of energy in its overall instrumentation at first, but slows down a little bit as it goes on. "An Open Letter" has a vocal performance that absolutely blew me away. It's full of so much passion, shows off his voice very well, and the vocal harmonies thrown in add even more to the performance and the song as a whole. Another thing I loved about this track is the songwriting. Not only does it show great examples of Rainsford's honest lyrical style (“I’m sorry I wasn’t around for your final breath. I spent your final moments still fixated on myself.”), but it also has really good dynamics and interesting composition. Following this track is the lead single "Sweet Briar," and this song was definitely a great choice for the lead single. It's a much more upbeat track when compared to the others and it definitely stands out a lot. There's just so much energy on this track and the melodies are really catchy. The following track, "What I Can't Believe," also has some pretty good melodies, as well as some darker guitar parts that really stood out to me. The final track on this EP is called "What I Hide Beneath," and it's a perfect album closer. There's so much emotion throughout this song, especially towards the end. Speaking of, the song's outro is another highlight and a great way to finish this EP. Overall, I really liked this EP. From the incredible lyrics to the impressive composition to the passionate vocals, I think that this EP only further proves just how talented Luke Rainsford is as an artist.
Favorite Track: Sleep
Defect have released their EP “House Of Cards.” I quickly learned that they played some sort of rock music, and I was pretty intrigued and curious to hear what exactly their music sounded like. The lead single “House Of Cards” lures the listener in with the catchy hook in the intro and incredible vocals that only get better and better as the song goes on. “Sleep” is more of an acoustically driven track, which surprised me a little bit. The lyrics on here are incredible, with the lines ”I guess we know by now I’m no hero. You said you wish you were brave like me, but I’m barely holding together now,” being good examples. The pre-chorus builds up to the chorus well and in the bridge, the instrumentation hits harder and the vocals get better, preparing for one fantastic final chorus. The song sounds so simplistic, yet it’s something that is so unique and that stands out a quite a bit. "Another Excuse To Hate Me” starts out with an acoustically driven intro, but it’s not long before the harder and darker guitars come in. The song has some very interesting guitar and bass parts that go well together, as well as a hard hitting chorus with some great melodies and a passionate vocal performance. Overall, I really liked this EP. Each of these songs both impressed and pleasantly surprised me and this is an EP I would definitely recommend if you’re into rock music.
Favorite Track: Room To Grow
The Weekend Classic have released their latest EP, titled “Better Health." "Detached" starts off the EP on a much softer note, which honestly took me by surprise. The guitar tones on here are a lot more ambient - something you don't hear a lot in modern pop-punk music these days - and allow the rhythm section to stand out even more than it already does. The vocals on here are passionate, but there's so much more where that came from. The single "Mutual Interest" is, without a doubt, one of the more aggressive tracks on the EP, with the loud intro and incredible instrumentation right from the start. The track is also really catchy, from the vocal melodies to the guitar riffs. Speaking of guitar, "Room To Grow" has some more great guitar parts and the overall instrumentation is full of so much energy. The melodies are catchy and stuck in my head as I am currently writing this, and the lyrics on here blew me away, with “Do you feel at home? Are the walls surrounding you too close? Is there any room to grow?” being the line that stood out to me the most. As mentioned before, the vocals are passionate, and it really shows here during the second verse, and you can hear those vocals echoing as the song fades out, and does so beautifully. The lead single "Cut Me Off" brings in even more aggression with its hard hitting intro and harsher vocals. The vocal performance on this track in particular may just be my favorite on this entire EP. "Bleed" has some very interesting guitar parts in the beginning, and some more aggressive vocals taking on some great melodies that you'll definitely want to scream at the top of your lungs. There's so much power and emotion on this track, from the vocals to lyrics like “I still struggle every day just to maintain the life that I hate. You took everything from me.” This track is followed by the final track, "Daydream," and wow, what a great song to close out the EP with! This song shows off the vocals very well and even adds in some vocal harmonies to make the vocals stand out even more than they already to. Not to mention there are some great lyrics on here as well (“I want to feel alive again. I want to rid you from my head.”). From the melodies in the chorus to the darker instrumentation, this song as a whole really shows off the band's unique songwriting style. Overall, I really liked this EP. With their darker approach to pop punk, I think this band has created a sound that stands out a lot in this genre and it really shows across these several tracks.
Favorite Track: Forget You (feat. AJ Perdomo)
Eye The Realist have released their debut EP, titled "Strains." This is a band I had heard of in the past, but I didn't really check out their music until a single from this EP (which I will go more in-depth about later in this review) was released. The opening track, "Big Bad Wolf," has some fantastic vocal melodies, especially the hook in the chorus, and some very impressive instrumentation, particularly the guitar and drums. The instrumentation only continues to impress me as the next track, "Forget You," comes in, providing some great guitar riffs in the intro and a nice drumbeat driving the track. The chorus on here is one of the best, the lyrics on here are incredible (“Barely alive, just breathe in and breathe out. Look at me now; I’m trying and fighting.”), but the highlight of this track is the bridge. It builds up to the chorus very well and AJ Perdomo does a great job on his feature. “In The Silence” is a slower track with some incredible bass and guitar parts, as well as a vocal performance that really shows off the voice that the singer of this band has. The lead single “Captured In Time” caught my attention pretty quickly with the catchy melodies and impressive instrumentation. Each instrument really gets the chance to shine on this track, mainly in the beginning of it. “Perfect Permission” honestly stood out to me quite a bit. It kind of reminded me of older, more melodic post hardcore music from the early 2000s at first, and I really like the overall musical direction the band chose to go in with this track in particular. The closer and title track “Strains” concludes this EP on a very strong note. The songwriting on here is great and I like how each section builds up to the next and how they all build off of one another. The chorus on here is another really good one with an amazing vocal performance. Overall, I liked this EP. I like the sound that the band has crafted with these six songs and find it pretty unique.
Favorite Tracks: Pretty Things, What I Need, Do You Ever Think?
Decedy have released their long-awaited debut album, titled “1979.” After listening to this album, its name makes sense. The band seems to draw their influences from some older rock music, and this is shown very clearly across these songs. “Intro” shows off the vocals quite a bit. I honestly think it’s a really good introductory track and kind of wish that it was longer than it is. “Pretty Things” shows the talent that the vocalist of this band has. The chorus is one of the best choruses on the whole record and has one of the best vocal performances on the whole record. (Not to mention that the drums on here are pretty good as well.) “What I Need” stood out to me from first listen, especially because of the lyrics, with lines such as “Thank you for helping calm all my thoughts for me. You see I can't help but wonder how things could and might be.” In addition, the vocals on here are impressive and the guitar solo blew my mind. “Wasting Time” is a softer track that, yet again, lets the vocals shine. “Do You Ever Think?” instantly became a favorite from the moment I heard it. The vocals are incredible, there’s another impressive guitar solo, and some more well-written lyrics like ”All your hopes and your cares, let them all float back to you. All your worries and your fears, let go of all of them too.” “Back And Forward” has some pretty good melodies that get better as the song goes on. It’s pretty catchy and honestly just a fun track to listen to. “Petunia” is another softer song, with some great vocals that just impressed me more and more as the song continued. Again, it shows the band’s fantastic lyrical style, and one like that really got my attention was “Everything will work out fine in time. Don't fear; I'm here.” “Figuring Myself Out” is more of an acoustically-driven track for the most part, and that softer instrumentation allows the emotion in the vocals to really show, especially during lines like ”Finding strength, but I'm hardly feeling stronger.” “Forte” starts out as another one of the softer songs on the record, but it builds up as it goes on, leading up to a hard hitting chorus. Another hard hitting thing about this song is its lyrics, especially “You come to me in darkness, I'll show you light, I can tell you it'll be alright. You're not here alone.” As well as that, the melodies, especially in the verses, are really catchy. “Outro” is essentially just a more hard hitting version of the album’s opening track, which I found very interesting. It shows so much emotion in any way possible, from the incredible guitar and bass parts to the fantastic vocals. Overall, I really enjoyed this record. In all honesty, I don’t listen to that much of this style of rock music, but “1979” is a memorable record for sure and is one I can see myself coming back to.