Album Review: Rose by The Front Bottoms

download (8)Rose by The Front Bottoms

Record Label: Bar None records

Genre: Pop punk

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Songs: 6
good good

 The Front Bottoms are an American acoustic-indie-punk band originating from New Jersey that formed in 2006. The duo have since released two albums: The Front Bottoms and Talon of the Hawk. As well as one EP: Rose. Band members are: Brian Sella (Vocals, Guitar) and Mathew Uychich (Drums, Bullhorn, Megaphone).

opinion

The Front Bottoms truly grow on you. I remember listening to them for the first time at a friend’s house and I hated them. Their music was too strange for me, especially the singing which killed it all. Luckily, I couldn’t get one of their songs out of my head and I decided to search them up. This band might take time to love but no matter how long, love always goes their way. Rose seems to be a tribute to the old times, and to the fans. It’s obviously something that they’re proud of and happy to release and although I wouldn’t recommend starting with this EP, it’s still fairly great.

The beginning of Lipstick Covered Magnet is not properly done. Sella’s voice isn’t the greatest but the singing is worse than usual. He holds the notes longer to give them a sing-song texture and it doesn’t work in his favour.I hate to say it but it’s annoying. Same with  Awkward Conversations is only a repetition of the same group of words with nothing new to bring after the first minute.

Moving onto the good stuff, the first track starts off very strong. It has a steady beat and strange with great lyrics and a chorus of voices singing along.  I love the trumpet piece displayed in Twelve Feet Deep. I also love how this song is so easy to picture, the room-mate sleeping, the skipping of class (who hasn’t done that?), and most importantly, the stupid shit that make up the good times. Moreover, Jim Bogart has a sweet duet and a soft guitar piece that doesn’t distract from the vocals. There’s a great build up which leads to a few seconds of hardcore drumming.

Overall, This album is a tribute and I do like it. But then again, I think I’d like anything they release because of their relatable lyrics, smooth beats and even smoother tempos, but most importantly the vocals. It took me a very long time to get over the out of key singing but I get it now and I think that everyone will get it sooner or later. Favourite songs are Flying Model Rockets, Twelve Feet Deep and, Jim Bogart.

4 Awesome Treble Clefs
4 Awesome Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Flying Model Rockets-3:14

2. Lipstick Covered Magnet-2:34

3. Twelve Feet Deep-3:45

4. Jim Bogart-3:18

5. Be Nice to Me-2:47

6. Awkward Conversations-2:46

Album Review: Summer Death by Marietta

Marietta Front

Summer Death by Marietta

Record Label: Big Footprints

Genre: pop punk

Release Date: October 21, 2013

Songs: 8
good good

Philadelphia’s own Marietta have released their debut LP “Summer Death” which will be released on vinyl via Soft Speak Records, a charity based label where 100% of profits gained will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

After acquiring a strong fan base in the ever-growing Philly music scene, the 90’s emo-indie-pop punk hybrid have proven that they can write much more than just a strong EP. Prior to “Summer Death” Marietta had released a three track Demo, where the track “God Bless Eric Taylor” was originally released; and a split EP with fellow Philly punks Modern Baseball (Run For Cover Records) titled “Couples Therapy”. Now, Marietta has put together an album that perfectly captures their style and sound. Passionate and somewhat poignant–“Summer Death” mixes the musical styling of 90’s emo with the lyrical honesty that is loved in pop punk today.

First of all, I would like to thank the record label, Big Footprints for giving me a copy of this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Marietta’s biggest problem is their confidence  level and need to make their sound more unique and personal. The similarities between The World Is and Marietta are almost identical. And although this is a fairly good album, Summer Death lacks the creativity to make it theirs. However I still found myself enjoying the songs and even more so the song titles.

Just like The World is a Beautiful Place, vocals by Marietta in cinco de Mayo Shit Show, Deck Wine,  and Ever is a Long Time (Ever is No Time At All are a lot shakier than they should be and make the songs sound really panicked. Another problem that I have is with God Bless Eric Taylor because the intro is pretty messy and confusing but the chorus saves the song.

Summer Death has some awesomely smooth bass parts that give the whole album a nice feel. The female backup singer in Cinco de Mayo Shit Show has such a lovely voice that if quieter, could have rocked it. You’ve Got the Map Backwards, Matt is a very personal song with a soft, enchanting intro and a beautiful build-up that isn’t rushed. The drumming and guitar riffs are quite well done throughout the album. But, by far, Fuck, Dantooine is Big is their best song. The song is very raw with the bass, guitar and vocals all complimenting each other in the best way possible.

Overall, Summer Death is a solid album that I think will gain the band a lot of followers. In my opinion, their best songs are …So They Left Me at a Gas Station, You’ve Got the Map Backwards, Matt, and  Fuck, Dantooine is Big. Their passion and inspiration are very strong and intense which are the reason why I can’t wait for Marietta to come out with something else. Their next album will be nothing but great.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. …so they left me at a gas station

2. cinco de mayo shit show

3. you’ve got the map backwards, matt

4. deck wine

5. god bless eric taylor

6. ever is a long time (ever is no time at all)

7. chase, i hardly know ya

8. fuck, dantooine is big

Album Review: Death Chorus by Polar Bear Club

I use the plagiarism checker at Grammarly.com because like a poutine with shredded cheese, it’s not as good as the original! 

download (6)Death Chorus by Polar Bear Club 

Record Label: Rise Records

Genre: Punk Rock

Release Date: November 19, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Polar Bear Club are an American punk rock band from Rochester and Syracuse, upstate New York. Formed in 2005, the band has released four albums-Sometimes Things Just Disappear, Clash Battle, Guilt Pride, and Death Chorus. They have also released one EP called The Redder, the Better. Current members are vocalist Jimmy Stadt, lead guitarist Chris Browne, Patrick Benson, Tyler Smith, and drummer Steve Port.

opinion

Polar Bear Club are roughly a new band to me. Their music is so pop punk/punk rock that it’s a bit scary. Normally, bands like these usually end up starting in pop punk but then change their sound years later whether if it’s for the best or the worst. Polar Bear Club’s dedication towards pop punk is respectable and encouraging, and Death Chorus is proof of that.

These days, I’m a real stickler when it comes down to vocals. In Death Chorus, vocals are very strong, don’t get me wrong, but I would have loved some songs to have a darker tone to them. But other than that, my biggest problem with this album is the middle where songs start to sound the same without any of them being easily distinguished.

Before the middle, the choruses in the beginning are really tight and smooth like in Blood Balloon and So I Buy. WLWYCD has a tremendous build-up with the drums and guitar slowly coming back in. The drumming is awesome to the extreme in So I Buy as well as For Show. Siouxsie Jeanne is one of the softer songs on the album and it’s sadder and of course about love, but I still love it.

Overall, Death Chorus by Polar Bear Club is an album that pop punk lovers will enjoy. They seem to have a solid reputation and release very solid album, and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Blood Balloon-3:12

2. Graph Paper Glory Days-2:50

3. So I Buy-2:50

4. For Show-4:09

5. Siouxsie Jeanne-2:24

6. WLWYCD (Why Live When You Can Die)-3:14

7. Chicago Springs-3:27

8. When We Were College Kids-2:41

9. Twang (Blister to Burn)-3:15

10. Upstate Mosquito-5:40

Album Review: Common Courtesy by A Day to Remember

download (2)

Common Courtesy by A Day to Remember

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Pop punk/post hard-core

Release Date: October 8, 2013 (Physical copies come out November 25, 2013)

Songs: 13
good good

A Day to Remember are an American rock band from Ocala, Florida, founded in 2003. currently, they have released five albums-And Their Name Was Treason, For Those Who Have Heart, Homesick, What Separates Me from You, and Common Courtesy. Band members are: Jeremy McKinnon (lead vocals), Neil Westfall (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Joshua Woodard (bass guitar), Alex Shelnutt (drums), Kevin Skaff (lead guitar, backing vocals).

opinion

Everyone I’ve spoken to about Common Courtesy has said that this is a very solid album and after finally listening to it, I can see why everyone said that. They have come a far way with constant tours, it’s obvious why they never had time to come out with another album but I liked it for the most part. It definitely is a ‘softer’ album with it being full of more pop than post-hardcore but they still appeal to the same audience and that’s good.

The album starts off with a nicely done tribute to their home town, City of Ocala. Although it may be catchy and sweet giving thanks to their city, it’s still boring. The next FEW SONGS are just as punk and fun but that seems to be all that they are. Right Back at it Again has a killer beat drop that insists on head banging but that is at the very end of it. In fact, Sometimes You’re the Hammer is touching and sweet with words about being humble and having the right to make mistakes but again, these is at the end of the song that it’s hard to believe that the beginning and the end aren’t separate.

A Day to Remember is a band well-known for their mixture of a few pop songs, a few punk/post-hardcore and then rest pop punk. Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail is where it gets into post-hardcore and it’s such an intense song that leaves no room for hesitation, these guys know what they’re doing. Even with the simple lyrics, the singing is strong and hypnotizing that it’s hard not to enjoy their post-hardcore songs. This epic streak is cut short by another pop punk song that leads into a quite ballad titled I’m Already Gone that can easily be the sister or cousin to the insanely famous, If it Means a Lot to You with the lone guitar and the speak of an unknown romance.

Common Courtesy is a solid album like everyone says it is. It may seem that they have grown ‘softer’ since there are more pop punk and plain pop in this album than there is post I still enjoyed it. The middle section of this is definitely their strongest point even though it is fairly short.  I recommend this album mostly to pop lovers though and anyone who likes dabbling in the pop/post-hardcore things like I do. Off of this album, my favourite songs are: Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail, Dead and Buried, I’m Already Gone, and I Remember.

3.5 Treble Clefs
3.5 Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. City of Ocala-3:31

2. Right Back at it Again-3:11

3. Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail– (Start video at 6:34)

4. Dead and Buried-3:14

5. Best of Me-3:27

6. I’m Already Gone-4:05

7. Violence (Enough is Enough)-4:02

8. Life @ 11-3:23

9. I Surrender-3:35

10. Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way-2:15

11. End of Me-3:58

12. The Document Speaks for Itself-4:45

13. I Remember-9:06

If you’re wondering why A Day to Remember self-released their album after being with their record label for so long, don’t worry! Everything is explained here and makes sense. Hopefully ADTR wins their legal battles because not getting paid for your work majorly sucks.

Album Review: Home is Where You Make it by The Masquerades

Home Is Where You Make It

Home is Where You Make it by The Masquerades 

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Pop Punk

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Songs: 5
good

The Masquerade is a Pop Punk band from Erie, Pennsylvania formed in 2013. The band is composed of Geo Martinez, Brandon Eaton, TJ Hess and Dakota Valerio.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publicist, Umusicians for giving me a copy of this cd to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

The Masquerades are a tricky band to talk about since this is their début and I’d hate to believe that this is the best music they can produce.  I can see that they have a lot of potential and enthusiasm for what they do. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I feel more than admiration for them when I listen to this album that displays everything boring with pop punk and why it’s so hard to stay in this type of genre. At no point could I fully or even partially connect with this band on a personal level which plays a huge part on how I rate their product.

The lyrics are all so generic and simple. I couldn’t relate to them nor did they seem special for the band either, they just sound like the same songs that have been played over and over again but other bands only with a different band name. With song titles that are extremely straight up and sum up the lyrics like for Best Day of my Life, the Weekend, and All my Life, it’s no wonder that I couldn’t bring myself to like them. I also don’t like the guitar bits and riffs because they sound a bit too strong for the songs and feel odd.

With what I said before, I admire their dedication and their enthusiasm but I just wished that it was put to better use and worked on their sound, making it smoother and a lot more relatable.

Overall, Home is Where You Make it is an album I was expecting a lot more from. I think that they have a very long way to go and that they need to take a few steps out f the generically produced music pool and start coming out with songs that actually hold meaning without so much repetition and sameness. Still, I’ll be looking out for this band and hoping that they come out with something  a lot smoother and well finished than this debut. After all, EPs are not the same as albums for a reason.

Two Boring Treble Clefs
Two Boring Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album

1. The Weekend*

2. Best Day of my Life-3:16

3. Back Up Plan*

4. Set Your Mind to it-4:02

5. All my Life*

*Song couldn’t be found on YouTube, sorry!

Album Review: Youth by Citizen

image

Youth by Citizen

Record Label: Run For Cover Records

Genre: Pop/Punk

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Citizen are a pop/punk band from Michigan that formed a few years ago. Since then, the band has released at least three EPs-Split, Young States, and Vanity as well as one album: Youth.  Band members are: Mat Kerekes (Vocals), Nick Hamm (Guitar), Ryland Oehlers (Guitar), Eric Hamm (Bass), and Cray Wilson (Drums).

What can I say about Citizen that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. So I’m just going to say all the things that have already been said about these band. They’re great and have a lot of potential. In fact, I’m shocked this is their debut album. A band with this much experience and talent usually have about two or three albums already out. Although the band has been coming out with a ton of EPs Youth is a bit different in the aspect of a more summer-like sound.

Citizen has created an amazing album, they really have. And like I said before, it’s a little different but not enough to allow me to love it as much as I want to. There’s growth for sure but there isn’t enough growth from a band that has been releasing as many EPs as they have.

Many of the songs have great guitar riffs especially in How Does It Feel? Where there’s the constant clashing of symbols and the guitar build up that brings back the vocals. Another thing I love about this album is the overlapping vocals. I’m very picky about this, most songs don’t pull it off well and I tend to get confused and uncertain of which vocals I should listen to but in The Summer, Sick and Impatient, and The Night I Drove Alone Mat Kerekes proves his strengths by weaving his voice together and in such a way that if the overlapping vocals weren’t part of the song it would insult it. Cray Wilson does an impressive job on drums by adding such intensity that helps ad build up to every song and brings out a softer sound when it’s necessary. Okay, now for bass and the noticeable parts it has throughout every song. I love duets especially between guitars and basses and Youth doesn’t fail to provide that for me.

Overall, Youth is just that. It’s a youthful album that has great pacing and special, meaningful lyrics behind every song that is a great beginning and ending for summer. My favourite songs off of Youth are: Roam the Room, The Summer, Sleep, Sick and Impatient and Your Head Got Misplaced.  I recommend anyone who is a fan of Bran New and/or looking for something new to listen to before the summer comes to a sad end.

4 awesome Treble Clefs
4 awesome Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Roam the Room-3:00

2. Figure You Out-2:37

3. The Summer-3:02

4. Sleep-3:11

5. How Does It Feel? 3:54

6. The Night I Drover Alone-2:15

7. Speaking With a Ghost-3:25

8. Your Head Got Misplaced-2:13

9. Sick and Impatient-3:43

10. Drawn Out-3:36